Grangemouth Heritage Trust

Grangemouth Heritage Trust We a comprehensive range of photographs and artefacts from Grangemouth’s past. There is a 12 × 8 ft model of Grangemouth Airport with facts and books of World War II.
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Slide shows are arranged by the Trust historian for local organisations.

Operating as usual

We can't give you a concert this summer but we do have our doors open and ready to welcome visitors of all ages. Why not...
29/06/2021

We can't give you a concert this summer but we do have our doors open and ready to welcome visitors of all ages. Why not pay us a visit?
See you soon.

We can't give you a concert this summer but we do have our doors open and ready to welcome visitors of all ages. Why not pay us a visit?
See you soon.

It was all so simple then.
07/06/2021

It was all so simple then.

It was all so simple then.

I wonder when we were last "gateless."
01/06/2021

I wonder when we were last "gateless."

Today we temporarily said goodbye to the parks war memorial gates. The gates have been taken off site so that specialist repair and conservation works can be undertaken by Ballantine Castings Ltd on behalf of Hawthorn Heights Ltd.

The gates will be off site for a number of weeks but we will keep you updated with the progress that is being made.

These works are being undertaken thanks to funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland, Falkirk Council and War Memorials Trust.

23/05/2021

The gates.
Very soon now the park gates will be gone.
They are being taken down and removed to Bo`ness.
They have been a magnificent sight at the entrance to Zetland park for over 97 years, a local landmark for generations of Portonians and a reassuring link to our shared past.

But the gates are only one part of something much bigger and more impressive and which was carefully planned to communicate meaning. A large semi-circular entrance. The cenotaph, with its crowning lion and eagle. The steps and raised dais, the railings, the pillars, and the gates - all these come together along with the written messages on the cenotaph to form a complex which the cultural historian Jay Winter has called “a site of mourning”. It is a “collective symbol”, situated in a specifically chosen location which reflects the memory and hope of our community. A site of mourning and a site of memory. This is an impressive and important place.

We are used in Grangemouth to losing our public buildings. Indeed, around the site, Kerse road, the YMCA, the Grange school, the Infant school etc have all gone but this place siting by the side of the Grange Burn and not far from the original Abbots` Grange has retained its integrity. There are some memorials which when originally built occupied a site in the centre of their community, but which are now overshadowed by newer buildings and busy roads that make them seem insignificant. You can`t say that about the Grangemouth site.

To understand this place, we need to know more about the context in which it was conceived.
Commemoration was a universal preoccupation after the 1914-18 war. So many had been killed and so many had no grave. It has been estimated that as many as 50% of the dead were unidentified or unidentifiable. Those who did have graves lay far away from home. Families usually had had no opportunity to say goodbye or take part in any rite of passage on the spot where their loved one had died. “The need to bring the dead home, to put the dead to rest, symbolically or physically was pervasive” (J. Winter).

In Grangemouth well before the war ended the decision had been made to create a permanent place where people could grieve and remember. In common with communities all over Britain, this work was done by volunteers in their own community rather than being coordinated by a central authority following an established pattern. War memorials are therefore intrinsically local and communicate the thoughts and imaginations of their own communities. Collective symbols.

In Grangemouth, the first Public meeting was held on February 5, 1919, just 12 weeks after the Great war ended. The Minister of the West Church in Dalgrain road, Rev, Samuel M. Riddick moved “That the citizens of Grangemouth assembled here tonight, in admiration of the heroism of those who had fallen, resolve to erect a worthy Memorial to commemorate them”. A committee was elected. (36 men and 7 women), subscribers were invited, ideas for the site and the form of the memorial were debated, and funds were raised. There were many arguments, and it all took much longer than expected.

In the beginning, a much smaller and simpler memorial was planned which would stand in the middle of the new town near busy Charing Cross. It would take the form of a cross and would include on its side some sort of symbol of “victory” and perhaps the Burgh coat of arms. This site would mean that the memorial would be quite confined by pavements, roads and traffic and would have to be fairly small. One local quipped that anyone wishing to gaze at such a monument would need the agility of a wild cat and the watchfulness of a lynx and nearly two years after the first Public meeting the Falkirk Herald reported that a retired gent wondered whether he would live to see the memorial at all!

