Little piece of history kept in the shed

William Cullen with the piece of the Berlin Wall he brought back from Germany 26 years ago.
William Cullen with the piece of the Berlin Wall he brought back from Germany 26 years ago.

A Motherwell man has been keeping a little bit of history in his garden shed for the last 26 years.

William Cullen, of North Lodge Avenue, found himself in Germany in November 1989 as the Berlin Wall came down.

In those days coach driver William had been hired to drive a group of young swimmers from Airdrie to a competition in Dusseldorf.

After competing the group decided they would like to visit Berlin and while there William picked up his unusual souvenir.

He said: “It doesn’t look like much and has no monetary value, but it is a piece of history so I’ve kept hold of it all these years.

“Initially it was bigger, but I gave bits to Braidhurst High and Calder Primary where my son Ewan and daughter Valerie went to school and I think Knowetop Primary got a bit too.

“If anyone is doing an exhibition or display, be it a school or the heritage centre, and thinks having a bit of Berlin Wall would be useful to them then they are perfectly welcome to borrow it.”

Although the demolition of the wall itself made the headlines, it was another incident that stayed in William’s memory.

He said: “What really struck me and stayed with me from the trip was all the soldiers who had set up tables and were selling all their gear.

“It seemed a little sad at the time, but I guess they reasoned they’d be getting better kit after the unification.”

William has never been back to Germany, although the idea appeals to his wife Jean.

He said: “I’ve been all over Europe, but I never returned to Germany, maybe one day!”