From the Files - April 8

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

25 years ago - April 11, 1991

A last minute bid to stop a proposed 240 development on Green Belt land at Newtonhill was thwarted on Wednesday, when a Regional Council meeting called to decide the issue degenerated into a political squabble.

The fate of the proposed scheme by Headland Homes, which nearly 80 percent of villagers questioned do not want, was to have been decided at a meeting of the Region’s economic planning and development committee - and ratified at a later meeting of the full council.

But a motion proposed at the meeting by Chair Mr Nicol Stephen - asking members to vote against council officials recommendationt that the development proceed - was immediately seized upon by his political enemies, forcing a debate on political ethics while the main issue took a back seat.

Mr Stephen’s detractors appeared to believe he was only tabling this motion - very unusal in council procedure to further his political aim to be Liveral Democrat MP for Kincardine and Deeside, which includes Newtonhill in its boundaries. Their argument was he was vote grabbing.


Stonehaven Town Hall was selected as the venue for this years annual “teach-in” presented by the British Diabetic Association.

50 Years ago - April 8, 1966

Kincardineshire Planning Committee thinks that the industrial site at Spurryhillock is big enough for present needs and are not going to acquire more land to enlarge it. This was the decision on Tuesday when they considered a recommendation by a special sub committee that they again consider acquiring additional ground. It was state that the county already owned 9.8 acres and Mr DJ Mackenzie chairman said they had used about half of that.

Mr John Sleven, country clerk, said they had used rather more than half, and had 4.5 acres left. There were 20 acres zoned for industrial prurposes bu not yet acquired.


In last Thursdays General election Mr Alick Buchanan Smith held North Angus and Mearns for the Unionists with an increased majority. The figurers were: A Buchanan-Smith (Unionist) 13,286, Ken Barton (Liberal) 7,756, Chris Walker (Labour) 5,318.

Mr Buchanan-Smith’s majority which showed a swing against the national trend, was 5530 compared with 41163 at the 1964 election.

The liberal vote was down from 9268 to 7756 and their percentage vote slumped from 34% to 30%. The Socialist vote was up from 4513 to 5318, an increase of 805.

100 Years ago - - April 6, 1916

Gourdon - A concert in aid of A.B Seaman D. Stewart who was wounded at the Dardanelles, was held last week in the public hall. The Rev D. Johnston, MA BD Bervie, occupied the chair. A large and varied programme consisting of songs and duets was submitted by local and other talent.

The concert was fairly well attended. The work was carried out by a committee., including messrs Johnston, Caird and Henderson. Mrs Caird played the accompaniments.

Bervie - Mr Robert Greig, Sillyflat, commenced sowing oats on Friday night on a fairly dry field on good condition. This is the first sowing in the district.

At police court held last Friday, Bailie Clark on the bench, Charles Gibson, mill foreman, and David Durward signalman pleaded guilty to fighting with each other and committing a breach of the peace in King Street. Gibson was fined 10s and Durward admonished. A week was given to pay the fine.

It was announced that Sergant William Wright has been successful out of 26 applicants in securing the post of inspector of poor or collection of rates for the parish of Birse, in room of the laste Mr Alexander Allan, who was an ex inspector of Aberdeenshire police.