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Canary Girls poster for online talk.

Canary Girls Online Talk

By Events

Thursday 9th June 2022

Canary Girls – the forgotten heroines of WW1 and WW2


Learn about the important role that munitions workers had in both World Wars & the Canary Girls project which campagins for a memorial to them in the FREE online talk.


Book your place and learn more here>

The talk will :-

• Introduce a Canary Girls project, started in Cumbria, campaigning for a memorial to the munitions workers, mainly women, of both World Wars in the National Memorial Arboretum.

• Explain what the women were actually doing in the factories in both world wars; where the nickname Canary Girls came from and the risks they faced daily.

• Look at the precedents they set in challenging gender roles and social class in fashion, sport, factory design and working conditions for women.

• Consider why they are called the forgotten heroines and finally, look at how they have been and are being remembered.

The talk will be given by Valerie Welti. After over 30 years as a teacher in London, in her retirement in Cumbria she has taken on various voluntary roles. One of which, with the Canary Girls Memorial Project, has reignited her interest in history.


Platinum Jubilee Crown Craft

Platinum Jubilee Celebration

By Events

Join us to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee at The Devil’s Porridge Museum!


Friday 3rd June 2022

Coronation Crown Making

Join us to make a free paper crown to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee.

Places are limited. Book your place by phoning: 01461 700021


Monday 30th May – Sunday 5th May

Free Colouring In

Young people visiting The Devil’s Porridge Museum or eating in the cafè during the Jubilee week will recieve some free colouring in, while supplies last.

We would be delighted to see some of your completed colouring. You can share it with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Book your visit to The Devil’s Porridge Museum online here>



Officer's Sewing Kit

Officer’s Sewing Kit – Object of the Month.

By Collections blog

This month marks the return of the object of the month to The Devil’s Porridge Museum. This is were an item from The Devil’s Porridge Museum’s collection that is currently not normally on display for the public is celebrated and displayed. The object of the month for May 2022 is an officer’s sewing kit.

Sewing kits were used by officers to maintain and mend any damage to their uniforms or clothing. This officer’s sewing kit is from World War One. The intial’s K.L.D on the front of the sewing kit refer to its previous owner, Kenneth Lees Duckett, who was a second lieutenant in the Highland Light Infantry. Read more about him below.


Kenneth Lees Duckett

Photo of Kenneth Lees Ducket

Second Lieutenant Kenneth Lees Duckett (HU 121492) CWGC  Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

Kenneth was born on  5th October 1891 in Glasgow to George William and Ann Kirkham Duckett.

In September 1914 Kenneth joined the Highland Light Infantry as a private in the 9th (Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion. He became a Sergeant in May 1915 and gained his commission in the following August.

His brother Second Lieutenant Harold Ager Duckett was also in the 9th Glasgow Highlanders Battalion in the Highland Light Infantry. Sadly Harlold died on 07 June 1917.

Kenneth married Isabelle Sutton Laidlaw in July 1915. They later had one daughter.

Sadly, Kenneth was wounded in action on 22nd August 1916 in the Battle of the Somme and died later that day.

Even more sadly, Kenneth had led an attack which had been canceled, but he had never received this order. His daughter was yet to be born at the time of his death.

Kenneth Lees Duckett is buried at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery.

Isabelle later remarried a man called John Haggart Fraser, who was a chartered accountant. John was born in 1874 and died in 1953. Isabelle lived died in 1964, as can be seen on her death certificate from Scotland’s People below.

Registration of Death Isabelle

Source: Scotland’s People.

The gentleman who donated the officer’s sewing kit to us was given it by his friend in the 1990s, who was in some way related to John Haggart Fraser.

The officer’s sewing kit will be on display at the museum until the end of the month. You can book your visit to The Devil’s Porridge Museum online here>

Sources and further reading



The Extraordinary Life of the Drummond Sisters online talk poster

The Extraordinary Life of the Drummond Sisters.

By Events

24th May 2022.

The Extraordinary Life of the Drummond Sisters: From Queen Victoria to HM Factory Gretna.

Book your place and learn more here:

We’re delighted to announce our first event that is happening both in person at The Devil’s Porridge Museum and online on Zoom. Tickets cost £3.

Hear the story of the god daughter of Queen Victoria who became the first female Marine Engineer in Britain and the first woman to be accepted into the Institute of Marine Engineers.

From a quiet early life at Megginch Castle Perth-shire she went on to serve an engineering apprenticeship in Perth & Dundee, overcoming the early prejudice of the engineering world to sail as 2nd Engineer on both Arctic and Atlantic convoys during World War 2 receiving commendations for her action under enemy fire.

With her sister Jean, who had worked at the munitions factory at Gretna during World War One producing ‘The Devil’s Porridge’, she also established the ‘Victoria Drummond Canteen’ in Lambeth which provided food to victims of the London Blitz throughout World War Two.

