We’ll meet again, vows war & peace museum

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Covid will keep Oban’s War & Peace Museum closed for now but its doors will open again, vow its volunteers.

The museum on Corran Esplanade only managed to open for three weeks this year welcoming about 1,000 visitors before the virus forced it to close.

In peak season, footfall brings in about 2,000 visitors weekly, with annual numbers in normal times reaching around 33,000 but not this year said museum curator and chairman of its board Bill Leech.

Mr Leech said: ‘Unlike some big organisations we don’t have a payroll. We have volunteers and we have to guard their health all the same. Most of our watch keepers are 60 plus.

‘We have not put any ideas to them yet about whether they will all be returning.’

‘We will have to do things rather differently. We won’t be able to run the DVD of Oban that we would normally show because that would involve people sitting and watching together.

‘We are checking to see exactly what we will be able to do and hope that by the end of July we will have a clearer idea.

‘Most of our customers coming through the doors are not local folk, so until visitors  start coming back to town we would probably not get that many in even if we were open.

‘The loss of Shearings and other coach companies could mean numbers would be down, but I gather bookings for hotels and the flats along the Esplanade are looking good so that gives us hope.

‘For now it’s a question of wait and see, but we will certainly be coming back, our doors will open again,’ added Mr Leech.

Last November the museum welcomed its 700,000th visitor – a couple from Grantown On Spey.

Gordon and Jane Thomson were gifted a quaich, donated by The Iona Shop, to mark the milestone.