Opinions divided over new railings outside Montrose Library

The new railings outside Montrose Library are causing a divide in opinion
The new railings outside Montrose Library are causing a divide in opinion

Railings which have been erected on the walls outside Montrose Library have caused a stir on social media.

Many Montrosians have expressed their displeasure on Facebook at the new barriers which began to be installed last week.

Montrose Town Centre Regeneration Group set out to bring back the railings, which were once on the small stone boundary wall outside the building on the High Street but were believed to have been melted down during World War Two for military use.

The work was initially planned to be finished by March 2013 but there was a delay because of a tendering issue. Jamie Kinghorn, drummer in the Montrose-based band If All Fails, posted a photo of the railings on Facebook with the caption: “Good to see the council is staying true to their plan to destroy the fun of every child in Montrose from now on. Money well spent.”

He added: “The money would be far better spent fixing the category A listed library building itself, which is sadly being woefully neglected in favour of a set of pointless and unnecessary railings.”

A number of people commented on the photograph agreeing with Mr Kinghorn.

Paula Malham said: “Maybe if they used the money for pot holes or collecting bins they wouldn’t have any left over for a small piece of inadequate fencing.”

Claire Carle commented: “That’s even more hideous than the ramps outside the museum.”

Andy Adie wrote: “It’s even worse than the eyesore planters. Why don’t they fix the roads?”

Caroline Kinghorn said: “I expected railings like outside my house. Just don’t see the point of doing this.”

A photograph of the railings was also posted to the Montrose Memories Facebook group with members divided on them with some for and others against.

The number one complaint from people on Facebook appears to be that children will no longer be able to walk along the walls.

Peter Davies, chairman of Montrose Together Partnership, which was part of the Town Centre Regeneration Group, said: “I’m pleased to see the railings are back.

“I think it is a good thing because it brings the library back to how it was originally and it makes it look more appealing.”

The work is expected to cost £20,000, the surplus from the town regeneration fund, which paid for planters, bins and benches in Montrose, plus an Angus Council grant.

An Angus Council spokesperson confirmed the project was delayed as the work had to be put out for tender three times to find a company to install the railings within budget.

Ballantine Bo’ness Iron Co Ltd., won the contract and the work is hoped to be completed by the end of the month.

Plans were submitted by to Angus Council by Montrose Town Centre Regeneration Group in October, 2013 for the new railings, who had to consult with Historic Scotland as the library is a listed building. Historic Scotland approved the plans in December, 2013.

Montrose Library, formally called the Carnegie Free Library, was gifted to the burgh by American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and opened its doors on October 19, 1905.

Although there is no mention of railings in the historic books about the library, based on historical photographs, it has been assumed that they were erected at the same time as the boundary wall.

There is no historical evidence of when the railings were removed, but it is believed they were taken down during the Second World War to be melted down to make weapons.