Category: Museums


All roads lead to the farm

We caught up with a brilliant programme last night called All Roads Lead Home . Basically, natural navigation expert, Tristan Gooley, teaches Sue Perkins, Alison Steadman and Stephen Mangan how to find their way about without maps or compasses or satnav, but instead use clues from the sun, buildings and natural phenomena. It was absolutely wonderful and we spent all day today working out our directions from tree shapes and keeping an eye open for animal poo 🙂

Since it was raining, we headed undercover to the National Museum of Rural Life at East Kilbride. This is a wonderful museum, with lots of hands on stuff, tractor rides and of course the working farm of Wester Kittochside.

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We’ve been here a few times. The ride in the tractor trailer is a big pull (sorry) and today the driver pointed out the blue skies on the horizon,

looks like the weather’s improving, it generally comes in from that direction

The natural phenomena appear to be stalking us …

Anyway, he was right, which meant we spent a fair bit of time wandering around the farm. The calves were desperate to lick any hands that came near them. Son rushed about collecting hay and baaing at the cows – he reminded me of an English speaker trying to make himself understood overseas by sp-ea-king-more-loud-ly-and-sl-ow-ly – while Daughter just giggled.

The farmhouse is kept as it was in the 50s, so it looks a bit like my granny’s house. I even recognise some of the furniture :-).

Hunter House Museum, originally uploaded by JenthePen

The Hunter Brothers were renowned doctors of the 18th century, born at Long Calderwood Farm in East Kilbride, which is now an interactive museum dedicated to their life and works.

William was famous for his work on obstetrics and anatomy. John was more famous as a surgeon. Both were collectors. William’s collection became the basis of the Hunterian Museum and Gallery at Glasgow University; John’s was bequeathed to the Royal College of Surgeons, England.

Hunter Brothers Memorial, originally uploaded by JenthePen

The Hunters are also remembered in East Kilbride with this memorial (sculpted by B Schotz, RSA, erected 1937, the Hunter Health Centre (constantly under threat of demolition) and the former Hunter Primary and Secondary Schools (the latter now totally demolished).

Of course, now that the economy is being systematically destroyed, the council want to close the whole Museums Service.  It’s not exactly huge, and it’s a typically short sighted suggestion from the council.