It Happened in the Mearns

Mackie Academy rector John Fraser, accompanied by pupils hands over a cheque for �2,400 to Grampian Epilepsy Project.
Mackie Academy rector John Fraser, accompanied by pupils hands over a cheque for �2,400 to Grampian Epilepsy Project.

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


Friday October 23rd, 1992

Warnings - while the project was still at the planning stage - by the town’s Community Council, that the wrong location had been chosen for the new Mineralwell Park sports pavilion, and that as a result the multi thousand pound facility could be subjected to vandalism, unfortunately gained some substance this week when the building was attacked by hooligans - even before it has been completed.

The community council had suggested that Baird Park would be a better site, as it would be better lit and adjacent to a main road, and therefore less likely to be abused.

The problem was brought to a head this week when a series of break-ins was reported at Mineralwell. Between Sunday evening and Monday morning, not only the new community building itself but three Portakabins on the site were broken into and a battery charger removed, and several padlocks smashed. Nearby, Stonehaven Thistle Cricket Club’s hut, and premises owned by the model car racing club were also broken into, though nothing was stolen from either.

Work has been going on at a steady pace on the £280,000 multi-purpose building at Mineralwell, and it has been confirmed this week that completion is due by February 26.

The day local sportsmen and women can get into the finished product is eagerly awaited, as they presently shiver without adequate facilities.


Friday October 27th, 1967

There have been several reports of a mystery plane or planes flying low over the Mearns.

it was first reported flying very fast and very low over the road between Laurencekirk and Fettercairn in the general direction of Stonehaven a fortnight ago. “It wasn’t more than a couple of hundred feet above our car,” said a motorist. “It was so low that we stopped to watch it in case it crashed into the hills behind the Drumtochty-Fettercairn road.”

“It looked as if it was contour flying,” said another observer. “It was very quiet and though the impression may have been caused by the angle we saw it, it didn’t appear to have any wings. It looked exactly like TV pictures of the swing-wing aeroplane with its wing retracted,” said another observer. “Perhaps there are F.111s on test here from America.” A similar plane was reported flying over the Montrose Basin in the direction of Laurencekirk last Tuesday.


Many people will endorse the views expressed at a meeting of Kincardineshire Education Committee by Provost Mrs Mary Lawson, Banchory, about the proposed swimming pool at Banchory. Provost Mrs Lawson contended that the £60,000 scheme was beyond the burgh’s means and that, if it was carried out, pensioners would be paying rates above their means.


Thursday October 25th, 1917

Potato lifting has been progressing rapidly during the past week, and the weather, at least up to Wednesday afternoon showed considerable improvement.

On that day the rain came down heavily, and later on there was a tempestuous storm of wind. There has been a fairly stiff frost for one or two nights back, and the sooner the potatoes are out of the ground now the better.

The local school is one of the few exceptions as regards holidays at the time of the potato harvest.

In most of the neighbouring districts the schools are shut for a week or fortnight at this time. Here, however, holidays are not granted, but special exemption is given to older pupils who wish to assist. Children are much sought after this year as other labour is scarce, and high wages are being made.


Generally, affairs in the Howe are quiet just now, and it might almost be said that we have retired to our Winter sleep.

There are indications, however, that there will shortly break out an epidemic of displenish sales, in the burgh itself as well as in the surrounding farming district. In view of the scarcity of agricultural appliances, and the very high prices ruling for stock, the farming displenishes will prove more attractive than usual.