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Washed Away exhibition

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
Washed Away exhibition
TALK . . . Curator Judith Hewitt delivered a talk and a thank you to all those who helped the make the exhibition possible

ANNAN Museum held an afternoon event for those who contributed to the ‘Washed Away’ exhibit last Friday.

The Jubilee Bridge and the Cuthbertson Bridge were both washed away on October 28 last year when water levels reached a 50-year high.

Last week, a large group of residents from the community gathered to view the memorabilia recovered from the Annan River.

Guests were greeted by curator Judith Hewitt and were treated to a myriad of displays showcasing old photographs of the bridges, the history of it all, as well as wreckage of the bridges themselves.

The theme of the exhibition was change and loss, as the waters of Annan are a pivotal part of the town and its history but can be dangerous and destructive.

RESCUED . . . Garry Dempster from the council who retreived parts of the bridges to be displayed in the museum, he is pictured with Curator Judith Hewitt

Models of both the Annan Motte and Bailey Castle and the Solway Viaduct were also displayed, made by Gordon Wright.

Coins, commemoration medals and crockery celebrating Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee were on display alongside the plaque and diary of William Cuthbertson.

There were also small memorials commemorating the loss of the lighthouse in Waterfoot and the Cove footbridge in Kirkpatrick Fleming.

Many groups attended, including Annan Art Club and the Camera Club, that supplied the exhibit with several drawings and photographs to be put on display.

Members of the public who came forward to donate their own photos and belongings were also invited to attend.

Halfway through the exhibition, the curator stepped up to give a heartfelt speech, as well as reciting some lines from a ballad by Walter Scott.

Judith said: “So many great people have taken part in making this exhibition and we wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for attending.

“The Motto of Annan is ‘As the river, so the town’. The river is why Annan is here, but we also have to respect and admire the destructive power of the river.

“People have been here, worked here and died here for centuries and the river has been with us this entire time.

“Everyone here has a memory of the river. For me, I remember it as the place where a horse ate my daughter’s birthday cake!”

Annan’s A Tale of Two Bridges Community Group member Stuart Thompson took a moment to give a small update about the replacement bridges after the speech.

HISTORICAL MUSIC . . . Dora carter and Barbara Lewis provided the music for the occassion

He said: “I thought it was marvellous when they announced that they would be commemorating the bridges.

“Annan is synonymous for a community that continues to exist and evolve within the time. There are lots of groups working together to promote the town and ensure that the customs of Annan are shared and passed down.

“We have a group of committed and enthusiastic people, but we always welcome more interested people who would like to join in.

“The councillors and elected members are doing everything they can to secure funding, and the group overall is working continually to proceed.

“An exhibition like this is keeping the ideas and memory of the bridges in mind. We want to thank Annan Museum, and hope that the traction from this exhibition will spur more traction to rebuild the bridges.”

Two musicians, Barbara Lewis on Piano and Dora Carter on Fiddle, played musical accompaniment to round out the afternoon. The Washed Away exhibition will remain at Annan Museum until October 29.

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