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DJCAD Technician recreating the legendary farmer from a sketch


Heritage fans have been given their first look at an Angus memorial set for the grounds of a historic castle this summer.

Hugh Watson began farming cattle at Keillor Farm near Newtyle in 1808, pairing animals which would become the world-famous Aberdeen-Angus breed.

A memorial is planned for Glamis Castle on July 1 as part of the Angus ‘World  Forum’ schedule, but a stumbling block emerged as no photographs of the farmer exist.

Roddy Mathieson, of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, was given the task of recreating the legendary farmer from a sketch.

“The main challenge was to give the portrait some life and presence, and I think I’ve done him justice with the end product,” he said.

“In a setting like Glamis Cattle, I’m sure it’ll be a fitting and pleasing memorial for visitors who can really appreciate the life and works of Mr Watson.”

Some notable animals in Watson’s herd included Old Jock, who was sired by Grey-Breasted Jock and born in 1842.

On the founding of the Scottish Herd Book, old Jock was the first animal to feature.

Another was Old Granny, born in 1824 and believed to have lived to an impressive 35 years-old, giving birth to 29 calves.

The pedigrees of the majority of Aberdeen-Angus cattle today can be traced back to either Old Jock or Old Granny.

“This project gave me an opportunity to develop my craft, as I undertake the whole process from researching the theme to producing the portraiture, casting the plaques and installing them,” Mr Mathieson said.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society, it’s been so interesting learning about what they do and the proud history behind them.”

A spokeswoman for the society said: “There has been a tremendous amount of time, effort and passion gone into the development of the final memorial, and we can’t wait for its unveiling.

“As a founding member of the breed, we are sure that the unveiling of Mr Watson’s memorial will be met with great enthusiasm by all who attend, including our overseas friends who are joining the World Forum in the summer.”

Article from The Courier. Image from Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society.