Bonnybridge Heritage Park plan gains £8,000 lottery backing

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The Greenhill Historical Society (GHS) has received a National Lottery grant worth £8,100 towards the cost of a new heritage park in Bonnybridge.

The project, on a former burial site beside the local library, centres on the creation of a series of interpretative panels that will tell the prehistoric, industrial and social heritage of Bonnybridge and district.

The earliest object found in Bonnybridge so far is a gold bracelet believed to be 3,000 years old.

The land currently features a stone monument (pictured) dedicated to those laid to rest there, and a mural reflecting more than a century of steelwork history.

Greenhill Historical Society members say the panels will also contain illustrations and smartphone camera-readable codes which, when scanned, would play videos of older members of the community sharing memories with local schoolchildren.

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), together with a grant of £9,800 from Forth Environment Trust, the project aims to enable local young people to research and discover the unique and often forgotten heritage of their village - once the world centre for brickmaking and iron foundries.

Interviews with older residents will be recorded on video and made available as QR codes and web addresses on the new panels.

Tired of hearing Bonnybridge only ever being referred to as the ‘UFO Capital of Britain’ the Society has been campaigning to create a resource that will give local residents a true understanding of its heritage – especially in the minds of young people.

GHS chairwoman Margaret Murray said: “We are thrilled to have received this support, thanks to National Lottery players, and are confident the project will encourage our young people to be active citizens with pride in their industrial and social heritage.”

The Greenhill Historical Society was formed in 2008 after a community education project (originally an introduction to computing) which evolved into a discussion group on local history.

When the project concluded, the group moved to Bonnybridge and started researching the heritage of the greater Bonnybridge area.

GHS produces a biannual magazine, Bonnyseen, featuring articles written by local residents, which is distributed free across the local area.