The original plaster model of Edinburgh’s famous Greyfriars Bobby, valued at up to £1,000, was sold today at Lyon & Turnbull for £3,100. He was bought by a representative of the Skye Terrier Club who said:- “We are delighted to have bought the statue. He will be returned to the Isle of Skye where he will become a centrepiece to a celebration of the breed on the Island. The Skye Terrier Club are currently in the process of commissioning a statue of a Skye Terrier.”
Margaret Cumming who is selling the statue and is the granddaughter of the owner said:- “ I am so pleased that ‘Wee Bobby” will not only be staying in Scotland, but will actually be on Skye. This couldn’t be better and I am quite sure my father would be very happy.”
The plaster model was originally owned by Chief Constable Willam Merrilees OBE of Lothian and Peebles Constabulary. He was given the model by the company who made the famous statue after he offered his help with making the 1961 Walt Disney film about the famous dog.
On a visit to America, Chief Constable Willam Merrilees met and became friendly with Walt Disney, and when the Disney Studios decided to make the film “Greyfriars Bobby”. Disney contacted Merrilees to consult him on suitable locations for the film. To thank him for his help, Walt Disney gave Merrilees the star of the film “Wee Bobby”. “Wee Bobby” paid regular visits to the special needs children at Trinity Lodge in Edinburgh, as well as appearing at various charity events to raise funds for good causes. He was joint ‘best man’ at Chief Constable Willam Merrilees marriage in 1968!