The anticipated unveiling of a bronze bust of Mikhail Yurievitch Lermontov took place
in the Scottish Borders town of Earlston on Friday 3rd October 2014 - the bicentenary
of his birth. Even the torrential rain, which necessitated the unveiling taking place
under cover, didn’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance; perhaps the distribution
of a Quaich filled with another spirit, played its part.
Friday’s unveiling was attended by both local and foreign dignitaries and was preceded
by a civic reception at Council Chambers, Scottish Borders Council Headquarters.
As for the bust unveiled on Friday; it will be mounted on a stone plinth in the gardens
in Earlston square, and, when the necessary funding has been procured, be replaced
by a full size statue in bronze and local stone. An interpretation panel inscribed
with the relevant information on the link between Mikhail Lermontov, the Learmonths
and Thomas the Rhymer will also be forthcoming when funds allow.
It is hoped that, in years to come, the feature will become a focal point in the
village square and a meeting place for descendants of the two families. Perhaps an
organised gathering of Learmonths and Lermontovs could become an annual occurrence.
Not only that, but more importantly, it will serve to educate future generations
on their local history.