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

15 August 2016

Gairloch High School. 7.30 pm




Roy Macintyre; Pauline Butler; Jeremy Fenton; Liz Forrest; Johnny Keene; Hugh Macintyre; Alice Mackenzie; Dugald Macpherson; Marcus Simpson; Allan Templeton; Karen Buchanan.



Jack McCruden; Irene Macintyre; Willie Macrae; Janet MacLean.


1. Conflicts of Interest

No potential conflict of interest was declared.


2. Minutes of the Board meeting 27 June & Matters Arising

These were agreed to be a correct record (proposed by Liz, seconded by Hugh).

Matters arising:

i) John Port having now retired from the headship at Gairloch High, the new Head, Mrs Isobel Mackenzie, will be invited to join the Board as a co-opted member, or to nominate a representative.

ii) John has sent an email confirmation that all concerned are agreed to donate the High School BGS seismometer, value £445, to the new AAOR Geology display to maximise its use

iii) A session was held on 11 August for all reception desk volunteers who were able to attend, to update them on the project and provide opportunity for more general feedback

iv) Roy and LDN have done some preliminary work on a potential adjustment of the boundary to the rear of the AAOR and has requested a meeting with the landowner to discuss this.


3. Treasurer’s Report

Dugald presented some interim figures, comparing with 2015. Admissions have been higher every month except July. There continues to be significant income for the project from the many and various fund-raising events. It was confirmed that monies required to organise project events are taken from the community fund-raising pot not from general Museum running costs, which, not surprisingly, is receiving less in the way of direct donation support. Dugald and Karen will meet to ensure that all income and expenditure is being appropriately allocated.


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) Liz agreed to contact Duncan Donald to check arrangements for the 30 September Ceilidh

ii) It was agreed that Karen proceed with the purchase of two very interesting items related to the work of a ghillie, given match funding of £200 is secured from NFA.


5. Revision to the Temporary Exhibitions Policy

The proposed changes were unanimously agreed. The revised Policy will be posted on the web-site.


6. Museum development: updates and way forward 

Mia, Project Manager, submitted a report which helped to inform discussion.


i) The draft VAT Report from Scott-Moncrieff offers good advice as how best we might proceed in this minefield of legislation. Given our projected income and expenditures, both whilst the redevelopment is underway and once we are operational in the AAOR, the Board, after discussion and clarification of the implications, accepted the recommendations of the Report that we opt to tax (probably early 2017).


ii) The outcome of our Planning Permission applications to Highland Council should be known soon. LDN have been responding to HC enquiries regarding the access/sight lines.


iii) Several significant funding applications are being processed at the moment:

-the outcomes of the applications submitted by HC on our behalf to the Scottish Government (RCGF and VDLF) are still awaited

- the local LEADER panel will consider our ‘pre-application’ on 23 August. If we are invited to submit a full application we have to demonstrate that all other funding required has been secured. A LEADER grant would therefore be the last piece in the applications jigsaw

- our submission to the Coastal Communities Fund will be lodged by the deadline of 17 August. In order to be eligible for CCF, we have to bring forward the intended date of applying for a Building Warrant. After discussion, the Board agreed to use the community fund-raising monies to commission LDN to undertaken the work necessary for this, (once planning permission is given), as  it would predate the HLF delivery phase so be ineligible for their financial support. The advantage of an earlier building warrant application is that it affords leeway for any unexpected delays in tendering for contracts etc. Given that we know of no business units for rent in the area, the issue of ‘State aid’ would not seem to be relevant to our application

- the Museum Project Development Group met on 4 July to consider funding strategies with respect to our pending HLF submission and Roy, Karen and Pauline met with Mia on 25 July. The Business Plan is being updated, incorporating the outcomes of discussions with potential partners/tenants. Roy, Dugald and Karen went to Sabhal Mor Ostaig on 12 August. SMO remain very committed to delivering Gaelic-related learning, including residential courses, in partnership with us. Work to revise various plans and reports has been completed. The deadline is 26 August.


iv) Allan reported on recent Community fund-raising

- the second newsletter was delivered by hand across the parish

- the Recipe Book is selling well and a reprint (with revisions as required) is being considered

- the Grand Auction was a great success and the Board records its appreciation of the huge efforts and many hours spent by Kirsty and all in her team to raise more than £8000 for the cause

- the Raffle is ongoing

- a sponsored GHM team of six, including Karen, braved grim weather to complete the Great Wilderness Challenge

- letters requesting donations from companies are being drafted.


The next meeting of the group is scheduled for mid-September to consider future activities, based on the past year’s experiences. Several people not previously active museum volunteers have been involved recently and will be encouraged to continue!


7. Any Other Business

i)  Karen met with RACMP on 15 August.

ii) The new logo should be used in all correspondence, minutes etc from now on.

iii) A meeting will be arranged with Lindsay Simpson of HIE to update her on recent progress and developments.

iv) Johnny explained that, because of relocation, he is resigning from the Board with immediate effect. He intends still to help maintain the models. He was thanked for his commitment and support over the years.


8. Date of Next Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Monday 3 October at 7.30 pm.


There being no other business, the meeting ended at 9.45 pm.


Curator's Report 15th August 2016


Building and Grounds


The fence at the rear of the building is still coming apart.  Unfortunately, the offer of backs has fallen through.


We received invoices from Fraser Mackenzie for work on lighthouse and from Nicky Ellakirk for work on CCTV system.




In the end, visitor numbers for June were slightly up on last year (2.5%).  In July the number of visitors was down by 7.5%.  This is despite claims by Visit Wester Ross that many businesses are experiencing their busiest year on record.  The RACMP report that their numbers are about the same as last year.  Figures to date for August are good.  The second week in August was the busiest of the year so far.


We have had a number of archive enquires, many of which Dorothy Malone has assisted with.




I am working on an application to the National Fund for Acquisitions to acquire a couple of items relating to a family from Poolewe who worked for the Inverewe and Letterewe estates.  The NFA would require matched funding of £200 from the board so this needs to be discussed.


Ben Thomas has been inputting the archive catalogue to Adlib.  We have also made a start on cataloguing the papers from the Raigmore bunker relating to the AAOR.


Our Craggan pot is now fully dried and ready for self-assembly.  We plan to have it on display by the start of Highland Archaeology Fortnight in October.




I attended a seminar on the Celts and their artwork at IMAG.


Exhibitions, events and outreach


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


We had Feis Rois in the museum, which went down very well.


Margaret Beaton is due to do a demonstration this week.


We will take part in Doors Open day on 10th September.




We have a new photocopier.




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