Businesses set benchmark for community kindness

Members of the MacKinnon family with Beth MacBeath (left) and Jamie Manson of Manson and MacBeath and Olly Stephen (right) of BSW Sawmill. Photograph: Iain Ferguson,

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Thanks to the generosity of two local businesses a fire damaged memorial bench in Inverlochy has been replaced and rededicated to the Sinclair family. The wooden bench was placed by the side of the loch with a view over to Corpach in 2012 to remember the Sinclair family.

The previous bench situated on the Loch Linnhe foreshore with a view across the water to the distant hills was installed several years ago in memory of the Sinclairs of Abrach Road and their extended family members, who can trace their roots in the village back over many generations.

It was well used by both local people and walkers using the nearby path which leads from An Aird through Inverlochy, along the banks of the River Lochy to the Soldiers’s Bridge and Old Inverlochy Castle.

The bench was destroyed in May this year when a group of youths set fire to a bike which was propped up against it.

After hearing the story, BSW Sawmill manager Olly Stephen offered to supply a new seat which was built by apprentices at the sawmill, while Inverlochy based Funeral Directors Manson and MacBeath, donated engraved plaques with names of those being commemorated.

Speaking on behalf of his kinsfolk, Gavin MacKinnon said: ‘The whole family is really touched and grateful for the kindness and generosity in replacing the bench.

‘So many people got in touch with us when they heard about the fire to tell us how much they loved sitting there.

‘We really had no idea just how well used it was.

‘We are now delighted that a beautiful new seat has been installed, which clearly means a lot not only to our family, but to the wider community also.’