Top accolade for Methlick memorial

From left - committee members Karen McKechie, Susan Batty, secretary Dianne McLellan,  Willie Gray and Bill Adie.
From left - committee members Karen McKechie, Susan Batty, secretary Dianne McLellan, Willie Gray and Bill Adie.

Methlick’s war memorial has won a top national award.

The village was successful in the Small Community with Gardens category in the Legion Scotland’s Best Kept War Memorial.

The organisation - formerly known as the Royal British Legion Scotland - has held the contest for the last forty years.

Methlick has enjoyed previous success, including being joint winners in 2012 with Monkton and Prestwick branch in Ayrshire.

The main aim of the Best Kept War Memorial is to foster awareness of war memorials and to encourage a high standard of continuing maintenance by local authorities.

Judging is based on how well preserved and clean the monument is with all names clearly inscribed.

Hedges, floral borders and all cultivated areas need to be neat and properly tended and have no litter.

Bonus points are awarded for the display of the legion colours.

Methlick branch secretary Dianne McLellan said the village was overjoyed to receive the award.

She told the Times: “Over the years the members themselves have taken on all the maintenance of the war memorial.

“The grass is well cut and maintained by Willie Gray and the ex-servicemen plant the flowers. The tidying up of the area is done by the legion’s women members.

“It really is a team effort.”

Willie and his uncle Bill Adie, 88, devote their spare time to keeping the gardens in tip-top shape.

Bill, who was awarded the MBE in 2012 for service to the local community, said: “I have been tending the memorial since 1948.

“Everyone plays their part in looking after it’s nice to get recognition like this.”

Willie added: “The memorial and gardens are looking really well and it’s a tribute to all the work that has been done.”

Methlick branch received sponsorship this year from Global Oilfield Service Company to help them maintain the memorial. Two garden benches were replaced and a memorial bench to Jimmi Mackie was installed.

The branch also received sponsorship from Wood Group towards community projects in the village. So far money has been donated to Formartine Community Garden, Methlick Football Club and the local playpark.

Members continue to raise funds for various charities and, along with Jay Allan, to run the Old Folks Christmas Party in the Ythanview Hotel in December.

This year they are also fund-raising to mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War 1. Eight volunteers will be doing a tandem freefall parachute jump in Fife on Sunday, September 14.

Next year it is planned to do a sponsored cycle run.