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BLiSS Westie Sculpture Named After Loch Earn Tourism Hero

Ewen, Westies of Craggan - the latest Kev Paxton sculpture on the award winning BLiSS art trail  - was unveiled by its namesake's widow and granddaughter on St Angus Church grounds at the entrance to Sustrans cycle route 7 Lochearnhead,  where West Highland Terriers were once bred.

The metal dog installation, by blacksmith and TV personality Kev Paxton, was commissioned by the Loch Earn Tourism Information (LETi) group during Visit Scotland "Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology" using an ArtRoots grant awarded by the national cycle charity Sustrans Scotland. 

The Trustees of St Angus Church enabled the sculpture to be sited on its grounds at the Craggan Road entrance off the A84.  Minister Paddy Allen said  "This charming sculpture puts the gateway to St Angus Church and the old railway walkway on the map. A delightful route for cyclists and dog walkers of all ages."

West Highland Terriers were once bred in the Craggan by Lady MacGregor of MacGregor's sister and neighbour, The Hon Torfrida Rollo. Current resident Libby Ransom shared her story of coincidence.  "In the early 1950's I was living in Hertfordshire. My mum answered a late availability advert to purchase a West Highland Terrier pup that had been destined for Canada. "Jest of Kendrum" arrived by train from Scotland. In the 1970's, I moved to the Craggan with my husband John.  Decades later I re-discovered the paperwork with Jest's pedigree. Imagine the goosebumps when I spotted the breeder's signature was Miss Rollo's. I'm sorry I did not discover my retired neighbour's profession before she died. Jest's journey had begun at Craggan Kennels. Wrapped up warmly in a box, he would have been put on the train at Balquhidder Station - Lochearnhead station had already closed but Balquhidder was still served by the overnight train from Oban to Euston. In this district much of the line it used has now become National Cycle Route 7" she said.

LETi Chair Kim Proven said, "The dog tag reads "Ewen".  We named the sculpture after Ewen Cameron OBE, a man who did much for tourism around Loch Earn and beyond, leaving LETi with a legacy to build on."  

Ewen's widow Anne Cameron, who unveiled the sculpture with her granddaughter Lottie said, "My husband was a larger than life character fondly remembered to this day for many things, including starting the Lochearnhead Water Ski Club in 1955 with me skiing on the bonnet of a Morris Minor. He became Chair of the British Water Ski Federation and a member of the Sports Council and Scottish Tourist Board. He was Scottish Heavyweight Champion and revived the BLS Highland Games where the Ewen Cameron trophy is presented to this day. He published a book of old Lochearnhead and local village photo's, met her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II  and regularly attracted famous An Comunn singers like Kenny McRae, Calum Kennedy, Alasdair Gillies as well as Bobby MacLeod and his band, to the original Lochearnhead Hotel that we owned. He even appeared on 'What's My Line' on television and competed in the hammer against Bill Travers who went on to become Olympic Champion ....well, their characters did,  in the classic Scottish film 'Geordie' (1955).

Lottie Cameron, Ewen's granddaughter said  "My dad Angus is the current President of the annual BLS Highland Games that takes place in Lochearnhead in July.  He followed in granddad's footsteps,  providing hospitality and events in the community and he owns Lochside Cottages accommodation.  Now at 25, I am working on a business plan, in this tourism 'Year of Young People 2018'.  I am considering how I can make a business contribution and continue the Cameron tourism legacy."

There are three permanent Kev Paxton sculptures on the regional Scottish Thistle Award winning BLiSS art trail and two at visiting sculpture locations. Ewen, Westies of Craggan in Lochearnhead and Drover's Bho (a metal cow) in Strathyre are linked by Sustrans NCR7.  

Since collaborating with LETi on The BLiSS Art Trail, blacksmith Kev Paxton has become a household name, demonstrating his skills on BBC TV's 'Money for Nothing' and in a new BBC programme 'Flipping Profit' which will air in April. His work will also be represented at Chelsea Flower Show this year.

Greyfriars Bobby sculpture fans have been asked to refrain from touching the old timer in Edinburgh.  Ewen is a robust young pup, the newest addition to the BLiSS art trail, whose job is to welcome visitors and highlight Sustrans cycle route 7 via St Angus Church in Lochearnhead.  He deserves a pat on the back from outdoor fans and art lovers and will sit for photographers all year round.  

