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George Wyllie Memorial Garden Tribute

Above: Councillor's Lynne Quinn and Ronnie Ahlfeld at the new Shore Street memorial in Gourock

A new £30,000 memorial garden is being created in Gourock in honour of one of its most famous sons. An area in the town’s Shore Street will be transformed into a green space with plants and shrubs dedicated to acclaimed artist George Wyllie.

There will be plants, seats and special features — including a pathway in the shape of a question mark, as a nod to a recurring theme in Mr Wyllie’s work.

Councillor Lynne Quinn said:

“The plans at first were for a nice garden area, including a pollinator garden to attract butterflies and bees. When we first saw the plan, we saw that it was a circle pathway then we thought it would be a good idea to have something in Gourock as a legacy to George Wyllie and his question mark. We are delighted that it is going to be called the George Wyllie Memorial Garden, a community garden dedicated to George."

Councillor Quinn hopes the park will give people a chance to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. She said:

“A lot of residents in this area live in flats and don’t have a garden. People who work in Gourock can also sit here and have their lunch.”

Above - George Wyllie 

Mr Wyllie passed away at the age of 90 in 2012 but left a lasting legacy through his work. One of his most famous public sculptures is the clock on running legs outside Buchanan Street bus station in Glasgow. He described himself as a ‘scul?tor’ and his public work sought to pose questions. Other memorable projects included his straw locomotive and paper boat, addressing the decline of industry and shipbuilding.

Gourock councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld says the park is another strand in the bustling town’s regeneration. He said:

“There has been a lot of development in Kempock Street and Shore Street has been the poor relation, so we are now trying to move that forward.”

The garden, funded from Riverside Inverclyde's towns and environment upgrade fund, is due to open in May 2018.

This article was written by Lorraine Tinney and appeared online via the Greenock Telegraph on 22 March 2018. Pictures courtesy of Greenock Telegraph.