At some point in the mid-1970s, ‘vandals’ and ‘the passage of time’ had reportedly left the statue of Burns without arms or a head. While one hand was lost forever, the head was restored to the body of the statue by a firm of Hatfield-based welders which normally specialised in welding high-pressure gas and oil pipelines. The ‘unusual commission’ was undertaken at the behest of the North-East Federation of Burns Societies. The work was reportedly undertaken by a Mr Bill Fraser, himself a Scot, and he pinned the arms and the head back onto the torso and used glass fibre to fashion a replacement hand. Following its restoration the statue was re-erected in Heaton Park in September 1975.
Source: unknown Newcastle newspaper clipping; http://www.twsitelines.info/smr/13508