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The family and friends of Paul Thomson, a father-of-two who died in a quad bike accident in Lerags near Oban on New Year’s Day, are crowdfunding for a memorial bench by Kilbride Kirk, overlooking the glen he ‘so loved’.
Support has already exceeded their estimated cost of £2,000, with any surplus going towards the Friends of Kilbride, a charity dedicated to preserving the historic church.
Liam Griffin, who, like Paul, volunteered for the Friends of Kilbride, wrote: ‘Following the recent tragic and sudden death of my friend and neighbour, Paul Thomson, his family approached Friends of Kilbride and enquired whether they might erect a memorial bench for Paul within Kilbride’s grounds.
‘The trustees approved the request, and Paul’s family and friends have now began fundraising to bring the plan to fruition.’
On their JustGiving website, which had reached £2,680 on Tuesday, the ‘Lerags Glen community’ explained: ‘Paul Thomson, beloved husband, father, son, brother, relative and dear friend died in an accident on New Year’s Day, leaving his wife Lauren and two small children. The community of Lerags Glen, Oban, where Paul lived, wish to create a stone memorial for Paul in the ancient ruined churchyard of Kilbride.
‘Paul and Lauren moved to rural Scotland from London in 2015 in search of a peaceful life and close-knit community. The peace was already here, but they enriched the glen; their openness, generosity and fun-loving natures quickly establishing them at the heart of the Lerags community. Paul was well-loved by everyone here and will be much missed.
‘A stone bench carved with Paul’s name will be set at the high point of the churchyard, looking over the glen he so loved. A place where Lauren and the kids can sit with the sun, the beautiful views and the robins. A place where neighbours in the glen and his friends from Oban, London and elsewhere can come and remember him. And those who visit Kilbride from all over the world will be able to read about him – an important part of its 800-year story.
‘Paul had become a trustee of the Friends of Kilbride charity, which is seeking to preserve the old church and graveyard. We don’t know exactly how much the bench will be – this is a rough estimate – but please know that any surplus raised will go to Friends of Kilbride, a cause Paul supported out of his love for our glen.’