A COMMUNITY garden honouring a Barrhead pacifist is being given a welcome makeover, thanks to the combined efforts of local groups and businesses.

Maxton Gardens, just off Gateside Road, is on land donated to the Burgh of Barrhead by the Maxton family.

It commemorates James Maxton, who lived from 1885 to 1946 and was a prominent Labour politician before breaking off to join the Barrhead branch of the Independent Labour Party (ILP).

He would later become the party’s leader.

Maxton was a pacifist during both world wars and was involved in the founding decades of ‘Red Clydeside.’

Barrhead News: Part of Maxton Gardens have already been refurbishedPart of Maxton Gardens have already been refurbished

Barrhead Rotary has set out to bring the gardens back to worthy stature with the help of the local Boys’ Brigade, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and members of Barrhead and Neilston Horticultural Society.

They’ve also been helped by Albar Landscapes, Fereneze Garden Centre and Scott’s Stores through donations of materials to help ease costs, with members of Barrhead Men’s Shed playing their part by constructing new benches with planters and getting them on site.

Bob Flynn, president of Barrhead Rotary, who is leading the project, said: “We would like to restore Maxton Gardens to the beautiful space it once was. It’s going to take a lot more hard work to achieve this goal but we have already had considerable help from local organisations, with both manpower and donations in kind, and this has been really heartening to see.

“I would encourage other local organisations to get involved in this worthwhile project which will benefit our local residents.”

Barrhead News: James MaxtonJames Maxton

Barrhead Rotary received a grant from the Rotary Foundation to clean and weed the lower garden, laying a landscaping fabric and covering it with 16 tonnes of red chippings.

The existing large concrete planters were rejuvenated with fresh compost and planted with purple crocus bulbs.

Organisers said there is still more work needed to refurbish the entrance gate and tackle the neglected large upper garden over the coming months.

Anyone wishing to contribute can contact Barrhead Rotary secretary Angela Samson by emailing barrheadrotaryclub@va-virtualangel.com.