The Devil’s Porridge Museum at Eastriggs near Annan, Dumfries and Galloway has received generous support from Museums Galleries Scotland and Visit Scotland, in total a sum of over £100,000.
This will help the Museum get ready for re-opening on April 26th, enable it to work on new projects and add new features. “It is Covid Recovery and Resilience funding so some of it is to help ensure we can re-open and ensure that we are as safe and clean as we can be for our visitors” explained Judith Hewitt, Museum Manager.
The Museum café has also been refurbished. Chairman Richard Brodie enthused, “Thanks to the funding we have been able to invest in in our cafe and create an elegant and comfortable space for coffee drinkers and those looking for a tasty lunch. The furniture and decor has been specially chosen to reflect a Rennie Mackintosh style which was embraced by the architects who designed the garden villages of Eastriggs and Gretna and the WW1 state management pubs and coffee houses.”
The Museum will be using some of the funding they have received to create audio guides in different languages, for the visually impaired and for people who would like to delve deeper into the story of HM Factory Gretna in World War One and the Solway Military Coast from 1939 onwards. “There is a lot of interest in the old Factory site” continued Judith, “And I’m excited to be working with drone pilots to film some aerial footage of the remaining industrial archaeology. This should create a new experience and perspective on our local area and how it was effected by the two world wars.”
There will also be new things added to the Museum. “When we re-open, we will have an exhibition about Dorothée Pullinger on display.” Said Judith. “She was a pioneering female engineer and worked at Arrol Johnston in Dumfries before working in munitions during World War One. In the 1920s, she established the Galloway Car Factory at Tongland near Kirkcudbright (famously making a car for women which was made by women).”
“During lockdown, we’ve been doing a lot of outreach online and we will be continuing with our successful digital research project and series of monthly online talks” said Judith, “but we are, at the end of the day, a museum for people to visit and we are so looking forward to being up and running again offering our visitors a great day out.”
The Devil’s Porridge Museum will be open daily from April 26th. Booking via their website prior to your visit is recommended.