On Friday 20th November 1840, a meeting took place in Glasgow of several businessmen to discuss procuring a statue of the Duke of Wellington and erecting it in Royal Exchange Square.
On the committee, and one of the major subscribers to the cost of the new statue, was Mr. Alexander Downie of Crossbasket.
Today, in 2015, the statue is a famous Glasgow icon, commonly featuring a red traffic cone, on the Duke’s head. I’m not sure what Alexander would have made of that, but I would like to think he would be happy at the infamy and popularity of the statue itself.
It is probably the most photographed thing in Glasgow! Remember, next time you see this statue, a man who lived in Blantyre had a major part in paying for it!