Princess Beatrice launches Oor Wullie charity tourist trail

Princess Beatrice has launched a tourist trail featuring comic book character Oor Wullie, which it is hoped will raise a significant sum for sick children.

Beatrice, patron of the Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, joined youngsters in the city to unveil Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail.

Some 200 life-sized sculptures of the DC Thomson character will be found streets across Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness from June 17 to August 30.

The tourist trail hopes to attract a million members of the public and raise funds through linked events and the eventual sale of the sculptures, with the cash going to Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, The Archie Foundation and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

A further 350 “wee” sculptures decorated by local schools, youth and community groups will be available to view at libraries, art galleries and shopping centres.

Two pupils from the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh were invited to meet Princess Beatrice at the Scottish Storytelling Centre after making a sculpture of a vision-impaired Oor Wullie.

Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail
Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail

He has a white cane and tactile materials have been used to create textures that can be felt by children who are themselves vision impaired.

Bo Cox, eight, and Aiden Murray, 13, joined the princess for a story read by children’s author Ed Vere followed by a city walkabout.

Roslyn Neely, chief executive of Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “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.

“The trail will unite businesses, artists, schools, families and Scotland’s favourite son, Oor Wullie, and we hope to attract tens of thousands of participants to come and take part.”

Oor Wullie on a glitter ball-style bucket in Glasgow
Oor Wullie on a glitter ball-style bucket in Glasgow

Ellis Watson, executive chairman of DC Thomson Media, said: “Our naughty wee scamp, Oor Wullie, is going to have a busy summer getting out and about, helping to raise vital funds for our charity partners and, importantly, every child receiving hospital care in Scotland.

“Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail is an amazing opportunity to bring Scotland together, to have fun, get active and enjoy some incredible art.”

Coach operator Scottish Citylink is offering discounted travel to those touring the Oor Wullie statues across the country.