Success of David Livingstone Centre

The Motherwell Times of 5th February 1931, gave a remarkable insight into the success of the newly opened David Livingstone Centre’s first year. I quote,

“Over 51,000 people inspected the Scottish National Memorial to David Livingstone Biantyre last year (1930). The park there was used by 45 Sunday schools, 70 other church excursions, and 44 other organised parties, thus representing over 18,000 visitors. These figures are embodied in the report of the Memorial Trust, Ltd., which covers a period from the commencement of the memorial in 1926 (*this is a reporters error, which is corrected here by myself to 1929), until October 19, 1930.

The Memorial Committee has just been formed into a trust. It is pointed out that although the memorial and the grounds are now complete the scheme is not yet finished. The trust state that if attendance be taken as the test, the memorial already stands in friendly rivalry with Burns’s Cottage at Ayr. The aim of the committee has been, while making the place as interesting as possible, to preserve the simplicity and atmosphere of the old home, and they contend that, with the exception of the National War Memorial in Edinburgh, in probably no other shrine in the kingdom has the artistic appeal been so largely or so successfully used. The personal touch with the explorer is intensified by the varied collection of relics that has been gathered from many quarters, and the governors acknowledge all gifts and loans. Directing attention to the need for certain additions to the memorial, the report points out that of these the most clamant is for rain shelters. They also point to the necessity for increasing the play apparatus to satisfy the energy of the crowds in the summer months. An examination of the list of contributors shows that the movement has so far owed comparatively little to the generosity of large donors. The fund grew slowly through the inflow of a very great number of small contributions.”

At the time of writing this article, the centre is currently partly closed for renovation and upgrading, with an intention of returning the centre to one of Scotland’s top tourist destinations. It is currently open 4 days a week until September (Sat, Sun, Mom and Tuesdays). It is expected to be fully open again by 2018. Pictured is a postcard recently acquired by myself on an online auction site. The photo is likely 1930s.

1930s Livingstone Memorial

On social media:

Anne Mackie The Salvation Army Sunday School took us out here from Glasgow We thought it was wonderful Remember my Mum putting my baby brother David into the cradle in the museum xxxxx

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