Nevertheless, work ploughed on and subscribers decided that it should be “symbolic” in nature rather than “utilitarian”. (some towns were erecting libraries or clocks or sports pavilions. Falkirk considered a veterans` home.). Revealingly, the Grangemouth committee felt that utilitarian memorials “were apt to lose the significance attached to a symbolic memorial”. They obviously felt that important things had to be said and that a utilitarian memorial would not do. They had a point. Who in Leith today remembers that a new ward at Leith hospital was built to commemorate the 2000 plus Leithers who did not come home?

Of course, the memorial we got turned out to be different. Why? The influence of the architect John James Burnet, who had been engaged to design Glasgow`s memorial was very important, and he advised that the town centre site was unsuitable. However, the Town Council`s decisions to expand the town changed everything. Between 1919 and 1922 plans were underway to attract new industry and to build new housing and roads. A decision to extend the public park was an integral part of the scheme. Arable land and rough pasture dotted by small farms to the east, south and west of the old and new towns would soon be incorporated into the Burgh`s expanded boundaries. The town`s centre of gravity was about to shift.

In November 1921, the decision was taken to extend the park and a new site for a war memorial complex became a part of this development.
What we got was more profound and more ambitious. Now, the memorial site would stand on an axis at the edge of the two older towns and on the threshold of a new town.

The raised cenotaph is an empty tomb in honour of a group of people whose remains are elsewhere. Symbolically, the dead were being brought back home and put to rest. It looks back towards the town`s origins -the canal, the docks, and the railways. The steps, railings and the dias reinforce and remind us that this is a sacred place and a place for mourning and remembering. It has also been suggested that the representation of names and losses are there to help in the necessary act of forgetting and healing. Putting the war behind and moving on.

The gates sit literally and symbolically on a hinge that opens out onto the future modern Grangemouth.

Is our memorial unique? All war memorials are intrinsically unique because of their local origins and a shared language of symbols and motifs but maybe you won`t be surprised to read that I think ours is special and not just because it belongs to us. It has features which are of national importance. More about that another time.

The gates will be returning. They are only going to Bo`ness for a holiday and a thorough refurbishment thanks to the tireless efforts of the “Friends of Zetland Park”. This is only one part of the restoration and improvement which they have been working on over recent times.

So, what can you imagine for the future of our gates? Wouldn’t it be fine to close the gates on the eve of Childrens Day. The next day the children process through the old, new and modern towns and when they reach the Zetland park and halt at the memorial the gates are opened for all to pass through en route to the new permanent stage which is about to be built in the park. Imagine the cheers as they open those squeaky old hinges!
If it catches on “going through the gates” could become a symbolic “right of passage” for Portonians. The transition from Primary to High school. Leaving High School or for people getting married (or divorced). We need traditions and sometimes the invented ones are the best-although this one is rooted in fact, isn`t it?
Photograph by Alistair Brown.

Looks like we've got the weather for this.
23/04/2021

Looks like we've got the weather for this.

Photos from Charlie Simpson's post
02/04/2021

Photos from Charlie Simpson's post

Welcome April..........hope it's a good one 🌼🌼🌼
01/04/2021

Welcome April..........hope it's a good one 🌼🌼🌼

Welcome April..........hope it's a good one 🌼🌼🌼

Our lovely park with the Grange School
08/03/2021

Our lovely park with the Grange School

Our lovely park with the Grange School

Welcome March........better days are coming 🌷🌷🌷
01/03/2021

Welcome March........better days are coming 🌷🌷🌷

Welcome March........better days are coming 🌷🌷🌷

04/02/2021

**Important Info**

01/02/2021
Grangemouth Heritage Trust's cover photo
15/01/2021

Grangemouth Heritage Trust's cover photo

The Society of John De Graeme
05/01/2021

The Society of John De Graeme

ON THIS DAY

On this day in 1803 The world's first practical steam boat is, launched at Grangemouth by William Symington

