Here at Home of Metal in Birmingham we are very interested in the way other towns celebrate their pop music heritage. We always pay close attention when we find examples of this activity on our travels.
The sleepy market town of Kirriemuir, Angus, Scotland is very proud of its famous sons. JM Barrie, author of Peter Pan grew up in the town and remained loyal to his home during his fame through various philanthropic gestures such as building a cricket pavilion with a superb camera obsura in the roof. Barrie is widely celebrated – tributes include a statue of his ever youthful creation outside the gateway to The Glens museum in the centre of the town. Other notable sons are mountineer Hugo Munro and pioneer of many fields, Sir Charles Lyall.
The museum also has a permanent display of items associated with a more recent famous former inhabitant.
Bon Scott, singer with AC DC until his death in 1980, left Kirriemuir aged 6 but the town enjoys celebrating its connection with one of the worlds biggest rock bands and
the visitors this association attracts.
A collection of memorabilla donated by fans, a commemorative stone, in this picture specially cleared of snow for Home of Metal, and regular Bon Scott associated music events bring visitors from far and wide. The staff at the museum were able to evidence this by referring to their records of visitor numbers on the weekends when Bon Scott events have taken place.
Colin Easton, Gateway to the Glens Museum curator told us: “The Gateway is a small museum, with modest visitor numbers, so a few extra visitors can produce a notable increase in our annual statistics. However, I certainly think that the level of interest in heavy metal is such that a larger exhibition could be justified. I know that the Kelvingrove in Glasgow are considering an AC/DC exhibition next year, due to the Scottish origins of several members of the band. Our modest Kirriemuir display, and the annual music weekend, has boosted awareness of us among AC/DC fans in Australia.”
It seems that despite his wild man reputation and manner of death, the people of Kirriemuir and the curators of the Gateway to the Glens museum understand the value of claiming Bon Scott as one of theirs.