The big event of our year at the John Gray Centre is Family History Day, and this year we visited lots of primary schools beforehand to tell them all about the children’s activities we devised specially for it, to make it a truly ‘family’ day. It was a fantastic day, and lots of people came – half of them brought along by their children, who’d met us in the weeks beforehand. Here’s a photo of Soldier Bill with storyteller Angie, by our ‘trench’ – all part of the codes, clues and challenges of the day, which had a World War One theme. Our own challenge now is to make next year’s event as fun and successful! - Helen B., Heritage Resource Development Officer at the John Gray Centre
This season has been a great one for us with lots of high profile events, activities and some really good exhibitions. It has been a year to be proud of! The highlight of my season has been the Wild Weekend for Wee Ones. We had a two day event in May which welcomed 700 visitors to Prestongrange Museum and John Muir's Birthplace Museum. The event was aimed at under 5's and their carers and we had storytellers, a balloon modeller, arts and crafts and real live animals! It was a real pleasure to see babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers getting so much from a visit and lots of people have been back to see us again which is great. But the real highpoint of my day was having the opportunity to hold two Meerkats, who were hugging each other! Something I certainly won't forget. -Kate M., Principal Museums Officer
Highlight - U3A (The Three Brethren) visit was possibly the biggest group (23) given a Guided Tour (plus historical pre-amble) at PG and no traumas! The Howff did us proud with catering and Natalie did a splendid job with presentation. Recipe for success - play it again, Sam!.
And the Three Brethren? Not, as I discovered, a religious sect but three massive cairns on a hill near Selkirk roughly at the centre of the geographically extensive Borders U3A area. Ye're aye learning something at Prestongrange! -Philip R., Museum Assistant
During the summer we had very successful drop in workshops in which there was a variety of crafts. We made crowns, masks, medals and windmills to name a few. There were also different themed scavenger hunts in which pictures Commonwealth games, flavours of ice cream and back to school, were hidden around the museum. Some were more difficult than others or so I was told!
We also had some very good paid summer workshops which started off with the Romans and finished with Jacobites. The workshops were a diverse mixture of subjects and most enjoyable.
During the September weekend the library was closed please but we had activities on in the museum. The theme was Robot weekend, there was a scavenger hunt. Kids enjoyed making robot masks, and scratch art robots. Good fun was had by all those who attended. -Christine M., Museum Assistant at the John Gray Centre