The yellow roses on Margaret Waterton’s backpack drew attention as she and her friend walked 10 miles around South Lanarkshire prompting car horn beeps and waves from passing drivers.

She was raising money for The Herald’s memorial garden campaign which aims to create a fitting tribute to those who have lost have lost their lives to coronavirus.

The colour yellow has become a symbol of associated with the loss of someone to covid and from yellow hearts in windows and ribbons on trees, it has connected bereaved families over the past few months.

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And sadly there is a heart-breaking reason behind Mrs Waterton being compelled to raise funds for the memorial garden project. She lost both her mother and husband to covid in just over six months.

A regular at previous Kiltwalk events Mrs Waterton would normally be seen striding along with her friend Margaret Baird. At finish lines, the compere would announce them as the two Maggies. This year, however, due to covid restrictions it was just the two of them as they took part in the virtual event last weekend.

Margaret Waterton raised funds for the memorial garden through the Virtual Kiltwalk event

Margaret Waterton raised funds for the memorial garden through the Virtual Kiltwalk event

They were among more than 10,000 people raising funds for their chosen charities with whatever they raise being topped up by 50 per cent by Scots entrepreneur and Kiltwalk support Sir Tom Hunter through The Hunter Foundation.

“It is something we have been doing for a few years now and we wanted to do something this year to raise money for the memorial garden,” said Mrs Waterton. “We chose a 10.5mile route around parts of South Lanarkshire taking in Wishaw, Newmains and Clelland. People asked what we were doing and spotted the yellow roses and a man even donated at a local supermarket - a random act of kindness. We don’t know how much we have raised in total yet, but what we do raise will be boosted as well.”

The 64-year-old, from Bothwell, is one of the many people we hope will be able to find comfort and solace at the memorial garden. Almost one year on since we launched the campaign, we have raised more than £60,000 to create a memorial in the grounds of Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park. Glasgow City Council stepped forward with the offer of a site and the campaign was given the backing of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon along with a donation from the Scottish Government.

David Waterton died on January 2, 2021

David Waterton died on January 2, 2021

On March 23, the anniversary of lockdown, we were able to unveil the exact location. Temporary benches, carved from felled beech trees in the park, were placed at the site along with a memorial plaque which was stolen within 24 hours of its unveiling.

Families living nearby have been able to visit the site and have been paying their own tributes to loved ones with the names of some of those who died written on yellow ribbons which now flutter round one the of the trees.

Mrs Waterton’s 86-year-old mother Margaret Simpson, from Biggar, had been shielding during the first national lockdown due to health conditions asthma and lung disease Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However, just as the country was coming out of weeks of lockdown, Mrs Simpson developed hospital acquired covid in University Hospital Wishaw, returned home with it and was admitted to Monklands hospital where she died.

“Across the UK thousands of families were unable to spend time with loved ones in hospital, but I am very grateful that I did get that time with mum,” said Mrs Waterton. “Staff got me in and out of PPE every day to be able to sit with mum in the last few days. I know many people couldn’t do that. She died on June 18, 2021.”

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While still trying to come to terms with the loss of her mum, Mrs Waterton and her husband David, 71,both contracted covid as virus numbers began to rise in the days before Christmas ahead of another national lockdown.

“We think we contracted it just before Christmas and had been isolating at home,” Mrs Waterton added. “In the early hours of December 29 David wasn't improving and was taken to Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride. He was put on a respiratory aid and we were hopeful he would make it, but he died of covid pneumonia on January 2 this year.

“For his daughter Gillian and I it will be a hard year of firsts and events where he should have been here from our 10th wedding anniversary this month to Gillian’s 40th birthday.”

Margaret Simpson had been shielding in lockdown, but sadly died from covid last June

Margaret Simpson had been shielding in lockdown, but sadly died from covid last June

When travel restrictions were eased Mrs Waterton travelled to the memorial garden.

“We couldn’t go there on the anniversary of lockdown, but the Covid 19 Families Scotland support group tied ribbons to a tree with mum and David’s names on them. I did go and find them and they were quite close together. It was very peaceful and a place to remember.”

You can still donate to Mrs Waterton’s donation page at

To donate go to The Herald memorial garden go to herald-garden-of-remembrance. You can also send donations via post to The Herald Garden of Remembrance Campaign, Herald & Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow, G32 8FG. Keep up to date with the latest news at