‘The Untold Story of Oor Wullie's Bucket Trail’ – 21st January

One of Scotland’s most successful ever public arts events will be relived this weekend when ‘The Untold Story of Oor Wullie's Bucket Trail’ is told at the University of Dundee.

The event, taking place at the Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill, on Saturday, 21st January, will celebrate last summer’s Bucket Trail, the hugely successful mass-participation event in Wullie’s hometown of Dundee.

Over the course of July and August, more than 70,000 locals and visitors are estimated to have taken part in the trail. The streets of Dundee were abuzz with civic pride as enthusiasts, young and old, trekked across the city and its hinterland to bag all 55 statues and pose for selfies with them.

An astonishing £883,000 was raised when the Wullie’s were auctioned off to raise money for The ARCHIE Foundation’s Tayside Children’s Hospital Appeal and the initiative is thought to have delivered a significant economic boost to the city.

The story behind the campaign, from inception to legacy will be explored when David Cunningham, Chief Executive of ARCHIE, and the Bucket Trail’s Art Coordinator Suzanne Scott deliver the first instalment of the University’s Saturday Evening Lecture Series 2017. The event will be chaired by Ellis Watson, Executive Chairman of DC Thomson Publishing Group.

Both David and Suzanne are graduates of the University, which was a leading supporter of the Bucket Trail. No fewer than 16 of the sculptures were designed by alumni of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design while another graduate, computer games entrepreneur Chris van der Kuyl, gifted the Dr Wullie Manhattan statue that had been exhibited on campus to the University. This statue will be on display during Saturday’s event.

David Cunningham said, “The Oor Wullie Bucket Trail was an amazing event and of course everybody remembers and talks about the headline-grabbing final auction figure, which surpassed all expectations. However, the real story is the huge amount of work and planning which goes into an event like this. The big decisions, the amount of negotiations undertaken, the ‘selling’ of the idea and getting the right people involved.

“After its success it seems like it was a ‘no brainer’, but right up until 7pm on Tuesday September 13th 2016 in the Dundee Rep it was the 18-month roller coaster ride of our lives. It was interesting, scary, frustrating, exciting and tiring, often all at the same time! As a massive team effort, what kept us all going was the final goal – the opportunity to make a real difference for local sick children in Tayside Children’s Hospital. We will do that and I am looking forward to sharing the story on Saturday night.”

This year’s Saturday Evening Lecture Series will have a special focus on the achievements of University alumni and honorary graduates to help mark its 50th anniversary.

The Untold Story of Oor Wullie's Bucket Trail’ takes place at the Dalhousie Building on Saturday, 21st January from 6-7pm. Free tickets for this event are available by visiting www.dundee.ac.uk/sels, emailing events@dundee.ac.uk, calling 01382 385108 or from the University’s Tower Building Reception.

Please note that overflow theatres may be in use and the Main Lecture Theatre is filled on a first come, first seated basis.

For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
Press Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
Tel: +44 (0)1382 384768
Mobile: 07854 953277
Email: g.hill@dundee.ac.uk