CALLS have been made to remove Gourock's controversial coat of arms from town landmarks over images linked to slavery.

One of the shields has been taken down in George Road at Gourock Park but another remains on the other side of the same building.

Local man and lawyer Graham Winters is demanding urgent action to remove all of the remaining 'offending' pieces.

They pay homage to the town's historical links with landowners the Darroch family.

The Darrochs made their fortune as sugar merchants in Jamaica in the 1700s, where Scots plantations owners used slaves to work the land until the shameful practice was finally outlawed.

Today a version of the coat of arms remains on one side of the pavilion at Gourock Park, along with others at the town's municipal buildings and Gamble Halls.

Gourock man Graham says all of them must go.

He said: "These coats of arms should be taken down and put in the museum with some context.

"I find the links to slavery offensive and have raised this as an issue over the years.

"The connections between the Darroch family and slavery, as well as feudalism, is something which should be dealt with."

Different versions of the coat of arms, an amalgamation of the Stewart and the Darroch crests, can be found throughout the town.

But Mr Winters is particularly concerned about an image of what appears to be a slave holding a dagger.

The town’s motto, 'Avant and Be Watchful' combines the Stewart and Darroch mottos together.

Inverclyde Council says it is closely considering Inverclyde's historical links with slavery in light of the protests which have gone global since the killing of American man George Floyd by the police.

A council spokesman said: “The Gourock Burgh coat of arms has been absent from the George Road entrance to the Gourock Park pavilion for some time.

“Concerns have been raised by members of the public about some of the imagery on the crest - an amalgamation of the crests of the Darroch and Stewart clans - and discussions are taking place about a more suitable replacement."

The wider issue of the area's historical links to slavery, in light of the Black Lives Matter protest movement, was discussed at a meeting of councillors held last week.

Officials have now been tasked with compiling a report on Inverclyde’s historical connections to the slave trade and the 'ways in which these connections can be recognised in today’s society', as the local authority examines the issue of community reparations.