THE owner of an Alloa-based business has been busy creating commemorative items ahead of Remembrance Day.

When Longannet Power Station shut up shop, welder Garry McGrouther decided to take it as an opportunity to move in a new direction.

Putting the skills he learned from his trade to a different use, he established GM Welding Services Artistic Ironworks Ltd in May.

He originally set-up a workspace at his home in Blairhall, but moved into his premises at Castle Street for more flexibility.

Pushing himself to see what he can create, he has come up with three different designs of 'lest we forget' benches, along with some candle holders.

And he has added a charity element to his crafted seating, with £25 from each sold going to Help for Heroes, Poppyscotland or The British Legion.

He said: "I've just admired these benches for a few years – I've seen pictures of them on the internet.

"And just this year I thought...I'm going to do these.

"I'm ex-territorial army and I've a few friends that have been in the army.

"For what they are, they're 'lest we forget benches', so I thought that it was a nice touch that the charities made out of it as well.

"I just wanted to see if I could do them – like put my own twist on them – and they've turned out absolutely, as a lot of people have said, they're amazing.

"Just, they stand out – they're a lovely design."

The 41-year-old is enjoying the creativity his new venture brings and has also been making candle holders and wine racks out of recycled horse shoes, amongst many other things.

He also works alongside customers to make personalised memorial fencing for gravesides, vase holders and works by the rule that if it is in steel, it can be cut and can be made.

It is a world away from working on the maintenance of big, industrial machinery but Garry – a "time-served welder" – loves what he is doing.

He said: "I've always said from when I was an apprentice...I would end up one day owning my own business doing the welding.

"Getting in with Scottish Power was like, 'right it's not going to happen now' – it was too good a job.

"But, after the announcement that they were closing down Longannet Station, [I thought] I'm just going to go for myself."

Customers purchasing a 'lest we forget bench'' will be able to select which of the three charities their contribution goes to.