7th September 2007 at 01:00
Staff at one of Scotland's finest small museums have pulled out all the stops for a major exhibition on Victor-ian life in West Dunbartonshire.

Bustles, Britannia Big Ideas has opened at the Clyebank Museum, situated in the handsome Town Hall, and runs until January 2008.

The exhibition covers all of West Dunbartonshire, stretching from just outside Glasgow to the banks of Loch Lomond, taking in Clydebank, the Vale of Leven and Dumbarton an area which, in Victorian times, was dominated by industries such as shipbuilding, marine engineering, glass-making and fabric printing and dyeing.

The show is divided into five main themes, covering all aspects of Victorian life. "Trade and Empire" uses some of the finest pieces from the museum's collections to highlight the contribution made by local industries to the economy of the nation, including glassware and deluxe sewing machines from the famous Clyde-bank Singer factory. A recreated Victorian chemist's shop is lined with shelves of jars of ingredients for pills and potions, plus a giant mortar and pestle for mixing them up, and an original handwritten book of chemists' recipes.

The "Crime and Punishment" room, which highlights the plight of starving children who were jailed for stealing food, features a cell with a hammock bed and a life-size model of a prisoner.

As well as objects, the exhibition uses original costumes and photographs from an archive of almost 30,000 images to tell the story of Victorian times in West Dunbartonshire.

Schools' workshops, aimed at P6-7 pupils, will run three days a week throughout the exhibition with free buses laid on for schools in the council's area.

Clydebank Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday T 01389 772011; www.wdcweb.infoculture

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