From Our Files

50 Years Ago – March 11th, 1961

Did you know it was exactly 100 years ago to-day that the first train service ran between Stranraer and Castle Douglas. It was two years after the opening of the Castle Douglas – Dumfries line that this event was celebrated with a pleasure excursion for the shareholders of the Portpatrick Railway Company. Fifteen carriages with over 100 passengers, were taken from the Stranraer headquarters to Castle Douglas, with stops at Glenluce, Kirkcowan, Newton Stewart, Creetown and New Galloway before returning again to Stranraer. The shareholders lunched at the Douglas Arms Hotel in Castle Douglas.

On Thursday the congregation of Pennighame Old Parish Church, Newton Stewart, paid a well earned tribute to their retiring session clerk, Mr David Breckenridge, when he was praised for his long and faithful service to the church and its congregation. Mr Breckenridge was presented with a substantial cheque by one of the senior church elders, Mr James Prentice. Mr Breckenridge, Mr Prentice and Mr Alex Matthews were also presented with long service certificates signed by the Moderator of the General Assembly.

Mr Alex Merrilies, Newton Stewart, was the guest of the sanitary inspectors of the South West Counties at a luncheon held in his honour at the Cairndale Hotel, Dumfries on Friday. The company included his colleges from the Counties of Dumfries, Kirkcudbright and Wigtown, and the burghs of Dumfries, Annan, Lockerbie and Sanquhar. Mr J S Berry, County Sanitary Inspector, Dumfries, presided.

25 Years Ago – March 15th 1986

FOUR SSPCA inspectors using mountaineering techniques rescued a sheep which had fallen 150 feet and was trapped on a cliff ledge last week. The rescue bid, at Holm of Bargrennan Farm, near Glentrool was taking place while the Gazette went to press last Thursday afternoon, as reported in last week’s issue. From start to finish, including a long walk into the Galloway hills, the rescue took five and-a-half hours. Kirkcudbrightshire inspector Arthur Wilson and inspector Ross Wilkie, from Innerleithen, abseiled down the 400 foot cliff and caught the sheep, an in-lamb Blackface ewe, between them. They secured the animal with ropes and its owner Mr William Laurie and his son hauled it to safety. After being photographed the ewe trotted away, none the worse for its experience.

THE United Kingdom Cub Scouts celebrate their 70th anniversary this year and cub scout packs all over the country are holding parties on Saturday. In Galloway the two 18 inch square cakes baked in Aberdeen will arrive by first class post, carried free of charge by the Post Office, and delivered to the home of the Area Commissioner Mr A P Low. On Saturday the cakes will be cut by the Castle Douglas Sixers, representing all the Galloway packs, and divided into eight pieces which will then be delivered to all the parties by the Area Commissioner and the Assistant Area Commissioner (Cub Scouts) Mrs R Ramsey. During the party each Cub Scout will receive a special certificate stating he was a cub Scout in 1986.