Kilmaronock cemetery is full up
Kilmaronock Parish Church and graveyard north of Gartocharn which is now full to capacity. Picture by Bill Heaney
By Bill Heaney
It’s a beautiful cemetery with a lovely church and churchyard, a serenely peaceful spot in the West Dunbartonshire countryside where some of the county’s great and good have chosen as their final resting place. But Kilmaronock Parish Church graveyard, which accommodates the graves of such luminaries as Lord Fraser of Allander, who once owned Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, and his son, Sir Hugh, the millionaire philanthropist, is almost full to capacity. The cemetery, just north east of Gartocharn village, also accommodates Brigadier Alistair Pearson, who was once the UK’s most decorated war hero and who led the Parachute regiment’s historic attack at Pegasus Bridge in Normandy.
West Dunbartonshire Council had set aside £200,000 for an extension to the cemetery but it turns out the land that was earmarked for this is unsuitable.
And they decided to transfer the money into a general fund for ground improvements in Vale of Leven.
However, Councillor Sally Page, pictured above right, the Conservative member for Lomond, which includes Gartocharn and Kilmaronock, said an alternative site at Kilmaronock had now been designated for the extension.
The Fraser plot in Kilmaronock Cemetery, Brigadier Pearson and Sir Hugh Fraser.
The deal had not been finalised though and there were ongoing talks with the Church of Scotland about the sale of a piece of “glebe land” which would suit if the ground was deemed suitable.
The council agreed to taking part in the talks and instructed officials to hold on to the money until such times as it could be established that the deal was done.
Councillor Page asked about payback orders which involve offenders being sentenced in the Sheriff and JP courts to periods of community service. She asked how to go about contacting the group to have work done in her area.
It was revealed that this service was now demonstrating success in the role given to it – so much so that one Sheriff at Dumbarton Sheriff Court had asked to be part of a site visit to witness the work being carried out.