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A photo of a creepy child wearing a gas mask with a illustration of a small phone box in the sky collaged on a burgundy background. A photo of The Devil's Porridge Museum is just visible behind the background. Some white text underneath the photo of the child with a gas mask gives that images source as Wikipedia.

The Devil’s Porridge Museum’s Doctor Who Playlist

By News

The 23rd November 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of sci-fi TV show Doctor Who and since our usual Monthly Roundup person is a bit of a fan, she thought it would be fantastic to look at some of the times the show visited the general times or subjects The Devil’s Porridge Museum focuses on.  Read on to discover The Devil’s Porridge Museum’s Doctor Who Playlist!

Of course we are NOT saying that these Doctor Who episodes are in any way historically accurate or the views expressed in this program are those of The Devil’s Porridge Museum (Doctor Who is about an alien traveling in time and space in a phone box after all!). This is just for a bit of fun!

SPOILER WARNING! Although, we’ve done our best not to share too many spoilers be aware that some will be included in this blog post and you’ll find more if you choose to follow the links by the clicking on the episode titles.

World War One

The War Games (1969)

The War Games is a last story featuring the 2nd Doctor (Patrick Troughton) and the first few parts are based during World War One. There’s a WW1 ambulance driver and the trenches feature. Of course, it soon turns out that things are not quite how they seem and much more is going on (don’t worry we’re trying not to share too many spoilers here!). This 10 part story and not all the parts are based during World War One, but we still think it deserves a mention.

The Family of Blood (2007)

The Family Blood is the second part of a two part episode (the first part is Human Nature) based prior based prior to World War One. It is only near the end of the this episode were WW1 features. The 10th Doctor (David Tennant) and Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) also have a beautiful moment of remembrance in this story. Both these things earn it a mention here.

Twice Upon a Time (2017)

Twice Upon a Time was a Christmas special, which was the 12th Doctor’s (Peter Capaldi’s) last episode. It features a World War One British army captain (played by Mark Gatiss) and also includes a heart-warming scene in relation to this. Well, it is Christmas after all. Football anyone?


World War Two

The Curse of Fendric (1989)

The Curse of Fendric is a 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) story, which is based during World War Two at a British Naval installation. This is what earns it’s place on this list.

The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances (2005)

The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances are based in London during The Blitz and features The 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston).  A quick word of warning! This episode has probably one of the most terrifying monsters in Doctor Who and there’s a chilling transformative moment in The Empty Child. (Obviously, this is just the opinion of our Monthly Roundup creator person, but nevertheless you have been warned)!

A creepy child wearing a gas mask with a hat on

The Empty Child. Is it just me or does that gas mask seem familiar? Photo source:

Victory of the Daleks (2011)

Victory of the Daleks is based during World War Two, it features Winston Churchill (Ian McNeice) and The 11th Doctor (Matt Smith). As you may have gathered from the title it does feature some of The Doctor’s best known foes, or the daleks (we did say these episodes might NOT be historically accurate didn’t we?). Look out for the jammy dodger.

The Window, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2011)

This is another Christmas special, this time featuring The 11th Doctor (Matt Smith). The episode is based in 1941 and there’s a few moments inside a Lancaster Bomber, which is why we’ve included it here. We do have to say that it may feature a Christmas Eve excursion to another planet and some rather wooden people though!

Spyfall Part 2 (2020)

Part 2 of Spyfall features the 13th Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) and spends some time in Paris during World War Two. The episode also features WW2 British Resistance agent Nora Inayat Khan (Aurora Marion). This is what earns it’s place as the most recent episode on the list. However it’s important to note that not all this episode is based during World War Two.



Chapelcross Nuclear Power Station

Ok, obviously there’s no Doctor Who episodes based explicitly around Chapelcross Nuclear Power station, but what about one which was filmed at a nuclear power station? Yes the connection may be a wee bit thin, but this is just for a bit of fun so bear with us!

