Families are set to flock to local heritage sites as one of Scotland’s biggest cultural festivals gets underway.
Kinneil House and Museum in Bo’ness, the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway and Callendar House in Falkirk are just some of the attractions taking part in this year’s Festival of Museums.
Organisers say the Scotland-wide event is the biggest ever. It kicks off on Friday, May 19 and runs until Sunday, May 21.
The festival aims to encourage more people to visit local cultural bases and see what they have to offer.
Kinneil House and Museum is supporting the initiative with two free events – one of the evening of Friday, May 19, and a second on the afternoon of Sunday, May 21.
The open evening promises a “bat walk” – searching for the creatures who roost in Kinneil House – plus House tours, quizzes in Kinneil Museum and free goody bags.
The Museum will be open from 6-9 p.m. on May 19, with the neighbouring House running tours between 6 and 7.30 p.m. (last House admission 7 p.m.). Anyone interested in the bat/nature walk should be at the Museum for 8.30 p.m. Children must be accompanied.
A second event takes place on Sunday, May 21. Kinneil House will be open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. (last admission 3.30 p.m.) There will be arts and crafts activities for children – and more goody bags at the museum (while stocks last). Plus a car from Bo’ness Motor Museum and classic cars from the Bo’ness Hill Climb will be visiting the site for the afternoon event.
There will also be a pop-up café in the museum on both days.
Adrian Mahoney from The Friends of Kinneil – helping to organise the events – said: “We hope lots of local people will support these Festival of Museum activities. We’ve been working closely with Historic Environment Scotland and Falkirk Community Trust to deliver our 2017 programme. New areas of Kinneil House have gone on show this year and we’ll also showcasing recent improvements at Kinneil Museum. Come along and support these facilities. Admission is free of charge.”
He added: “We’d also like to thank Falkirk Council’s Ranger service who will be delivering the bat/nature walk around the park on Friday night. Hopefully, we get good weather and we see lots of bats!
“For more information – and updates – please check our website http://www.kinneil.org.uk ”
Callendar House in Falkirk is supporting the Festival of Museums with a new exhibition recreating part of the Roman Antonine Wall, which ran from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick, near Glasgow.
The exhibition, launching on Saturday, May 20, will feature a splendid griffin figurine, that provided the crest of a Roman cavalry helmet, found at Polmont.
The Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway is taking on a Victorian air for its Festival of Museums event on Sunday, May 21. A punch and judy show, brass rubbing, and performances from Victorian-style volunteers have been promised.
Organisers say the local activities are some of the 120 plus events being delivered this year for Festival of Museums around Scotland. Evening events also support the UK’s Museums at Night Festival, running over the same weekend.
The Scottish co-ordinators, Museums Galleries Scotland, says the 2017 programme caters to all ages and interests and includes everything from historical re-enactments and night-time murder mysteries to children’s storytelling and arts and crafts.
Joanne Orr, Chief Executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “Festival of Museums is about igniting imaginations and celebrating creativity whilst showcasing Scotland’s wealth of culture and heritage. Our packed programme features engaging, surprising and entertaining events over three action-packed days in museums across Scotland. Get involved and come and see what Scotland’s museums have to offer.”
For a full programme of events, please visit http://www.festivalofmuseums.com