REPAIRS have started on two landmark Wigtownshire statues and members of the public will next week have a chance to find out how it’s progressing.
Work is ongoing to ‘Old Mortality’ in Balmaclellan, which was carved in 1840 and represents Robert Paterson and his horse.
He was a stonemason who spent the last 40 years of his life searching for unmarked covenanter graves and carving their tombstones for posterity. His work was immortalised in Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Old Mortality’.
Restorers from the Graciela Ainsworth Sculpture Conservation Company are on site carrying out the work and will hold an open session on Wednesday afternoon, between 2-4 pm, to show everyone the techniques used.
The restoration project has been driven by local residents, supported by the Balmaclellan Community Council and funded by Blackcraig Windfarm Community Fund and the Galloway Glens Scheme.
Resident Zoe Davidson has spearheaded it and said: “We are so grateful for this funding which has allowed us to save Old Mortality. Unfortunately in recent years the sculpture has become eroded to the point where Old Mortality’s face has all but disappeared. He and his horse will be getting a full restoration, including rebuilding his missing nose.
“I’m looking forward to meeting lots of local residents on July 5, and learning how the conservators go about saving a sandstone sculpture like this.”
Martin Warnock, chairman of Balmaclellan Community Council, added: “We are all looking forward to seeing the restoration and transformation of ‘Old Mortality’ and to show it off to everyone that visits our village.”