First historic figures revealed for Scotland’s Commemorative Plaque Scheme
11 November 2013
Dundee based illustrator Dudley D Watkins, famous for illustrating Oor Wullie and
The Broons is one of the twelve historic figures to be honoured in the first year of the Commemorative
Plaque Scheme for Scotland.
This was announced by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs.
The Commemorative Plaque Scheme is designed to celebrate the life and achievements of significant
historic figures, through the erection of a plaque on their home where they lived, or the building that
was particularly synonymous with their achievements.
The nominations were submitted by the public and the final twelve chosen by an independent
panel of experts with the first year of the Scheme celebrating the Year of Creative Scotland.
Dudley D Watkins (1907-1969) made an enormous contribution to Scottish popular culture
through his work for publisher DC Thomson. He is best known for iconic Scottish characters Oor
Wullie and The Broons which he drew for The Sunday Post from 1936 until his death in 1969. Dudley
also illustrated characters such as Lord Snooty for The Beano and Desperate Dan for The Dandy amongst
Ms Hyslop said: “The Commemorative Plaque Scheme highlights the range of incredible
creativity shown by the talented people in Scotland, celebrating individuals such as Dudley D Watkins,
illustrator for DC Thomson whose illustrations of well-loved characters from Oor Wullie and The Broons
still bring humour and joy into our lives.
“It also commemorates historic figures who have made a significant contribution
to Scotland and the world including television pioneer John Logie Baird, steam pioneer James Watt,
Scottish colourist Cadell and Archibald Findlay, Fife potato geneticist who produced the first
blight-resistant potato, making the food safe from disease.”
Dudley D Watkins was nominated by Frank Boyle, the cartoonist for the Edinburgh
Evening News. He said: “I was delighted to nominate Dudley D.Watkins for a commemorative
plaque. I absorbed his cartoon strips as a child and he had a big influence on my own work.
“I went to art college in Dundee and I started my career at D.C.Thomson, so it was
good to return to the city to see the plaque unveiled. I hope it helps to give Dudley D.Watkins the
respect he deserves and to increase the prestige of cartooning as an art form.”
The first winners to be chosen in the Year of Creative Scotland are:
Dudley D Watkins - Dundee based illustrator for
Born in Nottingham, Dudley D. Watkins (1907-1969) was an illustrator who made an
enormous contribution to Scottish popular culture through his work for the Dundee-based publisher DC
Thomson; Watkins is best known for those iconic Scottish cartoon characters Oor Wullie and The Broons
which he drew for the Sunday Post from 1936 until his death in 1969.
showed artistic talent from an early age. He displayed work at an annual art competition in his
hometown of Nottingham at the age of just 11. After gaining a scholarship, Dudley studied art
on a full-time basis at Nottingham School of Art before being spotted by a representative of DC Thomson
at age 18. In 1936 his most famous characters Oor Wullie and The Broons were born after RD Low
noticed his rare ability to combine the comic with reality.
John Logie Baird – Television pioneer and inventor.
Helensburgh-born John Logie Baird was a Scottish engineer and the first person to
demonstrate a working television. On 26 Jan 1926 he gave the world's first demonstration of true television
before 50 scientists in an attic room in central London. In 1927, his television was demonstrated over
438 miles of telephone line between London and Glasgow, and he then formed the Baird Television Development
Archibald Findlay - Fife potato geneticist, father of 75% of modern
Maris Piper and Rooster, are two of the highest profile potato varieties in the
supermarket vegetable aisles throughout, whose pedigree/family history traces them back to potato pioneer
Archibald Findlay. A more detailed scrutiny of all the potato varieties used today in GB suggests
70% have been derived from his early work. Globally his contribution to the food industry has been immense.
Donnchadh Ban Mac an t-Saoir - Gaelic poet
Donnchadh Ban Mac an t-Saoir (1724-1812) was one of the leading Gaelic poets of
his time. He had three editions of his poetry published in Edinburgh, in 1768, 1790, and 1804, and thus
counts as one of the pioneers of Gaelic publishing. His poetry has stood the test of time, and has never
been out of print. Most genres of Gaelic poetry are represented in Donnchadh Ban’s work
Louis Dickson - Bo’ness cinematographer and film pioneer.
Louis Dickson 1880-c.1960 was founder of the Bo’ness Hippodrome and for 50 years
documented the fairs, festivals, schools, sports fixtures and celebrations, of Bo’ness on camera, which
survive to this day in the Scottish Screen Archive.
Adam Christie - Sculptor and artist from Shetland
He spent almost fifty years of his life at Sunnyside hospital, and it was during
these years that the artistic side of his personality began to flourish and produced over 200 sculptures.
Eventually a small display, and latterly a small museum was established in the grounds of the hospital,
to showcase some of his remarkable sculptures. His story is now documented in the archives of NHS Tayside.
Louisa Stevenson and Christian Guthrie Wright
Founders of Queen Margaret College and Edinburgh School of Cookery and leaders in
social equality movement. These two remarkable Edinburgh women essentially founded Queen Margaret University
in 1875 when they created the Edinburgh School of Cookery. Their vision for a creative, fairer and healthier
society and their contribution towards enhancing the lives of others has survived and flourished.
founders supported the principles of the mid Victorian "Women's Movement" campaign for better
education and improved career opportunities for females.
Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell - ‘Scottish Colourist’ of the late
Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell (1883-1937) is one of the four artists popularly
known as ‘The Scottish Colourists’, along with S. J. Peploe, J. D. Fergusson and G. L. Hunter. Cadell’s
work is perhaps the most elegant of the four: he is renowned for his stylish portrayals of Edinburgh
New Town interiors and the sophisticated society that occupied them; equally celebrated are his vibrantly
coloured, daringly simplified still-lives of the 1920s, and his evocative landscapes of the island of
Norman McLaren - Stirling born experimental filmmaker and electronic
Norman McLaren is a genius of the moving image, an experimental filmmaker and electronic
music pioneer, a celebrated animator and world-renowned artist, whose legacy within the National Film
Board of Canada is respected and admired by generations of animation film makers around the globe.
Hamish MacCunn – one of Scotland’s outstanding composers.
Born in Greenock in 1868, despite living in London for all his professional life,
MacCunn retained his Scottish identity and an interest in Scottish artistic life. He was vice-president
and an active supporter of the Dunedin Association, founded in 1911 with the aim of providing a forum
for the promotion of Scottish music and literature. At its zenith, the association had some one thousand
members including many notable figures.
Francis (Fra) Newbery - Former Head of the Glasgow School of
As Head of the Glasgow School of Art from 1885 to 1918 he was responsible for a
total transformation of the institution which saw it develop into the Art School which has had (and
continues to have) such a dominant position in Glasgow, Scotland and the U.K.
was his leadership and vision which saw Charles Rennie Mackintosh be given the task of designing and
building the iconic Glasgow School of Art which continues to be so important today, both as a working
building and as an attraction to architects and tourists alike.
James Watt- Steam pioneer, commemorating his early work at Kinneil
Dr. John Roebuck, who was living in Kinneil House, and who leased many of the local
pits from the Duke of Hamilton, called in inventor James Watt to help him with a problem. His problem
related to the pits he owned; the early steam engines were not pumping out the water quick enough, and
so the pits were flooding. Watt was tasked with improving the steam engine. His work is recognised
as extremely significant in the revolution of the steam engine.
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