Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

31st October 2022

Date of publication

1st December 2022


It is the second of March and the country is in the icy grip of the Beast from the East. The car, covered in snow, is going nowhere and neither are we. My better half has been tidying up the drawers in the dressing table so I guess it is about time that I followed her example and cleared out my desk. Stand by wheelie bin you are in for a busy day. Bundles of cards, mainly from the family wishing us Happy Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc. taking up considerable space are the first to go. Old biros which no longer write are consigned to the bin. Racecards and a souvenir booklet from the centenary of Perth racecourse in 2007  are in mint condition. Seems a shame to chuck them out. Who knows - they might be worth a few bob as Sporting Memorabilia! Now what have we here - a copy of the Perthshire Advertiser dated April 1963. Hold on, April 1963, Isabel must have saved this one as we weren’t going out together until later that year. If there is one thing destined to bring a tidying up operation to a halt it is the discovery of an old newspaper. A wedding picture on the front page offers no clue but page two catches my eye. Adverts for the local cinemas. The Playhouse is showing “Summer Holiday” starring Cliff Richard. Was it really all those years ago? The Young Ones must be drawing their pensions now. Norman Wisdom is “On the Beat” at the Odeon and David Stuart is playing the lead in J. M. Barrie’s Dear Brutus at Perth Theatre. The Callum Kennedy Show is coming to the City Hall on 16th April with accordionist Will Starr on the supporting bill. The intimations on page three include a marriage at Abdie Church between John King and Sybilia Campbell who lived for many years in Abernethy. On page six D. L. Edwards Ltd., Travel Agents, where I was destined to meet my wife Isabel were advertising one week tours to Northern Ireland by rail and sea departing on 6th July for £21. Another pound could secure a similar break by rail and car  to the Isle of Man. The departure date coincided with the traditional Perth Holiday fortnight. Motorheads might be interested to know that a new 4 cylinder Ford Zephyr could be purchased from Frews for £846.12.9 taxes paid. The centre pages provide the answer to why the paper was kept. A spread of fifteen wedding pictures include the marriage of Isabel’s cousin Ann Shilliday to James Bendall of Stanley, a former schoolmate of mine. Both now sadly gone. Out of a total of eighteen weddings pictured all bar one were in churches. It is a different story nowadays. At that time a full years tax rebate could be claimed by marrying before the end of the tax year hence the large number  of marriages. Turning to the Sports Pages I read that Saints lost their unbeaten away record going down one - nil to Queens Park at Hampden Park before a crowd of 2000. They must have been lost in the vast area of the stadium. Apparently the Saints attack failed to click. The team included Bill Taylor in goal, full backs Charlie MacFadyen and Jim Lachlan plus other well known names such as Jim Townsend, Ronnie McKinven and Bobby Kemp. Meantime the star performer in the reserve teams 2-1 victory over Queen’s second eleven was former Crieff Earngrove left back Willie Coburn who went on to become a club legend. The league table revealed that Saints were in second place four points behind Hamilton Accies with ten games in hand (yes ten!). The discrepancy in games played was due to the severe winter of 1963. Saints went on to win promotion under the management of Bobby Brown. The County News page is usually of interest but nothing of importance seems to have happened in Abernethy as the village doesn’t get a mention. I was pleased to note that Dave Watt, husband of my cousin Meg won first prize (Gents) in a whist drive at Rait. In conclusion I am happy to report that despite having perused the P.A. from cover to cover the tidying up of the desk was successfully completed and there is now space available for more junk.

Bob Macdonald