The Hand of Fear (1976)

“Eldrad must live.”(Can you talk about The Hand of Fear without saying that?) The Hand of Fear features The 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) and Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladen). Some of this story was filmed at Oldbury Nuclear Power Station in Gloucestershire (we’re pretty sure that this probably wasn’t the bits on the alien planet though), which is why we’ve included it here.



So there you are! That’s the end of The Devil’s Porridge Museum’s Doctor Who Playlist. Now if your ever wondering what Doctor Who episodes to watch before or after visiting The Devil’s Porridge Museum you’ll know just which ones! Are there any you think we missed? Or is there is any more Doctor Who episodes you think deserve a mention? Why not let us know on our Facebook or Twitter pages?

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>

A poster advertising Living History Weekend 2022 at The Devil's Porridge Museum.

Living History Weekend 2022

By Events

Saturday 30th July – Sunday 31st July 2022

All Activities Free with Admission into the Museum.


Get an insight into what life was like during World War One and World War Two with our living history weekend.



The Scottish Home Front Living History Society will give people an insight into how both civilians and soldiers lived during the Second World War by using the equipment, vehicles, and clothing from that time. They will help to make the past feel more tangible by showing the equipment working and demonstrating how it works and what it felt like to use. You will get to handle many of the objects, which will help to bring the past to life.

They will also have some suffragette reenactors to give an insight into the struggles of women protesting for the right to vote and how this affected their everyday lives.


Five people dressed as Suffergettes outside.


On War Service will be offering the opportunity to learn about First World War with an insight into medical care during that time. They will be inside the museum in uniform to share their enthusiasm and show you some medical equipment and domestic treasures from the time. Over the weekend they will be providing short specialist talks on the Spanish Flu Pandemic, the Role of the VAD and WW1 Hospitals in Dumfriesshire, and the Treatment of Shell Injuries. You can see the full talk programme for the weekend below.



You can learn more about On War Service on their website here: 


A photo form the 2019 Military Vehicle Event.

We hope this Living History Weekend event will build on the success of our Military Vehicle Weekend in 2019. You can read more about this here>


Another photo of a Military Vehicle Weekend event at The Devil’s Porridge Museum in the past.

Sheila Dalgleish.

Medals and more

By Collections blog

Finlay, a Duke of Edinburgh student has accessioned some recent donations to the Museum and done some research about their origins.  This is his blog…

ICI Powfoot.

In the Second World War the government were looking to disperse vital munitions factories across the country to protect them from the German Luftwaffe. They once again looked at the Solway Coast as an ideal place for a munitions factory. Just 5 miles from HM Factory Gretna, Powfoot was chosen as the place to build a new factory, ICI Powfoot.

Powfoot was chosen as a location for the factory as it was an isolated area of farmland with strong rail links and a good supply of water from the Solway Firth.

An aerial view of where ICI Powfoot was built

After being built in 1940 ICI Powfoot produced cordite, nitro-cellulose powder and, later on in the site high explosives and other chemicals were made. In charge of production was a team of local scientists.

At its peak ICI Powfoot employed over 4000 people, the majority of which were women attracted by the generous wages and the opportunity to help the war effort.

Working in a munitions factory did not come without danger, for example workers had to face the constant absorption of toxic chemicals that caused skin yellowing, hair and teeth loss. Explosions and fires also were a serious issue in Powfoot and many people were injured or killed in accidents.

Sheila Dalgleish, a 19 year old worker at Powfoot managed to tackle a dangerous fire that could have injured or even killed many people.  When the fire broke out in processing plant (an area in the factory where large amounts of cordite was processed and stored) everyone in the room evacuated, other than Sheila Dalgleish and Euphemia Lindsay. Together, they pulled the bags of cordite away from the fire, then they kept the flames under control with a fire hose until the fire department arrived.

A picture of Sheila Dalgleish.

Her actions then saved countless people’s lives. To thank her she was awarded the British Empire Medal for bravery by King George VI, and the ICI medal for bravery.


