Jings! It’s just a few days until the much-loved Oor Wullie sculptures go under the hammer!
Fans of the iconic comic strip scamp took to the streets of Scotland to discover the colourful statues dotted around the country throughout summer.
As well as meeting the cheeky lad in a stunning range of guises, some people organised Wullie-themed projects to ramp up the fun factor.
Angus Council music teacher Heather Miranda, 38, came up with the idea of “Oor Musical Bucket Trail” in a bid to encourage pupils to keep practising over the summer holidays.
“It can be hard to stay motivated to practise when you have six weeks without lessons, so I thought this might get the instruments out of their cases during the break!” she said.
“As well as inspiring pupils to play more, it helped them to explore different, fun and effective ways of practising.”
Before the schools split up, mum-of-two Heather hid 40 colourful buckets around her pupils’ schools and music classrooms so they could hunt for them.
“Inside each one was a musical challenge for them to complete over the summer,” said Heather, who teaches strings.
“These ranged from ‘Oor Racer’ which meant to play very quickly, and Oor Funny Face, which encouraged children to make funny faces while they played! “There was also Oor Deaf Old Granny, which encouraged pupils to play as if they were in a big concert hall for the lovely old lady in the back row, and Oor Sleepyhead, which asked pupils to play with their eyes closed. There was also a bucket drumming challenge!
“There was a special reward for those who came up with an idea for a different musical challenge of their own and an extra special reward for those who got a photo of themselves practising their instrument next to an Oor Wullie!”
More than 70 pupils took part in the Oor Musical Bucket Trail, across six schools – Arbroath High School and its feeder primary schools – and the children responded brilliantly to the challenge.
“They absolutely loved the excitement of the initial bucket hunt around their schools and most of them completed the entire list of challenges,” said Heather.
“I’m hopeful this hasn’t just kept up my pupils’ musical skills over the summer but also, their practising will be more enjoyable and productive going forward.”
Heather’s sons, nine-year-old Joseph and five-year-old Theo, both play violin and loved taking part in the challenge themselves.
More than 200 statues of Oor Wullie were dotted around Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness for 11 weeks over summer.
They were uplifted and put into storage last week.
The good news is that you can still catch the Wullies before they go under the hammer as they will be appearing at a series of farewell parties next week.
All 32 Dundee sculptures – as well as the two that were in Perth and St Andrews – will be together from today, September 13, until Sunday at Slessor Gardens.
After that, an auction will take place to raise cash for the ARCHIE Foundation on September 16 at Dundee Rep Theatre.
The money raised will go towards building a new children’s operating theatre suite within Ninewells Hospital.
Auctions in the other Scottish cities will raise money for children’s hospital charities in their areas.
Project manager Neil Cooney said: “We’ve had more than 1.5 million sculpture visits across the country, with an estimated 180,000 taking place in Tayside and Fife.
“Anyone who didn’t manage to get round all the Oor Wullies will have one last chance to see them when the Dundee sculptures come together in Slessor Gardens.”
Tickets are needed to access Slessor Gardens to see all the Tayside and Fife statues together and are available via Dundee Box Office’s City Square shop and website.
For more information on Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail, see oorwullie.com