Station is a benchmark for 2014 Games legacy

A pioneering project to breathe life into a dilapidated former train station has been gifted a very special piece of furniture.

Milton of Campsie Railway Station has been chosen as the location for a Commonwealth Games Legacy bench – one of 32 gifted to Scotland’s 32 local authority areas.

Each bench is unique, with Legacy wishes displayed on a laser-engraved Perspex plaque.

The station closed in 1951, but volunteers of all ages joined together last year to transform the area into a beautiful community resource – uniting generations for the common good.

The benches have been manufactured by Galgael and made from Scottish Elm, sourced from Holyrood Park in Edinburgh.

Galgael is a Glasgow-based social enterprise which crafted the beautiful handle of the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s Baton - which travelled throughout East Dunbartonshire on July 19, 2014. One of the places it visited was Milton of Campsie Railway Station Restoration Project.

During the Commonwealth Games, Youth Legacy Ambassadors encouraged visitors to share a Legacy wish - an individual aspiration to see Scotland flourish following the Games.

More than 17,000 wishes were shared with the Legacy project and 96 were selected to be shared on benches across the country.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “We were pleased to receive the bench – which is a unique souvenir celebrating last year’s Commonwealth Games and the ongoing Legacy.

“We wanted to make sure the bench was placed in a location which reflects the values of the Council and the Legacy – promoting inclusivity, partnership-working and community spirit.

“Milton of Campsie Railway Station Restoration Project fits the bill perfectly.

“It’s an inspirational example of how people of all ages can be encouraged to come together to improve their community.

“The volunteers have done a marvellous job.”

There has been remarkable progress since the project was established in February 2014, with more than 150 local people clearing 15 skips full of soil, litter and broken glass; repairing walls, platforms, railings, fences and bins; installing bins and benches; and planting bulbs and seeds.

The council has supplied skips, bridge repairs, installing new fencing and laying recycled slabs.

A spokesman for the project said, “We are delighted to welcome the Legacy bench and will find a home for it within the project. It’s another example of how well-regarded the work has been here.

“This is a really positive project and we hope it helps to inspire other communities.

“It’s been achieved on a budget of nothing – with a lot of hard work, recycling, and liaising with local groups and businesses.”

A range of local volunteers have helped, as well as pupils from Craighead Primary in Milton of Campsie and St Machan’s Primary in Lennoxtown.

Volunteer Jack Davison (19) got involved when he saw a local clean-up organised.

He explained: “It seemed a good idea to help the community out.

“We felt it was important to challenge the perception some people had of young people.

“It was good opportunity to get to know people in the village.

“It’s been very positive for us all.”