Scale models of the iconic Kelpies will go on display for the first time in the Borders next month.
The so-called maquettes – three metres high and hand welded from steel – will take pride of place in Kelso’s historic Georgian square from Friday to Monday, May 15-18.
“This is a real coup for the town,” said Tom Weatherston, who represents Kelso & District on Scottish Borders Council.
The maquettes were created by sculptor Andy Scott as one-tenth scale working models for The Kelpies, the 30-metre high horse-head sculptures which were unveiled at the eastern entrance of the Forth and Clyde Canal between Falkirk and Grangemouth in October, 2013.
The Kelpies were commissioned by Falkirk Council as a monument to Scotland’s horse-powered heritage and as the spectacular centerpiece of the Helix land transformation project.
The visit of the maquettes to Kelso will coincide with two major local events – the Floors Castle Horse Trials and the Border Vintage Agricultural Association’s annual rally at Springwood Park.
The maquettes have already elicited widespread public interest at home and abroad including during an extended installation last year at Bryant Park in New York.
More recently they were displayed at the Grand National race meeting at Aintree.
Now the models are being loaned by Falkirk Council to Scottish Borders Council with the latter picking up the tab for transportation and security over the weekend.
“The three Kelso councillors are using a small amount of our ‘Quality of Life’ funding to cover the costs and bring the maquettes to the town,” explained Councillor Watherston.
Councillor Alec Nicol told us: “We’re sure the sculptures will contribute to a significant increase in footfall in the town centre over the weekend and we hope people will come from far and wide to see them.”
And Councillor Simon Mountford added: “Having the Kelpies in front of the Town Hall on these dates will make the most of the large numbers of visitors at Springwood Park and Floors.
“Hopefully the combination of these three great attractions will be a major boost to our local traders.”