Window on the Past

New Kirk Road in the early 20th century. Photo courtesy of EDLC Local Studies and Archives
New Kirk Road in the early 20th century. Photo courtesy of EDLC Local Studies and Archives

20 YEARS AGO

Lawbreakers in Milngavie and Bearsden faced a high-tech clampdown on crime.

A new £90,000 anti-crime surveillance camera system was launched throughout the area, with two Spyhawk cameras sited at Bearsden Cross and five in Milngavie.

The system was to be operated and monitored by civilian staff at Milngavie police office.

But the inauguration of the system was preceded by another weekend of youth violence.

Three youths were arrested in the Kessington area where residents had to call in police after rival groups clashed.

An 18-year-old was arrested in Greenwood Drive near Clathic Avenue after another youth, also 18, from Acre Drive in Summerston was beaten on the head with a baseball bat.

One distressed resident told the Herald: “I used to enjoy going for a stroll around Kessington at night. The wooded area of Greenwood and Clathic were so peaceful - now I wouldn’t cross my door after dark.

“I know the police have limited resources, but the kids who travel here for trouble do so because we’re a real soft touch.”

Chief Inspector Colin McMinn said: “We heard of the trouble and dealt with it - with three arrests made.”

The new closed circuit television system was seen as a big step towards curbing crime.

This was the first time that the Spyhawk cameras had been installed in a town centre in the UK.

15 YEARS AGO

Mugdock Country Park’s visitor centre re-opened, much to the relief of proprietors who had businesses there.

As a precautionary measure to prevent possible foot and mouth infection the centre was closed for two weeks.

The decision to re-open the visitors centre, the garden centre, the garden, trader’s facilities, play area and office followed advice to the park from officials of East Dunbartonshire Council, Stirling Council and Mugdock Country Park’s joint management committee.

Colin Barrie, who ran the Mugdock Plantaria garden centre, said: “I’m absolutely delighted and much relieved. We lost a lot of business, but if the closure has helped prevent any possible threat of infection it has been worth it.

“We got ahead with work on our extension and we now have to hope for a buoyant spring so that we might get back up to full strength staffing.

“But at the moment with the park still being closed to the public it’s perhaps not realistic to hope for a full return to business.”

The situation has been a set-back but we appreciate many businesses have been much harder hit and hope there’s an end in sight to the infection.”

The relaxation was strictly with regard to the visitors centre. The park’s paths and countryside walks in rural areas across East Dunbartonshire, including the West Highland Way, remained closed.

10 YEARS AGO

Apologetic council bosses said sorry to residents of Milngavie for failing to have the pedestrian precinct gritted in the wake of the weekend snowfall.

Treacherous conditions underfoot in Milngavie had shoppers, parents and traders fuming that the council had neglected to have safe paths made in the precinct.

Children going to school and senior citizens trying to get into their day centre faced skating rink conditions as by 9am there was still no sign of gritting.

Angry dad David Shields blasted: “The condition of the main pedestrian route to doctors’ surgeries, Milngavie Primary and shops is a total disgrace and councillors should be ashamed that children and old folk are having to negotiate such hazardous conditions.

“People are livid because this wasn’t unexpected - it’s a dereliction of duty bordering on wilful neglect given the sever weather warnings.”

When the Herald contacted ward councillor and depute provost, Fiona Risk, she said she was shocked to learn of the appalling conditions and immediately got on to the roads department.

A council spokesman said: “We apologise that Milngavie precinct was not treated sooner, however, we sent crews there as soon as we could given the prevailing weather conditions. Our first priority over the weekend was to ensure that traffic could move safely on major routes and all our resources were deployed to achieve this.”