Our trib­ute is a haven

Gar­den me­mo­rial will be retreat from hor­rors of war from Scot­stoun’s peo­ple

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY ANN FOTHERINGHAM

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

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