ICI medal for bravery awarded to Sheila Dalgleish



British Empire medal for bravery awarded to Sheila Dalgleish by King George VI


A child's Mickey Mouse Gas Mask on display in The Devil's Porridge Museum.

WW2 Gas Masks

By Collections blog

One of the gas masks which we have on display within the Museum is a kids Mickey Mouse gas mask from WW2. These masks were desinged to look like Mickey Mouse to appeal more to children and to encourage them to wear them. Children were asked to keep their masks within reach at all times, which meant they had to take them to school stored in a box with string on it to go over the child’s shoulder, they also had to keep them next to their bed at night and when they were doing general activities in the event of a sudden German gas attack. Kids were sometimes told to wear the masks in class while they were at school, presumably to get the children more used to wearing them so they wouldn’t struggle or refuse to put them on in the event of a gas attack. 10 million of these masks were made and distributed in 1938 in the event of the outbreak of war.


On display with the Childs Mickey Mouse gas mask is a gas mask for babies which is designed to cover the top half of the child and strap around them like a nappy which allows means only their legs are exposed. These gas masks were issued to every child up to 2 years old in 1938 when all citizens were issued a gas mask in the event of an outbreak of war. These gas masks were tied securely which made it air-tight, and had a big visor so that the child could see out of it. These gas masks were fitted with an asbestos filter which absorbed poisonous gas, attached to this was a rubber tube with a handle which was used to pump air into the mask which would be used by the child’s parent or any other adult present. Many paretn doubted these masks as they were very skeptical about putting their child in a completey air tight mask. There were also reports that during demonstrations babies fell asleep and became unnaturally still inside the masks. It is likely that the pump didnt push enought air into the mask and the babies came close to suffocating, luckily this was never put to the test.


These two gas masks were made safe by a professional from Kadec Asbestos Management with some of the other gas masks we had kept in the Museums store cupboard. This was kindly funded by Museums Galleries Scotland and allows us to better our Museum collection by making the gas masks we have in our possession safe for public viewing and for staff who work with the objects.


A person lifting a gas mask from a display case.

Young people learn about asbestos management in gas masks

By News

The Devils Porridge Museum collects and displays objects relating to World War One and Two and objects relating to the military and industrial heritage of our area after 1945 (including Chapelcross Nuclear, Scotland’s first Nuclear Power Station). This inevitably means that we have a large collection of gas masks in our collection. These objects are precious social records of wartime experiences but they also contain asbestos in the filter (it wasn’t known at the time the damage that asbestos dust can do to the respiratory system).


Desray removing a Gas Mask from display

We’re very pleased to have received funding from Museums Galleries Scotland to manage the asbestos in our gas mask collection. This has enabled us to hire a professional from Kadec Asbestos Management to work with the objects and make them safe. Bill, from Kadec, has been at the Museum for the past two days and yesterday he spoke with two of our young employees, Desray and Alastair, about his work. Desray and Alastair are completing their SVQ Level 3 in Museums and Galleries Practice. Some of the units focus on collection care and this was a good opportunity for them to find out about the work of external consultants within the Museums sector.


Desray and Alastair speaking with Bill from Kadec Asbestos Management about his work.

The Museum offers opportunities for training and volunteering to all members of our community, if you’d like to find out more about our work, email: or phone: 01461 700021.

WW2 National Defence Pocket Book

By Collections blog

This Pocket Book is from WW2 and covers a wide range of subjects which anyone fighting in WW2 would need to know such as labelled gun diagrams showing where everything is, Navy, Army and Air Force badges and a morse code guide. This post highlights some areas of the booklet and future posts will follow which will cover some of the other pages in the booklet.



This page shows the Army, Navy and Air Force ranks and also shows the morse code alphabet and numerals so that soldiers can send secret messages and understand incoming communication.



This page shows all of the military conventional signs which would be seen on a map, it also shows instructions on how to read maps and setting a map to find a location.


Here is the contents page which shows everything in the booklet that would need to be known by soldiers serving in the Armed Forces. We will be posting more of the pages that caught our eye in the coming weeks such as the Royal Navy ships, Rifle mechanism, bren gun description and the knots, bends and hitches.


