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Dumfries on the Nith

Brief snapshots of industries and attractions in the Dumfries area

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This film features Dumfries on the River Nith with children swimming in the water; brief shots of cargo unloading from a ship in dock; street scene; a Condensed Milk Factory - delivery lorry with milk urns; woman holding up can of Carnation Milk; Tweed Mills; "Harrison's Mart"; "Thomson & Laurie Royal Auction Mart"; the Homes of Burns (Robert Burns' House – Ellisland), Haunts of Burns, the ruins of Lincluden College, the Globe Inn, St Michael's Churchyard and Robert Burns’ grave.

Questions & Activities


  • Why is the water level so low?
  • What is the Nith?
  • What is tidal river and how does it work?
  • Why are so many Scottish towns built on rivers.
  • What are the pros and cons of building towns by rivers?
  • What was condensced milk and how was it used?
  • What is the ruined Abbey and why was it ruined?
  • What is Robert Burns' connection to Dumfries?
  • What other places are associated with Burns?
  • What is significant about the Globe Inn?


Food / Health and Wellbeing: Create a recipe using condensced milk.

Media Studies: Using this and other films about Dumfries, create a new film about the history of Dumfries.

Media Studies: Make your own new film about Dumfries. Storyboard what you are going to film first considering what places and sights you think would be approporiate to record.

History / English: Visit your local graveyard and note down the stories on the stones. Choose a particular name and write a story of the life of that person.

History / English: Research the Burns family tree. Look at Robert Burns more famous work and write your own poem.

Art and Design: Paint a picture of your town.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-475-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 5557
Date 1955
Genre Documentary
School Subject Media Studies, History, Health and Wellbeing, Art and Design, Geography, Environmental Studies
Subject Matter Food
Where Dumfries
Attributes Black and White, Silent
Clip Length 5:01
Film Length 05:01