Window on the Past

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Our weekly look at the Kirkintilloch Herald archives

August 26, 1964

A woman who stopped a father leaping with his baby from a London rooftop was awarded the George Medal.

Margaret Cleland, from Twechar, received the honour four years to the day that she quit her job as a typist in Kirkintilloch to join the police force.

The citation stated that Miss Clelland was called to a house where a man was sitting on a railing at the corner of the roof withhis child.

The brave police officer made her way across the roof to him and then tried to talk him down from the precarious position.

When he refused she grabbed the man after offering him a coat to keep the baby warm - saving two lives.

August 21, 1974

Sir James Fletcher, one of Kirkintilloch’s greatest and most distinguished benefactors, died in New Zealand at the age of 88.

He had lived in the country since leaving Kirkintilloch as a young joiner from John Peter’s yard to seek his fortune.

He founded one of New Zealand’s greatest industrial enterprises - Fletcher Construction - but he never lost his strong links with Kirkintilloch, where he was made the town’s second Freeman.

Among the town’s many benefits from Fletcher Construction was the presentation of the Auld Kirk and the erection of the War Memorial - with the stone brought over to Scotland from one of his own quarries.

August 22, 1984

A sampling programme carried out by the Water Departments of Strathclyde and Central Regional Councils identified several cases of lead in Strathkelvin drinking water.

The survey, which was still ongoing, had already discovered 12 dwellings with excess lead in their water in Bishopbriggs, Lenzie and Stepps.

In response to the findings, the District Council’s health department were offering free analysis of drinking water, information about the causes of lead in drinking water and advice on the replacement of lead supply pipes.

There was also an offer of free help and documentation to apply for a grant to get pipes replaced.

August 24, 1994

There were claims that an increasing number of empty shops were turning Kirkintilloch Town Centre into an eyesore.

Furious community councillors said that the vacant premises were an “absolute disgrace” and were “a terrible advert for attracting new businesses to the town”.

Community councillor Rhondda Geekie demanded action, saying: “We are very concerned about the state of some of the empty shops.

“There are bits falling off them and the entrances are filled with litter.

“They look dilapidated and depressing.”

She called on the District Council to force the owners of the buildings to do something to brighten up empty premises.