Hi I’m Elaine Carstairs, born at Craigtoun – Hospital not Park! – and have volunteered at Craigtoun off and on for 8 years or so.
I started off helping Tom Donaldson, Kyff Roberts, Paul and Lewis painting fences & attractions, emptying bins, cleaning the kit needed for attractions (life jackets come to mind after a winter lying wet in a plastic bag??? ) and basically anything I could help with as my skills aren’t that great.
I gave up when my Granddaughter was born, supposedly for a short time but then, due to becoming ill myself, I couldn’t help out at the park. Bit by bit I started again by delivering leaflets round the town. As I was able to do more, I helped in the Office with Karen and Mandy, being told that I was even slower at typing than Doug Stephen ………..by the man himself! So really, in a way, I think it is sometimes more Care in the Community! Everyone is so nice and appreciates any help or hindrance given to them.
At the time I started originally there was still a squad of gardeners, now very depleted and, at the height of Covid, absent altogether. So, last summer I took up my snippers and hoe and helped in the gardens, trying to keep the weeds at bay which was an impossible task. Paul, the new Park Manager, was brought in at the beginning of last year and what a year to start! He has done a great job round the park but still needs a lot more help.
Please if you can, come up and help out – as much or as little time as you can manage. If there is no help given then future generations risk not being able to take photos like these – 4 generations enjoying the Folly at Craigtoun. You will get so much out of the fresh air and meeting lovely workers and guests.
First photo is 1988 or 89 (couldn’t find the photo of us as kids but think the photo with my Dad, brother Neil, my children Nikki and Ross is embarrassing enough) and second photo is of our grandchildren Eilidh and Isla enjoying Craigtoun last year on a very rare visit.