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St Aidan's Church, Galashiels

 
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4939
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:42 am    Post subject: St Aidan's Church, Galashiels Reply with quote

I see from the BBC website that approval has been given to demolish this church (closed in 2005). Does anyone know if it has been checked for war memorials?
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stuartn



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
Posts: 2345

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to War Memorials online there are (or were) 2 WW1 memorials and 1 WW2 memorial in this church- 1 of the WW1 memorials is thought to have been from the former Ladhope Church
There are no photographs or other details on those reports, and no information as to whether they have been relocated.

The Imperial War Museum knows nothing, although its at least 5 years since I flagged up that the IWM was generally very light on Galashiels memorials.

Is there anyone able to visit Gala to establish the full facts?
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

just spoken to a WMT regional volunteer who lives closer than I do and he has said that he will look into it.

\Paul
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Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 307
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice speaking to you, and quite time since I've used this site!

It appears the war memorials - which according to a book I have consists of a table, and a number of plaques - are still 'in situ', going by this quote from a local paper:

Quote:

Historic Environment Scotland has accepted that St Aidan’s can no longer be saved, but it has requested that the developer attempt to “salvage some of the more significant elements of the building”. These could include retention of the tower and frontage gable and war memorials within a replacement structure. Mr Clark adds: “The applicant has also responded to a question raised by Historic Environment Scotland in its initial response when it accepted that overall retention of the church looks to be not possible but raised the question of the potential retention of the facade and tower only and building a new development to the rear. “The applicants have included in their revised supporting statement some figures within the text which appears to also show this not to be not economically viable.

Read more at: https://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news/historic-galashiels-church-facing-demolition-1-4793936


Quite why these memorials got left in the church, when it united into Trinity a couple of streets away and the building was sold to housing developers, is a valid question but now a moot point. Its demolition is controversial locally as it's a very beautiful building, and its spire a key feature of the townscape.

I will make enquiries with Scottish Borders Council and Trinity parish church.
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Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 307
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, incredibly, they feature (5:30-7:00) in this film taken in June by an "abandonment explorer":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv4jLRs5WWo
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Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 307
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is another shorter clip here from another "urban adventurer":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CND1sHMN2U



Having read the demolition permission documents then phoned the relevant official in Scottish Borders Council, they've been on the ball, and a condition of the permission is that before demolition begins, the following must occur:

4. No demolition shall commence until a scheme for the disposal of internal monuments/plaques/war memorials (including means of removal and off-site display) has been submitted for the approval of the Planning Authority. The demolition shall only proceed in accordance with the approved scheme

Apparently a number of local organisations have enquired about them - and indeed among the various formal objections and comments lodged many of them were not about the architectural loss, or the streetscape / skyline, but about taking the memorials including from Trinity Parish Church and Border Family History Society (who have premises in Galashiels).

Given the memorials were supposed to be moved into Trinity church after it was sold 10yrs ago... and given their appropriate relocation was a condition of planning permission of its conversion... one shouldn't necessarily assume it will go swimmingly this time when it hasn't before. However on paper the memorials are to be saved and I'll keep an eye on it over coming months.
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4939
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

an amazing piece of film - are you going to contact WMT to get them to put their weight into this urgently?

\Paul
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Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 307
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll let them know.

Planning official was clear their preservation was obligatory, and developers accept this, and Trinity church + BFHS + Gala historic society all interested, so looks promising.

From videos it's probably possible to discern all names, regiments, etc., too.
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stuartn



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:05 pm    Post subject: WMR (ex UKNIWM) number Reply with quote

This is good stuff.

New WMR reports 78624 to 78628 have been raised, and existing report 76429 amended.

It would be interesting to know which church each memorial originally came from, but that is for another day, after much local research.
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Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 307
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

St Aidans was previously Gala South church (UP, UF, then CofS)... It united with Gala Trinity - note not the current congregation of that name - in 1936 as St Cuthberts; and that in turn with Ladhope in 1975 taking a less clumsy name of St Aidans in 1981.

So that accounts for 3 WWI / 2 WWII memorials.

Ladhope, incidentally, was the subject of a Lost Memorials query on here, in 2011:
http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/warmemscot-ftopic6603.html

Ladhope church is on the far river bank; having been a gym is now offices I think... Trinity church (previously Gala West) is at the north end of the High Street; it was a restaurant but seems to have been closed when I've passed.


For avoidance of doubt, the congregation currently called "Gala Trinity" was formed about 2005 through the union of Gala St Aidans and Gala St Ninians in the latter's building on the middle section of the High Street... St Ninians was originally Gala East - and had united with Gala St Marks (now a private house) in 1962 as Gala St Columbas and with Gala St Andrews (now MacArt Centre) in 1977 as St Ninians. Mention of war memorials in "Gala Trinity" in Dr Binnie's book on Selkirkshire churches includes only those of the original Gala East for both WWI (25 names) & WWII (9 names) but also a memorial book "to those from all of the constituent churches who died in WWI" at the back of the church.

There are 2 other Church of Scotland buildings for Galashiels... the massive Old & St Pauls on the north side of town, formed via union as early as 1902 although the Old building was only closed (and later demolished) in 1931: it has war memorials in its porch with 66 & 10 names... and St Johns in Langlee opened in 1969 in the midst of a housing estate when its congregation 'transported' from their previous building, in midst of town (later demolished); it has war memorials in its lobby with 30 & 16 names. These 2 congregations now share 1 minister.


So if the St Aidans memorials are saved, it appears that memorials from all Church of Scotland churches in Galashiels survive from both wars except (if they ever existed) from St Marks and St Andrews.

I've been in the MacArt centre and it retains a number of church-y features; so it's not impossible its memorials may still be in situ but Dr Binnie doesn't say so.
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stuartn



Joined: 13 Dec 2016
Posts: 2345

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:18 am    Post subject: WMR (ex UKNIWM) number Reply with quote

The East Church Memorials are now WMR 78634 (WW1) and 78633 (WW2).

The Old Church Memorials are now WMR 78635 (WW1) and 76636 (WW2), although both are without names as I can't read the photographs provided.

I can't see Langlee posted on the forum.

Caddonfoot (now part of the United Charge with East Church) is WMR 72941
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Merseman



Joined: 07 Aug 2013
Posts: 307
Location: Duns, Berwickshire

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

St Aidans sadly demolished in spring - memorials presumably now at Trinity.
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