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Tom and Luke Stoltman in frame for Invergordon mural as world's strongest brothers fire imagination of Easter Ross activists

By Hector MacKenzie

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The Stoltman brothers with local primary school children at last week's 'Our Invergordon' project. They're popular contenders for the next town mural. Picture: Iona MacDonald
The Stoltman brothers with local primary school children at last week's 'Our Invergordon' project. They're popular contenders for the next town mural. Picture: Iona MacDonald

AN Easter Ross town's famous mural trail is set to be expanded – with two of its most famous sons strong contenders for being honoured.

World's strongest brothers Tom and Luke Stoltman are in the frame for an ambitious extension of Invergordon's mural trail, which is seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

The original visionary trail – featuring scenes significant to the town's rich history – was created by the Invergordon Off the Wall (IOTW) voluntary community initiative.

It was used last week to bring history to life for hundreds of local schoolchildren in a successful initiative dreamed up by activist Lorna Valentine and realised with the help of an army of willing volunteers.

Tom Stoltman, a two-time World's Strongest Man winner, and his multiple award-winning older brother Luke, are hugely popular contenders for a new mural which is now actively being pursued by IOTW. The group is looking for ideas from its local community as well as potential sites – and, crucially funding – for more murals.

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Tom and Luke, already honoured on welcome signs to the port town, are clear frontrunners having helped put the town on the map with hundreds of thousands of fans around the world. They have spoken of their commitment to their hometown and desire to leave a legacy.

Lorna Valentine: Delighted with response.
Lorna Valentine: Delighted with response.

Lorna Valentine said she hoped the Our Invergordon event staged last week and centred on the mural trail could become a regular event. She said: "It's in the public imagination now."

She was delighted to see the Stoltman brothers turn up during the day, much to the delight of local children: "The kids just love them," she said. "We are planning to do a Stoltman mural. We need to have a consultation about where it will go and identify funding. But we will get it. The murals are such a statement."

She said of the living history event: "Everyone was just ad libbing and it was terrific."

Firefighters and lifeboat volunteers were amongst those helping bring the town's story to life with Shona Flett playing the part of a 1923 schoolmistress and Lorna Gordon leading dancing. Sonny Rhind gave an overview of 100 years of sport and singer-songwriter Davy Cowan entertained in the street regardless the weather.

Existing murals include The Long Goodbye, Pipes and Drums, The Loch and Volunteer Spirit.

The trail has even inspired an app. And now hopes are high that it is set to be extended further still.

To find out more see invergordonoffthewall.org.uk or email invergordonoffthewall@gmail.com

See pictures from last week's mural trailblazer in this week's Ross-shire Journal.

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