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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 November 2005, 18:15 GMT
Big Yin option for tunnel statue
Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly used to live in Partick
Motorists are being asked whether they would like to see a statue of comedian Billy Connolly at the mouth of Glasgow's Clyde Tunnel.

The Big Yin is one of four options being suggested for the Partick exit by the Hold Your Breath organisation, which is holding a vote on its website.

The not-for-profit organisation also wants people to choose their favourite colour for lighting up the tunnel.

It will test out a range of options starting at dusk on Monday.

A different colour will be used at the south of the structure on each of the next seven days, and the results can also be viewed on the Hold Your Breath website.

Clyde Tunnel entrance
Hold Your Breath wants to brighten up the tunnel

The organisation was formed after Partick resident Kathy Friend decided to try and do something about the "grim" look of the tunnel, which is used by 65,000 vehicles each day.

It took its name from the tradition followed by Glasgow children, who try to hold their breath as they pass under the Clyde.

Its first online questionnaire - asking people what they wanted to hear and smell as they pass through the tunnel - was completed by 3,000 people.

"The whole point from the beginning has been to have something permanent," said Kathy.

"We have been looking at some designs for lighting but we thought it would be quite good to test things out and let the public see what they think."

The colours will be on display for a few hours at dusk and dawn, and will be changed at noon each day.

Once the responses have been collated the Hold Your Breath design team will come up with proposals for Glasgow City Council.

If the local authority gives its backing the aim is to have the tunnel lit up by October next year to coincide with the Diwali festival of light.

The Clyde Tunnel is the length of seven football pitches
It cost 10.5m to build
Work started in July 1957
The construction involved a tunnel shield invented 139 years earlier by Marc Brunel
The first tunnel opened in July 1963, the second in March 1964
The tunnel is used by 65,000 vehicles every day
It is 21ft below the surface of the river

"We would like to close one tunnel to traffic and hold a music event in the middle of that tunnel," said Kathy.

"After this the whole tunnel lighting installation would be switched on so that the audience see it as they come out of the tunnel."

This year's consultation event coincides with Radiance, Glasgow's first major festival of light, which runs from 25 to 27 November.

In addition to the lighting scheme, there are also plans to create a sculpture at the west end of the tunnel.

Hold Your Breath has put four options on its website, including former Clyde shipyard worker Connolly - who used to live in Partick.

The other options are an abstract figure representing the river; a tunnel miner, to mark the achievement of those who worked to build the structure; and one which would honour the role of "real women" in Glasgow's history, dubbed Red Skirts on Clydeside.


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