The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Ball 2020
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Ball 2020 which was due to take place on 4 September 2020 has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Hope to see you all next year.
Book Your Box
We can bring the Museum to you! Our new handling boxes are ready to loan. We have boxes on:
- The Victorian Soldier
- World War One
- WWII On the Front
- WWII Home Front
These are free to borrow for all school and community groups. Subject to availability, a member of the museum team can also bring along the boxes for a workshop in your classroom.
Contact email@example.com for more information.
This ambitious project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and we have secured substantial funding from other supporters.
The pressure is on to raise the remaining funds to ensure the new Museum opens in 2020 as a premier visitor attraction and a lasting tribute to those who served in the Regiment.
Will you support the Thin Red Line Appeal ?
Under threat of closure following funding cuts, the Museum is embarking on a £4M renewal project. The project will ensure the Museum is sustainable for the future and meets the expectation of today’s visitors.
Uniquely among military museums, we are setting our story against the social history of Scotland, covering such aspects as the Highland Clearances, shipbuilding and the industrialisation of the Central Belt of Scotland. The Museum will continue to provide a focal point for activities of veterans and serving soldiers.
Support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and other donors has enabled us to start work on this major redevelopment project, but we still need your help to raise the remaining funds and ensure we can welcome you to our new Museum in 2020.
We want you to be part of this exciting journey so will keep you up to date here with news as the work progresses. We will also regularly be updating our Facebook and Twitter with images of how the work is progressing, so check there for the latest pictures.
February / March 2020
Historic Environment Scotland’s Stirling Castle guides finally had an opprtunity to get a sneak preview of the inside of the Museum. They were impressed with how light it is and are all itching to see the Collection back on display.
Forthside is a hive of activity. The store room is filling fast with materials ready for the construction of the display cases by Elmwood Ltd. Jamie and Alan from Activation Ltd have moved into Forthside for a few weeks whilst they prepare the mounting plan for over 50 display cases, containing around 500 objects.
Education and Outreach
Our team have been working with S2 students from Stirling High School, who are co-curating an exhibition of WWI. The students are working with objects from the Museum Collection to design their own mini exhibition. This involves selecting objects and creating a story board and labels to create a display in the school. This will be the first outing for our portable display case was partly funded by Stirling Council and W M Mann Foundation.
The new handling boxes are in huge demand with schools and other organisations. The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders ACF Falkirk Detachment had a great time seeing how kit had developed since WWII and trying their hand at sending morse code messages to each other. The Forth Valley Sensory Centre History Group also had a fantastic visit from our volunteers.
The end of 2019 was certainly interesting as the King’s Old Building continued to throw up challenges. Perhaps the most exciting is the discovery a void beneath the kitchen which is thought to be part of a passageway dating from the time of Mary, Queen of Scots joining the Palace with the Chapel Royal. Investigations are continuing and we will keep you posted. A more mundane problem was presented by the suspension of the staircase, but that has been resolved.
Historic Environment Scotland have also been incredibly hard at work. The entire building has been replumbed and rewired; all the windows have been refurbished; the roof and exterior walls repaired.
Elmwood of Glasgow have been appointed the fit-out contractors and new cases are being produced which will improve the conservation and display of the collection.
Here’s a taster of the story boards’ new look ……
September - October 2019
Another busy couple of months on all fronts.
Veterans’ Foundation comes up trumps!
Our thanks to the Veterans’ Foundation and all who support this worthwhile charity through the Veterans’ Lottery. The Foundation has given out over £2 million in grants to organisations which help serving and former members of the Armed Forces and their families.
We are thrilled to be the first military museum to have received a grant. The funding will be used to develop and deliver activities, both in the museum and throughout communities across our traditional recruiting grounds. By taking the museum into local communities through pop up displays, handling sessions and other activities, we can engage more people, ensuring the legacy of The Argylls is remembered.
No time to rest….
In preparation for the museum reopening, our Volunteers have been hard at work.
Thanks to Historic Environment Scotland volunteers were able to join their staff training day – ‘Working with Family Groups’. As well as the chance to exchange ideas with HES colleagues, the day provided opportunities to develop skills and reinforce good practice. The session on using objects as a hook to help learning emphasised the value of our regular handling sessions which are held in the Castle.
Schools and community groups can also benefit from our new handling boxes which are available to borrow. Recently staff and a volunteer hosted our first handling session for the history group with visual/hearing impairments at Forth Valley Sensory Centre. This was a great success and will be developed to suit other groups.
The boxes are in great demand. To Book your Box, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The building work continues apace. With one staircase installed, the other is about to go in, which will complete the rebuilding works. The focus is now on completing the rewiring, laying floors and plastering.
July - August 2019
It has been a very busy couple of months, with lots going on both in and out of the Museum.
St Andrew’s Society of Upper South Carolina
We were delighted to welcome members of The St Andrew’s Society of Upper South Carolina as part of their Scottish road trip. The group, hosted by 2SCOTS, were welcomed to the Green Room at Stirling castle where the Curatorial Team had assembled some objects from the Collection for them to examine. The ram’s head snuff mull, feather bonnet and red doublet were particularly popular!