The boat measured 65f ft long 16 ft wide and 8ft deep was built with a paddle wheel in cavity on the stern of the vessel and two rudders on both sides for steering the steam powered boat
The boat is said to have been built by John Allan at Grangemouth and utilised the nearby Carron iron works for the engine which had proved instrumental previously regarding steam innovation with James Watt and his steam engine designs utilising the same foundry

The Charlotte Dundas proved successful regarding is power when on March 28th it successfully towed two laden sloops (the Active and The Euphemia) weighing 130 tons among the forth and clyde canal from lock 20 to port Dundas in Glasgow a 18 and 1 half mile journey on 9 hours and 15 minutes a feat at the time.

Sadly fears regarding the boat damaging the canal banks resulted in the project being abandoned the Charlotte Dundas would spend its life as a dredger minus its engine ending its life at lock 10

There is now a dedicated heritage trail to the Charlotte Dundas near where the Kelpies stand today

For more info on the Charlotte Dundas
http://charlottedundas.com

01/01/2021
24/12/2020
11/12/2020

We have received the following enquiry
In the province of Limburg, the South of the Netherlands, there is a World War II Commonwealth War Cemetery in Sittard. Dutch locals adopt Commonwealth War Graves, so the memory of their sacrifice will not be forgotten. The locals care for the graves and bring flowers on special occasions.

I am contacting you on behalf of Mrs. Philma Koks. She adopted the grave of James W. Greenhorn, who was in the Royal Scot Fusiliers and gave his life on the 18th of January 1945. Mr. Greenhorn actually stayed a short time with the family of Mrs. Koks during the war, before he died in battle. When the adoption program started, she requested to adopt Mr. Greenhorns grave. She told me the story of Mr. Greenhorn and of his family. A short time after the War, Mr. Greenhorns father came to visit. He wanted to meet the family who took in his son during these perilious times. With him he brought a little wooden box. Mrs. Koks’ father took Mr. Greenhorn Sr. to his sons’ grave. The little box contained the ashes of his recently deceased wife, and Mr. Greenhorn placed them by their sons grave. Some years after this, the brother of James W. Greenhorn contacted the Koks family again. This time he brought the ashes of his father, so he could be laid to rest with his wife and son. After the death of the father of Mrs. Koks, unfortunately all contact was lost. Mrs. Koks has been looking after the resting place of James W. Greenhorn and his parents for a few years now.

Mrs. Koks asked me to make some inquiries about James W. Greenhorn and his family. I did a little bit of online research and found the name of Mr. Greenhorn on the Grangemouth Memorial in Zetland Park. I hoped there was a historical society that might have more insight in Grangemouth and so I stumbled upon your website. I hope that you could help us or point us in the right direction. Thank you in advance.

I have tracked relatives to Jim Greenhorn born 1951.
He attended Beancross Primary School & Grangemouth High S
School.
It would be great if we could track him down

Has anyone any idea where he is today

December already hope it's a good month for everyone.....
01/12/2020

December already hope it's a good month for everyone.....

Lest we forget.
07/11/2020

Lest we forget.

01/11/2020
31/10/2020

Happy Halloween 🎃 watch out for the ghouls tonight 👻

Can't believe it's October already........happy new month to everyone 🍁🍂🍁🍂
01/10/2020

Can't believe it's October already........happy new month to everyone 🍁🍂🍁🍂

Grangemouth Heritage Trust's cover photo
30/09/2020

Grangemouth Heritage Trust's cover photo

Here we comeWalkin' down the streetWe get the funniest looks fromEveryone we meet…
11/09/2020

Here we come
Walkin' down the street
We get the funniest looks from
Everyone we meet…

Get looking through those old photos.
28/08/2020

Get looking through those old photos.

