A peep at the past

From the archives of the Kilsyth Chronicle

This week in 1902

CHIEF Constable Sempill gave his annual crime report to Kilsyth Town Council. In the year ending May 15 1902 the total number of prisoners apprehended and cited by the police was 365, the total number of persons convicted was 173, the total number of persons liberated on bail and who failed to appear 178, the total number of persons discharged was 14. The total amount of all fines imposed and bails forfeited was £169 11s 6d. The total amount of fines not recovered was £16 18s 5d. The ttoal amount of expenditure including aliment for prisoners, witness fees etc was £7 14s 5d and total amount handed to the clerk of court for the year was £144 18s 8d. The number of prisoners is slightly less than 1900-1, and the fines almost the same as in that period.

FIFTEEN cyclists set off on a race from Kilsyth to Alloa, but as they reached Stirling the weather turned so bad that they halted the race. Instead the riders amused themselves in King’s Park.

KilSYTH Town Council agreed a voluntary rate increase – of 1d in the £ – to cover the cost of Coronation festivities. Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Queen Victoria had died the year before and was succeeded by Edward VII.

This week in 1937

west Stirlingshire MP Thomas Johnston addressed the Commons on the financial cost Britain faced as it built up its arsenals. The Government has just released a White Paper saying it would need to spend £1,500,000,000 on munitions, over a five year period. However he warned that with this announcement arms manufacturers had suddenly raised their prices.

Kilsyth Town Council held its water trip. A group of officials and invited guests took a ride on the Renfrew Ferry and toured Ayrshire, stopping in various towns for meals.

AN unusual memorial was erected at Cadder cemetery. The massive granite carving of a Clydesdale horse set atop a marble column was dedicated to William Alexander of contracting firm Messrs Alexander. Mr Alexander’s love of horses, particularly Clydesdales, was well known.

A LONG-RUNNING battle over fishing rights at Banton Loch continued to rumble on at the Court of Session. The London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company and the Kilsyth Fish Protection Association were disputing angling rights in the loch, and the case was again adjourned.

This week in 1962

A REAL-LIFE predecessor to Del Boy Trotter was left homeless as substantial debts were called in, Rikki Wright, who once managed Alexander’s Stores in Kilsyth, was forced to give up his house as partial repayment of a £51,000 debt he had incurred with four tobacco companies as part of a scheme to install cigarette vending machines in houses. When various councils banned the machines, Mr Wright’s business was soon forced into liquidation. Wright, who had hit headlines after buying Morton Football Club, had offered to pay the debt within two years but been refused as the tobacco companies did not believe he was able to do so. Mr Wright (29), had been quoted in various newspapers as saying he expected to be a millionaire by the time he was 30. However his wife remained by his side. “I’ve immunised myself for this for a long time. Rikki is a good husband, he has just met with bad luck,” she said.

KILSYTH Rangers ended their Pompey Cup campaign for another year by losing 3-4 to Pollok. Our scribe noted: “Rangers went out in the third round of the Pompey Cu[p by the odd goal on Wednesday. We do mean ‘odd’ goal. Everybody except Referee Hayes agreed that Pollok’s No. 3 was just no goal at all.”

This week in 1987

a SHOCKING spate of vandalism and gang fights was afflicting Kilsyth. Seventeen headstones had been overturned at Kilsyth Cemetery in just one night and five youths had been arrested when police were called in to break up a running battle between two gangs in the centre of town. Police and cemetery workers jointly appealed to the public to continue reporting such crimes. Cemetery superintendent William McCracken said the headstones cost up to £400 each and had to be righted quickly to spare distress for grieving families.

JIMMY Saville gave his celebrity backing to a charity football match marking the start of Kilsyth Civic Week. The telly legend donated the Kilsyth Charity Cup which would be presented to the winners, while all players would be given Jim’ll Fix It badges. The match was the brainchild of Canon Denis O’Connell of St Patrick’s Church and the Rev. Alistair McLachloan of Kilsyth Burns and Old Parish Church. Former Kilsyth Rangers manager Marty Boyle and ex-Leeds United star Jim Storrie were training the local players, and the match would raise money for Action Research and Polio Plus.

This week in 1987

a SHOCKING spate of vandalism and gang fights was afflicting Kilsyth. Seventeen headstones had been overturned at Kilsyth Cemetery in just one night and five youths had been arrested when police were called in to break up a running battle between two gangs in the centre of town. Police and cemetery workers jointly appealed to the public to continue reporting such crimes. Cemetery superintendent William McCracken said the headstones cost up to £400 each and had to be righted quickly to spare distress for grieving families.

JIMMY Saville gave his celebrity backing to a charity football match marking the start of Kilsyth Civic Week. The telly legend donated the Kilsyth Charity Cup which would be presented to the winners, while all players would be given Jim’ll Fix It badges. The match was the brainchild of Canon Denis O’Connell of St Patrick’s Church and the Rev. Alistair McLachloan of Kilsyth Burns and Old Parish Church. Former Kilsyth Rangers manager Marty Boyle and ex-Leeds United star Jim Storrie were training the local players, and the match would raise money for Action Research and Polio Plus.