Sunday, 25 September 2016

Doors Open Edinburgh

What a great day it was to be out and about in Edinburgh on Saturday! I started my day visiting the Anatomical Museum at the University of Edinburgh. Sadly this museum is only open one Saturday per month. 

This photo shows the dissection theatre where students can watch dissections taking place. 

The museum has a collection of skulls, including the skulls of Robert Burns and William Burke. Burke's skull was in an area where photography was not allowed. 

The main museum was upstairs and photos were not allowed. It was fascinating to see the collection of death masks and the skeleton of William Burke. He really was a short little man. 

From the University, I headed over to the Museum of Fire. It was wonderful to see the kids taking and interest in the old trucks, speaking to the retired firemen, dressing up and climbing on the displays. 

There is a replica of the close where the Great Fire of Edinburgh started in 1824. The fire destroyed 50 buildings and left 300 people homeless. There is a definite sadness that this jewel of Edinburgh's history is at risk of closing. The museum is the site of Edinburgh's first fire brigade and the history that goes with that should be preserved for the future. Please take the time to sign the petition to save this precious piece of history. 

After the Fire Museum I was off to Leith to visit Trinity House. This is the home for the headquarters of the Incorporation of Masters and Mariners. This started out providing benevolence to poor retired seamen, but was quickly sanctioned by the Queen, who then made it a governing body for qualifying mariners. 

 Trinity House

 Part of the original building 

 The Dolphin was a training ship

 Memorial window pays tribute to those who lost their lives to the sea

Model of the Cutty Sark

 Model of a gun ship

Mail room

After leaving Trinity House I walked to the shore. The plan was to visit Custom House. 

 Dazzle Ship

 Merchant Navy Memorial

Custom House was a disappointment. The advertising for Doors Open was that this was the first time the building was to be open after a generation. However, the gimmick was simply advertising for fundraising for Historic Scotland. There were some market stalls and loads of big airy empty rooms. Absolutely nothing about the history of the building - which might have actually led to people understanding WHY they should donate to save the building. 

After walking my feet to the bone, I enjoyed a scrumptious lunch at Fishers. 

Then it was back to the hotel to sit with my feet up and read through all of the leaflets I had picked up along the way. 

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