‘What comes down must go up!’ is a crowning Easter principle. It’s counter-cultural, goes agin’ the grain, and not the way we tend to think when we’re on the way down, but it’s Jesus Christ’s Way. Resurrection follows death, stalk & flower rise from seed/bulb & dark soil, blessing to others grows from sacrificial service; there is always hope. On your way down it’s not about crash landing and making the most of a bad deal, it’s about bouncing.
I don’t mean to deny the necessary lament and grief sometimes involved in coming to terms with loss and pain, but God’s Spirit is aye in the business of breathing new life into our souls. “All things work together for the good of those who love God, those called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Irvinites are now eventually seeing the high flats in Fullarton St, built in 1967, entered in 1968, and now being demolished in 2023. 12 floors filled with people, stacks of humanity with views to Ailsa Craig, The Merrick, sunsets over Arran, Sunrises over Fenwick Moor & Kilmarnock. Many times I visited folk in these concrete blocks and marvelled at their vistas and how they swayed during storms. When looking for a workout on my rounds I’d scale the steps rather than summon the elevator. It’s been hard for many folk to move on and be relocated from these glorious Afton, Annan, Doon, Garnock, & Lugton courts (named after nearby rivers), and I get quite nostalgic reminiscing, but they’re coming down and new houses will replace them. Indeed, some of us can remember even further back to old ‘Soor Milk Row’, which Fullarton Street was nicknamed, as some residents had painted their houses with whitewash mixed with sour milk for added adhesion (so I’m told).
I took the Great Irvine Harbour Project tour to imagine all the positive changes coming to harbourside and in the beach park area (within next 5 years). The Magnum has come down, the Portal & Circuit come up, and in a few years’ time there will be excellent leisure and tourist facilities in the area. I’m particularly excited about the play park, pump track & skatepark, which will be created next to the Coastwatch unit, where there will also be a restaurant. It will bring more people to this wee gem of a location, but more importantly (from my perspective) provide facilities for locals to enjoy. I love the optimism and positive energy which Sasha exudes, as she helps lead the whole project, talking and listening well. What comes down must go up!
It’s a privilege to be part of a local Fullarton community, partnering with the Fullarton Hub, Local Schools, North Ayrshire Council, Scottish Maritime Museum, and many others, to grow positive community spirit. Likewise in the wider town of Irvine, I recognise a time of other buildings coming down or having to find new uses, some businesses languishing and new avenues of enterprise needing to be found. The 6 Churches of Scotland are in the process of coming together to find positive new ways forward in connecting with and serving our neighbourhoods, and share the Good News of Hope, that ‘What comes down must go up!’
I know many still hark back to bad decisions like bringing down the old Irvine brig’ to build the Mall, but it can easily get us stuck moaning about the past. Similarly the Fullarton St flats are coming down, we can’t argue with it, but as I watch them slowly being eroded and removed I see them as a sign and prompt to be positive and believe The old Irvine Burgh motto to be true, ‘The Good Cause always wins in the end.’ ‘What comes down must go up!’ Keep the Faith my friends!