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Burns Memorial at Bridgeton Cross


Alec’s Bridgeton Burns memorial will be set in stone 

bbc mon
Lecturer John Halpin, left, casts his expert eye over Alec Keeper’s planned Burns memorial.

Photographer Alec Keeper has carved out a whole new career by designing a modern memorial to
Robert Burns. Having swapped his camera for a chisel to train as a stonemason at a Glasgow college he’s designed a granite and sandstone tribute to our national Bard.

Alec won a competition to design a new Burns memorial which will stand just yards from Bridgeton Cross, which is undergoing a £1 million renovation.

Bridgeton Burns Club commissioned the work last year to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Burns.

Alec, 38, was inspired by the Bard’s nickname – ‘the ploughman poet’ – and has designed a stone pillar more than six feet tall which bends in the shape of a ploughshare.

Despite running the risk of being labelled illiterate, he and his team will chisel out the word ‘LUVE’ on the pillar. The old Scots word for “love” was frequently used by Burns in his works, including the line: “My luve is like a red, red rose.”

Glasgow Metropolitan College student Alec said: “Love is the central message of Burns’ celebration of our common humanity. This message remains inspirational and relevant to us all today.”

Alec, from Dennistoun, and his fellow student expect to complete the memorial by the time the new-look Bridgeton Cross is unveiled in June.

The work will be created under the watchful eye of John Halpin, head of building trades at the college.

Bridgeton Burns Club, is the oldest of its kind in Glasgow. Club President Jack Steele said: “We wanted to do something to mark the life and works of Robbie Burns. I think he would be very pleased.”

The club has contributed £1,000 to the £15,000 cost of the memorial, which will be funded from the overall scheme’s £1.1m budget.

( Evening Times April 2010 )





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