We want to shed new light on the Greyfriars Bobby story

THE small statue of a dog, with its drinking bowl below, is one of the city's most popular landmarks.

Now the famously loyal terrier could be lit up at night, under plans which look to the past to help brighten up its future.

The One o'Clock Gun Association is keen to highlight the statue, which is just outside Greyfriars Kirkyard.

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They have proposed situating a Victorian-style street light next to it, similar to one that was there in the 19th century.

The city council has welcomed the idea, and is considering various lighting options.

The plans have also won the support of Edinburgh Central MSP, Sarah Boyack.

George Robinson, secretary of the association, said lighting the statue up at night would make it easier to find and more attractive. He said: "There are usually several tourists looking at it at night, so I think it could become much more of an attraction.

"The council lighting department seem to think it's a really good idea. We think it would be very easy to do and I can't imagine it would be very much money.

"There are pictures from 1876 showing a street lamp next to the fountain. We'd really like to get it back the way it is. They've already got Victorian lamps in stock, like at the National Portrait Gallery."

The association has already put on exhibitions illustrating the life of the famous dog, and held a walk on World Animal Day in October to commemorate his life.

It will be holding its second annual ceremony on Thursday in Greyfriars Kirkyard in honour of him. Blue, a Yorkshire terrier from North Berwick who bears a strong resemblance to Bobby, will play a leading role in the ceremony.

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The city council is supportive of the plan, and is keen to meet with the association to agree the best way of lighting the statue.

A council spokesman said: "We welcome the proposals for Edinburgh's favourite four-legged friend and are working with them."

Ms Boyack also said she was keen to improve the attraction.

She said: "The story of Greyfriars Bobby is a heart-warming tale of loyalty.

"The legacy of the famous Skye Terrier has endured through the years and the monument to him is enjoyed by visitors to Edinburgh from across the globe.

"I agree that sensitively designed lighting would enhance the fountain, allowing visitors to enjoy it at all hours of the day.

"I am pleased the council's lighting department are looking into this issue and I hope they will work along with interested parties to make it a reality."

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