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50 Years Ago – October 28, 1961

Several seaside resorts of Galloway have suffered extensive damage from a storm which hit in the small hours of Monday morning. From the Isle of Whithorn to Kippford, there have been many accounts of the storm’s destruction and the havoc. Thankfully, nobody was injured or killed. However, beyond giving thanks for no loss of life, the storm has completely destroyed many areas. Port William, Garlieston and the Isle of Whithorn harbours have been damaged, and the county council says it has no responsibility to restore them. The storm also claimed many acres of local farm land, with many sheep perishing, causing panic among farmers. Winds of 80 miles per hour combined with heavy rain and tides have created flooding which is up to six feet deep, giving new meaning to the phrase “Scottish weather”.

At the Scots Guards reunion at Gatehouse, the Queen sent a message to Lord Stair, who in turn asked Viscount Dalrymple to sent her thanks to the Scots Guards Association for its kindness and loyalty. After a superb meal served by the Murray Arms Hotel, Viscount Dalrymple revealed that Lord Stair had been exchanging messages with the colonel in chief, the Duke of Gloucester, colonel of the regiment and the Queen herself. Not only had the Queen offered a reply, the Duke of Gloucester also sent his greetings, saying that he hoped they all had a most enjoyable evening.

25 Years Ago – November 1, 1986

AROUND 3000 people took to the Galloway hills at the weekend to take part in the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon. Unfortunately, the usually dreary Scottish weather escalated to create the worst conditions the runners have had to endure in the 19 years of the event’s existence. The competitors had to wade through chest-deep burns and rivers swollen by heavy rain. The rain, which turned to sleet and hail, added to the misery of the runners. However, remarkably, only 25 per cent of people who entered the race dropped out. The Galloway search and rescue team was called out on Sunday night when one pair was still unaccounted for when all other contestants had clocked in. However, this couple were traced back to their home in Somerset after failing to tell the correct marshall they were leaving. The medical services were kept busy after the marathon, treating people for minor injuries and exposure, as well as a few cases of hypothermia, two of which required overnight observation in the hospital. A press officer for KIMM thanked all the organisations involved in the competition, helping accommodate and securing the safety of the runners, and stated that he hoped the event would be staged in the Galloway hills.

A man and women discharged from Dumfries Infirmary found themselves back in hospital after a crash involving three cars on their way home. Mr William McGuffie senior, of Braefoot, Minnigaff, was driving his son, William McGuffie junior, and was giving Vicky-Ann Murray of Creetown a lift home. Both had been discharged from the infirmary that day. Mr McGuffie’s car was involved in a collision with two other cars, one stationary and one moving.

Mr McGuffie senior sustained broken ribs, concussion and cuts and bruises, while Mr McGuffie junior sustained bruising to his neck and shoulder, and cuts and bruises to his body. However, the most badly injured was Ms Murray, who was thrown from the car, which resulted in serious head injuries, and a stay in intensive care for several days, as well as having to undergo surgery; yesterday was her 24th birthday.