Tayside and Central Scotland

Tom Weir statue unveiled on shores of Loch Lomond

Tom's toories Image copyright Paul Saunders
Image caption People attended the ceremony wearing red hats in tribute to Mr Weir's signature toorie

A statue of popular countryside broadcaster Tom Weir has been unveiled on the shores of Loch Lomond.

Funds were raised to erect the bronze statue of the "Weir's Way" star at Balmaha Bay to mark 100 years on from his birth.

Hundreds of people, many wearing red bobble hats in tribute to Mr Weir's signature toorie, joined his 94-year-old widow Rhona at the ceremony.

Broadcaster, writer and climber Mr Weir died in 2006 aged 91.

As well as presenting Weir's Way between 1976 and 1987, he wrote a monthly feature in the Scots Magazine for about 50 years.

A public appeal raised more than £70,000 for the raising of the statue, which includes a redevelopment of the existing picnic area.

Mr and Mrs Weir lived in Gartocharn at the southern end of the loch for many years.

Image copyright Paul Saunders
Image caption Mr Weir's widow Rhona attended the unveiling event at Balmaha Bay

The project was driven forward by the Tom Weir Memorial Group and the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

Fellow outdoors writers and broadcasters Cameron McNeish and Jimmie MacGregor spoke at the event, and Alistair McDonald played some of Mr Weir's favourite songs.

Mr McNeish said: "Tom would have been 100 years old today and it's interesting that he was born only a few days after the death of the great John Muir.

"The two men were so similar in many ways; in their passion for wild land and in their belief that we should look after and nurture the natural world as much as we could.

"Just as John Muir is remembered in his birth town of Dunbar with a statue in the Main Street, so Tom will also be remembered with a statue on Loch Lomondside so that future generations will remember him and what he achieved for Scotland.''

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