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Falkirk hospital garden grows again

Pupils and staff from Falkirk High along with NHS staff and historian Ian Scott at newly refurbished garden at Falkirk Community Hospital Picture: Michael Gillen (141223i)

Pupils and staff from Falkirk High along with NHS staff and historian Ian Scott at newly refurbished garden at Falkirk Community Hospital Picture: Michael Gillen (141223i)

 

High school pupils joined NHS staff to mark a hospital garden being brought back into bloom after refurbishment work.

The plot at Falkirk Community Hospital was once a focal point of the grounds, but over the years had become run down.

However, it has now been restored to its former glory with decorative railings and a carved stone culvert from ‘Jenny Mair’s Burn’ which runs through the area.

The wrought iron gates, donated by former pupils of Falkirk High School in memory of their classmates who were killed in World War One, have also been restored and there are plans to refurbish two commemorative plaques which were originally displayed on the gates.

This is the latest greenspace development at the community hospital following last year’s donation from the Royal Voluntary Service to create a new garden within the inner courtyard.

It also is in line with a commitment from NHS Forth Valley to retain features from the former Falkirk Royal and District Infirmary and improve landscaping across the site following the demolition of a number of buildings.

Contractor Walter Gibb told those at the opening ceremony about the renovation process and the discovery of Caithness stone hidden under weeds which has now been used to border the new flower beds.

NHS Forth Valley chairman Alex Linkston said: “I’m delighted that the gates and the garden have been restored to their former glory to create a lovely, peaceful area which can be enjoyed by staff, patients and the community.

Councillor John Patrick, Depute Provost and veterans champion, said: “This lovely garden not only pays tribute to the past but also provides a great community facility for the future. It’s wonderful to see the progress and 
improvements.”

During the visit Falkirk High pupils, who are all interested in volunteering at the hospital, met with war veterans Ally Gemmell and Charlie MacFarlane from the Armed Services Advice Project, which supports and builds relationships with local veterans in Forth Valley to help them and their dependants.

Historian and author Ian Scott told the young people a little of the hospital’s history and explained the site was used as a ‘distribution hospital’ during World War One. He added that of the 500 Falkirk High pupils who fought in the trenches, almost 100 did not return home, leading to the commemorative gates and plaques being erected in the years after the Great War.

 

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