I was a child of a New Town.
East Kilbride was designated as Scotland's first new town in 1947, which meant that I grew up in a town that was itself still young and growing. From schools to shops even industrial estates ,everything seemed to be continually developing and expanding. But sadly in the last few years everything has started to change. Very visibly change. My home town is now starting to decline and decay around me. Factories are being closed and torn down, while they continued to build yet more shops that lie empty, having never ever opened for business.
Last weekend I drove past Rolls Royce. The factory where my whole family have worked for three generations- my Grandfather, my Uncle John ,my Dad and even my brother. Without me ever really realising it , it has formed part of the fabric of my life as well as the fabric of the town.
Earlier this year they closed the 59 year old factory , moving operations and jobs to Inchinnan near Glasgow Airport. Rolls Royce were quoted saying the plant had "come to the end of it's life" and set about its systematic destruction.
I can't really explain how heavily that phrase has weighed on mind for this last week. Now the only people gathering at the Assembly Points are ghosts. Ghosts of a time where industry thrived and flourished here. Now all that remains is rubble and memories...
Once thousands of men and women would stream out of these gates at finishing time. Now a single security guard patrols the desolate site...
But somehow saddest of all is the site of the social club, all boarded up with rusting chains and huge lumps of concrete barring the entrance. As if to deter even the most determined reveller. I remember going to parties there and feeling very grown up.
Standing outside those rusting gates I could almost hear the echoes of distant music and laughter and my heart broke a little harder...
A very sad Queen Marie