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September 19, 2016
I bumped into this fella on a blustery walk along Montrose beach. Meet the Minesweeper, striking a lonely pose as he stares out to sea. This stunning life-sized sculpture is a cast of the original by local artist William Lamb.
Despite being regarded as possibly the best sculptor Scotland has ever produced, Lamb is little known outwith Angus.
He was a survivor of the "lost generation" of the First World War and was scarred by his experiences, both physically and mentally. He learned to sculpt right-handed but due to a war wound had to relearn his craft using his left hand.
Despite modelling a young Queen Elizabeth (aged six) and other members of the Royal Family, most of Lamb's work depicts the ordinary working folk of Montrose and their gruelling lives.
His childhood was overshadowed by his father's alcoholism. Lamb suffered from depression and died in 1942 from kidney disease.
Despite his poverty he was reluctant to sell his work, and often hid the best items when buyers visited. The result is that a huge collection of sculptures, paintings, sketches and carvings were left to the local authority on his death and can be seen at the William Lamb studio in Montrose during the summer.