AE Truckell & James Williams 1965

Dumfries Museum's curator AE Truckell pictured with James Williams in 1965.   Alfred Edgar Truckell (Alf) was born in 1919 at Barrow-in-Furness, and attended primary school at Noblehill, and later Dumfries Academy.  After leaving school he worked at Dinwiddie's printworks before joining the Town Clerk's office as a junior clerk in 1937.  With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 he served in various locations in Britain before being sent overseas in 1942.   After the war Alf returned to work in the Town Clerk's office and began indexing Town Council and Committee Minutes, a task neglected since the early 1920s.  In 1948 Alf's talent for local history was recognised and he was appointed Curator of Dumfries Museum.  He soon developed his encyclopaedic breadth of knowledge of natural history, archaeology, history and folklore.  He became a personal member of many learned societies providing the museum with the core of an operating specialist library.  He was awarded the Diploma of the Museums Association in 1952, showing his dedication to the profession from the start.   Alf increased visitor figures to the museum, took on the display and curatorship of the Old Bridge House as a museum of domestic life in Dumfries and started a museum in Annan.  He acquired thousands of objects for the collections, including several sandstone slabs bearing the fossilised footprints of primitive reptiles which pre-dated the dinosaurs, one of which is a type specimen named after him.  He had a particular interest in education, encouraging school visits to the museum as well as to local sites, and was awarded an MBE for his services to learning on 1st January, 1970.  Alf had huge energy and enthusiasm, and continues to be fondly remembered by locals, visitors and the museum profession alike.   The legacy of his work at Dumfries Museum is evident in the collections he amassed until he retired in 1982.  He continued to research and support work on local history right up to his death in 2007.    
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002 James Williams with AET, 1965
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