It Happened in the Mearns

1967: This was photograph was taken during celebrations to mark the centenary of Woodcot Hospital.'Do you recognise anyone here?
1967: This was photograph was taken during celebrations to mark the centenary of Woodcot Hospital.'Do you recognise anyone here?

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


Friday, August 21st 1992

In a surprise move that has shocked local customers, it was announced this week that Portlethen branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Portlethen is to be closed down after 20 years of business in the town.

Furious customers have branded the move a disgrace, and say the Bank seems happy to take their money but is not willing to provide a local service.

Pensioners without private transport and uncertain about how they can bank their money in future; young mums with infants in tow, and also without transport, wondering how they would make the journey to other branches in Stonehaven or Aberdeen; and businessmen predicting difficulties for their local interests, all rounded on The Royal Bank.

Meanwhile, at their headquarters in Edinburgh, a Royal Bank spokesman claimed the closure had been brought about because growth of business at the Bank “had not been commensurate with the expansion of Portlethen over the last 20 years”.

The majority of people living in Portlethen worked in Aberdeen, he said, and many of them had decided to open bank accounts there instead of locally.

And despite all the Royal Bank’s efforts at their Portlethen facility since the 1970s, business at the branch had finally been insufficient to justify a continued presence in the town.

Staff at the bank, who say the news came “like a bolt out of the blue”, are being relocated.


Friday, August 25th 1967

Woodcot Hospital, Stonehaven, will celebrate its centenary on Monday and Tuesday next week when it will be open from 2pm to 4pm each day.

Members of the public are cordially invited to attend on ne or other of these days to visit the patients and see the many improvements that have been carried out in the building.

Originally built as the Poorhouse for the County of Kincardine by a combination of Poor Law Authorities, which were the different Parochial Boards, the actual building was completed in 1867. There is no record of any formal opening ceremony but the first cases were admitted on 28th August, 1867.

Woodcot, which has naturally changed very greatly throughout the years and especially in recent times, caters for two types of cases - geriatric hospital cases and old people who, although not requring hospitalisation, do require care and attention.

Although as has been said there is no record of a formal opening certain references in the Press of 1867 show that the occasion aroused a good deal of interest.


Kincardineshire has reason to be well pleased with this summer.

There is no doubt that 1967 will go down as one of the best seasons in recent years.


Thursday, August 23rd 1917

There was a very large attendance in the South U.F. Church on Sunday morning, when the Rev. P. Beith, M.A., Corstorphine, gave a splendid account of his experiences with the troops in France.

In language that was at once graphic and soul-stirring, Mr Beith depicted for his congregation the life of the men at the front, as it centred round the YMCA hut in which he was for a considerable time engaged. Mr Beith, who has seen a great deal of service, was chaplain for some time to a battalion of the Gordons, and is enthusiastic in his praise of their capabilites as soldiers and their conduct as men.


The heavy rainstorm which fell in this district on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday has caused serious damage to the growing crops on a large number of farms.

Many fine fields of grain have been badly laid and broken down, and harvesting will consequently cause a great deal more labour and expense, while a fairly large proportion of the grain must have been rendered unfit for milling purposes.

The heavy soaking that the ground has got would also have a tendency to spoil the quality of the potato crop. That splendid crop is now in need of dry weather so that it could ripen and mature and get into the condition to store well and keep.