THIS week’s look into the Greenock Telegraph archives takes us back 15 years – when a massive security operation swung into action as the Lockerbie bomber was taken to Inverclyde Royal Hospital.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was serving a life sentence after being convicted of bombing Pan Am flight 103 in 1998 – murdering 270 people.

He was transported to the IRH in a Reliance prisoner van, flanked by seven police motorbikes and escorted by two blue-light cars.

A police helicopter also monitored the convoy from above in what was a major security operation.

Greenock Telegraph:

It was understood that doctors had ordered tests for Megrahi, and that no wards were closed despite tight security throughout the building.

It was reported that his lawyer and a representative from the Libyan embassy accompanied him to the hospital.

TV crews and newspaper reporters were outside, awaiting his dramatic arrival.

Strathclyde Police and health chiefs did not comment on the prisoner’s hospital visit at the time.

Resident William Milloy, of Larkfield Road, told the Tele: “We’ve been looking out the window and saw all the press. I thought it was some celebrity.”

Elsewhere, a 140-year-old pipe organ was saved thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Church members at Wellpark Mid Kirk pulled together to fundraise for major restoration work on the instrument.

Greenock Telegraph:

Organist Archie Shearer, who spearheaded the campaign, said it would not have survived without the lottery funding.

He said: “Now, thanks to their most generous support and handsome donations from the congregation, as well as support from other outside organisations, it will provide a good lead in worship and continue to be an asset for the musical life of the town for many years to come.”

Funding was also contributed to the restoration of another pipe organ at Greenock St John’s Episcopal Church.

In other news, development company Riverside Inverclyde announced plans for the creation of more than 200 jobs at a new multi-million-pound office building in Greenock.

Construction firm Xircon were appointed to build 27,000 square feet of flexible office space at Riverside Business Park near Pottery Street.

Greenock Telegraph:

Councillor Stephen McCabe said: “This is very exciting news for Inverclyde.

“We’ve been trying to do something with this site for years.

“This will address the need there is in Inverclyde for this type of office accommodation.”

Meanwhile, children across Inverclyde were getting active in school in a bid to help them lead healthier lifestyles.

Port Sport Experience was one of the projects which gave youngsters the chance to try out a range of sports.

It sought to help pupils find enjoyment in physical activity – boosting their confidence and self-belief at the same time.

Greenock Telegraph:

Port Glasgow Active Schools co-ordinator Corrie Campbell said the initiative has been a ‘great success’ in its first year.

She added: “During the winter, we had around 60 children.

“What we want to do is establish it and then hand it over to the community.”

In sport, Morton were rooted to the bottom of the Division One table after failing to secure a win in their opening six matches.

Greenock Telegraph:

A goalless draw against Queen of the South compounded the misery, as well as the bookies tipping Partick Thistle for their upcoming fixture.

In golf, two Inverclyde youngsters helped Renfrewshire Golf Union’s boys’ team finish the season on a high with a crushing win over Ayrshire.

Whinhill Golf Club’s Michael McLennan and Greenock’s Calum Gallacher each won their matches at the final inter-county meeting of the season.