From the Files

From our own archives we bring you what happened in the Mearns in history.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 8th February 2016, 7:00 am

25 YEARS AGO - Friday February 1st 1991

People are angry about the poll tax - and especially about paying other people’s tax.

This was made clear by councillors from all parts of Kincardine/ Deeside at Thursday’s meeting of the District Council, which ratified a community charge for 1991/ 92 in the district of £34 - a whopping increase of 31%.

Chief executive and director of finance, Mr Tom Hyder, told the meeting that the consolidated community charge, taking into account both the region and the water charge, would end up being £319 for next year.

He said that the non-payment rate in Kincardine. Deeside was about 5%, which was one of the best collection rates in Scotland - but the uncollected money represented £2 added onto each community charge in the district.


This sharp increase, although high for the coming year, should be seen against the fact that it had actually been reduced last year, Cncr. Dr. Gordon Walkden, Banchory pointed out.

He claimed that the increase since the community charge’s inception was nearer 6.5%.


Last year’s cut in the charge was made, although it was quite clear at the time that the levy would have to be increased considerably this year.


50 YEARS AGO - Friday February 4th 1966

Commenting on the Government’s White Paper on economic development in Scotland, Provost T. Christie told Stonehaven Town Council’s finance committee on Tuesday evening that its effects could be quite serious for the north-east.

It nevertheless posed a challenge for the council to make Stonehaven a place which people would realise was “really with it”.

Provost Christie said that the inducements being offered to industrialists were slightly better than before, but with no differentiation they would probably prefer the north-east of England, which was a few miles from the main markets, to Stonehaven, or the north-east of Scotland, which was 400 miles away.

He was satisfied, however, that there was a momentum in the economy to enable a local economy which was anxious to do so to make its position much stronger than before.

It was a challenge, and they must create a climate of optimism.

“If we hope to get anywhere we must make the choice soon,” he said. “If we are not prepared to put ourselves in a competitive position with the rest of Scotland and bring a new economy to the Burgh, we might as well give in. The choice is ours.”

Provost Christie said that certain essentials were required for industry.

100 YEARS AGO - Thursday February 4th 1916

At the meeting of the Aberdeen University Anatomical and Anthropological Society last night, Dr J. F. Tocher delivered a lecture on “The British Race,” Mr Ian G. Innes presided.

Dr Tocher said that he had chosen the subject of the British race for his lecture because of the fact that since August 1914, the people of the United Kingdom had had to undergo physical and mental trials of exceptional character. The race was tested and the future of the race depended on whether the test showed that it was composed of fine grain or mainly of chaff. Dr Tocher sketched the history of the development of the races, and showed to what extent blending had taken place. He pointed out that two opposing factors were operating within the race. The problem was whether natural selection or a differential fertility was to get the upper hand. He compared the physical characteristics of various races across the continent, and stated that little was at present known to be of much value to statesmen and to students of race efficiency.

They believed that British soldiers were superior to German when the test had been applied. No data in the scientific sense were available to enable an impartial tribune to determine the soundness of the popular judgement.