Linlithgow museum launches donation campaign for new museum

Mary, Queen of Scots was born in Linlithgow. Picture: contributed
Mary, Queen of Scots was born in Linlithgow. Picture: contributed
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IT’s sure to be a dinner date which will go down in history.

The Linlithgow Heritage Trust is trying to attract generous donations to their ambitious plans for a new museum by offering the chance of an intimate meal with Mary Queen of Scots. Details are currently under wraps, with those interested having to stump up £1000 to the campaign to find out more.

Annet House, where the museum is currently based, was built in the 18th century and struggles to meet the demands of a modern public building, particularly for visitors with mobility issues.

And now the Trust is preparing to make the move to the new Linlithgow Partnership Centre in the former County Buildings and is calling on the public to help. Along with the story of Mary, who was born at Linlithgow Palace, the museum includes curiosities including a memorial to Star Trek actor James Doohan.

His character Scotty was said to have been born in the West Lothian town in the year 2222.

Susan Nimmo, a custodian said: “We’re asking for help to raise money to create a community space in the new museum where we will hold activities to be used by school children, the under fives and lifelong learners. We are also going to be working in partnership with Alzheimer’s Scotland to have handling boxes and host reminiscence sessions for dementia sufferers.”

The move will allow the existing museum displays to be updated and create a custom-built education centre with enhanced facilities to meet the needs of the whole community. The Trust is offering rewards for the public’s generosity including an invitation to the official opening, a sketch of a famous Linlithgow Building of choice by architectural historian, John R Hume and the intriguing “dinner with Mary Queen of Scots”.

“All will be revealed in due course,” teased trust secretary Sheila Menzies.

The new museum will be in close proximity to Linlithgow Palace, St Michael’s Church and Linlithgow Burgh Halls creating a heritage hub in the heart of the town. A Trust spokeswoman said: “The new museum will increase the exhibition space and considerably more of the collection will be on display for the first time while the remainder of the collection will be accessible for temporary exhibitions and research visits. It will also embrace new technology to provide a fresh interpretation of the town’s history.”

West Lothian Council has stepped in to help support the trust’s cash-flow during the project. The £566,207 project will be mainly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Council Leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: “It can be challenging to put together a package of funding for a large project like this, so we are pleased to be able to offer support to LHT in this way.”

Linlithgow Partnership Centre is due to open in autumn, with the new museum section expected to be in place by the end of 2018.

To donate, search “Community Space for new Linlithgow Mus-eum” on www.crowdfunder.co.uk.