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How one man made sure Glasgow Garden Festival lives on

Buildings, ornate shelters, plants and mature trees were bought by garden centre boss.

It's 30 years since the famous Glasgow Garden Festival.

But the extravaganza has not been forgotten - and lives on at a Scots garden centre.

In September 1988, the late Eric Gallagher, who owned the Cardwell Garden Centre near Gourouk, spent hundreds of thousands of pounds buying up buildings, ornate shelters, plants and mature trees.

Many of the wooden structures he purchased remain at the centre, spread over 28 acres of land.

Cardwell is now run by Eric's sons Drew and Kieran and his daughter Stefanie.

Drew said: "My dad made sealed bids for almost anything and everything he thought he could use.

https://stv.tv/news/features/1413194-celebrating-the-glasgow-garden-festival-30-years-on/ | default

"He hated waste and always wanted to recycle things and make use of them.

"He also liked a bargain and I suspect that's what attracted him to the garden festival after it had closed."

Stretching 120 acres along the Clyde, the Glasgow event was the third of five national garden festivals, and the only one to take place in Scotland.

The event attracted a staggering 4.3 million visitors over 152 days

While the only obvious trace of the garden festival at Cardwell is multi-coloured signs above the exit, the centre's frontages and a little red painted bridge date back to the 1988 event.

As do the roof over the lengthy veranda that runs past shops and the centre's Pet's Corner along with paving stones for pathways.

Eric Gallagher purchased items including the Garden Festival sign.
Eric Gallagher purchased items including the Garden Festival sign.

Other pagoda shelters from the festival are dotted around Cardwell along with the roof on a sheltered walkway.

Cardwell's retail general manager Paul Carmichael said: "I remember the Glasgow Garden Festival very well and when I started working at Cardwell I was amazed to find out that about 20% of the structures here came from the festival site.

"What was brought in from the Festival has certainly given Cardwell real character and has made us far more than just a big shed selling gardening products.

"There can't be many people who come to Cardwell realise they are walking in the footsteps of the famous Glasgow Garden Festival after all those years."

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