Stirling Military Show
A torrential downpour did little to dampen spirits at Stirling Armed Forces Day. It was a great day meeting old and new friends. It also provided the first opportunity to trial our new handling boxes, which proved extremely popular with young and old alike. Funding from the MacRobert Trust helped purchase the new cases.
The handling boxes were also in use at Stirling Central Library when visitors were able to learn about researching Argyll family members. The boxes can be borrowed by schools and organisations. Please contact Linda at email@example.com for further details.
One small step for man, one giant step for mankind!
The steps (or stairs!) are finally in! The new staircase from the final gallery down to the ground floor shop will make access much easier. The original spiral stone staircase is now reserved for staff.
Despite the Museum being closed our Volunteers have still been busy with regular pop up handling sessions in Stirling Castle and elsewhere. We’re thrilled that their efforts have been rewarded as they have been shortlisted for an award at the Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise Inspire Volunteering Awards 2019! Good luck to all!
Thanks to our supporters, conservation work has been completed on Pipe Major McLeod’s bagpipes. These pipes inspired the 93rd Highlanders into battle at the Relief of Lucknow. The soldiers’ bravery was later recognised by the award of seven Victoria Crosses.
The work was funded in part by a donation from Armed Forces Veterans Association Dumbarton and we were delighted to be able to show their representatives how their support had helped.
Fundraising continues for the conservation of the Balaklava Pipes. You can donate here.
Arise Sir Boyd
Our congratulations go to Boyd Tunnock, inventor of Tunnock’s Teacake, and a great supporter of the Thin Red Line, who is knighted for services to business and charity. We are delighted that his amazing contribution to charity has been recognised.
May 2019: Out and About
Selfies in Stirling
Despite the Museum being closed for building works, there is still plenty going on. The team took ‘Hamish’ and some items out into The Thistles shopping centre. Visitors had the opportunity to try on head gear from the Museum, including a feather bonnet made from ostrich feathers. At our Easter Crafts in Stirling Castle there were plenty of volunteers who had a go at making their own glengarries.
When you can’t come to the Museum, the Museum can come to you!
The first of our new handling boxes are nearly ready for use by schools and community groups. There are 4 new themed boxes:
- WWII Home Front
- WWII On the Front
- Victorian Soldier
These should be available from June and can be booked by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. It may be possible for one of our staff or volunteers to come and present a workshop.
April 2019: Progress
Nothing about a building project is straightforward, and when you’re dealing with a 15th century scheduled monument, the challenges increase ten-fold! Every aspect of the building works understandably requires close scrutiny by Historic Environment Scotland to ensure that it complies with the scheduled monuments consents. It is a painstakingly slow progress, but one which is necessary to preserve this amazing building. We all sighed a breath of relief when a main load-bearing wall was successfully removed.
And the Collection
We’ve been making the most of the museum closure to get conservation work done on some collection pieces. The Balaklava and New Orleans Colours have undegone extensive work to stabilise the fabrics, along with Campbelll of Lochnell’s kilt.
The pipes are calling!
We are now trying to raise £3000 to allow us to ensure bagpipes played at the Battle of Balaklava and the Relief of Lucknow can be conserved. Pipers have always played an honoured role in regimental history, inspiring soldiers on in the face of battle. If you can help, please donate at our JustGiving page
March 2019: Building Update
The King’s Old Building which houses the Museum dates from 1496 and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and an A-listed building. In 1987 it was converted internally to house the Regimental Headquarters and Museum. Considerable work has been done to remove the 1987 interventions, including removing blockwork walls, plaster finishes, mechanical and electrical services and staircases.
The impressive vaulted ground floor is being opened up for the first time and will house the new Highlights Gallery and Associations Room. The Highlights Gallery will showcase key items and allow those visitors with access issues or limited time, the opportunity to get a taste of Regimental history and the new Associations Room will tie in with affiliated organisations, whilst also providing a focus for our Veterans’ Association.
Feb 2019: Out with the Old!
Out with the Old
Taylor and Fraser have been busy stripping the old museum bare in preparation of the demolition of walls next week. The logistics of clearing the rubble has proved a challenge as access to the 15th century building at the top of the Castle is hampered by narrow gateways. Protective cladding of the stone gateways and some very skilled driving means that the rubble is able to be removed.
Meanwhile the Museum team are getting their breath back after decanting to our temporary location. It has been a massive effort but the 12,000 objects in the collection are now safely installed in their new home. We’re taking this opportunity to get conservation and preservation work done on some of the items, including some which have not been exhibited before.
Last chance to see WW1 Remembrance Exhibition in Helensburgh
The Museum has recently supported a number of exhibits commemorating the end of WW1. The final exhibition, in partnership with Helensburgh Heritage Trust, is running until 28 February in Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre. Further details available HERE.
