Words to echo across the generations

Bellshill Academy pupil Sarah Lindsay prepares to cut the ribbon on the refurbished Bellshill War Memorial flanked by (l-r) Councillor Harry McGugian, NLC regeneration manager Matt Costello and Academy head teacher Anne Munro and gardener Walter Baker.
Bellshill Academy pupil Sarah Lindsay prepares to cut the ribbon on the refurbished Bellshill War Memorial flanked by (l-r) Councillor Harry McGugian, NLC regeneration manager Matt Costello and Academy head teacher Anne Munro and gardener Walter Baker.

To mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War One the £34,000 refurbishment of Bellshill War Memorial was unveiled last week.

The money was provided by Bellshill and District Local Area Partnership after Bellshill Academy gardener Walter Baker and Hatton Lea Care Home area manager John Grant urged councillors to take action.

The flower beds around the memorial have been removed and replaced with paving inscribed with messages suggested by residents of Hatton Lea, new lighting and a seat featuring a verse penned by Academy S2 pupil Sarah Lindsay.

The memorial itself has been cleaned and names of those lost in the two World Wars added after an appeal to the public .

John said: “We put pressure on the councillors because we felt the war memorial was in a disgraceful state and were delighted when they came forward with the £34,000 to do it up, especially it being the centeneary year of the outbreak of World War One.”

Walter added: Three of the local councillors Harry McGuigan, Harry Curran and Frank McNally took a real interest and the council’s regeneration manager Matt Costello is a brilliant man.

“They saw how passionate the school and the care home were about this project and the results speak for themselves.”

Royal Marines veteran Bill Houston hailed the refurbishment.

He said: “Bellshill now has as good a memorial as anywhere in the country and it is a fitting tribute to our lost soldiers.”

Sarah was overwhelmed at the thought of her verse lasting for years to come.

She said: “It looks really good and it’s strange to be immortalised in such a way as it will be there for a long, long time.

“I’ve never done much writing, but I decided to enter my verse and was amazed to win, my mum is really proud.”

Holytown and Mossend councillor Frank McNally added: “It was only right in the 100th year since the commencement of the Great War, we made this important upgrade to the war memorial.

“It is my hope that it will become a place of reflection for people from across our communities, and I thank all those who contributed to the project.”