TSB to close Savings Bank Museum in Ruthwell

TSB has announced plans to close a museum at the site of the world’s first savings bank in Ruthwell.

The bank intends to transfer the contents of the Savings Bank Museum to its HQ, Henry Duncan House, in Edinburgh.

Minister Henry Duncan established his “penny bank” for parishioners in Ruthwell in the south of Scotland in 1810.

MP David Mundell has called on TSB to retain the museum and visitor centre and said that the transfer of the museum’s contents would be a blow for the area.

He said the museum represented an important part of the area’s heritage. He said: “At the very least the TSB should review this decision and every option to retain the museum in its true home should be explored.

Mr Mundell has contacted the bank to try to halt the “misguided” move. He added: “The Savings Bank Museum represents not just a hugely important part of our local history, it is a tourist attraction with a potential that has not been fully realised.”

Mr Mundell said the move ignored the local connections of Rev Duncan’s story and would also affect two members of staff. He said it would be an “unpopular decision” in the area which he hoped there was still time to stop, BBC News reports.

A TSB spokesperson said: “The museum in Ruthwell was closed last year because of lockdown and TSB is creating a new exhibition in our Edinburgh head office, Henry Duncan House.

“The Henry Duncan story is a proud part of TSB’s history, and by having these items on display in our head office in central Edinburgh we believe more people and colleagues will be able hear and learn about his significant contribution to Scotland.”

The bank added that the museum had a “relatively small” number of visitors and that talks would be held with local partners to see if items that were of more local interest could remain in the area.


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