THEY pay homage to some of the city's most famous names, from Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Billy Connelly.

There are nods to the Duke of Wellington Statue and other famous Glasgow landmarks... and from today Oor Wullie fans will be able to see 50 specially-designed statues around Glasgow.

Sculptures, designed in order to raise money for Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity, depicting one of Scotland's favourite sons will form the country's first public art trail.

As well as generating cash for sick kids in Glasgow, a further 150 will be spread across Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness in support of Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and the ARCHIE Foundation.

Under cover of darkness this weekend Scottish transport firm Malcolm Group helped transport the sculptures to their special locations around Glasgow.

To help, Andrew Malcolm, CEO of the Malcolm Group, got back behind the steering wheel along with sons Euan and Ker.


Jason Paterson takes on Oor Wullie challenge

Andrew said: "As a family business with headquarters in the West of Scotland, we’re proud to be lending our support – and our lorries – to the BIG Bucket Trail and, in particular, to ensure the sculptures pledged to Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity are in place in time for locals and visitors to begin following the trail throughout the city and beyond from today.

"Family remains at the heart of the Malcolm Group, so we were keen to lend a hand to a cause that supports children and their families to prepare for what will be one of the summer’s biggest family attractions."

Some of the statues have curious names - those walking the trail will be able to see the Duke of Wullington, Steampunk Wullie and Anatomical Wullie

One of the sculptures - Metal Oor Wullie by Jason Paterson - will be placed in pride of place in George Square.

As previously told in the Evening Times, sculptor Jason was challenged to make his offering for the trail out of metal.

In the end, it took him 192 hours using more than 2000 pieces of mild steel to make his Oor Wullie.

Jason said: "The sculptures will be on the streets for a total of 12 weeks and I hope that everyone gets behind the trail to raise as much funds as possible to help assist with all the research and hard work that everyone has put into it.

"When the trail finishes in September all the sculptures will be auctioned off and the funds raised will help the amazing doctors and nurses and all other professions involved to help all kids hospitals in Scotland .

"Finally, it has been a pleasure to make this little guy.

"I used to lie in bed at night as a child reading about all the mischievous things Oor Wullie got up to and to know that this will bring so many more smiles to little kids faces, well, to me smiles are absolutely priceless."

The end result weighs a total of 124kg made up of 450 laser cut metal Oor Wullie stencils and 178 metal Bucket Trail stencils incorporated into the bucket and the body of the sculpture.

It has been fully galvanised and will have a battery powered LED light fitted inside to light up at night.


Jason Paterson pays tribute to late sister

Jason added: "I want to thank Julie Price of the Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity for allowing me to get involved with this amazing charity and having the chance to expose my art work of a very iconic character and in the most iconic place of George Square Glasgow.

"I would also like to thank Ryan Stewart of Precision Metals for the help with all laser cutting, Jamie Ballantine of Lights 2 for their help with the lighting of the sculpture and Highland Colour Coaters for galvanising the piece.

"I now hope that the public enjoy following the Bucket Trail and getting their pictures taken with all the other fibreglass Oor Wullie sculptures that artists from all over Scotland have painted, all with their own individual characters, such as Rod Stewart and, of course, the Famous Duke of Wellington sculpture outside the Gallery of Modern Art with that cone on its head."

Businesses sponsoring the sculptures include McQueen’s Dairies, Glasgow Taxis, Buchanan Galleries, Trump Turnberry, M&D’s and the East End Quarter – made up of St. Luke’s, Barrowlands and BAAD.

Kirsten Sinclair, Chief Operating Officer at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said: "We are exceptionally grateful to Andrew, Euan, Ker and the rest of the Malcolm Group for providing the vital support we needed to get Oor Wullie out onto the streets of Glasgow in time for the start of his BIG Bucket Trail.

"Not only have they kindly gifted us use of a fleet of vehicles, but Andrew and Kerr even put their hands up and volunteered to get back behind the wheel over the weekend.

"Their support guarantees that Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail is ready to take Glasgow and Scotland by storm over the next 11 weeks.

"We can’t wait to see pictures flooding in over social media of locals, visitors, sponsors and supporters with the colourful and quirky sculptures against iconic Glasgow backdrops."

Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail will run across five of Scotland’s major cities from until the end of August.

Anyone who wishes to follow the trail throughout summer can download the app or grab a map of the trail from outlets across the city.