The Washing Line Project

The Washing Line Project was a pilot community arts project as part of the Big Burns Supper Festival 2017.

The project reached out to residents of Dumfries aged 65 and over, and invited them to meet our team and share their memories of growing up in ‘Old Dumfries’, and the surrounding area.

During the festival, we installed a 394m Washing Line along Dumfries High Street to highlight the words our contributors used to describe Dumfries.

We also installed 7 sound clips in Dumfries closes that ran for the duration of the festival. These installations will be continued for years to come, to encourage Dumfries to look back and listen to those who lived in its past.

Want to re-live our sound installation? Shut your eyes and head up a close now.

Their stories were collected by the project leader, Rachael McDougall (pictured), and our Associate Artist Megan Milligan.

Music was sourced by Angie Briggs and recordings were processed by Rory Cavanagh, with special thanks to the staff at the Dumfries Day Centre.

Our contributors came from several nursing homes in Dumfries, the Dumfries Day Centre, Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary and a number of individual interviews.


The archive below is a collection of some of the heartfelt stories recorded by the team, describing the rural and town centre experiences of growing up in Dumfries.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and sponsored by SP Energy Networks.