After a journey that began 4,000 miles away in the dust of a quarry in India, the huge lump of basalt for Kelso’s new public artwork finally arrived.
Onlookers watched as a crane from Rodger (Builders) Ltd of Earlston lifted the 20-ton block, christened ‘Kelsae’, free of the articulated lorry which brought it from Grangemouth docks on Monday.
Maxton sculptor Jake Harvey has spent the months since October working with a team of stonemasons in India, shaping the block.
The £40,000 competition to fund public art for the town’s square was funded by supermarket firm Sainsbury’s.
A former pupil of Kelso High School who became Professor of Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art, Mr Harvey explained about stage two of the work.
“I have to carve 150 place names around it; the names of local towns, villages and farm places,” he said.
“The idea is to contact each of these communities and invite them to select someone to write the name of the place in their own monicker [handwriting].
“I will then carve these using different methods so it becomes almost like contemporary graffiti.”
Charlie Robertson, who chaired the Kelso Stakeholders sub-group that oversaw the competition, said ‘Kelsae’ had turned out to be even more stunning than expected.
“Once this is all finished, I think the folk of Kelso will be as proud of ‘Kelsae’ as they are of the square and the town as a whole,” he said.