It Happened in the Mearns

1967: Bervie Parish Church jumble sale.
1967: Bervie Parish Church jumble sale.

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


Friday July 10th, 1992

What seemed like a senseless slaughter of seals in Stonehaven bay last week, outraged many local folk - but despite the animals being protected by law, it seems they can legally be “put down” in this area.

Last Thursday, Stonehaven man, Mr Bill Craddock, was walking his dog on the beach when he came upon four seals that appeared to have been shot and, as a former Royal Marine, he would know what a gun-shot looked like.

This was corroborated by Mrs Catherine Hall, Newtonhill, who also saw the carcasses. She said she saw workmen take the carcasses away in a truck, and they seemed in a hurry, as if they were trying to hide something.

Mrs Hall hopes that by publicising the slaughter it will prevent a repetition, although she was dismayed when she made enquiries at a local vet, who referred to the seals as “pests”, and said that fishermen had the right to shoot seals.

That was confirmed by Police Inspector Charles Milne, who said that in law a seal could be shot if it was “marauding” around fishing nets.

However, there are two sides to an argument about seals - not everyone sees them as cuddly pets.

A colony of them, who make the rocks at Catterline their home, has gorwn cosiderably in recent years to close on 100, and they pose a very real threat to local fish stocks - at sea and in rivers.


Friday July 14th, 1967

A specially selected group of Stonehaven Sea Cadets is going to Holyrood palace today (Friday) to receive from the Duke of Edinburgh a specially inscribed scroll as a gift from the town of Stonehaven in recognition of the unit’s achievement in winning the Canada Cup for three successive years.

The boys, who will be accompanied by Lieut-Commander A.G. Mitchell, C.O., and Sub-Lieut Melvin Christie, are: Cdt. P.O. Alan Haston, Cdt. P.O. David Craig, and Leading Seaman Alastair McRobb, Dennis Leiper, William McBain and Richard Taylor.

They are due at Holyrood at 9.45am, and will meet Prince Philip in the west drawing room for the ceremony. The scroll, painted on behalf of the town council, is the work of a local man, Mr W. Leiper.


Not for many years has Stonehaven been so busy during the first fortnight in July as it is just now.

Everywhere the story is the same - all accommodation occupied - and the peak of the season has still to be reached. The fine weather has, of course, been an important factor.

Shopkeepers are enjoying increased business and although the recreational facilities - the swimming pool excepted - are not being used to capacity, they have been well patronised.


Thursday July 12th 1917

Everybody seems to be talking about the great St Leonard’s effort on behalf of the Red Cross which takes place on Saturday, July 21.

The grounds at St Leonards are just the place for a Garden Party such as it is proposed to hold, and ample facilities will be given for engaging in a large number of games and sports. There is sure to be a big attendance, for everybody in Stonehaven is justly proud of the Hospital as being our shining example of war work. We are sure that the great majority of people will show their appreciation of the splendid work Miss Philp and her staff are doing by accpeting her invitiation to be present on the afternoon of Saturday next.


Persistent grumblers about the weather may be reminded for their comfort, or for their confusion, that this is the anniversary of the great floods of last summer.

Everybody remembers how the rain poured for days, how every river was in flood; how fields of potatoes and turnips were washed away, and those not carried off bodily were ruined by the slower process of decay; how railway bridges were undermined, and all manner of damage was done. The flood was renewed in August, it will be remembered, and, taken all round, the season was dismal and unsatisfactory. So far, we have had nothing of the kind this year.