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

20 February 2017

Gairloch Heritage Museum Library 7.30 pm.




Pauline Butler; Liz Forrest; Irene Macintyre; Alice Mackenzie; Dugald Macpherson; Marcus Simpson; Allan Templeton; Karen Buchanan.



Roy Macintyre; Nevis Hulme; Hugh Macintyre; Willie Macrae; Ben Thomas.


1. Conflicts of Interest

No potential conflict of interest was declared.


2. Minutes of the Board meeting 16 January 2017 & Matters Arising

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

Matters arising:

i) Pauline would be attending a North Coast 500 Roadshow on behalf of the museum at Inverewe on 6 March and would present our concerns about the lack of coordinated promotion of heritage sites, given that 2017 is the Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology, and other matters.

ii) Further clarification is awaited as to how GHM might best be able to contribute to the archaeology event at Inverewe.


3. Treasurer’s Report

i) Dugald had circulated the outline end-of-year figures which show a modest surplus of income over expenditure. Draft accounts should be available for the AGM, though Dugald will be away.

ii) Final details for the submission to HIE for their last tranche of development round funding support is in hand.

iii) Dugald will investigate further the requirements for “cultural exemption”, bearing in mind advice received to date, some information from the Museums Association which seems to offer a different opinion, and the details of our Articles of Association.


4. Curator’s Report

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

Issues arising:

i) The pre-season clear-up will take place on 31 March. All helpers welcome on the day or before.

A new sleeper is needed to repair the plant trough which is rotting.

ii) Volunteer Induction Day will be Tuesday 28 March. Several new volunteers have come forward.

iii) We are interested to take on the skiff which has been offered from an Ullapool source. It has fished in Gairloch waters and is in good condition. A shelter would be needed, so acquisition may not be possible until 2019. There is also an offer to 3-D scan our existing boats for future interpretation uses.

iv) We still have a request on the table for the coble. The object has a temporary number and there is no paperwork accompanying it so we should check with the original lender as to her wishes on the matter. We would not want it to be removed until the end of this season, preferably with a colourful replacement (cart?).

v) After presentation and discussion it was agreed that Karen could dispose, appropriately, of the following items: T540: wooden plunger; OBJ1183: seized-up metal potato masher; OBJ925: rusty gin-trap; OBJ1416: rusty ash shovel; OBJ910: large bent nail; OBJ908; large nail; OBJ905: shoe last (one of many); OBJ61: broken goffering iron. The items were disposed of on the grounds that they were in extremely poor condition and that there are duplicates in the collection.

vi) The last exhibition of the season could be ‘in-house’ or could be an external exhibitor.

vii) Mike Powley has made a donation to GHM from the sales of the Reflections book.

viii) Two oil paintings by Donald MacLeod have been accepted into the Collection.

ix) The Poolewe Ceilidh Partnership will organise ceilidhs again this year, provided that the organisations which are successful in the ballot form a temporary committee. We agreed that, if we are not offered a session, we will aim to put on our own ceilidh, preferably in Poolewe Hall. We will also consider other family events in other venues over the season.


5. Review of 2016 Action Plan

Pauline presented the review of the 2016-17 Action Plan. We have, despite the project priorities, achieved a great deal over the year. Some ongoing or unaccomplished tasks will be carried through to the 2017-18 Action Plan, which will now be drafted. Further points arising:

i) Liz offered to help with the recording of oral history interviews.

ii) Karen’s funding application for a specialist to catalogue our Gaelic recordings has made good progress. It now depends on a PhD student being interested and available to come to work on our archival material. A complementary event would be part of the package.

iii) The annual McGregor Fire Security inspection should suffice for Accreditation purposes.

iv) Karen has submitted an application to HLF for the 2017 Year of History with a view to developing a Heritage Trail in the village.


6. Review of Museum Policies Sections 1-4

Board members had had opportunity to review the policies. As well as for our own guidance and implementation, they are needed for Accreditation, the Service Delivery Agreement and, now, for the LEADER application. Pauline will update logos, dates and phone numbers as required.  No substantive changes were thought to be needed, though some amendments and improvements had been proposed, which were considered and approved.


