It happened in the Mearns

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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 27th, 1991

Roll up, roll up - for free admission to Kincardine/Deeside District Council-owned/administered sports facilities on Monday, December 30.

That’s the slightly belated, but nonetheless welcome, Christmas present the Council is handing to local sports enthusiasts, or just people wanting to keep fit, to mark the end of 1991 - The Year of Sport.

Admission will be free at all District leisure centres and swimming pools, and as a further attraction, a number of special events have been organised to attract the many hundreds of adults and children who will be on holiday on that day.

At Portlethen swimming pool, Gary Milne has a mixed programme of events on tap, including tips and techniques on how to improve swimming strokesand that important subject, life-saving, is also featured.

Team sports are featured at the Mearns Sports Centre, Laurencekirk, where Ian Mowatt is starting off the day with 90 minutes of the local favourite - football - followed by sessions of netball, short tennis, uni-hoc and volleyball.

Inverbervie are also hoping to attract both regulars and occasional users alike to their leisure centre, where Mark Ingram plans to keep the facilities open until 5pm on Monday.

A wide range of competitions is also on the cards at Stonehaven Leisure Centre and Indoor Swimming Pool. There will be keep fit sessions and trampolining.


Friday December 23rd, 1966

The Glenbervie Burns Memorials Committee was reconstituted at a meeting in the Gardenston Hotel, Laurencekirk, when it was agreed to launch an appeal for funds.

The money will be used to provide memorial cairns at the farms in Kincardineshire with which the poet’s family was originally associated, and to restore and preserve the ancestral tombstones in Glenbervie churchyard.

The meeting was attended by members from Aberdeen, Banchory, Brechin, Laurencekirk, Montrose, Stonehaven (Fatherland) and Aberdeen Burns Study Circle. Mr Norman Crawford, librarian at Arbroath, representing the William Coull Anderson Trustees, was also present.

The appeal is directed at all Burns clubs in the area as well as Burns enthusiasts generally. It is proposed to erect the first of the cairns at Clochnahill, near Stonehaven, which the poet’s father, William Burns, and his uncle Robert, left in 1749 for Edinburgh and then Ayrshire.

Mr William Coull Anderson, a native of Arbroath, who now lives in America, has indicated his interest in the cairn and tombstone projects, and a report on Sunday’s proceedings will be sent to him by Mr Crawford.

Mr Anderson was co-opted a member of the memorial committee.


Thursday December 28th, 1916

Sergeant William Dunbar, Gordon Highlanders, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for devotion to duty and fine soldierly qualities which he displayed at the front.

This promising young solider is 27 years of age, and is the eldest son of Mr W. Dunbar, farmer, Westport, near Stonehaven. At mobilisation he held the rank of Corporal in the local Gordon Highlanders, and before leaving for his war station, he had attained the rank of Sergeant. He was home on leave a week or two ago, but, being of an unassuming character, he did not give much information as to how he won the coveted distinction.

It seems, however, that Sergeant Dunbar, as Acting Company Sergeant Major, took command of his company when his officers had been knocked out and succeeded in reaching his objective. During the advance he was hit twice, but the bullets were fortunately turned by his accoutrements.

The result of his fine leading was that with only 40 men he rendered valuable assistance to his battalion in taking prisoner a number of the enemy out of all proportion to the number of his own men.

One of the captures of the day was an officer of high rank who swore fluently at his men for allowing themselves, and, more important than all, himself, to be captured by such a small party.