From Our Files

50 Years Ago – December 30, 1961

’TWAS on a cold and frosty morning that Christmas was celebrated in Galloway on Monday – in temperatures little above the zero mark. Twenty-four degrees of frost were recorded in some areas, making it the coldest Christmas for many years.

Rivers and ponds were frozen over and, although there was no snow, the sparkling white of the frost on the rooftops and in the fields presented a picturesque and tranquil setting. The sun shone early on Christmas morning and it was a busy day for many – the staff of hotels were busy with special Christmas lunches and dinners, and at the Post Office work went on as usual for Post Office workers and telephone operators. During the day many energetic people took advantage of the weather conditions and went to the nearest loch or pond to curl or skate.

On Christmas Day, 10 old people from Creetown and Carsluith who would have been alone were entertained to dinner at the Barholm Arms, Creetown. The invitations went out, cars collected the guests and together they had a wonderful time, but none of them knew who paid the bill. It was the wish of an anonymous donor.

Author Gavin Maxwell has been given a very special Christmas gift – a three-month-old otter cub called Mossy. He was caught by the gamekeeper at Stair Estates and arrived at the author’s home in Sandaig, on the west coast of Scotland, just over a week ago. “Absolutely fearless,” said Major Maxwell, “and exactly like a puppy.”

25 Years Ago – January 3, 1987

A Newton Stewart man has written to President Ronald Reagan suggesting a way of increasing security at airports. Mr John Glazer has designed a security tunnel which he claims will do away with the constant threat of hijacking and the indiscriminate killing of the people in the main waiting area of airports. In a letter to Mr Reagan accompanying his sketch plan, Mr Glazer suggests providing a tunnel entrance to airport terminals. The number of tunnels would depend on how busy the airport was, adds Mr Glazer, who says the tunnels would not take up much more room than is used at the moment. The tunnel would be 10 feet wide with a conveyor belt on one side and people wishing to use the airport on the other side.

The people would be screened from the luggage by a reinforced wall in case of an explosion. Mr Glazer has previously tried to interest the British government in the idea by putting his suggestion to the Minister of Transport, but he says his idea was rejected because it was felt it would delay passengers too much.