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Restored Provosts' lamp on show at Stranraer Museum

A beautifully restored Victorian gas lamp, once a symbol of the Royal Burgh of Stranraer, is now on show at Stranraer Museum.

Before local government reorganisation in the 1970s Stranraer, like most other Scottish towns, was run by the Town Council under the leadership of the Provost. Each Provost had two gas lights on the pavement outside his - or in the very last case her - front door. Each ex-Provost had one light.

In 1975, when the Town Council was abolished, two of the lights were placed outside the Old Parish Church. When the church closed in 2004 it was suggested that the lights be moved to the front of the Town Kirk in London Road. Before this could be done, however, the lights required extensive repair.

For the last year Mr Archie Bell of Stranraer has been working to restore the lamps to their former glory. The top of one has had to be entirely rebuilt using the original thirty two curved pieces of copper, and the bottom half of the other has been completely rebuilt with new material. All the glass has been replaced and the painted crests traced from the one remaining original painted glass pane which is now in the Museum.

The lamp will be displayed at the Museum until 17 March. It is hoped that both lamps will be re-erected outside the Town Kirk during April.