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Norway links set in stone

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Norway links set in stone

A COMMEMORATIVE stone which weighs nearly two tonnes is to be shipped from Norway to take pride of place in Dumfries.

The memorial stone is to mark 80 years of friendship between the two countries, first established during World War II, and it is being proposed that it should be installed beside the Devorgilla Bridge.

The stone is to be presented on behalf of the King and people of Norway in a grand unveiling, which will also feature a special programme of events.

This development comes after the Scottish Norwegian Connection Association contacted Tracy Little, the former provost of Dumfries, in early 2019 about Norwegian members visiting and presenting the stone to the town.

Then the pandemic arrived and the idea was shelved.

Now, four years on, the plan has been resurrected but the matter has to be approved by councillors sitting on Dumfries Common Good sub committee because the identified stone location is Common Good land.

A report due to be tabled at the next committee meeting reads: “The visit is now planned to take place on September 14-19, 2023, with the memorial stone to be unveiled and officially presented to the provost of Dumfries for the people of Dumfries and Galloway by the Norwegian Military Attaché to the UK, Captain Hope, on behalf of the King and people of Norway, on Saturday, September 16.

“It is part of a programme of events which includes school visits, wreath laying, pipe bands and flag flying and a civic reception, with the council convener, armed forces champion, Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries, the Norwegian Honorary Consul General to Scotland Professor Julian Jones and the Consul General Mona Rohne, also to be invited.”

Around 50 guests would be expected to attend the unveiling and council officers expect it to be a “high profile event for the town”.

The stone weighs approximately 1600/1700 kilos and is approximately 1m high by 1.2m wide.

The Scottish Norwegian Association is keen that it’s put in a prominent location in the town, as this is where the Norwegian Army Headquarters were located.

Dumfries and Galloway Council’s community assets team will prepare the foundations and erection of the stone in keeping with the existing environment, including a continuation of red tarmacadam outlined with granite sets.

The cost of the stone, its transportation from Norway, and engraving are being met by the Scottish Norwegian Association.

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