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

15 May 2017

Gairloch High School 7.30 pm.




Roy Macintyre; Pauline Butler: Jeremy Fenton; Liz Forrest; Hugh Macintyre: Alice Mackenzie; Dugald Macpherson; Willie Macrae; Nevis Hulme; Jack McCruden; Karen Buchanan.



Irene Macintyre; Marcus Simpson; Allan Templeton.


1. Conflicts of Interest

Board members present checked their Declaration of Interests form. No potential conflict of interest was declared with respect to the Agenda.


2. Minutes of the Board meetings 20 February and 2 May 2017 & Matters Arising

These were both agreed to be a correct record, proposed by Alice and seconded by Liz.

Matters arising:

i)  Dugald also attended the meeting with HLF on 2 May.

ii) Pauline had a discussion with Tom Campbell, Managing Director, at the North Coast 500 Roadshow. Although interested to support the 2017 Year of Heritage, the organisation does not have the capacity to focus on it specifically.

iii) Plans are developing for the proposed documentary film venture with John English, who intends to be in the Gairloch area in June to progress matters.


3. Treasurer’s Report

i) Dugald circulated information about income and expenditure in the first four months of 2017. Rachael has been paid from the Radcliffe Trust grant for her conservation work over the winter months. There have been some welcome donations from local people.

ii) Finalised, signed accounts for 2016 should be available soon for submission with funding applications.


4. Curator’s Report

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

Further points:

i)  Admissions in April had been 30% up on 2016 and 100% up on 2013, so a very pleasing start.

ii) Confirmation is awaited that the training session on curating sound recordings will be on 30 May.

iii)The Poolewe Ceildidh Partnership has requested more involvement from its partners in organising the ceilidhs (ours is 9 August) and would like a GHM rep. on their committee.

iv) We have been invited by Highlife Highland to participate in their WWI “Homecoming” project. Pauline also explained some ideas being explored for our own “end of WWI” activities, with community and schools involvement. These have gained initial approval from HLF, so a funding application will be submitted in due course.


5. Museum development: updates & way forward

i)  On 28 March, a positive and productive meeting, including representatives from WHC, was held with the consultants providing the services within the AAOR.

ii) Roy and Mia had met with various officers from the Highland Council on 29 March. They are extremely supportive of the project and suggested additional funding streams to explore, such as the FLAG (EU) scheme (Mia submitted an Expression of Interest to explore eligibility) and their own Capital Discretionary Grant (Pauline is now working on this). Roy will endeavour to meet with Council officers to check out timescales and funding potential in good time to put in an application for a summer Resources Committee meeting, though any grant would  not be payable until 2018.

iii) Bobbi was, unfortunately, not able to attend the scheduled meeting with HLF on 2 May, so the deputation from GHM was only able to consult our mentor, Griff Boyle. Updates were provided on funding secured, anticipated and potential, and on the project’s progress. Griff confirmed afterwards his view that HLF would see a phased “permission to start” as not usual, but not impossible. The Board agreed that Karen should submit the request as it is critical to maintain our programme. Also, we need to put out the tender documents in the summer to have cost certainty for the construction works. Only then will we know whether the funding we have envisaged will suffice, or whether we will need to “value engineer” in order to reduce the costs. We really do not want to compromise the ethos or design with respect to the roof openings, stairs or front porch which would seem to be the options. A meeting with LDN Architects and their QS has been arranged for 25 May to look at possible savings, to demonstrate that we have given the matter proper consideration. Roy and Hugh to attend with Mia.

iv) David Campbell and Carl are coming to Gairloch on 16 May to present further thoughts on the Collections design work. Karen, Roy and Pauline will meet with them.

v) Andy Richardson of the Architectural Heritage Fund does not foresee any problems with offering a loan to the GHM should we have to go ahead with preparation of the tender documents “at own risk”. He was very impressed with all aspects of the project and very keen to support it in any way possible within the remit of AHF. Ideally, Highland Council will act as guarantors of the loan and we will need to confirm that we have taken the advice of our solicitors that we are making responsible decisions.

vi) Pauline provided an update on the funding situation. Since our last meeting we have received welcome pledges of funding support from the Garfield Weston Foundation (£50,000) and the Baxter Foundation (£8,000) as well as the various individual donations. She has identified two further possible (modest) funders. Mia continues to endeavour to progress the very complex LEADER application (£120,000).

vii)We need to have clarity from our solicitors as to the time-scale of completing the purchase of the AAOR, so that we can plan accordingly. Understandably, Highland Council wishes to expedite this.

viii) The main effort of the community fund-raising group is now focussed on attracting further donations from businesses and individuals. The “Then and Now” book is close to completion and should be on sale quite soon and our Open Day at Gruinard Garden is 29 June.

ix) Roy and Allan will be meeting with Edward Mountain, MSP, on 5 June to update him on project progress.


6. Any other business

i) Pauline and Karen will be completing the Action Plan (Forward Plan) 2017-2018 before the next Board meeting, so request any input from eg retail and events groups, within the next fortnight.

ii) Karen will be away on 1 July for the Gairloch Highland Gathering but will organise helpers before she goes.

iii) On behalf of the Board, Pauline will write to Richard Greene to thank him for all his support and efforts on our behalf over the years.


7. Date of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 26 June, 7.30 pm.


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










Curator's Report 15th May 2017




Building and Grounds


Thanks to everyone who came along to the spring clean at the end of March.  The grounds are looking good, and the shop and displays have been much admired.




A team of volunteers continues 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.


Temporary numbers have been significantly reduced over the closed season and should all be dealt with before too long.


We have acquired a number of art works by Constance Tremayne, formerly of Peterburn and Strathburn.



Training and Networking


UHI: I have submitted three assignments for a Folklore module which is now completed – results pending.


I attended a week long course on Gaelic in the Landscape at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig which was both enjoyable and educational.  Thanks to the board for giving me the opportunity.


Irene Macintyre and Catriona Maclean attended training in researching Family and Local History at the Highland Archive Centre.


We have been offered by National Library a bespoke half-day coaching session in Gairloch in May or June.  I am currently trying to arrange a date to suit.  Anyone who is interested should let me know.


Exhibitions, events and outreach


The Finlay Mackinnon Exhibition was very well received and has certainly attracted a local audience beyond our membership.


The second two winter lectures of the year were well attended.  Friends of Inverewe were kind enough to donate the proceeds of the talk at Inverewe to the museum, so that around £400 was raised by the two talks.  Thanks to Alix-Powers Jones and Sam Williamson who spoke, and to the volunteers who help out at these occasions.


Our Poolewe Ceilidh this year will be on 9th August and the band will be the Broch Inspectors.  Please keep the date free.


Our next event will be a talk by Andy Howard, who is currently exhibiting his photographs in our exhibition space.




We had a donation of £5000 from William Gray Muir of Sundial Properties towards the redevelopment fund.


Our application 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 was unsuccessful.


An application was submitted to Museums Galleries Scotland for a Learning and Information Officer post to help with the redevelopment project.


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