Artist’s festive gift to revamped town hall

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Kirkintilloch Town Hall has been given a cracker of a Christmas present, 
courtesy of one of its most 
talented sons.

Renowned artist and Kirkintilloch native Dick Stevenson has kindly donated a stunning painting of the town hall 
circa 1960.

It features people of all ages streaming into the iconic building - warm light spilling from within - as the sun sets over the town.

The oil-on-canvas painting was commissioned by the late Pam McGaughrin - a local stalwart who campaigned for years to have the building reopened and was a leading light in the Kirkintilloch Town Hall Preservation Trust.

Dick came up with sketch ideas and set to work around five years ago, but professional and personal commitments meant it was not completed until recently. For the local artist it was always unfinished business.

He explained: “Pam approached me and asked - when they get the town hall up and running again - could I do a painting to go into it when it opened again. I did a few sketches and chatted to them.

“I wouldn’t have felt right if I hadn’t completed it. I felt I should finish it to be fair to Pam - who was a leading light in the campaign for the town hall, under the chairmanship of Dr Geoff Allan.

“I went to a number of things in the town hall and remember it being used for various events in the 1950s and 60s, when it was in its heyday.

“In doing the painting I thought I would like to add in the people who used the town hall - old, young and middle-aged. I tried to paint a mixture of people going into the town hall as a depiction of how it was used.”

Pam’s husband Eddy McGaughrin, former elected member of East Dunbartonshire Council and Kirkintilloch Town Council, said: “It’s beautiful. It really is a work of art. Pam would have loved it.”

“That for me is Kirkintilloch,” said daughter Colette. “My mum would have been delighted.”

Dick is pleased that his painting will be given pride of place at Kirkintilloch Town Hall when it is officially opened in 2018.

The B-listed building has been transformed into a facility which blends past, present and future, including main hall, extension, new flooring, restored stonework and more.

An industrial heritage display and flexible exhibition/activity space is currently being created on the first floor. East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust will be providing a programme of co-curated exhibitions with local community groups as part of the Made in Kirkintilloch project.

The £5.5m town hall project was funded by East Dunbartonshire Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government.