It’s been over two months since I last took a step back in time with an old copy of the Mearns Leader, courtesy of a reader having a clear-out.
Editor Mike Rankin placed another old newspaper on my desk, recently, which turned out to be the Kincardineshire Observer from October 27, 1989.
Now I don’t want to make anyone feel old, but this particular writer would have been aged just five months when this paper was published almost 25 years ago.
Since the paper was from the year I was born, I wasfascinated to dive in and see what was going on when I was a baby.
On the front of the Observer which, incidentally, cost 18 pence, appears a familiar tag which I have seen in quite a few older papers: ‘Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office.’
The Observer then was 12 pages in total and carried everything from TV listings to full page adverts and local sport (Laurencekirk bowling pictures can be seen on the front, back and page nine).
But what really caught my eye apart from a Fabric Fund Picture quiz was a feature by Jane Lindsay on page seven entitled ‘From My Notebook.’
The feature deals with Jane getting her hands on an old newspaper and diving right through it, serendipitous considering it is exactly my intention on opening it up.
Also on the front of the Observer was the bonfire night plans being announced by the Scout Group Committee which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, November 4.
The plans reveal a change of venue due to Mrs Clark’s field behind Beattie Lodge being too close to the bypass.
The article reads: “The new venue is in a field just down from the Mart, belonging to John Medlock......Anything burnable will be collected on the day of the bonfire.”
I can imagine the smell afterwards was probably quite pungent.
Going back to the earlier mentioned Fabric Fund Picture quiz, the Observer was helping Laurencekirk Parish Church Fabric Fund by running a ‘Place the Name’ competition.
There were 12 house names pictured – all from Laurencekirk – and people had to guess the street in which it was located.
It might be my instincts honed by hosting a pub quiz in my student years but this was a brilliant idea for a fundraiser that the paper was involved in.
Entry forms were 20p and were available locally, with 12 more for people to guess the week after.
Who knows, maybe another 50 years from now or further down the line a young trainee not much unlike myself may come across a copy of the Observer and do another feature.
If so, humour me to leave this message for the young apprentice: “A good local newspaper is one that endeavours to be at the heart of the local community...also, those flying cars really do use up petrol don’t they”