TODAY'S flashback focuses on December 31, 1990 when Inverclyde’s Gulf War-bound Territorial Army medics were shopping in Greenock for desert boots and sunblock.

Several local members of the Royal Army Medical Corp volunteered for duty, including four members of Inverclyde Royal Hospital’s pharmacy department.

The brother and sister team of John and Linda McGrath revealed that most of the Inverclyde contingent met up in Greenock town centre when they went to buy boots.

Linda said: “Most of our clothing and equipment is provided…but the stores are out of things like desert boots and sunblock so we’ve been advised to buy our own."

Linda and the rest of the contingent, which included IRH workers Janette Anderson, Chris Ellis, Billy Gallagher and Duncan Morrison, were prepared for a long haul in the Gulf.

Elsewhere, as most people were preparing to bring in the New Year with a wee dram, three midwives were hoping to welcome a tiny new arrival at the start of 1991.

Sister Janis Howie and staff midwives Fiona Hood and Laura McKenzie were due on duty in Rankin Memorial Hospital on New Year's Eve.

With their shift starting at 9.45pm and ending the following day at 7.45am they hoped there was a good chance they would welcome a few new faces into the world.

In sport there wasn’t a happy ending to 1990 for Greenock Juniors following a defeat at the hands of Rob Roy which prevented them closing the gap on leaders Ashfield.

Their misery was added to when two players – defender Ronnie Wilkie and striker Robert Montgomery – were carried off with injuries and taken to Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

It all added up to a nightmare for the Greenock side who also saw their chance to consolidate their position at the top of the Reebok Second Division diminish.

In other news, it was a time for giving in Inverclyde as Radio Clyde’s Cash for Kids appeal received a £204 'sweetener' courtesy of Tate and Lyle’s Westburn sugar refinery in Greenock.

Pupils from Ardgowan Primary also got into the festive spirit when they raffled off a cake to raise money for others.

Thanks to their efforts they were able to hand gift vouchers to Maureen Page of the social work department for distribution to needy families.

Finally, staff at Inverclyde Royal had a surprise all stitched up when one of their catering assistants retired.

They organised a presentation for Greenock woman Bessie Price to say thank-you for keeping them fed and watered for 28 years.

Nursing officer Marie Roxburgh said: "She spoilt us totally."