VIDEO: Fife ‘hippo’ swings into town

Shoppers and motorists in a Fife town could hardly believe their eyes as the latest addition to the town’s burgeoning collection of public art came swinging into place.

Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th March 2019, 12:08 pm

ForGlenrothes, a town that is famed for its hippos has now got another in the form of a 650kg steel sculpture which was hoisted into position in the town centre yesterday.

Taking inspiration from the town’s adopted hippo mascot, local blacksmith and designer Rory Thomas and his son Kyran have now created the new artwork sculpted from recycled metal.

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Fife's newest public art work swung into place much to the amusement of onlookers.

And the sight of a large hippo certainly got tongues wagging in the town as onlookers stopped to take a closer look.

The 650kg sculpture took 12 weeks to complete.

Commissioned by Fife Council as part the ongoing town centre improvements, the latest striking and lifelike piece is now positioned in North Street opposite the recently completed new retail centre.

“Having grown up in the town I’m fully aware of the town’s link with hippos and it’s that which inspired us to create this.

“It wasn’t supposed to be so big but it just evolved as we went on, but I think people will be pleased with it, I certainly am.”
Rory said the hippo took 12 weeks to produce and was certainly a labour of love.

“I wanted it to be the best we could possibly make, especially with it being for my home town,

Kyran and Rory Thomas were commissioned to produce the new sculpture.

“We just kept going back to it and it grew and grew into what we have here today.

“I hope the public like it and that it’ll become a focal point within the town.

“Glenrothes has a rich heritage of town art which I love, so to be adding our piece to that is a dream come true for us.”

Andrew Walker economic adviser at Fife council’s Town Centre Development Unit, who was involved in the commissioning of the new artwork, said he was delighted with the outcome.

It's hoped the hippo will become a new meeting place within the town centre.

“It’s fantastic and even better that i’d initially envisioned it.

“It taps into the town’s rich public art heritage and takes inspiration from what has gone before.

“Hippos have come synonymous with Glenrothes since Stanley Bonnar created the first one back in 1973 and I’m sure the public will love it.

“I think it’ll become a meeting place within the town with people in years to come saying ‘I’ll meet you at the hippo’ and that being recognised instantly.”

The new arrival swung into place less than 24 hours after another of the town’s much loved art works - Rexie the Dinosaur was brought back to it’s usual position on Caskieberran roundabout, after an absence of three months for repair work after being hit by a vehicle.