Cam­paign­ers call on coun­cil to save their park bandstand

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Res­i­dents in Ruther­glen have pleaded with South La­nark­shire Coun­cil to save the beloved bandstand in Over­toun Park.

The iconic land­mark cel­e­brated its 100th birth­day in 2014.

But res­i­dents fear it is be­ing left in a state of dis­re­pair and may be lost for ever if some­thing isn’t done.

Lo­cals have taken to the Ruther­glen Face­book site over the past few weeks to ex­press their con­cerns about a struc­ture they feel should be at the very heart of the com­mu­nity.

Many say the bandstand is a mag­net for graf­fiti, while oth­ers say it’s ne­glect is symp­to­matic of a gen­eral de­cline in the town.

John Quinn ( 61), a well- known user of the site, posted pic­tures of the bandstand com­par­ing it with years gone by.

One user wrote: “It’s sad to see it be­ing ne­glected,” while another re­sponded: “Such a sad sight. A shadow of its for­mer glory.”

Another said: “Would love to see it put back to orig­i­nal place in park.”

John, who has lived in the Royal Burgh since he was three, told the Re­former he thought the only so­lu­tion was to move the bandstand to another lo­ca­tion.

He said: “Be­fore I went on hol­i­day I put pic­tures up I’d taken of the bandstand along­side one that had been taken years ago, when the bandstand was in good use.

“When you com­pare it to what it looked like in days gone by, now it’s suf­fer­ing from van­dal­ism and ne­glect.

“It’s ba­si­cally been ig­nored. The fence round about it has been stolen or re­moved, I don’t even know which.

“My con­cern is, if it can­not be mon­i­tored in the park, it should be moved some­where else.

“I want to see it be­ing used, so why not move it to David Walker Gar­dens where they have an area at the front? Then you could use it to put on con­certs and things for the res­i­dents.

“Last year, they painted the Queen Vic­to­ria foun­tain and it was beau­ti­ful, but the bandstand has been left. It should be for the com­mu­nity to use.

“It was gifted to the peo­ple of Ruther­glen in 1914 yet that passed with­out any­thing.”

Coun­cil leader Ed­die McAvoy, whose ward cov­ers the park, told the Re­former no- one had ap­proached him about the bandstand.

He said: “The bandstand should be kept to a high stan­dard of main­te­nance, but I haven’t had a sin­gle com­plaint about it.”

Stephen Kelly, Head of Fa­cil­i­ties, Waste and Ground Ser­vices said: “We un­der­stand the con­cerns of the public, how­ever, there are no plans to up­grade the bandstand at this time.

“Ar­range­ments are cur­rently be­ing made to re­pair the dam­age to the in­ter­nal ceil­ing and to paint the pil­lars.

“We would be happy to look at sug­ges­tions by any lo­cal groups on the fu­ture use of the bandstand.”

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