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Posted by JeanKerrigan, Saturday 23rd March, 2013

New bench for Windmill Gardens

Composite photo: Top part shows McLennan family sitting on bench. Bottom section: New wooden bench with its carved inscription

Top: Tom, Frances and Greg McLennan in Windmill Gardens.
Below: The bench they donated “In loving memory of Mary and
Gordon McLennan, Lambeth residents and community activists”

Image: Jean Kerrigan

A lovely new wooden park bench has been placed in Windmill Gardens by the family of Mary and Gordon McLennan to celebrate the lives of these well-respected local activists. For more than 40 years Mary and Gordon, lived in Brixton Hill after moving from their home-town of Glasgow. They loved Brixton Windmill and regularly visited the park.

Both were well-known in our community and in the later years of their very active lives both campaigned vigorously for the rights of Lambeth pensioners. When Gordon or Mary challenged an injustice such as cuts to social services the point was always clear and their case extremely well argued.

Last Tuesday, 19th March, would have been Mary’s birthday and her three children, Greg, Tom and Frances came to Windmill Gardens to remember the long and productive lives of their parents.

Mary always kept a diary and she also wrote poems. To inaugurate the new bench each of her children read out one of her thoughtful and sometimes humorous reflections on life in general and living in Brixton in particular. Sitting in front of Brixton Windmill and talking about their parents it was clear that Mary and Gordon had been firmly embedded in Brixton life while still retaining strong links with Scotland and the tradition of campaigning against injustice that they grew up with in Glasgow.

When her grandchildren came to stay with her in Brixton Mary often took them to Windmill Gardens to visit the windmill, and to drop into the One O’Clock Club or play in the park.

Now, thanks to the very generous gift of the McLennan family, visitors to Windmill Gardens will be able to sit in comfort in front of Brixton’s historic windmill and reflect on the changes it has witnessed in its long history.

The Friends of Windmill Gardens are very grateful for the donation of this fine bench. It enhances our local park and is a fitting way to remember the lives of two local residents who were so active in out community for so many years.