Monday, 22 February 2010

Memorial in Danger: Gorgie War Memorial Hall

It comes as no surprise that the City of Edinburgh Council have announced the closure of the Gorgie War Memorial Hall. This is a community centre in Gorgie which supplies day care to pensioners and children of nursery age in Gorgie and Dalry.
It's tough for the Council just now and cuts have to be made across the City across all departments. The Gorgie War Memorial Hall was earmarked for closure two years ago and was reprieved but times are a lot harder for the Council this time round. However the staff of the hall and the local labour group of the council are going to try and fight the closure and I'm behind them 100%.
Hopefully in all the discussions everyone remembers that this isn't just a community centre, it is Gorgie's War Memorial. Anyone who enters the hall can’t fail to notice the magnificent memorial fireplace in pride of place opposite the main door. The whole hall and the garden in front of it is the memorial though, the fireplace is just the centrepiece.

The Gorgie War Memorial Hall was created in memory of lost family and friends by the people of Gorgie for the people of Gorgie, and you can see from the condition of the fireplace how lovingly it has been cared for. It is a tribute not just to the men listed but to all the hall’s caretakers and staff who have worked there over the last ninety years.

When the Heart of Midlothian War Memorial Clock was threatened during the tram works at Haymarket, public opinion helped ensure it was treated with the respect it deserved. In my opinion the Gorgie War Memorial is a more significant memorial to the area because it lists all the local Gorgie men who fought and died during the First World War.

Even if the Council follows through its plan and moves the current community services to another location I hope everyone is aware that short term gains for the City Council at this time should not be allowed to wipe out ninety years of remembrance for Gorgie. I also hope that there is a long term plan to ensure the hall continues to serve the people of Gorgie in some way and can continue to be a focal point for remembrance for many years to come.

Pictures of the War Memorial Hall can be found on the Scottish War Memorials Project.

1 comment:

  1. Great article!
    The Save The Gorgie Mem Campaign are launching a website at over the next few days.

    Please visit the site for posters digital invites to the public meeting on the 24th March and details of the campaign's online social networks