A collection of curiosities on show at Auld Kirk Museum

Councillor Billy Hendry with Esmee Thompson-Smith and Irene McCafferty of the Auld Kirk Museum
Councillor Billy Hendry with Esmee Thompson-Smith and Irene McCafferty of the Auld Kirk Museum

Take a step back in time at Auld Kirk Museum in Kirkintilloch and marvel at the ingenuity (or folly) of inventors of bygone years.

A new exhibition entitled ‘Gadgets’, which runs until August 22, will feature a collection of more than 150 weird and wonderful contraptions from the past.

Items include a 1930s wrist direction finder, an early sat nav which dates to the 1930s, but which never took off due to the fact that there were so few cars on the road - and an intricately-designed clockwork teasmade from 1902.

While many items capture the inventive spirit of industrial age entrepreneurs, others were consigned to the scrapheap of history. These include a chewing gum necklace holder from 1898 and a two person vacuum cleaner which dates back to the year that Titanic launched, 1912.

The items are from an acclaimed collection belonging to Maurice Collins, an author, who has spent more than 40 years amassing curious contraptions from antiques dealers and, more recently, eBay. His collection has previously been exhibited at the British Library in London.

Sandy Marshall, chairman of East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust, said: “We are delighted to welcome this collection to Auld Kirk museum. It offers a fascinating insight into how people from bygone times viewed the future. It is interesting to see which of these inventions were precursors to modern versions and which remain as historical oddities.”

Councillor Billy Hendry, convener of the Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets Committee, added: “We are proud of the calibre of exhibitions we are able to attract to our cultural venues, but this one is particularly interesting.

“Gadgets have an enduring appeal to both young and old and I would thoroughly recommend whiling away an hour or two browsing this engaging show.

“This exhibition runs throughout the summer which will allow everyone an opportunity to come and view these unique gadgets.”

Entry to the exhibition at Auld Kirk Museum in Cowgate is free, it is open on Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm.

There is a small car park behind the museum which can be accessed via Peel Brae and additional parking is available behind the William Patrick Library on West High Street.