It happened in the Mearns

What happened in the Mearns in history from our own archive.

25 YEARS AGO - Friday September 28th, 1990

Prospective parliamentary candidate for Kincardine/Deeside, Mr Nicol Stephen, has backed Portlethen Community Council’s criticism of lack of space at the local Academy. The school, which was opened in the mid 1980s, is already having to use temporary huts.

Mr Stephen claimed that the current “ridiculous” situation was a direct result of government policy. “Many people,” he said, “will remember the long delay before the government allowed the regional council to build a new academy at Portlethen.

“The roll at Mackie Academy had reached a totally unacceptable level before the government belatedly gave Portlethen Academy the green light”.

He said the Scottish Office policy of only allowing schools to be built for existing numbers of pupils created a double problem. “Mackie Academy had to be bursting at the seams with an encampment of temporary huts. And the go-ahead, when it came, was only for existing pupil numbers - not the extra pupils who would be the inevitable result of proposed new house building in the area”.

He believed the “current upturn” in housebuilding would exacerbate the problem at the Academy still further.

Mr Stephen is urging the Liberal Democrat group on Grampian Regional Council to support action to end the school’s “accomodation crisis as a matter of urgency”.

50 YEARS AGO - Friday September 24th, 1965

Director of Education Mr B.B. Smith addressed the Kincardineshire Education Committee on Wednesday.

Asking for permission to re-decorate two small rooms in Mackie Academy’s Carlton block, Mr Smith said it was becoming more necessary than ever to use every inch of classroom.

The rector was facing serious difficulties, and having to utilise the two small rooms which were previously only used for interviews was a sad reflection on the tightness of accommodation. They now sadly thought of the new Mackie Academy as being a few years off.

Permission to repaint the rooms at a cost of £15 was granted. A suggestion to redecorate other rooms, the hall and staircase was deferred.


Despite attempts by railway staff and the train crew to extinguish a blaze in a double-engined southbound goods train taking a load of beef from Aberdeen to London on Friday morning, damage was so severe that one of the 64 ton diesel engines was classed as a “write off” at Stonehaven station.

Minutes after the alarm was raised Stonehaven fire brigade was on the scene and, using foam extinguishers, they had the blaze under control in less than five minutes.

100 YEARS AGO - Thursday September 30th, 1915

As will be seen from our columns this week, further consignments of comforts have been recently dispatched to the men of the 1-7th Gordons at the front.

The present cold snap we are experiencing must put us in mind of the fact that the men of our own company over in France will soon be needing warm socks and wraps to help them to withstand the winter’s cold in the trenches.

It is intended to send out a consignment of mufflers to the men of the battalion about the middle of October, and articles to go with this consignment should be sent as soon as possible to Mrs Merson, Ardchoile, Banchory, the hon. secretary of the Fund, or to Mrs Riddoch, Church Road, Stonehaven.


There was a rather disappointing attendance at the meeting in the Town Hall, Stonehaven, on Tuesday, when addresses were given by two members of the Glasgow Corporation on the subject of Belgian refugees.

The speakers gave instructive addresses, telling nothing that was new perahps but saying what they had to say in an interesting manner.

It came as rather a surprise to one to be told that there were no fewer than 12,000 Belgian refugees in Glasgow alone - almost three times the total population of Stonehaven.