On the Trail of Greyfriars Bobby

A ceremony to mark the anniversary of the death of Edinburgh’s most famous dog was held today at his graveside.

School pupils gathered in Greyfriars Kirkyard to place wreaths on the grave of the Skye terrier and a new song 'The Tribute to Greyfriars Bobby' was played for the first time by piper Jennifer Hutcheon.

A leaflet 'Greyfriars Bobby Trail' to track the life and death of the loyal dog has been produced by Edinburgh's Libraries Service. The story in the leaflet has been taken from their new website - Our Town Stories - which traces the history of Edinburgh through images, maps and stories from the libraries' heritage collections.

There is an exhibition in the Central Library to commemorate the event and children aged 5-12 can enter a competition to create their own picture of Greyfriars Bobby.  Entry forms are available from the Central Children's Libray until Friday, 18 January.

When the dog licence was brought in in 1867, Bobby was almost put down as he did not have an official owner. However, the Lord Provost stepped in and paid for the dog's licence.

Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: "It's humbling to think that it was one of my Lord Provost predecessors who saved Greyfriars Bobby from an unhappy fate nearly 150 years ago.

"The story of this doting dog has won the hearts of millions of people all over the world and I am proud to be playing a role in today's commemoration ceremony.

"One of the highlights of the event was the first ever public performance of 'Tribute to Greyfriars Bobby', composed and performed by leading piper Jennifer Hutcheon."

Adam Wilkinson from Edinburgh World Heritage said: "The romantic story of Greyfriars Bobby is synonymous with Edinburgh, and a visit to his grave is undoubtedly of great interest for tourists. We were delighted to be able to help improve the setting of Bobby's statue, by reinstating a traditional lamp standard.

"This not only enhances a busy part of the World Heritage Site, adjacent to the Museum of Scotland and the important Greyfriars burial ground, but also helps to further commemorate the city's famously loyal dog."

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