It happened in the Mearns - June 5

Find out what happened in the Mearns all those years ago from our very own archives.

25 YEARS AGO - Friday, June 8th 1990

Attendance records were smashed at this year’s Auld Feein’ Market in Stonehaven town centre on Saturday.

Not that there could be an exact figure for the Market Square event, as there is no gate to pass through, but with parking spaces fully occupied as far away as Bath Street, the stalls were thronged with interested visitors almost continuously from 10am until the closedown at 5pm.

And Mother Nature let the organisers “off the hook”, when freak weather which threatened the outdoor event relented and the market’s run of fine days continued for yet another year. Early morning rain gave way to very high gusty winds, which threatened to blow apart the canvas-backed stalls on the Square, and 52 weighty concrete blocks were needed to keep the stalls in place.

Features abounded this year, with the overflow crafters’ display in the Town Hall offering many beautiful and unique items for sale. Stalls here were thronged, although there seemed to be more browsers than buyers around.

Contributing to the overall improvement of the look of the Market was the organisers’ insistence that all stallholders dress in turn-of-the-century garb, and the fact that the stalls were all as different as they could be.

50 YEARS AGO - Friday June

Stonehaven Town Council’s decision to go ahead with alterations and improvements to the town hall have caused a stir in the town.

The cost, £52,000, and Police Judge John H. Stewart’s forecast of a 3/ - rise in the rates, have been the main talking points, and there is word of a protest petition being drawn up.

This week the Mearns Leader interviewed a number of townsfolk on the matter and found opinions about the scheme fairly openly divided.

Mr Bertram Spicer, a grocer, said the general opinion of his customers was the “the whole thing was fantastic”. They felt that in a place the size of Stonehaven the money could be put to better use.

“They are terribly bitter, as there are so many things it could be spent on,” he said.

A businessman commented: “Many years ago the same argument arose about the swimming pool, but we now realise it has been a blessing in disguise. We will never get the scheme at a cheaper price, so I suppose now is as good a time as any to go ahead with it.

“We can’t afford it, but we could not afford the swimming pool and it was paid for. Of course, more essential things are needed, but we can’t afford them either”.

100 YEARS AGO - Thursday, June 10th 1915

With the 7th Gordons now in the thick of the fight over in France, there is the inevitable anxiety in families who have male members in the battalion as to their safety. In such circumstances it is unfortunate that there should be a tendency here at home to make too much of rumours that have their origin in ambiguous statements in letters from the front, and gain in certainty as they gain in magnitude, as they pass from mouth to mouth.

These senseless rumours cause a great deal of unneccessary pain. On everyone there should be a solemn obligation to make sure of the truth of statements about happenings at the front before passing them on to someone else.

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There is at present appearing in the window of Mr Wood, chemist, an interesting reminder of the war in the shape of a mess tin worn by Captain R. Ross Napier, a Stonehaven man with the Canadians, when he was struck by shrapnel. Fragments of shrapnel have pierced the metal sides of the mess tin and articles which were inside it at the time have been pierced or broken by the fragments of the shell.

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It was intimated at the Council meeting that arrangments had been made for having the bathing boxes re-erected for the season.