25 YEARS AGO
(June 5th, 1987)
A proposal to moor fishing boats in Loch Inchard when Kinlochbervie harbour is overcrowded is likely to be abandoned because of the high costs of mooring buoys.
The roads and transport committee of Highland Regional Council, who operate Kinlochbervie harbour, were told at Inverness yesterday that the cost of providing two buoys capable of holding six vessels could come to quarter of a million pounds.
Roads director Mr Keith MacFarlane told the committee: "Even if the cheapest submitted tender was acceptable from a technical standpoint, it is considered that the high cost of the mooring system greatly exceeds its operational value and I recommend that this proposal be abandoned from the overall development."
The famous Archibald Thorburn mural of sea birds, which has hung on the wall of Golspie Community Centre for years, will soon be back there again after restoration.
Over the years the 4 by 14 foot black and white seashore scene from 1908 has been scratched and scribbled on, even torn in parts, in its exposed and unprotected situation.
It was sent by Golspie Community Association secretary Mr Lawrence Jamieson to Edinburgh restorer Mr Frank McCluskey of Castle Street Fine Arts, two years ago to be consolidated and repaired.
In recent months the painting, on white cartridge paper pasted on the wall plaster from what was the former Salzcraggie Lodge in the Strath of Kildonan, has been soaked fragment by fragment to detach it and make it more portable for a lighter mounting.
The painting was gifted to Golspie Community Association by its founder chairman Mr W R Sutherland when he was the contractor in charge of the demolition of Salzcraggie Lodge.
Slow progress is being made on the plan to convert Golspie’s district council-owned camping site of Littleferry Road into a residential entertainment and exhibition centre.
Mr Stuart Meffen, developer of the proposed holiday complex, said meetings were being held with regional planning representatives, architects and his legal agent to clarify what improvement works were required to be undertaken on Ferry Road and also to discuss coastal protection problems concerning the dunes on the site.
At Brora Rangers Football Club’s annual general meeting, the president Mr Ron McDonald referred to the wisdom of having a second X1 team as the club had to call on them on several occasions during last season. Despite the increase in travelling expenses and dwindling attendances, the club was able to show a small profit at the end of the season.
50 YEARS AGO
(June 8th, 1962)
Sutherland County Council voted 7:3 at a meeting in Lairg last Monday to advertise nationally for tenders for a school hostel in Golspie to accommodate 50 girls.
An estimate of £80,000 for the construction of the new hostel has been laid down in the school building programme.
Sutherland’s policemen, hitherto equipped with motor cycles, are to go over to motor vans. That was intimated at a meeting of Sutherland County Council at Lairg last Monday, when the chief constable, Mr Kenneth Ross, in reply to certain queries, said that vans were used extensively by police throughout Britain.
Mr J H Mackay, Melvich, chairman of the police committee, said he had always been against motor cycles. But Mr A M Ross, Brora, who did not agree with the proposal, said such vans had a 30mph restriction and he wondered how that would be overcome.
Sutherland County Council are planning a major extension to their harbour at Lochinver, where there is a thriving white fish industry. Last Monday, at Lairg, they agreed to ask the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries what rate of grant they would be prepared to pay on a scheme estimated to cost £90,000.
Underpinning of certain piles at Culag pier was ordered to be carried out immediately by the committee. Recently the council built a new harbour at Loch Bervie for the fishing industry there.
Sutherland County Council have been told that the most lasting and most suitable way of repairing the damaged east wall at Helmsdale harbour would be to reface it with 18in. thick concrete. The Harbours Committee recently recommended that this scheme be approved and that the department should be asked what rate of grant they were prepared to offer.
Sutherland Harbours Committee want a sea wall to be built at the west end of the village to counteract erosion there. It will be recalled that, after a severe storm, the gas works were threatened and the beach had to be strengthened with temporary works. Now the county council are to ask the government department concerned what grant would be payable on a scheme estimated to cost £42,000.
About three tons of hay were destroyed when fire burned out an old stable at Dunrobin Farm last Friday afternoon. Golspie Fire Brigade were called out.
75 YEARS AGO
(June 10th, 1937)
A travelling hospital theatre, a motoring family of the ‘90s, Ghandi with his goat and harem, Dr Dafoe and his Quins, Japanese Governess carts, cowboys, lords and beggars of every age and nationality marched together in a colourful procession to the strains of a full-dress pipeband along the streets of Helmsdale on Wednesday, 2nd June.
The occasion was Helmsdale’s most spectacular effort yet in aid of their own hospital, a fancy-dress parade, which eclipsed anything of the kind before seen in the district.
Old and young entered with genuine enthusiasm into the venture and the perfect character and get-up of the adult groups was only equalled by the originality and variety of the children’s dresses.
Money flowed freely into the collection boxes and the proceeds, together with that of the dance which followed, amounted to over £40.
The tourist steamer Killarney paid her first call of the season to Lochinver on Tuesday. She anchored for a few hours in the bay. The passengers had an enjoyable time ashore. They had all the available cars in the place out on hire. The passengers numbered 130. The S S Lochgarry discharged a large cargo on Monday. There were over 70 passengers on board. The S. Y. Arriana (Sir Thos. Dunlop) is at present anchored in the bay.
Several young boys who boarded one of the fishing boats moored at Golspie pier on Saturday had a lucky escape from serious injury. The youngsters had been playing on the deck when the boat, which was high and dry at the time, lurched and fell on to her side on the sand. Fortunately none of the lads received injury. A fisherman working in his own vessel just missed being crushed under the timber of the falling boat.
The 3rd year boys of the Sutherland Technical School, Golspie, paid a visit to the Telephone Exchange and the Post Office, Golspie, on Friday, 4th inst. At the exchange they were met by Mr A Macdonald, linesman, who showed them the lightning resisters, the fuses, the switchboard and its working.
100 YEARS AGO
(June 13th, 1912)
Mr J. W. Stewart, whose munificent gift of £100 to the funds of the Inverness Mod has given keen satisfaction among all who love the Highlands, is a man who has prospered exceedingly since he left for British Columbia a quarter of a century ago.
He had then nothing but his native ability and force of character to ensure success. Today he is a man of great wealth. He is a member of the firm of Foley, Welch, Stewart & Co., the big railway contractors of Canada. This is the firm with which Lord Strathcona was so long connected.
Like all true Highlanders, Mr Stewart has never lost his love for his native land and his mother tongue. He speaks Gaelic fluently and nothing pleases him better than to assist young men from the Highlands who have gone to Canada to push their fortunes.
Mr Stewart, who has been revisiting his native place every summer for some years back, left Inverness for Assynt on Tuesday. He will be joined shortly by his wife and daughters. The latter have been pursuing their studies in Paris.
Mr Wallace, of the Sutherland Arms Hotel, Lairg, has recently installed one of the finest electric lighting plants in the North, having hotel, motor garage and post office powerfully lit up.
The work was carried out by Edmundsons’ Electricity Corporation, Inverness, under the supervision of Mr E. J. Williams, resident engineer and manager.
The dynamo, which is one of the latest type, gives 55 amperes, and 150 volts, is driven by one of Tangye’s latest oil engines, also a large switchboard battery and a charging board for motor car ignition cells. All the wiring was done with steel tubing and finished with all the latest fittings.
During the past week a sudden falling off in productiveness was experienced at the various netting stations in this district both on the Kyle of Sutherland and at the head of the Dornoch Firth.
From all the fishings put together, it is calculated that only about 1 ton 3 cwts, of salmon and grilse had been despatched to the southern markets in the course of the week as compared with 1 ton 16 cwts during the previous week, which was by far the best of the season.