Still blooming after 35 years

A MUCH-LOVED local club first put down roots 35 years ago – and has been leading its members up the garden path ever since!

Cumbernauld Gardening Club blossomed in the year when Muhammad Ali beat Joe Frazier in the 'Thrilla in Manila', Margaret Thatcher trumped Edward Heath for the leadership of the Conservative Party and the Vietnam war came to an end.

Cumbernauld House first played host to the first planning meeting where members planted the seeds of a genuine social hub where greenfingered locals can still find common cause.

They showed they are still in full bloom with a lively celebratory lunch at the Westerwood Hotel which featured two very special guests.

One was the BBC's Carole Baxter who does not merely present the Beechgrove Garden but is also an honorary member of the club.

Another was Emily Robertson who is the widow of Sid Robertson who was the founder member of the club – who ultimately became its president.

They were also afforded a most enjoyable saunter down memory lane via a PowerPoint presentation of photographs taken over the years.

Chairman Sheila Peebles said: ''This brought back memories such as working to make the overgrown garden at Strathcarron Hospice manageable before it opened to patients and the many large plant sales which used to be held in St Mungo's Church Hall.

"There were memories of visits to gardens all over Scotland and even into northern England, which were without incident and some such as the one to St Abbs, when members had to leave the bus and climb up the hill watching to see if the bus would make it," said Sheila.

"And there were memories of events such as the pantomime, 'Jack and the Beanstalk', written by former club member Jack Muir and starring Sid Robertson as 'Siddlypops' the green fingered fairy along with other gardening club members," she added.

Sheila also stressed that the club doesn't want to rest on its laurels as it is still continuing to grow.

"The club is still large and lively and meets regularly at Greenfaulds Community Rooms," she said.

"There are fortnightly meetings in winter, usually with horticultural experts, summer visits to beautiful gardens and there is still an annual plant sale in June."

New members will be made very welcome further information is available both in our district diary pages and from Sheila on 726554.