From the files - March 18

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

25 Years Ago - March 22, 1991

Local MP Alick Buchanan-Smith this week expressed his ‘deep worry and dismay’ over Grampian Region officials decision to recommend 240 houses be built on Green Belt land in Newtonhill.

The decision to recommend approval was announced despite a local survey which revealed nearly 80% of over 450 villagers questioned were against the Headland Properties plan.


Stonehaven Rotary Club scooped the Scottish premiere screening rights of Mel Gibson’s new film portrayal of ‘Hamlet’ in aid of the international charity “Sight Savers.”

“Securing permission for the premiere will, we hope, be a marvellous boost for the charity,” said the clubs international service convener, Mr Derek Hunter. “It is also the most ambitious venture of its kind we have ever been involved in.”

The film includes scenes shot at Dunnottar Castle, which many local people will have seen transformed for the filming last summer with re-vamped battlements and colourful flags.


Stonehaven Music Club held their final concert of the season where feet were tapping all night with a large audience longing to dance.

Ron Gonnella, one of Scotland’s leaging fiddle players, opened with some Northern fiddle music.

50 Years Ago - March 18, 1966

Four hundred attended the annual congregational social of Dunnottar Parish Church in Stonehaven wgeb Rev. J.C Campbell was honoured on his retiral after 32 years of the church.

Chris Walker Labour candidate for North Angus and Mearns sent a letter to the editor about the lack of coverage of his campaign.

He wrote: “I am disturbed at your failure to report a single word of anything I have so far said in North Angus and Mearns. I feel that what the candidate of the Party at present in Government has to say is important to people in Kincardine. I have been advised at this juncture, I have reasonable grounds for complaint to the Press Council.

Answering Mr Walker’s letter, managing editor W. H Robertson wrote back: “Up to the time of the Mearns Leader going to press last week you had not made a single speech in Kincardineshire. I may point out that you have not sent us any lust of your meetings as the other candidates have done so. Neither you or your representatives have sent us any details about yourself or your career.

“In these circumstances it is ridiculous , in my view, to complain you are not getting your fair share of the publicity we can provide, which I take to be your complaint.”

100 Years Ago - March 16, 1916

The first sitting of the Military Tribunal for the County of Kincardineshire under the new regulations was held in the County Buildings, Stonehaven.

Mr James Mowat presided and Mr John Falconer, County Clerk acted as clerk to the Tribunal, while Major Allan was military representative. Out of the 121 cases which came before the Tribunal, 96 were granted absolute exemption on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee, the men on whose behalf application was made being in restricted trades or occupations.

Of these the great majority were farmers or farm workers.


Friday was the first day on which the fishing fleet was also able to proceed to sea, and they returned in due course of the afternoon with good takes of fish.

There were expectations that the local buyers would again refuse to attend the sale but forunately these were groundless and they were out in full force, while the “stranger” from Aberdeen also attended.

The prices were somewhat below the high level current some time ago but local buyers were keen to bid, although an occassional glance of disapproval was cast in the direction of the Aberdonian.