It happened in the Mearns

This children from 1966 shows Fettercairn children at the party in the village hall.
This children from 1966 shows Fettercairn children at the party in the village hall.

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


Friday January 17th 1992

Unless a “white knight” comes riding to the rescue in the very near future, it seems very probable that Stonehaven will go Gala-less this year.

Because the local Lions Club, who very successfully administered the event last year, have decided they will not tackle the organisation again in 1992.

Club president Tony Bilsdon said yesterday that it was a decision they had reached “with much regret” following extensive consultations. “We canvassed support directly from almost 50 groups within the town, and in addition we appealed through “The Leader” on November 8. We received 17 replies - eight offering to support our efforts, and nine declining.

“And of the positive responses, none actually offered to join in the basic organisation which, I think everyone will realise, is the major factor i ensuring success on the day.”

There remains a glimmer of hope that the Gala might yet be saved - because the Lions have not yet cancelled any of the preliminary bookings made - and state that they are still willing to offer their support to any other organisation who may wish to take on the task.

“But if anyone is prepared to do so, then we suggest they decide to do so before the end of this month, since it will be necessary to release the bookings on Baird Park and the Town Hall,” Tony Bilsdon stressed. And he said that other cancellations will also need to be made.


Friday January 20th 1967

Although there may be many a cold blast yet Stonehaven people are already beginning to think of summer and the tourist trade and, judging from the enquiries already received, they are not starting a moment too soon.

The number of enquiries is fractionally up on last year at this time, and there are still one or two special efforts to be made by those responsible for attracting visitors.

It may seem rather strange, however, that the people who seem least interested are those who benefit most from tourists. Once again entries for the official accommodation list have had to be prised out of the individuals concerned, and a good deal of inconvenience has been occasioned by the delay. This happens almost every year, and there is no excuse for it. A little more co-operation would make things easier and better for everybody.

Hoever, prospects at the moment are really bright and, given good weather at the right season, Stonehaven should well and truly consolidate its position as a tourist centre, to the benefit of the town as a whole.


Kincardineshire’s youth have a busy time ahead of them. A programme submitted to Kincardineshire Education Committee on Wednesday by Mr J. Stuart Cardno, contains six different items open to the county.


Thursday January 18th 1917

Fishing at Stonehaven is at present under a cloud, and at the time of writing it looks very much as if operations will be stopped at least for some time.

It is understood that owing to the scarcity of fish in other parts, some of the boats were tempted last week to fish in prohibited waters, and, as those dsring spirits reaped a rich harvest, the rest of the fleet gradually followed their example.

On Saturday, it is stated, the majority of the boats were out, and all but two were in the prohibited area, when a patrol yacht came up and challenged them. They were, however, allowed to “hale” their lines, and proceed home, after giving names and numbers.

Nothing further was heard of the episode until Tuesday, when the skippers of the offending boats were informed that their fishing permits were withdrawn, and that they could not proceed to sea. The bulk of the motor yawls are affected by this order, leaving only one or two motors, and the smaller sailing yawls, to carry on fishing from the port. Rumour is now rife that even these may be prevented from going to sea.

It goes without saying that if the interdict of the authorities lasts for any time it will have disastrous effects on this important local industry. Up to about a month ago, fish were being caught in large quantities.

Prices too, were high and the fishermen, in the colloquial phrase, were “making a good thing of it.” When fishing is stopped for any length of time, however, it means a great loss to the fishermen, and, through them, to the community.

The stoppage of the fishing will be felt more intimately by the general public in the rise of the commodity, which is bound to ensue when this supply is cut off.