Commemorative bench for Bertie?

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A campaign to recognise a kind-hearted Milngavie character who died more than 20 years ago is gathering pace on Facebook.

Bertie Waddell was a regular around Milngavie town centre in the late 1970s and 80s, sitting on the bench outside the Fraser Centre, but it is believed he died sometime between 1985 and the early 90s.

But following a groundswell of interest on new Facebook site, The Milngavie Moaner, there is interest in dedicating a bench to him with a plaque on it. Lesley Crag, from Baxers Newsagent, said: “He was such a lovely man and it would be so nice to get a bench dedicated to him.

“I think he died in the mid 1980s of TB. He loved motorbikes and was a keen reader. He went into the Old Black Bull pub, where M&S is now, to read. The staff there used to give him a free dinner.”

Not much is known about why Bertie came to be homeless. It is thought he would sleep under the bridge at the start of the West Highland Way near were Greggs the baker is now.”

Gillian Bessant said on Facebook: “They did something for Magnus Magnuson so why not our Bertie. I think it should be the bench under the bridge at Greggs. It’s peaceful there.”

And Walter McComb added: “Bertie was certainly a gentleman and would always be happy to pass the time of day with you. You never heard him saying a bad word about anyone.”

However Milngavie councillor Jim Gibbons was not in favour, saying there were many other more deserving cases. He said: “We have one commemorative bench in Milngavie. I don’t think we want to see every bench in Milngavie with a commemorative plaque on. There are many important individuals who could warrant a bench.”