Campaigners call on council to save their park bandstand
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.”