Gardeners seek mining memento
Volunteers at Flemington Hallside Church’s gardens are working hard as they embrace the area’s rich past.
Betty Pollock, Jenny Brown, Jim Neill and David Smith have been giving up their free time in recent months to highlight the proud past of the area, which has delighted Reverend Neil Glover and members of the congregation.
The church grounds already feature milk churns and a steel cross, marking the area’s farming and industrial history, but the search is still on to find something to represent mining in the area.
Betty said:“It was back in 2011 that we were first given a grand from South Lanarkshire Council, to start off on this idea, but it lay dormant for a while, until last year when we were given a Pride of Place grant, and our minister Neil asked us to form a committee.
“We then applied for another grant this year, and now we’ve been able to get all of this work done.”
Jenny continued:“We were thinking about some ideas, and what we would do with a blank canvas.
“So, the team hauled out all the shrubs, and we had the idea of commemorating the industries of the area from the past, with farming, the steel works and mining.
“We were delighted when we discovered that Robert Letham, on East Hallside Farm, was retiring, and he was happy to provide us with some artefacts covering the farming past of the area.
“Earlier this year, we were delighted when we were able to have a steel cross erected in the grounds of the church, covering the steel works. Peter Phillips organised for the cross to be made down at Clydebridge by Tata Steel, and we had a blacksmith from Blantyre set it into our grounds.
“We’re struggling to find anything to do with the mining past, though, as we’ve been in touch with Summerlee and the National Mining Museum, but had no luck.
“If anyone once worked down the mines or their family once did, and has a memento which we could preserve, we’d love to hear from them.”
As well as the area’s proud past, the church grounds are looking bright and clean with colourful plants, which have been grown by Jim.
He said:“I’ve got a greenhouse and I get them direct from Jersey Plants. I bring them in, rather than us having to spend a fortune elsewhere.”
The car park at Flemington Hallside has also been smartened up, thanks to David.
Jim added:“David got in the chips for the car park, and it looks so much better for it. You wouldn’t realise just how much work was needed beforehand to do it.”
Flemington Hallside were also donated the church bell from the former Gilbertfield Church, which has been closed for over 30 years. The bell is now being restored.
Anyone who would like to volunteer to help the team should contact them through the church, as well as anyone who may have a mining artefact which they may want to donate.
Green fingers Jenny Brown, Betty Pollock and Jim Neill in the gardens of Flemington Hallside Church