Thursday, May 21, 2009

A curling museum for Scotland NEEDS YOU!

Yesterday I had to make a trip to visit my dentist in Kilbarchan. I am very lucky to be on the list of the best dentist in the world. She was one of the very first students I lectured to at the University of Glasgow (above) in the 1970s. I'll not embarrass her by giving her name here. She did suggest that she should take my photo in the chair! Maybe next time!

But enough of uncomfortable things. Let's talk museums. Did you see the post about the curling museum on the Curling History blog (here)? I can hardly believe that Scotland is actually going to have a permanent place where the history of our sport can be celebrated. I'm thrilled at the thought.

The trustees of the RCCC Charitable Trust have been collaborating with the RCCC Board and the Kinross Curling Trust with a view to the provision of sufficient space for the museum in the proposed National Curling Academy at Kinross. The plans for the Kinross complex are being drawn up and the trustees have already some ideas of what the museum should be like. The trustees would like to hear from anyone who is interested in the museum project and who has ideas or expertise to share; and who would be willing to become involved as a volunteer. If you are interested, do get in touch with Cairnie House (here's how).

I've already passed on some of my own ideas. I thought that, when I was in Kilbarchan yesterday, I would look in at the National Trust's Weaver's Cottage, to see if the collection of loofies was being looked after, and also if I could glean some ideas about what makes a small museum successful.

Things did not go to plan. The Weaver's Cottage is not open on Wednesdays! Still, Glasgow has lots of museums, and they are free to visit. What's my favourite? Plan B went into action.

Can you guess? The clue is that this building has an important curling connection.

It's the Kelvin Hall. In 1985 it hosted the last Air Canada Silver Broom World Curling Championship. After that event, part of the building became the Museum of Transport. This museum is set to close next year, to move into a custom built facility, which will open in the spring of 2011. There's lots about the new Riverside Museum here. Make sure you look at the Frequently Asked Questions if you are interested in what it takes, and what it costs, to build such an attraction.

First stop yesterday, of course, for me were the locomotives. There are three biggies: the Caledonian Railway Caley No 12; the Highland Railway No 103; and the Gordon Highlander No 49 of the Great North of Scotland Railway. The last two are shown above. But there are lots of other things, and I'll come back to some of these another day.

In the meantime, there is a prize for anyone who can come up with the connection between Glasgow's trams and Ailsa Craig. Email me if you think you have the answer!

Pics by Bob.

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