Skip to main content

dumfries and galloway

A poster for a Burns Night Supper event at The Devil's Porridge Museum. It reads "Friday 26th of January 2024 Arrival 6pm £12.50 Come along and enjoy an evening of Scottish Entertainment. Tickets on sale from 8th January at The Devil's Porridge Museum. Limited Spaces only." It includes photos of a bagpiper and haggis.

Burns Night Supper

By Events

Fancy treating yourself to an evening of Scottish entertainment with a traditional three course meal? Why not join us for our Burns Supper on Friday 26th January 2024 from 6pm? Tickets are £12.50 per person and are available from The Devil’s Porridge Museum. Places are limited!


Burns Night is a traditional Scottish celebration of the life and works of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. It’s held on or around January 25th every year—Burns’ birthday—and it consists of a celebratory meal with haggis (a traditional Scottish food made with oats, sheep’s heart, liver and lungs), whisky, highland dancers, bagpipers and other performers.

It’s a great opportunity to learn about Scottish culture through food, music and dance! We hope you’ll join us at 6 pm on Friday 26th in The Devil’s Porridge Museum for this fun event!

Limited spaces.
Tickets are on sale from the 8th of January at the museum.

An photo of a metal award in the shape of a thistle with the words 'We're on the Shortlist!'. The logo for the Scottish Thistle Awards is in the top left corner and South of Scotland is writtend in the lower right corner.

Shortlisted for Thistle Awards 2023

By News
The Devil’s Porridge Museum is once again in the finals for the Thistle Awards!!!
We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for the South of Scotland Thistle Awards Regional Finals in the following categories:
  • Celebrating Thriving Communities
  •  Best Visitor Attraction
We were delighted to find out that our chairman, Richard Brodie has also been shortlisted for Tourism Individual of the Year in the South of Scotland Thistle Awards Regional Fianals.
We are looking forward to the 5th of October 2023 to celebrate the best of South of Scotland tourism!!! Good luck to everyone who is nominated.
A poster advertising a Digital Takeover that happened at The Devil's Porridge Museum on Friday 7th July 2023.

Digital Takeover

By Events

Join our Youth Panel and take over our digital platforms!

* TikTok videos: Write scripts, film videos or act in the videos! Your choice!
* Photography: Use your smartphone to take pictures for our social media.
* Write content for social media or blog.

All training will be provided.

To book contact:

Poster for a talk given by Bruce Keith in which he presents his book Bridgescapes. This talk happened on 12th May 2023.


By Events

12th May 2023.

2pm – 3pm.

In this talk, Bruce Keith will present his book “Bridgescapes” in The Devil’s Porridge Museum.

Bruce Keith’s first book, “Bridgescapes” explores Scotland’s bridges across seven centuries of history, from the 14th century’s Brig o’ Balgownie and the Auld Brig at Dumfries, to the largest three tower cable-stayed bridge in the world, the iconic Queensferry Crossing, which opened in 2017.

Along the way Bruce finds inspiration in the suspension bridges, arched viaducts and aqueducts which carry our roads, railways and canals and have witnessed key moments from our nation’s history. Amongst the characters we encounter are Thomas Telford, John Rennie, John Smeaton, Louis Harper and Sir William Arrol, whose engineering feats both at home and abroad have left a proud heritage of engineering prowess.

Book your place on Eventbrite here>

A poster advertising a Spanish lesson for beginners between the ages 8 to 14. This past event happened on Friday 24th February 2023.

Mid-Term Holiday workshops!

By Events

Mid-Term Holiday workshops!📣📣📣


We have 4 family bonding activities for your kids:

  • Upcycling workshops learn about recycling.
  • A Spanish lesson for beginners.
  • A Board Games Club.

Free events, all materials are provided.
Book by searching The Devil’s Porridge on Eventbrite.
Due to popularity, bookings are limited to 3 kids per adult.


Wednesday, Feb 22, 11am-12:30pm


Upcycling workshop: Save that jar!

Transform your hoarded bottles from trash to high-end & fabulous jars into nice jars to treasure memories, self-care products, and more.

Best suited to ages 7 – 12.


*Due to popularity, booking is limited to 3 kids per person.

**Parents can join their children, but please only book your child’s place.



Thursday, Feb 23, 11am-12:30pm


Upcycling workshop

Creative boxes: Think it, make it!

