Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Can't our museums stay open a wee bit longer?

I don't think any of us feel we've had a summer, and here is autumn approaching already. When the leaves start to fall it seems it is time for certain museums and attractions around Scotland to start dusting off the shutters and canvas as the closed season is nearly upon them.

In an earlier post we bemoaned the fact that certain Scottish military museums have reduced opening hours that are almost farcical. They are open when no-one can visit them and are closed at weekends and evenings when people could actually visit them. Then they wonder why their visitor numbers are so low.

Now it's time for us to scratch our heads at attractions which don't even stay open until then end of the October holidays! The poor old KOSB museum at Berwick-upon-Tweed has been in the news a few times this year. As a show of support a few SMRG members were planning a trip down to visit them later in the year. A quick check on their website shows they close for the season on 30th September.

Another planned trip to Cumbria's Military Museum in November will have to bypass the Devil's Porridge Museum at Gretna as they will have been shut for two weeks. (to their credit the Carlisle museum only closes on four days of the year, 24th, 25th 26th December and the 1st January).

I've recently returned from France and the museums and attractions there stay open until 7pm in the summer, even on a Sunday. Would that happen over here? Fat chance

How many times in Scottish museums have staff made it clear you are unwelcome once it nears closing time? If it says it it closed at 18:00 then it's lights off and doors locked by six p.m. sharp, and hard cheese if you were enjoying your visit.

We understand times are tight and many museums rely heavily on volunteers but can things be so bad in Scotland's military museums that they have to be shut for so much of the year?

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