Museum remains busy while closed

The Rock Art group hard at work at Bute Museum.
The Rock Art group hard at work at Bute Museum.

Although Bute Museum is closed to the public during December and January, that does not mean that nothing is happening inside.

The closure is needed for staff and volunteers at the museum to ensure visitors to the local attraction continue to enjoy going to visit at Stuart Street in Rothesay.

Anne Speirs from Bute Musuem, said: “It is not possible to do all the maintenance work required when the museum is open. Currently work is underway upgrading displays in some of the cases.

“There is always a lot happening ‘behind the scenes’ and a huge amount of work goes on throughout the year in the museum library and archives.

“There is genealogical research, currently focusing on the farms on Bute. There is general research and maintenance of the collection.

“New items are scanned and put on to the database, a collection of newspaper cuttings is being archived and the museum map collection is being accessioned. Several thousand photographs and slides of Clyde steamers and other boats are being checked and listed.

“All of this work, from a dedicated team of volunteers, means that valuable information about the island is not lost.”

A new project based at the museum is the Bute Rock Art group. Anne revealed more about them, explaining: “This group is aiming to photograph and record all the mysterious symbols carved on rock surfaces around the island, as part of the national ‘Scotland’s Rock Art Project’.

“Most of Bute’s rock art is in the form of cup marks carved into stones and, although their use is no longer clear to us, they were clearly important to the people who carved them 5000 years ago.

“Some of the more vulnerable stones have in the past been taken into the museum collection and these have been photographed and recorded when the weather was not suitable for outside work.”

Anne is now looking forward to another productive year at Bute Museum.

She said: “Plans are under way for another busy year at the museum. We will be open again in February and we hope to have our usual visitors such as groups from local schools, the Phoenix Group and Glasgow University.

“We will have a Pirate Hunt for young visitors and, of course, we will be a venue for Bute Noir.

“These are a just a few of the things we have planned, so if you haven’t visited us for a while make 2019 the year that you come and see us.”