Catherine and I headed north on Friday to pay a visit to the Highlanders’ Museum at Fort George. It’s just a step away from Inverness. (Turn right at Inverness, head up along the coast road and you’re in the village of Ardersier before you know it.) The Fort is in a great location, with fantastic views across the Moray Firth to the Black Isle. It’s been around for 250 years and still houses a Regular Infantry Battalion.
We crossed the impeccable grounds to the museum building, Fort George’s former Lieutenant Governors’ House, where we were greeted at the door, and welcomed in. It was my first visit although I knew about the museum from their participation in our Volunteering in Museums research. (See the museum website for the various volunteering opportunities available.) The museum covers three floors and we were lucky enough to be given our very own tour. I really enjoyed looking at the collection, from the ostentation of the regimental silver (not just one but two rams head snuff mulls!), to the sombre tones of the objects connected with the various campaigns the regiment has been involved in (16 Victoria Crosses), to the humour of the flash cards for getting to know the attributes of the various members of the regiment (Quartermaster = No!), to the sense of changing times evoked by the evolution of the regiment’s battledress (from kilts and red jackets to camouflage). If I had to choose one thing as my favourite object it would probably be the flash cards.
Life is pretty busy at the museum as they have recently embarked on the Highlanders’ Museum Development Project, a £2million upgrade plan which will transform the museum. The Highland Heritage Appeal continues the fundraising for this three year project. I can’t wait to go back once it’s completed.