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The museum held its Annual General Meeting on the 16th of January. The meeting was very well attended despite the snowy weather, and members had an opportunity to look around the site and see the progress of the ongoing building works.
The meeting also featured a short presentation in honour of two of our long-serving volunteers, Chairman David Reid and Treasurer Jym Francey, who between them have clocked up 70 years of service to the museum.
The museum was featured recently in a piece on Border Life to commemorate the Battle of Britain Anniversary. ITV’s Sandy McCracken visited the museum and talked with the Curator, David Reid, about the stories behind some of the objects in the museum collection including the Loch Doon Spitfire.
If you missed it, you can see it again here.
The museum held a successful summer show on the 19th of July with attendance estimated at 2000 visitors. Although the weather threatened to dampen spirits, in the end it stayed (mostly) dry and the crowds were able to enjoy entertainment and exhibits that had been laid on for the day.
The biggest noise of the day was the demonstration of an ex-British Army 25-pounder field gun by Martin Hutchby. The sound of the weapon being fired could be heard around the town and caused a small stir at the Police Scotland switchboard as they received a few reports of explosions in the area!
There were many other things to see and do on the day. In addition to the usual museum exhibits, we also had a display of static engines by our local vintage machinery club, a display of military vehicles from the Scottish Military Vehicle Group as well as other private collections of military memorabilia which were brought in for the day. There was also r/c model car racing, a cake stall, a bouncy castle, displays of classic cars as well as fairground games such as hook-a-duck and splat-the-rat.
The museum volunteers were delighted to see such a good turnout for the event. Our thanks to everyone who came along on the day and helped to make it such a success.
In early May the northern region of the Guild of Aviation Artists visited us for their annual sketching day. However this year there was a difference – as well as sketching aircraft, they were invited to paint an actual aircraft in our collection in a scheme of their own design. As regular visitor will know, our Jet Provost T4 had progressed to the primer stage and was waiting on better weather to have it’s topcoats applied. We offered the Guild the chance to come up with an abstract design to be applied to this aircraft for a period of two years, after which normal service colours will be re-applied.
The scheme chosen is a nod to the great war ‘dazzle’ camouflage, designed to make the shape of an object seem less distinct at a distance, and was applied on the day by a few of the Guild artists. Bringing their usual great weather, the hot metal meant that the paint dried almost on contact but they battled through to produce a striking look, and one which compliments the lines of the aircraft. We’re sure it will be a popular exhibit, and already we have had younger visitors telling us their favourite aeroplane is ‘the stripey one’!