Church protests over toilet, pensioner on Countdown and fears over pinball machines – Down Memory Lane

A group of ladies are pictured at Lenzie Tennis Courts before a game in 1928.
A group of ladies are pictured at Lenzie Tennis Courts before a game in 1928.

A LOOK back through the files of the Kirkintilloch Herald – 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 years...

50 YEARS AGO - February 20, 1963

STIRLINGSHIRE MP Willian Baxter caused a minor sensation in Parliament when he insisted that the house could operate with only half of its 630 members.

Mr Baxter, who the Herald reported “was famous for calling a spade, a spade”, was speaking on the eve of the Government’s Common Market negotiations.

He warned that unless Britain streamlined its democracy the country would soon lose its status as a first-class power.

He said: “Since I came into Parliament I have seen a great waste of time and energy.

“I cannot see a modern democracy worked on the basis of the horse and buggy period.

“We would be well served by half the present number of MPs.

“Let the rest of them go and do some honest work.”

LENZIE Academy was to be the location for an opening round of the BBC’s new school quiz show ‘Top of the Form’.

40 YEARS AGO - February 21, 1973

CONTINGENCY plans were being formed in Kirkintilloch to cope with any local crisis developing from a gasworkers’ dispute.

There were fears that impending strikes could lead to a fuel shortage - with around 260 homes in the town reliant on gas.

Senior social worker Alexander Bain said: “At the moment there are no special arrangements other than keeping in touch with old people whom the department usually look after.

“We are, however, encouraging a good neighbour policy - similar to that in operation during the recent electricity emergency.”

The electricity shortage, caused by a miners’ strike, led to emergency measures being put in place to ensure the elderly and infirm were not left without heat and light.

CHURCH members were leading protests over plans to site a new public toilet behind Kirkintilloch Baptist Church.

30 YEARS AGO - February 22, 1983

LOCAL pinball and pool wizards were set for disappointment after a councillor opposed a new amusement arcade.

Councillor Abie Vaughn vowed to fight the plans for the business in Kirkintilloch’s Cowgate.

He said: “I am totally opposed to the use of the shop in my ward as an amusement arcade.

“This is the main shopping area next door to Swallow Travel and if this application is approved it will mean the loss of another shopping outlet.

“The district council is trying to encourage retail outlets in the town centre and this application is in direct contrast to this policy.” He added that a previous application for Townhead had been recently refused.

THE Video Centre, on Kirkintilloch’s Townhead, was offering JVC 7200 VHS video recorders for £399.95, including six free video hires and a blank tape.

20 YEARS AGO - February 24, 1993

PENSIONER Mary Gray became one of the oldest contestants on Channel Four’s ‘Countdown’ quiz show.

The 79-year-old, from Kirkintilloch, said she was given the VIP treatment when she joined Richard Whiteley and Carol Vorderman for the recording in London - after successfully taking part in an audition in Glasgow.

She said: “I have always watched Countdown and can do the puzzles quite easily so I knew I would be able to do it.

“I proved that at the audition but it’s very different when you’re there in front of the cameras and an audience in a studio.

“I was able to do the conundrum which brought my score up a bit although I didn’t do particularly well.”

CADDER councillor Billy Hendry credited “walking around the district looking after electors’ problems” with helping him shed two and a half stones in just a few months.

10 YEARS AGO - February 26, 2003

ONLINE residents were told that they wouldn’t be able to access broadband internet technology unless there was an increase in demand.

James Carden, from Kirkintilloch, was dismayed to find BT couldn’t provide him with the faster connection until a “trigger level” had been reached in the town - thought to be when 400 people had expressed an interest.

Mr Carden said: “I had no idea that you had to do this and I presume nobody else knows that only 129 people have registered their interest. BT should certainly have mentioned this in all their advertising campaigns.

A spokesperson said that BT were aiming to make broadband widely available across Scotland, but had to ensure “there was a prospect of financial return” before rolling it out.

THE Antonine Wall, which runs through Bishopbriggs, Kirkintilloch and Twechar, was nominated for World Heritage Site status.

Did you know?

Lennoxtown used to be known as ‘Newtown of Campsie’.

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