Jedburgh Castle Jail

Popular attractions to reopen across the Scottish Borders

Live Borders’ museums, galleries and archives across the Borders will reopen to the public from Friday 1 April 2022 with a diverse and exciting programme of exhibitions and events.

After a two-year period of disruption, venues including the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum (Duns), Peebles Library, Museum and Gallery, Halliwell’s House Museum (Selkirk), Hawick Museum, and Borders Textile Towerhouse (Hawick) will welcome back – or have already welcomed back – visitors, many with new and improved facilities.

The award-winning Jim Clark Motorsport Museum, an interactive experience celebrating Clark’s life and career in both motorsport and farming, has already reopened (Tuesday 1 March). The museum will host a full programme of events over the coming months including a new photography exhibition – ‘Clark in the Lens’ – which features photography of Clark’s career through the camera of his friend and fellow Border farmer Eric Bryce. A Lotus 23, designed by Lotus in 1962 to compete in sports car racing, is another popular addition to the museum for the 2022 season.

Two exhibitions are also underway in Peebles, with ‘Quines: Poems and textiles in tribute to Women of Scotland’ and ‘In it Thegither’ opening at Peebles Library, Museum and Gallery on 26 February.

Quines, which celebrates and explores the richly diverse contribution women have made to Scottish history and society, is a unique collaboration between EDGE artists inspired by the poems of Gerda Stevenson. It runs until Sunday 15 May.

‘In it Thegither’, which closes on 22 May, features the work of artists Rosemary Campbell and Alison King who return with textiles, painting and mixed media on their favourite themes of landscape and still life.

From 1 April, two new exhibitions will launch at Halliwell’s House Museum in Selkirk showcasing the work of local designer Gerard Reilly (Guardian of Scotland Tartan) and artist Andy Moir (Momentum and Soul).

Momentum and Soul (1 April to 5 June) features new and exciting abstract work from Moir and represents a shift into new territory for the Selkirk artist. Hints of earlier landscape art and memories show themselves subliminally in this joyful, energising and liberating exhibition. In addition, three ‘walk and talk’ sessions will take place from the museum to the artist’s studio in The Haining to discuss and demonstrate studio practice.

The Guardian of Scotland Tartan exhibition (1 April – 31 October) features a new tartan designed and produced in Selkirk by Scotch Tweed owner, Gerald Reilly, to mark the occasion of William Wallace being proclaimed Guardian of Scotland. The tartan – which encompasses the colours of the Royal and Ancient Burgh of Selkirk, the Clan Wallace, and the Bruce tartan along with the St Andrew’s Saltire – will be on show alongside a film of the Selkirk Children’s Scottish Country Dancing Club performing to specially commissioned music.

In Hawick, Anne White’s ‘Voices of the Sea’ and ‘Scott & Charters – Quality Knitwear from Hawick since 1955: An Exhibition Catwalk’, open at Borders Textile Towerhouse from 1 April closing on 16 July and 27 August respectively.

White, who lives locally, is a self-taught artist. Inspired by family holidays going back to her childhood, much of her work focuses on seascapes using a variety of mediums and brush strokes to create textures which capture the changing mood of the sea. There is also an opportunity meet the artist, watch her at work and hear how she used different mediums and textures to create the paintings in her exhibition at free drop-in events on 7 May and 18 June.

‘Scott & Charters – Quality Knitwear from Hawick since 1955’ traces the history of the Hawick firm who have been making high-quality knitwear in the town for nearly 70 years, with illustrated story boards, fashion garments and items from the company history on display. Cashmere and other luxury knitwear fashion garments made by Scott & Charters will be displayed on mannequins on the catwalk.

Also in Hawick, ‘Elsewhere’, an exhibition of new paintings by Borders-based artist Gavin Wood, and ‘Hawick Camera Club Exhibition 2022’, open at Hawick Museum on 1 April.

‘Elsewhere’, which runs until the end of June, is a collection of work that explores repetition and difference through mark-making, colour, and composition. With strange structures undulating throughout each piece and colours oozing from beyond to stain each surface, ‘Elsewhere’ comes together to draw attention to that which resides somewhere else.

The Hawick Camera Club Exhibition – a unique exhibition of photographs that were taken under the Covid pandemic restrictions through a series of club challenges and personal projects – runs until the end of the season.

A ‘now and then’ slideshow focusing on Hawick’s heritage, comparing photographs of the town taken in the past with the present day, will also be shown, alongside a collection of historic cameras, photos and glass plate negatives going back to the Victorian era.

In addition to the new exhibitions and events, an Easter programme including easter egg trails and family-friendly workshops will run through April at Live Borders’ venues including Jedburgh Castle Jail (Vinnie the Vampire Easter Bunny Trail); Jim Clark Motorsport Museum (Jim’s Great Car Hunt and Start Your Engines); Coldstream Museum (Easter Egg Trail) and Hawick Museum and Halliwell’s House Museum, Selkirk (Cheeky Chicks Bird Feeders). The campaign is focused on helping children, young people and families reconnect and reengage with their local communities and the environment and provide opportunities to socialise.

Guided walks are also on offer from Sir Walter Scott’s Courtroom in Selkirk where visitors can learn the history behind the rolling hills and cobbled streets of the town.

Jane Hogg, Director of Cultural Services, Live Borders, said: “The prospect of reopening is hugely exciting after such a disruptive period. Live Borders’ museums and galleries play a significant role in our local and national regeneration recovery story post-Covid. By opening the doors and welcoming back visitors to see our inspiring collections and exhibitions, as well as encouraging them to take part in a range of activities, is an important part of that process and makes a positive contribution to our physical and mental health. Accessibility and inclusivity are also important to us, and for those who are unable to visit in person at this time, our teams will continue to work hard to make our collections available digitally.”

Fiona Colton, Museum, Galleries & Archive Manager, Live Borders, says: “Providing a safe and enjoyable experience is our priority, so visitors may notice a few changes in some venues such as an enhanced cleaning regime and alternative opening hours to those previously in operation which will help us put their safety, as well as the safety of our staff, first. Importantly, we are the same museums and galleries with a wonderfully eclectic programme of exhibitions and events – in addition to new and improved facilities including an expanded gift shop and Wi-Fi access at Jedburgh Castle Jail and a new audio guide at Mary Queen of Scots Visitor Centre – and we can’t wait to welcome visitors back.”

Live Borders five star attraction, The Great Tapestry of Scotland remains open to the public and details can be found here:

For more information about events and exhibitions taking place at Live Borders’ venues throughout 2022, including a comprehensive schedule, booking details and opening times: