From Our Files

50 Years Ago – January 27, 1962

A new approach to the National Bard – Burns the teacher – was the theme of the toast to The Immortal Memory at the annual dinner of the Wigtown Burns Club on Friday night. It was a scholarly address from Mr J M Young, the headmaster of Locharbriggs School, Dumfriesshire, followed with close interest by the large company that attended the function, presided over by club president Councillor G S Henry.

During the evening, the company thoroughly enjoyed the rendering of several of the poet’s lovely songs and those who contributed to this part of the programme were Mr T McGuffie, Mr J McAdam and Mr Eric Wilson. Not the least enjoyable part of the proceedings was the recitation of The Twa Dogs by Mr David Gladstone. Thus the 57th anniversary dinner of the club, which was established in 1905, came to a close and the company joined hands to sing Auld Lang Syne.

LOVERS of Scottish country dancing flocked to the McMillan Hall in Newton Stewart on Friday night to avail themselves of the music of the most famous band in the country – the Jimmy Shand Band. There was a capacity audience to enjoy a varied programme of dances, the function being organised by the Newton Stewart Gymkhana Committee.

RAIN in Stranraer on Wednesday caused problems for town council painters working on a new “turn right” signs on the road surface in Castle Street. They eventually managed to dry the wet road with a blow lamp.

25 Years Ago – January 31, 1987

GALLOWAY MP Ian Lang was sent an urgent message from Wigtownshire farmers on Wednesday night demanding he look into the price differential between British sheep and sheep brought across from Ulster.

And the farmers, members of the Wigtown Area of the Scottish National Farmers Union, are threatening militant action, including demonstrations and blockading ports to stop Irish sheep coming into Scotland.

Because of vast differences in price between Irish and Scottish sheep, local farmers are demanding immediate action from the union to persuade the government to bring the prices into line. But Scottish NFU vice-president John Ross, from Portpatrick, said he was reluctant to go down the militant action route.

He warned: “Marching up the streets carrying placards could backfire on us. We can’t rule out anything, but we have to be very careful what action we take. I consider, before blockades and the like go ahead, there should be determined lobbying at the House of Commons.”

THE experimental hospital bus which provides a weekly Sunday service between Stranraer and Dumfries is to continue for at least another three months, although the numbers using the service are well below the break-even figure of 30 passengers.

A report shows that the service costs the health board a total of £765 during its first eight weeks. The need for the service had been assessed from the continued requests from people in the west of the region and from the number of patients from there in hospital in Dumfries – an average of 50-60 at weekends.

“The numbers have been disappointing, considering the pressure for the service”, the report said.