History of the Heritage Centre
In April 1983, a dedicated band of local enthusiasts took the first steps to ensuring that the history of Montrose Air Station would continue for generations to come. They recognised the significance of the site for aviation and military enthusiasts and the wider community. One of them, Ian McIntosh, established the Montrose Air Station Museum Trust, which later became the Ian McIntosh Memorial Trust
It is unlikely that even in their wildest dreams they would have seen it become the important and respected museum it is today.
In 1992, the Trust took the momentous step of purchasing the former Watch Office and ground to become the Montrose Air Station Museum. The Society took its place as the fund-raising arm of the museum. The exhibits included artefacts and photographs which have been donated by many of the service men and women who served at Montrose and their families.
As the museum became more established, its grounds were extended and more buildings added. In 2005/6, a Nissen workshop and a Romney building were erected. The following 10 years saw more buildings and exhibits added which has improved the visitor experience.
The trust purchased a former Mechanised Transport Hut (MT Hut) from the council as it was in a derelict state and would not have survived much longer. This building, adjacent to the main HQ building, dates back to 1917 and can be seen in some of the archive photographs.
Volunteers were able to renovate it and it was formally opened on 5th May 2012. It now houses our reception, shop and forties room. Their impressive and dedicated work has received a Montrose Society Civic Award for ‘Excellence in Civic Design’.
The Heritage Centre is run entirely by its members. It is financially independent, relying on its income from shop sales, visitors and donations to stay open. Without the help of Angus Council, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and other benefactors, it would have been impossible for the Heritage Centre to expand and grow to the extent it has.
Even though it is run by volunteers, the Heritage Centre is a fully accredited museum, having gone has gone through the same accreditation process as any other professional museum. Volunteers have received training from a museum professional in how to archive and preserve the many artefacts, documents and photographs in its care.
– Sue Payne giving a training session to volunteers
The Queens Award For Voluntary Service
In 2014 its volunteers were awarded the ‘Queens Award for Voluntary Service’. This is the highest award in the UK for voluntary groups and is equivalent to an MBE.
The Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Mrs Georgiana Osborne, presented the award to the volunteers on behalf of the Queen.