I'M BUILDING BUCKIE HOUSE Daily Record, 01/10/1998, p11
by Shaun Milne
A reformed alcoholic wants to build a 40ft glass lighthouse out of
thousands of Buckfast bottles.
Terry Kerr, 33, hopes the controversial sculpture will become a beacon
of hope for people from his home town of Airdrie, Lanarkshire.
But the plan has sparked controversy in the area once dubbed the UK's
Terry wants to build the structure in full view of the busy M8 at the
Blackhill television transmitter.
Local MP Helen Liddell once led a campaign against the strong, cheap,
wine made by monks in Devon.
The move came after she discovered a massive 80 per cent of sales of
Buckfast in Scotland were in her area.
Terry, who has been "dry" for 11 years, said his design was a tribute.
He said: "Some people may say it glorifies alcohol but does that mean a
war memorial glorifies war?
"This has nothing to do with Buckfast itself, that would be an insult
to the area.
"It's going to be built in the shape of a lighthouse to warn people of
the danger of their lives landing on the rocks. It will shine light on
the Millennium. It's showing the world that this is a chance to look at
our problems and solve them."
The work will take hundreds of thousands of empty wine, spirit and
Buckfast bottles to complete.
Terry, from Sikeside, Airdrie, has enlisted the help of an architect.
The monument will have a concrete base and be reinforced by a steel
frame with the bottles suspended within.
The sculptor said: "It will be a monument to social deprivation. When
the sun rises and hits the glass and lights up, it will look
spectacular. People will see it from across central Scotland.
"But it will be at night time, with the moonlight hitting the
different- coloured glass, that it will look really special.
"Being a former drinker gives me the right to build this using wine
bottles. I've had friends who died from alcoholism. I've been there
myself and I want to create a memorial to all those people who died."
Terry has exhibited in the USA in the past. His previous work includes
a self-portrait made entirely from stones and slabs washed up on a Fife
He also plans to donate his latest sculpture, entitled The Birth of
Thatcherism, to the local council.
However, his idea for the giant glass lighthouse has caused some upset.
The distributors of Buckfast Tonic Wine, Chandlers of London, said:
"Such a project would be a total insult to the people of the area.
Buckfast represents less than half of one per cent of the alcohol
consumed in Central Scotland."
A spokeswoman for the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Valley Tourist Board
said: "This is just not on for enhancing tourism."
North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim McCabe said: "The idea does not
strike me as something which would best show the merits of North
Lanarkshire. But as with all applications such as this, it will be
judged on the contents of the artist's presentation."
Pensioner Henry Harkins of Townhead and Gartsherry Community Council in
Coatbridge said: "It is not a good idea at all. The area is called
Buckfast Valley as it is. Things like this just make it 10 times
Caretaker Bruce Mungin, 51, from Airdrie said: "I'd be annoyed if it
were built. It's something that Coatbridge and Airdrie don't need.
"I think if the guy wants to help people who have problems with alcohol
he should start up a group or something."