Village marks brave heroes with 'wall of fame'
Condorrat Tenants and Residents Association saw several years of community fundraising bear fruit when a special memorial wall was unveiled to mark the memories of its working class heroes. Divided into three sections, this lovingly crafted piece of stonework honours a trio of men whose sacrifices will always be remembered in this former mining village.
They are the Radical Weavers, the early trade unionists whose leader JOHN BAIRD was born in Condorrat and whose house lies a short distance away from this memorial wall. Executed in Stirling on 8th. September 1820 for his role in the uprising, he is commemorated alongside his comrades JOHN BARR, THOMAS MACFARLANE, WILLIAM SMITH and JOHN ALLAN. The wall also honours local members of the armed forces who gave their lives for their country in conflicts throughout the world; and six Condorrat miners - A.M. BEATTIE, P. HARVEY, A.T. LANG, J. MUIR, J. MULHOLLAND snr. and T. STOKES - who perished in the Auchengeich Disaster 18th. September 1959.
The unveiling of the memorial wall was carried out by PROVOST TOM CURLEY and following this, the memorial dedication was given by a local minister and blessed by a local priest then a minutes silence and the piper's lament. Flowers and wreaths were laid firstly by CTRA for all three sections, 1820 Society wreath laid by MARION MCMILLAN, Croy Historical Society and JAMIE HEPBURN MSP laid the Scottish National Party wreath followed by two matching bouquets of red and white roses laid by LILY LOVE and ANN BAIN on behalf of the 1820 Society. Also simultaneously, many others including relatives of the miners and war dead laid their own personal floral tributes. The Army Cadets and Royal British Legion Scotland also placed their tributes. 1820 stalwart, CATHIE BROWN from Paisley laid the 1820 Society posy on the saltire draped over the newly erected 'WEAVERS REST' bench positioned immediately opposite the memorial wall and offering a fine view of the memorial to all who care to sit awhile with their own thoughts. Speeches from PROVOST CURLEY and JOHN BURKE of CTRA prior to and after the unveiling, alongside a presentation to the Provost and also to the stonemasons, brought the ceremony's formal proceedings to a close. Many photographs were taken and a video recording too, highlighting the importance and significance of three different aspects of working life and their place in our history. A buffet and refreshments was enjoyed afterwards in the nearby CONDORRAT ARMS with many still lingering taking in the scene some hours later. An emotional day for many.
Report by Marion McMillian