15 April 1869
Our readers are doubtless acquainted with the details of the Hailstones elopement, which has caused so much excitement here. Bo'ness is getting into an unenviable notoriety at present, as we have had two different cases of the same kind since the one above mentioned. The second was that of a grocer belonging to the town, who has left his wife and family, and taken for his fair companion, a young lady belonging to Queensferry, about 17 years of age, with whom, it is said, he has been on intimate terms for the last two years. The runaway couple are believed to have arrived in America. The last case on the list was that of an unmarried furnaceman, who will be known to some by the name of 'The Callan'. He went off to England, taking along with him the property of a fellow-workman in the shape of his wife. Affairs such as the above do not add much to the credit of our town.
17 April 1869
On Thursday week, Strude Mill had a very narrow escape of being burned to the ground. Nearly a twelvemonth ago the teazer was taken from the mill, and placed in a detached building in the centre of the mill square, and to this may be attributed the fact that Strude Mill is now running, for on the day named the teazer-house took fire, and nothing that man or his ingenuity could do in the least stopped the flames, which consumed the entire building. How the fire originated remains a mystery. It is supposed that a spark, caused by something passing through the teazer, had ignited the oil used for these machines, which catches like powder, and set them on fire. The fire brigade was in prompt attendance, but in spite of its efforts the fire could not be got under. The loss is estimated at several hundred pounds, but is fully covered by insurance.
Aberdeen Evening Express
18 April 1879
The Rev J G Wood, MA, in the first of a series of lectures on 'Natural Science', said: Few people were, however, aware that the flesh of a rat had a finer flavour and was altogether a greater delicacy than either a squirrel or hedgehog. There was literally nothing of which he (the lecturer) was so fond as a rat pie. This was a dish which frequently made its appearance on his table, and was enjoyed by all the members of his family. He had several friends, too, who, like himself, had overcome their prejudice, and thoroughly enjoyed a good helping of rat pie.
He remembered one most interesting case of a whole family, except the parents, who were extremely fond of this dish. They were in very good circumstances, owning large grain stores on the Medway. Their residence was close by, and rats abounded in the neighbourhood. It was always their custom when their parents were out to have their great treat. This being the case, on one occasion dinner time came, and everybody was ready for the repast, which consisted of a pie containing 16 large rats, when a knock at the door was heard, and in a few minutes grandmamma, accompanied by two young ladies, was announced. Except their savoury pie, the young people had nothing in the house to offer their unexpected guests for dinner, and what was still more inconvenient, being some distance from a market, nothing could conveniently be procured.
Undaunted, however, the eldest son, who presided at the table, invited the visitors to sit down for dinner, and, addressing his grandmamma, asked whether he should help her to some gull pie. The old lady expressed her astonishment at the idea of their having such a dish for dinner, but at last consented, as did also the young ladies, to take a small piece. This was followed by larger helpings, and like the rest of the diners, the old lady made a hearty meal. Having come some distance, grandmamma stopped the night, and next morning at the breakfast table, to the great amusement of the children, expressed a wish to have some of the gull pie which she had enjoyed so much the previous day. Inquiries being made down stairs, it was found that the servants had devoured the fragments. The young lady visitors, too, it was said, were afterwards constantly asking their gentlemen friends, in the season, to bring them some gulls, so that they might try their hands at making the delicious pie.
21 April 1888
Ashamed of himself
Elliot Airmet, hailing from Bothwell, pled guilty to having been drunk and incapable on the 14th, but added that he was 'ashamed of having been in such a condition'. He was fined 5s or 24 hours.