Angus and Ollie Cameron with Kim Proven - LETi

Loch Earn Tourism Information Group: LETi

  • LETi won the regional Scottish Thistle Award, Edinburgh Airport Trophy in 2016 for "Working Together in Tourism" collaborating on BLiSS trail as a project. In 2017 the group picked up the GeoTourist regional Scottish Thistle Award trophy for "Innovation In Tourism" for securing BLiSS trail as a permanent attraction and for adding three new sculptures relating to the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology 2017 theme and the BLiSS history map. LETi is in the National Finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards in Edinburgh at the EICC March 15th. https://www.scottishthistleawards.co.uk/national-finalists1718
  • LETi is a group of 46  tourism businesses, formed in 1994 to promote the retail and commercial services around Loch Earn. In its 24th year, LETi has evolved from a village discussion group to an award winning area network engaging with visitors, businesses, communities, associations, DMOs and the public sector - representing Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, St. Fillans and Strathyre in accommodation, hospitality, outdoor activities, shopping, therapies and events. 
  • The aim of membership is to help boost the local economy by attracting people to the area, providing an exemplary service to guests and encouraging repeat visits. LETi’s website -  - reflects these aims and enables guests to browse accommodation options and choices, as well as tourism information surrounding this breathtakingly beautiful part of Scotland, within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.
  • LETi small business members live and work in the four picturesque villages surrounding Loch Earn, Loch Lubnaig, Loch Voil, Loch Doine and The River Earn. Towering mountains and Munros Ben Ledi, Ben Shean, Stuc A Chroin, Ben Vorlich and the Braes of Balquhidder create magnificent backdrops punctuated by ancient and new forests with an abundance of wildlife. Working together, LETi members aim to cater for a range of visitor needs offering a choice of tourism services.  The four season holiday and short break destination provides a selection of accommodation from campsites, b&bs, self catering, restaurants with rooms, guest houses, hotels and a luxury boutique hotel. LETi members are able to comment on a range of subjects including: accommodation,  history and folklore, Sustrans national cycle route 7 and The Rob Roy Way, locally sourced food and drink, wildlife and nature watching, fishing and fishing boat hire, soft furnishing using Scottish textiles, genealogy, local events, Land Rover safaris, The BLS Highland Games, The Lochearn Shears, St Fillans Golf Club, water sports and events, local transport,  the railways, deer stalking,  The Stuc A Chroin Hill Race, The BLS Villagers, Belfry Newspaper and more.

Sustrans Scotland

  • Sustrans national cycle network works closely with communities, the Scottish Government, local authorities and other partners to ensure that the people of Scotland have access to a network of safe walking and cycling routes; making Scotland a healthy, happy place to live, work and play, and a sustainable and beautiful tourist destination.  Popular cycling and walking routes are about more than just smooth surfaces, junctions and continuity. Its aim is to encourage users to cycle and walk more often and further. Making routes pleasing to the eye and memorable is part of that vision -  -
  • Sustrans ArtRoots Fund: LETi was the first to apply for and be awarded an ArtRoots grant in 2017 followed by a second grant in December 2017. With funding from Transport Scotland, Sustrans Scotland offer community groups in Scotland small grants between £100 and £2,000 to go towards artistic and visual improvements to the National Cycle Network - 

Kev Paxton - ArtFe

  • Kev Paxton is a blacksmith and metal artist who creates bespoke sculptures primarily made from mild steel. As seen on BBC Money For Nothing, he uses traditional skills combined with modern techniques like galvanising and acid washing to create individual and enduring finishes,  Notable works include The Scot Brash sculpture in Peebles, Edinburgh Airport thistles, 175 Royal herd cows commissioned to celebrate 175 year of The Royal Highland Show plus Bill The Bull and the entrance gates, gifted to the Ripple Retreat opened by patron Lorraine Kelly on Loch Venachar in 2017. Kev Paxton is a presenter in the new BBC programme Flipping Point that will air in the spring and his work will be on display at Chelsea Flower Show 2018   

St Angus Church 

  • St Angus Church was built in 1888 as a private chapel by three local families: the Stewarts of Ardvorlich, the Carnegies of Stronvar and the MacGregors of MacGregor. The building was consecrated by the Bishop of St Andrews in 1894 as a chapel of the Scottish Episcopal Church and is one of the most beautiful small churches in the Diocese holding around 60 people. 

Ewen Cameron OBE 1926-1995

Clan MacGregor 

  • The current chief of Clan Gregor is Sir Malcolm Gregor Charles MacGregor of MacGregor. More information on the clan at  and  

Visit Scotland Themed Years

  • Themed years celebrate the very best of Scotland and its people. Year of Young People 2018 is the first of its kind in Scotland; it aims to inspire all ages through its young people (8-26) by celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities and creating new opportunities for them to shine on a local and global stage. This follows on from 2017 Year of History Heritage and Architecture.

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