Our tribute is a haven
Garden memorial will be retreat from horrors of war from Scotstoun’s people
AS GLASGOW prepares to commemorate the end of a terrible war, a community has come together to celebrate peace.
The white flowers, trees and spring bulbs of Heart of Scotstoun’s beautiful new Peace Garden mark the area’s first tribute to the men and women of the area whose lives were affected by the First World War.
It has been created by the community centre’s Green Garden project gardeners, led by June Mitchell, and supported by local schools, residents and businesses.
June explained: “There is no commemorative point for the First World War in Scotstoun, and we were keen to create one that didn’t glorify war, but instead, celebrated peace.
“Many people in our community have come here from war-torn places, seeking peace. We wanted to create a beautiful, contemplative space for them, and somewhere that everyone could enjoy.”
Volunteer June, a retired education lecturer, and the team at Heart of Scotstoun have transformed the derelict outdoor space into a fantastic garden and allotment site, complete with fruit trees, a sensory garden, an artificial turf exercise area and raised beds.
“Every day I’m overwhelmed by how our community has really pulled together, both for the centre and for the garden,” said June. “We are very grateful to all of our supporters.”
At yesterday’s inauguration of the Peace Garden, local historian Sandra Malcolm told around 120 P7 pupils from Scotstoun Primary and St Paul’s Primary schools pupils about her research into what life was like in the area in 1918.
“Talking about the community 100 years ago made the events of the First World War and its aftermath much more real for the pupils,” said Sandra.
“I told them, for example, about the young son of the Scotstoun school headmaster, who was killed in the war, and took them on a street-bystreet guide to what this whole area would have looked like.”
Sandra became interested in local history when she was a young child, after learning Whiteinch – where she was born and grew up – used to be an island.
“I found it really fascinating and wanted to know more,” she explains. “I started to build up a postcard collection, of old Whiteinch and Scotstoun, and I now have around 150.
“The Peace Garden has been a lovely project to be part of.”
There were displays of photographs from the archives of Sandra and fellow historian Moira Logan, and members of Heart of Scotstoun Seniors Club placed knitted and crocheted poppies on one of the grassy banks inside the garden.
May McKie, of the Seniors Club, explained: “June and the gardeners have worked so hard to create this beautiful garden, it’s lovely to see it finally open.
“We helped to knit, crochet and collect around 1000 red, white and purple poppies for today.”
Today, the community will gather at Heart of Scotstoun once more for a fundraising Vintage Tea Party with the 1918 archives on display.
Pupils from St Paul’s and Scotstoun Primary Schools helped to plant bulbs and trees, donated by community members.
Angela Gordon, depute headteacher at Scotstoun Primary, said the P7 pupils had found the project a fascinating one.
“The pupils created poppy landscape artworks for today, and planted bulbs in the beautiful peace garden,” she said.
“It was interesting for them to learn about World War One – while it feels a long time ago for them, we were keen to emphasise that many young people and their families around the world are still living through wars.
“They learned a great deal and we were delighted to be part of today’s commemoration.”
The peace garden at Heart of Scotstoun community centre takes the place a war memorial