by Evann Clelland
The small village of Milton of Campsie is one that you would most likely drive through without a passing thought. If you look closer you understand the sense of community at the heart of the village. This community feeling is one that can be most seen in the group project of the renovation of the Milton of Campsie Railway station that started five years ago.
The railway station was first opened up in 1848 and remained opened for over a hundred years. The station finally closed its doors in 1951 and the railway track was developed into a walking path connecting Campsie to Milton of Campsie. Other than cyclists and dog walkers the station was abandoned which led to the area becoming more derelict and unsafe. At this time, it seemed that no one cared about this railway line, until Greg Summers decided to organise a village litter pick.
150 members of the village, young and old, began this journey to restore this station to its former glory. What began as just a simple litter pick every Saturday, has transformed into a community effort that has involved murals being painted, fences being installed, and benches added, as well as many other improvements. The local Primary school, Craighead Primary began involving its young students in this scheme as well, allowing teachers to promote the school’s eco beliefs in a more practical way.
Businesses also began to donate to the cause with the local garden centre, Caulders garden centre, donating soil so volunteers could plant a garden at the station. Young children of the village got involved to help with planting flowers and with homemade bird feeders. People of the community also took part in carving ‘fairy houses’ and by placing them along the railway line, for walkers to discover on the way. The clean-up was described as a social gathering as well as an improvement project by Greg Summers.
The project did not stop with a clean up, organisers have also sorted out events for the whole village, such as a barefoot ceilidh and a new year dunking in the Glazert river that runs along the railway line. Since the original clean-up began, people of the village still show care to the railway line, general upkeep of the garden still falls upon the volunteers as well as a litter pick every other week.
The restoration of the railway station is a testament to the good a small village can do by themselves.