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What’s On » Past Exhibitions

These are some of the exhibition topics that our volunteers have created over the past 12 years.

John Syme’s Scrapbook 

John Syme’s Scrapbook: echoes of my years with Cupar Amateur Opera Company, 1923 to 1964.

John Syme was a member of Cupar Amateur Opera Company for 33 years. He took many principal parts in annual productions of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas. During his time as a member, he compiled a scrapbook including many programmes. The scrapbook was donated to Cupar Museum by his daughter, Mrs Caroline Lord. We are fortunate to have this record in our collection and to be able to share it with our visitors.

House Histories

One of the properties that will feature in our new exhibition on the history of houses and mansions in and around Cupar is Winthank House in Kirk Wynd, pictured here. Although well known as “the doctor’s house”, we explore the story of who was the original owner and who subsequently lived there before the doctors?

Visitors to the Museum will be able to view the history of other houses in the exhibition and we will be delighted to hear from anyone who has a connection or photograph of any of the properties featured.

If you think that your house has an interesting history, Cupar Heritage may be able to unravel the secrets of your home.

Royal Highland Show 

Before it settled at a permanent site, the Royal Highland Show moved around the country, but only came to Fife once, to Cupar in 1912. The centenary of this event was the subject of our first major exhibition. 

Notable Cuparians

One of our earliest displays featured people who have made their mark in various ways including James Wilson of Carskerdo, a signatory to the American Declaration of Independence and Vincenzo Lunardi whose pioneering balloon flight ended in a field just outside the town.

Bell Baxter School

Schools were always at the heart of the community, with a number coming together to form Bell Baxter, one of the most respected local institutions. We marked its 125th anniversary with a special display.

World War 1

We mounted a major exhibition in 2014 to show how the war affected Cupar on the home front and the battlefronts of France, Gallipoli and the little known East African conflict. The display also incorporated artefacts borrowed from the museum in Saint Menehould, Cupar’s twin town in France. A modified version of the exhibition was retained for the following year and remounted in 2018 along with display panels borrowed from the Royal Highland & Agricultural Society of Scotland that explored the theme of Work and War Horses.

Sugar Beet Factory

A number of beet sugar factories were built in Britain in response to acute shortages during the First World War, one was at Cupar. It became a major local industry with farmers also involved growing the beets. The annual ‘campaign’ when the harvest was delivered was a big event.


Many sporting endeavours including football, rugby, cricket, hockey, golf and motor sport featured in this exhibition in 2017.


Our big display in 2019 was based on a survey of Cupar shops prepared by Dr Lindsay Lennie. Featuring all of the principal retailers in the town, the topic proved of great interest to local people.

David Maitland Makgill Crichton

One of our ‘Notable Cuparians’, he also featured in a display when his statue beside the railway bridge was renovated. It was originally erected to recognise his success in persuading the railway company to install a bridge instead of a level crossing. 

Mills on the River Eden

Our display highlighted the mills that, for many years, either extracted water from the River Eden or used it as a source of power.

Aase Goldsmith

We exhibited a selection of pictures from our large collection of photographs taken by Aase in the late 1990s as part of a commission.

Cupar Parish Church 

The original Parish Church was erected in 1415 and we marked its 600th anniversary with a small display. Thankfully, when the main body of the church was rebuilt in 1785, the tower, the oldest building in Cupar, was left intact.

RAF Leuchars

Our collection of photographs of RAF Leuchars was showcased in 2015.