Mythical bridge guardian revealed

David Cameron, Diane Brown, Marie Munday, Debbie Ryan and Ryan Williamson with the Guardian of the Bridges. Pic: Lisa Ferguson
David Cameron, Diane Brown, Marie Munday, Debbie Ryan and Ryan Williamson with the Guardian of the Bridges. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

A new public art sculpture – celebrating Queensferry’s famous bridges – was unveiled this week at its new home proudly overlooking the Forth.

Local business group Queensferry Ambition commissioned the sculpture called the “Guardian of the Bridges” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge in 2014, with funds awarded by the Scottish Government-funded arts body, Creative Scotland.

Having gained planning consent to site The Guardian of the Bridges on McIver’s Brae, on the Queensferry shoreline, the Guardian was unveiled on Tuesday.

The mosaic sculpture – in the form of a friendly creature or dragon – was developed by artist Debbie Ryan, and is based on designs and mosaics created by local school children from both North and South Queensferry as well as Inverkeithing.

Debbie ran art workshops in the local community throughout the course of several months.

In total over 700 people were involved in the project, from school children to library and community care groups.

Under Debbie’s leadership sessions were held at Echline, Dalmeny, Queensferry and North Queensferry primaries along with Queensferry and Inverkeithing High Schools.

Primary seven pupils at Echline, Dalmeny and Queensferry primaries took part in the design competition with the final design unseen until this week.

David Cameron, chairperson of Queensferry Ambition, said: “It’s taken some time to get the right site but we are delighted to add it to the attractions in the town and give people another reason to visit Queensferry.

“I’d like to thank Debbie, all the children, teachers and members of the community in both Queensferry and in Fife who have been involved in the project. This is a legacy project that we should all be proud of and I am delighted Queensferry Ambition led it.”

Debbie Ryan said: “The new site is a bit of a gem, allowing people to visit the sculpture and explore the beautiful views and landscape around Queensferry – on foot or by bike.”

She added: “It was great to be involved in the project. I ran workshops with local children from both Queensferry and from Fife to design and create the sculpture.

‘‘The pupils created their own mosaics and also worked on panels which were incorporated into the actual sculpture.

‘‘I’m hoping the project will encourage a lifelong interest in the arts for some of the children.”