Westerton celebrates its 100th birthday!

RESIDENTS in Westerton will be celebrating the garden suburb’s 100th anniversary at a series of events.

The celebrations will kick off on Saturday, April 20, with a family friendly party at Westerton Hall and Library from noon to 4pm.

Depute Provost, Anne Jarvis, will officially open the festivities which will include an Edwardian tea room, variety acts, Boclair Academy string quartet, and a display of Westerton Primary School pupils’ centenary projects.

There will also be traditional outdoor games and a Punch and Judy stall.

Visitors will also have the chance to help create an individual and unique community art piece.

The original architect drawings of the Westerton Garden Suburb houses will be on public display on April 20 for one day only.

These fragile and historic drawings are part of the archive collections cared for EDLC Archives at Brookwood Library, Bearsden.

EDLC (East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust) will also unveil a new exhibition on the history of Westerton which will run from April 20 to May 31 at Westerton Library.

Architecture and Design Scotland artist Pearl Kinnear and EDLC ran a series of pupil workshops at Westerton Primary School focusing on this conservation area’s unique arts and crafts style houses.

Some of the pupils’ artwork from these sessions will be on show at the event.

The council’s Greenspace Services has been assisting the organising committee with floral displays for the event.

Large half whisky barrels will be placed around the train station, shops and hall and will be bursting with colourful annuals and perennials.

Bruckley in Bishopbriggs is providing free compost and the team have advised the organising committee to plant biodiversity friendly, nectar rich plants such as nasturtiums, lobelia and phlox.

Westerton Garden Suburb is one of East Dunbartonshire’s architectural gems.

It was the first garden suburb to be built in Scotland and has been designated an outstanding conservation area by Historic Scotland.

The suburb was built in 1913 to create high quality but affordable housing for the working classes.

When it was originally built, the suburb was surrounded by open countryside.

The aim of its founders, including prominent Glasgow men such as Sir John Stirling Maxwell, was to create an idyllic rural village community for Glasgow’s working people.

Houses have a distinctive style which is very unusual in Scotland - they were designed by Glasgow architect John A W Grant in the Arts and Crafts style to look like English country cottages, with half timbering, sloping roofs and gable windows.

The suburb is not only notable for its distinctive houses. The first residents had a strong community spirit and not only ran their own co-operative shop, but put in heavy labour building a road to the suburb and the first village hall.

Today there continues to be a strong community spirit in Westerton and residents have been working together to organise the centenary celebrations in partnership with EDLC and the council.

The events have been supported by Westerton Garden Suburb Residents Association, Bearsden West Community Council and East Dunbartonshire Council.

Chair of East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust, Councillor Stewart MacDonald, said: “Westerton Garden Suburb is a very unique area of East Dunbartonshire and the centenary event is a fantastic opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate the area’s history.

“EDLC archives have gathered a wealth of information and photographs of Westerton Garden Suburb since it first came into being 100 years ago. The special exhibition at Westerton Library is a great opportunity to explore the area’s history and I would encourage local residents to go along. It is running until the end of May and everyone is welcome to come along and view the exhibit.”

For more information about the event contact westerton-100-years@googlegroups.com