WATCH: Touching memorial to Grangemouth youth theatre stalwart

The name of long serving stage manager of Grangemouth’s Young Portonians threatre group will be remembered for all time thanks to a new landmark in the town.

By James Trimble
Tuesday, 24th November 2020, 8:34 am

Stuart McVie passed away in December last year aged 78 after devoting much of his life – well over 20 years – to the local theatre group with his wife of 55 years Irene.

His commitment to the YPs did not go unnoticed.

Members of the Bowhouse Community Centre Association invited Irene to an unveiling ceremony for a new bench in the recently refurbished Happy to Chat area, just off Newlands Road near the Kingseat Avenue Bridge.

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The new bench in Grangemouth's Good to Chat area, located near the junction of Newlands Road and Kingseat Avenue is dedicated to former Young Portonian stage manager Stuart McVie. .

Members of Grangemouth and Skinflats Community Council have been involved in the operation to clean up and repair the landmark and have added four benches, a community notice board and cleared out and replaced the planter in the centre of the structure.

Of course, in Young Portonian pantomime tradition, the fact one of the benches was dedicated to Stuart came as a complete shock to Irene.

"I didn’t have a clue,” she admitted. “My friend said we are going for a wee run in the car and we ended up at the bench.”

The ceremony featured a piper playing Flower of Scotland – Stuart’s favourite tune.

Irene McVie sits on the bench dedicated to her late husband Stuart, who sadly died in December last year aged 78

Irene said: “Stuart would have been totally amazed – he would never have thought he would have been honoured like this, he was was just an ordinary guy. It’s a lovely area – I had looked at it a couple of times walking past, saying what a nice place it was.

"I never knew it was going to be home to Stuart’s bench.”

Irene McVie admitted it was a complete surprise when the bench dedicated to her husband's memory was unveiled on Sunday