Police Museum reincarcerated after seven months' probation

By Culture24 Staff | 17 June 2009
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A picture of police uniforms inside a glass cabinet

Glasgow Police Museum (above) tells the 175-year story of The City of Glasgow Police

A museum bringing the story of Britain's oldest police force to life has re-opened seven months after it was forced to leave its home of eight years.

Glasgow Police Museum, the volunteer-run centre of more than 5,000 uniforms, badges and items of memorabilia from The City of Glasgow Police's 175-year history, has relocated to new premises in Bell Street, facing the old Fruit Market built on the site where the first Central Police Office stood between 1825 and 1906.

A picture of artefacts and uniforms inside glass cases

The Museum's new Bell Street site brings an end to seven months of limbo for the popular display

"It has been five months since work began to rebuild the Museum, but it has been worth it," said Curator Alastair Dinsmor, Chairman of Glasgow Police Heritage Society, who described initial locations suggested by the council as "fort apache" sites when he was given three weeks to vacate his archive's former Turnbull Street home in November 2008. "To have gone into storage would have been the end of the Museum."

A picture of police dummies and displays

Curator Alastair Dinsmor admitted the Museum almost disbanded

Organisers have "extensively refurbished" the first floor setting of the Museum, which contains dozens of new storyboards alongside giant wall cabinets showcasing whistles, hats, radios and pictures from the force, which disbanded in 1975. More than 55,000 people have visited the Museum since 2001, including almost 10,000 last year.

A picture of white police uniforms and medals in a glass box

The exhibition has drawn praise from Scottish tourism operators

"Without the commitment of the members, the museum would not exist," added Dinsmor. "Most of the volunteers are ex-police officers from the old force, and this adds to the experience of visitors. They gain much more when the history is augmented by the personal experiences of the Society members."

Open 10am-4.30pm Monday-Saturday (Tuesdays only from November 1 – March 31), 12pm-4.30pm Sunday. Admission free, group visits welcome, call 0141 552 1818 or visit the Museum online.

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