Exhibition shows off East Ren’s glorious green space

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A permanent exhibition celebrating the history of East Renfrewshire’s ‘jewel in the crown’ has opened at the Rouken Glen’s refurbished Pavilion.

The Story of Rouken Glen Park is the result of months of archive searches and collecting artefacts.

It covers the people, geology and ecology of the historic park and includes archive film, old photographs, models of the park and plant and bird specimens — many of which haven’t been shown to the public before.

Archive photos include images from the Second World War, when Rouken Glen was occupied by the armed forces, and there are rocks and fossils from the area, courtesy of local geologist Dr John Faithfull.

And The Story of Rouken Glen Park collection will soon be complete, with the arrival of the Capelrig Cross.

An early medieval artefact dated around 500-1000 AD, this blonde sandstone cross was removed from Mearns parish in 1926 — but will now be returned to East Ren from the Glasgow Museums collection.

Councillor Vincent Waters, environment convener for East Renfrewshire Council, commented: “This is a fantastic addition to our visitor centre.

“It brings the history of this wonderful park to life and is packed with fascinating features, and I would encourage people to go along, enjoy and explore the rich story of Rouken Glen.”

The exhibition is the latest improvement made to Rouken Glen as part of a £3 million cash injection from the council and Heritage Lottery Fund, following a revamp of the Pavilion and the addition of a new children’s play park.

But the park also suffered controversy in 2014, with the Friends of Rouken Glen handing in the towel on their planned community garden over a feud with the council.

Councillor Waters added: “Rouken Glen Park really is the jewel in our crown and we’re committed to making sure it stays the glorious green space it is.”