Australia’s first ‘Big Thing’ facing uncertain future

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Giant scotsman
Scotty's last stand? PIC: Herald Sun

In a development that shocked all ‘Big Thing’ loving grey nomads, Australia’s very first over-sized tourist attraction – the Giant Scotsman – is facing a highly uncertain future.

The iconic kilted sculpture which sits on Scotty’s Motel in Adelaide could be set for the scrap heap if plans for a new residential development are approved.

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that the motel’s owners have lodged a rezoning request that could potentially transform the site into housing and shops.

However, fans of the five-metre Scotsman – which has been part of Adelaide’s landscape for nearly 60 years – are not going to let it go down without a fight.

History Trust chief executive Greg Mackie told the Advertiser that he wants to find a new home for such an important part of Australia’s ‘Big’ history.

“We can protect the object,” he said. “I am the people’s keeper of our State History Collection – over 50,000 objects of material culture of significance to South Australia’s stories.”

Mr Mackie spoke to the Scotsman’s owner Yanka Shopov, 86, and suggested she could gift ‘Big Scotty’ to the history collection.

“Mrs Shopov seemed positively disposed to the idea but added that this could still be some years away, and likely not until after her passing,” he said. “Should a gifting occur the History Trust of SA can ensure its preservation for future generations.”

Mr Mackie said that, while part of the statue’s intrinsic value involved its location, the History Trust might have to explore options for its secure public display elsewhere. He told the Advertiser that one of the options might be the food hall at Adelaide Central Market.

Eventually though, Mr Mackie said the Scotsman could become part of a ‘future’ Adelaide Museum of South Australian History.

“We are working with the government toward that outcome,” he said of the museum.

An Adelaide Advertiser poll found 71% of readers wanted to see the statue saved.

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12 Responses to Australia’s first ‘Big Thing’ facing uncertain future

  1. I’m a “massive” Big Things seeker (pun intended) and have made it my life’s mission to capture photos of my caravan with as many Big Things as possible.
    I was glad to see they finally restored the Big Prawn at Ballina and the Big Pineapple in Nambour was in need of some TLC last time I was there. These Aussie icons need to he treasured and preserved.
    I hadn’t heard of the Scotsman but am heading to Adelaide next so will be sure to check it out for sure!

  2. Oh no. Please please save this iconic statue.

  3. The lobster at Kingston SA also needs some TLC

    • The lobster was made by the same man Paul Kelly

  4. What about the big ????? I think, potato, at Robertson on the highlands west of Wollongong, Some have described it as a big, not sure how to say this, dog dropping.
    Good onya Robbo, the best potato growing area in the southern highlands. Buy their spuds, you will love them.

    • Regretably the big potato resembles a big turd rather than an unwashed king edward

  5. Save the Mega Mullet.

  6. Strewth! If the Scotty goes the one landmark by which I can find my brother’s hose will be gone.
    Google is not the same

  7. Well something has to be done to poor Scottie. He is currently in a very sad state and becoming an eye saw which is sad. It is also an excuse to get rid of it is my guess. One morning we will wake up in Cairns and it will be gone over night. I understand the current owners have no interest in its future. Sad however “that is progress” they say. Actually If I owned it, I would get rid of it because of maintenance costs.

  8. I thought the big banana at Coffs was our first icon.
    They were able to move the big merino so surely Scotty can be frog marched to a new spot.

  9. All these “big ” things may be great but not if they’re left to run down & look terrible as poor Big Scotty does now. Hopefully someone at some point will do a makeover & re-locate him to a new spot if the motel is demolished.

  10. Oh no! not Big Scotty!!! everyone knows him and it’s such an icon to people, it just wouldn’t be the same without him, let alone the motel going as well…sometimes progress needs to ease up a little and give some thought to the bigger picture instead of $$$

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