A stalwart of one of the Falkirk district’s longest-running societies was given a surprise send-off after 30 years of service.
Sandy Simpson (74) stepped down from his role as president of Polmont Horticulural Society last week and was praised for his dedication at a special ceremonial dinner at the Grange Manor Hotel.
The society’s chairman, Tom Sneddon, who was waiting to greet a stunned Mr Simpson at the surprise dinner, said his hard work would be sorely missed.
He added: “Sandy was originally asked to be the frontman of the organisation, but he willingly took on other tasks, namely organising speakers for winter talks and successfully acquiring sponsorship for them.
“He helped to promote the society at Gardening Scotland when the members built a display garden for which we have numerous medals.
“He is always at the forefront of other garden promotional events such as liaising with Grangemouth Horticultural Society to help run Falkirk Flower Show for the council.”
A champion of all things horticultural, Mr Simpson was also Central FM’s gardening guru with a weekly programme passing on advice and attracting guest speakers, and he also contributes to The Falkirk Herald website.
Despite stepping down from the president’s role, he won’t be taking a back seat altogether as he accepted another position as honorary president.
Mr Simpson said: ‘‘One of the highlights has been the unstinting support I have received from the society’s members, the local business community, the local authority and the local media. I owe them a very real vote of thanks for all their help.
“The honour the society has done me in making me the honorary president will afford me the enormous satisfaction of being able to maintain my association with many of these fine people – and that is the biggest honour of all.”