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Playing the part of Janet Thomson, matron and wife of the first prison governor, Hanna’s role is to explain to visitors about life inside the bleak stone prison by the side of Loch Fyne in Inveraray, Argyll.

jail’s history is the number of people who were in who didn’t actually do the crimes, or were in for committing what we would regard today as minor offences which would only get a wrap on the knuckles these days.

“My favourite story is of the prisoner Elisa Thorpe, who I used to play, because she was wrongly imprisoned and ended up being released after she was found not guilty,” said Miss Nixon, who designs all of the costumes for the living history museum.

“There were an awful lot of people in here who simply didn’t need to be. If anything learning about the history of the jail lets us see how far we’ve come today in the way we deal with crime.”

“The most important thing about the

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At the County Court anyone from the surrounding area sentenced to prison or transportation would have

Profile for Scotland Correspondent

Scotland Correspondent issue 5