Put fizz back into Falkirk - give us our Irn-Bru mural

Colour pastel drawing of Irn Bru mural by Craig Hayworth
Colour pastel drawing of Irn Bru mural by Craig Hayworth
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A Falkirk Herald campaign to bring back a heritage mural is starting to gather steam.

Readers have inundated us with their views and comments - with the over whelming majority backing the campaign to honour town’s links with Irn-Bru.

Scotland’s other national drink was created in Falkirk in 1875 by Robert Barr with production continuing here until the 1990s where the company moved to Cumbernauld.

Today there is very little to remind Bairns of Irn-Bru’s origins and a survey conducted by The Falkirk Herald in the town centre showed a third of people where unaware of the drink’s history.

Now we are attempting to reinstate a large painted mural on Cockburn Street – the site where the original Barr’s factory – which has been covered up for almost 20 years.

Reader Lorna Watson said: “Without a doubt the mural should be brought back.

“It was part of Falkirk and its part of our childhood memories. Let it be part of our children’s memories too.”

Nicola Davidson also backed its return and has fond memories of a visit to the Irn-Bru factory when she was at primary school.

She said: “I remember the visit vividly, from the giant horse’s hoof amputated when it died to the overpowering smell of sugar and chemicals. At the time I believed the people who showed us round realised its heritage, now I doubt anyone cares.

In a show of support for the campaign, artist Craig Hayworth sent us a pastel drawing he did.

He said: “I have fond memories of seeing the mural as a child and would love to see it back to its former glory.

“I did the drawing towards the end of last year as part of a series of local landmarks. I would love to see my artwork be part of the campaign to bring it back.”

The Falkirk Herald conducted a poll on our website asking readers if they thought the mural should be reinstated - with 97 per cent voting yes.

People also questioned if the wall could be used to promote the broader history of the area.

Elizabeth Graham said: “I’d like to see the mural back but a modern one celebrating local places of interest surrounding it, like The Falkirk Wheel.

And local historian John Walker, who wrote the text for the heritage plaque that is attached to the gable wall, said: “I don’t see why we should reinstate an advertisement for a company, which not only has record profits but has completely withdrawn from the Falkirk area.

“Additionally, the company that makes Irn-Bru now is A. G. Barr, the Glasgow leg of the company. It was Robert Barr that ran the operation in Falkirk so essentially it’s not even the same company.

“Where the mural was in an area of great historical importance, it is metres from a Roman wall and close to the hospital that the people of Falkirk paid for.

“I’d love to see a mural there that honours our heritage but I wouldn’t include Irn-Bru in it.”