7. Museum development: updates and way forward

i) Mia and Pauline will be meeting with our HLF grants officer on 6 March for a pre-Permission to Start meeting. One matter on the agenda is the possibility of requesting additional funding support.

ii) Pauline provided an overview of the many applications which have been submitted to potential funders, big and small, since the HLF award announced early December. The Foyle Foundation has just informed us that they will give £50,000 to the project, subject to the usual provisos, which is heartening news. Further progress may depend on whether the Scottish Government support our RCGF and VDLF applications. We should hear in the week beginning 6 March.

iii) Roy had attended an HIE lunch for local businesses on 7 February in Ullapool which had been a very useful networking opportunity.

iv) Karen, Mia and Roy had a Skype conference with staff from West Highland College on 9 February, which has led to the convening of a meeting of all parties, including the architects and technical consultants, on 29 March to ensure that the supply of services to the AAOR is carefully coordinated. Karen will draw up a list of essential IT needs.

v) Roy and Karen met with Andrew Johnston on 13 February with respect to the proposed Science Lab base in Gairloch. Although nothing definite has been confirmed for this area, the overall project is going ahead and Andrew is positive about Gairloch being a potential outreach base.

vi) Community fund-raising: notes of the meeting on 18 January have been circulated. Mia attended. The priority at the moment is to finalise the approach to businesses and individuals who may be able to contribute to the drive to secure the monies needed to match an offer of £40,000 and to help meet the £200K target. Allan suggested how this might be done, including a direct emailed appeal with instant donation. The proposed schedule for the forthcoming events will be considered further at the next meeting on 22 February. A Film Evening, Antiques Valuation, Wine-and-Cheese evening and Open Gardens are all planned, though most dates are still to be finalised.


9. AGM (3 April) arrangements

Irene and Liz will co-ordinate the catering; Karen will check the requirements of our speaker.


10.John English film collaboration

Roy had provided a synopsis of the proposals. Everyone believed this to be an excellent opportunity and fully endorsed the plans. Some of the Museum’s contribution might well come from the anticipated costs of the new museum opening, as predicated in the (HLF) Activity/Action Plan. The oral history element was also welcomed.


11. Any Other Business

Karen offered to organise an appropriate recognition of Margie Russell’s contribution to the museum over many, many years.


12. Date of Next Meeting

A brief meeting of the new Board will be held immediately after the AGM on 3 April to ensure that we have officers in place before the next regular Board meeting (date to be arranged).


There being no other business, the meeting ended at 9.35 pm.








Curator's Report 20th February 2017



Building and Grounds


Could we please arrange a provisional date for the grand, pre-season clean up?




Volunteers continue condition checking, cleaning and numbering of the objects.  The Gallery Store and indoor display areas have now been largely completed.  The same team will be involved in cleaning during the month of March.


The model of Sleepy Time Gal has been repaired and returned to display.


We received a donation of the Gow Perpetuation Cup, which was formerly awarded to members of the Gairloch Rifle Club.


We have received the offer of a fishing skiff from Ullapool.  Details available on request.


It has been suggested that we have scanned the remaining structure of the Queen Mary so that we have a digital record of the lines of the boat.  We have a potential offer to do this at no cost.


It has been possible to do some work on resolving the temporary numbers in our collection and the number of these has now been reduced to 66 objects.  I hope to resolve them all before the beginning of the season.


There is external interest in the salmon coble (t744) and we should discuss its future.


I have a number of objects I would like to dispose of that the board needs to discuss.


Training and Networking


Unfortunately the Social History module I was signed up for did not run and so I am only taking a Folklore class as  part of the BA Gaelic Scotland this semester.


Myself and four museum volunteers travelled to Applecross to a talk by Tobar an Dulchais on their placename recordings from Torridon, Shieldaig and Applecross, and an update on the Shieldaig and Torridon placenames project.


I attended a webinar on 26th Jan run by the Charities Aid Foundation on the topic of "Boost your charity’s social media presence".


Exhibitions, events and outreach


The exhibition slots are all filled.  A programme is attached.


The first two winter lectures of the year have been extremely well attended and, between them, raised almost £500.  Thanks to Mark Appleton, Dorothy Malone and Jane Macintyre who spoke, and to the volunteers who help out at these occasions.


We had a visit from Kinlochewe Primary School on 10th Feb.  The children were taught about different types of evidence and had the chance to study some objects and archive material.  They also learned about how we look after our collection.


We have had a much higher than usual volume of enquiries over the winter months.  These have included local and family history requests, but also requests from filmmakers, authors and the media.


Liz Forrest attended a meeting of the Poolewe Ceilidh Partnership.




We had a donation of £400 from Nisa Making a Difference Locally, which we were nominated for by Onie Mackenzie of McColls.


I submitted an application to the Radcliffe Trust to continue the conservation and packing work on the collection for decant.


I submitted an application for funding for a heritage trail in Gairloch to Heritage Lottery Fund as part of Stories, Stones and Bones funding stream for the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.


We have also received a number of donations from private individuals.



Karen Thompson (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