Capturing the Story of New Galloway

This week saw the launch of the ‘New Galloway Story’ project which will see Local Initiatives in New Galloway (LING) working in consultation and partnership with the local community to create a dedicated website and key information boards to recognise and celebrate the town’s heritage as the smallest Royal Burgh in Scotland.

The website and information boards will feature hand drawn illustrations and maps of the village indicating how places would have looked a hundred years ago. The project will also pull together other strands of LING’s existing work such as the pop-up exhibitions including showcasing old photographs and paintings from in and around the area; young people conducting oral history interviews with older people (a collaboration with the CatStrand); a shop trail which will identify houses that were previously shops and businesses; improvements to local woodland pathways and the restoration of a walled garden; and the maintenance and improvement of the Town Hall as a historic community hub.

The ‘New Galloway Story’ project has been supported by a grant of £4,480 through the Galloway Glens ‘Our Heritage’ Small Grants Scheme. The Galloway Glens administrator, Jude Crooks, met members of Local Initiatives in New Galloway (LING) at New Galloway Town hall to present the cheque in front of a perfect backdrop of the painting of New Galloway by Adam Bruce Thomson (1895 -1976). The original is held in the National Gallery in Edinburgh and this print was presented to The Town Hall by William and Elizabeth Johnson in 2017.

Ros Hill, Chair of Local Initiatives in New Galloway, said: –

My husband and I came to New Galloway about 15 years ago and have been interested to learn about the history of the Town and the area.  With many people moving to the area both to work and retire and others to visit on holiday as well as young people growing up this grant provides a great opportunity for people to understand the past and to enjoy and be part of the future.

Ann Glaister, Secretary of Local Initiatives in New Galloway, said: –

I first got involved with LING to keep the Town Hall from being boarded up, which would have been such a shame. It seemed to represent New Galloway’s heritage. I’ve come to realise, more and more, that heritage is about more than just keeping buildings open. It’s about people coming together and taking pride in where they live. We hope this project, by enabling the community to capture some stories of New Galloway’s history, will play a small part in fostering that sense of pride.

Jude Crooks, Galloway Glens Scheme Administrator said:

Bringing together the heritage of New Galloway into one place, both online and in the information boards, will truly allow visitors and interested people around the world to connect with the local heritage of this beautiful town in South West Scotland, which has the honour of being the smallest Royal Burgh in Scotland. Many thanks as always to the National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland for the funding and for the support from partners including Dumfries & Galloway Council and the Galloway & Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere.