welcome to Dunoon and the first phase of the town's People of Place project: the shop keepers of Argyll St.
John Stirling and volunteers from the Castle house Museum reviewed archive material and artefacts from the museum to identify the connections they had to local shops.
A+B CAR's officer Claire Hallybone consulted with shop owners about the heritage of various retail premises along the street. Over the course of 6 weeks community research was collated from social media channels, interviews and existing archives about the various characters from the high street.
The research culminated in a street long exhibition and heritage trail. With the full co-operation of shop keepers, 13 exhibits were situated in shop window's and a further two at the Museum and Queen's Hall. The exhibits incorporated items loaned by the museum, taking the museum's collection to wider audiences and promoting the museum as a community resource.
A map and exhibition guide accompanied the street long heritage trial. Over 500 people viewed the trail which drove footfall to the museum and created a new appreciation for the hidden heritage of Argyll Street. We received amazing feedback from the local community and visitors.
"I honestly feel differently about the Dunoon High Street! Amazing how connecting with the past (and seeing what bits the kids were particularly interested in) makes you see a place in a new light. The kids especially liked the big photo of the Cowal Games in the Queen's Hall cafe, the butchers tiling (we bought a pie) and the entrance to the old [Maypole] dairy."
Anna Wynne of Lochgoilhead.
Next steps......phase 2
We would like to look more closely at least 3 of the shop keepers who were identified in the the first phase of research. These are: Mr George Stirling the pharmacist, Miss Maggie Parker the royal patent awardee and Norrie Fergusson the Butcher. We are working with our partners to identify how to resoucre this next phase of Dunoon's People of Place project.