LANARK town centre traders reacted with the mixture of surprise and anger when work started unexpectedly on Friday on the third attempted facelift of the town steeple and St Nicholas Church.
Even the town’s councillors were given no prior notice of the works which, it is claimed, will hit Lanark’s already beleaguered town centre shops in the commercially vital run-up to Christmas.
Several rare town centre car parking spaces next to the connected buildings will be cordoned off during the 10 weeks of the works.
This will be the third time extensive re-surfacing has taken place on the buildings in 18 years.
A botched limewash covering applied in 1994 quickly became scarred by pollution and was totally replaced in a resurfacing project which ended less than two years ago.
Although this new surface seems to have stood up to traffic pollution better than its predecessor, unsightly green algae quickly began to appear, especially in the upper reaches of the steeple.
Although there were general calls from bodies like the Community Council for some corrective action, almost nobody appears to have had any prior warning of Friday’s start to works to treat the buildings for growth.
Indeed, the first boss of the adjoining Jacks the Ironmongers and newly-elected Lanark Business Group vice chairman Douglas MacMillan knew of it was when his nearest customer parking spaces were suddenly fenced off.
He said: “Since the meeting the town has been hit by a bombshell that St Nicholas is to be repainted - again - and the car parking spaces are to be cordoned off for the duration of the project, namely 10 weeks.”
For full story see this week’s Lanark Gazette.