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The Smuggling Trade

This exhibition was researched and prepared by historian and author Frances Wilkins.  It explores the story of smuggling in the Solway and its impact on the local economy and the lives of the townspeople of Dumfries.

In the eighteenth century high duties were charged on basic commodities like tea and even salt. There was an extensive smuggling trade supplying people along the coast and also some distance inland with these goods, duty free. This smuggling trade was highly organised. It involved a complete cross-section of the community, from the suppliers to the customers, who included the poorest and the richest people in the area.

The Smuggling Trade exhibition reveals which goods were smuggled, the identity of the merchants on the Isle of Man who dealt in them, the boats that transported the goods and the people who waited on the beach to provide onward transport.  It also examines the customers, who encouraged the trade and the revenue officers who attempted to stop smuggling.

Visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity to see "Landscape Medley", a stunning collection of photographs of south west Scotland taken by Frances Wilkins.

This exhibition of photographs includes familiar locations such as Caerlaverock Castle and the bridges over the River Nith at Dumfries.  It also focuses on themes such as dawn and sunset in the hills, light from behind black storm clouds reflected on the sea, water in falls and rapids and low sun on ice.

Dumfries Museum is open from 10am – 5pm Monday – Saturday, 2pm – 5pm Sunday until Saturday 30 September.  From Sunday 1 October opening hours are 10am – 1pm, 2pm – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday.  Please telephone 01387 253374 for further information.