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Report - The Big Idea, Ayrshire - July 2009

Discussion in 'Leisure Sites' started by BenCooper, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. BenCooper

    BenCooper Mr Boombastic
    Regular User

    Aug 30, 2008
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    Tucked down at the end of the Ardeer peninsula, the Big Idea Centre was an interactive museum - a Milennium Project, it had capital funding for construction but no ongoing support and was expected to make all it's funding from visitors. That never happened - 120,000 visitors in the first year, 50,000 in the second were never going to keep the place running, and the much larger Glasgow Science Centre killed it off - it's been closed since 2003.


    I first went for a look at the beginning of January - it's not an easy place to get to, you have to skirt past several miles of live explosive factory. There's a footbridge which connects the centre to the mainland which visitors would have used for much easier access, but it's been left open to allow shipping through.


    I used all my most l33t ninja skills, even crawling through the ventilation shafts running far under the building, but there was no way in - and the happy blinking red lights of the alarm system meant that that wasn't going to be a good idea anyway. So I took some external shots and left.


    I'm not sure why I went back yesterday - perhaps a vague thought that I had missed something. Skirting the explosives factory and walking up to the centre, I turned the corner to almost walk into a big black Landrover. Oh oh. Well, I was there anyhow - no harm in asking. Walked up to the office door and knocked - and a big husky appeared on the other side of the glass and started barking madly. Double uh oh. Then his owner appeared. I explained myself, and asked if there was any chance of taking a few pictures inside the main building, expecting the usual Health and Safety excuses. "No problem - I'll just turn off the alarm and put some lights on for you"!

    So, obviously, this is a with-permission visit, thanks to the very friendly person in charge. I didn't have all that much time as he had to go off, but I think I covered the major areas...

    3763674834_c80bfd25e0.jpg 3763689174_5c33406db2.jpg







    There's a huge amount on the Nobel factory - loads and loads of old photographs, interactive exhibits, old items and tucked away in a storeroom a really cool model of a Nitroglycerine plant.








    Lesson of the day: you feel a bit of a tit trying to sneak in when all you have to do is ask :)

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