He always had get-rich-quick schemes that didn’t quite pan out.
But this summer, it’s hoped that Oor Wullie is finally going to succeed in making some cash — by taking the lead from another Scottish city.
The Oor Wullie Bucket Trail, planned for Dundee this summer, follows on from the Wild Dolphin Trail which was launched in Aberdeen in 2014.
That project raised £500,000 for charity — and it’s hoped that this figure can be emulated, or even beaten, in Dundee as part of the Archie Foundation’s campaign for a new operating theatre at Tayside Children’s Hospital.
The Aberdeen initiative saw money raised from an end-of-event auction and given to Archie to support the children’s hospital in Aberdeen and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC).
It was a “massive success for the city” with footfall increasing as much as 250% and £531,000 raised for the cause.
But benefits stretched beyond the funds, as both visitors and local residents alike engaged in the trail — with the same hope for Dundee.
Neil Cooney, project manager for the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail, said: “Our aspiration is to match and even surpass the Aberdeen statistics but we are confident we can do that.
“We’re doing everything to encourage visitors in to Dundee but also to see locals rediscovering their city. The main focus is of course on Tayside’s children but, just like in Aberdeen, we want to see the entire city engaging in lots of different ways.”
An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “The Wild Dolphins project was one of the biggest public engagement events ever held in Aberdeen — tens of thousands took part in the project and it created a storm on social media.
“The Wild Dolphin Trail was particularly successful as citizens took up the challenge to locate as many dolphins in the city as they could.
“The trail led them to parks and spaces around the city that many people had not used for years.
“It was like Aberdonians were becoming tourists in their own city again.
“When all the dolphins were held in Aberdeen City Council’s Marischal Square, 18,000 people turned out to see them before they were auctioned off.
“The economic benefits for the city cannot be understated but as a mechanism for bringing the whole of Aberdeen together, this event was as unique as it was successful.”
The trail, which comprised of 52 dolphins placed around the city, saw 11,000 downloads of an app that revealed the statue locations.
This was supported by 73,760 digital interactions, marked via QR codes being scanned.
Steve Harris, chief executive of VisitAberdeenshire, said: “The Wild Dolphin Trail encouraged visitors and local residents to explore Aberdeen in greater detail, leading them to areas perhaps off the beaten track to discover the real heart of the city.
“By engaging the public with the region — as well as the arts, conservation and charity — via a popular app and the introduction of ‘dolphie’ selfies on social media, the trail allowed Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire to reach a global audience.
“The sale of each dolphin raised an extraordinary amount for charity, and many of the businesses and organisations that purchased the statues have left them on public display around the city. This lasting legacy is still a major talking point.”