Sounds from Stirling Castle – “Summon The Heroes” Concert on Saturday 16th March, 19.30 pm
Tickets are selling fast for what promises to be a great evening supporting two military charities. To book your tickets click the link HERE or contact Jennifer Campbell on 0141 814 4729 / Jennifer.email@example.com.
Exciting New Museum Gallery wins Museum Galleries Scotland £40K Award
The Museum is one of 15 projects set to benefit from a share of £466K from the MGS Museum Development Fund
We are delighted to have received an award from MGS for £40K towards an exciting new gallery in the Museum. The new gallery, Daily Life at Home and Away, will provide an opportunity to explore the life of an Argyll away from the battlefield. Through music, sport, religion and family we will tell the stories of the ordinary men behind the uniform. Garrison life at home and overseas will not only pick up on the under-represented story of Stirling Castle as the military garrison, but also tell the story of soldiers’ wives, families and the impact army life had on them and their communities. This is a new approach and one which aims to widen the appeal of the collection to a greater audience. This generous award from MGS will be used to provide display cases and AV equipment for the new gallery.
December 2018: Action Stations!
The builders move in, and we move out!
Paisley-based Taylor and Fraser Ltd, have been awarded the construction contract and Andy and his team are already in the Museum preparing for the internal demolition works whilst on the Castle Esplanade the work site is being built.
Despite the mess in the Museum – Alli has made an effort with the Christmas decorations!
As well as work inside the Museum, additional external life-cycle work is being undertaken by Historic Environment Scotland. The scaffolding is up as work on the roof commences.
In order to ensure the workmen have a free run, it has been decided to move staff and the collection out of the Museum. The challenges of access to the Museum mean that it will be all hands to the deck so please bear with us whilst we move and set up in our temporary location.
Fundraising efforts are continuing for the final push and as, despite rigorous planning, a project of this size and complexity inevitably throws up unexpected costs. Our thanks go to all those individuals, veterans and Trusts and Foundations that have recently donated, including Schroder Foundation, Hugh Fraser Foundation and Graham Trust.
Get in Touch
Please note that the Museum is closed to all visitors and our research facility is suspended. During the move there will be some disruption to telephone and internet. If you are unable to get through on 01786 475165 or 01786 448041, please try:
Association / SSAFA: 07709 067406
Other: 07397 377284
Thank you for your patience.
November 2018: Out and About
On the move
The Museum may be closed, but The Argylls’ story continues to be told.
Some items requiring conservation measures or cleaning have been sent to the conservators; others have been carefully wrapped by the Curatorial Team for storage; whilst others are being loaned to organisations around Scotland as part of our outreach programme.
Thanks to Historic Environment Scotland, our volunteers have been able to move into the Great Hall so visitors can still handle objects from WW1 and WW2.
Volunteers have been out and about with our handling boxes, visiting local schools to talk to pupils about WW1 and let them try on uniforms and gas masks. Our team have also been in Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre with Helensburgh Heritage Trust where they have set up a temporary exhibit.
Alva Academy remember those who gave their lives in in WW1
Pupils and staff from Alva Academy remembered those who gave their lives in WW1 as they held their Remembrance Service in the Chapel Royal. The service, which was attended by Argyll veterans, included songs, music and dancing performed by the pupils.
September 2018: Peeling back the years
The King’s Old Building
The King’s Old Building has seen many changes over the last 500 years and has now started its latest transformation as work progresses with the dismantling of galleries, making way for additional storage, and in preparation for buildings works. Clearing the Shop and 91/93 Gallery has allowed us to open up windows previously covered over to protect our objects, and expose parts of the King’s Old Building long since forgotten.
The building, which dates from c1496, is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and an A-listed building, and has been altered on a regular basis over the centuries. Much has been changed but a surprising amount has survived from the earliest period. In our new displays we aim to piece together the building’s story in a meaningful way for visitors.
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders connection with Stirling Castle dates back to 1794 when the 91st Argyllshire Highlanders were raised there. Stirling Castle was the Regimental Depot between 1873-1964, and remains the Regimental spiritual home. Since the 1980s the Museum has been housed in the King’s Old Building.
The new galleries provide the opportunity to incorporate the story of the Castle from a Stuart palace, to a Regimental depot to its current state. It is still possible to interpret many of the original features and understand how the building evolved from being a Royal residence. The King’s Old Building’s roof is considered original and project-related investigations have exposed the original floor levels, doors and windows. One of the main drivers for the project is the opening of the ground floor space to the public. This is where the majority of the historic fabric remains and will enable the visitor to follow the development of the Castle through its many phases of occupation.
Further trust funding success.
We are delighted to announce continuing success on the funding front this month. Particular thanks go to the Swire Charitable Trust for a further donation of £10,000 and the 51st Highland Division and Ross Bequest Trust. We would also like to thank Museums Galleries Scotland for their ongoing support.
Through their Skills for Success programme we are delighted to welcome Craig to the team, who joins us on a year’s learning placement.
Progress continues but we are still working hard to reach our target.
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