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Interactive map shows sale price of each Oor Wullie statue in Inverness and the north-east that went under the hammer at Thainstone auction

More than £315,000 was raised for children’s hospitals in Inverness and Aberdeen last night, as 50 Oor Wullies were given new homes.

Each of the lovingly-crafted pieces was decorated by a different artist, then placed on street corners, in parks and at other scenic locations across the region for an 11-week summer holiday as part of Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail.

Raising money for charity The Archie Foundation, all of the sculptures went under the hammer at Aberdeen and Northern Marts in Inverurie.

Hundreds turned out, with frantic bidding wars emerging throughout the evening, many of the statues proving immensely popular with attendees.

Cheers rang throughout the Thainstone Centre as The Amazing Oor Wullie, which was dressed like a clown in reference to the phrase “laughter is the best medicine”, sold for £15,500 – the largest sum of the evening.

Oor Countryside, inspired by artist Annie Grant’s daughter’s love of exploring the great outdoors, sold for an impressive £14,000.

Amidst the bidding, something of a miniature Highland derby broke out as statues of Wullie dressed in the strips of rivals Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle were placed before the crowds.

However the Dingwall side narrowly won out, with County Wullie earning £4,200 to Caley’s £4,000.

These were far from the only sporting-themed entries, with sculptures representing former Scotland rugby captain Gavin Hastings and Dons great Willie Miller also selling for thousands.

Prospective buyers were given one final chance at the end of the evening to leave with a memento of the trail, as a number of spare buckets and a painting of Oor Wullie also went under the hammer, pushing the evening’s final total up to £316,700.

The money will be spent by The Archie Foundation in the children’s hospitals in Aberdeen and Inverness, while more is expected to be raised for youngsters further south with additional auctions in Edinburgh and Glasgow later this week.

Jon Mackie, chairman of The Archie Foundation, said: “For us, it is the end of a busy week with three farewell weekends in Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee.

“But for a lot of people it’s not the end of the week – it has been 12 months and more of getting this show ready to bring round Scotland.”

He added: “The Bucket Trail has been successful and raised money for children’s hospitals in Scotland, but it has also been successful in bringing communities, families and visitors together.

“During the summer months you couldn’t fail to see families, grannies and granddads take their kids round the Oor Wullies.”

Charie Langhorne, the managing director of Wild in Art which organised the trail, thanked the artists for “gifting” each of the Oor Wullie statues their own personalities.

He also told attendees that their work “was not done” and joked: “This was the second of four auctions – and Oor Wullie does not like to be alone.

“So you know what you need to do. Go to Edinburgh on Thursday and buy him a friend.”

One of those who dug deepest to help Archie was Fochabers businessman Gordon Christie, who left Thainstone having bagged a cool half

Hundreds turned out, with frantic bidding wars emerging throughout the evening, many of the statues proving immensely popular with attendees.

Cheers rang throughout the Thainstone Centre as The Amazing Oor Wullie, which was dressed like a clown in reference to the phrase “laughter is the best medicine”, sold for £15,500 – the largest sum of the evening.

Oor Countryside, inspired by artist Annie Grant’s daughter’s love of exploring the great outdoors, sold for an impressive £14,000.

Amidst the bidding, something of a miniature Highland derby broke out as statues of Wullie dressed in the strips of rivals Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle were placed before the crowds.

However the Dingwall side narrowly won out, with County Wullie earning £4,200 to Caley’s £4,000.

These were far from the only sporting-themed entries, with sculptures representing former Scotland rugby captain Gavin Hastings and Dons great Willie Miller also selling for thousands.

Prospective buyers were given one final chance at the end of the evening to leave with a memento of the trail, as a number of spare buckets and a painting of Oor Wullie also went under the hammer, pushing the evening’s final total up to £316,700.

The money will be spent by The Archie Foundation in the children’s hospitals in Aberdeen and Inverness, while more is expected to be raised for youngsters further south with additional auctions in Edinburgh and Glasgow later this week.

Jon Mackie, chairman of The Archie Foundation, said: “For us, it is the end of a busy week with three farewell weekends in Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee.

“But for a lot of people it’s not the end of the week – it has been 12 months and more of getting this show ready to bring round Scotland.”

He added: “The Bucket Trail has been successful and raised money for children’s hospitals in Scotland, but it has also been successful in bringing communities, families and visitors together.

“During the summer months you couldn’t fail to see families, grannies and granddads take their kids round the Oor Wullies.”

Charie Langhorne, the managing director of Wild in Art which organised the trail, thanked the artists for “gifting” each of the Oor Wullie statues their own personalities.

He also told attendees that their work “was not done” and joked: “This was the second of four auctions – and Oor Wullie does not like to be alone.

“So you know what you need to do. Go to Edinburgh on Thursday and buy him a friend.”

One of those who dug deepest to help Archie was Fochabers businessman Gordon Christie, who left Thainstone having bagged a cool half dozen statues.

Mr Christie, who owns a number of caravan parks in Moray, made winning bids for four full-sized Oor Wullies, and still had space to add a couple of the miniature models.

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