The Bronze Ford “Summit” is reached!
Issued on behalf of Ben Nevis Model T Ford Committee
In May 1911 Henry Alexander drove from Edinburgh halting awhile in Cameron Square, Fort William en route to his epic ascent of Ben Nevis in a Model T Ford. Inspired by this event, a local group, the Ben Nevis Model T Ford Committee has been raising the profile and funds for a sculpture at many local and national events over the last 4 years with many seeing an original 1911 Model T on display on these occasions.
Funding is now in place to have cast and installed “The Bronze Ford” in Cameron Square, Fort William and in May 2018 a bronze replica of the Ford car with Alexander at the wheel will arrive in Cameron Square from Edinburgh, but this time without the ambition of climbing Ben Nevis. Instead this unique full size sculpture in Bronze will become a permanent memorial to this epic achievement of man and machine, sometime described as “motor mountaineering”.
The sculpture will be sited in Cameron Square between the High Street and the West Highland Museum where the concept of “The Bronze Ford” was born.
Many Lochaber people and businesses have contributed in kind or in cash to the project and considerable sums have been donated by Model T enthusiasts up and down the country. The Highland Council have been supportive throughout, applying successfully to the EU LEADER fund which completed the funding package as well as undertaking the tendering process which identified Powderhall Bronze Foundry in Edinburgh as the successful bidder. Members of the project team recently visited Powderhall and saw the workings of the foundry which has produced a number of well-known statues including Donald Dewar in Glasgow and a restoration of Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh.
The Committee will be arranging a number of visits to the foundry by local students from Lochaber High School during the Bronze Ford’s construction. They will then see at first hand the construction of the sculpture and be there at the beginning of its legacy which will tell the tale of Alexander’s achievement.
Highland Council Lochaber Leader Andrew Baxter said: "Congratulations to the team behind this bold project for raising the money needed to construct what will be a fantastic centrepiece to the town. Councillors were pleased to make a modest contribution from our ward discretionary funds towards this funding. I'm looking forward to seeing the Model-T finally in place in Cameron Square and the reaction from visitors."