Belfast Telegraph

Magnificent Harry Ferguson will fly again: Aviation genius honoured with public artwork

By Amanda Poole

Dromore-born engineering genius Harry Ferguson will soon be back in the air thanks to a creative new public artwork.

This summer, a half life-size bronze and stainless steel sculpture of the pioneer aviator will be placed on the roundabout of the A1 dual carriageway under the Hillsborough flyover, giving the impression it’s in flight.

In 1909, Harry Ferguson was the first Irishman to design, build and fly his own aeroplane. He is also regarded as the founding father of the modern tractor, which helped revolutionise farming all over the world.

From UK-wide submissions, Lisburn City Council, the Harry Ferguson Celebration Committee and the Ulster Aviation Society picked the innovative design by Whiteabbey-based sculptor John Sherlock OBE and Mark Copeland from Newtownabbey-based metal fabricators PF Copeland.

The selection panel felt it was the most fitting celebration of the Co Down native’s remarkable achievements.

The £120,000 project has been approved for grant investment from Lagan Rural Partnership under the Rural Development Programme.

John Sherlock said he was thrilled their concept had been picked.

“It’s a happy coincidence that both Mark Copeland and myself are also qualified pilots, and we’re in awe of Ferguson for his amazing feat to get his unique creation to actually fly and land successfully,” Mr Sherlock said.

“The sculpture shows this splendid aircraft as it’s just about to make its historic landing, with Harry waving to the watching crowds. The piece will present the inventor as truly a ‘Magnificent Man in his Flying Machine’.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph