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New Boards at Tom Weir's Rest Tell Story of Scotland's Most Loved Mountain Man

The popular Tom Weir’s Rest site at Balmaha, home to the Tom Weir Statue, has recently had an extra addition with the installation of new storyboards telling how the broadcaster, writer and outdoor enthusiast became Scotland’s most loved mountain man.

The statue, first unveiled in December 2014, has now been enhanced by the addition of four attractive and informative panels; following the latest phase of fundraising by the Tom Weir Memorial Group, and assisted by Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area.

The storyboards are part of a larger Tom Weir’s Loch Lomond Wonderland project that is being supported with a £10,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and contributions from the Friends and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs and the National Park Authority.

Two of the boards at the site entrances detail how Tom rose to prominence as a popular and knowledgeable figure in Scotland’s outdoor scene, while two others showcase the nature and history of Balmaha Bay at a stunning new bay viewpoint. A fifth panel, which has yet to be installed, will be unveiled at the formal opening of Tom and Rhona’s Mountain Garden later this month. All five storyboards were researched and written by Friends vice-chairman John Urquhart and designed by Deepstream, a Helensburgh-based company.

The storyboards will be an integral part of a special event taking place at 2pm on Saturday, April 30 2016, at the Tom Weir’s Rest site, which will also see the launch of Tom and Rhona’s Mountain Garden. US National Parks Ambassador Lee Stetson, a storyteller and John Muir lookalike, will be in attendance as part of the US National Parks Service Centennial Celebrations. Robert Wright Editor of the SCOTS magazine, will also be present to unveil slate slabs with engravings of quotes from Tom Weir’s articles on Loch Lomond which appeared in the magazine fifty years ago. 

The ceremony will be held at 2pm and more details will be published shortly with an appeal to the public to turn out wearing red toorie hats which are closely associated with Tom Weir.

Susan Taylor, Administrator of the Tom Weir Memorial Group, said: “We are very proud of this new addition to the Tom Weir site, which has already attracted an incredible number of visitors. The storyboards tell the comprehensive story of how Tom became such an inspiration in many people’s eyes and they are already proving to be very popular.’’

James Fraser, Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, added: “The statue site has been a great success and these storyboards will ensure visitors get more out of their visit to a very special part of Loch Lomond that Tom loved and cherished.”

Scottish Parliamentary candidate Bruce Crawford, who recently viewed the storyboards on a visit to Balmaha along with fellow candidate Jackie Baillie, said: “I am very impressed with what has been achieved transforming a lochside site into an appealing attraction which is now being enjoyed by many thousands of local residents and visitors. Tom Weir remains an iconic figure in Scotland’s outdoor history and it is only right that as many people as possible have the opportunity to learn more about his story and the wonders of Loch Lomond.”

For further information contact:

Susan Taylor, Administrator of the Tom Weir Memorial Group on 07882 942945 (tomweirmemorial@yahoo.co.uk) or

James Fraser, Chairman of the Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs on 07894 908807 (jamesbfraser@aol.com)

 

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