The vision was to create an accessible Outdoor Museum that explores, celebrates and displays the rich and varied history of Helensburgh for local residents and visitors to the town, both now and in time to come. The project is also particularly an opportunity to record the untold stories - gems of history and heritage.
Local dialogue, expertise and input have been the cornerstone of the Outdoor Museum project. Over a two-year period, WAVEparticle organised a series of lively, convivial days to invite local people to be a part of it all, and to gather together stories and artefacts about the town that are surprising and revealing, entertaining and stimulating, as well as educational and informative.
As a result of this process, the content for the first 15 plinths includes, for example, text and objects that celebrate:
- Science - John Logie Baird’s Stookie Bill
- Business - the ‘Lily Springs’ and the ‘Comrie’ bottling plants
- Art and Craft - the wee shoes crafted by the town’s first shoemaker
- Social History - a family heirloom that comes with the story of the lost art of making bespoke butter pats
- Entrepreneurship - the bell of the famous PS Comet commissioned by Henry Bell of Helensburgh, regarded as the father of steam navigation.
These permanent exhibits include a series of historic artefacts encapsulated in acrylic, bronze and stone, reproductions of original artefacts and three specially commissioned artworks by artists Lesley Carruthers, Kate Ive and Chris Coleman-Smith. Each object has its own plinth and carries a combination of text and image that place the exhibit in a historical, cultural and geographic context.
The Outdoor Museum proudly displays a collection of treasured objects brought forward or nominated by local residents and organisations in the town. These are treasures and stories of local, national and international significance, that are now available to the people of Helensburgh, Scotland and beyond. And as the CHORD plan has prepared the plinths for over 100 other additions, these could be added to for many years to come.