Join us for a creative workshop on recycling cardboard to make beautiful boxes to store memories, self-care essentials, and more!

Best suited to ages 7 – 12.

Places are limited to 3 kids per person.


Friday, Feb 24, 11am-12:00pm



Hola! Spanish lesson for beginners

Join us in our Moorside Room for a fun Spanish lesson with a native speaker.

Best suited to ages 8 – 14.

Places are limited to 3 kids per person.



Saturday, Feb 24, 10am-11:00pm



Board Game Club

Come out and play games with friends and family!

Meet new people!

All ages welcome!

Places are limited to 3 kids per person.

WW2: The Landscape Legacy in Dumfries and Galloway

By Events


9th September 2022

10am -3pm (with a lunch break included).


This event will start and end at The Devil’s Porridge Museum.

Come along and explore the WW2 heritage of Dumfries and Galloway with county archaeologist Andy Nicholson. The trip will showcase local WW2 history, landmarks and untold stories as part of Scottish Archaeology Month. Beginning at the Devil’s Porridge Museum at 10am we will travel by bus through the county to various sites including the Eastriggs MOD, a site normally off-limits and RAF Dumfries, finally returning to the museum at around 3pm.

A lunch break is included and bringing a packed lunch is advised.

There is limited space on this tour, so it is first come first served.

Due to limited space there is a booking limit of two per person.

Please book your place on eventbrite here>


View this event on Archaeology Scotland’s website here>

The event will support the exhibition ‘Landscapes of War’ being held at the Devil’s Porridge Museum from 1st September – 31st October 2022. Learn more about this here>

See more events that are happening as part of Scottish Archaeology Month here>

Heinrich Himmler

Eastriggs man involved in the capture of Heinrich Himmler?

By Collections blog

We have received a really interesting inquiry and are looking for your help.

For several years, Chris Mannion has researched his grandfather’s connection to the capture of Heinrich Himmler (one of the ‘architects’ of the Holocaust, right hand man to Hitler and head of the SS) at the end of World War Two.  Chris has managed to discover a great deal of information and is going to use that information to write a book.

Himmler (front left) with Hitler.

Himmler was captured by a patrol made up of men from the 196 Battery, 73rd Anti tank regiment, Royal Artillery.

You can watch a video about Chris’s research here:

Within the ranks of 196 battery was L/Bdr Thomas Steel, service number 14596001.

The only other information on L/Bdr Steel is the address he gave the regiment.  That address is, 2 Butterdales, Eastriggs.

Chris has photos L/Bdr Thomas Steel should be on (below), but sadly no method of recognizing him.

To the best of Chris’s current knowledge and understanding, he wasn’t connected to Himmler’s capture, but still he may have left stories, photos etc. so we are looking for people who may have known Thomas Steel to come forward.

This photo was taken late May 1945 in Germany.
It shows 196 battery, 73rd Anti-tank regiment, and it is highly likely L/Bdr Thomas Steel is on this photo.

Currently, all the information on L/Bdr Steel is as follows:

Rank Lance bombardier, service number 14596001, the address he gave the regiment was 2 Butterdales, Eastriggs. Of course, this maybe his parent’s address or another relative, a sister maybe?

He enlisted on the 6th May 1943. He joined the 73rd A/T regiment  in March 1944.

When the War ended, he was transferred to another regiment and was posted to India.

He was demobbed in 1947.

196 battery landed on Gold beach, Normandy on the morning of the 7th June 1944.

They fought in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

No record of him ever being wounded.

Anyone with any information, date of birth, death, family, possible photos etc.

Anything at all would be welcome.  Please do email or phone 01461 700021 if you have any information.  We would love to be able to help!



Festive POW Christmas Card with the words "a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year."

POW Christmas Card Object of the Month

By Object of the Month

This month’s object of the month was chosen, researched and written about by Jordan Murray.  Jordan is a third year University of Stirling student who is doing some work experience at the Museum during his Christmas holidays (good for him!) This is his blog about this month’s object of the month…

This month’s object of the month, shown below, is a Christmas card sent from Germany by Helmut (who was a Prisoner of War during WW2) to the Wright family on the 10th of December 1947.

