From Our Files

50 Years Ago - June 17, 1961

The praise of every resident of Newton Stewart must surely be deserved by one young person right now. Seventeen-year old Billy Duncan, of Station House, Newton Stewart, had the great honour of appearing at Earls Court, London for the Royal Tournament.

Billy appeared on millions of television screens as he marched with the RAF Pipe band from Locking, near Weston-Super–Mare where he is stationed. He joined the RAF a year ago and only started to play the pipes during the last six months. He is serving a three-year period, training to be a radio technician. Mr W Duncan, Billy’s father, who is the station master at Newton Stewart told me that Billy was scheduled to appear on Friday night. “I fell very proud of him” he said. So do all his friends it is a rare and wonderful experience to be able to performer before royalty. Congratulations are due to Billy on his achievement.

The 4th/5th Battalions, The Kings Own Scottish Borders have invited members of the Kings Own Scottish Borders Association and their families to attend the Amalgamation Parade which is to be held in the grounds of the Holyrood House, Edinburgh, on July 14. The Colonel-in-Chief. HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, will be present and will take the salute at the parade.

25 years ago - June 21, 1986

ARCHEOLOGICAL excavations being carried out at Whithorn this summer will be aided by a £1,000 grant from the regional council.

The Whithorn Trust, will be undertaking a ‘dig’ on a site known to contain a medieval graveyard, buildings of the Viking age and early Christian burials. To finance the project they have set up a ‘sponsor a day’ scheme in which organisations and individuals are asked to contribute at a rate of £200 per day’s excavation.

THE first ever Guide Dog for the Blind to be trained to work with a blind and non-vocal person has recently left the Dog Training Centre in Forfar. The handsome dog Nelson which is now two years old was born and bred in Kirkcudbright at the home of Mrs Ina Strachan of Longacre who for many years has been breeding top dogs to be later trained for the blind

TO CLIMB the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales all within the space of 24 hours may seem a strange way to celebrate your 40th birthday, but that is what farmer Alexander McCulloch, of Ardwall, Gatehouse, did recently.

And he achieved his goal in only 19½ hours. Alexander and his climbing companion, Matthew Pumphry, have collected around £1,500 for charity as a result of their efforts. The third – and indispensable – member of the team was Angus Campbell, from Palnackie, who did the driving and accompanied Alexander and Matthew up Ben Nevis. They set of from the Llanberis Pass at the foot of Snowdon on the stroke of midnight at June 4th, climbing the Pyg Track to the 3,560ft. Summit. By 7.30 on the morning of the fifth they were at the bottom of Scafell pike, Cumbria, and having scaled the 3,210ft. Of England’s highest peak, set of for Ben Nevis. In brilliant sunshine, they started up Ben Nevis at 4pm, taking three and a half hours over the climb and decent – including photo calls on the 4,406ft summit. A welcoming party, including Alexander’s wife. Fiona, met them at the bottom for a celebratory drink.