Do you have a photograph of yourself, your parents or grandparents dancing on the open-air stage at Zetland Park during World War 2?

We’re working on the designs for the new Interpretive Sundial for the Park. The timeline includes the dances in the Park during World War 2. If you have photos you’d be willing to share, we’d love to see them as we need images to help our designer illustrate that part of the Sundial.

#HeritageFundSCO #Interpretation

Can you help GHT volunteer Maureen compile a database of dockers’ nicknames? This is a small selection of what she’s got...
13/08/2020

Can you help GHT volunteer Maureen compile a database of dockers’ nicknames? This is a small selection of what she’s got so far but she’d love your input. Please comment with the nickname and real name.

Great Place Falkirk
Zetland Park Regeneration Project

Men having a chat at the Canal Basin in the Old Town in the 1920’s
10/08/2020

Men having a chat at the Canal Basin in the Old Town in the 1920’s

August already....hope it's a good month for everyone.  (Apple tree in Zetland Park)
01/08/2020

August already....hope it's a good month for everyone. (Apple tree in Zetland Park)

Grangemouth Heritage Trust's cover photo
29/07/2020

Grangemouth Heritage Trust's cover photo

Do you know anyone whose name is on the War Memorial? Do you have any information about or photos of them? If so, the vo...
24/07/2020

Do you know anyone whose name is on the War Memorial? Do you have any information about or photos of them? If so, the volunteers on the ‘Hidden Heritage - Grangemouth’ project would love to hear from you. You can contact [email protected] or simply comment on this post and they’ll get back to you.

Great Place Falkirk

Friends of Zetland Park Grangemouth

Zetland Park Regeneration Project

A sunny Bo'ness Road in the 1980's
18/07/2020

A sunny Bo'ness Road in the 1980's

Get involved and tell your stories.
15/07/2020

Get involved and tell your stories.

Hidden Heritage Grangemouth is off to a great start! One of our volunteers, Louise, is researching the War Memorial in Zetland Park. If you have any connection to anyone listed on the Memorial, she'd love to hear from you.
Photo: John Peat Munn, Falkirk Archives

Grangemouth Heritage Trust's cover photo
07/07/2020

Grangemouth Heritage Trust's cover photo

Address

ANNFIELD PLACE 13a LA PORTE PRECINCT GRANGEMOUTH
Grangemouth
FK3 8AZ

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 2pm
Tuesday 10am - 1pm
Wednesday 10am - 2pm
Thursday 10am - 1pm
Friday 10am - 2pm
Saturday 10am - 12:30pm

Telephone

01324 666603

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Comments

Parents found this in their loft..
A short video to go with the photos of the playpark in Zetland park -
The new playpark was looking fantastic in the early morning sun. The contractors have done a cracking job. Well done to all that were involved in making the this project a reality
Any photos of Middle Street? Asking for a friend 😁
My Grandpa, William James Mackay, of Mackay The Barber's fame, in the Old Town. He also managed Forth Rangers, at one point, and had a pet parrot called Polly Watt, who used to mimic the referee's whistle and stop the match!!
I posted this on Old Grangemouth in colour to see if anyone recognised the people. So far no-one has. I don't think it belongs in my family. If anyone knows anything, maybe it's a grandparent or great-aunt please let me know. Thanks.
My mother worked in the Offices at Woodhouse, part of the GUS Universal Stores Group for many years in the 1950's/60's😊Happy Days
All the best for 2019!!🥴🥴
Merry Christmas!!🎄🎄
Hello. This will likely seem a strange question but I was brought up on Oxgang Road and I remember once being shown around a big warehouse type building at the back of the “pole park” that was filled with vintage vehicles... buses, tractors, cars, etc. I was talking about it with my mum and she doesn’t know anything about it and I just wanted to find out more about this place, what was it for etc. Can anyone help?
23rd September 1972 ....
An old Postcard image I found online, is this incorrectly labelled as Boness Road or is the house on the right maybe now gone, and looks like a Church at the end of the road - surely a mis-print on the location, or is it......