One of the most famous landmarks in the district has been restored to its former glory - thanks to the generosity of a local undertaker.
The statue of the Duke of Wellington in Falkirk’s Newmarket Street had its head smashed off last July.
Now, thanks to the generosity of funeral directors and memorial masons Thomas Cuthell & Sons, the ‘Iron Duke’ is now back in one piece and the man who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 once again gazing defiantly out across the town.
Falkirk Council’s Townscape Heritage Initiative team recovered the head after it was vandalised and was keeping it safe when Cuthell & Sons in Hope Street stepped in and offered to pay for repairs.
Thanks to their generosity, the Duke’s head is now firmly back in place on the 160-year-old monument and ready to dominate the skyline for more generations to come.
A thicker stainless steel dowel has been inserted into the neck of the body to hold the head and new resin and a mortar mix matching the existing statue used to seal the joint.
We felt funding the reinstatement of the statue was a small way of giving something back
The Duke’s nose and part of his head, damaged when he was decapitated, have also been painstakingly repaired and coloured by experts hired by Cuthell’s so the original features are exactly as they should be.
Paul Cuthell said: “After 110 years in business the position of trust our family has in the community is something we take great pride in. We felt funding the reinstatment of the statue was a small way of giving something back and it’s pleasing to see a famous Falkirk landmark reinstated to its former glory.”
Town centre councillor Provost Pat Reid said: “It was a very generous gesture by Thomas Cuthell & Sons. The statue has been a prominent part of Falkirk’s heritage for many years so it’s gratifying to see the old man get his head back and remain part of our historic town centre.”