A STATUE dedicated to the writer of the popular Scottish song Ally Bally Bee has been vandalised in a Scottish Borders town.

A tribute to Robert Coltart, the series of statues were first unveiled in Galashiels' Market Square almost two years ago.

The statues celebrate Coltart's popular song Coulter's Candy which is also known as Ally Bally Bee for its popular opening line.

The song was originally written in the 19th century by Coltart as an advertising jingle for the confectionary he produced and sold around markets in the Scottish Borders.

The statue of a sweet salesman was the first to be placed in September 2019 and the boy and girl statues looking to buy some of his sweets were added in December of the same year.

The National:

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One of the statues of the children was toppled over, which has angered local residents as well as the area's MSP. Anyone with information relating to the vandal(s) is being encouraged to contact the police.

Christine Grahame (below left), SNP MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, which includes Galashiels, said: "I’m really saddened to see this mindless vandalism of Galashiels' Ally Bally Bee statue at a time when we should be taking pride in the town, particularly with the recent unveiling of the Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre.

The National:

SNP MSP Christine Grahame unveils original statue with sculptor Angela Hunter (right) and Jimmie McGregor, the folk singer who helped give Ally Bally Bee a surge in popularity in the 50s and 60s

"I was there at the unveiling of these statues and have met the sculptor, Innerleithen-based Angela Hunter, and saw how much pride there was in the work. It’s disappointing to see that some people place so little value in that.

"I know the people of Gala will want to see this restored as soon as possible and I hope that the police are able to apprehend the culprit or culprits quickly. I’d encourage anyone who saw anything on Sunday to contact them."

The National:

It is understood that a task force has been brought together to put the statue back in its place as soon as possible as well as strengthening its base.