The message reads “Dear Family Wright. As Xmas is coming means I’ll not miss to send you my best wishes and ‘a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year’. Hoping this card will obtain in correct time… Yours ex-POW. Helmut.”


The Wright family stayed at P West II in Gretna shown at X


The postcard was sent to the Wright family at P West II Gretna where Helmut stayed with the family as a Prisoner of War.  The hut below is an example of the sort of hut they must have lived in.

These wooden huts were built for workers at HM Factory Gretna in World War One.  Many were still inhabited during World War Two (and some rare examples still stand today!)

During the war Britain aimed to fill the gap in labour which had been left behind by those who went to war and the use of POW soldiers solved this issue. As a result, Britain was more accepting of housing the enemy’s soldiers and began opening more POW camps. Hellen states that the aim was “to use some of the German soldiers for agricultural and forestry work” (Hellen 1999:193). In Britain by 1946 there were around 400,000 prisoners of war being held in multiple different types of camps. These camps include internment camps (held civilian aliens), command cages (early versions which used existing buildings, huts, camps etc), transit camps (held prisoners temporarily before being moved to another camp) and interrogation centres (where German soldiers were classified according to their political views).

No. 4 Camp (marked as X) was located near Longtown held German, Polish, and Ukrainian prisoners who worked on local farms and in sawmills.



There were 6 POW camps around the Solway Coast area,

  • Hallmuir Farm Camp, near Lockerbie

  • Dryfeholme Camp, near Lockerbie

  • Barony Base Camp, near Dumfries

  • Barony Working Camp, near Dumfries

  • Carronbridge Camp, near Dumfries

  • 4 Camp, near Longtown


However, some POW’s stayed with local families such as Helmut who stayed with the Wright family in Gretna. There was not only German POW’s living in and around Gretna at the time, many Italians also stayed in the area. Ruby Hardisty mentioned Italian POW’s who were camped at Kirkpatrick Fleming  and would often cycle to Gretna to use the local amenities such as the cinema, “they were always at the pictures, that’s where most of them learnt English, the pictures mostly”. While some POW’s fit in well within the community in Gretna such as Helmut, this is not true of them all. Jean Mackay mentioned the animosity felt towards the German prisoners, “they [Germans] used to march up Vancouver Road every Sunday because the Catholic chapel was at the top of our road. My poor Dad, because my Dad was at Dunkirk and everything, he used to tingle when he saw those Germans”. Furthermore, Ruby Hardisty talked about pranks the youngsters used to play on the Italians, “Our boys were devils: they would put things on the road to give them punctures on their bikes. Just daft, just boys’ stuff, you know”.

The cinema in Gretna located on Central Avenue.


Front cover of Gretna Parish War Memorial book.

PTE Samuel McCarl & PTE William McCarl

By Collections blog

Samuel McCarl, age 22, private (18162) 2nd Battalion, Border Regiment. Born 1893 in Gasstown, Dumfries. Son of the late Samuel McCarl and of Annie Jane (Miller) McCarl of Springfield, Gretna.


Samuel was working as a farm labourer in Appleby, Westmorland when he enlisted in the Border Regiment as Private (15306) in October 1914. Initially he was rejected as unlikely to make an efficient soldier but he was later enlisted as Private (18162) and joined his Battalion in France May 1915.


Missing in Action – 25th September 1915.

Commonwealth War Grave – Loos Memorial, France


His Brother


William McCarl, age 22, Private (23358) 1st Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers.


Born in 1895 in Gasstown, Dumfries. Son of the late Samuel McCarl and of Annie Jane (Miller) McCarl of Springfield, Gretna.


Killed in Action – 27 August 1917.

Commonwealth War Grave – Poelcapelle British Cemerery, Belgium.

Haaf Net Fishing Exhibition Removal

By News

For a number of months, the Devil’s Porridge Museum has had an excellent exhibition on display focusing on the ancient local practice of Haaf Net Fishing.  On Monday, Derek from D&G Council came to collect the exhibition and was surprised and pleased to see that it had grown in its time with us!  Lots of people have come forward after visiting or hearing about the exhibition to donate objects, photographs or oral history testimonies.  We’re really pleased to pass on these objects so that they can go with the exhibition as it travels to showcase the story of this interesting fishing technique and the unique social history and culture connected with it.


To find out more about the exhibition and practice of haaf net fishing see:

Translate »