From Our Files

September 1, 1962

The latest figures disclosed by the Ministry of Labour show that in the Stranraer district, unemployment figures are the highest on record. The last count this month showed 398 men unemployed, 169 women, 45 boys, and 38 girls, a total of 650. This is up by nearly 100 over mid-June and compares very unfavourably with the 585 workless in August of last year. The real trouble began with the closing of Cairnryan Port in 1959 and there has been a steady deterioration in the problem since then. Today’s total of 650 workless is causing grave concerns and explains the anxiety of Mr John Brewis, MP for Galloway, Stranraer Town Council and various other bodies. It is the same story all over the South-West where the latest figures show 1897 persons unemployed in the middle of the month, compared with 1390 a year ago.

The Betty Forrest School of Dancing, Newton Stewart, had more than one success on Saturday. While Miss Forrest and the junior members of her team exhibited a delightful tableau, entitled ‘Fairy Fantasy’, in the Galloway Pageant, winning third prize in the junior section, three of the junior members were at Kirkconnel sports competing in the Highland dancing competitions. Mary Reed, Stranraer, won first prize for her exhibitions of the Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Sailor’s Hornpipe and Irish Jig, and second for her performance of the Shean Trubhais, in the class up to 12 years. Competing in the same class, Carolyn Wilson, Port William, won second prize for her performance of the Sailor’s Hornpipe. Doreen Wallace was first for Sword Dance and Shean Trubhais, and second for Highland Fling and Irish Jig in the class up to 15 years.

September 5, 1987

A fourteen-year-old Ardwell boy became a hero overnight when fire ripped through his home at the weekend, for he risked his own safety to rescue his father and brother from a first floor window. Robert Smith, of Kirnaughtry House, was awakened by his father, Walter Smith, 47, after the blaze had started around 5 o’clock on Monday morning. Mr Smith senior had heard the flames licking round the doors of the upstairs rooms, scooped up four-year-old son Scott and dashed to the bedroom of his other son Robert. Quick-thinking Robert wasted no time and tied sheets to the bedroom window to make an escape route. After making the descent in the dark, he fetched a ladder to get his dad and brother to safety, before all three set off by car to alert the fire brigade. Two tenders from Stranraer Fire Brigade arrived shortly after and successfully extinguished the blaze.

A model with a difference was the subject of Monday’s Stranraer Rotary talk. The model concerned was a magnificent Porsche Spyder sportscar which graced the car park of the North West Castle Hotel. It was built as a kit car by Rotarian Archie Bell, a keen model builder. He announced to his family that he would build the model one day after seeing it advertised in a magazine. The project of putting the car together started and lasted over a period of 18 months.