THE people of Saline have honoured their former minister by naming a street after him where 55 new homes have been built.

The late Reverend Alexander (Sandy) Downie was voted for overwhelmingly by the village when Kingdom Housing Association asked the community council for nominations.

A street naming ceremony took place on Monday at Oakley Road attended by his children and grandchildren.

Rev Downie served as the village’s minister for almost four decades until his death in 1992. He married Jean in 1960 and their son and two daughters were born and raised in the village.

During his time as minister, he witnessed the construction of new homes on Eastercraig Gardens and Upper Kinneddar. And locals thought it fitting to name the new development after him.

David Chisholm, chair of Saline and Steelend Community Council, said: “The Reverend Downie and his wife Jean were at the heart of village life for almost half a century and are remembered by many with great fondness and affection.

“His children travelled across Scotland for the ceremony and said they were very touched that the community would remember him in this way. People gathered at the church after and it was very heartwarming to hear everyone swapping their memories of him.”

Kingdom received approval from the Scottish Government to provide 55 new homes at Oakley Road in the summer of 2016. Campion Homes are the contractor and families have begun moving into the new homes.

David added: “Local people were instrumental in identifying the site on which the new homes have been built and in promoting the provision of affordable housing. It will allow young people who grew up in Saline to raise their families here, close to their own parents and grandparents.

“I believe that multi-generational family life lies at the heart of strong, stable communities and I very much hope that the Reverend Downie would have approved of this development that is named in his memory.”

Sisters Margaret Gordon and Allison MacNeill were accompanied by their brother Dr Alexander (Sandy) Downie. They said: “We have been truly touched by this very kind act by the Saline community in naming a street in our father’s honour. It is greatly appreciated by us and our families.

“Although we live at different ends of Scotland, from Dumfries to Edinburgh and Inverness, we remember Saline fondly and are delighted that the Downie name will remain on the local map for generations to come.”