‘The Yellow Door’ is a Victorian industrial building on Queen Street in Dumfries. Eighteenth century and earlier buildings on the site were extended and converted to a shop and warehouse in the nineteenth century. The building has been used as a pianoforte warehouse and sheet music shop, and also for the curing of hams (for which Galloway was noted) and as a ‘cheese and provision warehouse’.
By the 1880s the building was in use as a bakehouse by Thomson Brothers, bakers, of Glasgow. Thomson Brothers had their main Dumfries bakehouse here until 1963, when William C Gill & Sons, wholesale stationers and paper merchants, moved here from premises in Old Union Street. Wm C Gill & Sons traded from their shop on Queen Street until 2008, by which time the building had become very dilapidated, and with the upper floors of the building providing a home to hundreds of feral pigeons.
Current plans to bring the building back into use have involved, initially, re-roofing of the building, and the restoration of the shop premises, which opened as an experimental pop-up gallery in December 2013 and January 2014, successfully showcasing local creative talent. A group of artists, designers, makers and writers from Dumfries and the surrounding area subsequently formed The Yellow Door Group, and launched a permanent shop and gallery in April 2014, in which to display and sell their work. This new space accommodates a vibrant programme of exhibitions, and small creative and literary workshops and events.
Further phases of renovation works will bring the long-derelict remainder of the building back into use, with the opening-up of the long-bricked-up window and pend openings at street level, and the creation of exciting and affordable ‘loft’ apartments and studio spaces for creative practitioners.