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Get ready for Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail 2019

Arnold Clark is proud to be the national sponsor.

You can see Oor Wullie in five cities across Scotland.

You can see Oor Wullie in five cities across Scotland.

Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail 2019 has officially launched and you’ll be able to see 200 artistic interpretations of Oor Wullie in cities across Scotland until 30th August. And as well as giving the public the chance to enjoy some amazing artwork, this amazing event is raising money for Edinburgh Children’s Hospital, Glasgow Children’s Hospital and the Archie Foundation.

What is Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket trail?

Artists throughout Scotland have been commissioned to paint 200 Oor Wullie sculptures in every design you could imagine – and some that you couldn’t! So if you’ve ever wanted to see Oor Wullie as a spaceman, an astronaut or even a giant Tunnock’s Tea Cake, this an event you cannot miss.

These bespoke, life-sized Oor Wullie sculptures can be found in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and Inverness.

If you’re visiting any of these cities over the school summer holidays, why not see how many Oor Wullie sculptures you can find? The trail is on for 11 weeks, so there’s plenty of time to see them.

Scotland’s children’s hospital charities (Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, The ARCHIE Foundation and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity) joined forces with international arts events company, Wild in Art, and Oor Wullie’s custodians DC Thomson Media, to create the trail.

Charlie Langhorne, Director of Wild in Art commented:

‘Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail is enormously exciting for all the team at Wild in Art. Building on the strength of our previous events in Scotland, this is our first truly national trail; and something we are all immensely proud of. Wild in Art believes passionately in bringing communities, businesses, schools and artists together, and through the power of creativity, enabling significant funds to be raised for our charity partners as well as having major social and economic impacts. While acknowledging this, we also believe that Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail will make the entire population of Scotland smile.’

Wait a minute though – who even is Oor Wullie?

If you don’t live in Scotland you might not be familiar with Oor Wullie, but from the borders to John o’ Groats, he’s a legend.

Wullie Russell made his debut in The Sunday Post over 80 years ago, and since then has become the nation’s favourite comic book character, with Oor Wullie annuals certain to be found in Christmas stockings every year.

He also speaks Scots, including his own famous sayings ‘Jings! ‘Crivvens! And ‘Help Ma Boab!’ Basically, he’s a lovable lad who is always getting into scrapes, and the comic strip always ends with him summing up the story while sitting on his famous upturned bucket.

Michty me! A royal opening

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York, Patron of the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, officially launched Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail today. While Her Royal Highness will be the first to enjoy the unique charms of the Oor Wullie BIG Bucket Trail, she certainly won’t be the last, with more than a million members of the public expected to visit.

Helping children’s hospital charities in Scotland

The trail aims to raise awareness for Scotland’s children’s hospital charities, which work in partnership with the NHS to provide care for a combined half a million children, babies and young people each year. Money raised by the charity goes towards hospital equipment, family support services, research, staff, training and play and recreation spaces.

Roslyn Neely, CEO of Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity said:

‘We are thrilled that our Royal Patron is in Edinburgh to officially launch the trail. The trail gives us a unique opportunity to join with our counterpart charities in Glasgow and the North of Scotland to transform the lives of babies, children and young people in hospital and healthcare, so they can be a child first and a patient second.’

David Wood, CEO of The ARCHIE Foundation added:

‘Working with NHS Grampian, Highland and Tayside, The ARCHIE Foundation will ensure all funds raised from this fantastic event help local sick children and their families. We complement the NHS' incredible care for young patients by providing additional family support, specialist staff, equipment and training, and creating child-friendly spaces. ARCHIE saw the tremendous benefits of Oor Wullie and his bucket following the first trail in 2016 in Dundee. This time around, Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail is set to be bigger and better, covering the three cities ARCHIE serves, as well as Edinburgh and Glasgow.’

Arnold Clark is proud to be the national sponsor

Arnold Clark is delighted to sponsor this incredible event, and will be presenting five sculptures in the trail that have been painted by our employees and professional artists. You can find them at:

  • Arnold Clark Head Office Reception, Hillington, Glasgow
  • Outside the Apple Store, Buchanan Street, Glasgow
  • Waverley Station, Edinburgh
  • St Nicholas Street, Aberdeen
  • Falcon Square, Inverness

Eddie Hawthorne, Arnold Clark’s Chief Executive and Group Managing Director, said:

‘We’re delighted to support Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail in 2019 and help raise vital funds to transform the lives of children and young people in hospital around the country. As the first nationwide public art trail, it’s a great way to explore the incredible attractions in Scotland’s major cities while you have fun spotting all the original artistic interpretations of our national treasure, Oor Wullie.’

Get involved in Oor Wullie's BIG Bucket Trail

You can download the Our Wullie’s BIG Bucket trail app today. The app allows you to:

  • Access all five trails – you can choose to do one or all of them.
  • Collect sculptures by putting in the 4-digit codes found on each of the sculptures.
  • Vote for your favourite sculpture.
  • Tweet when you have collected each sculpture.
  • Unlock rewards throughout the trail.

So, if you’re planning a fun day out over the holidays or are just a keen Oor Wullie fan, why not get involved? You might even find a bucket next to Wullie, so you can take a seat and catch up and maybe even get a picture taken with him.

There are a further 350 ‘wee’ sculptures decorated by local schools, youth and community groups that will accompany the main trail, forming mini trails in local libraries, art galleries, shopping centres and public spaces. So if you can’t get to the national trails, you can still join in and find Oor Wullie.

Shona Cardle, CEO of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity said:

‘The trail has already captured the hearts and imaginations of thousands of schoolchildren across Scotland, and we can’t wait to see many more visiting Oor Wullie at iconic locations across the country this summer. We hope that everyone will get behind the trail and help to raise vital funds for the babies, children and young people treated at Scotland’s busiest children’s hospital.’

What happens to Oor Wullie after the trail?

In September, when the trail has ended, all sculptures will be brought together in their respective cities and exhibited as part of a Farewell Weekend. The culmination of the campaign will be a series of regional auctions to raise significant funds for each of the charities involved.

But that’s still a long time away… so get walking and see how many Oor Wullie sculptures you can find. Braw!


About the Author

Andrew Moir