Memorial bench for painter unveiled

Ronnie and Caroline Ross take a seat on the memorial bench with John Hughes, Kevin Paton, John Heughan and Kelly Johnstone from Jewson's looking on.
Ronnie and Caroline Ross take a seat on the memorial bench with John Hughes, Kevin Paton, John Heughan and Kelly Johnstone from Jewson's looking on.

When popular Newton Stewart painter and decorator Ronnie Ross died last year there was much sadness and a special memorial has now been unveiled at Jewson’s builders’ merchants at the Riverside Industrial Estate.

The bench and arbour, looking out over the banks of the River Cree, was made by a friend of the Ross family, John Heughan from Newton Stewart, who runs John Heughan Joinery.

It was painted by Ronnie’s son ‘young’ Ronnie. The seat has a memorial plaque to the well-known tradesman, whose nickname was ‘Wee Archie’, which reads: ‘In loving memory of ‘Wee Archie’ Ronnie Ross, 1945- 2016’.

The guest of honour at the brief ceremony was Ronnie’s widow, Caroline, who was very moved by the special tribute to her late husband.

She said: “I’m really very touched by all this and I can’t thank Jewson’s staff enough for the time they have spent doing this.”

Jewson’s manager Kevin Paton added: “It’s been a great idea and a fitting tribute to Ronnie, who was in to see us every day. Jewson’s was his office!”

The last word goes to ‘young’ Ronnie, who worked alongside his father in the family business for years, and spent many hours working on the bench.

He commented: “We wanted a permanent memorial down here as he loved coming to Jewsons as he enjoyed the ‘craic’ in the place so much. It will always be here and bring back many happy memories of him.”