Death of Montrose SNP activist Ms Ivy Barker

ONE OF the founding members of the Montrose branch of the Scottish National Party (SNP) has died at the age of 85.

Retired nursing assistant Ms Ivy Barker was born in Montrose and went on to become one of the best known SNP activists in Angus.

Alongside several other nationalists, including her sister Chrissie, Ms Barker worked from shop premises in New Wynd to raise funds to achieve the formation of the Montrose branch of the SNP.

Ms Barker, her sister, Eva Tullis, Colin Boyd and Bill Smith were all instrumental in achieving their aim of an official Montrose branch in 1966.

After the initial establishment of the branch, Ivy and her sister together with the other founding members, continued to work hard to raise funds for the party.

They did this not only through the shop in New Wynd, but also through the organisation of successful weekly discos in the Angus Rooms in Montrose.

Ms Barker’s contribution to the cause paid off to the extent that many party members credit her with the fact the SNP was able to purchase premises in Murray Street in 1970.

The Murray Street premises then went on to become party headquarters in the town for over 20 years.

In recent times - on account of her advancing years - Ms Barker was unable to contribute to party affairs as much as she would have liked.

Despite this, friends say that she was a great admirer of the First Minister, Alex Salmond, and she was very proud of his achievements in leading the first SNP Government within the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

Among those friends who paid tribute to Ms Barker after her death was local councillor Sandy West who was also a founding member of the Montrose branch.

Despite her declining health in recent years, Ms Barker was determined to show her support for the party and Mr West had taken to driving her to the polling station so she could cast her vote.

He said: “Ivy did not like Postal Votes. She had to be there to cast her vote.”

For most of her working life Ms Barker was employed at Sunnyside Royal Hospital in Hillside.

She lived alone in India Lane at a home she had shared for many years with her sister and one of her brothers before they passed away.

Ms Barker is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Her funeral will take place next Wednesday (January 19) at Montrose Old and St Andrews Parish Church at 11am, to which all family and friends are respectfully invited.