DOWN MEMORY LANE
A man with Campbeltown connections has uncovered a copy of the Courier’s centenary supplement belonging to his mother, who is approaching her own centenary. Martin Forrest, from Bridge of Don in Aberdeen, found the commemorative supplement, published on July 5 1973, among items belonging to his mother, Nancie, aged 97. The 20-page broadsheet publication, costing 10p, came out 100 years after the Campbeltown Courier was founded by Robert Wilson in 1873. It includes messages of congratulations from various Campbeltown businesses, many of which are still in operation, as well as from the private secretary at Buckingham Palace. A ‘past, present and future’ section and a double page photograph spread take readers down memory lane, while a ‘Courier today’ piece shows the newspaper’s staff in 1973. Mr Forrest told the Courier: ‘There is a family connection to Campbeltown, which explains why the edition was retained. ‘My great grandfather, Archibald Fullarton, was with the Customs and Excise Inspectorate for the Campbeltown distilleries in the late 1800s. He and his wife had three daughters.’ Margaret Sillars Fullarton, born in 1885 and died in 1962, was the postmistress near the harbour, according to Mr Forrest. Sarah Morton Fullarton, born in 1882 and died in 1970, married farmer Thomas Ralston in 1915. In 1894, Mr Forrest’s grandmother, Agnes Elizabeth Fullarton, was born. A son, Wylie Fullarton, was also born but died at a young age. Mr Forrest said: ‘My grandfather, William Whitter, born in 1889 and died in 1951, moved to Campbeltown from Ashton-in-Makerfield, near Wigan, to work in the Customs and Excise Inspectorate with Archibald. ‘Being of a similar age to his youngest daughter, they became friends, marrying in 1918.’ Following the decline of Campbeltown’s distilleries, the family moved to Glen Elgin, Morayshire, where Mr Forrest’s grandfather worked at Glendronach and Glen Elgin distilleries. The couple had two children: Mr Forrest’s mother, Agnes (Nancie) Elizabeth Whitter, born in 1921; and Austin Fullarton Whitter, born in 1924. Nancie and Austin served in the Wrens and RAF respectively, before returning north and qualifying in medicine. ‘My uncle, who piloted gliders into Arnhem, combined his love of flying with his degree and emigrated to work for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia,’ said Mr Forrest. ‘My mother was a plotter at Harwich and was very proud to have patted Winston Churchill on the back on VE Day. ‘On her return to Aberdeen, she met my father at a medical meeting and the rest, as they say, is history.’ Mr Forrest is looking for some information about his great aunt, Sarah, who had two sons, Thomas Millar Ralston, born in 1917, and William Ralston, born in 1919, with her husband, Thomas. ‘I would imagine that Ralston is not too common a surname, and there are two Ralstons that feature in the centenary publication - J Ralston as a local dignitary in a photo of volunteers going off to the Boer War, and the foreman printer at the Campbeltown Courier in 1973, R. R. Ralston,’ said Mr Forrest. ‘If it is possible that there may be relatives still alive in the Campbeltown area, it would be great to share this information with them.’
Congratulatory messages from Campbeltown businesses.
The front page of the Campbeltown Courier’s centenary supplement.