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Oban War & Peace Museum

The only museum in this Argyll & Bute town, the Oban War & Peace Museum is located on the ground floor of the former Oban Times newspaper building on the Corran Esplanade. It explores local history, with a particular focus on the military history of the area. Packed with fascinating displays and memorabilia relating to Oban as a fishing port, communications hub, holiday resort and military base, the museum is run by an enthusiastic group of volunteers and open from March until October. Oban is documented from prehistoric times to the present day. Items of cultural interest include the projector from Oban's first cinema and a painted board illustrating the ship's of the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry fleet, reflecting the town's role as a ferry port serving the Inner Hebrides and Western Isles, together with information on the building of landmarks like McCaig's Tower and Hutcheson's Monument, and the failed development of the Oban Hydropathic Sanatorium on Oban Hill. The social history of the town as a ferry port and railway terminus is no surprise, but few may know of its connections with the first transatlantic telephone cable (TAT-1) which was brought ashore at nearby Gallanach in 1956.

The history of the flying boat base which operated from Ardantrive Bay and Ganavan Bay during World War II forms a significant part of the exhibition, dominated by a one-eighth scale model of a Short Sunderland flying boat which hangs from the ceiling. Further displays describe Oban's role as an assembly point for Arctic convoys in 1942. Space also is given to remember local people who have been killed in conflicts from the Boer War to the present day.

Oban War & Peace Museum has its origins in a temporary exhibition, Oban at War, mounted by the community in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. This proved so popular that it was decided to make it permanent, adopting a new name to reflect a broader remit in 1996. The museum occupied various rented premises, including the Old Waiting Room on the North Pier, until the trustees were able to purchase the ground floor of the Oban Times building in 2004. After two years of refurbishment and organising the exhibits, the museum opened its doors to the public in March 2006. It operates as a charitable company, managed by a board of volunteer directors.

The B-listed Oban Times Building dates from 1883 and was by the local architect J. Fraser Sim.

In 2011, HRH The Princess Royal visited and presented the museum with The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of the efforts of its volunteers in working for their local community and for the benefit of others.


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