Heritage centre is flushed with success
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