From Our Files

50 Years Ago – October 7, 1961

AT Newton Stewart Auction Mart on Thursday, Messrs James Craig Ltd, concluded their two-day sale of Blackface shearling and ram lambs by selling 817 Blackface ram lambs. This was probably one of the finest displays of Blackface ram lambs ever presented at this centre and, with a crowded attendance of buyers from all over Scotland, the north of England and the Isle of Man, a great demand was experienced with all well-bred quality lots making extreme prices. The top price of the sale was £2200, which was realised for a typical Galloway Blackface lamb, shown by Mr J McWhirter, Grimmet, Dalmellington, and which was purchased by Messrs A C Campbell and Co, Larg, Creetown.

Reports in the national press regarding the closure of the Stranraer-Glasgow and Stranraer-Dumfries railway lines caused alarm at a meeting of the General Purposes Committee of Stranraer Town Council on Tuesday. The provost said he had asked the town clerk to write to the Transport Users Consultative Committee, which had been set up after the nationalisation of the railways, to make inquiries because of the repeated reports of the closures.

The shepherd was still, like an Old Testament picture, while the dog was low and patient and full of watching. This was the scene when 60 black and white collies came to Challoch, Newton Stewart, on Saturday for the annual trials of the Newton Stewart and Kirkcowan Sheep Dog Trials Association. Close on 100 spectators turned up to watch the fascinating display. The prize-winners were: confined class – Mr H Sherry, Carsriggan, Kirkcowan; open class – Mr A G Hyslop, Knockiebae, New Luce.

25 Years Ago – October 11, 1986

A lorry driver escaped death by a split second on Wednesday afternoon when his vehicle was hit by a passenger train while negotiating a farm level-crossing near Barrhill. The 47-year-old driver had just delivered some animal foodstuffs to Markdhu Farm and was almost clear of the crossing when the train hit his lorry. He was taken to the Garrick Hospital, Stranraer, where he was treated for a shoulder injury, shock and bruising.

Farmer William Ferguson saw the accident from his farmhouse about 30 yards away from the crossing. It was misty at the time. Mr Ferguson’s wife called the railway signal box at Glenwhilly and the signalman alerted the emergency services. Officers from Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and British Transport Police rushed to the scene. Two fire engines and an ambulance were called out.

British world champions are few and far between in any sport, but it is possible that next year our area may boast just that. Fifteen-year-old David Coulthard comes from Twynholm and is already a very accomplished kart driver. But the karts he drives are fitted with Italian-made engines and can travel at speeds of up to 130mph. He recently won the junior section of the British Super One Kart Championship when the commentator for David’s race was none other than Murray Walker, of the BBC. David could well be a name which will be on everyone’s lips in the future. Look out for it!