Museums and Heritage West Lothian

Museums and Heritage West Lothian Museums and heritage groups working together to promote and protect West Lothian's history.

Operating as usual

03/09/2021

Tomorrow at Military Museum Scotland

Last day to make your bid.
24/06/2021

Last day to make your bid.

Only four days left of this Auction. At the moment only 3 lots have reached their reserve price.  Come on folks please g...
15/03/2021

Only four days left of this Auction. At the moment only 3 lots have reached their reserve price. Come on folks please get bidding, it all helps Military Museum Scotland. The reserve prices are not that high, these are all stunning limited edition prints That need to find a new home.

05/03/2021

The things you get up to while on furlough...!

This postcard from our museum collection is titled “On Furlough”, but this pair of friendly couples certainly aren't respecting social distancing. ....!

This posed scene was captured about 110 years ago in a hedgerow somewhere in Livingston, by local photographer Robert Braid. At that time “furlough” was usually used to describe leave of absence granted to members of the armed services.

Strange manifestations at Almond Valley
24/08/2020

Strange manifestations at Almond Valley

Coming soon to the Weird Wood of Witches

The River Almond once marked the boundary between Livingston parish and the lands of Calder; a murky and unsettling place inextricably linked with the practice of witchcraft. On gloomy autumn nights only the brave-hearted might cross our Charlesfield bridge and venture along the lonely woodland paths that were once the domain of the famous Calder witches.

As late as the 17th century, old beliefs and superstitions abounded in these parts. In an age of Calvinism, the church led a crusade to search out and destroy those denounced as witches. Terrible injustices befell women considered a little strange or apart from mainstream society. These auld wives might be versed in the old traditions and ways of healing, or delight in eccentric behaviour, or simply fall victim of someone’s spite. Trials were ghastly and unjust, and proof of guilt often culminated in death by burning. This horror really happened in West Lothian some 400 years ago, and it’s chilling to realise that the Witchcraft Act was only finally repealed in 1951.

With the passage of time, we can allow ourself to smile and laugh a little at the absurdity and daftness of some of the supposed acts of witchcraft. As you wander along our woodland paths this autumn, you can wonder at many strange manifestations, and as dusk falls these might become strangely animated.

You may encounter devilish charms created from certain herbs, plants and the branches of trees. You may be enchanted by spells and verses oft repeated and going backward. You may find yourself tormented by cats, glowing in the gloom and speaking among themselves. You may witness the conveyance of individuals through the air by act of witchcraft.

The Woodland Trail of the Calder Witches will illuminate visits to Almond Valley throughout the October school holidays and assume further strange dimensions as Halloween approaches. It’s great family fun for all ages, and not at all scary (honestly). Just remember ?yeht od…...tsixe t’nod sehctiw
#VisitWestLothian

Almond Valley Heritage Centre
18/07/2020

Almond Valley Heritage Centre

Although most of the outdoor attractions of Almond Valley are now open, the oil museum displays remain out-of-bounds for the time being. There are just too many twists, turns and enticing things to touch..!

However, a tiny bit of the museum has been moved outdoors. Along our woodland paths, the History Mystery Trail leads you past a succession of rather strange signs that give a few words of a story and a choice of QR codes to scan with your phone. Pick one code at random, scan it, and an old picture from our museum and the next part of the story will pop up on your phone. A strange tale unfolds as you move along the trail and solve the mystery.

It's just a bit of silly fun, but we hope you enjoy it.

Military Museum Scotland SCIO
16/05/2020

Military Museum Scotland SCIO

MIlitary Museum Scotland Auction the Current Highest bid is £195.00
Earlier we announced about our online auction, well here it is!!
As you all know at this time and the current crisis we all are in, every charity is struggling to stay afloat and raise funds, we are no different.
One if the ways that we want to try and raise funds for the museum and in particular to fund a new initiative that will be launched when we re-open called the O Group, this is to help veterans that are maybe feeling alone or isolated get together and socialise.
So to start of this initiative we are auctioning off, one of our limited edition prints. The print depicts Patrick Gifford Flying over the Forth Bridge after he shot down the first German aircraft over British soil in the early days of WWII
A few weeks after the museum opened, local man Gordon Mackerracher, a military historian, when he visited the museum for his second visit he offered the museum a print of an original painting that he had commissioned over 25 years ago of a spitfire flying over the Forth Bridge. The print was handed over along with full authority to copy and sell the prints to raise funds for the museum it has now been launched as a limited edition print of only 603
This framed Limited Edition print, comes with a smaller unframed companion print, a certificate of Authenticity and a specially produced booklet telling the story of the event. But thats not all. I will also include a free Annual Adult Entry pass to Military Museum Scotland, that will be valid from one year after we Re-Open.
The auction will run from now until 18.00 on Monday 1st of June 2020. Starting bid is £75 so get bidding. You can bid on this post or by emailing the museum at [email protected] Good Luck. Please share this post.

