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Museum of Communication

Located at 131 High Street in the Fife town of Burntisland, the Museum of Communication occupies the two-storey former Burntisland Ex-Service Social Club building which faces down Kirkgate. Built in the 1970s, this sits rather incongruously between the Victorian tenements with their street-level shop fronts. The museum is dedicated to the history of communications technologies, with a vast collection which includes everything from an optical telegraph used in the Napoleonic Wars to telephones apparatus and exchanges, radio and television receiving, transmitting and studio equipment, radar, computing and military communications systems.

Managed by the Museum of Communication Foundation Trust, which was established in 1992, and run entirely by volunteers, the museum has its origins in a collection established in the 1970s by Harry Matthews, who was a technician in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. The collection outgrew university premises and was moved into storage in Bo'ness in 1987, with the hope that premises in which it could be displayed would be provided as part of an ambitious scheme to develop Bo'ness as a centre of heritage. Unfortunately this did not happen and new premises were sought. In 2003 the trustees were able to buy the building in Burntisland as a permanent home, which opened to the public in 2005.

The museum hosts a popular public lecture programme, arranges outreach activities for schools and colleges, while radio amateurs belonging to the Museum of Communication Amateur Radio Society broadcast around the world from the museum's premises.


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