Kelpie clean-up ‘neigh’ bother ‘Cif’ you know how!

Open wide! And don’t close your mouth! Dental exam 100 feet in the air. PHOTOS: HUGH DOUGHERTY

SPRING cleaning the mighty Kelpies, is easy, says project engineer, Stephen Taylor of Scottish Canals- ‘Cif’ you know how!

For Stephen, the man in charge of the mighty horses’ spring clean and engineering inspection, has revealed that the secret behind restoring the original, glossy coat to the giant horse head sculptures is nothing more or less than domestic cleaner, Cif. “A lotta bottles!” smiled Stephen.

Checking one of the 9,000 bolts, without closing the stable door!

Contractors have checked all 9,000 bolts securing the outer steel panels using cherry pickers, and abseiled down inside the statues to check and clean the horses’ massive steel skeletons. “The exercise allows us to see how the Kelpies are weathering, and we can then work out a regular maintenance programme to keep them looking as good as new,” said Stephen.

Cif will do its work on the stainless steel panels, for the horses have become surprisingly dirty because of their proximity to the M9 motorway, with road dust and diesel particulates doing their worst to take the gloss off the Kelpies’ coats.

But Stephen says that it’s ‘neigh’ bother to fix, thanks to Cif, some water and lots of elbow grease, so that the horse heads won’t be ‘saddled’ with grime for much longer.

And the specialist contractors have become something of a tourist draw in their own right, as, high above the ground they groom their charges, even looking a Kelpie horse in the mouth, to ensure that its teeth are as stainless steel-shiny as its coat.

Horse grooming, Kelpie style.

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