Newton Stewart Museum re-opens on Friday

Piper Willie Marr
Piper Willie Marr

Newton Stewart Museum in York Road will re-open to the public on Friday, March 31, at 2pm, and the volunteers look forward to welcoming visitors old and new.

The pipes that were played by Willie Marr as he led the troops over the top at the battles of Loos and the Somme during the First World War are to be brought home and presented to the Museum by his granddaughter, Anne Marr. They will be piped in by another Newton Stewart piper, Amy Ritchie.

William Marr served as a piper and stretcher-bearer with the Royal Scots Fusiliers and the Highland Light Infantry. He survived the war and returned to Newton Stewart to work at Penninghame Estates until he retired.

He married after war and he and his wife Janet had a family of three. He did play the bagpipes for a short time on his return but gave it up, perhaps it reminded him too much of the pipers who didn’t make it home.

He died in 1981 at the age of 89.

Newton Stewart Museum re-opened to the public yesterday and the volunteers have been busy over the winter months assembling new display units, revamping parts of the collection and improving the look of things outside.

They would especially like to hear from anyone who can help them identify some of the many faces in a collection of photographs taken locally by George Edwards some years ago.