‘Courageous’ pensioner who stood against Trump golf plans dies

Molly Forbes refused to give up her beloved home after permission was granted for the Aberdeenshire resort which surrounded it.

‘Courageous’ pensioner who stood against Trump golf plans dies Www.aliciabruce.co.uk

A pensioner who refused to give up her home to allow Donald Trump to push forward his controversial golf resort devleopment has died at 96.

Molly Forbes was one of the residents at Menie, on the east coast of Scotland near Balmedie in Aberdeenshire, faced with eviction after Mr Trump bought the estate surrounding her home to build Trump International Golf Links.

Mrs Forbes lived in a mobile-home next to her son Michael at Mill of Menie and, together with fellow residents, they opposed Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to grant approval for the Trump development.

Photographer Alicia Bruce, a close friend, said the 96-year-old was like a surrogate grandmother to her family.

History: Donald Trump addresses the media during a visit to Scotland in 2018.
Donald Trump addresses the media during a visit to Scotland in 2018 (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

She said: “It’s heartbreaking, I love Molly to bits. She was such a unique human being. A kind, generous, dignified person and as I got to know her, I could see that resilience.”

Mrs Forbes had taken a case against the planning decision for the £750m development to the Court of Session. But after her application for legal aid was turned down the legal challenge was dropped.

Scottish ministers granted permission for the development saying that the potential economic benefit outweighed the environmental impact. Trump International Golf Links opened in 2012.

Ms Bruce said: “What the Menie residents did was remarkable and it protected their homes. She stood up when Trump said they lived like pigs and used nasty words to describe their properties.

“She loved her home. She tended to all the animals and her garden. When she was left without water and she would go down to the burn with a wheelbarrow.

“Trump will never understand that. He thinks things can be bought, but you can’t buy humanity, love or family.”

Ms Bruce took a portrait of Mrs Forbes, based on the James Guthrie painting To Pastures New. It is held by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Martin Ford was chair of the infrastructure services committee at Aberdeenshire Council at the time of the golf course application.

He said: “The first time I met Molly, she came across as a charming person. A well mannered, lovely lady. She turned out to have a backbone of steel and proved to be an immensely courageous and resilient individual.

“The people concerned stayed in their own homes, Mr Trump was beaten. She was a remarkable person.”

Mrs Forbes and her son Michael featured in Anthony Baxter’s film You’ve Been Trumped which documented the Menie residents’ stand against security harassments, legal threats and the loss of their water and electricity.

Mr Baxter said: “Molly led a varied and full life. Her wisdom, love and thoughtfulness will be missed most deeply by immediate family and friends.

“I feel so privileged to have met Molly and to have spent many days filming with her over eight years.”

A funeral services for Mrs Forbes was held on Tuesday, April 20, on what would have been her 97th birthday. It is understood she died on April 11, at a care home in Aberdeenshire.

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