It's the One o'Clock bum

IT is an unlikely tourist attraction created to have a sly dig at a local "coo-ncillor".

But now an unusual model of a cow's backside on the side of a city pub is bidding to put the wind up some of the most famous monuments in Europe.

The Cowgate sculpture has been given a cheeky mechanical dimension that means that three times-a-day, it will lift up its tail and break wind.

It is scheduled to pass gas – in the form of white smoke – at 11am, noon and 1pm, though it's owner, former Scotland rugby star Norrie Rowan, insists he is not trying to challenge the One o'Clock Gun.

Instead, he is touting it as Edinburgh's answer to the world-famous Astronomical Clock in Prague.

He has created the tongue-in-cheek attraction after becoming amazed at the interest in the sculpture from visitors to the city, which he estimates has been photographed up to 100 times every day since it was put up weeks ago. "It is just a bit fun, but at the same time we wanted to create something different in this area and maybe it will catch on," he said.

"The cow is already famous around Edinburgh and I get hundreds of tourists coming by and taking pictures of it.

So many people go to Prague to see the astronomical clock, and I'm hoping this will be something that people seek out when they come to the city.

"A lot of people already use it as a landmark when they are meeting people, so it's already famous."

A dry ice machine is being used to ensure the flatulent Friesian has plenty of gas to perform each day.

The cow – whose rear sticks out from the Rowan Tree bar on the Cowgate and head protrudes round the corner on the side of the Caves club on Niddry Street – was originally christened The Toon Cooncillor.

But after winning an appeal victory over the city's planning department, Mr Rowan decided to dedicate the rear-end to then planning committee chairman Trevor Davies, while the head was nicknamed Holy Cow in honour of then council leader the Reverend Euan Aitken.

Now that both men are no longer in their posts, and given the added mechanical feature, ex-Boroughmuir star Mr Rowan has said he plans to stage a competition to rename the cow.

His son Norman Rowan, who runs both the Rowan Tree and the Caves, said: "It is fantastic that its working and it will be a great landmark for the caves."

John Stewart, secretary of the Old Town Community Council, said provided there were no objections and it was popular, the cow sculpture should stay. He said: "It does sound a little odd, but there are plenty of strange mechanised tourist attractions in other cities. If the council have no problem with it and it's popular then I say good on the man for creating this."

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