It Happened in the Mearns

Youngsters from the local youth club in 1992.
Youngsters from the local youth club in 1992.

We take a look back at what was making the headlines locally on this week in 1992, 1967 and 1917:

25 YEARS AGO

Friday June 12th, 1992

Saturday’s annual Auld Feein’ Market on the Market Square, and its surrounds, was once again a huge success.

No one behind the near 70 stalls looking for business could have any conplaints about a shortage of customers - with receipts from the charity stalls alone exceeding £8,000.

But the continuing success of the event, and the almost uncanny co-operation of the often fickle Stonehaven weather to annually provide dry day after dry dayand often sunny, too, raises the question - where does the Market go from here?

It certainly seems to have outgrown even its traditional home at the spacious Square. Parking, too, is quite a problem, with town centre residents finding it difficult to find a space for their vehicles after returning from shopping expeditions etc.

On the other hand, if the event was moved to, say, Mineralwell Park - it might still be a ‘Market’ - but much of the traditional atmosphere would be lost.

After the dust had settled, Mrs Kathleen Leiper, convenor, and her committee, were well pleased that everything went so well - and that the luck of the fine weather had held.

Local hotelier, Mr Bobby Jackson, of the St Leonards, performed the opening ceremony and judged the stalls and stallholder costumes, the best stall and Town Council Shield going to Mr and Mrs Samuel Jolly of Dunnottar Nurseries.

50 YEARS AGO

Friday June 16th, 1967

In a letter to the Ministry of Transport, Mr Alick Buchanan-Smith, MP for North Angus and Mearns, complains that the withdrawal of all passenger services from Laurencekirk station will encourage depopulation.

The announcement by British Railways that Transport Minister Mrs Barbara Castle had given her consent that the passenger service should go brought an immediate reaction from Mr Buchanan-Smith. In his letter, he speaks of his bitter disappointment that she did not think fit to make any arrangements for early-morning travellers to Montrose.

“These people are now faced with finding another means of transport or moving to Montrose,” he says. “Regarding the former, I would be interested to hear your suggestions. Regarding the latter, I would remind you that you cannot expect automatically to find alternative accommodation there for those who have to move. I regret that your decision encourages rural depopulation and puts an added burden on those who live in country areas.”

It was just a matter of time until the axe fell on Laurencekirk, said Provost Ian Frain.

They had known that the inquiry into services to the station had gone against them.

100 YEARS AGO

Thursday June 14th, 1917

The sequel to the adventures of the bogus officer in Stonehaven and district about a fortnight ago was heard in Dundee Sheriff Court on Monday, when Robert Stevenson (34), caulker, 65 Greenfield Street, Govan, pleaded guilty to three charges - (1) stealing a watch and a sum of £6 from an hotel in Dundee; (2) of wearing the uniform of an officer of His Majesty’s Army without lawful authority; and (3) of giving false particualars for registration. Accused appeared in the dock in the uniform of a Lieutenant of the A.S.C. A large number of previous convictions were recorded against him.

The Procurator Fiscal stated that the money was stolen from a bedroom in the Royal Hotel, Dundee. He had been masquerading as an officer and had been captured in Kincardineshire, where he had been passing himself off as an officer. In regard to the second charge, accused admitted to the Sheriff he had never been in the Army. His civilian clothes, he said, had been stolen from him. Accused was sentenced to nine months imprisonment for the first offence, while for the second and third offences he was sentenced to thirty days in prison to follow after expiry of his first sentence.

The local police are to be congratulated on their success in securing a dangerous and enterprising criminal.