Council to restore memorial to Kirkintilloch philanthropist

A memorial to a Kirkintilloch philanthropist who worked tirelessly to help sick and incurable patients in the 19th century is set to be restored by East Dunbartonshire Council.

Beatrice Clugston's memorial
Beatrice Clugston's memorial

This comes after the Herald highlighted the poor condition of the grave of Beatrice Clugston (1827-1888) in a report in May.

Beatrice was best known for her charity work in setting up several facilities for terminally ill patients from Glasgow and surrounding areas, which many consider the forerunner of modern hospices.

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One of those she helped set up was Broomhill House, close to the River Kelvin near Kirkintilloch. The facility, which was opened in September 1876 by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sir James Bain, had beds for 49 adults, 12 children and took care of patients suffering from various illnesses including tuberculosis, cancer and chronic rheumatism.

Beatrice died in 1888 and was buried in the Auld Aisle Cemetery, Kirkintilloch and a memorial was built to commemorate the work that she had undertaken during her lifetime.

Regrettably, the memorial deteriorated over time and a plaque was stolen from it, leading to an appeal by local people for the council to restore it.

Despite numerous attempts, the Council said it was unable to contact a living relative to ascertain if there was any family member willing to take on the ownership and maintenance of it.

At a recent council meeting, it was agreed the local authority would pay £16,000 to restore the grave.

Joint Council Leader Andrew Polson said: "We are the custodians for future generations and it is our responsibility to keep the memorial in a good order so they can learn of Beatrice's deeds."

Joint Council Leader Vaughan Moody added: "Beatrice Clugston made a significant charitable contribution during her life and I look forward to seeing her memorial restored to its former glory."

The work will include the removal of all weeds, moss and an initial clean of the stone. The loose mortar and joints will be repaired with the older fixings removed and replaced, and a new reproduction plaque will be commissioned with a suitable interpretation board highlighting Beatrice’s historical significance.