Plague of rats, nuclear bomb warning and a holy shrine – take a trip back in time

Bishopbriggs School in 1947
Bishopbriggs School in 1947

A STROLL back through the archives of the Kirkintilloch Herald Series...

50 YEARS AGO - February 27, 1963

A KIRKINTILLOCH historian took to the small screen to right a historical wrong.

Isaac Black enlisted the help of STV’s ‘Here and Now’ current affairs programme to argue his case in an ongoing campaign to have the name of Jimmy Fraser erased from the headstone of Petticoat Dan in Kirkintilloch’s Auld Kirk Graveyard.

Mr Black insisted that the double-headstone was confusing for people visiting the grave of the famous local ‘worthy’.

He said: “There is no connection between Petticoat Dan, for whom the stone was erected by a few friends many years ago, and Jimmy Fraser, who was buried in Dan’s grave in 1956.

“Therefore visitors are bound to be confused.”

A NEW head cook was required at Woodilee Hospital. The salary for the successful candidate was £12 17s 6d for a man, or £10 9s 9d for a woman.

40 YEARS AGO - February 28, 1973

MEMBERS of Kirkintilloch Town Council urged the UK Government to think again over regional councillors’ pay.

Under the reform of local government a number of new regional councils were to be set up - but it had been revealed that the new councillors would not be paid.

Councillor Bernard McGarry said: “My motion does not apply to district councillors but at regional level most meetings will be held during the day and people will find it very difficult to get time off work.

“Councillors at regional level will have to be full time. If not, local government will be run by ex-colonels, business directors and so on, and this will be to the detriment of the community.

“Kirkintilloch will have one regional councillor representing 25,000 people. He will be a mini MP and should be paid accordingly.”

THERE was a growing rat problem in Dunbartonshire, with 211 cases of infestation reported to the Burgh Engineer in the past 12 months.

30 YEARS AGO - March 2, 1983

A SPECIAL newspaper published by Strathkelvin District Council warned people what to expect if a nuclear bomb was detonated in Scotland.

The paper, called ‘Strathkelvin News’, was to be delivered to every household in the area - with 930,000 copies being distributed.

Its first conclusion was that no fewer than two million of the region’s 2,400,000 population would die in the holocaust.

For the rest, “crawling out of their shelters 14 days after the bomb, there would be little recognisable from the pre-blast world.”

Council leader Dick Stewart said: “Recently the Government have made it clear that they want local authorities to make the public aware of what would happen if there were a nuclear war.”

WEST Stirlingshire MP Dennis Canavan was expelled from the House of Commons for a day after accusing Trade Minister Lord Cockfield of “lining his pockets” from shares.

20 YEARS AGO - March 3, 1993

AN order of nuns were facing being forced out of their home next to a holy shrine - because of a planning wrangle.

Local residents had claimed that the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, based in Clachan of Campsie, had failed to comply with the conditions of a temporary planning consent.

Critics said that the sisters had failed to lodge a programme of site works with the local council.

Sister Margaretta, one of the three nuns based at the shrine, said: “It would mean we would have to close the shrine. Where would we go? Our church is open every day and a tremendous amount of people from countries all over the world come and visit us every year. In 1991 alone we had over 14,000 visitors.”

KIRKINTILLOCH Rob Roy Social Club was set to host a “special adult show” entitled ‘Too Hot to Handle’, starring Iain McColl of City Lights fame.

10 YEARS AGO - March 5, 2003

TWO local MPs were among the 121 ‘rebel’ Labour back benchers who voted against war in Iraq.

Chryston and Coatbridge MP Tom Clarke and Strathkelvin and Bearsden MP John Lyons remained unconvinced over the need for military action to remove weapons of mass destruction from Saddam Hussein.

Prime Minister Tony Blair suffered the biggest rebellion of his time in office as Britain and the USA prepared to push for a second United Nations resolution authorising war.

Mr Clarke said: “Nothing I have heard in this debate has persuaded me that I should change my mind. I do not believe that we should rush to judgement, nor do I believe that the British people feel that we should do so.”

MASTERMIND’S Magnus Magnusson officially opened the refurbished bandstand in Kirkintilloch’s Peel Park.

Did you know?

There is a Diplomatic Consulate for Denmark in Bishopbriggs.

(Picture courtesy of East Dunbartonshire Information and Archives)

* Have you got a story, picture or comment? E-mail

Alternatively you can call the newsdesk 0141 775 0040, find us on Facebook or visit us on Twitter

Or you can log in below and have your say on the site...