Support Us

Norway House

At the beginning of the month, The Stove turned into Norway House as part of a project with research and design collective Lateral North. Over the course of three days, the Stove turned into a temporary house exploring Dumfries’ Norwegian Connection.


Norway House at the Stove became a place for exchange and conversation, for storytelling and remembering.

We had a lot of people coming in who remembered the excitement of the Norwegians arriving from when they were children of 7 or 8.  That they would sometimes offer lift to the kids on their way back to where they were staying, which was various places around Dumfries but mostly the Troqueer Mills, there was a farm on the outskirts of Dumfries towards Lincluden, where the horses were kept.

We had a lady come in whose husband had lived in a house at address at 7 Nellieville Terrace when he was a boy and whose front room was used as the Norwegian Bank.  He remembers the King visiting his home and often talked about the Norwegians visit,  They had wanted to record or share his memories before he died but never managed it, I will now pass her detail onto Beverly Thom, who is writing a book of these stories so that it can hopefully be recorded.

The manager of the Greyston Rovers come in, they have been playing Norway regularly since 1951 when they were the first team to go play in Europe after the end of the war, keeping up the connection.

Norway House is part of an ongoing project, Cultural Wayfinding which looks at alternative ways of looking at and explore Dumfries’ culture and history, and hopes to build new connections with Norway into the future.

If you would like to stay in touch with the project as it develops, or would like to add your story to our growing Norway House project, please get in touch with [email protected]

Supported by:

Musings News Project Updates

Reclaim The High Street – Sign Language


It’s interesting how obsessions grow. A current obsession is for signs, hand-painted and home grown. We’ve been holding onto our sign-free frontage, The Stove as under new management and a growing, changing space in the town.


The face of our high streets and high street signage has of course changed dramatically, with the introduction of mass-produced, nationwide branding and the loss of independant retailers bringing a change to the landscape and language of our streets.

Photo 08-06-2015 00 56 23
Even RS McColl’s had nice signs at one point! (Look closely)
mobstr 1
My Product Will Enrich Your Status In Life from Mobstr

Also popping up in our social media stream this week has been the phenomena of ‘ghost-signs‘: the remenants of old signs, shops, businesses and brands, gone and almost forgotten within our urban landscapes. At first thought we couldn’t place too many in the Dumfries-scape, but on closer inspection are starting to see them cropping up around town:

This one on Buccleuch Street, double layered signs? Anyone with any notions of what these signs may have been, or any other good sites around the town please get in touch!

Where are we going with this? That is of course, all to be revealed. Guid Nychburris Day is fast approaching, and over the next week the town will be gearing up for the annual festivites on the 20th of June.

We will be holding a hands-on sign-themed event and workshop during our first Saturday Drop-In, so drop by between 12 noon and 4pm on Guid Nychburris Day and get involved! It will be suitable for all ages and abilities and free to participate!

Keep an eye on our events calendar for more details here

kid acne 1
You Couldn’t Make It Up from KidAcne

Rajasthan Drops-In

photo Graeme Robertson

Every Tuesday at The Stove is Drop-In day…..yesterday we had some very special visitors all the way from India – the Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band no less. The band were in the region courtesy of our pals at DG Arts Festival who asked if they could come and hang out with the Stove for an afternoon and run a workshop in the evening

Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band outside The Stove
Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band outside The Stove – photo Brian Pritchard
Dumfries danced
Dumfries danced – photo Ellen Mitchell
and danced….some local salsa dancers came along and taught some steps to Bollywood tunes – photo Brian Pritchard
and danced....members of the local community from India saw an opportunity to break out their glad rags for the occasion
and danced….members of the local community from India saw an opportunity to break out their glad rags for the occasion – photo Ellen Mitchell
there was hooping
there was hooping – photo Brian Pritchard
there was chatting – photo Ellen Mitchell
there was balancing
there was balancing – photo Brian Pritchard
Watching Dumfropolis – photo Graeme Robertson
and the Young Stove discussed it all afterwards… photo Brian Pritchard

quite a day at The Stove….bring on some more….another Drop-In next week, are you coming?

Photos courtesy of Brian Pritchard, Ellen Mitchell and Graeme Robertson

Musings News Project Updates

Beyond Doubt Into Love

What would Dumfries say?

Sometimes things start small.

Thank you Lauren!!

Whilst working with the Young Stove to imagine what The Stove could be, this popped up. The Stove would really have quite a lot to say. What about the rest of the town? If the old buildings in Dumfries could speak, what would they say?

