On 30 June 1948 the delegation order establishing Glenrothes in Fife was signed and a New Town was born. Today the town, famed for its public art including the iconic concrete hippos, celebrates its 75th birthday.
To mark the occasion, local businesses, schools and community groups have come together to mark of the town’s achievements at the Kingdom Shopping Centre.
Displays throughout the centre have been launched to showcase a thriving community, proud of what the town has to offer.
As part of the celebrations, Stan Bonnar returned to the town to unveil a new sculpture created specifically for this occasion. Stan worked as Assistant Town Artist in 1973 and was the creator of the original hippos that have become the town’s unofficial mascot.
Stan’s new piece, called “The Disappearing Hippo”, connects with his 50 year old concrete structures, but confronts the challenges of today’s world. It is constructed using recycled tin cans and other sustainable materials to bring a conservation message to the people of the Fife town.
The hippos design presents a solid hippo gradually disappearing as a symbol of the global demise of this incredible African species, whose existence is threatened by poachers and global warming induced droughts.
Stan, whose work in Scotland’s New Towns was told in a recent BBC documentary presented by his actor son Mark Bonnar, is an award-winning environmental artist and philosopher.
He was also a lecturer at Glasgow School of Art. Stan was encouraged out of retirement to re-create one last hippo, an animal that has become a legacy both for him and for Glenrothes.
The Disappearing Hippo will be on display in the Kingdom Shopping Centre during July, August and September.