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A person jumping up in the air.

‘Back yourself’ drama project

By News

This review was written by Alastair, who attended the ‘Back yourself’ drama sessions organised at the museum for local young people and run by Becky Crawley (photographed below) of the Helen O’Grady drama school.

First Entry

After first being introduced to Becky, who stated she was going to have us go through a drama exercise. The exercises included:

Throwing a ball around, when you passed the ball the person who caught it had to say a word beginning with letter that was stated at the beginning

Also did “state a fact” is the best name I have, where you turn to the person or your right. You say two things about you and they say two things about themselves, then you both say what you have just heard to the wider group

Breathing exercises and basic body language were included

The last part of the actives was role-playing. First you would role-play either a person selling a bad (total rubbish) car or you were the one buying it.

Also there was a situation where we predated that we were at a expensive French restaurant and that one of us has cockroach in their soup at which point someone had to be a waiter who was nice or more confrontational.

Personal note: Alright here is where I talk to you or a computer screen in this instance, well I found the session rather interesting the role-playing was rather quite enjoyable as I haven’t done that without a teacher before.

  1. The other members of the group were the best part, Harriet did sell me that car. To be entirely honest looking around that room I felt like I had been in everyone’s place at some point, I certain have been in Sharon’s, which did give me an odd feeling. Boy that was deep but there you go, though I have never been like Kelly as I really don’t like pizza.

Second Entry

The second session comprised many activities from the first session, include steady breathing exercises, saying single words as you go around the circle and working on body language. But the exercises were taken to the second stage as…..

Breathing actions had counting to ten (really) loudly and then trying to count in a very presentable way

The single words were no longer random but had to be woven into a cohesive sentence, which did go down a odd route. The short of the story is that Wolverine needed mental help, but it was all in his head or was it?

The new role-play exercise being that me and Harriet both sat in front of Becky and act like we were both employed by her and competing for a promotion. It started so well but there was money on the line (image money but still) as such the incrimination were soon flying, I said she would stop talking about scones and how great she made them, but wait for this, she accused me of leaving the safe open when the shop was shut (total out of nowhere but effective). In the end neither of us got anywhere as Becky couldn’t stop laughing

The final part of the session involved presenting a little talk to the group. My was all about Spider-wick the characters, plot, ending and why I like it so much even now. Harriet was all about a horror movie with a lot (we talking like 5 to 6) sequels all staring Freddy Kruger.

Personal note: The session was actual efficient, for the first time in a  while I didn’t think of every word I was saying, or looking around for problems or analysis (yes I do that). Lastly as this is a personal note I did get a good group, Harriet is a really interesting person and nice to go through the exercises with. Coming up with a short talk for next time with be interesting have to decide either go for a rant on the dark tower or a long talk on something historical, decisions.

P.S I know there are a lot of brackets in these just my thing


Last Entry

So how was the final session?

Well it was very heavy on the creating a front or putting on a performance of someone your not.

First we played two truths and a lie, well that didn’t end well for me Harriet worked it all out, all from the little bits of information I had given during our conversions, (dam it) still pretty clever. I was also the only one that got found out.

Next me and Harriet enacted three silent scenes that consisted of us playing a video games, being tourists somewhere(my guess is Paris I could pull of my French waiter) and lastly we posed as two people arguing over the directions on a map, though Becky thought we looked my like a couple bickering, that was my fault should have gestured with my hand more.

Then it was on to role-playing (again I know drama duh) so what was it this time, well it was the two of us creating conflict and then finding resolution’s. In this case Harriet played a person fed up with a group member over a assignment and I get to play her friend but I’m also a friend to the girl she is upset, by the end we had pretty much got into a conflict but hadn’t got out, yeah the acting and the argument I guess got a bit to real (but serious what kind of crazy person gets in the middle of two girls fighting uhhh). After that exercise was concluded the next scene to created was two interviews one good and one bad, in this case someone who wanted the post of librarian but was loud, flirty and came across as sneaky. In the other case a vet who feared dogs and was very nervous, stressed and figed. Then we both did normal interviews as ourselves or the straight back “I am very professional” selves.


Well that’s it we didn’t get to do are second presentations as we ran out of time. We were given out certifies saying we had completed the drama course “Back yourself” and Becky mentioned our full assessments had been sent out to our work coaches.


  1. S I would like to thank Harriet for staying with the course all the way through unlike the others, doing it alone would have been boring and for a girl with little confidence she really was clever and very interesting to do exercise with a kind of get to know.
  2. S though I probable wasn’t as great I do feel like I have improved my social skills and have gotten I little more relaxed in interviews.

