Our long com­mu­nity history is im­por­tant to lo­cal peo­ple

Rutherglen Reformer - - Working For You -

Ruther­glen has ex­isted as a com­mu­nity with lo­cal pow­ers and iden­tity for a thou­sand years.

The orig­i­nal Royal Char­ter was granted by King David in 1126 but Ruther­glen must have ex­isted as a com­mu­nity be­fore that. In­deed, at one time, Ruther­glen con­trolled within its bound­aries a good part of Glas­gow, ap­par­ently as far as Shet­tle­ston Cross at least.

In the later 19th cen­tury, there was a steamer run by Thomas Seath which went six times a day from Hutch­eson­town Bridge in Glas­gow to Ruther­glen Quay un­til it was over­taken by the trams. Even now, there is a right of pas­sage down the River Clyde from Ruther­glen granted by the Royal Char­ter and still ex­er­cised by the Ruther­glen Cruis­ing Club.

This long com­mu­nity history is im­por­tant, giv­ing a sense of place to lo­cal peo­ple, many of whom trace their an­ces­try back for many gen­er­a­tions in the Royal Burgh. Coun­cil changes

In 1974, the Burgh Coun­cil was abol­ished – along with the old County Coun­cil of La­nark­shire - in favour of a two tier sys­tem of Glas­gow Dis­trict and Strath­clyde Re­gional Coun­cils.

In 1995, in turn, Ruther­glen es­caped from Glas­gow to be­come part of South La­nark­shire Coun­cil.

It is over 40 years since Ruther­glen had its own coun­cil, but there is still a wealth of ma­te­rial on the history of the area through the lo­cal Churches; bowl­ing, ten­nis and golf clubs; Friends of Over­toun Park; so­cial clubs and even pubs. There are a num­ber of web­sites and so­cial media sites de­voted to the history, paint­ings or pho­to­graphs of Ruther­glen over the years, while South La­nark­shire con­tin­ues to sup­port the Lan­de­mer fes­ti­val. The Royal Burgh and the Fu­ture The time is now right, in my view, to look at how Ruther­glen or­gan­ises it­self to­day and what it can of­fer.

I have long thought that the com­mu­nity coun­cil might call it­self “The Royal Burgh of Ruther­glen Com­mu­nity Coun­cil” and that there is a case for a broad-based Royal Burgh Civic Ameni­ties Fo­rum to take for­ward arts, mu­sic, film and drama in the area.

Lo­cal trans­port is another area with po­ten­tial for change to meet mod­ern needs – and what about a Town Cen­tres and Com­merce Trust to look at the com­mer­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties and en­vi­ron­ment of the lo­cal cen­tres, build­ing on the im­prove­ments to the Town Hall and town cen­tre land­scape un­der­taken by the coun­cil?

Praise Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown has praised Lan­de­mer Day, an his­toric event in the Royal Burgh of Ruther­glen

Tra­di­tion Coun­cil­lor Robert Brown (sec­ond from left) with other lo­cal elected rep­re­sen­ta­tives, at Lan­de­mer Day last month

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