Bute Museum: Take a holiday trip back in time

Uncle Phil's Punch and Judy, on display at Bute Museum.
Uncle Phil's Punch and Judy, on display at Bute Museum.

Bute Museum is now open to the public again after a two month closure to allow volunteers a chance to refurbish some of the displays.

Several displays have been given a makeover, with ‘The Holiday Isle’ case given a fresh new look by volunteers.

Bute Museum’s Anne Speirs BEM said: “In a recent television programme, Billy Connolly was reminiscing of his childhood visits to Rothesay. He fondly recalled watching Uncle Phil and Tony entertaining the crowds at Children’s Corner.

“Those days are long gone but Uncle Phil’s puppets are preserved in the museum as a reminder of how people were entertained in a bygone era.

“Other items in the case recall the Halcyon days of holidays ‘Doon the Water’. Rowing boats were a popular way of passing a few hours and a metal sign warns ‘CAUTION. Persons are warned not to row towards steamers and to exercise care in changing seats’.

“That was as far as health and safety went in those days.

“The Rothesay Trams ran out to Ettrick Bay until September 1936 and the driver’s handle from the last tram is a poignant reminder of this popular mode of transport.

“The museum also houses a seat from a toast rack tram, complete with mechanism for changing the of the seat for the return journey.

“And, Rothesay boasted a unique band of porters known as the Pointing Porters. They selected people on incoming steamers and pointed to them. When the passenger pointed back, the deal was struck and the porter dealt with their luggage. 12 porters were issued with licenses in 1907 and the museum displays the badge belonging to Porter No. 1, John Stewart of Staffa Place.”

Throughout the winter the museum will host a series of talks. On Tuesday at 7.30pm, Mary-Anne Collis of the Scottish Wildlife Trust will discuss Scotland’s Red Squirrels.