They said Aberdeen has its head stuck in the sand. Well, we showed them!


ARCHIE FRASER, City Centre Resident

Aberdeen has attracted some negative publicity of late. We’ve been the subject of ridicule; the descisons of our City Fathers regarded by some as shortsighted, lacking in vision, parochial. But recently, the actions of one man have elevated Aberdeen’s profile beyond measure. Now, thanks to incredible advancements in information technology, when the world thinks of Aberdeen only one image is brought to mind.  It’s not an image of granite, oilrigs or an abandoned city centre garden development. It’s an image of one man, a true hero of or time, with his head stuck in a bin.

Willie, or ‘Bucket Heid’ as he is now known to a global audience, has, like myself, been a denizen of the city centre for longer than I care, or indeed, am able, to remember. We’ve shared many a bench, a fair few bottles of Tia Maria and any number of incoherent shouting matches over the years, and no-one is more deseving of the sobriquet ‘ Public Figure’ than he. So I was heartened to read in the discarded copy of the Press and Journal that I had stuffed into my shirt for extra warmth, that he had finally achieved the level of recognition he has always, in all honesty, demanded.

Well known to many, with his humorous catch phrase “Chief! Chief!  See’s a pound?” He is a true renaissance man. A tireless fundraiser for such worthy causes as the ‘Willie Middleton Cup of Tea Fund”, the “Willie Middleton Bus Fare Home Trust” and the  “Friends of Tennants Super”, he is also a trend setter. The recent popularity of Magners, Koppaberg and other cider type drinks in the summer beer gardens of the city can be largely put down to the influence of the style statement he has been making since 2009, to only drink White Lightening on the bench outside the Soul Bar.

He’s also a tireless campaigner on behalf of the homeless, principally (one might say exclusively) himself, and once staged a ‘slump-in’ protest, falling asleep in the reception of his solicitor’s office where he had ventured to escape a particularly heavy rainstorm. Once the weather had improved, his legal advisor, unable to rouse him from his slumber (one might call it the ‘the sleep of the just had a bottle of Buckie’) was compelled to drag him by the ankles out into the street. The next day, Willie re-attended the premises, this time to seeking legal advice as to how to pursue a claim for his mysterious carpet burns.

I know speak for all of Aberdeen’s gentlemen of the road when I say Willie, we salute you! Or to put it another way; hats off to Bucket Heid!