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Moat Brae needs your help!

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By Fiona Reid
Moat Brae needs your help!

AN upcoming exhibition at Moat Brae in Dumfries will showcase its history as a hospital.

It all started in 1914 when the building was sold to the Royal Scottish Nursing Institution and became ‘Moat Brae Nursing Home’, and it continued as such until the late 1990s when it was sold on to become a hotel.

From cradle to crypt, a huge number of Dumfriesshire residents will have memories of major life events taking place there.

As such, the current Moat Brae team are looking for people to tell their stories.

Visitor attraction manager Cameron Hinde said: “We’d love to recognise the significance of Moat Brae to the community by holding an exhibition of images and memories of its time as a hospital.

“Almost daily I meet visitors who tell me they have been here before on a visit to the doctor. One such visitor candidly described to me how they had had their tonsils removed in our shop!

“I think this would be a great way for Moat Brae to celebrate its place in the hearts of the residents of Dumfries and Galloway. The number of people who must have passed through these doors over the years, or worked here as doctors, nurses, surgeons, or even porters, must be huge.”

However, he revealed they desperately need some items and images, saying: “We don’t hold any memorabilia from those days, so we’re looking for anyone with pictures, documents or artefacts they can loan to us, or who can share their memories of working at or visiting Moat Brae, for use in the exhibition.

“We’re ideally looking for images with people in — we’d love to see the faces of people who worked here or, even better, to hear heartwarming stories or amusing anecdotes about terrible bedside manners!”

Moat Brae plans to take images loaned to them and create enlarged versions to hang in the exhibition gallery.

Visitors will be able to write their own “Moat Brae Memories” and hang them on a memory wall.

For youngsters, there will be a range of interactive activities, dress up stations and story prompts.

Cameron added: “We want this to be an exhibition that celebrates everything that the care sector does for people, and how big an impact that can have on a population.

“I don’t think most realise how central Moat Brae was as a hospital to so many lives in this area, and it would be a shame not to try and capture some of that history before it’s too late.”

The exhibition is due to open at the beginning of July and will be in place for the whole summer holiday period.

To get involved and contribute, drop into Moat Brae where they will be able to arrange loans of any items you’re submitting and collect any relevant details.

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