Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of the Gairloch and District Heritage Company

27 June 2016

Gairloch HHigh School. 7.30 pm.

 

Present

Roy Macintyre; Pauline Butler; Jeremy Fenton; Rosalyn Goulding; Liz Forrest; Johnny Keene; Hugh Macintyre; Willie Macrae; Irene Macintyre; Alice Mackenzie; Dugald Macpherson; John Port; Marcus Simpson; Ben Thomas; Karen Thompson.

 

Apologies

Jack McCruden; Allan Templeton; Janet MacLean.

 

1. Conflicts of Interest

No potential conflict of interest was declared.

 

2. Minutes of the Board meeting 23 May 2016 & Matters Arising

These were agreed to be a correct record (proposed by Willie, seconded by Johnny).

Matters arising:

i)  Ben was welcomed to his first meeting as a co-opted member of the Board.

ii) We have yet to hear about Accreditation. (Note: confirmation of re-award of Full Accreditation received 30 June)

iii)We are now able to publicise our very welcome funding award from SSE.

 

3. Treasurer’s Report

Dugald reported that, after due consideration of the charges that would be incurred, he is of the view that there would be no advantage in setting up a second Bank account. He is able to account separately for development fund monies and general income/expenditure. The Board accepted his recommendation that we work with just the one Bank of Scotland account.

The 2015 accounts have been finalised and will be sent to Roy for signature. They will then be made available for use in eg funding applications.

 

4. Curator’s Report

Karen had circulated her Report covering Buildings and grounds; Admissions; Collection; Training; Exhibitions, events and outreach; Miscellaneous; Donations. Issues arising:

i)  The lighthouse lamp is not working consistently but should be fixed soon.

ii) She achieved 80% in her most recent Gaelic examination.

iii) She hoped some Board members would be able to help at the preview evening this Friday, 1 July.

iv) She will circulate the rota for our table at the Gairloch Highland Gathering (2 July).

 

5. Museums Association: Code of Ethics for Museums

The Board unanimously agreed to adopt the revised (2016) Museums Association Code of Ethics for Museums.

 

6. Museum development: updates and way forward

i)  Rosalyn presented her Report, and talked us through:- Fundraising; Audience development; Interpretation; Oral history; Training.

Further points arising:

- Karen will meet with Mark Feeny next week. He continues to make every effort on our behalf to engage potential funders

- the Radcliffe Foundation has awarded us almost £5,000 for conservation work on the collections and there is a possibility of applying to them for further funding over the next two years. We will be able to pay for professional conservation work, training for volunteers and, perhaps, the reconstruction of some of our displays for the new museum. We need to plan how best to incorporate this into our project

- it is hoped that the long-delayed visit to Lewis can take place very soon

- all fifteen ‘Securing the Memories’ oral interviews have been undertaken, thanks primarily to Anne MacInnes’ unstinting efforts on our behalf.

 

ii) Notes of the most recent Community fund-raising group meeting have been circulated. Further to these:

- the opening of 7 local gardens over the weekend of 11/12 June was very successful and we very much appreciate the efforts of all who worked so hard to support us in this venture

- the Recipe Book should be on sale at the Highland Gathering on 2 July. Adrian has organised the printing on a £1500 budget, which will be recouped, and more, through sales

- a newsletter will be distributed in good time to include an insert about the Grand Auction. Morven MacLean is encouraging High School staff and students to contribute items.

 

iii) An application has been submitted by the Highland Council on our behalf for £350K from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. We met a very tight schedule.

 

Following advice from Liz Whitehead, an Expression of Interest for the LEADER funding was submitted on 15 June. We were then given just three days to submit the next stage (Pre-application) form if we wished it to be considered at their panel meeting on 23 August. The £70K we are asking for is much reduced from our original intentions as the LEADER budget is so much smaller than anticipated.

 

It was agreed to reconvene the Museum Project Development Group on 4 July to consider funding strategies with respect to our pending HLF submission, and other matters.

 

iv) There was a very constructive meeting with the architects and design teams on 16 June. LDN have now submitted an application to the Highland Council for Planning Permission. Rosalyn explained some of the changes that have been included in the design plans; in particular, these allow for an enhanced geology display. We have been offered a seismometer which we would like to incorporate. She will send Board members electronic copies of the design visuals. Responses are requested by 4 July for collation and feedback to the design team. We are very happy with the design team’s ideas to date and their commitment to keeping within the budget!

