A real hero passes away

Margaret Gibb with Carol Smillie
Margaret Gibb with Carol Smillie

A stalwart of the Bellshill community, Margaret Gibb, has passed away at her home in Harvey Way following a long illness.

Margaret ran the North Road playgroup and playscheme for nearly 40 years and in that time cared for thousands of children in the town.

Having been unable to find somewhere to send her daughter Shona, Margaret decided to start her own playgroup.

Initially it was based in St Gerard’s Primary and over 25 years grew from using one classroom to using three. However when the school needed the space back a move to Hattonrigg Senior Citizens’ Centre was necessary.

Margaret also served for the last 15 years on the committee of the West of Scotland Play Scheme which oversees the running of over 350 groups across the west of Scotland.

Last year Margaret was named the overall winner of the STV Real Heroes awards after being nominated in the Community Champions category.

Her brother Hugh McLean said: “Margaret was very popular in the town and so well known after looking after thousands of children for the past 40 years.

“It is obviously very sad she passed away, but there is a sense of relief that she didn’t suffer too much towards the end.

“Margaret was such a lovely woman, the world has lost a very special person, and we’ll love and miss her forever.”

Margaret is survived by her husband Alexander and daughters Shona and Sandra.