It happened in the Mearns

Our picture this week is from 1992 and was taken at the Drumtochty Arms Hotel in Auchenblae, while artists and musicians were entertaining senior citizens.
Our picture this week is from 1992 and was taken at the Drumtochty Arms Hotel in Auchenblae, while artists and musicians were entertaining senior citizens.

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


Friday January 31st, 1992

Grampian Region’s new £680,000 extension and upgrading to Carlton House, on Stonehaven’s Arduthie Road, is almost ready for occupation, after a year-and-a-half development.

The new section of the two-storey plus basement building has been designed to complement the existing structure, which was built as a private house at the turn of the century.

Features of the new extension include open plan and cellular offices, a lift, facilities for the disabled, and a mutual entrance with the old Carlton House which itself has been converted to offices and a canteen.

The original building has had a varied history; after beginning life as a private house, it was then occupied by Mackie Academy pupils, who used it as an annexe to the main school (now Arduthie Primary). Carlton House was later used by Kincardine/Deeside District Council planning department, and the North-East Scotland Library Service.

New owners Grampian Regional Council took over in 1987, and their roads department move in on Monday, followed by the social work department the following Monday.


A new phase in the history of Arbuthnott’s Lewis Grassic Gibbon project is about to be embarked upon, in that with the £128,000 Centre now fully paid for, the organisers are turning their attentions to raising more money for the accompanying exhibition.


Friday February 3rd, 1967

An exceptionally high tide on Monday afternoon, whipped by a south-easterly wind, caused considerable damage to Stonehaven’s promenade.

The big tide caught out a truck being used in the reconstruction of the beach slipway, and a crane had to be employed to rescue it. Light was failing at the time, and the promenade was a hazardous place to be in as the waves swept over.

Part of the roadway opposite the demolished slipway and the pavement collapsed, and had to be roped off. Fears were felt for the staff at Deeside Packaging in the Beach Pavilion, but they managed to keep the water out of the building and continue working. They nevertheless experienced some difficulty at 5pm when it was time to go home. Planks were laid for them and they managed to get away, some with wet feet.

There was no flooding at Cowie, but the portion of the unprotected promenade between the sea walls belonging to the county council and the town council was further eroded.

In the town itself the sea washed up the various closes which connect the main road with the beach, and access to the promenade at these points was impossible. There were fears that the next high tide in the early morning of Tuesday might do further damage, but the wind happily eased off considerably.

One explanation of the exceptionally high tides which have been sweeping the east coast is the long run of south-easterly winds over the North Sea.


Thursday February 1st, 1917

Chief interest in the Stonehaven Sheriff Court yesterday centered round the charges of fishing within a prohibited area which were brought against seven skippers of motor yawls from Stonehaven.

The cases had aroused a considerable amount of local interest, particularly as the bulk of the local fishing fleet was affected, the majority of the boats being prevented from going to sea for more than a fortnight. There was a large attendance on the court of fishermen and others connected with the fishing industry.Mr Horn, solicitor, Stonehaven, explained that there were seven skippers charged with the offence of fishing within an area prohibited by the Admiralty under the Defence of the Realm Regulations. They were Joseph Main, George Masson, James Christie, John Wood, John Christie, James Fairweather and Andrew Christie. Mr Horn said that the accused had pledsed guilty, , but they were hardworking, honest, decent fishermen. During the mild weather they had been fishing further north and further out to sea, but during recent stormy weather they had been forced to fish more inland. He might say that they had been very much tantalised and tempted by the fact that the fishermen of a neighbouring village (Gourdon) had been in the habit for some time now of fishing within this area, making good catches.

Mr Horn said that the fishermen had agreed to go as near as possible to the line and try to make a good catch, but they had no intention of going over the dividing line. They took their course by their compasses. Unfortunately the fishermen’s compasses were not always absolutely reliable, being subject to magnetic influence.

Mr Horn said that he wished to draw his lordship’s attention to the fact that their fishing permits had been taken away more than a fortnight ago, so that the men had already suffered very severely. This meant that 30 families had been at present deprived of their income.

Sheriff Lain then imposed a fine of £25 on Main and Masson, who had both been previously convicted, and on the other five, who had no previous convictions, a fine of £10 each. In conclusion, Sheriff Laing said “I repeat my warning that if you appear here again you run the risk of very heavy penalties, and I hope that for your own sakes and the sakes of your families and in the public interest, you will obey the Order in the future.


Between Saturday night and Sunday morning serious damage occurred at the extreme south end of Stonehaven breakwater. The end of the pier is surmounted with a concrete tower, on which the main harbour light is situated. The breakwateris composed of sections of concrete, and three of these, with the tower on top, gradually became detached from the main portion of the breakwater during Saturday night.

The point of the pier now lies dipped down towards the water, while a short distance behind the tower a yawning gap has been rent between the portion that has become detached and the rest of the breakwater. This gap measures about four feet at the top and narrows towards the base. Curiously enough, the gap has not occurred straight across the breakwater, but has a zig-zag course. Through it the waves flow in and out of the harbour. It is stated that the reason for the subsidence is because the foundations of the breakwater at this point rest upon clay, which has been gradually eaten away by the action of the sea. It is said that the harbour authorities knew some time ago that the foundation was becoming defective, but as they had no funds they were unable to effect the necessary repairs.