Tributes paid to Bo’ness backroom SNP stalwart

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Bo’ness SNP stalwart Robert Eaglesham passed away onJuly 19 after a long illness.

Robert (76), was perhaps better known as the husband of former long serving councillor, Beth Eaglesham but himself served for three years on Falkirk District Council from 1977-80.

After that Robert became a respected organiser and is credited with much of the success of John and Harry Constable and his wife, Beth, as election agent for all three candidates.

Poor health restricted Robert’s political activities in later years.

He suffered a number of strokes but this didn’t stop him from working tirelessly behind the scenes for the two causes he loved most, Scottish independence and the promotion of Bo’ness.

Born in 1936, Robert was educated at Kinneil Primary School then at Bo’ness Academy. When he left school, he went to work as a cobbler with the Co-op before following his father James, into Kinneil Pit.

Robert met Beth at school and the childhood sweethearts married in Bo’ness in 1953. Their daughter, Pamela, was born six years later.

Bo’ness SNP councillor Ann Ritchie paid tribute to Robert saying: “He was always content to be in the background and it was not until the 2009 by-election when I first stood for the SNP that I began to appreciate Robert’s input.

‘‘Our condolences go to Beth, Pamela and husband Billy and grandchildren, Iain and wife Stanka, Allan and wife Margaret, great grandchildren, David, Elijah, Zoey and Rose. Our thoughts are with them at this time.”

The funeral was on Wednesday, July 24, at Craigmailen Church, Braehead, at 10.30am followed by internment at Old Carriden Cemetery, Carriden Brae, Bo’ness.

Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald also paid tribute to Robert .

He said: “The role that Robert Eaglesham played in establishing the SNP as a credible political force in Bo’ness can not be overstated.

‘‘It was through the toil of the likes of Robert, Beth and John and Harry Constable that we stand on the brink of not only an independent Scotland but a fairer, more equal and therefore better Scotland.

‘‘That is the level of debt that we owe to Robert.”