Military museum captures a base

Pupils from Bonnyrigg Primary School recently enjoyed a visit from Military Museum Scotland's touring presentation.
Pupils from Bonnyrigg Primary School recently enjoyed a visit from Military Museum Scotland's touring presentation.

A Danderhall man’s dream of opening Scotland’s first permanent military museum is about to come true after finding a location.

Ian Inglis has run a mobile military museum for three years, touring schools across the country with various artefacts and displays. Now he is excited about opening the visitor attraction permanently on March 4 at the Legion Hall, Linburn Centre, the home of the Scottish War Blinded in Wilkieston, West Lothian.

He said: “It will be for six or seven months to see if it works in Wilkieston. But I know it will work, as there is a big call for it, especially for education research for schools.

“I’m over the moon, really excited. It’s a real labour of love – there are not enough hours in the day just now.

“It’s not going to be like a normal museum with glass cases, you will be able to pick stuff up and interact.

“There are so many people that have offered to help, it has been phenomenal.

“It’s quite a big thing now.

“There are a lot of regimental museums in Scotland dotted around, but just affiliated to one regiment whereas this is everything. This is based around everyone in Scotland.

“We have got some military vehicles. We are putting in a World War One trench system and we have got an Anderson Shelter.”

Ian, who served for 21 years in the army, runs the registered charity with four other volunteers.

He said: “I gave up my job as an outdoor instructor with North Lanarkshire Council to do this full-time. It’s been great going around schools all over Scotland.

“This has always been my real passion. It all started when I was nine and my dad died and I got his World War Two medals. When I left school and joined the army I kept on collecting army memorabilia all though my life.

“Thankfully, I have a really understanding wife but she is glad I have the museum now.”