Death of local journalist Arthur Binnie

Former Arbroath Herald journalist Arthur Binnie, who broke the Stone of Destiny story.

Former Arbroath Herald journalist Arthur Binnie, who broke the Stone of Destiny story.

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Local man and ‘Stone of Destiny’ journalist Arthur Binnie passed away on February 2, aged 89. He was born in Arbroath on July 6, 1926.

Educated at Inverbrothock Primary and Arbroath High Schools, Arthur left school just before his 15th birthday and joined the Arbroath Herald, where he learned the reporter’s trade.

In 1951 he was to make news himself by breaking the story about the Stone of Destiny, which was stolen from Westminster Abbey some months previously, being left in Arbroath Abbey.

In that same decade he was also to report on the stealing of a fishing boat the Girl Jean, from Arbroath Harbour by a teenage schoolboy, who then disappeared with it in the North Sea for three days, and the capsizing of the Arbroath lifeboat at the harbour entrance with the loss of all but one of her crew.

In 1954, Arthur joined Aberdeen Journals and worked successfully on both daily papers before transferring in the early sixties to the BBC, to oversee the expansion of the Aberdeen newsroom. He enjoyed several short attachments to TV news in London as an organiser and planner and also worked on Pebble Mill at One in Birmingham.

Arthur is survived by his wife Bette, whom he married in Arbroath in 1952, a married daughter, Susan, and five grandchildren, three of whom lost their mother through a brain haemorrhage in 1998 at the age of only 44. That daughter, Irene, had been an organ donor and six people benefitted enormously from transplant operations.