Grave concerns over cemetery

Elaine McDougall
Elaine McDougall

Bellshill woman Elaine McDougall has urged North Lanarkshire Council not to allow Bothwellpark Cemetery to become another Globe.

The Globe in Motherwell recently underwent substantial work to tidy it up after being left to go to ruin for decades after it closed.

Bothwellpark and Airbles Cemeteries are set to be closed for new burials after the Commonwealth Games when the new cemetery to the south of Orbiston opens.

Elaine has been volunteering with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission since 1997 and believes some neglect has started to creep in at Bothwellpark.

She said: “I have noticed that many of the older graves around the edges of the cemetery are becoming badly overgrown to the point the headstones are completely obscured.

“In other cases plants have been allowed to grow into the headstones and plaques themselves and roots are coming up from the graves.

“I have just been working on the grave of a young solider called Tom Purdie, who died in France at the age of 19 in 1916, and had to cut back a load of vegetation.

“Just because these people died 50 years ago or 100 years ago doesn’t make them any less human and their final resting places should still be treated with respect.

“With Bothwellpark set to be closed in the near future I am a bit worried as to what will happen then.

“I really hope North Lanarkshire have a plan in place to ensure the cemetery continues to be maintained as the last thing we want is for Bothwellpark to turn into another Globe.

“For years it was left to ruin, with burned out cars, vandalism and graffiti and with the Bucky brigade already making their presence known at Bothwellpark you could easily see the same thing happening and that is not a fate I want to befall ‘my boys’.”