Rallying call to restore statue of Field Marshal James Keith

Sam Coull at the statue of Marshal Keith in Peterhead's Broad Street
Sam Coull at the statue of Marshal Keith in Peterhead's Broad Street
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Calls h ave been made for urgent repairs to a historical statue in Peterhead.

Field Marshal James Francis Edward Keith stands proudly overlooking the town’s Broad Street.

The statue - a replica of a monument create dby the artist Taesart in 1789 - was gifted to the town by William I, King of Prussia, in recognition of Peterhead-born Keith’s loyalty to the Prussian Army under Frederick the Great.

Keith died during the Seven Years War at the Battle of Hochkirk.

But time, pollution and vandalism of his statue has prompted former local councillor and dedicated Keith historian Sam Coull to seek funds to repair and maintain his memorial and the area on which it stands.

Having recently seen the impressive efforts of the German authorities to preserve the original monument, Mr Coull believes it is vital we do the same on our shores.

“Having seen how magnificent the statue looks inBerlin, I was shocked to compare it with the memorial we have in the heart of Peterhead,” he told the Buchanie.

“This was ‘a gift’ from Prussia in honour of a great Buchan man - it is a great shame it is being allowed to fall into such disrepair.”

The statue - made of stamped sheet zinc - is missing the spurs of Marshal Keith, while the granite plinth upon which he stands has been chipped - purportedly by people opening beers bottle on it.

Now Mr Coull wants a slice of the monies sitting in either the Peterhead Common Good Fund or the council’s £500,000 regeneration pot to ensure repairs are made before it is too late.

“Clearly the materials in both the statue and the plinth will require specialists treatment and that will cost money,” he said.

“But would we rather restore our proud heritage and have a shining monument overlooking the town centre or just another flower pot to be filled up with fag ends and litter?

“Situated in the very street the council is now trying to revitalise, surely this can only be seen as a very sensible and sensitive use of Peterhead’s public money.”