From Our Files

50 years ago – November 25, 1961

A Creetown quarry worker, who only five years ago was awarded the British Empire Medal for saving the life of an injured workmate during blasting operations, was himself hurt in the same quarry on Friday. He was Mr Bob Johnstone and he fell 40 feet from the face of the Scottish Granite Company’s Kirkmabreck Quarry shortly after starting work. He saw the rock beginning to come away above him and jumped clear, otherwise he might have been buried under tons of rock. His quick thinking saved yet another life – his own. Mr Johnstone was taken to Newton Stewart Hospital where he was found to be suffering from a broken ankle and severe lacerations to his hands. It was in April 1956 that Mr Johnstone and Mr W Lupton went to the aid of their fellow quarryman, Mr William Harvey, who was injured in the aftermath of an explosion. Both were later awarded the BEM.

Nearly 200 members and friends celebrated the centenary of Leswalt Curling Club at a dinner held in the Portpatrick Hotel on Friday night. A toast to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club was proposed by Mr W McCaig, who congratulated the chairman, Mr John Agnew, on being elected vice-chairman of the RCCC. Mr R T Greirson replied saying he had made his mark in curling over the past 16 years and anything he could do for curling gave him the greatest of pleasure. Curling was one of the best sports for promoting good will and he would now like to play against Mr Kruschev.

25 years ago – November 29, 1986

SIX employees at the Scottish Granite Company works at Creetown – almost half the workforce – have been made redundant due to lack of trade. The cuts follow a meeting held between company management and a representative of the General and Municipal Workers’ Union last Friday. Managing director Stewart McGregor told the Gazette this week the workforce had been reduced from a total of 16 to 10 as a result of the meeting. Said Mr McGregor: “We obviously regret having to make this decision – you don’t make people redundant by choice. In this a case there was no choice. Local contracts have dried up completely since the Creetown bypass was completed. We have reduced the workforce further in an effort to be able to carry on.”

VITAL talks are due to take place at another local company about the future of operations there. Senior management from Scottish, English and European Textiles Ltd are due in Newton Stewart next week to discuss the future of Glen Cree Ltd. The meeting follows weeks of local speculation about the future of the mill which has been in a difficult situation for some time. For several weeks there has been speculation that Glen Cree was going to be closed, but director David Breckenridge told the Gazette this week that no decision had been made.