FORMER shipbuilders are being invited to the official launch of the huge Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow sculpture this weekend.
Ex-shipyard workers are being encouraged along to Coronation Park this Saturday 24 June 2023 to formally celebrate the completion of the huge 10 metre (33 feet) tall stainless-steel figures.
The sculpture, also known as ‘The Skelpies’, was designed and installed by renowned artist John McKenna to commemorate the shipbuilders of Port Glasgow and the Lower Clyde.
The artwork was commissioned by Riverside Inverclyde and Inverclyde Council and the design was chosen following a public vote.
An official opening ceremony will take place on Saturday starting at 11am and all are welcome, particularly former shipyard workers.
Provost Drew McKenzie said: “The sculpture has already become a huge hit with people from near and far and this Saturday is an opportunity to celebrate the completion of this striking piece of public art and also to honour the many thousands of men and women who worked in our yards and earned Port Glasgow and Inverclyde a global reputation as a centre of excellence for shipbuilding.
“We would like to extend an open invitation to the shipbuilding family to join us for the official launch.
“It is shaping up to be a fantastic day of celebration for Port Glasgow with the annual Comet Festival following on from the launch of the sculpture with many free activities for all the family.”
The Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow figures were installed last year with lighting, benches, landscaping added in stages thereafter to complete the project.
It has proven very popular among the local population as well as day-trippers, passers-by, and particularly with amateur and professional photographers.
The sculpture has also been used to highlight many local and national campaigns by being lit different colours.
The launch event on Saturday will feature the screening of a new short film by Chris Fallen, from Hidden Meaning Productions, charting the history of the sculpture from inception to completion.
The film will be made available to watch across the Inverclyde Council channels after the event.
Following the official launch of the Shipbuilders of Port Glasgow sculpture will be the annual Comet Festival from around 11.30am.
Entry to the festival is free and the event will feature live music, funfair, children’s activities, stalls, and food and drink tents through until 6pm.