Three Dumfries museums

Despite working nights in Dumfries I didn’t waste the days either. Awoken by a fire alarm test after a few hours of sleep last Monday I walked to the town, visited three museums (and for old times’ sake the local M&S) and yet had time for a bit more sleep before another shift. (During which it turned out we would have to stay a day longer, but that’s another story.)

Robert Burns House: Quite interesting. Not as a home of a national poet, but as a home of an 18th-century man of letters working for the Excise. And cosy. In fact I wouldn’t mind living there, as long as it was provided with the 21st-century amenities I’m used to. (Ceteris paribus, I’d certainly rather live there than in Abbotsford, even if money wasn’t an issue.)

Dumfries Museum: Leaving this ‘principal’ one (situated in a former windmill) I reflected that often these places surprise me by featuring something, however banal, that I don’t remember having seen before except in a picture. Here it was a smithy bellows, an adze, a horse plough, a grandfather clock with a second hand – and a stuffed stoat, next to a stuffed squirrel which was bigger.

Old Bridge House: On the other hand, I didn’t see the point of this one’s existence. It didn’t seem to have any relation to the bridge; just a random collection of archaic bric-a-brac (however nice, the dentist’s chair in particular) which might have been placed anywhere.



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