On a dreich weekend in June I joined a few friends in Alford, Aberdeenshire. We were supposed to be camping at Woolfest in the Lakes but a lingering illness and torrential rain encouraged us to opt for a watertight cottage instead. Whilst there I discovered the Alford Heritage Centre. This is a museum like no other. An eclectic collection of 'stuff' from by gone years, the museum harks back to Victorian days when row after row of interesting objects were crammed alongside each other, vying for your attention. In some ways the centre is desperately in need of funding and refurbishment - goodness knows what conservation issues may be lurking. But I fear that any such intrusion would force the museum to let go of its unique character. There are no barriers, minimal interpretation, no 'enablers' to enable children to understand what they are seeing. Instead it is a visual feast that allows you to explore in your own time and in your own way. Enough talking, here come some pictures!
The Centre charges a very small entrance fee and is run entirely by volunteers. If you are in Alford for the weekend, you can also check out the Grampian Transport Museum, Alford Valley Railway and Haughton Country Park. The town also has lovely independent cafes and shops, and a fantastic haberdashers.