VISITORS have flocked to visit the statue of outdoor explorer Tom Weir since it was erected on the banks of the Loch Lomond.
The bronze structure was unveiled last month at Balmaha Bay with supporters surprised by the number of visitors to the memorial.
Chairman of the Friends of Lomond and The Trossachs, James Fraser, said: “The level of interest in the statue following a very successful launch event a few weeks ago has been staggering with a steady flow of visitors to the site in all weathers.
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“Interestingly, the extensive publicity surrounding the centenary celebrations to mark Tom’s birth and his great contribution to introducing generations to Scotland’s great outdoors seems to have sparked a fashion revival, with many visitors turning up wearing Tom’s signature red and white toorie hats to be photographed beside the statue.”
Mr Weir’s widow Rhona - wearing a red and white ‘toorie hat’ in tribute to her late husband - unveiled the life size statue at the Balmaha picnic area on December 29.
The statue, created by sculptor Sean Hedges-Quinn, is based on a 1992 photograph taken by photographer Barrie Marshall, and was the result of a campaign started in 2012 to honour Mr Weir.
Mr Weir was a prolific writer and broadcaster on Scotland’s great outdoors for more than 50 years until his death in 2006.
He lived for many years with Rhona at Gartocharn, at the southern end of Loch Lomond.
The Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs and the Tom Weir Memorial Group have plans to raise a further £25,000 for a second phase of upgrading works at the picnic area which involve improving paths, installing story boards and seats as well as producing educational materials to introduce youngsters to the National Park the great outdoors building on Tom Weir’s work.
The public appeal remains open and donations can be sent to the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, The Old Station, Balloch Road, Balloch G83 8SS.
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