Her­itage cen­tre is flushed with suc­cess

Lennox Herald - - INTIMATIONS - Jenny Foulds

A for­mer sta­tion loo is now wel­com­ing vis­i­tors after be­ing trans­formed into a mil­i­tary her­itage cen­tre.

The Armed Forces Veter­ans’ As­so­ci­a­tion, based at Dum­bar­ton Cen­tral Sta­tion, hope the new mu­seum will at­tract peo­ple of all ages to find out more about the area’s mil­i­tary his­tory.

The old wash room — which still hints at its be­gin­nings with its Vic­to­rian tiled walls — is un­recog­nis­able after a com­plete facelift.

Cus­tom made dis­play cab­i­nets show­case mem­o­ra­bilia from both world wars, in­clud­ing medals and badges, uni­forms, and there are pho­to­graphs and mod­els which dan­gle from the ceil­ing.

Robert McCreadie, of­fice man­ager, said he is very proud of the hard work un­der­taken by vol­un­teers to get it up and run­ning, and said it wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble with­out the gen­er­ous do­na­tions of items on loan from mem­bers of the public.

He said: “It is now open and looks ab­so­lutely bril­liant. It’s taken a ded­i­cated team of five peo­ple to put it to­gether and they have worked very hard.

“The room was a for­mer gents toi­lets and we’ve kept the Vic­to­rian tiles on the walls which gives a hint that it used to be some­thing along those lines.

“It is packed full of mem­o­ra­bilia and his­tory which we hope peo­ple will learn from.

“A lot of the items are on loan from mem­bers of the public who have gen­er­ously do­nated what they could.

“Rather than keep it in a drawer, they wanted to place them on dis­play for peo­ple to see and learn from.

“The prob­lem is so many mil­i­tary mu­se­ums have closed down and a lot has gone into stor­age. It’s great to have this here in Dum­bar­ton.

“We want peo­ple to ap­pre­ci­ate what peo­ple in the ser­vices have done and in­crease the sup­port for veter­ans and cur­rent ser­vice­men and women.”

The char­ity fundraises for ex-ser­vice­men and women and they have an of­fice in the sta­tion, next door to the mu­seum, which is open daily for ex-mil­i­tary per­son­nel to drop in for ad­vice or help from the staff.

Robert said the new mu­seum has al­ready been well re­ceived by those who have had a look around, adding: “We had a group of lads in from Dum­bar­ton Academy and they were very in­ter­ested in what we were do­ing and asked all the right ques­tions.

“We’re hop­ing to en­cour­age school chil­dren and groups to come along. One of our trustees in in talks with an Alzheimers group for them to come in.”

Robert said the char­ity is still ap­peal­ing to the public to do­nate or loan any items they think might be of in­ter­est, adding: “The more we can get the bet­ter. Even if we can’t dis­play ev­ery­thing at the mo­ment, we hope to grad­u­ally change the dis­plays so peo­ple have a rea­son to keep com­ing back.”

The mu­seum is open from 8am un­til 3pm Mon­day to Fri­day.

Open The mu­seum is now ready for vis­i­tors. In­sert: Joseph Tim­min, Robert McCreadie and Janet Don­nelly at the her­itage cen­tre

Mak­ing mem­o­ries Pupils re­turned to the school for some nos­tal­gia

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