About Us


On a cold winters night in the Burnside Hotel on John Street, Dalbeattie, 5 men sat around and heard how Tommy Henderson had wanted to start a Museum in the town since he was a little boy.

Dalbeattie Museum opening- Tommy HendersonTommy Henderson was born and bred in the town and had a feeling that this could work. The men that night decided to embark in looking for premises and it was with great fortune that the building they found was owned by the British Legion but needed a lot of work done on it but they agreed to rent it for 15 years on a pepper corn rent! The only condition of the rent was that they had to fund the renovations themselves, so  they then went about having Coffee Mornings, Craft Fairs, Charity shops to find the money for the development of the old store  to a Museum.

After 3 years of hard labour by the loyal band of Volunteers “The Museum came to Life “, Mr John Harding was the designer and project manager of this huge project, without who's help this would not have happened, as he was up to-date with all the law's and regulations.

Main Exhibition room Tommy Henderson's dream of a museum in Dalbeattie came to light on the 4 April 1993 as he cut the ribbon to welcome over 200 guest into the Museum for the first time! His private collection of memorabilia was gifted to the Museum to encourage visitors and locals through the doors and enjoy the items and pictures of Dalbeatties past.

Over the 20 years the Museum has gone from strength to strength, and many more items have been handed in to the Museum. Most items are gifted and displayed right away on the shelves, some items need to be renovated and the volunteers take on this also. The items can range from as small as a button to as large as a black range from a house up the Moss Road. A very rare item in the collection is a 100 year old Washing Machine still in working order, this item was also featured many times on the Antiques Road show.

Dalbeattie MuseumMusic can be heard from the Museums, as we have an old Barrel Organ. This is a hit with the kids as they get to turn the handle to make it work. Mrs Rosemary Howie presented the Museum with 4 sugar crafted Church's depicted from the town including pictures of scenes from the church's. In the Museum stairwell we now have built an Army Bunker, which you can see items such as a stirrup pump, various items of Army Kit such as Signal Lamp, also in the stairwell there is a picture gallery of picture painted from local artists such as Mr James Strugeon, You can see 3 very large picture painted by this artist, very kindly donated by Mr Sturgeons wife, there is also a large tapestry to be seen in this area hanging on the wall.

As you enter the large room at the top of the stars you see a large glass case which has a display of an early school room. At the top of the stairs is a unique dress which was made by Mrs Ada Johnston for a programme called Big Time Fashion in the year 1978 hosted by Esther Rantzen. There are also Military Uniforms and Early Christening Robes.

Our Victorian kitchen display shows many items "Your Granny would have used!"

Main Exhibition

Early Medical equipment is also on display including a Vitalator that was used for various defects in the body. These items were used at the Chrichton Royal Hospital in Dumfries and were very kindly donated by Mrs Morag Williams.

Military and War memorabilia such as gas masks, ration books, identity cards and a very rare small gramaphone disguised as a camera used by the Red Cross in their parcels during WW2.

A large collection of Ceramics can be seen in many of the Glass cases, especially a piece of Wemyss Ware that the late Queen Mother used to collect. Mauchline Ware items sit along side large pewter items that came from the Park Church in Dalbeattie. A very interesting pewter MUG reputed to have been owned by JEAN ARMOUR (Robert Burns wife) can be seen on display.

A collection of over 200 cameras, radio and many models including steam models are on display.