A bronze statue of Tom Weir was unveiled at the end of December in Balmaha Bay. Since then, over 5,000 visitors have flocked to see the statue and is set to become one of the most photographed statues in Scotland.
The Tom Weir Statue Campaign was launched in February 2012, raising the money for the sculpture of the late Scottish climber and much loved TV personality. His centenary of his birth on 29th December 2014 is celebrated with the unveiling of the statue near to where Tom lived in the National Park.
The statue has been created by Sean Quinn-Hedges who also recently completed a statue of vet James Herriot. He has also created statues of football greats Sir Alf Ramsay and Sir Bobby Robson. He is also involved in the film industry as a model maker for blockbuster films including Harry Potter and James Bond’s Skyfall.
For those that are too young to remember, Tom was best known for his long-running STV show Weir’s Way, as well as his trademark woolly red hat and Fair Isle jumper.
Tom Weir was a prolific writer and broadcaster on Scotland’s great outdoors for more than 50 years up to his death in 2006. He lived for many years with his wife, Rhona at Gartocharn at the southern end of Loch Lomond where she was the head teacher at the local primary school.
His TV show Weir’s Way ran between 1976 and 1987 and has been frequently re-run since then. He also had a monthly feature in the Scots Magazine for almost 50 years.
Tom was the recipient of many prestigious awards including the Lifetime Achievement Eagle Award from the British Outdoor Guild of Travel Writers. He was also the first recipient of the John Muir Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Tom was an active campaigner for the protection of the Scottish environment and in particular his beloved Loch Lomond where he became a founding member and Honorary Vice-President of the Friends of Loch Lomond, when the independent conservation body was formed in 1978.
With the initial success of the statue, 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 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.
Tom passed away in July 2006 and is buried in the grounds of Kilmaronock Parish Church, near Drymen.