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Row as founder's name is dropped from tourist lodge

A ROW has erupted over a decision to change the name of a historic lodge - removing the name of its founder after more than 50 years.

POPULAR: The building formerly known as the David Marshall Lodge is a popular destination for families on holiday in the Trossachs. Picture: Isobel Cameron
POPULAR: The building formerly known as the David Marshall Lodge is a popular destination for families on holiday in the Trossachs. Picture: Isobel Cameron

The David Marshall Lodge at Aberfoyle in the heart of the Trossachs was rebranded as The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre - "The Lodge" for short - after it was refurbished in the summer.

One of the reasons given for dropping Marshall from the title is that many visitors do not know who he was.

But many, including nearby residents, are furious at the decision to remove the man who inspired the lodge from the title.

Mr Marshall from Dunfermline in Fife was chairman of the Carnegie UK Trust charity in the 1950s and had the idea to build the lodge. It was given to the Forestry Commission by the trust in 1960.

The lodge in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park is enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year and plays an important part in outdoor education and leisure.

But the Forestry Commission said the shorter name will help it attract even more visitors in the future.

The organisation said it consulted Mr Marshall's family before the ­name-change. But Trossachs and Teith councillor Fergus Wood, former Provost of Stirling, said locals would continue to use the old title.

He said: "I've been here for over 30 years and it has always been known as David Marshall Lodge. This is the marketing people stating that the name doesn't mean anything to majority of people but it does to locals.

"People who live in the area will continue to call it the David Marshall Lodge. It's disappointing."

One Aberfoyle resident said many in the area had been unaware of plans to change the name, adding: "People are disappointed that the decision was taken to change the name and that we weren't even made aware of the plans to change it."

A Forestry Commission spokesman said: "We aim to secure five-star status for this visitor attraction so that for years to come it will continue to attract visitors, who will use it as a focal point from which they can begin their wider exploration of the area.

"Using a shorter form of the name - supported by the Carnegie Trust and by David Marshall's relatives - allows us to more easily and clearly market the lodge and what it has to offer as an attraction.

"We understand that some people might disagree with this move and that for them it will always be David Marshall Lodge but we are looking to the future and doing what we can to attract more visitors to the area.

"We are very proud of the heritage of the visitor centre and have marked the ­importance of David Marshall's role by siting at the southern trail-head a memorial plaque. We were honoured to have this unveiled by his daughter-in-law Janet Marshall at the recent opening ceremony."

The Lodge is the flagship centre for activities in the Loch Achray and Loch Ard Forests, with stunning views of the Loch Ard Forest, Ben Lomond and the Gargunnock and Campsie Hills.

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