Final preparations under way for launch of Oor Wullie Bucket Trail

© DC ThomsonThe "Oor Wullies" which are to grace Inverness arrived in the city on Thursday morning ahead of positioning this weekend. Delivery driver Ron Shearer (left) of Northwards Transport and plant operator Ronnie Lundie of Morris Lesley unload the statues in Inverness. Picture by Sandy McCook
The "Oor Wullies" which are to grace Inverness arrived in the city on Thursday morning ahead of positioning this weekend. Delivery driver Ron Shearer (left) of Northwards Transport and plant operator Ronnie Lundie of Morris Lesley unload the statues in Inverness. Picture by Sandy McCook

He is one of Scotland’s most iconic characters, known to comic-strip fans of all ages.

And from Monday, dozens of Oor Wullie statues will be dotted around the streets of Inverness and Aberdeen to find.

Artists from across Scotland vied for the chance to bring the statues to life, with some a nod to living legends – such as Gothenburg Great Willie Miller – and others inspired by the scenery of the Highlands.

This is Scotland’s first nationwide public art trail, with sculptures also bound for Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow in aid of various charities including The Archie Foundation.

Earlier this week, Northwards Transport hauled 10 statues up to Inverness where volunteers are now hard at work preparing to put them in their top-secret locations this weekend.

The team in Aberdeen have also been busy preparing for the big unveiling of the 30 sculptures which will be dotted around the city centre and Beach area, with another six out in Inverurie.

Dawn Cowie, regional fundraising officer for The Archie Foundation, was delighted to see the variety of statues being unloaded from the lorry in Inverness.

She said: “It’s very exciting to get to this stage where all the hard work is coming together and we are really excited to see how people react to them.

“This is a great way for us to get The Archie Foundation’s name out there and it really allows people to get involved in so many different ways, from just following the trail, which is free to do, or by fundraising and donating.”

Lorry driver Ron Shearer added: “They are really just amazing. The amount of work that must have gone into just one is huge and they have really turned out just incredible.”

They statues feature Ross County, Inverness Caley Thistle and, of course, Nessie, while others represent various Scottish landscapes and legends. Others have also been intricately designed with vines and patterns – with one tattoo artist creating a skeleton.

In Aberdeen, Archie’s regional fundraising manager Jamie Smith said he was struggling to pick a favourite as it kept changing.

He said: “They are looking fabulous. There’s been a lot of effort put in from the artists, volunteers and staffs to put together this trail. Seeing them all together was pretty amazing.

“There’s a lot of different designs that people will love, and a lot of child-friendly ones.”

A mobile phone app featuring maps of where the Oor Wullies are will be available from Monday.

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