OVER 2,000 people – many sporting red toorie hats in tribute to Scotland’s legendary outdoors champion Tom Weir– enjoyed a day of live music, food, crafts and activities at the first Loch Lomond Weirfest.
Organised by the Tom Weir Memorial Group and the Friends of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, the festival took place on the last Saturday of May at Tom Weir’s Rest in Balmaha, the site of the Tom Weir statue.
“We reckon over £3,000 was raised,” says Friends of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs chairman James Fraser. “We’re not sure of the final total’s as some of the monies have still to be counted.”
An all-day programme of live music featured popular Scottish minstrel Alastair McDonald, Alba Deils, the Loch Lomond Ukulele Orchestra and The Mighty Sparrahawk as well as folk and ballad artists Linsey and Ken Campbell.
Scottish food ambassador Christopher Trotter showcased some of Tom Weir’s favourite foods with a series of cooking demonstrations while Donald Nelson and Sion Barrington entertained visitors with some Scottish storytelling. Other activities included woodcraft demonstrations, workshops, birds of prey displays, themed guided walks and showings of Tom’s popular Weir’s Way TV series in the nearby National Park Visitor Centre.
Susan Taylor, one of the event organisers, tells G63: ‘’The event exceeded all our expectations to pay a very fitting tribute to Tom and we’d like to thank everyone who made the event such a success.
“The funds raised will help us press on with further improvements to the site at Tom Weir’s Rest including new paths, stone walling and the installation of story boards.”
James adds: “Our fundraising target is £100,000 and we’re are currently sitting around £83,00 so there’s still a wee way to go.
“We also need to maintain a fundraising effort to cover site maintenance and statue insurance which runs to several thousand pounds each year.”
Tom Weir Statue merchandise is also available at the Village Shop, Balmaha with a donation from each sale going towards site maintenance.
The public appeal for the Tom Weir’s Rest and statue site improvement works is still open – for more information or to make a donation go to www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/visiting/tom-weir-statue-campaign/menu-id-957.html
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