Memories weekend raises great interest

Events in Gatehouse connected with the photograph collection of William McMurray raised great interest when they were displayed in the Community Centre. 

As part of the "Memoria" project which the Gatehouse Development Initiative has been involved in over the last two years a Gatehouse Memories weekend was organised to engage the public in the history of the town and how memories of Gatehouse can be used to make visits to Gatehouse more interesting.  This EU Life Long Learning project has involved Gatehouse working with other communities from across Europe and the photographs of William McMurray have proved to be an excellent medium for engaging with the people of Gatehouse and exploring the heritage of the town.

The weekend started with a full house for a talk at the Mill on the Fleet, where the McMurray photographs provoked much interest and discussion.  On the Saturday morning Tony Richards, historical photographer was on hand to take some photographs in the same locations as photographs taken by William McMurray a hundred years ago.

On Saturday and Sunday afternoon some 700 of William McMurray's photographs were on display in the Community Centre and a steady flow of visitors were enthralled by the variety of images.  One family from the United States was delighted to see photographs of their great grandfather who had left Gatehouse shortly after the First World War.  Tony Richards thrilled many visitors with his demonstrations of wet plate photography and many of the visitors enjoyed a splendid tea prepared by the ladies of the SWRI.

The GDI was fortunate that our French partner in the Memoria project was over for the weekend  and this provided an opportunity for a meeting with the British Legion.  The Legion will be holding an exhibition in August  on Gatehouse and the First World War and our colleague Alice was able to brief the Legion on the many events and activities which are taking place in France to commemorate the centenary of the Great War.  It is hoped that there may be an opportunity for Gatehouse to team up with a small community in France which is also researching the impact of the war.

A chance to browse the photographs in the Community Centre

Images from the archive are displayed on a monitor during the weekend.

Tony Richards, historical photographer was on hand to demonstrate wet plate photography.

He photographed decendents of William McMurray in the same location in Catherine Street.

The original McMurray plate.

And members of the British Legion at the War Memorial.

McMurray's photograph of the War Memorial.

The Murray Arms today by Tony Richards

And 100 years ago by William McMurray.