Sculptures of one of Scotland’s favourite comic characters have been welcomed after being installed around the north-east.
The brightly-coloured statues of the dungaree-clad loon Oor Wullie have gone on display as part of a national campaign to help children’s hospital charities.
Some 200 life-sized sculptures of the DC Thomson character can be found in streets across Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness until August 30.
Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail is officially underway! ? Thank you to @HRHBeaOfYork for officially launching the trail & helping to collect some sculptures using the app ? #owbbt #readysteadygo #foreverychild @OWBIGBucket pic.twitter.com/CbS9XQQKOg
— DC Thomson Media (@dct_media) June 17, 2019
Princess Beatrice, patron of the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, launched the tourist trail which is hoped to raise a significant sum for sick children.
Scores of people have been visiting the sculptures in Aberdeen and Inverurie, with the designs getting the thumbs-up from the public.
Derek Ritchie, manager for We Are Inverurie, said: “The businesses have been behind the statues and we have been keeping them up to date ahead of the launch. They have been a great addition to Inverurie and we have even sponsored the one on Station Road.
“It has been a huge success – the first thing I did this morning was find one to take a picture of and there were already people there.
“Adults and kids – a mix of ages – have been getting involved and it’s been encouraging to see.
“We hope that this will bring footfall to Inverurie town centre.”
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People have been stopping to get an #oorselfie with each of the statues they have come across.
Mum-of-two Beckie Sales, from Culter, said she enjoyed seeing the sculptures in Aberdeen city centre yesterday.
Speaking at the Rainbow Wullie, which is on the roof terrace at the Bon Accord Centre, the 36-year-old said: “This is the fourth statue I’ve seen.
“I have been taking my kids to see some of them, including in places like Hazlehead Park.”
Beckie said the statues remind her of the Wild Dolphins trail which made a splash in the city in 2014.
She said: “I love the statues. I’m going to see as many as I can, as I loved doing that with the dolphins a few years ago.
“I think they will take people places they have never seen before.”
Holly Webster, 26, from Mastrick, was enjoying taking her two-year-old son Carter round a number of the statues.
She said: “We’ve seen a couple of them today.
“I think they are brilliant for the kids. Carter has been having great fun with them. He already knows to sit on the bucket beside them to get his picture taken.”
The Oor Willie Miller statue outside the Bon Accord Centre has been proving popular, with people stopping to grab a picture with the Gothenburg Great tribute.
Kevin Fyvie, 36, from Aboyne, said: “I think they are fantastic. This is the second one I’ve seen just walking past.
“I’m not a Dons fan myself but everyone knows Willie Miller, it has all his features like the moustache.”
The purpose of the trail is to raise awareness for charities including the Archie Foundation, which works in partnership with the NHS to provide care to sick children in the north-east.
The sculptures, each of which has been individually designed by commissioned artists and sponsored by companies, will be auctioned off when the trail ends in September.
A further 350 miniature versions have been decorated by school pupils including those from the north-east.
Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “It has been great seeing the colourful Oor Wullie statues pop up across the city and we are sure the trail will be hugely popular among residents and visitors alike.
“We have witnessed first-hand through events like Nuart Aberdeen the appetite there is in the city for engaging artistic initiatives like this.
“Reactivating public space in this way is hugely positive and we would urge the public to get out and about spotting them and enjoy everything our city centre has to offer.”
The trail is free to participate in and a downloadable app is available as well as paper versions of the map.
More information can be found at oorwullie.com