Memorial benches offered in park upgrade

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Bridge of Allan residents are being given the opportunity to commemorate a loved one by sponsoring a park bench.

The new seating is being installed as part of ongoing upgrades to Memorial Park in Henderson Street.

Friends of Bridge of Allan will contribute three benches next to new park pathways but the community council hopes to install two more.

The council had planned to seek funding for the additional seating via an application for a Community Grant Fund.

However, council treasurer, Marie Gardner, suggested that residents might embrace the opportunity to commemorate a loved one by purchasing a bench to which they could attach a plaque.

Councillor Michael Burt, agreed: “It is, after all, Memorial Park, so it makes sense to offer residents the opportunity to create their own memoriam to a loved one.”

Locals can already sponsor a shrub in the park gardens but this is the first time that it has been possible to buy a bench.

Memorial Park was originally donated to Bridge of Allan by businessman Edmund Pullar in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War Two and is also known locally as Pullar Park.

The park layout has remained much the same since the 1920s but most residents welcome the changes.

Photographer Mike Dow, 50, has lived in the area most of his life and commented: “The path has been completely re- done – no more puddles!

“The landscaping has been improved, too, with new trees to replace the ones that had succumbed to disease.

“The steps have been fixed and flanked with beautiful hanging baskets. It’s made a huge difference.”

Long-term resident and retiree Maureen McLaughlin, 68, regularly walks her dog in the park and added:

“The new paths make a big difference when walking there but I worry that they will be dangerous in the winter when it is icy.

“I was sad to see the old blossom trees go but the new trees look very nice and make the park look bright and welcoming.”

The installation of the new seating will be the final stage in the park renovations.

The benches are expected to cost around £700 each, which includes the cost of a memorial plaque.

Interested parties can contact the community council at contact@ccbridgeofallan.org.uk.

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