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What was happening in Sutherland 25, 50 and 100 years ago


By Caroline McMorran

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25 YEARS AGO

The Rogart branch of the Royal British Legion claim to have been unfairly criticised for the money it spent on VE Day celebrations and have refused to accept a grant from the district council in protest.

Sutherland District council awarded £175 to the Rogart branch for their celebrations which cost £1127 including the hiring of a jazz band at £720 for an evening of 1940s music.

Councillors agreed to fund 25 per cent of the loss on the event, which raised £440 and left a shortfall of £687, but with reservations. At a meeting, Golspie councillor David Macrae criticised the Rogart branch for committing the “boob” of hiring a very expensive band outwith the area for a dance instead of a local one.

After hearing Mr Macrae and other councillors’ comments, the Rogart branch agreed to send back a cheque for £175 to the district council. Secretary James Ritchie said: “We do not want to get into a slanging match with the district council, but we feel their comments were very unjust. They judged our activities in total ignorance.”

50 YEARS AGO

Tongue village wanted their local policeman back, Mrs Catherine B. Mackay, the local representative told the county council last Monday. She was not criticising police on the North Coast – they were doing an excellent job – but there were occasions when they could not be found when they were needed. Tongue people were very concerned about this. She asked that representations be made to the joint Ross-Sutherland Police committee.

Mr John Mackintosh, Dornoch East, suggested it would have a good influence if police could be housed in villages, even if they were not actually working there. They were now so mobile that there would be no travelling problem. For many years such a situation had existed in Embo.

Mr Donald McBain, county convener, said that since they had "put the police on wheels", such a complaint existed throughout Britain. But Mr Donald Macleod, of Strathnaver, said the people of his district had made similar representations to him and he would raise this matter at the next police committee meeting.

100 YEARS AGO

The dumping fever caught on in the Royal Burgh of Dornoch on Saturday evening. A crowd of hundreds assembled to see three out of the four German guns which were inside of the railings of the Territorial Buildings dumped in the Quarry Pool. As each gun was drawn along the street on to its intended destination, the crowd cheered to the echo and the scenes enacted will be long remembered in the Royal Burgh. The fourth gun lies near the slaughter house. It was too heavy to take any further.

The question was asked: Who were primarily responsible for the initiation of the dumping process? and the answer given was that the usual Saturday night visitors from the country were the prime movers. Be that as it may, when the dumping actually took place, it would be hard to tell who did or did not have a hand in it, or who did or did not agree with the dumping of the guns. All that can be said for the scenes that occurred in the Royal Burgh on Saturday evening is that it was fortunate they had not a more serious ending.

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