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

03 October 2016

Gairloch High School. 7.30 pm



Roy Macintyre; Pauline Butler; Jeremy Fenton; Liz Forrest; Nevis Hulme; Hugh Macintyre; Irene Macintyre; Alice Mackenzie; Dugald Macpherson; Jack McCruden; Willie Macrae; Marcus Simpson; Allan Templeton; Karen Buchanan.



Janet MacLean.


Nevis was welcomed to the meeting, to represent Gairloch High School.


1. Conflicts of Interest

No potential conflict of interest was declared.


2. Minutes of the Board meeting 15 August & Matters Arising

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

Matter arising:

It was agreed that the “white on black” new logo would be standard from now on for all official Museum communications.


3. Treasurer’s Report

Dugald presented financial details relating to the year to 21 September. He anticipates a “break-even” by year-end. The project makes matters quite complicated with grant payments often being well in arrears of invoices paid out. Marcus and Karen will help to ensure correct allocation of monies currently recorded as Museum retail which should go into the ‘project’ income pot. Great Wilderness Challenge, Dundonnell Garden openings and much of the raffle proceeds are still to be accounted for.


Although visitor figures have been good in July and August, the retail income has not matched the improvement, for reasons unknown.


4. Curator’s Report

Karen had circulated her Report covering Buildings and grounds; Admissions; Collection; Training; Exhibitions, events and outreach; Fundraising.

Issues arising:

i) The Poolewe Ceilidh Partnership has, very generously, given us all the income received from the 130 visitors on 30 September at the Gala Concert/Ceilidh, almost £1200, which is a very welcome boost to our funds. Pauline will write to thank them on our behalf.

ii) Owing to the pressures of writing funding applications, Karen is concerned that work on the Collection is behind schedule.

iii) As an additional £1000 has been secured for work on the Gaelic Loans Box, we will prepare a ‘contract’ for the task, with deadlines. We hope that Jamie Maclean will be willing and able to undertake this, if not; Karen will offer it elsewhere.


5. Other Board business

i) After discussion it was agreed to trial a two-course lunchtime, rather than evening, volunteers’ end-of-season meal. Pauline will speak with Donald to book a Friday in the second half of November.

ii) Ben offered to source a speaker for the 2017 AGM through his university contacts. There was some discussion as to the pressures of preparing the accounts for a late March/early April AGM, as has been the custom, although it was recognised that this is appropriate for the launch of the ‘season’ and membership renewals.


6. Museum development: updates and way forward

i) Planning permission should be forthcoming very soon as it is believed all issues have been dealt with. LDN architects have begun the preparatory work necessary for the building warrant.


ii) Gairloch estate is willing to allow us to extend the boundary behind the AAOR building by about 10 metres. Roy has obtained a quotation from a local builder for the work which we hope will be paid for by Aviva’s Community Fund. This opens for public voting on 21 October.


iii) Roy met with Andrew Johnston on 19 August at UHI in Inverness to confirm that we would be very pleased to host a STEM-D base in the AAOR. A business case is being prepared.


A very productive meeting was held with Lindsay Simpson of HIE on 29 August in Gairloch. She confirmed that HIE wish to continue to support us to the extent we have built into our planning. We hope that an ‘offer letter’ will be issued before HLF make their decision on Round 2 in November.


iv)  Allan reported back from a meeting of the Community fund-raising group held on 28 September. Kirsty, Janet, Sheona and their teams have done sterling work to raise significant sums towards the cause. The group intends to repeat many of the successful events of this year. Raising donations from individuals and businesses will be critical to meeting the £200K target though. Awareness could be raised by strategic placing of some billboards and by installing a ‘thermometer’ gauge of progress in the Museum.


v) Various decisions on funding applications are still awaited but we are pleased to know we can proceed to the next stage with both RCGF and LEADER. LEADER requires that we make the 3rd stage application once all other funding required has been secured, which makes its timing somewhat tricky.


Three HLF officers are visiting the Museum and AAOR on 11 October as part of their standard procedures for Round 2 applications. Both Mia and Tom are expected to join GHM Board members to present our proposals.


There was discussion about the proposed bid to the MGS Capital Fund as it has to be restricted to an identified project within the bigger project, with quotations required with the application. We are unsure whether we can identify a tight-enough aspect and secure the necessary details before the deadline of 7 October.


A bid has been lodged with LIBOR for funding towards the “Three World Wars” exhibition.

Jeremy will apply to the Geology Association to fund a proposed Geology 3D display.


vii) John Mackenzie has nominated GHM for a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is appreciated. Decisions are announced next June. We remain keen to include Conon House archival material in our new displays. He is considering this.


7. Any Other Business

i) The current exhibition, prepared by the U3A local history group, is well worth a visit. Dorothy has written a complementary booklet, with all proceeds to the Museum.


ii) Inverewe is interested to ‘share’ exhibitions, where appropriate. One possibility might be that on Finlay Mackinnon, proposed for next year, for which paintings are being sourced.


8. Date of Next Meeting

The next Board meeting will be held on Monday 21 November at 7.30 pm.


There being no other business, the meeting ended at 9.15 pm.




Curator's Report 3rd October 2016


Building and Grounds


There was a problem with the front door, but it was kindly fixed by Derek Roxburgh.


We have had another cut of the grass, which should be the final one for this year.


Thanks partly to the weather and partly to the two new dehumidifiers purchased, we appear to have maintained remarkably stable RH and temperature during the visitor season, in comparison with recent years.




Admissions for August were up by 11% on 2015 and by 25% on 2014.  The second week in August was the busiest of the year.  Numbers for September continued to be positive.


Genealogy and archive enquiries continue to roll in and Dorothy Malone has been a tremendous help doing research for some of these.




A successful application was submitted to the National Fund for Acquisitions to acquire an engraved, silver hipflask and a rather rare ghillie’s knife belonging to a family from Poolewe who worked for the Inverewe and Letterewe estates.  We have been awarded £200 towards the total cost of £400 and I have contacted the purchaser to arrange for him to invoice us.


The Craggan pot found near Slaggan was collected from the conservation lab at Newtonmore.  It has been accessioned and is now on display in our archaeology section.  It is our ‘special object’ for Highland Archaeology Fortnight which runs the first two weeks in October.


I met with Rachael Thomas with regard to the conservation work, funded by the Radcliffe Trust.  Work is to start in November.




University classes have started again.  This semester I am taking classes in Gaelic Prose and The Gaelic World.


A number of volunteers, existing and new, have signed up for the object handling training being provided by High Life Highland, and Rachael Thomas.



Exhibitions, events and outreach


Doors Open Day took place on 10th September and attracted more than 60 people to the museum.


Gillian Penney’s exhibition has finished, and the U3A have hung their excellent exhibition on the architecture of the area.  There is a booklet accompanying this, for sale in aid of museum funds.


The Poolewe Ceilidh and raffle draw took place on 30th September.  Thanks to all who took responsibility for this in my absence.




We have received a round 2 pass for the LEADER fund (70,000 request)


We have received a round 1 pass from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (£350,000 request).


Our application for funding for a Learning and Interpretation Officer to Esmee Fairburn was unsuccessful.


We received £200 from the National Fund for Acquisitions towards purchasing an object.


We received £1000 from Urras Gniomhachas nan Gaidheal to add to the £1000 from BNG, which will now allow us to appoint someone to work on the Gaelic handling box.


A further funding application has been submitted to the Coastal Communities fund.


We had several private donations to the new museum fund.


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