It happened in the Mearns

This week we bring you what happened in the Mearns from our own archives.

25 YEARS AGO - January 5th 1990

A massive crowd - estimated to be over the 4,000 mark - gathered on Stonehaven High Street for the Hogmanay fireballs ritual. No doubt the prospect of appearing live on Grampian Television was an attraction, and when the fireballs were finally lit, it didn’t seem that they would get down the street this year so tightly packed were the crowds. Stonehaven Pipe Band had trouble getting through the crowd - surely the biggest ever - but the leading swinger, Joe Kemlo from Kirktown, Stonehaven, soon cut a path through the mass of humanity. He was swinging for the 35th year, and his 22 year-old daughter, Joanne, was also taking part. There were about 40 other fireballs being swung. Although one of the fireballs disintegrated, without injuring anyone it seemed, the event was voted the best ever with the voluntary code introduced last year being strictly adhered to.

50 YEARS AGO - January 1st 1965

For the first time in several years Stonehaven had a white Christmas. The weather, however, did not deter shoppers, church-goers, carol singers and those bent on festivity, and the season appears to have gained instead of lost, through the conditions. The snow started on Christmas Eve, but shoppers were out in force making late purchases, and while the last-minute rush most shopkeepers expected did not materialise, practically everyone seems satisfied with the final result. The snow made a perfect setting for the carol singing at the Christmas tree in the Market Square on Christmas Eve, although it must have been uncomfortable for the singers. South Church Youth Fellowship led the singing, with the Rev. Charles Cameron at their head. Church services drew large congregations.

100 YEARS AGO - January 7th 1915

There was rather less festivities that usual in connection with the celebration of the New Year this season. A large crowd assembled as usual at the Market Cross and when the hour struck there was a great deal of handshaking and good wishes. There was also the usual display of fireballs and the young people entered with zeal into the sport of whirling these flaming missiles. Many left during the day for Aberdeen and other places. A fancy fair and a cake and candy sale in the Town Hall was the only attraction locally, and it was followed by a dance in the evening. The function was in aid of the Town Band Funds. The stallholders were: Cake and candy stall - Mrs Rae assisted by Mrs Calder, Miss Murdoch, Miss Smith, Miss Dickson, the Misses Thaws, and the Misses Napier.