ONE of Cupar’s most iconic landmarks is set to be restored to its former glory thanks to a group of local conservationists.
Cupar and North Fife Preservation Society is seeking funding towards the estimated £14,000 it will cost to refurbish the statue of David Maitland Makgill Crichton that overlooks Cupar railway station.
Born in 1801, Crichton was a free Kirk man and politician whose memorial was erected in recognition of the efforts he made on behalf of Cuparians during the construction of the railway.
The Edinburgh and Northern Railway Company had planned a level crossing over the line, but he fought for a bridge, later known as South Bridge.
Over the years the C-listed statue has fallen into disrepair and it has lost fingers and even part of its nose.
The society’s chairman Bob Scott said: “The statue has been patched up from time to time but it’s been done with cement, which isn’t really suitable.
“It’s also become covered with fungus, so it really needs to be completely refurbished by a specialist firm of conservators.
“We have had a professional report drawn up and once funding is in place we will be in a position to seek tenders for the work.”
Mr Scott said that around £5000 had been raised so far through contributions from the Preservation Society itself, Fife Council and the Railway Heritage Trust.
Tesco had also pledged to contribute and had offered to provide scaffolding and other practical help while the new Tesco store was being built in South Road.
Mr Scott explained that once the funding had reached the halfway mark, further applications would be made to bodies such as the Heritage Lottery fund and Fife Environment Trust.
Born at Rankeilour, Crichton was an advocate by profession but became widely known for his oratorial skills which he used to defend the established church all over the country.
Ill health forced him to give up his religious and political activities in his early 40s, and he died in 1851, aged just 50.