The Extraordinary Life of the Drummond Sisters talk will be given by Neil McGarva, who as well as spending 40 years working in the Nuclear Industry has also been involve with the Devil’s Porridge Museum since it started 25 years ago as a small exhibition in a local church, and is currently the museum secretary.

If you chose to attend The Extraordinary Life of the Drummond Sisters talk online the Zoom link will be sent out on the day.

Tickets for those who choose to attend the talk in person at The Devil’s Porridge Museum will be sent out on the day.

Gardening club poster

Gardening Club

By Events

Gardening Club will continue on Saturday 28th May 2022.

From 10 am – 12 noon

Ever fancied growing your own food?

If so come to gardening club to help to grow fresh produce in The Devil’s Porridge Museum’s Dig for Victory Garden. Learn new gardening skills and have fun!

Please book your place by phoning: 01461 700021

Egg-cellent Easter Events!

By Events

Join us at The Devil’s Porridge Museum from Monday 4th April to Monday 18th April for a variety of egg-citing FREE Easter events for young people, which are perfect for 5-12 year olds!

Read more about our fun Easter events and activies below.


Monday 4th & 11th April

Chocolate Creations

10:30 am to 12 noon

Join us to make chocolate nests at The Devil’s Porridge Museum!

Places are limited. Book your place by phoning: 01461 700021


Tuesday 5th & 12th April

Crafting Creatures

1 pm – 2:30 pm

Join us at The Devil’s Porridge Museum to create baa-illiant lambs and pom pom chicks.

Places are limited. Book your place by phoning: 01461 700021


Wednesday 6th and 13th April

Spring Bag Printing

10:30 am to 12 noon.

Come along to The Devil’s Porridge Museum to create a spring themed design and print it on your own drawstring bag! With local artist Jack O’ Hara.

Places are limited. Book your place by phoning: 01461 700021


Thursday 7th & 14th April

Easter Bunny’s Story Time

10:30 am to 12 noon.

Hop along to The Devil’s Porridge Museum to enjoy some lovely stories with the Easter Bunny!

Places are limited. Book your place by phoning: 01461 700021


Friday 8th & 15th April

Egg-straordinary Egg Painting

1 pm to 2:30 pm.

Get creative at The Devil’s Porridge Museum and have a crack at egg painting! What egg-straordinary designs will you create?

Places are limited.Book your place by phoning: 01461 700021


Monday 4th to Monday 18th April

Egg-citing Easter Egg Hunt

This Easter young people can take part in a very egg-citing Easter egg hunt during their visit to The Devil’s Porridge Museum!

Can you track down all the colourful eggs around the museum and spell the word to earn your chocolate treat?

Booking online to visit the Museum is essential to avoid disappointment when we are busy. You can book your visit here:

Online Talks 2022

By Events

The Devil’s Porridge Museum is pleased to continue it’s popular programme of online talks and events for 2022. These online talks are all about  a subject which links to local history or the themes of the Museum. All events are free.

Tickets are now avalible for the following online talks.


From the Western Front to the Scottish National War Memorial

Tuseday 12th April 2022.

Book on Eventbrite here:


The story of illustrator Morris Meredith Williams and his wife and creative collaborator, sculptor Alice Meredith Williams ARBS.


In the run-up to the First World War, artists Morris and Alice Meredith Williams were leading a quiet life in Edinburgh. He was illustrating books and teaching drawing at Fettes College. She was making small, often whimsical, sculptures in clay and bronze, and designing stained glass windows.


The outbreak of war changed everything. Morris spent four years in the army, three of them in France – first in the infantry, then the artillery and finally, in a camouflage unit. When not on duty, he filled pocket-sized sketchbooks with detailed pencil drawings of his fellow soldiers and their surroundings. Alice’s work slowed down until, in 1917, she was asked by the Women’s Work Sub Committee of the Imperial War Museum to model a collection of 3D plaster panoramas of the roles played by women during the war. The Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer was impressed by them and invited her to collaborate on a war memorial for a town in South Africa. It was Alice’s first large-scale work and led to commissions for the Paisley War Memorial and for the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle. Here, the marriage of Morris’s painstaking draughtsmanship and Alice’s brilliance as a sculptor produced the remarkable the frieze around at the centre of the memorial.


This talk will be delivered by Phyllida Shaw.

Phyllida Shaw studied history and French at Lancaster University and has worked for 35 years as a researcher, writer and facilitator in the arts and voluntary sector. She inherited the First World War sketchbooks and letters of Morris Meredith Williams from her great aunt (Williams’ second wife). She is the author of An Artist’s War. The art and letters of Morris and Alice Meredith Williams (The History Press, 2017) and Undaunted Spirit. The art and craft of Gertrude Alice Meredith Williams (Independent Publishing Network, 2018). She has given talks on these two extraordinary artists for the National Archives, the Royal Society of Sculptors, the National Galleries of Scotland, the Public Statues and Sculpture Association, the Western Front Association and literature festivals in Henley, Lichfield and Taunton.

