From Our Files

50 Years Ago - May 27th, 1961

The nets of Innerwell Fisheries, Garlieston, caught an unusual visitor to the shores of Wigtown bay this week – a twelve foot long basking shark. An employee of the fisheries, Mr W Gemmell got a surprise when he went out to check the nets the other morning in the quite seclusion of Innerwell Bay and found the shark entangled in the mesh of the nets. He tied it down and there it has stayed for the past few days. Only at low tide is the shark can be seen, however. Even then it is difficult to get out to it as it is about a couple of hundred yards from the rocky beach. When The Gazette spoke to Mr W A King Webster at his delightful home on the shore, he assured me that the “monster” was in fact quite harmless. The only danger is that it might capsize a small boat quite easily. “This is only a baby”, he added. “The adult basking shark can grow up to twenty-five feet or more.”

Seven and three-quarter hundredweight of tinned food were surrendered as unfit for human consumption and destroyed in the County of Wigtown during the year 1960. This consisted of 462 tins of fish, fruit, meat, milk, soup and vegetables, and was from food shops, hotels, and school kitchens. Fourty-four visits were made, at the request of the sellers, to the premises concerned, and 106 condemnation certificates issued to allow the value of the articles to be claimed. These figures are given in the annual report of the County Sanitary Inspector.

25 Years Ago – May 31st, 1986

WIGTOWN Agricultural Society celebrated its 175th anniversary with a dinner at Corsemalzie House Hotel on Friday night. The guest of honour was the Secretary of State for Scotland, Malcolm Rifkind. Mr Rifkind, speaking to his first agricultural audience since his appointment as Scottish Secretary, gave an indication that the Government would be prepared to listen to what the farming community had to say. He told an audience of 200 at the function: “I think it is important that any Government in office should recognise the difficulties with which the farming community are faced and try to respond to them in a meaningful and reasonable way.” Mr James Wood, chairman of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society said that Wigtown Show was one of the oldest shows in Scotland. The first press mention of the Wigtown Agricultural Society had been in June 1824 and another report placed the show in Wigtown in 1832. In 1867 the show was held in Newton Stewart. In those days the show had no permanent base, but was held every four years in Wigtown, Glenluce, Whithorn and Newton Stewart. Eventually the show found a home in Wigtown after the opening up of the railways in 1870.

TO mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Arthritis and Rheumatism Council for Research, the Newton Stewart Branch have gifted a new park bench to the Newton Stewart Community Council. The bench was made at Penninghame Prison and bears a beautifully inscribed ARC Golden Jubilee Logo. It is sited near the Suspension Bridge, and it is hoped it will give much pleasure to the community, especially those suffering from arthritis.