08/05/2020
West Lothian Council - Museums and Local History

West Lothian Council - Museums and Local History

It’s finally time for West Lothian’s V.E. Dance from Home. We hope everyone has fun. We schedule this event for 8pm but please just perform the dance whenever you see the post. Thanks again to Central Scotland Ballet School for creating this fantastic dance for us. If you're feeling brave, we'd love to see pictures or videos of your routine. #MuseumFromHome #VEDay75 #VEDay2020

06/05/2020
West Lothian Council - Museums and Local History

West Lothian Council - Museums and Local History

West Lothian’s V.E. 75 “Dance from Home”
Lots of people in West Lothian danced in the street to celebrate V.E. Day. While social distancing makes dancing in the street a bit difficult, we would like you to learn our 1940s style V.E. Day 75 dance. This instructional video provided by Central Scotland Ballet School takes you through the steps. On Friday, we are asking the people of West Lothian to come together and perform a V.E. dance at 8pm. Please share this video with your friends and family and remember to practice before Friday #MuseumFromHome VEDay2020

Job alert - please share! We’re looking a person (or a group of people), to work with our group of museums in the creati...
11/02/2020

Job alert - please share!

We’re looking a person (or a group of people), to work with our group of museums in the creation of digital media for a project exploring the memories of childhood. This will be a collaborative process in which the mentor will work closely with the museum team to create small-scale digital resources to support a touring exhibition.

Full details here ---> http://www.almondvalley.co.uk/AUJobs.html

06/12/2019
Almond Valley Heritage Centre

A quite startling discovery at Almond Valley

You'll never believe what we found in this old film!

An amazing discovery in our museum archives appears to prove the existence of Paraffin Pixies!

What seems to be an old promotional film from the 1930's suggests that old-fashioned paraffin heaters were purposely designed as homes for tiny illuminated creatures who fluttered around the room spreading warmth and happiness. This discovery sparked further research, and the sensational revelation that a few of these rare creatures still survive within the old heaters stored in our museum.

Almond Valley has subsequently launched an ambitious conservation programme to find new homes for these magical yet endangered creatures. These efforts are now showcased in the a succession of brilliant after-dark events, sharing the magical Winter Realm of the Paraffin Pixie. More about the fascinating history of the Paraffin Pixie can be found on the Almond Valley website, (a little of which is nearly-true). You can also book your tickets to share the joy of the Winter Realm on selected evenings during December and January.

New paraffin heater display at the Museum of the Scottish Shale Oil Industry! Share your memories of owning or using par...
03/12/2019
Almond Valley Heritage Trust announce new display in West Lothian museum

New paraffin heater display at the Museum of the Scottish Shale Oil Industry! Share your memories of owning or using paraffin heaters with us as we celebrate this aspect of West Lothian's history and heritage.

The nationally-significant collection will welcome a rare exhibition on paraffin heaters in time for the arrival of Almond Valley’s new after-hours event, The Winter Realm of the Paraffin Pixies.

We Will Remember Them
09/11/2019

We Will Remember Them

We Will Remember Them

At this special time of year, we all remember! We remember the sacrifice made by our armed forces since WWI. At the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month, we fall silent for two minutes in respect, honour and to remember the fallen. It is so important that we never forget and that future generations, learn about the sacrifice made so that they also remember. We are about to launch the latest addition to our WWI trench, it will be an area at the end of the trench, where people can go to remember, and pay their respects to their own family members or friends who served in the military and have passed. "We Will Remember Them" is a place where anyone can visit and leave their own memorial. Be it a poppy, a picture, a story or a poem, the choice is yours.
We Will Remember Them will be open for the first time on Monday 11th of November at 10.45 hrs. We will say a few words, then observe a 2 minutes silence, then if you want to leave a memorial you are more than welcome to do so, then back to the museum for a Tea or Coffee.

