Delving back in time

Thursday, August 12 1976

Alistair Webster, the 17-year-old son of the Edzell golf professional, retained the David Low Scottish boy’s stroke play title at Forfar, only the second player to do this.

In a remarkable fighting finish Alistair charged through to victory, just as he did at Barassie last year.

It had been a bitter disappointment for his Forfar opponent Blyth Bell, who had the championship for all of 64 holes, before the Edzell boy caught up and finally overtook him.

Webster, a full-time player on the amateur circuit for the best part of a year, and one of the game’s toughest competitors, always looked in command of the situation despite trailing Bell five strokes going into the last round.

He simply increased his pressure as the holes began to run out and waited for his opponent to crack. The title finally slid out of Blyth’s grasp when he hooked into a clump of trees at the 14th.

Alistair’s parents, Mr and Mrs J. B. Webster, Drumlagley, celebrated his success with a champagne party.

The company included Mr Robert Inglis, captain of the Edzell Golf Club, and other club members, famliy friends and some of the boys who took part in the competition at Forfar and last year’s runner-up, Alistair McLean, Dumfries, a personal friend.

Both the Alistairs have been chosen for the Scottish boys’ international against England at Stunningdale.

Thursday, August 7, 1986

The Caledonian Railway Company’s excursion from Brechin to Bridge of Dun should be operational within two years.

The problem of the bridge over the railway at Bridge of Dun has now been solved and it is hoped to start a service as soon as possible.

David Walshaw, membership secretary of Brechin Railway Preservation Society, the company’s support group, has intimated that Angus District Council has agreed to buy the former British Rail ground and lease it to the society.

The contentious bridge will be maintained by the Caledonian Railway Company and the road over it by Tayside Regional Council. The bridge was structurally sound, Mr Walshaw said, and he didn’t envisage any major remedial work being required in the near future.

Enthusiasts now have the daunting task of repairing and adapting the stations, the line, rolling stock and signalling before the railway can be opened to the public.

The Caledonian Railway (Brechin) Ltd., was incorporated in December 1982 to become the operating company of B.P.R.S.

It has been limited by guarantee and has been granted charitable status.

The Caledonian Railway Company has been running regular steam weekends but July 29 and 20 was a special Gala Weekend to celebrate the 60th birthday of one of the company’s locomotives, their Barclay Loco.

Built in the Caledonian Works, Kilmarnock in 1926, the loco was named simply Andrew Barclay 040 Saddle Tank. Until the mid-1960s it worked at Cupar’s Sugar Beet Factory. It was bought by B.R.P.S in 1980, since when it has taken a new lease-of-life. On Sunday, gaily decorated for the occasion, it ferried passengers on a half-hour run, round the countryside.

Steam enthusiasts had come from all over the country. To mark the diamond jubilee of the Andrew Barclay, a special cake on the shape of a train had been baked.

In addition to the usual noises associated with steam days Brechin City Band appeared to play “Happy Birthday.”

Thursday, August 8, 1996

The new Brechin Castle Garden Centre has been inundated with tourists and visitors, according to its owner Lord Ramsay.

The centre, which was opened prior to Easter on a 62-acre site off the A90 dual carriageway, was created by Lord Ramsay of Dalhousie Estates.

The owner revealed that one of the most positive spin-offs of the centre’s success was an increase in the number of part-time staff required to run the business.

Lord Ramsay had thought that around six or seven staff would be required to run the centre, but there are now 19 people employed on a part-time basis.

One of the most accurate indicators of visitor numbers is till receipts which record the number of purchases that are made. They show that over 30,000 sales have been made since the centre was opened.

The level of variety in the purchases also shows that the range of goods which the centre has on offer are being well-received by the public.

Purchases have ranged from a £500 set of garden furniture to a cup of tea.

Lord Ramsay said that they were very pleased with the figures so far.

He also revealed that trading so far had been better than they had budgeted for and that was also to be welcomed.

The centre now boasts a retail garden centre and restaurant, country park, model farm and playground.

He said the model farm and pond were still being built up and other developments would follow on the back of the successful start the centre had enjoyed.

It’s planned to have a miniature railway taking visitors round the centre grounds.