A famous 34-year-old sculpture has been restored to its former glory by an artist in Gorse Hill.

The Great Blondinis artwork, now in St Mark’s Park, was commissioned before the railway works closed and was created by John Clinch in 1987 using aluminium from the works.

It's is the second time the statue has been restored with its cheerful colours by Tim Carroll who is more well-known for his paintings which are usually inspired by Swindon.

The statue is based on the Great Blondinis acrobatic act which performed in circuses in Swindon in the 1920s.

It is rumoured the duo lived in the Gorse Hill area and that their stage name was inspired by Charles Blondin, a French tightrope walker who crossed the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope.

The aluminium statue used to reside in the town centre by the Brunel Centre but was badly vandalised and the decision was made to relocate it to St Mark’s in 1998.

There was a big celebration for the move, involving a fun day with magicians and acrobats performing.

Over the years, lumps of paint have broken off or cracked and the sculpture had become dingy with dirt.

Central Swindon North Parish council decided it was badly in need of repair and should be renovated so commissioned Tim to do the work.

The artist spent six days sprucing up the sculpture.

He said: “I’m happy with the finished product. It just needed a freshen up.

“I think the hardest part was getting the flesh-tones the right colour but I’ve tried to stick as closely as possible to the original colour scheme.

“I finished it about a month ago and it does brighten up a dreary November day.

“When I was working on it, people kept asking me about it and suggested we put a plaque here with some information about the history so I think that’s the next plan.

He added: “I hope I’ll be doing the next restoration in a few years time.”

Coun Ray Ballman, who led the campaign, said: “It desperately needed doing. I think it goes well in the park and we don’t get as much vandalism here.

“It’s the quickest thing the parish council has agreed on!

“It looks great now it’s been restored by Tim. We’re hoping to get St Mark’s Park Green Flag accredited because it is such a special historical sculpture.”

Coun Ballman was joined by Coun John Ballman, Coun Mick Lucas, Andrew Briggs, Andy Reeves and Tim at the unveiling.

Coun Ballman added: “It looks completely different and it’s been given a new lease of life.

“Lots of people take photographs when they come here.”