From Our Files

50 Years Ago - May 6th, 1961

The Cubing Mill belonging to James Wyllie and Sons, Garlieston, was extensively damaged by fire on Wednesday evening. Smoke was first noticed pouring from the top floor of the building by Mr James Brolls who was standing at the bowling green watching play. His attention was aroused by a crackling sound and on looking towards the harbour he saw smoke pouring from the building. Mr Robert Love, District Manager of Wyllie and Sons, was one of the players and was actually in the act of delivering a bowl when Mr Brolls shouted a warning. Whithorn Fire Brigade were called and arrived quickly on the scene and the flames were soon under control. Water was obtained from the nearby burn. At one period it was feared the whole building would catch fire as pieces of burning wood fell down the hoist shafts, but these small fires were soon under control thanks to willing helpers with buckets of water. Newton Stewart Fire Brigade was also called but by the time they arrived they Whithorn Brigade had mastered the situation. The cause of the outbreak and the extent of the damage is not yet known but it is believed that the mill will be idle for a few days as a result of the fire.

The estimated cost of the new bridge to cross the Penkiln Burn, Minnigaff, to replace the one swept away in the floods last August, is £33,438, it was reported at the meeting of Kirkcudbright County Council on Monday.

25 Years Ago – May 10th, 1986

Princess Alexandria is to open the new community hospice at the Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary on Thursday. The ceremony will begin at 11am. After visiting the hospice, Her Royal Highness will meet dignitaries in Nithsdale District Council Chambers. She will also visit the Robert Burns Centre and unveil a plague to mark its opening.

SATURDAY afternoon saw one of the worst electrical storms the area had experienced for many years, and for one Galloway farmer this had disastrous results. During the height of the storm Mr Eric McDowell, Culroy, Glenluce, was having a cup of tea prior to starting milking when the lightning struck, and within minutes 19 cows were lying dead, the carcasses strewn over an area of 60 yards. Electricity and telephones were both cut off during the storm, and this hampered the task of removing the dead animals, which were finally collected by the local knackery on Saturday. The value of the cows is estimated at around £10,000. It is understood that the loss is covered by insurance, but the replacement of almost one-third of the milking stock will take some time. All the cows were home bred and in-milk. The empty stalls will be a stark reminder for some time to come.

FEARS that a major property deal in Stranraer town centre has fallen through were set at rest this week by the development company involved. A spokesman for City and Northern Properties, who are negotiating the deal, said that there was no truth in the rumour. Company Chairman Elliot Ward said his company had been successful in obtaining all the properties they needed to develop the 19,600 sq. ft. site in St John Street, Charlotte Street and St Andrew’s Street area.