A look at UK Prison museums

I thought it might be nice to cast a spotlight on some of the UK's Prison Museums, for those who might have forgotten that crime doesn't pay.  This week we look at Inverarary  Jail. Location in Argyll and Bute. Inveraray Jail, in Inveraray, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, is a 19th-century prison and courthouse. In use as a prison from 1820 to 1889, the building is now a living museum. It is a category A listed building.
 
Designed by James Gillespie Graham (1776–1855) in 1813 after original plans by Robert Reid in 1807. The original plans had called for a courthouse and three prisons, one for males, one for females and one for debtors. The ground obtained was sufficient for such an ambitious plan, but the finance was not and the Prison Commissioners had to be content with only one prison.
 
Both the courthouse and prisons opened in 1820. The courtroom, on the first floor, has a semicircle of large windows giving a magnificent view overlooking the prison yard and, beyond, across Loch Fyne. The two-storied prison has three-foot-thick walls of massive rough hewn red stone and originally contained cells on both floors, eight in total. A third of the ground floor was occupied by a day-room which was lit, like the cells, by narrow, unglazed windows. The Prisons (Scotland) Act 1839 brought about many changes, including the separation of prisoners.
 
A second prison was finally built on the spare ground, opening in the closing days of 1848. Designed by Thomas Brown of Edinburgh, the new prison consisted of twelve cells on three floors with an exercising gallery at the top. A pair of outdoor exercise yards were also built, separated from each other by a wall. Prisoners were not allowed to fraternize. The separate system was designed to give them time to reflect upon their sins.
 
Interior of Inverary Jail cell
The Prisons (Scotland) Act 1877 heralded another major change in the administration of prisons. Local authorities would no longer have the responsibility of running and financing prisons; the Government was taking control. Large prisons were built in the center of population. Barlinnie in Glasgow opened in 1882 and small local prisons in the West of Scotland began to close. Inveraray would be the last. On 20 July 1889 readers of the Argyllshire Herald were informed that "the prison of Inveraray will be closed on 31st August".
 
Despite changes to the prison system, the court was still sitting, continuing until 1954, with a little activity since then. On several occasions the premises have come near to being abandoned, especially when it was necessary to spend money on repairs. In the 1980s extensive restoration was undertaken by the Scottish Office, but then all plans fell through and the building lay empty. In May 1989, Inveraray Jail was reopened as a privately owned tourist attraction, re-enacting the trials and the life of the inmates of the 19th century.
 
 
 

Fire & Police Museum in Sheffield

While the digital version of the first Teen Cops book seems to be selling well on lin, I am still keen to promote the paperback. Over the past few weeks I have been speaking to book stores to gain their support and also the Fire & Police Museum in Sheffield. This is an interesting venue and hopefully they will commit to supporting the book. 
 
Sheffield Fire and Police Museum opened on 8 May 1984. A notable feature is the only remaining Fire Brigade observation tower in the UK. The collection covers law and order, and social history.

News for the week

I usually update my home page with a feature on a new police based movie, but because the Robocop feature looks so good (even if I say so myself) I'll leave this up for another week. 

 

I have been busy editing the new story, which does seem to be never ending and this should be ready for an initial e book publication in 2 or 3 weeks. It will be loaded to smashwords.com initially as this site seems to generate the most interest. Illustrations will be added at a later date.

 

As part of my day job where I work as a marketing consultant for tourist attractions, I recently visited the World Travel Market event in London to speak to the PR company for Washington State. I am hoping to organise a trip to WA, so I can fully appreciate the region and try to gain local support to promote the book state side.

The Clink Restaurants

I recently watched an interesting TV documentary about The Clink Restaurant and I think this worthy idea deserves great credit. Here's a little information taken from their website http://theclinkrestaurant.com/
 
The Clink Charity
The aim of The Clink Charity is to reduce re-offending rates of ex-offenders by training and placing graduates upon their release into the hospitality industry. The charity represents a genuine opportunity for change, offering prisoners the chance to gain food preparation, food service and cleaning qualifications as well as experience within an exciting, operational business and in-depth guidance to find full-time employment within the hospitality industry upon release. The Clink Charity operates the Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down and HMP Cardiff in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service. The Clink Charity is in the process of rolling out this concept in other UK prisons.
 
The Clink Charity operates the Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down and HMP Cardiff in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service. The Clink Charity is in the process of rolling out this concept in other UK prisons and has just confirmed a new site at HMP Brixton to be launched in 2014.
 
If you get a chance why not book a table to help support the cause.

New Book

It would be great to say that I've finished editing book two, but sadly not as this is going to take at least another 3 or 4 weeks. I know I'm a perfectionist, but if it's not right then it's not right. The new book is currently over 350 pages long, plus illustrations (if I decide to have any) with multi story lines and I hope it's not too long for the teen reader. 
 
This is the life I chose, so no complaints from me and I'll keep everyone posted on developments.
 
For now here's another funny cop arrest photo for you to enjoy.

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