Crowd-sourcing behind statue

editorial image

A recent appeal for information regarding the erection of Arbroath’s first statue has elicited a response from one of our readers.

In the edition of August 16 we ran a story asking for details on how the statue of Robert Burns outside Arbroath Library came into being.

According to an Arbroath Herald article on January 16, 1959, the Robert Burns effigy was the first statue to be erected in Arbroath.

It was the product of the Burns Statue Fund of Arbroath Burns Club which started raising money in 1896 through means unknown.

Sculptor Scott Sutherland created it and it was unveiled by the Earl of Airlie, Lord Lieutenant of Angus, whereupon it was gifted to the town by the Burns Club.

A letter from a reader who wished to remain anonymous revealed an early form of crowd-sourcing was used. It read: “In the mid-1950s I worked with W. & J. Mackintosh, Solicitors, and Mr Eric Mackintosh, one of the partners, was treasurer of Arbroath Burns Club.

“I remember a great deal of letters being sent out asking for donations towards the cost of a statue. I can’t remember who the letters were addressed to, but I think it was to local businessmen and clubs etc.”