Tributes paid to dedicated former Ayrshire councilor dubbed ‘daughter of Troon’


Tributes have poured in for a former councilor who worked tirelessly for her town.

Nan McFarlane has been described as the “daughter of Troon” by the grieving community rocked by news of her passing.

The SNP member spent 10 years serving Troon as well as leading her party in South Ayrshire.

The 83-year-old passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, April 30, her family have confirmed.

Nan dedicated many years to the community council taking on difficult cases and, as an ex-journalist, knew how to fight for the truth.

Despite being the oldest councilor in the county at the time, she was known for her battling spirit and once told the Ayrshire Post she would knock every door in her ward ahead of the 2013 local elections.

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Nan was a popular figure in the town
Nan was a popular figure in the town

Nan, who ran a deli in Troon called Beanstalk, used her passion for local Ayrshire produce to convince South Ayrshire Council to start using locally-sourced food.

She fought for a better bus service, leading to travel firm Stagecoach allowing crucial routes in the town to be linked again.

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Troon MP Philippa Whitford has told how Nan encouraged her to run as an MP after the pair first met in the lead up to the independence referendum in 2013.

Ms Whitford told Ayrshire Live: “I was really reluctant and unsure what I was doing but Nan was very supportive after the referendum, she really encouraged me to put myself forward.

“She was very strong-willed. It is a real shock, she was well loved by everybody in Troon.

“She contributed so much to the SNP locally, but not just that, she gave so much to the people she represented.

“My thoughts go to her family and her four daughters.”

Ayr, Prestwick and Troon MSP Siobhian Brown said: “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Nan McFarlane. She was a formidable councilor for the people of Troon and a great supporter of The Gaiety.

Nan fiercely campaigned on local issues affecting Troon
Nan fiercely campaigned on local issues affecting Troon

“She will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with her family of her at this sad time. ”

On the eve of the local elections, candidates took time out of their campaigns to pay tribute to Nan.

SNP hopeful Craig Mackay said: “I am very saddened to hear of the passing of Nan. She was very well respected in Troon, a committed and caring community activist, former ward councilor and local historian.

Nan passed her wisdom onto MP Philippa Whitford
Nan passed her wisdom onto MP Philippa Whitford

“Her good work for the town continues, as she was instrumental in securing the restoration works to historic Crosbie Kirk which will be completed in the next few weeks.

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“It is particularly saddening that Nan has died only a matter of weeks after her beloved husband Angus. My thoughts are very much with her family at this sad time.”

Labor candidate Philip Saxton, who spent years in opposition to Nan during his time as a councillor, said: “I’m very sad to hear of it.

“She will be sorely missed. She represented Troon to the best of her ability.

“We had our political differences but she did all she could for the people of Troon.

Community leader Frances Carson, of Muirhead Tenants and Residents Association, has told how Nan was instrumental in getting launched to support local folk.

Frances said: “She was the daughter of Troon, no one knew or cared about the town more than Nan.

“She was a champion of the people, as well as a dear friend, she used to tell the most incredible stories.

“She helped us get started and tackle any issues we would come across, she knew all the people to talk to and she was passionate about helping people in her town.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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