Historical associations should collaborate
Your recent supportive editorial on the work of the Heritage Centre is greatly appreciated by our entirely voluntary staff and trustees.
The centre is becoming a very popular place for visitors who are impressed, as you indicate, with the range of exhibits of Kintyre Social History, and the friendly welcome they receive.
The centre is in the process of obtaining official recognition from Museums and Galleries of Scotland as a designated museum, which will greatly expand its capability both in terms of its displays and also its ability to raise funding from government and other sources.
This will recognise not only the centre’s role as the social history centre for South Kintyre but also, among other things, as home of the national collection relating to the work of the naval rescue tugboats in the Second World War.
This collection of letters, models, photographs, ships’ ensigns and other aspects of the work of the rescue tugboats, for which Campbeltown was one of the main bases, was donated by the Rescue Tugboats Association, with which the centre has had a long and valuable relationship.
Part of this collection forms a permanent exhibit in the centre, the remainder is available for access by scholars interested in the subject about which we get regular enquiries.
We were somewhat surprised, therefore, to read that Campbeltown Museum had accepted a model of the Bustler, one of the tugs mainly associated with Campbeltown, for its collection, since duplication is something none of us can afford in these very straightened times. Obviously our two organisations do not communicate as well as we should.
It is clear, as your editorial indicates, that in the future, funding will be very difficult for all museums. Campbeltown is fortunate at present with its historical/cultural resources which include the Antiquarian Society with its outstanding journal, the library with its very helpful staff as well as the museum with its salaried curator and of course, the Heritage Centre.
It is to be hoped that the changes being forced upon us all by the current financial pressure will induce the greater collaboration between all of these bodies which you recommend.
Professor Ronald J Roberts FRSE Trustee, Campbeltown Heritage Centre.