Heritage of Ayrshire

21st September 2001 at 01:00
Comedians such as Billy Connolly may make fun of Saltcoats, but the seaside town's North Ayrshire Museum is no joke. Established in an 18th-century former parish church in 1957, it is a favourite with local primaries.

The collections cover the history of North Ayrshire from ancient times to the present day, with emphasis on Saltcoats, Ardrossan and Stevenston. They include maritime history, costume and paintings by well-known artists. One artist, Sir John Lavery, went to school in Saltcoats.

Among the most popular items on show are a Templar's coffin, a hand-cranked vacuum cleaner and a gigantic leather boot. There is also a reconstruction of a typical Victorian Ayrshire cottage.

The temporary exhibitions include A History of Education in North Ayrshire, which runs until mid-October. It will be followed by one on Clyde shipbulding.

North Ayrshire Museum, Manse Street, Saltcoats KA21 5AA Museum officer Mark Strachan, tel 01294 464174. Admission free.

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