Work continues on centrepiece of Helix Project

Two of the Kelpies' ears in mid production
Two of the Kelpies' ears in mid production

A giant pair of earmuffs would be required to keep these lugs warm.

These steel ears will eventually sit on top of the Kelpies - the huge waterhorse sculptures that are being constructed as part of the Helix project near Grangemouth.

Standing 30 metres tall, they are being manufactured by SH Structures and assembled at the firm’s yard in York.

And, as these pictures prove, it’s a giant task - one welder is dwarfed as he works on one of the ears.

Major assembly work has now been completed on the sculptures, including the ears, eyes and other major components, and they will now be sent for painting before being placed in temporary storage.

Each Kelpie consists of more than 500 pieces of fabricated steel and will be moved in sections to their eventual home at the Helix from February next year.

The images were revealed to members of Falkirk Council’s leisure and tourism committee last week as part of a project update.

Committee convener Adrian Mahoney said that the Kelpies would be a “game changer” in terms of attracting more tourists to the area.

He added: “2013 is set to be a very exciting year for the Helix project as we begin to get access to more of the site and see the Kelpies begin to take shape.”

Another picture reveals that work on the lagoon, which will form part of the Central Park, has already reached an advanved stage.

The report also noted that another major component of the Helix project, the Abbotshaugh Sentinel, is due to be delivered on December 21.

The artwork will be placed in the exisiting woodland and be linked to the Helix by a new network of footpaths.

To celebrate its installation, a ‘Winter Solstice’ event will take place on the opening day in the woodland, involving members of the Bainsford and Langlees communities.

The Kelpies will form the centrepiece of the Helix project, which aims to transform 42 hectares of previously underused land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into an innovative outdoor recreational area for locals, businesses and visitors to Falkirk.

It will include a new sealock which will allow vessels to sail between the Firth of Forth and the Forth & Clyde canal.

The Falkirk Herald revealed last week that the BBC is producing a major documentary on the Kelpies. The hour-long programme will follow artist Andy Scott and the process involved in creating the massive sculptures.

It will be broadcast in advance of the formal opening of the Helix in April 2014.

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