Having left it to the last possible moment, today we set off for Dumfries Museum on a first ever visit to see their exhibition about Miss Pullinger, the lady engineer and the Galloway Car that she built. We found it without difficulty – thanks to detailed study of Google Maps and Street View – they really are a great boon – and Lo ! we arrived just as they closed for lunch. So, undeterred – volunteers must eat sometime – we set off to find lunch ourselves. Gracefields Arts Centre car park was full to overflowing, so after some disagreement, we pitched up more or less by accident at the Station Hotel. There we had a very decent bowl of soup (could have been hotter) and a good beef and horseradish sandwich, also a good glass of beer from a brewer unknown to me. The building, I imagine dates back to the days when the railway was construct, but it seems to be in good shape structurally and decoratively, but like many present day pubs and hotels it dearly needs some capital investment in its furniture. The built in sofa where I was sitting was threadbare with its innards coming out. Not a good way to welcome the visitors the tourist authority wants to attract. And I suspect a few more customers would not come amiss to boost the income a bit. But it sufficed in our hour of need.
The museum was open when we returned and we were made most welcome by the staff. We found the display we were looking for which was mainly descriptive panels – very few artefacts at all apart from photocopies of brochures from the Arrol – Johnston car period. But there was enough to fill out the sketchy picture I had of the Pullinger family before the first World War and into the second and after it.
The museum is jam packed with interesting stuff and well worth more visits, but it would be essential to be very disciplined and confine oneself to one small section, because there is just too much to take in.