Burned memorial bench causes distress to Inverlochy family

Members of the family by the burned bench (left-right) Lucie MacKinnon, Fiona MacKinnon, Gavin MacKinnon, Aimee MacKinnon. Florence MacNicol, Charlie MacKinnon and Carolann Davies. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.

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A Lochaber family with its roots in Inverlochy are distressed and annoyed at vandalism which has destroyed a memorial bench on the village foreshore.

The wooden bench was placed by the side of the loch with a view over to Corpach in 2012 to remember the Sinclair family of Abrach Road, with the names of numerous much loved members, including Donald who drowned in the nearby tailrace as a young boy in 1946.

Situated on the footpath which winds along the loch side to the tailrace, the bench has been much used and admired by passers-by as well as the family, given its spectacular viewpoint.

However last week youngsters were seen setting fire to a small bike beside the bench with the flames spreading and burning one half before a nearby resident put out the blaze.

The incident has been reported to the police who are looking into it, but the family are very upset this important memorial to their loved ones should have been destroyed in such a manner.

Florence MacNicol, daughter of the late Annie and Dan Sinclair of Inverlochy, said: ‘We are all very sad about this.

‘It was put up by my brother-in-law Jim Gamble when my sister died in 2011. Over the years, many other plaques have been added in memory of other family members, including my late husband Jackie.

‘The bench was put in this spot as we used to play here when we were children and in those days there was a beach and allotments, so it holds many happy memories. This is a terrible thing to happen.

‘The whole family is upset and annoyed about it, but hope to replace it when we can.

‘They must have used something to set fire to the bike, which could also have been very
dangerous to themselves, and who knows where that may have ended up.’

Sympathetic comments on social media have been a great comfort to the family, but also mention other incidents where groups of children have been causing alarm to older people in nearby Claggan, where eggs have been been thrown at windows together with other unruly behaviour in the evenings.