HISTORY enthusiasts can soon enjoy a walk down memory lane in a new book all about a town’s vibrant past. 

Members of the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen History Group have brought together a collection of memories and anecdotes for “the whole community”. 

From tales of parishioners past and present at St Columbkille’s Church to the horrors of receiving the belt at school, it promises to be a fascinating insight into the area. 

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And with donations pouring in from across the globe to back an online fundraiser, the group has now successfully coined in enough cash to print the work later this year. 

Geraldine Baird, MBE, the group’s chair, said: “It’s so important this sort of stuff is kept somewhere because as my generation die out those memories are lost.

“Maybe young people now don’t think about it. As I got older I was mad I didn’t sit down with my mother and have a conversation with her about her memories.

“You just don’t know in the future and maybe someone will be doing a dissertation or something and this will be useful.

“We love the church and the burgh. We think this is important for it and the wider community as well as the parishioners.” 

Having first met in 2018, the group had hoped to have a project ready in time to celebrate the Kirkwood Street church’s 80th year in 2020, only for the Covid pandemic to put paid to those plans. 

But undeterred Ms Baird, 70, and the team made the most of the last 18 months to pull the book together. As well as contributions from the group, it features around 30 tales shared by people within the local community. 

“We met weekly and then resumed during lockdown,” Ms Baird added. “We came up with the idea of writing a book and it just grew arms and legs. 

“We had hoped to do it to mark our jubilee year but because of lockdown nothing much happened. 

“It has a variety of sections about the history of the church and Rutherglen. The best of it is that it talks about memories. 

“Memories such as people getting the belt loom large and are still in people’s memories. 

“There are memories of church and school but really, for me, it’s by the people for the people.

“It’s not a big historic work. It will be readable and, hopefully, amusing in places. But it will be informative.” 

With enough cash raised to cover the costs of printing the book – thanks to donations on an online fundraiser and grants from South Lanarkshire Council – Ms Baird is hopeful the end product will be the perfect toast to the town. 

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“Rutherglen doesn’t have that many history books or books written about the town,” she said. “We love the the Burgh and anything which contributes to the social history of Rutherglen is important.

“It’s not a religious text and it’s something anyone of this era can read. 

“It’s written by older people for older people.” 

If you would like to donate, visit the group's GoFundMe page.