Fall in visitors to Museum

Newton Stewart Museum continues to find its financial position worrying, its annual report has said.

The institution is running at a loss and this year has seen a further decline in the number of visitors.

The honorary curator, W Marshall, began his report by thanking all the volunteers for their work and support, especially during the closed season, and the custodians for their dedication during the summer. The secretary and treasurer were thanked for their time and effort.

Mr Marshall had continued the survey of the property, recording the state of the buil­ding, but he had to empha­sise that finances were not available to carry out the work required, in particular the ingress of water and the hot water supply.

The year had seen the collapse 
of the cross from the roof but 
insurance had paid for the repairs. 
There were resignations from three long-serving members of the committee, leaving a difficult place to fill, but he was glad all three had expressed a willingness to to serve The Museum in other ways.

Copies were made available of the latest audited accounts, up to March 31, 2012. Mr Dunlop’s balance sheet pointed out a deficit of £470 on that year. The current year had seen the continued support of Dumfries and Galloway, without which it would have been impossible for The Museum to continue.

However the financial viability 
of The Museum remains a great 
concern. In 2012, there had been 535 adult visitors, 146 children, a total of 671, or 126 fewer than in 2011. Mrs Robertson had analysed the entries in the visitors book, reporting that 45% had come from Scotland, 47% from the rest of Britain, and 8% from elsewhere – USA, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Australia, Lithuania, Hong Kong.

The secretary, Mr McLay, said The Museum had been increasingly outgoing during 
the season with involvement with the Cree Valley Community Woodlands Trust Ethnology Project, and visits to the day centre. The holdings of oil paintings had been added to the 
lists of the Public Catalogue Foundation. Exhibits had been 
displayed in Newton Stewart Library.

The year saw several visits by school pupils, and the donation of items for the collection. Mr McLay listed the current trustees as Alexander Cowie, Laurie Johnstone, Edward Lyons, Bill Marshall, Maureen McClymont, Jim McColm, Gordon Pullan, Bill Scott, Andrew Shankland. The new committee was agreed as B Marshall (chair), R Wood (secretary), M Dunlop (treasurer), M Shankland, K Robertson, G Fryatt, P Henk, P Wood, J McLay. Mr Marshall thanked those attending.