Its Time to Buy Back Our High Street


Musings Project Updates

A hunt for the history of 100 High Street

Following on from our call out last month for a documentary filmmaker, John Wallace has been commissioned to make a short film documenting The Stove and 100 High Street, as we continue to gather pace towards the grand opening this year.

John’s proposal to explore the relationship of the building to the town as it is transformed into an arts space for Dumfries has led him in search of old images of what has previously been 92 – 102 High Street, Dumfries and needs your help!

The property at 96-102 High Street has been home to a game dealer, a fireman, several milliners, David Coltart drapers, Reid’s Shoes, millworkers and an umbrella maker. More recently it housed First and Seconds Ladieswear before becoming Happit.

But hours of trawling old photo collections and online research have revealed only a few scant glimpses, the best in a 1956 film of Guid Nychburris day.

A still from and old Lyceum picturehouse feature on Guid Nychburris 1956. Watch it online here

“The front of the building kinks away from the rest of the High Street by about 15 degrees,” explains filmmaker John Wallace. “So, in all your classic postcard views of the Midsteeple from the English Street end it can’t be seen at all, while in views from the Midsteeple it’s hidden by Burtons or the coffee house that was there before”.

Can you help? If you have any photos of the High Street which feature The Stove building, please do get in touch with John (details below.)

MrsMcCarthy copy
Image thanks to Peter Quinn on the Old Dumfries facebook page

John is also keen to speak to people who have had a past connection to the building, were you a taxi driver when there was a rank outside the Stove? Have you worked or do you know anyone who worked in Reids, Coltarts, Happit or the First and Seconds? Did you live upstairs? If you have any stories or connections, please get in touch with John, either by phone 07720 710 934 or by email at


Stove and Regeneration

Lately we’ve been thinking a lot about The Stove as an opportunity to put our money where our mouths are in thinking about the society we live in. We’ve been inspired by the New Economics Foundation to think about the way we work, and crucially, invest in services and people locally.

The ‘leaky bucket’ – how easy it is for new investment in a place to be allowed to escape and lose its long term effect – from ‘Plugging the Leaks’ – New Economics Foundation

Money, like other aspects of life, has become controlled by distant organisations who, as the recent economic turmoil has demonstrated, do not necessarily have our best interests at heart. As the New Economics Foundation put it, our economies have become like ‘leaky buckets’, money that should be staying and circulating locally being sucked out to distant corporations and shareholders.  This all adds to our vulnerability in times of increasing uncertainty, rather than reducing it.

Local enterprises are more likely to employ local people, provide services to improve the local quality of life, spend money locally and so circulate wealth in the community, promote community cohesion and, by reducing transportation of goods from across communities, are likely to have a smaller environmental footprint.’

‘Plugging the Leaks’ – New Economics Foundation

Lets use the resources of The Stove to give the maximum effect in our local economy and society –  if you’ve got ideas about ways The Stove could be effective in assisting regeneration locally then please do get in touch