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Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum
156 High St
Biggar, ML12 6DH

Biggar Museum Trust SCIO, a registered charity in Scotland. Charity number: SC003695

Tel: 01899 221 050 Support Us

How It All Began

Due to the vision, single-mindedness and energy of one man, a museum of historic Biggar shops was opened to the public for the first time in 1968.  That man was Brian Lambie, (1930 – 2014) a town shopkeeper with a passion to preserve the past.  Described by Magnus Magnusson as ‘the man who collected his town’, Brian was a hoarder but one with an ability to recognise the value in what others deemed worthless.  He rescued items from skips and bonfires, including a cheque signed by Sir Walter Scott, an antique bed, farm machinery, paper bags and packets of soap powder.

Brian’s father was John Lambie, the ironmonger and Brian started his working life in the shop in 1946. All the items he collected were stored in his garage and the store behind the shop. In 1964, work began on converting the store into a museum of re-created historic shops.  Gladstone Court Museum was opened four years later and it is this that now makes up just part of the displays in Biggar Museum.

Opening of the original Gladstone Court Museum in 1968. Pictured: Hugh MacDiarmid (centre, standing) and Brian Lambie (right)

Author: Elaine Edwards
Date: 26th Jul 2021 Back to Blog
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