Characters Devils Porridge

Thanks to Alastair for writing this report (and for letting us take his photo as well!)

Someone sorting through pieces of paper in the office.

Young volunteer help at The Devil’s Porridge Museum

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This weekend we had lots of help from our young volunteers.

14 year old Andy helped sort and organise a recent donation of Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society journals in the morning.  He sorted them by date and volume, put them in a folder in our archive and typed up a list of contents.  They are now available for any interested researcher to use.  These magazines belonged to a gentleman who has sadly now passed away and were donated in his memory by his sister.

In the afternoon, Russell assisted Judith in the object store.  He has been volunteering at the museum for several months now but had taken a break for his exams.  Now he is back and he helped tidy the object store and wrap objects in acid free for storage.


Another young prospective volunteer came in to the museum the other day to inquire about volunteering and assisting with catering.  Another has expressed an interest in helping in the garden.  We always welcome volunteers and are very grateful to them for their help – they are integral part of everything the museum does and can be found everywhere from Front of House to behind the scenes.

If you would like to volunteer with us, please email

Kids in Museums logo.

Kids in Museums Manifesto

By News

The Devil’s Porridge Museum has pledged to put families and young people at the heart of our museum through the Kids in Museums Manifesto! Each day this week we will highlight our engagement with one of the manifesto pledges!

Kids in Museums Manifesto

Be welcoming. Create an environment where families can explore, have fun and learn together. Make sure staff and volunteers provide a warm welcome and make all interactions with visitors friendly and informative. Include things that can be touched and make labels clear to explain when they can’t. Welcome enthusiastic comments and always keep instructions positive.


At the Devil’s Porridge Museum we provide a free welcome talk and have friendly and passionate volunteers located around the museum itself to answer any questions and provide further information. There are a number of interactive aspects to the exhibits in the museum and objects that can be handled by visitors. There are also blue step stools spread throughout the museum to aid those smaller visitors who can’t quite see into all the cabinets and displays.


Our ‘Mammoth’ museum hunt will also be launched next week for young visitors and those young at heart to help them explore the museum.  Watch out for an exciting post about our Kids in Museum Mammoth hunt next week as our Summer of Fun gets underway.

Children wearing dressing up clothes at The Devil's Porridge Museum.

Recent school visit

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Dalry Primary school

On Tuesday March 5th, the Devil’s Porridge Museum welcomed 60 students from Dalry Primary, Carsphairn Primary and Kells Primary (Glenkins partnership).  They had been studying World War Two in lessons and came to the museum to experience some objects making the past that bit more tangible.

Dalry PrimaryThey had two different sessions in the morning: one session looked at air raids including the role of ARP wardens and the bombing of Gretna in 1941 while the other session considered all different types of rationing including the rationing of food, petrol and clothing.

Dalry PrimaryIn the afternoon, the students explored the museum itself by going inside an air raid shelter, tasting rationed foods, trying on World War Two era clothing, visiting a 1940s house and handling different historical objects.  The group also took a tour of the Ground Floor of the museum which is dedicated to the history of HM Factory Gretna in World War One.

Dlary Primary

One of their teachers emailed the museum to say: “Thank you so much for a wonderful day! A massive thank you to everyone that helped at the museum!  The pupils enjoyed it very much.”

Dalry Primary

Thanks especially to Sheila G and Eleanor for their work and to Steven for being so helpful on his second day!  To discuss your school visit email


Some people working on a display in The Devil's Porridge Museum.

A busy weekend at the Devil’s Porridge Museum

By News

This weekend has been a busy one for the team at the Devil’s Porridge Museum.  We had a really successful Burn’s Supper on Saturday night, see:

On Sunday, two of our young volunteers helped to install the new exhibition ‘Love in Wartime’.  They dressed mannequins with vintage wedding dresses, put up decorations, created display stands from foamboard, put up banners and recorded the objects on display in our object location file.  They were really helpful and seemed to enjoy learning the behind the scenes Museum business!

Here are some photos of Alex and Russell helping out.

Work was also going outside the Museum.  Tony and Richard worked on the telephone box outside of the Museum.  It has been there for a little while now and is getting some TLC to make it level, then it will be painted and fixed up (we are waiting on better weather to do this).  Here they are hard at work.


D and G Life article about a 2019 exhibition at The Devil's Porridge Museum.

Article about Museum’s new exhibition in D&G Life magazine

By News

Our new exhibition, ‘Love in Wartime’ features in the current edition of Dumfries and Galloway Life magazine.  The article features in an interview with Judith Hewitt, Museum Manager and curator of the exhibition and features a look at some of the stories and accounts involved in the exhibition.

Love in Wartime opens on January 21st.

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