Time for another quick post from Prestongrange and while the weather feels more wintry, the season is certainly not over yet. We have had an incredibly busy season so far, with our events bigger and better than ever before not to mention the changes in how we do business. In the Visitor Centre, we sell Luca’s ice cream now, plus we have all sorts of new toys and books for sale, plus local crafts and soaps shaped like PG bricks. Yes, you too can have a PG brick in your bathroom! On the site we have a new guided tour, an hour’s walk around the site illuminating all it has to offer, certainly far more than can ever meet the eyes. That’s why you take a Museum Assistant with you, for just £2 for the hour. Our Powerhouse has seen the ever-popular Gone to Pot exhibition joined by the recreated 1960s miner’s living room, the subject of many a reminiscence and observation, much as the site itself. And we have a new path and soon new signage too, not to mention new steps into the Beam Engine.
Our last event was Multicultural Day, on Sunday 18th September. For those who remember the last two, it seems impossible for the event to get any bigger and better, though this year it certainly did, with 1100 visitors joining us for warrior troupes, henna painting, puppet shows, belly dancing, choirs, stalls, pasta, tea tasting and all sorts besides. And that’s just off the top of my head. My glitter tattoo (a green Batman symbol on my right hand) has faded only with many washes over the last four days. The memory of walking out of the Powerhouse and being met with a guy in a lion suit promoting reading and literacy will live long in my memory as a top-ten PG moment, even just for being utterly surreal. The warrior troupe definitely stole the show, though, and as well as being really nice people, they really got people interested and involved, with several people of all ages up on the stage dancing with them. It was an amazing day, the product of a lot of hard work by quite a few people but more importantly just nice, friendly and fun. A lot of us felt that, I think, whether in the fire engine, the See Me yurt or any of the marquees, the Powerhouse or the Visitor Centre. I spent a lot of the day talking with visitors (hardly a surprise to anyone who knows me) and it was a true pleasure to be around so many people enjoying themselves and having a nice day.
The museum has played host to some great events this year and we have some more before the end of the season – Lights Out, Doors Open on Saturday 1st October, opening the museum for a special night by torchlight, and our annual Halloween Party spookfest on Friday 28th October. I’m racking my brains as to my costume choice already; any suggestions gratefully received. We’ve also got drop in activities during the October school holidays – more info on the website at http://www.prestongrange.org/site/pages/events.php. John Muir’s Birthplace has its own Lights Out, Doors Open, complete with shadow puppets, on Friday 30th September so why not go there (or to Musselburgh) on Friday and come down to Prestongrange on the Saturday? Summer may be over but why not enjoy autumn with East Lothian museums?