Military Museum Scotland will be closed between the 14th and 22nd of October. But, on the night of Monday the 21st of Oc...
20/09/2019

Military Museum Scotland will be closed between the 14th and 22nd of October. But, on the night of Monday the 21st of October you can have a sneak preview of the "new look" museum, if you buy tickets to the following event. Military Museum Scotland is honoured to present Forces Sweetheart, Kirsten Orsborn, in one of only two events on her first visit to Scotland. A night not to be missed. This is a very exclusive event with only 30 tickets on sale. First come first served. Tickets will only be confirmed upon receipt of payment. All proceeds goes towards Military Museum Scotland. Cocktails will be available. Up date---- we do still have some tickets left, get in quick.

Did you know that West Lothian Council - Museums and Local History offers a free Reminiscence Loan Service? We have a ra...
12/08/2019

Did you know that West Lothian Council - Museums and Local History offers a free Reminiscence Loan Service? We have a range of themed boxes, photo packs and commercial resources that can be borrowed by care facilities and community groups. We are currently busy making some new boxes. In these pictures you can see our (camera shy) volunteer and Museums Assistant, Maureen, creating a new “Home Cooking” loan box. Once the objects for the box are selected, we use a hot knife to cut slots for the objects. The box is nearly finished and will be available for loan soon.

For details on how to borrow our resources, see https://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/29137/Museum-Reminiscence-Services

This community interpretation workshop is a great opportunity to get involved in creating a new museum for Whitburn Part...
31/07/2019

This community interpretation workshop is a great opportunity to get involved in creating a new museum for Whitburn Partnership Centre.

Are you interested in the history of Whitburn? If so, please come along to our Community Interpretation Workshop at Whitburn Community Centre at 7pm on the 12th September. Your input will help us to create a new museum in Whitburn Partnership Centre. Please get in touch to book a place by emailing [email protected] or by calling 01506 283652.

Only 2 days left of our Crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to purchase and restore this Saracen. The Project is not ab...
22/07/2019
MMS Veterans Restoration Project - Comments

Only 2 days left of our Crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to purchase and restore this Saracen. The Project is not about buying the Saracen, but is more about the veterans restoration project. We have just set up, Military Museum Scotland Veterans Restoration Project. If you are a veteran, you can get involved. Although the Crowdfunding Campaign, only manageed to raise £810 so far, we also have another £440 pledged and donated to the project. A bit short of our required funding. BUT I am now confident that this project will go ahead, it will succeed and it will unite a large number of veterans to get involved in this group. The Saracen is just the first of our restoration jobs.
You have Two days to contribute, Two days to donate what ever you can afford to help thi sproject succeed. Everyone that has donated and that donates before the deadline in 2 days. Will receive a Free Annual pass to Military Museum Scotland, to follow the progress of the saracen restoration project. GET IN QUICK! ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT. THANK YOU!
https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mms-veterans-restoration-project/comments#start

Military Museum Scotland wants to purchase and restore this old Saracen armoured car as a restoration project for our veterans.

We have only 6 days left in our Crowdfunding appeal to help veterans restore this iconic vehicle and bring it back to it...
18/07/2019
MMS Veterans Restoration Project

We have only 6 days left in our Crowdfunding appeal to help veterans restore this iconic vehicle and bring it back to its former glory. Initially we need to raise only £4000 to purchase the vehicle, so we can make a start. Our campaign on Crowdfunder sits at just £760, so we have a long way to go. We have also received a number of cash donations direct into the museum and via Paypal. Our current over all total pledged is £1260. A great start, but still a long way to go. If you can help, please do. Restoring this vehicle, will not only do that, it will also restore some pride and self respect in some veterans, it will also give them something to focus on, while using long forgotten skills and learning new skills from fellow veterans. Please be a part of this and make it happen. Please donate what you can, either on the crowdfunder page, directly into the museum, or by paypal. Please give what you can and please also spread this about. Thank you.
https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/mms-veterans-restoration-project#start

Military Museum Scotland wants to purchase and restore this old Saracen armoured car as a restoration project for our veterans.

West Lothian Council - Museums and Local History are looking for local people to help create a new community museum for ...
09/07/2019

West Lothian Council - Museums and Local History are looking for local people to help create a new community museum for Whitburn. This looks like a fantastic opportunity to get involved in local heritage.

We are looking for volunteers to help us curate the new Whitburn Community Museum. The museum is due to open next Summer in the new Whitburn Partnership Centre next Summer. Local groups can also take part and we can run workshops specially for your members.

