In only five weeks from getting the keys to the empty Legion Hall, in Wilkieston, a small group of volunteers managed to create, a fantastic museum out of two empty rooms.
Military Museum Scotland, proudly displays military artefacts dating from WWI right up to the modern day.
Initially it was set up as an education resource for schools and a place for veterans to visit and reminisce but as word started to spread about the museums existence, lots of other groups and individuals have visited the museum.
Ian Inglis, founder and chairman of the board of trustees, said: “Military Museum Scotland is a registered charity in Scotland with the aim of providing a unique educational experience for primary schools, and for providing military veterans with a place to reminisce and a veterans drop-in advice centre.
“Thanks to the Scottish War Blinded Charity, by renting out an empty building on their estate in Wilkieston West Lothian, we have managed to achieve our aim. It is still early days however, the location we are in is only temporary unfortunately, so the hunt goes on for a permanent location for Military Museum Scotland.
“What we need now is more support, not only from the military and veteran community, but from the wider community too. We need funds to continue the excellent work we have started.”
The museum also boasts about its unique outreach programme, where by schools or indeed anyone can book the Mobile Military Museum to come to their location or event. The Mobile Museum was where it all started, but because the collection grew and the feedback from the schools asking about a permanent museum, convinced Ian that there was a need for this type of museum in Scotland.
Ian continued: “With all the booked group visits and the regular visits from members of the public, just confirms that there was a need for a new Military Museum in Scotland.”
The museum has hosted many care home visits, with residents coming along to reminisce and have a cuppa in the museums café.
There has also been booked visits by cadet units and scout groups. Military sssociations regularly book the museum for their meetings.
Ian said: “The museum’s collection increases daily and new artefacts are always introduced regularly, so no matter how often you visit, you will always see something new. If you have any items tucked away, that you may think might benefit the museum and the work it does and wish to donate or loan items to the museum, please get in touch – everything has a story to tell.”
The museum has a café/gift shop, wheelchair access and facilities for less abled visitors – even the outdoor, WWI trench is accessible by wheelchair users. It also hosts monthly talks, usually the last Friday of the month, on various historical/military related topics. All details can be found on the Facebook page.
The museum cannot run itself however, it does need many volunteers to help keep the museum functioning.
If you can help in anyway with the museum, get in touch with Ian by emailing [email protected]
For further information, visit the museum’s Facebook page, Military Museum Scotland SCIO.