Prankster is warned over statue mischief

Crichton statue, Cupar.
Crichton statue, Cupar.

A Cupar councillor has warned that mobile cameras may have to be installed if a prankster does not stop targeting a prominent statue in the town.

In recent weeks, pairs of trainers have been draped over the arms of the David Maitland Makgill Crichton memorial, near the station.

On other occasions, a cone has been placed on the head of the landmark.

Fife councillor Margaret Kennedy said the individual responsible obviously thought it was funny to carry out the acts.

“While I am happy to have fun, I do not believe that this is acceptable behaviour.

“The statue is an extremely important feature of our town and in a prominent position, therefore any desecration is obvious.

“The statue was refurbished at considerable cost in recent years, led by the local preservation trust.

“Behaviour like this could have a negative impact on the structure, given the fact that I am sure that the individual doing this will have to climb up the statue.”

Councillor Kennedy added that it was costing public money to remove the shoes.

“I do hope that whoever is responsible takes note of the fact that they are costing themselves money in the end.

“Should this activity continue, I will be seeking the installation of mobile cameras in order to monitor the area.”

It was only a few years ago that repairs and a clean-up of the statue was undertaken, spearheaded by Cupar and North Fife Preservation Society.

Born in 1801 at Rankeilour, west of Cupar, 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.

An advocate, Crichton 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.

The completion of the restoration works was marked by a small ceremony at the statue, attended by family members and representatives of local organisations. There was also an exhibition mounted by Cupar Heritage.