Irn-Bru founder wins place on bench

Robert Barr was the founder of A. G. Barr
Robert Barr was the founder of A. G. Barr
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People would prefer to sit next to a swimming coach than William Wallace.

Or so it seems from a recent poll of who should be given pride of place in a new public art project.

Pupils at Bainsford Primary and St Mungo’s High Schools came up with six noteworthy people with local connections who they considered worthy of a place on a ‘portrait bench’.

To be situated on the Forth & Clyde Canal towpath, between Grangemouth Sealock and The Falkirk Wheel, the bench is part of an initiative to open up walking and cycling routes across the UK.

Once the youngsters had chosen their six well-known people, they asked the public to get involved in the voting.

The three selected were Robert Barr of A.G. Barr, the makers of Scotland’s ‘other national drink’ Irn-Bru; Dr Harold Lyon, the founder of Strathcarron Hospice; and Reg Adams, former coach with Grangemouth Amateur Swimming Club.

Those who failed to make it were botanist George Forrest, sweetie company founder Andrew McCowan and Sir William Wallace.

Life-size figures of the successful three will now be made of Corten steel and seated around the bench. It is likely to be unveiled in late Autumn.

The Sustrans’ series is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and there will eventually be 230 portraits on benches up and down the country.