This event will be held via Zoom and a joining link will be sent on the day.

Cordite Club

By Events

Our Cordite Club is fortnightly lunchtime club for retired people who take part in bingo or tombola and an activity which changes each time.

For more infomation about this please email:


Eastriggs Commonwealth Week 2022.

By Events

Eastriggs the Commonwealth Village is coming together to celebrate Commonwealth Week from March 12th to March 19th 2022. A number of local organisations are coming together to put on an impressive array of activities over that period. Read more about all the events that will be happening below.


Saturday 12th March

Tractor Pull Challenge

10am – 12 noon and 2.00pm – 3.30pm

A Tractor Pull Challenge sponsered by SJ Barbers and Touch of Beauty will be happening at The Devil’s Porridge Museum. Why not come  and see how far you can pull it? There’s a £25 cash prize for both Ladies and Gents challenges.

Commonwealth Entertainment

7:30pm – 12:30am

At Eastriggs Social Club, featuring ‘Back2Back’ and Status Quo tribute Peter Kelly. Tickets £8 from the Club or The Devil’s Porridge Museum. There will be prizes for the best Commonwealth fancy dress!


Sunday 13th March

The Time Bandits

10am – 4pm

Learn all about life in World War One with living history performers The Time Bandits at The Devil’s Porridge Museum.

Booking online to visit the Museum is essential to avoid disappointment when we are busy. You can book your visit to the museum here:


Monday 14th March

Meet the Curator

6pm – 8pm

There will be a  FREE open evening at The Devil’s Porridge Museum where you can meet Emma Gilliland, the new Curator, and enjoy tastes of the Commonwealth.


Wednesday 16th March

Look out for MyPod Youth Bus!


Friday 18th March


Starts 7pm at The Wayside Inn.

Your host for the evening is Harry H. Could you be the Eastriggs Commonwealth Champion? Followed by traditional karaoke – who will be voted the best male and female singers? £60 in prizes.


Saturday 19th March

Eastriggs Historic Commonwealth Games.

12 noon – 4pm

Free admission and fun for all the family at Melbourn park!

Free February Half Term Fun!

By Events

H.M Factory Gretna was the largest munitions factory in WW1 and with two brand new towns and thousands of workers, crime abounded! Put your detecting skills to the test this half term with a series of fun FREE activites for young people at The Devil’s Porridge Museum.



Fictional Felons.

Monday 14th February 1pm – 2:30pm.

Join Jo Clarke, author of ‘Libby and the Parisian Puzzel’ for a fun workshop on writing and learn all about H.M. Factory Gretna’s connection to Sherlock Holmes creator, Arthur Conan Doyle.

Learn more about Jo Clarke on her website here:

For children age 7 +

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. Call the museum on 01461 700021 to book your place.



Evening Explorers

Tuesday 15th February 5pm – 7pm.

Families with SEN (special education needs), including those on the autism spectrum disorder are invited to join us at a special late evening opening of The Devil’s Porridge Museum outside of our usual opening hours. With the gallery, sounds videos and interactives turnded off, you can explore the museum at a quiter time, free from the general public. You are also welcome to join in with any of the activities being delivered by the museum over February half term.

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. Call the museum on 01461 700021 to book your place.


Cartoon Club.

Wednesday 16th February 10:30am to 12pm.

Learn how to draw your favourite cartoon character or create your own comic stip. Find out about the marvellous adventures of Scotty-Dog Hamish McDuff & his family.

For children age 7+

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. Call the museum on 01461 700021 to book your place.


Arts and Crafts Club.

Thursday 17th February 3:30pm to 5pm.

Express your creativity to make something brand new! Join us to paint, draw and so much more at arts and crafts club!

For children age 5 – 12.

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. Call the museum on 01461 700021 to book your place.


Secrets and Disguises.

Friday 18th February 3:30pm – 5pm.

Do you think you have what it takes to guard H.M. Factory Gretna from German spies? Learn how to decode secret messages in invisible ink, dust for fingerprints and make your own book safe in this fun workshop.

For children age 7 +

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL. Call the museum on 01461 700021 to book your place.


I Spy.

All day, every day, all half term – just ask a member of staff for an activity sheet, during your visit to The Devil’s Porridge Museum!

Gretna Girl, Ruby, has just moved into Eastriggs to work at H.M. Factory Gretna, but her suitcase has gone missing! Can you find all her missing items and track down the theif so Ruby gets her stuff back? Look carefully at each of the museum’s displays to find Ruby’s belongings, charge the theif AND learn more about her life in WW1 as a munitions worker!

You can book your vist to The Devil’s Porridge Museum here:

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