Scottish Tourist Attraction of the Year 2019
26/05/2019

Scottish Tourist Attraction of the Year 2019

Do you have memories of the Marches you'd like to share?
24/05/2019

Do you have memories of the Marches you'd like to share?

We are pleased to announce that the first talk in our new Community Space will be Memories of the Marches. A chance to hear all sort of anecdotes about the event. Tickets can be purchased in the Museum shop. Be quick though as they are limited! #VisitLinlithgow

Well done to Military Museum Scotland!
24/05/2019

Well done to Military Museum Scotland!

Scottish Tourist Attraction of the year 2019

Living Memory Association
25/04/2019

Living Memory Association

WEST LOTHIAN REMINISCENCE CENTRE...update!
It’s taken a week or two but we are nearly finished organising the new unit at Livingston Shopping Centre. We will be open as usual from Tuesday 30 April, 11.00-3.00. Pop in for a wander and a blether...you might spot some familiar things or maybe some new ones. We’re in unit 67, just along from bb's bakersbaristas, opposite WH Smith’s.

JOB ALERT: Military Museum Scotland is looking for someone to head up their outreach service.
01/04/2019
Military Museum Scotland SCIO

JOB ALERT: Military Museum Scotland is looking for someone to head up their outreach service.

VACANCY We are looking for someone to head up our outreach service,( possibly on a swlf employed basis). It will involve a lot of hard work, heavy lifting, imagination and a genuine interest in military history and education. The majority of your time will be visiting primary schools throughout Scotland. Clean driving licence with ability to tow a trailer and PVG a requirement. A fantastic, long term opportunity for the right person. Is that you? For further information, contact [email protected]

🙌🙌This looks like it will be amazing!
18/03/2019

🙌🙌This looks like it will be amazing!

Coming to a museum near you soon. Military Museum Scotlands, trench is coming to life. Dates to be confirmed. This will be a regular weekend attraction.p, Living History at the museum .

Could you be Almond Valley's new Marketing and Events Officer?
18/03/2019

Could you be Almond Valley's new Marketing and Events Officer?

Marketing & Events Officer - About the Job

A really interesting opportunity has arisen to join the team at Almond Valley and find new directions for our marketing activities. We’re looking for someone with creative flair who will discover fun and interesting ways of telling people about the delights of Almond Valley, and will help organise activities and events that extend this enjoyment. High on the to-do-list is the planning and organisation of magical after-dark events on chilly winter evenings. It’s a big challenge, but a brilliant opportunity to achieve something really special.

About Us

Almond Valley is a family-friendly visitor attraction, sited just outside of Livingston, which welcomes over 130,000 visitors every year. We’re a charity and independent museum that celebrates local heritage as part of a great family day out. We also welcome many schools and groups, and offer season tickets that enable regular visitors to drop by whenever they wish. We’re constantly exploring ways to extend and improve what we do. Please visit our website to find out more about us.

The Role

We’re after someone who has an affinity with our visitors, and understands the interests and needs of families. They will build on the work currently achieved by our small team; engaging folk through social media, press coverage and other communication. They will be good with words, but also understand the power of images. They will be fun and imaginative, but also have the practical skills to translate good ideas into successful realities.

A firm grasp of the subtleties of marketing, and a head for business, will be essential in shaping events, promotions and other things for visitors to enjoy. Good planning skills will ensure that particular audiences are addressed at particular times, resulting in a steady stream of happy visitors throughout the course of the year.

This year’s big challenge will be the creation and marketing of a major after-dark event programme during December – something that we’ve not done before. The Marketing and Events post will be central to the planning, marketing, and practical organisation of this new activity, and will need to draw on well developed organisational and problem-solving skills.

Key Purposes:

• To increase visitors numbers, earned income, and the better year-round use.
• To extend awareness of Almond Valley, develop new partnerships and channels of communication, and to make people smile.
• To shape and effectively market new visitor experiences – with special emphasis this year on the after-dark event

Essential Skills and Qualities:

• Inventive, practical and entrepreneurial, with a head for business
• A great organiser with a considered approach to work
• A well-developed sense of fun; in tune with Almond Valley and our family audience.
• A way with words; expressing ideas simply and elegantly
• Happy to work as part of a team; inspiring and drawing inspiration from others
• Social media-savvy.
• Graphics and other media skills – and snappy with a camera

Essential Experience

• A marketing, or events management degree or similar qualification, with practical experience of tourism marketing or marketing in equivalent fields, with a demonstrable track record of achievement.

