SRUC gardener Ron Currie retires after 45 years

Craftsman gardener Ron Currie has retired from Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) after nearly half a century of gardening at the Elmwood campus.

Ron Currie. Image: SRUC
Ron Currie. Image: SRUC

Currie, 63, has worked on the site at Cupar since enrolling as a student at Elmwood in 1969, straight from school.

He has been a regular sight in and around the college's beautiful gardens, helping the students with practical outdoor work and their classroom theory.

He has served all six principals at Elmwood. "I have seen a lot of students come and go," Currie said, adding: "It has been great to see them succeed in their careers".

"When I first started there were two houses. Elmwood House, which had a lawn where the car park is today and Hope House which was on the front lawn and was surrounded by huts. The college also used part of the Old Bell Baxter building in the Westport".

Currie also remembers when the abundant soft fruit and vegetables grown at Elmwood were sold to the Tontine Restaurant in the town, his old high school Bell Baxter's and Kilmaron School.

His love of gardening was stimulated at an early age, when he would spend holidays at his grandparents house in Strathenry. His grandfather and a neighbour worked together at Strathenry Castle, Leslie, where they were responsible for the walled garden. Currie would also help out with tasks around the garden and has fond memories of endless summer days. At home his father was also a keen gardener.

Philip Watkin, SRUC programme manager for horticulture, commented: "Ron has been inspirational to a great number of Elmwood students and staff, both in terms of his wide horticultural knowledge and his willingness to help others. His sense of humour, normally aimed at the English cricket results, will be truly missed".

Elmwood's loss is Springfield Community Trust's gain as Currie is planning to keep himself busy and has already planted bulbs for the community and is contributing to the village Christmas Fayre, including putting together holly wreaths and arranging the hanging baskets.

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