One of the major drawbacks with Lanark’s new cemetery being remote from the town itself has been solved thanks to the efforts of two Royal Burgh organisations.
The choice of Springbank in Ravenstruther for the new cemetery five years ago drew some local criticism as it was on a former agricultural field in open countryside leaving visitors and mourners at the mercy of the elements.
South Lanarkshire Council said that it had made exhaustive efforts to find a site closer to the town centre and in a more sheltered spot but were thwarted due mainly to poor ground conditions.
Extending the original Lanark Cemetery off Hyndford Road had been made impossible, either due to nearby land being prone to flooding or suitable ground having been sold off years ago for housing development.
The council insisted that the remote site was the only alternative. However, Springbank now has a ‘gazebo-style’ shelter following The Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council (RBLCC) and Lanark Tenants and Residents Association (LANTRA) joining forces to attract funding for its construction.
Explained a spokesperson for the joint effort: “This is a much-needed shelter for this very isolated cemetery.
“We listened to their community and worked together to see what they could do to achieve this goal. We invited local undertakers to provide some funding and the two companies that we are very grateful to are Dorricotts in Lanark and Ian Browns in Carstairs who were very generous indeed.
“We also received a grant from the Lanark Common Good Fund and with a bit of help from the Bereavement Services Department of South Lanarkshire Council we achieved our goal.”
Councillor Catherine McClymont (Clydesdale North Ward) who worked with the groups said: “This is a great example of local groups working together. With a little help from South Lanarkshire Council they have achieved something to be proud of.
“It will be somewhere to provide a bit of shelter from the elements and provide a place to contemplate while visiting relatives and friends who are no longer with us.
“I would like to thank Eleanor McLean of RBLCC and MaryAnn Patrick of LANTRA. David Ogilvie (Kilmarnock) manufactured this shelter and provided the installation free of charge, which I also would like to thank them for. A huge thanks too to Dorricotts and Ian Browns Undertakers for their contribution.”