THREE decades of dedication to Helensburgh and its countryside were marked at the unveiling of a memorial plaque near the town this week.

The plaque was unveiled on Monday by Audrey Day, whose husband Alan died just before Christmas. Alan’s most visible achievement was the planning, negotiating and helping to implement the network of countryside footpaths around and beyond the town enjoyed by many residents and visitors.

He worked closely with land owners, council officers, construction engineers and three local groups in which he was involved – Helensburgh Community Council (HCC), the Helensburgh and District Access Trust, and the Helensburgh Green Belt Group, who jointly provided the plaque in Alan’s memory and mounted it on a stone on Luss Estates’ land with the agreement of the land owner.

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HCC treasurer Stewart Noble told those gathered for Monday’s ceremony that Alan had also researched Helensburgh’s boundary stones and initiated celebration of the West Highland Railway’s centenary.

Access Trust convener Anne Urquhart highlighted Alan’s pioneering and visionary work on the Three Lochs Way, while Alastair Macbeth of the Green Belt Group recalled that Alan had conceived the round-town paths network when Helensburgh was still part of Dunbartonshire, and drew attention to Alan’s quiet determination, patience, tact and gentle powers of persuasion which made him so effective.

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Audrey and said: “I feel it is such an honour to my husband to have this memorial plaque placed here.

“When we came to Helensburgh, Alan felt especially at home in the town and its lovely surrounds.”

The plaque was screwed to the stone for the ceremony, but has been removed temporarily before being attached permanently in the near future.