Quarter, South Lanarkshire

Quarter is a small former mining village in South Lanarkshire in the south west of Scotland. Its mining history goes back at least 200 years and is still important to local people even though the coal seams are worked out and the local mine closed over 50 years ago.

Today's villagers include a good many keen gardeners. The village supports a strong horticultural group, Quarter in Bloom, which wanted to create a memorial garden to those who lost their lives working in the mine, using some boggy ground at the front of the church.

Viridor Credits, working with Forward Scotland, contributed £12,353 to the cost of the project, in the form of a Landfill Communities Fund grant. This enabled the work to go ahead. The garden now consists of raised beds, turf and edging, but the centrepiece is a coal hutch retrieved from the former mine.

Coal hutches are small open railway trucks that hold a ton or so of newly mined coal and carry it along the track - also known as a hutch road - to the regular railway for distribution. The hutch at Quarter has been beautifully restored and now holds pride of place in the garden. Alongside the hutch is a small memorial stone which bears the names of the 69 miners from the village who died whilst working in the mine over the last 150 years. Some of them were as young as ten.

Besides being a permanent memorial to Quarter's lost miners, the garden also acts as a pleasant local place to visit on a sunny day. Seating has been provided for those who would like to stay a while and Quarter in Bloom has also provided a path alongside the garden to give wheelchair access to the church. Volunteers from Quarter in Bloom maintain the garden in tip top condition. The hard work and dedication of Quarter in Bloom was rewarded when the garden earned a silver award from Britain in Bloom for its displays.

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