A promise was fulfilled this week with a small memorial to a departed friend in a woodland place once held so fondly. In 2017, Stan Paul met up one evening at my home to share his Greenhall photos. It was a nostalgic evening in front of the fire for Stan and one where I learned a lot about the former private estate in High Blantyre, now in the hands of South Lanarkshire Council.
We both decided to embark on a project to uncover something from his childhood. A set of steps that he had memories of climbing up and down as a child. He’d shown me their buried location and we promised to jointly uncover them another time with a spade. However, work got in the way and each of us put it off for one reason or another, summer becoming winter and unsuitable for digging.
Sadly Stan died in March 2018 and my promise to him still hung over me. Knowing Stan was in the the same community group as me, I approached Friends of the Calder to ask for some help in uncovering them, which they kindly did back in February. Our success i uncovering them is well documented. The group later celebrated Stan’s life with their own memorial tree planted in the park, made even more special by the donation from Alan Rochead of a carved wooded tree guard.
This week, my friend John Dunsmore and I set off on a mission to get through the summer growth and place a small plaque at the steps. John had carved a beautiful stone memorial from Red Balmoral Granite for Stan, somebody he respected immensely. For me, as I’ve been writing about Greenhall recently, it was closure to the promise made by way of marking the steps location “as Stans”. The plaque was dutifully placed and I have to say, under the summer sun we left, I imagined Stan’s beaming smile and a playful remark or two he would have had to say about it all!
There’s no doubt about it, Ean Stanley Paul will be well remembered at Greenhall. And I just know he would have loved that! Stan’s other disclosures and secrets about Greenhall Estate, like the photos he gave me on that winters evening in 2017, will remain guarded with me….. for now.
Well done to John Dunsmore for all his help with this project.
“Wee Yanni” by Paul Veverka 2016
If yer ever oot walkin, by yon bonny Clyde,
or fishin murky Calder waters, by day or by night,
Ye jist might bump intae dear John,
Mr Dunsmore, if ye dinna ken his full name.
A kind herted fellow, with Blantyre in mind,
known as “wee Yanni” tae most folks, ye’ll find.
Retired sculptor, an tradesman o’ skill,
He certainly knows how tae gie us a thrill,
Try tae beat that, ah bet ye canny,
He’s the pride o’ Blantyre, oor pal, wee Yanni.