From Our Files 22 April

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A LOOK back over the years from The Galloway Gazette files.

50 Years Ago - April 22nd, 1961

Lieutenant G B Steel, RNR, a native of Newton Stewart who served with coastal forces and bomb and mine disposal during the Second World War, has been appointed secretary of the Earl Haig Fund (Scotland), Glasgow and South-West area and of the Officers’ Association (Scottish Branch), South-Western Division.

Mr Steel, who has been associated with the staff of these bodies for the past twelve years succeeds Mayor W Pettigrew MBE, MC, JP whose retiral is announced this week. Mayor Pettigrew had been associated to the work of these organisations for over 30 years in Wigtownshire and other areas of the South-West area, where his duties brought him into contact with thousands of other people in all walks of life. He was appointed secretary in 1947.

Mr Charles Oppenheimer RSA, RSW, of Woodlea, Kirkcudbright, one of Scotland’s most outstanding landscape painters, died late on Sunday night in the local cottage hospital.

With his passing went the last of the original members of the very distinguished Kirkcudbright “colony” of artists. He was in his 86th year, though a native of Manchester, Mr Oppenheimer had spent over 50 years in Kirkcudbright, joining his fellow painter and friend, the late Mr E A Taylor, in that “artists paradise”. He belonged to the the Scottish (Glasgow) school of artists and was a contemporary of such distinguished painters of EA Walton, George Henry, Crozie and Mouncie.

25 Years Ago - April 26th, 1986

A CAMERA crew have been in the Galloway Forest Park this week, filming for the BBC Television “Tomorrow’s World” programme. They were filming a new electronic tracing system used by the Forestry Commission to monitor the spraying of fertiliser from helicopters.

The system, which is still to be developed, was introduced into South West Scotland last year. For many years the Forestry Commission has contacted helicopter firms to carry out the annual spraying programme. In the past, helicopter pilots relied on experience and guesswork when they spread fertiliser, and this sometimes resulted in areas being sprayed twice or missed out completely.

The new computerised system record the helicopters flight path and provides the Forestry Commission with a print out showing the precise areas which have been sprayed. It also enables the pilot to find the exact spot he sprayed when he returns from reloading fertiliser.

USED spectacles have been cascading into the Machars Lions Club headquarters in Galloway in response to their appeal for these seemingly useless items.

Useless they may be in our own opulent western society, but in India and Africa they are performing yeoman service in helping to alleviate problems of insufficient sight among the millions for whom a health service is either rudimentary or even non-existent.

Fourteen collection points - “spectacle receptacles” - are in action around the Machars, and such has been the response that the very bulk has created a further problem – transport. For these itemshave all to be delivered (for sorting, grading, packing and dispatch) to the Lions Club in Bideford, in North Devon, a mere 500 miles from Bonnie Galloway.