From our files

A peek at the Journal and Gazette archives

Fire threat to village

This week in 1894

FIRE THREAT: The mining village of Oakbank came under threat of being completely engulfed by fire after a blaze started at the Oakbank Oil Company, threatening the lives of villagers, and not least the jobs of 300 men and their homes on the ‘rows’ close to where the fire erupted.

court action: The Court of Session has agreed to raise an action on behalf of Jean Brrownman, Main Street, Bo’ness, against her former employers at Bo’ness Pottery. She is sueing the company for the sum of £500 following injuries sustained at work in November 1893 when turpentine and resin exploded and caught fire to her injury.

WRITE STUFF: The Gazette announced that it had appointed Mr A. F. Steel, Messrs Clark & Steel, printers, as its new reporter for the Broxburn and Uphall area.

NO DUMPING: The sanitory officer was called in after complaints by concerned commuters regarding the landing of farm manure in Linlithgow station. Fears were heightened by the ongoing smallpox epidemic in Leith, Edinburgh, and it was decided to suspend future manure landings until the epidemic has been contained.

Soldier’s wife in court

This week in 1944

COATS PAWNED: A woman whose husband was fighting at the front appeared in court for pawning stolen coats. The woman claimed the coats were brought home from school by her daughter who said they had been hanging for a long time in the school cloakroom unclaimed.

FORCES MAIL: After D Day, the General Post Office sent out notices of the costs of sending mail to loved ones who fought on the Normandy beach landings. As well as the two and half pence letter stamps, it cost a penny half-penny to send letters weighing less than an ounce and a penny for every ounce thereafter. Newspapers cost a halfpenny up to 2ozs. Parcels more than 3lbs cost (6/-).

COAL BAGS: A man was fined £5 for taking three 10cwt bags of coal from a delivery van in Armadale.

WHO’S WHO: Sixty people were fined 10/- for failing to produce their ID cards when approached by police. One woman was admonished after her card had been in her handbag all along. A man had his taken by his mum for ration points. Most gave the reason that they had forgotten to transfer their card from their work clothes to their Sunday suit.

Housewife’s choice

This week in 1984

NEIGHBOURS: Housewife Hazel Stapleton from Linlithgow missed her vocation as a midwife. On two separate occasions, she was called in a panic by her friend and neighbour Liz Grant whose baby was about to arrive earlier than she had expected. Hazel ran to her friend’s aid and, though not a qualified nurse or midwife, delivered a healthy, bouncing baby.
This follows another emergency in 1982 when Hazel came to Liz’s rescue for the first time and helped deliver baby Julie.

OIL SPILL: An investigation was launched into the cause of an oil slick on the Firth of Forth near Queensferry that stretched almost a mile long. 
The incident happened during the loading of a Spanish tanker at BP Hound Point.

PROPERTY: A semi-detached Wimpey house in Bo’ness went on the market at £27,000. A six-apartment villa in Pilgrim Hill went for a whopping £43,000 and Forth Valley Estates were offering 100 per cent mortgages of £12,950 for a refurbished one-bedroom flat, setting buyers back a cool £22 per week.

Tell it to the Marines

This week in 2004