 

v) Karen explained that MGS is planning to apply to HLF for a ‘Green Museums Project’, involving the Highland Museums Forum, which they regard as a strong network. We have indicated our interest to be part of this, to help us to maximise energy efficiency within our new building and to ensure that our collections are housed in the ideal conservation environment. Further discussions need to be undertaken with LDN to ensure they understand fully the essential conditions when planning the service provision in detail.

 

7. Any Other Business

i)  Hugh and Roy will meet to consider how best the boundary behind the AAOR building might be extended and arrange a meeting to discuss the feasibility of this with the landowner.

 

ii) Mia has drafted the remit for the VAT consultation. Tenders will be invited from selected firms.

 

iii) Planning is underway to work on developing a Gaelic loans box, using the Bòrd na Gàidhlig   grant to pay for some ‘expert’ input.

 

iv) Karen spotted some items of considerable interest in a Dingwall auction and, at very short notice, was able to attend to make successful bids. A first edition Hundred Years in the Highlands was secured on behalf of a very grateful Inverewe and a local family’s photograph album will be added to the Museum collection. Further items may be available for private purchase from the seller. It was agreed that she should be able to purchase collection materials up to £100 in value without the need to ask for Board agreement in advance.

 

v) It was agreed to invite volunteers to meet with Board members to update them on the project and give them opportunity to see the latest architects’ and design team’s plans. Karen will explore dates in the second week of August.

 

vi) Both John Port, soon retiring as Head of Gairloch High School, and Rosalyn, our Project Curator for the past 18 months, were thanked for their very significant contributions to the Museum.

 

8. Date of Next Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Monday 15 August at 7.30 pm.

 

There being no other business, the meeting ended at 9.30 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

Curator's Report 27th June 2016

 

A Building and Grounds

 

Backs and fence posts for the repair to the fence bordering Roxy’s garden have been procured by donation.  Willie Macrae can perhaps update on who will do the work.

 

The tubs and raised bed have done particularly well this year because of the early good weather.

 

Fraser Mackenzie. No other issues with buildings and grounds at present.

 

Admissions

 

We were  busy over the end of May bank holiday.  Figures for May were up 7% on last year.

June has been, on average, quieter than last year, though we had 3 tour groups in one week.

 

Collection

 

All recently acquired objects have been accessioned.  There is barely any space left now for new acquisitions.

 

The documentation backlog continues to be addressed.

 

Work continues on cataloguing the archive and putting it on Adlib.  Thanks to Dorothy Malone for all her help with this.

 

Training

 

I attended a training session in Edinburgh run by MGS on entrepreneurship in museums.

 

We had very useful training in the use of social media as part of our True Highlands membership.

 

I attended a regional meeting and training session of the Museums Association in Inverness.

 

Exhibitions, Events and Outreach

 

The Gaelic conversation group continues to meet on a Tuesday evening with Alice.

 

There will be an exhibition preview for Rowena Murray’s exhibition on 1st July at 7.30pm.

 

Misc

 

A lot of time has been spent writing and editing large funding applications, notably to Scottish Governments’ Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and LEADER.

I attended a meeting at Inverewe of a group which will try to curate exhibitions in the new gallery there which complement what is happening elsewhere in the area.

 

Lorna Cruikshank attended the SDA meeting on 9th June.  She was happy with our performance and pleased to hear that the museum has been promoted to a four star attraction.

 

Donations

 

Janet and Francis Whittington donated £70 for sale of Boom booklets plus a personal donation.

 

We have had a number of members renew their membership late who have given generous donations at the same time.

 

Karen Buchanan (Curator)

 

Gairloch Heritage Museum :   Achtercairn • Gairloch • Ross-shire • IV21 2BP • UK

Curator : Dr. Karen Buchanan (Thompson)

tel : 01445 712287

email : info@gairlochheritagemuseum.org

Gairloch Heritage Museum is operated by Gairloch & District Heritage Company Ltd which is run by volunteers and is a registered charity no. SC010249