Furniture donated for “living museum”

MONTROSE Air Station Heritage Centre has taken delivery of some genuine 1940s furniture to add to the authenticity of one of its exhibits.

The furniture, donated by Edinburgh man Ricky Cruikshanks, will help to furnish one of the museum’s most popular exhibits, an authentic 1940s room laid out and decorated as it would have been in a typical house during the Second World War.

Mr Cruikshanks decided to donate the items recently after the deaths of his parents rather than throw the out the furniture which had been in their home since the end of the war.

Both men are active in the Scottish Military Vehicles group and delivered it appropriately in a vintage Land Rover 101 ambulance after making contact with centre volunteer Graham Philip.

The 1940s house has become one of the most popular and successful development at the centre in recent years and curator Daniel Paton said it holds appeal for young and old alike as they can fully interact with the living museum.

He said: “In older people it sparks off memories, while children wonder at the absence of a television and enjoy winding up the gramophone and playing music on these amazing black discs, so different from their i-pod.”

The idea for the room was first suggested by Mr Paton’s wife, Marie, after the museum received a donation of furniture made from American white oak bomb battens.

Other donations followed and it is now crowded with period pieces from dried egg packets to pipe-racks.

The heritage centre now intends to extend the room by rehousing it in a large Grade C listed hut which dates back to the First World War. It was acquired in poor condition from Angus Council although it is currently being restored by volunteers. Review readers are also being asked to turn out their attics and sheds to find more artefacts to help furnish it.

Mr Paton said: “In the relocated 1940s room, visitors will be invited to inhabit the museum. They can sit in the room, enjoy the period ambience, make themselves a cup tea, read the latest war news, listen to the wireless and even play a record on the gramophone.

“We need comfortable 1940s armchairs for visitors to sit in and enjoy their NAAFI tea. They will, of course, have their ration books but we would benefit from more tins and packets for the food of the time. Someone out there, I like to think, has is a packet of POM, the instant potato powder, invented at the Montrose Chivers factory.

“We appeal to Review readers to help us complete the 1940s room and of course, invite them to visit the heritage centre to see it for themselves.”