Down Memory Lane

Well in tune...Carluke Primrose band
Well in tune...Carluke Primrose band

See what was making the Gazette headlines in 1989 and 2004


heartless thieves terrorised a Braidwood couple before making off with a considerable amount of money in a despicable Saturday night raid. Bob and May Forrest, of Headspoint Nursery, were both tied to chairs by four men who broke into their house demanding the keys for the safe. The men all wore balaclavas and gloves and were armed with wooden bats and a hammer.

* law Gala Committee members were keeping their fingers crossed that the weather would stay dry for the big event that weekend. Although the procession itself was slightly down in size in 1989, there were still many events being laid on in the village hall for all the family to enjoy. The playschool was entering a float and both the primary school and bowling green would be entering pageants.

* clydesdale delivered an estimated 15,000 votes towards the massive 81,366 Labour votes which had given them victory in the South of Scotland European Parliament election, claimed jubilant Westminster MP Jimmy Hood.

* coalburn building contractor Danny Meikle took occupancy of the vacant Douglas seat to maintain Labour’s power base in Clydesdale District Council. Danny had polled 600 votes in the previous Thursday’s district by-election to succeed veteran Labour councillor Sam Allan, who had resigned through ill health earlier in the year.

* nearly 3000 new flowers had appeared in Biggar during the previous two weeks in a bid to win the town honour in the annual Beautiful Scotland in Bloom competition, to be judged at the end of the month.

* clydesdale’s libraries were branching out again...and their latest venture was likely to prove a smash hit with music lovers. For the local libraries were extending their retail service to include records, casettes and CDs. The move was intended to fill a gap in a district which had no specialist record shops.

* lee graham was crowned Heather Queen at Forth Gala Day on what was a glorious sunny Saturday. One spectator described the 1989 gala as the “best ever”. Our reporter wrote: “There didn’t seem to be any last minute rush and the stage was set early to greet the queen and court on her way to her crowning dais.”

* a large crowd gathered in brilliant sunshine to enjoy the traditional pageantry of Biggar Gala Day. A colourful procession was followed by the crowning of Fleming Queen Flora Pretswell by Mrs Helen O’Donnell.


CARLUKE Golf Club suffered a massive blow when a fire in the greenkeeper’s shed ruined thousands of pounds worth of equipment. Tractors, mowers and sit-on mowers were hit by the blaze, which was believed to have started when one of the grass cutting machines suffered an electrical fault.

* carluke Primrose Flute Band members were trying to raise almost £50,000 to set up and equip a dedicated youth section. They faced a race against time to try to preserve the band’s long-term future.

* world champion martial artist David Condie wanted to open a gym in Carluke High Street. David (29), who was regularly teaching taekwon-do to over 100 Carluke High School pupils, saw it as “essential” that the new facility was given the go-ahead.

* an angry resident of Carluke’s Station Road branded the lack of car parking facilities as “ridiculous”. Netta Merry highlighted the continuing problem after counting no fewer than 57 vehicles parked in the road, compared to just 34 in the nearby car park.

* climber Margaret Anne Gibson was stunned when she reached the top of Tinto Hill and found the heavy brass plaque giving details of the spot and the surrounding views had been stolen.

* lanark rally legend Jimmy McRae made a victorious start to the world-famous London to Sydney Marathon, setting the quickest times to win the European section of the gruelling 10,000-mile car rally.

* in a brand new sports column, Gazette reporter Craig Goldthorp said that the “boring” 12-team Scottish Premier League should be replaced by a league with 16 or 18 teams.