Oor Wullie

Wullie the Cowboy
Wullie the Cowboy

I’ve seen many charity sculpture trails in different cities. The latest one is Oor Wullie (Our Willie) currently gracing Dundee, the city where publisher D.C. Thomson has produced a comic strip featuring Wullie in the The Sunday Post since 1937. Wullie was a staple of my childhood with his spiky hair, dungarees and an upturned bucket, often used as a seat. Now over 50 artists have given him a makeover, but I didn’t have to go to Dundee to see them. A small group is touring the country – I found Wullie the Cowboy in Glasgow Central Station and the ones below were all in the Kibble Palace at the Botanic Gardens.

In September, the statues will be auctioned off in aid of Tayside Children’s Hospital. Isn’t Wullie braw?

PS Paisley, the town where my Mum lives, also has a statue trail at the moment: Pride of Paisley. There are lions everywhere! Unfortunately, most of the ones I have seen have been from the car, but here are two captured on a recent shopping trip. There are big lions and small lions, the latter decorated by local schoolchildren.

These statues will also be auctioned in aid of two local hospices. I don’t think my garden’s big enough for a lion, is yours?


41 thoughts on “Oor Wullie

  1. helenmackinven August 22, 2016 / 11:28

    I spotted Wullie on Sat at Waverley station in Edinburgh and had the privilege of seeing one of the artists working on her contribution to the trail on a visit to Dundee earlier in the year. I love these trails!


    • Anabel Marsh August 22, 2016 / 13:50

      Yes, I spotted him too (Rugby Wullie) but it wasn’t possible to get a picture – surrounded by kids!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. VioletSky August 22, 2016 / 11:50

    Oh, thank you for these! I had plans to be in Glasgow and Dundee this month (the low $ put paid to that trip) so am glad to see him here. I used to get Oor Wullie books sent to me when I was little and loved them, though I was always having to ask my mother what half the words meant!


    • Anabel Marsh August 22, 2016 / 13:52

      We got the Sunday Post every week. I loved its Broons comic strip too. It’s wonderful that they keep going through the generations.


    • Jim malone September 8, 2016 / 20:18

      All on view together Sunday 11th September Dundee City Centre then auctioned on Tuesday the 13th September 56 or willies


  3. Liesbet August 22, 2016 / 12:59

    That’s a lot of Wullies! Thanks for the introduction. Belgium has a lot of cartoon characters and books as well. Your Wullie reminds me of our Lucky Luck, the cowboy. Our garden is definitely too small for a lion, since we don’t have one. 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh August 22, 2016 / 13:54

      I don’t know Lucky Luck, though I know Tin Tin of course – isn’t he Belgian?


  4. dormousetidings August 22, 2016 / 13:43

    I don’t think I would want a lion in my garden. I would like him in my kitchen. I could serve him tea and toast and we could discuss the world news 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh August 22, 2016 / 13:56

      You might like one of the smaller ones then – unless you have an extremely large kitchen! And you’d have to choose carefully to go with your decor – some are extremely lurid…..

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor August 22, 2016 / 16:28

    That’s a fun theme for a charity sculpture trail! I love how creative people get with these sorts of things and how different they all end up looking.


    • Anabel Marsh August 23, 2016 / 00:13

      Yes, I’ve seen a few and they’re all different. Some great ideas!


  6. philosophermouseofthehedge August 22, 2016 / 18:34

    Always amazed how different all these type of sculptures end up. Cool they are having a small traveling troup of them (Might be worth making room in a garden for a lion!)


    • Anabel Marsh August 23, 2016 / 00:14

      Yes, it’s nice that other cities get to see them too.


  7. Blue Sky Scotland August 23, 2016 / 01:44

    Didn’t know about either sculpture trails. I suppose that’s what happens when you only buy a weekend paper and miss all the daily local news. Oor Wullie and the Broons always seemed to be at least 30 years behind the times, even in the 1950s, but it was only as an adult I realized this as the introduction of modern gadgets seemed to diminish the magic somehow and they would always find ways (power cuts etc) to get back to candles, coal fires and the basics of life. They were a great read throughout my childhood and I’ve still got a few annuals. Amazing artwork in every strip when you look at the amount of detail crammed into each square.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. inesephoto August 23, 2016 / 05:20

    Charity sculpture trails are wonderful. What a fun idea to feature Wullie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. restlessjo August 23, 2016 / 09:31

    He’s definitely handsome 🙂 (the lion 🙂 ) I’d heard of Wullie but don’t really remember him. Nice makeover!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. BeckyB August 23, 2016 / 10:02

    Love the Strawberry Thief – we had Zebras a couple of years ago.


  11. Peta Kaplan August 26, 2016 / 01:39

    This is reminiscent of the cows that were placed around the city of Chicago one summer. I think there were 200 of them all done by different artists and placed in interesting locations. Another summer I participated in creating as a painter, a large globe as part of 250 globes all educating the public to climate change. Was a terrific project to be part of. The exhibit then went on tour to many different countries.



  12. londonartfile August 29, 2016 / 23:07

    Always had an Oor Wullie annual from the Edinburgh side of the family every Christmas. I remember Wullie, his bucket and his friends Fat Boab and Wee Eck very well!


  13. maristravels September 5, 2016 / 13:04

    I have no knowledge of ‘Oor Wullie’ but I’ll look out for him next time I’m in Scotland. (I live at the opposite end of the country).


  14. Jim malone September 8, 2016 / 20:23

    Oot Willie trail endson Saturday 10th September and all get auctioned on the 13 September


  15. Su Leslie September 18, 2016 / 03:45

    These are fantastic Anabel. I particularly like Where’s Wullie, and Night on the Toon! My gran used to send Our Wullie and The Broons albums to us in NZ for Christmas, and I still have a few of mine. I’m not sure whether my garden could take a lion, though if I had a meadow, I’d definitely want one. Do you know the Margaret Mahy story ‘A Lion in the Meadow”?


    • Anabel Marsh September 18, 2016 / 09:25

      Yes, I do! The lions are still in place but the Oor Wullies have now been auctioned and raised £883000, which is great.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. prior.. September 27, 2016 / 07:27

    what a fun post – and how cool to see the takes (and cool they made money on them)
    I only heard of Oor Wullie earlier tonight – and here I see it again –
    and by the way – I think I used to follow you in 2014 – and I came here from Jo’s walk this week – and i remembered you because you have the same name as my grandmother – spelled different – but it makes me smile each time I see it –
    anyhow, thanks for the cool art post and history = and good day to you.


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