Is it time for Falkirk to bring back its Irn-Bru mural?

The billboard on gable end of old Irn-Bru factory building covers the famous mural
The billboard on gable end of old Irn-Bru factory building covers the famous mural
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The Falkirk Herald is campaigning for a landmark mural to be restored to honour the links between the town and our other national drink.

Other than a small plaque at the site of Barr’s former factory on Cockburn Street, there are no other reminders of our ties with one of Scotland’s greatest exports.

Covered up: The billboard on gable end of old Irn Bru factory building covers the famous Irn Bru mural

Covered up: The billboard on gable end of old Irn Bru factory building covers the famous Irn Bru mural

A large painted mural covering the gable end of a building next to the site was covered up in the 1990s and a billboard has been displayed there ever since.

Now the Falkirk Herald is staring a campaign to reinstate the art work and celebrate the links Falkirk has with Irn-Bru.

We want to bring back the mural and celebrate what is an important local heritage site.

Dennis Goldie, convenor of Falkirk Council’s economic development and strategy committee is backing the campaign.

Councillor Goldie said: “What a fantastic campaign and one I am happy to support.

“As a Camelon boy, I remember the strong links Falkirk used to have with Irn-Bru and the factory in Camelon.

“I’d love to see a mural back in a prominent location in the town centre to remind us where Scotland’s other national drink comes from.”

Barr’s soft drinks started in Falkirk in 1875 when Robert Barr opened a factory in Burnfoot Lane.

The factory moved to Camelon before leaving the district in the 2001 and today the drink is produced and distributed from a facility in Cumbernauld.

Local historian Ian Scott also backs the Falkirk Herald’s campaign.

He said: “The creation of Irn-Bru in the iron town of Falkirk was a marriage made in heaven.

The thirsty moulders drank it by the gallon and it saved many a one from over indulgence in the other national drink!

“A century later it is one of the best known brand names in the UK.

“How sad that all production stopped in the town some years ago.

“Still, we have the history and they can’t move that away no matter how hard they try.”

The advertising rights are currently owned by Eriden Properties.

Ryan Marshall, an associate and chartered architect at Arka Architects based in the building that formerly displayed the mural, thinks bringing the Irn Bru sign back would be a wonderful thing for the town.

He said: “I’d love to see the mural back, and I’m sure the other businesses and flat owners in the building would welcome it too.

“The mural was part of Falkirk’s heritage and it certainly looks nicer than what is currently displayed at the gable end - the billboard has seen better days and there is grass and weeds growing through the cracks of the plaster.

“Bringing back the mural could be a community asset and remind the young people in Falkirk, who won’t remember the factory, where Irn Bru comes from.”

Irn-Bru’s producer, A.G. Barr, is also throwing its weight behind the Falkirk Herald’s campaign.

The company contributed towards the new town heritage trail sign at the former site, which was erected last year, and has donated two portraits of the Barr family to Callendar House.

But it says the more its ties with the town can be celebrated the better.

A spokesperson said of the campaign: “This is another example of how much the community thinks about and celebrates its heritage.”

Falkirk Delivers would like to see the mural back in Cockburn Street.

Alastair Mitchell, manager at Falkirk Delivers said: “I fully support The Falkirk Herald’s campaign and would love to see the sign - which is synonymous with Falkirk - back at the site of the old factory.

“Let’s do all we can to bring back this outstanding Falkirk landmark.”

What so you think? Do you back the Falkirk Herald’s campaign to bring back the mural? Comment here, e-mail us at editorial@falkirkherald.co.uk or write to The Falkirk Herald, Unit 4A, Gatweway Business Park, Grangemouth FK3 8WX.