Sten Mag & Reloader

WW2 Sten Gun Magazine & Loader

By Collections blog

This is a Sten Gun Magazine and Magazine Loader which are currently being kept in the Museum’s store. The Sten Submachine Gun was used extensively by British and Commonwealth forces throughout the Second World War and Korean War. They had a simple design and very low production cost, making them effective insurgency weapons for resistance groups, and they continue to see usage to this day by irregular military forces.

The name STEN is an acronym, from the names of the weapons chief designers, Major Reginald V. Shepard and Harold Turpin, and EN for the Enfield Factory. Over 4 million Stens in various versions were made in the 1940’s, making it the second most produced submachine gun of the Second World War, after the Soviet PPSh-41.

The Sten emerged while Britain was engaged in the Battle of Britain, facing invasion by Germany. The army was forced to replace weapons lost during the evacuation of Dunkirk while expanding at the same time. Prior to 1941 (and even later) the British were purchasing all the Thompson submachine guns they could from the United States, but these did not meet demand, and the Thompsons were hugely expensive, costing anywhere from $70-200, whereas a sten only cost $11.

The Mark II was the most common version of the Sten with two million units produced. It was a much rougher weapon than the Mk I. The flash eliminator and the folding handle (the grip) of the Mk I were omitted. A removable barrel was now provided which projected 3 inches (76mm) beyond the barrel sleeve. Also, a special catch allowed the magazine to be slid partly out of the magazine housing and the housing rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise (from the operator’s perspective), together covering the ejection opening and allowing the weapon and the magazine both to lie flat of it’s side.

A D-Day medal.

WW2 Medals

By Collections blog

The 1939-45 War Medal is a campaign medal which was instituted by the United Kingdom on 16 August 1945, for award to citizens of the British Commonwealth who had served full-time in the Armed Forces or the Merchant Navy for at least 28 days between 3rd September 1939 and 2nd September 1945.

The duration of the Second World War in Europe was from 3 September 1939 to 8 May 1945, while in the Pacific Theatre it continued until 2 September 1945. Foreign citizens commissioned or enlisted into the British forces, who did not receive a similar award to the War Medal 1939-45 from their own Governments, were also eligible to qualify for the award of this medal.

This D-Day Commemorative badge was made in Paris to remember the soldiers who laid down their lives in an attempt to end the War.

The Normandy landings were the landing operations and associated airborne operations on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 of the allied invasion of Normandy in Operation Overlord during World War Two. Codenamed Operation Neptune and often referred to as D-Day, it was the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the liberation of German-occupied France (and later western Europe) and laid the foundations of the allied victory on the Western Front.

Destroyer Medal

Replica WW2 German Badges

By Collections blog

This selection of replica WW2 German Badges are being kept in the Museums store. The three badges include a German E-boat badge, German Destroyer Badge and the German Coastal Artillery Badge.


The German E-boat Badge came in three different types, this particular type is referred to as the second type. This was designed by Wilhelm Ernst Peekhaus of Berlin in conjunction with Korvettenkapitan Rudolf Peterson and introduced into service in January 1943, it is not fully understood what the reason was for the change in design other than the second type has a more modern looking E-boat.


The German Destroyer Badge was a World War Two German military decoration and awarded to officers and crew for service on Kreigsmarine destroyers. It was instituted on 4th June 1940 by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder following the battle of Narvik. It was also awarded to the crews of torpedo boats and fast attack craft until the institution of the Fast Attack Craft War Badge.


The Naval Artillery War Badge or War Badge for the Coastal Artillery was a WW2 German military decoration awarded to the crews of Kriegsmarine land-based marine artillery and anti-aircraft units. It was presented to personnel of coastal defence units, and anti-aircraft units. The award was instituted on 24 June 1941 by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder to reward both the actions of both individuals and crew members. The medal was designed by Otto Placzek of Berlin.


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