I don't think I went out at all yesterday and by lunchtime today I could feel my vitimin D bank was particularly low, so I went out for a wee wander. I'd been out wandering for about 10 minutes when the normal West of Scotland weather service was resumed so I popped into the museum for a nosey as I don't think I had been in for months.
They've got a small exhibition of odds and ends from local villages on at the moment and it features a couple of photos which have some connection to my recent blog about Tongland - have a quick look back if you've not been - it was only last week sometime.
The Tongland railway viaduct.
The Galloway engineering works, where Arrol Johnston made cars in the '20s - now very much bricked up. Notice the netting on the top of the building - they had a tennis court up there.
And while we're at black and white pictures, here's one of the museum itself in ...in ..well, a long time ago - I'd say beginning of the 20th century or the very end of the 19th. It has to be after 1893 because that was when the building was built to house the exhibits.
Whizz forward a century to today (sometime round about 3 o'clock in the afternoon today, if you must know) and the Indian elephant has gone (I seem to remember that it is now one of the exhibits in the Museum on Chambers Street in Edinburgh), the stuffed birds have moved upstairs and there's no sign of that crossbow in the whole museum, or at least I've never found it, but over all it remains very similar to what it was like then.
This old figure head sits unlabeled in a corner of the museum that always seems to be a bit of a jumble to me.
Novelty mugs are not new - these pieces of jug were removed during excavations of the castle and are likely from the 14th century.
This is a model of a crannog - a type of lake dwelling from the dim and distant of which several examples are known locally. In Ireland they know of 2000 crannog sites and 600 here in Scotland dating from around 3000BC for one in North Uist to well into the first millenium AD.
A old harpoon end found in the local river - made of red deer antler and carbon dated to about 4500BC
I would say the most important item in the museum is the Sillar Gun, not that it is in a prominent place and it's easily missable on a quick whisk through the building. It is the oldest surviving sporting trophy in Britain having been presented by James the VI for shooting in 1587. It is still used, being competed for on special occasions, not that the holder gets to have it in his mitts any longer than is required for a photo for the local paper. I think it is the oldest sporting trophy in the world still used for it's original purpose, the internet isn't any use for confiming this, as most of it thinks that the Americas cup is the oldest trophy in the world (a mere 264 years later).
And finally in this little batch, a piece of an Ash tree felled in 1912. When the wood was split the following initials were found carved inside - 14 inches and 157 annual rings away from the bark.