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From the Northern Times, 25, 50 and 100 years ago


By Ali Morrison

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25 YEARS AGO

From the newspaper of October 11, 1996

A PARTY of local schoolchildren and their teachers were this week marvelling at their lucky escape after they emerged shocked but otherwise unscathed from a train crash following an educational day out. The 36 Golspie High School pupils and three members of staff were in the front carriage of the Wick-Inverness sprinter when it smashed into a tractor trailer at an accommodation crossing at East Brora Muir on Tuesday. All 66 passengers in the two carriages were uninjured and after an hour-long delay continued their journey south by bus.

Anti-windfarm campaigners in East Sutherland have called on local Highland councillor Ron McDonald to consider his position in the wake of a referendum result showing most residents are clearly opposed to the plan. Councillor McDonald (Brora/Kildonan) has always argued that the silent majority of locals either support or do not mind turbines being erected in the hills between Brora and Helmsdale, and that the opposition came from outside the county.

50 YEARS AGO

From the newspaper of October 8, 1971

At the request of the Highland Development Board, Dornoch Town Council are to apply immediately for a licence for their grass airstrip on the links. If the necessary equipment is provided and improvement work on the strip completed without delay, then scheduled flights may be using Dornoch in time for next summer. This would be a great development boost not only to the royal burgh but to the county of Sutherland as a whole. The essential provision will be a metalled access road, firefighting and personnel equipment, vehicles, markers and a telephone kiosk.

The arrival at Kinlochbervie last Thursday of the £40,000 seine net fishing boat, the Sheigra, marks a new venture in two ways. She was built specifically to give local employment; and the east coast skipper, Mr Archibald McCallum, from Macduff, breaks the commuting tradition – he and his wife occupy a new council house near the pier and his daughter Joan is at school at Golspie. The boat is co-owned by Mr McCallum and the Wood group of Aberdeen.

100 YEARS AGO

From the newspaper of October 6, 1921

Clyne School Management Committee has had a requisition from a dozen boys, who desired to act as caddies for the Brora Golf Club, for exemption (from school). The committee had granted exemption and now desired their action ratified by Sutherland Education Authority. J Ross, Brora, said that the exemption for the purposes mentioned had been given from year to year. Andrew Lindsay, chairman, said it was teaching the boys idle habits, but Mr Ross said that the boys were earning an honest penny to put clothes on their backs. It was agreed to grant exemption from attendance at school to two pupils belonging to Lower Brora, one to Dornoch and one to Scourie.

Durness school dyke is still in a state of disrepair and crofters are complaining about sheep straying through the gaps in the wall onto their crofts, Sutherland Education Authority heard. Chairman Andrew Lindsay said it did not say much for the discipline in Durness school when dykes were allowed to be knocked down by the pupils.


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