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For three days during this year’s Highland Archaeology Festival, Glenfinnan Station Museum will be hosting a special exhibition in celebration of the 120th anniversary of the opening of the
Mallaig Railway in 1901.
The drop-in exhibition with tea, treats and a blether will be in the Glenfinnan Station Museum Dining Car from October 3 to 5.
Based on the book ‘Building the Mallaig Railway’ published by the museum
last November, the exhibition draws attention to the railway contractor’s ‘unwittingly green’ credentials.
The museum has been successful in attracting COP26 Conversations funding for this event, made available by Museums Galleries Scotland.
Having teamed up with Lochaber Environmental Group (LEG) and West Highland Community Rail Partnership, they invite a closer, greener look at the ‘Iron Road to the Isles’ by drawing lines from the past and into the future.
Museum’s curator Hege Hernæs told the Lochaber Times: ‘Although we are an accredited museum, space constraints have never allowed us to put on temporary exhibitions or organise educational events.
‘We were creaking at the seams before Covid, spending all our resources on dealing with the wear and tear that came with far too many visitors for the capacity of our site. Emerging from the pandemic, we realised we needed to focus on our ‘small and local’ identity with greater vigour.’
The ‘new normal’ for the wee museum will therefore see reduced seating capacity in the museum’s tearoom, the Glenfinnan Dining Car, to make way for temporary exhibitions and community-based events.
The conversion work will continue through the winter, but this event offers a sneak
preview of what’s to come next year.
The museum’s curator will be on hand to talk about the past, while LEG looks forward to hearing and sharing thoughts about the future.
And while the Dining Car kitchen has not yet been re-commissioned after the long Covid break, there will be plenty tea and cake, ebikes to try and conversations to be had.
Hegae Hernaes and her son, Paul Barnes, from Glenfinnan Station Museum, at the popular viewpoint. Picture Iain Ferguson, alba.photos.
NO F19 Glenfinnan footpath 02
The cover of the new book on the construction of the railway line to Mallaig.
NO F51 Building the Mllg Rlw cover