Silloth is a small town in north Cumbria, on the coastline of the Solway Firth. Its seaside promenade looks across the Solway Firth to the hills of Southern Galloway in Scotland. This part of England’s west coast is renowned for its spectacular sunsets and was an inspiration for the famous 19th-century British landscape artist, J.M.W. Turner.
The impressive view along this coastline was also a favorite of a local Silloth businessman, Peter Richardson, who would regularly walk his dog along this coastal footpath. Richardson decided to commission a piece of artwork for the local area and he bequeathed the sculpture in his will as a gift to his hometown of Silloth.
Sadly, Richardson died in 2017, two years before the statue was completed. The oversized statue depicts Richardson sitting on a bench shielding his eyes from the sun as he looks out across the Solway Firth. His trusty dog, called Scruffy, is resting alongside him on the bench; the dog’s eye watching a ball which is by his master’s feet.
The giant steel statue is 12 feet tall, and took steel artist Ray Lonsdale four months to assemble. The statue’s design and location were chosen with the intention of making people stop and enjoy the view. Also to make the people of Silloth smile and to brighten their day.