There’s a new face at the helm as Eyemouth Museum looks to the town’s past for inspiration for the first in a series of exhibitions to run through the summer.
After 28 years working in the finance sector, Lynne Bogle fancied a different challenge and having been involved in a number of community groups on a voluntary basis, saw the post of museum co-ordinator as a natural progression.
She has been in the post for just over a month now, just in time for the visitor attraction re-opening its doors for the summer season.
“I think one of the major reasons I was seen as a good fit for the job was my community work,” Lynne told ‘The Berwickshire’.
“I’ve been involved in the Scouts, the PTA at Coldingham Primary, the women’s rural and Coldingham Natural History Festival when that was still going so I’ve got some broad local interest and a good track record of community engagement.”
Lynne’s bedding-in period at the museum was given a boost by the Coastal Communities Fund grant it was awarded last year and Lynne has clear aims on how the money should be spent.
“The museum was awarded the money on the premis of opening up tourism opportunities in the local area and really promoting the building and town as a place people want to visit.
“The grant will also be used to develop our genealogy service. It’s amazing how people are interested in finding out more about their family trees.
“I’m keen to link up with the heritage hub in Hawick and really push it.”
With other pursuits and commitments to occupy people’s time and money, Lynne said she could understand why some people didn’t pay too much attention to the museum and what it offered but said she was keen to change that.
“I’ve spoken to some people in the town and they’re not even sure which museum we are; they get us mixed up with either the Boat Museum or Gunsgreen.
“I really want folk to come in, both locals and tourists and for them to know that we’re here and very much open for business.
“The thing I’ve noticed since I started working here is that Eyemouth has so much history that even local people don’t know about.
“We’ve got a beautiful tapestry on show depicting the Fishing Disaster and a fantastic gift shop packed full of local produce.
“Three of the main areas I want to concentrate on are sustainability, community engagement and education but I also have a few ideas on things to do. I’m really considering the idea of doing some guided walks during the summer. Eyemouth really lends itself well to that.
One of her first tasks was to prepare exhibits for the museum’s first major event of 2013, ‘Times Gone By’.
As its title suggests, the exhibition is a fond look back at the past, Eyemouth’s past to be more precise and features the work of both .artists and authors, all with strong connections with the town.
He’s been away from the town for 40 years but Robin Jackson’s paintings look like they have been painted by someone who knows the place like the back of their hand.
“Robin’s mum used to be provost of Eyemouth,” Lynne explained.
“And it’s amazing that even though Robin hasn’t lived in the town for decades when I’ve mentioned his name to people they remember him and his family.
“His paintings take a more modern, abstract approach to Eyemouth’s past.
“All the famous scene are there such as the holiday park, and the ‘Horse’s Pool’ where children used to jump into but is now covered with rocks.
“Robin’s mum used to run the B&B which is now Churches and one of his paintings ‘Flood of Memories’, his interpretation of the famous floods of 1947, sees the events from the front door of the B&B.
“There’s also a copy of ‘The Berwickshire News’ in the picture.
“The picture has extra poignancy because tragically Robin’s brother drowned some years later.”
One of the other artists who’s going into his memory bank for artistic inspiration is Walter Hay whose drawings of ships on the sea, a bustling town centre and lifeboat rescues are sure to strike a chord with Eyemouth residents.
The work of Rachel Sharp and Phil Bailey - who has produced a haunting painting of the fishing disaster - is also featured alongside pages of writing from the author of ‘Black Friday’ Peter Aitchison and Jack Willocks, the man who penned the nostalgic ‘Auld Hiemooth Toon’ a few years ago.
‘Times Gone By’ had its official opening last Friday and Lynne said she hoped it would really capture people’s imagination as it had hers.
“The thing I’ve noticed so far in my job is just how life-changing some of Eyemouth’s history was.
“For instance I had a phone call last week from a woman whose great grandfather was involved in the fishing disaster.
“Fate was on his side as he was blown back into his boat not once but twice.
“He went on to have nine children after the disaster, one of which was her grandfather.
“If he hadn’t survived that day our conversation would never have happened.
“I think there’ll be a lot more situations like that to come.”