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North-east museum plans to reveal new exhibitions to the public next year

Peterhead Prison Museum has been shortlisted for a major international tourism award.
Peterhead Prison Museum has been shortlisted for a major international tourism award.

Peterhead Prison Museum is on track to unveil a model steam train as its latest attraction.

It will be unveiled in Easter 2021 and aims to educate visitors about the train that once ran between the prison and a nearby quarry.

The museum was approached by the Westhill Men’s Shed, who are experts in building large model railway systems, to create the exhibit.

Operations manager at the prison museum, Alexander Geddes, said the model train was  of “a very high quality.”

Mr Geddes said: “There used to be a steam train that ran between the prison and the quarry.

“Every day it would take the prisoners the two-and-a-half miles to break huge granite boulders by hand.

“Those boulders were then taken back, encased by the admiralty team in huge concrete blocks, and the town’s breakwater as it stands today was built.”

The model will not only show visitors the admiralty yard, but also the old village of Burnhaven which was demolished “around the 1970s” as well as other key landmarks between Peterhead at the quarry at Boddam.

Mr Geddes said staff are “really excited about this one” and believe it will “appeal to a wide range of visitors.”

He added: “The train will actually operate, so you will see it leaving the admiralty yard, going up the railway line past all the key locations into the quarry, turning and coming down again.”

Pictured is the interior of the Peterhead Prison Museum. Picture by Darrell Benns.

The other exhibition area that’s opening next year will link to the quarry stones.

Mr Geddes said: “The stones weren’t only used to build the breakwater and other key locations in Peterhead.

“The base of the fountains at Trafalgar Square is Peterhead granite, as is the base of Tower Bridge, so it’s gone to many other parts of the UK and further afield.

“Again this will showcase the work in the quarry and where these stones actually ended up.”

By summer 2021, the Peterhead prison museum plan to have a picnic area with a play area for children open to the rear of the cafe.

The prison’s B Hall will also open up “sometime next year” as a space for events.

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