Dundee’s Museum of Transport Starts Work on its Permanent Home
Photos: Alan Richardson
2018 is a big year for Dundee with the V&A opening in September. In the north east of the city, another important development is taking place. Dundee’s Museum of Transport will be starting work on restoring Maryfield Tram Depot, its permanent home.
The historic tram depot in Forfar Road is thought to be the oldest surviving building of its type in Scotland. For some years, the listed building had been falling into disrepair. So, in 2010, a group of transport enthusiasts, many with family links to the tram depot, made a decision to save the building. Their solution was to create a transport museum to be housed in the tram depot one day, a fitting use for the building. From this grew one of Dundee’s favourite tourist destinations, Dundee Museum of Transport, temporarily housed at Market Mews in the centre of the city.
Thanks to a grant from Dundee City Council’s Common Good Fund back in 2014
and now with support from Dundee Historic Environment Trust and other funders, the building blocks are in place for the charity to start the first phase of restoration work. This month work will begin on restoring the cobbled forecourt and on returning the surrounding walls and railings to their former glory. Volunteers will begin landscaping the grounds and tidying up the protected trees along Forfar Road.
James McDonell, Chairman of Dundee Museum of Transport Trust, said,
‘After years of hard work and dedication from all our volunteers and supporters, we are thrilled to be starting work on restoring Maryfield Tram Depot. There is still a way to go in securing funds but success is in sight. Our ambition to open the museum in its permanent home in 2020 is fast becoming a reality.’
For anyone interested in Dundee’s transport heritage or in plans for the Maryfield Tram Depot, a visit to the Transport Museum at Market Mews is recommended. For opening hours and transport links, please go to www.dmoft.co.uk
Trustees Don Ridgway and Peter Webber were delighted to present museum volunteer Ian Innes with a thank you card and gift voucher this week. Ian showed exceptional customer service during the museum’s recent VisitScotland assessment, achieving five stars in the service and hospitality grading. The museum achieved an overall grading of three stars and will continue to develop its offer to visitors in the hope of achieving four stars in the future.
Victoria Alexandrina Drummond was born in 1894 at Megginch Castle near Errol. Victoria showed her interest in mechanics from an early age but didn’t start her career until 1922, where she sailed as 10th engineer on board SS Anchises. Due to her gender, Victoria never managed to gain her British Chief Engineers, despite making 37 attempts. However, she was successful in gaining a Panamanian Chief Engineers Certificate.
During the mid-1940’s Victoria was part of the SS Bonita at Southampton. It was that time when Victoria was acknowledged and took charge of the engine room and kept herself the engines running after an attack by enemy bombers. When arriving at Virginia, she was given a hero’s welcome. Victoria was awarded an MBE for her devotion to duty and a Lloyds medal for bravery at sea.
She kept on sailing in various vessels and she sailed amongst many convoys during the rest of the war. After the war ended she sailed as Second Engineer until 1959 when she finally became Chief Engineer. She remained a Chief Engineer until she retired in 1962.
Victoria died in 1978 and was buried at her birth place. She will always be remembered as Britain’s first female Marine Engineer, first female Chief Engineer, and first female member of the Institute of Marine Engineers. She stood up to all adversity and opened the door for all the women that followed in her footsteps. Victoria is a key part of the Dundee Museum of Transport’s Caledon Shipyard display. She is also part of Dundee women’s trail and a plaque is devoted to her, located at Bell Street.
David has been signed up as a museum volunteer since May 2017. He splits his time between working at the front desk and as a guide. He is always extremely willing to help wherever he is needed.
Q. What made you become a volunteer at the DMofT?
A. While on a career break, I was looking for something to do to fill my day, and I spotted an advert asking foR volunteers to help as a guide on a bus tour organised by the DMofT. From there I was asked to help in the museum and I was hooked. I now volunteer two days a week and hope to help more on the events and open days.
Q. Would you say volunteering is fun?
A. It is excellent fun, I don’t think of it as work. Every day is different and everyone is very friendly.
Q. What has been the best bit about working at the DMofT?
A. I really like interacting with the visitors, I get great pleasure out of passing on information to them and seE them enjoying their time at the DMofT
Q. What have you gained out of your time at the DMofT?
A. I have gained a vast amount of knowledge as well as new friends. I learn something new every time I volunteer at the museum. I have since got a job at the Dundee Industrial Heritage Ltd and I am currently working at Verdant Works, this is all down to me enjoying my time at DMofT and therefore changing my career.
Q. What would you like to see in the future at the DMofT?
A. I want to see the museum grow and attract more visitors, I am very excited about the Maryfield site and I am looking forward to the day when we move up there.
We were the proud hosts of the award ceremony for the Dundee Sportsman Dinner last weekend. This was an awards presentation to clubs and individuals from fundraising from the dinner in September 2017 and a fantastic £18,750 was distributed!
The award ceremony was held on the 27th January and it was the best turnout yet with over 90 people in attendance. It was a fantastic Saturday had by all – congratulations to all involved.
Dundee Museum of Transport is delighted to announce that it is taking part in the National Lottery ‘thank you’ campaign this December! On the 13th, 16th and 17th December the museum will be FREE to any adult visitor that presents a National Lottery ticket during our normal opening hours of 10:30am – 3:30pm.
There are 400+ free offers taking place between the 11th and the 17th of December for National Lottery players – check-out this interactive map for details: