Community spirit beats the Beast from East

It's not just extreme weather that has gripped Milngavie and Bearsden over the past week.

Community spirit has firmly come to the fore with residents going the extra mile to help both neighbours and strangers in need.

As snowstorms brought parts of the country to a standstill and saw drivers forced to abandon their cars in huge drifts, there were numerous spontaneous acts of kindness.

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From offers of lifts by 4x4 drivers for doctors, nurses and care home workers, to people mucking in to help clear elderly neighbours’ driveways, local people went above and beyond – like pretty much the rest of the country.

Milngavie reader Ann McLeod said: “I thought you might be interested in some Good Samaritans on my street Dougalston Gardens North.

“Two neighbours cleared all the road from No1 up to No.11 as the lady in that house needed to go to hospital for kidney dialysis. No easy task. The lady got there safely and back. The helpers deserve recognition for their efforts.”

There was praise too for the emergency services and East Dunbartonshire Council gritting staff who went all out to clear main routes in unprecedented conditions.

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Parents also turned out to help workers clear paths and entrances to schools.

A spokesperson from East Dunbartonshire Council said: “We have been overwhelmed by the displays of community spirit in East Dunbartonshire.”

East Dunbartonshire 
Police were called out as soon as the snowstorm hit, coming to the rescue of a woman in labour. Officers, who have also been going the extra mile taking on extra shifts and walking to work, tweeted on Thursday: “First call of the day, crew actioned to take pregnant lady and doctor to hospital.”

As all schools were forced to close, reader Bob Adams from Iain Road in Bearsden, praised four big-hearted teenagers shovelling the snow from his neighbour’s drive. He said: “It’s so good to see community spirit in action – especially from teenagers, who don’t always get the best press!”

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The wind was howling but Eve Burke, Marnie White, 
Isabelle Burnside and Ella Weirtook it all in their stride.

Meanwhile, a tractor driver came to the rescue of stranded Strathblane resident Gerry McDade (46) after massive snow drifts cut off roads to the village. Gerry got into difficulty with a friend as they tried to walk five miles from Milngavie. He said: “It was just an absolute nightmare, I have never seen snow like that in my life. We got stuck but I had to get back to my dog. We started walking but a guy stopped in a tractor and gave us a lift.”

Westerton resident Mattie Murdoch said: “Last week Westerton was in the news in a negative way due to an assault at the station.

“As a resident and senior citizen, I cannot praise the community enough for all their efforts during this horrific weather. Saturday, all day, was spent clearing driveways, paths and the main road at Maxwell Avenue. We are also fortunate to have a Keystore and the staff have to be recommended for their efforts with the owner making home deliveries of milk and bread.

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“This is the Westerton I have lived in for many years with a great community spirit and people who care about their neighbours.”

Area Police Commander, CI Gerry Corrigan said: “I’d relike to thank the community for all their efforts in looking after each other in such challenging times, including offers of support to us from residents with 4 wheel drive vehicles. I was also really proud of the efforts of officers to make sure they safely got to work so they could assist the public and their colleagues. The last week has shown what a fantastic place East Dunbartonshire is to be a part of.”