From Our Files

50 years ago - July 14, 1962

WHILE the health of the people in the County of Wigtown, especially in the younger age groups, continues to improve, the problem of improving living conditions for agricultural workers and their families is very much still with us, states the County Medical Officer for Health in his annual report. Since a survey in 1958 showed that more than half of the houses lived in by agricultural workers were unfit for human habitation one in six houses has been reconditioned with the aid of improvement grants and one family in six has been rehoused. Twenty-five cases of families living with children in appalling conditions were reported. The following is an example of one of the worst: “Two roomed cottage with one room unusable because of gross dampness inhabited by two old age pensioners, one adult son, two daughters (one with young infant). One bed for females while son and father sleep on boards. No water, light, sanitation or any comfort in house.”

SITUATED among scenes of sylvan beauty, the grounds of Shennaton, Kirkcowan, kindly placed at the disposal of the organisers by Mr and Mrs Louden McNeill, made an ideal setting for the attractive fete held there this week by the Wigtownshire Branch of the British Red Cross Society. It was really a gala day and the earnest effort of the society brought forth a magnificent response from the people of the district. It was evident that the noble service is held in high regard and there was a spontaneous interest to help forward the Society’s purpose to successful achievement.

25 years ago - July 18, 1987

THEY may not be coming in droves but they are here....that’s the message being received on the whereabouts of a specimen of great importance to Galloway - the proverbial tourist. This year their numbers seem to be blowing hot and cold in the wake of last year’s figures just out from the Scottish Tourist Board. In 1986, 705,000 tourists visited the region, a drop of 11.8 per cent on the previous year and one which the director of tourism views with concern. More hearteningly they spent and extra £6 million to make up a total pegged at £62 million. Whithorn Traders Association Chairman, Derrick Millington, of the Black Hawk Hotel, has seen no improvement in visitor numbers over last year despite traders putting up hanging baskets to make the town’s streets look more attractive. “The English are still to come” he said, “but we need good weather”. However, visitors have flocked to the well publicised Gem Rock Museum in Creetown. Senior partner Maurice Stephenson said: “The place is full and I must say the publicity we have been getting has gone a long way. The Tourist Board would do well to advertise on television - it is, of course, an expensive business.”

THE much loved comedian Ernie Wise will not only bring a bit of ‘sunshine’ but the bright lights as well to Gatehouse on Wednesday evening when he officially switches on the floodlights at Cardoness Castle.