Boy’s fears realised as garden to be sold

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An inquisitive young boy wrote a letter to the council over fears for the future of the Annet House Museum garden – which is set to be sold.

Daniel Amatller (9) from Linlithgow Bridge Primary, penned the piece to the council leader John McGinty after learning that the museum will move into the Partnership Centre.

In the letter, Daniel said: “I am wondering what is going to happen to the wonderful gardens. The garden is full of nature and flowers and I love the maze.

“It is a brilliant place to go out and I thought the quiz was very fun and good for visitors.

“I think it would be a very big shame if the gardens got removed from the town. Not everyone has a garden that they can enjoy.”

Daniel’s mum Pamela (42) said: “We have been to visit the museum a couple of times. It happened to be a glorious day and it’s a bit of escapism from the hustle and bustle of the High Street so that’s probably why it had such an effect on Daniel.”

The garden will be open to the public until October this year but will be sold along with Annet House – once Linlithgow Heritage Trust’s lease ends on the building – as its been deemed “surplus to requirements” by the council.

A West Lothian Council spokesman said: “Frequent visitors to the garden will know that, whilst very attractive, is not accessible to anyone with walking or mobility difficulties due to its terraced arrangement.

“However other public gardens such as Learmonth Gardens and the Rose Garden are more accessible and we hope that local people continue to enjoy these alternatives when the Heritage Trust move to the new Partnership Centre in Spring/Summer 2018.”

The spokesman added: “We are grateful for Daniel’s interest in the garden and delighted that he is interested in his local community.

“The team involved in the project will be in touch with Daniel soon to talk to him about the new project and to look at whether the council can incorporate elements of the Annet House garden into other public gardens in Linlithgow.”

Dr Peter Anderson, chairman of the Trust, said: “We will be really sad to lose the garden.

“Unfortunately, the Annet House building is not fit for purpose.

“We cannot provide disabled access and environmental conditions in the museum will cause our collections to deteriorate in the long term.

“The Trust would be supportive of any measure that would allow the preservation of the garden to continue.”