Arbroath’s ‘Nightingale’

Ponderlaw Lane lanterns.  Chic Grant, Gina Paton, Jane Lumsden, Joan Murray, Liz Coates and Dave Webster.
Ponderlaw Lane lanterns. Chic Grant, Gina Paton, Jane Lumsden, Joan Murray, Liz Coates and Dave Webster.

A recent power cut which plunged parts of Arbroath into darkness sparked the philanthropic duty of a local business owner.

Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Coates, owner of Aurora Beauty and Holistic Treatment, was called to the aid of her elderly mother, Jane Lumsden, when the lights went out at her sheltered housing unit at Ponderlaw Lane.

After lighting candles and checking on the other residents, Liz had a bonafide ‘lightbulb’ moment: “Most of these old folks didn’t even have a candle, they need stronger lights and not to have to bother with lighters or matches. A battery operated lantern is what they need.

“I set up a group on ‘Broath Banter’, a community facebook group, and asked to see if anybody would help,” Liz said.

Before long the fund had grown to include enough money to buy 73 lanterns, enough for every resident at Ponderlaw Lane and also for those at Wesley Gardens and Andy Stewart Court sheltered housing.

“I had to do something, it really upset me seeing them sitting in the dark like that,” admitted Liz.

Chic Grant, Outdoor Action, contacted his supplier, Scottish equipment manufacturer Highlander Outdoor, to provide the lanterns at cost price, meaning they could provide 73 lanterns with the money raised and have enough left over to buy batteries for all the residents.

One donator, Dave Webster said: “It’s the least I can do to pay her back for the kindness she showed me when I was growing up, I will never forget that.”

Liz said: “God forbid if there is another power cut but at least now they can be safer with the lanterns, and carry them around in the house.

“Dave gave us £50. This shows the community spirit that we have in Arbroath. There really are some lovely people out there.”

Mr Webster joined the group to hand over the lanterns on Tuesday.