Campbell Martin, the Scottish Socialist Party candidate for the Ardrossan & Arran seat at May’s North Ayrshire Council Election, has called on the local authority to take action over a vandalised ‘burial ground’ next to a children’s play area.
The site, located between Adrossan’s Stanley Road and St Margaret’s Road, adjacent to the Laird Weir estate, was originally part of the Kirkhall farm before the north-ward expansion of the town. In the 1950s, when Ardrossan Burgh Council decided to build new housing for rent on the northern side of Stanley Road, it is understood some stones from the burial ground were removed and the current, smaller commemoration area was created.
One of the removed stones is believed to have carried an inscription listing those who were originally buried in the plot. It read:
'This burial-place was erected by Hugh Weir of Kirkhall.
Dorothia Hunter, his wife, died Sept. 26th, 1787, aged 67 years.
Hugh Weir died Jany. 9th 1800, aged 72 years.
Helen Ferry, wife of Robert Weir, died April 20th 1814, aged 56 years.
Robert Weir died July 31st, 1838, in the 81st year of his age.
Hugh Weir, died 26th April, 1898, aged 83 years.'
The site has since been subsumed by residential developments, the Stanley Road ‘swingpark’ and modern life.
Commenting on its current sad state, Campbell Martin said, “Action needs to be taken to, at the very least, tidy up the site.
“It may well be the case that, as Ardrossan grew and new houses were built, the bodies of those buried in the plot were moved to another location. I certainly hope that was the case because, if not, the current state of the site does not befit a place of burial.”
Mr Martin continued, “Even if the bodies were taken elsewhere, and what exists now is simply a commemoration, it may be time to relocate that, too. You could certainly see the force of a position that argued it seems out of place in its location, next to a children’s playground and tucked between the rear of a convenience store and a fast-food takeaway.”
The former MSP believes that, whatever the situation, North Ayrshire Council should take immediate action to tidy-up the area, adding, “Even without any historical relevance, there is no way the site’s current state is acceptable.”