Accountability

• Responsible to the Director. The post holder will work in partnership with team leaders

The Practical Stuff

The post is offered for an initial period of twelve months, with the prospect of a marketing role being made permanent at the end of that period.

The post is offered on a full-time (40 hour) basis, five days in seven, which may include some weekend working as required in the operation of events. Normal hours of work would be 9am to 5pm, but with scope for variation to suit the needs of the business.

We might also consider offering a post on a part-time basis to the right candidate.

The annual salary is £24,000 p/a, based on a 40 hour working week with equivalent of 32 days paid holidays, inclusive of all public holidays, and with a 5% of salary contribution towards workplace pension.

How To Apply

Please send us a usual CV providing a full account of training, experience and employment history.
We’d also welcome a brief cover note, telling us about what interests you about the post and why you are particularly suited for it. Please keep this short and snappy, but let it convey your personality and your communication skills

You can e-mail this directly to [email protected], marking it “Marketing and Events Officer”.
We’ll consider applications received up until Friday 29th March 2019.

Address


Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 4pm
Tuesday 9am - 4pm
Wednesday 9am - 4pm
Thursday 9am - 4pm
Friday 9am - 4pm

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West Lothian Museums and Heritage Forum

West Lothian Museums and Heritage Forum is an association of independent and local authority museums who together work to deliver a range of imaginative museum services for the residents of West Lothian, and visitors to the area. This page shares news of activities and events at all partner museums and other local heritage interests.

The following Accredited museums are members of the Forum:


  • Almond Valley Heritage Trust

  • Bennie Museum Trust
  • Nearby museums

    Comments

    Tomorrow at Military Museum Scotland
    Share the Creative Energy of a Shale Bing.....! This photography project will engage Young People in the West Lothian area to develop a new body of photographic and artistic work relating to the (post-)industrial landscape of their local area- most notablythe Five Sisters Bings. We are now looking to recruit Young People aged 14-18 years of age to take part in these art and photography workshops. It would appeal to Young People living in West Lothian with an interest in local history, art or photography. Covid-regs permitting, there will be four half-day workshops (Wednesday July 7, Friday July 9, Wednesday July 14, and Friday July 16) with at least two taking place at the Five Sisters bings themselves involving walking and taking photographs- visualising the past and contextualising it with our modern-day tools. We will also experiment with older photographic printing techniques such as cyanotypes and anthotypes using the flora and fauna from around the bings. Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to use a DSLR camera and improve their photographic skills. There will also be a fieldtrip to Almond Valley Heritage Centre at Mill Farm to meet with an archivist and director to learn more about the shale oil industry in West Lothian, including objects and photographs. We will be considering these questions:  How can we use photography to visualise the history of the bings and their transformation over time?  How do the legacies of the industrial past continue to resonate in the social, cultural, and natural landscapes?  How has nature reclaimed these man-made spaces?  How do images of and ideas about the industrial past shape how we think about the region and how do we engage with these ideas in creative ways? All work created by participants will be available for them to keep and contribute towards a portfolio. Transport, lunch and refreshments will be provided. This workshop forms part of a larger project sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and led by Dr Victoria Donovan ([email protected]) at the University of St Andrews. The project explores visual representations of industrial regions and community identities in the UK and Ukraine. Selected artwork from this workshop will be incorporated into an exhibition that will be shown in Wales, England, and Scotland, and will travel to Kyiv and Eastern Ukraine. Videos and artworks may also be hosted permanently on the Shale Trail website (https://shaletrail.co.uk). If you are interested in joining us or curious to know more about the workshops please contact Victoria Donovan ([email protected]) or Lisa Flemming ([email protected]) for more deta
    Last day to make your bid.
    Only four days left of this Auction. At the moment only 3 lots have reached their reserve price. Come on folks please get bidding, it all helps Military Museum Scotland. The reserve prices are not that high, these are all stunning limited edition prints That need to find a new home.
    Strange manifestations at Almond Valley
    Job alert - please share! We’re looking a person (or a group of people), to work with our group of museums in the creation of digital media for a project exploring the memories of childhood. This will be a collaborative process in which the mentor will work closely with the museum team to create small-scale digital resources to support a touring exhibition. Full details here ---> http://www.almondvalley.co.uk/AUJobs.html
    A quite startling discovery at Almond Valley