Dundee Heritage Trust is preparing to reopen its two industrial heritage museums a month apart.
It’s all aboard at Discovery Point from Monday April 26, with Verdant Works reopening the mill gates on Friday May 28.
The work is beginning to make sure both venues are part of the part of the Covid-19 secure “Good to Go” and new “Safe Travels” schemes, giving visitors and staff confidence in the safety of any visit.
Deirdre Robertson, CEO of Dundee Heritage Trust, says that throughout the months when the city’s prime heritage sites have been closed, the busy social media pages have had countless messages of support.
“Through our social media we know just how much the public has missed the opportunity to explore our venues. It has really kept us all going to see the lovely messages and the comments of those desperate to get the chance to come back – or for those who have been planning a visit to Dundee, to visit for the very first time.”
New outdoor cafe
The announcement that Discovery Point is to reopen comes not long after the 120th anniversary of the launch of the Discovery, which happened on March 21. There’s a chance to toast the ship however, with an alfresco cuppa at least.
With the success of the takeaway food carts that have operated during lockdown on the stretch of Riverside between Discovery Point and its neighbour V&A Dundee, Dundee Heritage will also unveil a new outdoor cafe, located in front of the museum. It will still serve takeaway, but there will also be a seating area where visitors can take in the view of the RRS Discovery and across the river.
Although its opening is delayed to a full month later, the award-winning Verdant Works will reopen with something of a blockbuster temporary exhibition, which runs through the summer until September 13.
The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry: The Stories of Scots Abroad will visit Dundee for the first time following a worldwide tour. The exhibition brings together artists and communities from 34 countries across the globe, with the tapestry exploring the numerous connections Scots have with the rest of the world.
Even though it will be displayed in the space of the 1833 High Mill Gallery, the tapestry is so vast that it needs to be shown in two parts.
The first, from May 28 will showcase Scottish links with the Americas, Canada and Europe. The section section, which will arrive in mid-June, will look at the rest of the UK, Africa, Australasia and Asia.
It’s been far too long without the buzz of people exploring and learning of the incredible stories of Dundee’s past.”
Deirdre Robertson, CEO of Dundee Heritage Trust
“We are particularly excited to bring the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry to the city for the very first time – and never has a tapestry’s theme been more appropriate!” adds Deirdre Robertson. “Scots still unable to travel abroad can come and vicariously enjoy the travels of their ancestors – not just once but over two quite different visits over the two parts.”
Deirdre adds that the reason for delaying the tapestry exhibition slightly is to coincide with the point that many visitors will have had at least their first Covid-19 vaccination and will be feeling more confident and ready to get out and see something new.
With ambitious plans to extend and renovate Discovery Point announced last year, Deirdre is keen to get visitors back in and take the city’s heritage experiences forward.
An exciting new initiative will reimagine the Discovery Point Antarctic museum, connecting the pioneering
history of the RRS Discovery with the contemporary global issues of climate change, the ocean environment and current Antarctic science. #WorldMetDay https://t.co/Idrtn6FM3V
— Discovery Point (@DiscoveryDundee) March 23, 2021
“I know I speak for everyone at Dundee Heritage Trust when I say we cannot wait to once again welcome visitors through our doors. It’s been far too long without the buzz of people exploring and learning of the incredible stories of Dundee’s past.”