If the old brig would speak, what stories would it tell?

Would it shout loud, or whisper quietly to a neighbour? We thought it best to ask around.

Responses flooding in, and orange speech bubbles floating around town (what would Rabbie say, sat with his view of the High Street?), what places have the loudest voices? Voices started to come thick and fast, helped along by Herald Moxie and a band of merry Young Stovies.

Want to see more speech bubbles? A selection are available here

What speech bubbles could we stand up for? What voices could we wear?

There comes a time when it is good to call in an expert. Our expert on hand, was talented and patient printmaker and artist Sarah Keast. An island of calm amongst apparent chaos, the Stove was a ship sailing in a wild afternoon of frenzied t-shirt printing.

And still we printed on. We ran out of t-shirts, did a quick t-shirt run, printed more t-shirts and ran out of ink before the afternoon was through, printing nearly 140 t-shirts in four hours. The Young Stove showed themselves to be an unstoppable tide of creative energy.

Beyond Doubt Into Love may well be a t-shirt for a moment in time. One things for sure, they are a rare and precious commodity, created by our community, and if anyone has a large mens in the neon pink – we’ve had a request for one.

This is less of an end, and more of a beginning – keep an eye out for speech bubbles: once you start noticing them, they tend to pop up all over the place…


News Project Updates

HAME. 2nd-16th May 2015


By Gerard McKeever

It’s easy to forget just how extraordinarily important the places where we live are. They are our frame, our point of reference, a huge portion of the real detail of life. This capacity of the land to shape us takes on a special dimension when we have either lived somewhere for a very long time, or spent the early years of our life there. I was born in Upper Nithsdale and spent the best part of two decades in the area before leaving for the city. It is a familiar narrative: the draw of study, work and a faster pace of life. Yet as a creative person I am increasingly aware of the consequence of D&G in my thought processes, a language of place through which much of my work is communicated. Because of this, and because of a longstanding ambition to return to the region, Mark Lyken and Emma Dove’s recent Hame installation for The Stove Network resonated for me.

Perhaps one reasonable working definition of Art could be: a community talking to itself about itself. This was a fascinatingly literal instance of that process, with audio clips of people discussing their relationships contextualised against meditative imagery of the area. Seeing the places we know celebrated and examined in this fashion makes them more real and more vital. It is a process of validation through which both the bonds and the divides in our community are exposed. The installation made us question which voices were included and which were not – whose particular home was being offered a platform?


On a formal level, the piece made use of the suggestive space of 100 High St., succeeding in creating a feeling of audience participation through its non-linear looseness. At the risk of straining the point, wandering around the multiple levels of the installation captured something of the jagged, contingent nature of our existence in place. If and when the piece is transposed into a linear production it will be no doubt engaging but very different, precisely calibrated as it was to radiate from the town centre. Lyken and Dove took us through a mixture of voices that spoke with the random authority of community. From recollections of a previous era to the impressions of youth, for two weeks the Stove became an open archive of shared experience. Just as ‘hame’ doesn’t quite mean the same as ‘home’ to me, all the little details and nuances of life in D&G have a particular shading. It was this odd quality of rootedness that the installation did so well to elaborate. Fortunately, Hame was also too stylish to fall into the tourist information or museum exhibit traps which a piece of its nature must face.

The Stove is a commendable effort to further invigorate a growing community of creative people in and around Dumfries, and in doing so contribute to the salvage of the town centre. As one of the many young locals living elsewhere but with half an eye on home, I find projects like this encouraging. Alongside the growing number of music festivals in the region, the successes of Spring Fling and other arts events, D&G seems to be building towards a creative critical mass, a blossoming that is being noticed on a national level. Perhaps we don’t need to look so far away after all, if we have these things at hame.


Images © Colin Tennant


Under New Management

Our friends at Dumfries and Galloway Council joined in the #OpenHouse spirit at The Stove today and suggested a wee event to public event to officially sign over the lease of 100 High St to The Stove Network.

A genuine act of faith in looking for alternative futures for the town on behalf of our Council…fair play to them!

Signatories from left David Smith (Chair of The Stove Network), Alex Haswell (Director Community and Customer Services), Councillor Ted Thompson (Provost of Dumfries)
Signatories from left David Smith (Chair of The Stove Network), Alex Haswell (Director Community and Customer Services), Councillor Ted Thompson (Provost of Dumfries)
Skip to content