It happened in the Mearns

Mr Low, a teacher at Laurencekirk School, shows members of the Fettercairn JAC how to make skis in the woodwork room of the schhol.
Mr Low, a teacher at Laurencekirk School, shows members of the Fettercairn JAC how to make skis in the woodwork room of the schhol.

We take a look back at what was making the headlines in the Mearns Leader on this week in 1991, 1966 and 1916.


Friday December 13th, 1991

A majority of pupils questioned about the new playground arrangement at Stonehaven’s Arduthie Primary School - which has seen all 500 pupils forced to use one stretch of tarmac - want to see a new playground built for junior pupils.

Senior and junior pupils had previously played on separate playgrounds, but the extension of Grampian Regional Council’s Carlton House took over a substantial area for the construction of offices and a car park.

New pupils of all ages have to play together - with boisterous football games of P7 pupils being played side by side with gentler skipping games of P1s. This week, a survey by Class 4Ashowed that two thirds of nearly 270 pupils questioned think Ps 1, 2 and 3 should have their own area. But with limited space available, the problem will not be easily solved. Arduthie Parents Association have suggested fencing off the area at the front of the school - currently out of bounds because of an adjoining busy road - and also remving the huts currently used by the Ury Players drama group when the lease expires. These huts sit next to the playground, and the ground could provide useful additional space. The “Leader” asked pupils in Mrs Ruby Buchanan’s P4A class what improvements they could suggest. Their suggestions included a roofed area so that they didn’t get wet when it rained, benches, swings, monkey bars, and more outlandish suggestions included a skateboard ramp.


It was with more than a little apprehension that Gourdon residents, especially those living at the West end of the village, faced last weekend.

Because for some days, rumours had been rife that an all-night Saturday through to Sunday “acid house rave party” had been planned - reputedly from 9pm until 9am. It was also said that around 2,000 revellers from as far afield as the North of England and Inverness would be there.

The event was allegedly going to be held on a site about a quarter of a mile south of Gourdon - and Police prescence in the vicinity on Friday seemed to indicate that there was some substance to the rumours.

Kincardine/Deeside District Council’s legal department were quickly involved, issuing a Noise Pollution Order, which threatened organisers with a possible £2,000 fine if a certain noise level was exceeded.

In the event, it appears that the “rave” was cancelled - or transferred elsewhere at the eleventh hour. But many youngsters, unaware of this, arrived in Gourdon on Saturday night, enquiring where the event was being held.

The fact remains, however, that whoever the organisers of the rumoured event were, they did not enamour themselves with the residents of Gourdon.


Friday December 9th, 1966

At a special meeting of Stonehaven Town Council on Tuesday a report on remedial measures necessary at the north end of the beach promenade, in the gap between the country’s sea wall at Cowie and the beach promenade, was submitted.

Erosion has occurred at this point, and the road to Cowie Village is threatened. The engineers at present engaged on work at the promenade slipway stated that the sea had eroded the soft material behind the improvised wall after undermining the wall itself. There was a gap of 36ft between the two permanent protection works at this point, and they recommended that a toe wall be sunk three feet in the sand, the cavity filled with rubble from their slipway job, and other signs of attrition remedied by brushing in concrete. They estimated the cost of this at £620.

Mr W. A. Will, burgh surveyor, said that unless they did something soon a winter storm could tear out the defences. The section was being undermined, and only sand was left.

The breach had occurred at the point nearest to the sea which had got behind the pitching and created a threat to the road leading to Cowie Village. The road could go overnight he warned, and added: “It is the only road to Cowie. If we wait until Spring we might lose the whole lot.”

Mr Will said that filling the gap with stones might not be enough as material was already being washed away by the sea. The work recommended by the engineers should last for years, but the ultimate aim should be to continue the wall from the existing promenade to meet the county wall.

Bailie Dr David Barclay suggested they do an emergency filling now. That would be sufficient to see them through the winter and give them time to consider the problem until they could do a proper job. It would be better than spending £600 on what was at best only an emergency measure.


Thursday December 14th, 1916

The usual monthly meeting of the Stonehaven Town Council was held in the Council Chamber on Tuesday evening, when some interesting questions came up for discussion.

Councillor Ritchie said that with regard to the motion which he had brought forward at last meeting, he would fain hope that a start would be made to get some funds collected for the institution of some kind of memorial for fallen soldiers belonging to the burgh and district. It was all very well to say ‘wait until the war is finished,” but he thought that the present was the proper time as people were more sympathetic now than they would be at the end of the war.

He had noticed that in Inverurie they had made a house to house collection, and he thought they ought to take the earliest opportunity of bringing that matter up by calling upon the public. There was no necessity to state definitely what form the memorial was to take until the end of the war. He thought the proper procedure was to give the subscribers a chance of saying what form the memorial should take.

Councillor Ritchie said he thought a house to house colection should be made. The Provost asked the meeting whether they would like to go ahead with a collection at present or wait and members agreed to wait until the next meeting in the New Year.