1953: Delegates at the annual conference of the National Association of Bath Superintendents in Aberdeen heard to-day of experiments in the use of walkie-talkie radio to help swimming instruction. Instead of the instructor shouting across a pool, with the risk of losing his voice at the end of the day, all he now does is to talk softly into the "mike." His instructions are relayed to the pupils by loudspeakers slung over the pool. An advantage of this system is that the instructor can wander all round the pool, watching pupils' mistakes, and still be able to make himself heard.
In Holland The walkie-talkie experiment is being carried out in Holland, and the conference heard about it from a Dutch visitor, Dr J. A. C. Bierenbroodsoot, who delivered a paper on "The Baths Service of the Netherlands". Dr Bierenbroodsoot referred to the tremendous strides the Dutch baths service has made since 1900. At the start of the century bathing had only meagre attention, but at the beginning of World War II there were in the Netherlands approximately 200 bath-houses, 500 open-air swimming pools and forty-two covered pools. This development was due in great measure to the formation of Sportsfondsen Ltd, a savings club, founded on the initiative of Dr Bierenbroodsoot. A disappointing feature, he said, was that many children did not continue to attend swimming pools after obtaining their swimming certificates. The instruction in baths (in every pool four to eight instructors were employed) resulted in a yearly increase of 50,000 certificates of trained swimmers.
Source : Evening Express Thursday September 17th, 1953
1934: Aberdeen Motorists Mostly Observe Rule.
BUT SEVEN IN FORTY "PIP OR TOOT."
The Order forbidding the sounding of motor horns in built-up areas between 11.30 p.m. and 7 a.m. came into operation last night. Seven out of forty motorists broke the rule of silence in Union Street during the first half-hour it was in operation at Aberdeen. Observation was kept in that thoroughfare by a "Press and Journal" reporter for thirty minutes, and while he found that caution was the watchword with the majority of motorists who faithfully observed the Order, seven forgetful, or ignorant, or wilfully disobedient drivers made a blot on the new leaf. Six of the offenders were private drivers; the other drove a taxi. Even in the short period of listening, however, it was obvious that the silence zone Order brought with it a remarkably quietening effect. The percentage of "tooters" was cut by a considerable figure, and time and familiarity with the new duty imposed will no doubt bring that figure practically to zero.
Breaking Silence. Sunday is recognised as the motorists' "early closing" night. Shortly after ten-thirty the streets were clear of the Corporation 'buses. By eleven traffic had thinned on Union Street, solitary cars passing at short intervals. Just on the stroke of eleven-thirty the bleat of a horn was heard in the distance, but after the sound of the Town House chimes had faded the silence fell. To ears straining to catch that "guilty" driver the echoing footfalls of the few late pedestrians sounded absurdly disturbing, and even the faint purring of an approaching car seemed to break the peace to an unusual degree. Only a few minutes had elapsed, however, when the first "peep" of an electric horn rent the silence. It came from a large private saloon car as it turned from Union Street into Bridge Street. In another few minutes a second offence was committed - this time by a taxi-driver at the same junction. His "breach" seemed to carry infection to a private car driver approaching Union Street, for he responded with a sharp "pip, pip."
Flagrant Breach. Again silence fell, and as twelve o'clock drew near it looked as if Aberdeen's forgetful drivers were to be restricted to three. Then an epidemic broke out. Travelling at almost fifty miles an hour, a sporting saloon heralded its approach at each junction with a lusty "toot," and in a short time other two drivers joined the blacklist. The most flagrant breach was that which occurred just on the stroke of midnight. A small car entered Union Street from Broad Street with persistent and shrill warning from its horn, and as it turned into Market Street the same performance was repeated. As ears grew trained, other disturbing factors in the peace of the night made themselves audible - the shrill squeaking of brakes as a late bus drew to a standstill, the rattle of a rather antique taxi, the machine-gun staccato of a motor cycle, and the roar from the exhausts of several cars.
Zones in North-East While the new Order will automatically operate in the large burghs there has been some speculation as to how many of the smaller burghs and villages it will affect in the north-east. Of course, the effort to give added quiet to the night hours is only in an experimental stage, but it is understood that all the special lighting districts will be recognised silent zones. The ten burghs of Aberdeenshire come under the Order. They are: Ballater, Ellon, Fraserburgh, Huntly, Inverurie, Kintore, Oldmeldrum, Peterhead, Rosehearty, Turriff. The Aberdeenshire Special Lighting Districts are: Buchan - Boddam, Maud, New Pitsligo, Old Deer, Strichen, Stuartfield, Quartalehouse, New Deer, Hatton, Newburgh, Tarves, Port-Errol. Donside and Garioch - Alford, Kemnay, Insch and Rothney. Deeside - Aboyne, Braemar, Kincardine O'Neil, Lumphanan, Torphins. Turriff Area - Cuminestown, New Byth. Aberdeen Area - Culter, Cults, Waterton and Dyce, Mannofield. Banff - Aberchirder, Aberlour, Buckie, Cullen, Dufftown, Findochty, Keith, Macduff, Portknockie, Portsoy, Portgordon, Gardenstown, Fordyce. While Kincardine motorists would have to "observe the peace" at Stonehaven, Banchory, Bervie, and Laurencekirk.
Inverness Quiet. It was noticeable last night in Inverness that there was no blowing of horns at all within the town area and on the Great North Road the residents spent an entirely peaceful night not interrupted by any blowing of horns. There was, however, little traffic, as Sunday night was not perhaps the best night to observe the effect of the change in the law. In the town itself there was no necessity for hornblowing as the streets are very effectively lighted, and are practically deserted by midnight.
MINISTER'S RENEWED APPEAL. Mr Hore-Belisha, Minister of Transport, yesterday made this fresh appeal in connection with the extension of the silence zone: Please remember from to-night onwards to be silent in all built-up areas. Remember this for the sake of the sick and weary. "It is as easy to put your foot on the brake as is to put your hand on the hooter." Pedestrians, I am sure, will help motorists and, of course, themselves by being especially alert before commencing to cross the road."
Source : Aberdeen Press and Journal Monday September 17th, 1934