Gar­den­ers seek min­ing me­mento

Rutherglen Reformer - - News From The Pews -

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

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