Down Memory Lane

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100 YEARS AGO - July 5, 1912

THE first closing ceremony in the New Kilpatrick Higher Grade School, Bearsden, took place. There was a very large attendance of parents and friends. Rev J.H. Dickie, convener of the school, presided, and was supported by Mrs Hugh Primrose, Mrs J.M. Biggar, Mrs Reid, Hollywood Milngavie; Rev J.W. Purves, Mr D.G. Millar, Mrs Dron and Mr and Mrs Higgins.

The first part of the proceedings was given in the gymnasium, when the infants gave a creditable programme of songs and recitations including The Fingers, Drill Song, Three Days of the Week, The Little Mothers, Jerry Joy, The Morn, Santa Claus, Good Night and Mr Nobody.

A fire broke out in the grass store behind Ellangowan Paper Mill in Milngavie. The Herald reported: “It seems almost incredible that such a conflagration should have developed seeing that the night shift workers were all at their respected posts, but when one realises the nature of the outbreak, and the inflammable description of the material lodged within the building, it is not so surprising after all.” The block destroyed was the two-storey building extending to 80 feet long by 40 feet breadth.

75 YEARS AGO - July 3, 1937

MR George Bennie, mechanical engineer, who gave the address Great Northern Hotel, King’s Cross Road, attended before Mr Registrar Kean for his public examination at London Bankruptcy Court.

Replying to Mr L.A. West, senior official receiver, Mr Bennie said that his liabilities amounted to £5061, while he estimated his assets to be £120,000. He explained that he had been working on the invention and development of an overhead rail system of transport known as the George Bennie Railplane System. He formed the George Bennie Railplane Trust Ltd and acted as director, but the company remained dormant and was dissolved in December 1933. A company was formed in 1928, and built a test line in Milngavie, where demonstrations were carried out but as it didn’t fulfil its obligation to become a public company, the rights and patents reverted to Mr Bennie.

THE paper reported the death of Mr Archibald Jeffrey (68) who was postmaster at Milngavie for five and a half years. Mr Jeffrey was a native of Glasgow, and was for the long period of 52 years in the service of the Post Office. He began his career as a messenger boy in Bearsden Post Office, under the control of his uncle, in 1884, and subsequently rose to be sub-postmaster in the same office. The article comments: “Unfortunately he had not long been spared to enjoy his well-earned respite from the ordinary duties of life, and many in Milngavie and Bearsden will regret his premature passing.”

50 YEARS AGO - July 6, 1962

FIRE broke out and completely destroyed the Scout Hall in Jubilee Path, Bearsden. The outbreak is believed to have started when two boys, aged about eight or nine, were burning out a wasps’ nest near the entrance to the hall. The hall, made entirely of wood, was completed in September 1957 and had been built by the Scouts themselves. Only last week the Scouts demolished their previous hall which was only a few yards away. The fire brigade acted promptly to prevent the fire from spreading to a nearby hut where the Bearsden Rifle Club store their ammunition.

A BEARSDEN boy, Alan Hosie, saved a woman from drowning when he saw her in difficulties in a river next to where he was playing golf, beside the River Leven. He plunged in and dragged her to the bank where Sgt Thomson of the Dunbartonshire police, who was off duty at the time, gave her mouth to mouth resuscitation. Alan is a corporal in the 3rd Bearsden Co of the Boys’ Brigade and he was congratulated for his actions which saved the woman’s life.

25 YEARS AGO - July 3, 1987

A 23-YEAR-OLD man from Bearsden was killed on Saturday at 8pm when his motor cycle became out of control at the corner of Henderland and Ravelston roads in Bearsden. Alistair Whitlaw of 23 Westfield Drive, Bearsden, was riding a Honda 100cc motor cycle when the accident occurred. He was taken to the Western Infirmary where he died shortly after of injuries sustained.

AN article claimed that people’s patience in Milngavie was fast running out and that they were demanding action from the local authority over the “illegal” travelling people’s site at Gavin’s Mill car park. The report says “this was the feeling which emerged loud and clear” from a meeting of the full district council. At the meeting, Councillor Joan Cameron said: “I was absolutely horrified at the state of Gavin’s Mill car park. It’s absolutely disgraceful. There are caravans all over the place. There’s a car which has a great pile of old clothes and children’s toys on top. There’s broken glass and bricks have been dug up. Trees have also been damaged.”

10 YEARS AGO - July 5, 2002

STAFF at the former St Andrew’s College in Bearsden accused university bosses of breaking a promise to safeguard their jobs and workers at Douglas Muir Quarry outside Milngavie also feared they could be next to be paid off. Quarry owners Tarmac warned that the quarry will close if a controversial planning proposal to extend the site is rejected. Stephen Cowan, estates manager for Tarmac, said practically all resources have been exhausted in the present site with just enough left to last the summer.

A £1.4 million facelift for Auchenhowie was unveiled and outline planning permission was submitted by owners Vida Sports Ltd for eight new five-a-side football pitches and a plush members-only licensed pavilion. The new development was expected to completely transform the area and looked set to get the go ahead after Vida, the sports arm of Murray International Leisure Ltd, bought the ten acre ground adjacent to the Rangers training ground at Murray Park the previous November.