Devil’s Porridge aims to make a stir in groups market

A museum on the Scotland-England border is celebrating after retaining its five-star accreditation from VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance scheme.

The top accolade has been given to the Devil’s Porridge attraction in Eastriggs, near Annan.

It is the only five-star accredited museum in south west Scotland and hopes the award will help its drive to attract more group visitors.

The museum also aims to join the Coach Tourism Association to raise awareness about its offering to group travel organisers.

Devil’s Porridge Museum tells the story of 30,000 workers – including 12,000 women – who produced munitions for the troops during the First World War.

The name ‘Devil’s Porridge’ describes the volatile and highly dangerous mixture the women ‘cooked up’ at HM Factory Gretna.

Earlier this year, the museum opened an exhibition called The Solway Military Coast, which explores the military significance of the Solway Coast during the Second World War, and the part played by the region in the Cold War race to develop nuclear weapons.

Paula Ward, VisitScotland regional director, said: “Congratulations to The Devil’s Porridge Museum on the retention of their Five-Star QA award. VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance (QA) schemes are world-leading and provide a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors.”

Richard Brodie, museum chairman, added: “The enthusiasm and passion our volunteers have for this story ensures that we deliver a first-class visitor experience.

“The volunteers, through their storytelling techniques, will immediately ignite the imagination and help visitors visualise what it was like to live and work here.”

• The museum is promoting itself to the travel trade with Lynda McDairmant, who has established a marketing and communications consultancy called Tell Tale Marketing.

Previously Lynda Denton, she has worked in tourism and hospitality for 25 years, most recently spending 19 years with Gretna Green Ltd.