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Field Visit

Date 11 February 2009

Event ID 613924

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


Bronze statue of a dog named Bum, a St Bernard-spaniel mix, lying down with his head up and his tongue out. His right foreleg is only half-length, the result of being run over by an engine.

San Diego and Edinburgh were twinned in 1978. Marie Hitchcock, a puppeteer, led the drive to celebrate the cities' dogs Greyfriars Bobby and Bum. In 1990, the Mayor of San Diego, Maureen O'Connor, and the Lord Provost of Edinburgh sealed a deal for a statue exchange.

It was originally hoped that the statue of Bum could be placed near to that of Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh, but the site in Princes Street Gardens at the King's Stables Road entrance was finally settled upon, marking the far end of the territory Greyfriars Bobby is said to have roamed.

The statue of Bum was unveiled on 19 July 2008 at a ceremony attended by fifteen members of the San Diego-Edinburgh Sister City Society and the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. (Statues of Bum and Greyfriars Bobby were dedicated in 2007 at the Gaslamp Quarter pocket park at Fourth and Island Avenues, beside the William Heath Davis House Museum which is operated by the foundation.)

The unveiling ceremony in Edinburgh was preceded by a parade of dogs through Princes Street Gardens, led by members of the Skye Terrier Association in Victorian costume.

Bum (1886-1898) was a St Bernard-spaniel mix who arrived in San Diego as a stowaway pup. He was adopted by Ah Wo Sue, a Chinese fisherman.

Inscriptions : On bronze plaque on wall behind statue (raised letters): A Canine Connection / Edinburgh and San Diego, California, share a twinning link with a / unique twist. Each city is home to a famous dog: Edinburgh's loyal and / beloved Greyfriars Bobby and San Diego's equally beloved vagabond dog, / Bum. In recognition of these canine heroes, a statue of Bobby was / presented to San Diego and this statue of Bum was gifted in return. / The dogs represent the spirit of a twinning link - friendship, / loyalty and shared experience. / Bum, died 1898, aged 12 years / Sculpted by Jessica McCain, USA / Presented to the citizens of Edinburgh by the San Diego-Edinburgh Sister City Society. / In association with E Clampus Vitus, John P. Squibob Chapter 1853, on 19th July 2008.

Signatures : On top right of plinth (incised letters): Jessica McCain © / 1 2/2

Year of unveiling : 2008

Unveiling details : 19 July 2008

Information from Public Monuments and Sculpture Association (PMSA Work Ref : EDIN1498)

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