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Doris-Gentles-2002-wI DEARLY loved both my Grannies, although they had very different natures.

I once described them by saying that I had a cup of tea and a teabread with my Helensburgh granny and afternoon tea with my Kirkcudbrightshire one.

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TIME certainly flies when you are having fun . . . and for me the past half-century has been lots of fun.

It was on Monday August 31 1965 that I first arrived in the then Helensburgh Advertiser office at 17-19 East King Street to replace Tom Gallacher — later one of Scotland’s leading playwrights — as the reporter for owner and editor Craig M.Jeffrey.

IN the late summer of 1971 a young German girl arrived on Loch Lomondside on a hiking holiday — and disappeared. What followed turned out to be one of the most fascinating yarns from the early days of my career in journalism. This is what I wrote for the Helensburgh Advertiser of September 17 that year . . .

Frauke-KissenkotterTHE RAIN lashed down in buckets. The midges were out in force. The road curved on for seemingly endless mile after mile. It was cold, wet and miserable — and the mystery of Frauke Kissenkotter was about to begin.

This article, believed to have been written by Walter W.Blackie about 1943, was originally published in the Scottish Art Review XI, No.4, 1968, by permission of Miss Agnes A.C.Blackie who found it among her father’s papers. It is published here by kind permission of two of the author's grand-daughters, Kathleen A.Salzberg and Ruth Currie, who kindly supplied the images from the family collection.

Walter-W.Blackie-a-wIN the early spring of 1902 my wife and I, having decided to leave Dunblane where we had lived for some seven years, were fortunate enough to happen on the site at the crown of the hill in Upper Helensburgh where ‘The Hill House’ now stands. We took the feu, and decided to build.

Mrs Snell AndersonIT BEGAN with a picture of an attractive lady with a striking hat, taken by a Helensburgh photographer.

I came across the photo, and on the back it gave some clues: the name Mrs Snell Anderson, the date Christmas 1903, and the address Dalmeny.

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Journalist Colin Donald tells the story of his great uncle, Cardross man George Chrystal, who died in one of the first World War One gas attacks at Ypres in 1915.

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WHAT do we know of great uncle George Chrystal?

Wren-Marion-Reilly-wSTORIES from World War Two usually feature bravery or tragedy, but for an unemployed Helensburgh girl enlisting was to result in romance.

Marion Reilly, who died in September 2016, spent her later years in Cambridge with her daughter Linda. She treasured memories of her wartime work on degaussing at Helensburgh pier, through which she met the man who was to become her husband.

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