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

27 Aug 2018

Gairloch High School 7.15 pm.




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



Hugh Macintyre; Irene Macintyre.


1. Conflicts of Interest

No potential conflict of interest was declared with respect to the Agenda.


2. Minutes of the Board meeting 30 July 2018 & Matters Arising

These were agreed to be a correct record, proposed by Allan and seconded by Nevis.

Matter arising:

A revised loan agreement is awaited from the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses. There is a letter to accompany its return expressing our regret at the transfer from our Collection and emphasising how important the lens and associated objects are as part of the heritage of the community of Gairloch.


3. Treasurer’s Report

Dugald presented a brief overview of the current financial situation. We have a healthy credit balance. Several substantial invoices are awaited. We have received the second grant payment from HLF but not yet those due from the Scottish Government via Highland Council. Admissions and retail income has remained steady. However, exhibition sales are not so strong so far this year.


4. Curator’s Report

Karen had circulated her Report covering: Building & grounds; Admissions; Collection; Training & networking; Project; Fundraising; Exhibitions, events & outreach. Further to this she explained the idea of the proposed video installation on the Loch Maree ironworkings. This should be an interesting new approach, using the potential of our AAOR temporary exhibition space.


5. Disposal of boats

After discussion it was agreed that the boats will not be re-sited at the AAOR as they not in a good state and would still have to be displayed outside. The coble (which has never been accessioned) will be offered to the Inverasdale exhibition centre. On de-accessioning, the other two boats will be offered to other museums. It was noted that the foghorn, crane and cart, also currently outside, will be moved to the AAOR.


6. L&I Officer’s Report

Katie had circulated her Report covering Events, Outreach & Activities. The Heroes of World War I website, with database of all known to have served (using the research undertaken by Willie MacRobbie & Ann Roots) together with photographs, documents and a record of related objects, will ‘go live’, via the Museum website, on 7 September, the date of the exhibition preview.


7. Museum development: updates & way forward

i) The contractor continues to make progress (details provided) and the site is always organised and tidy. External cladding should begin soon. Various issues which were raised at the site meeting on 7 August seem to be being dealt with satisfactorily. A meeting was held on 22 August (attended by Hugh who has circulated notes) between the architects and the design team to clarify the way forward and ensure that the provision of services is as required. The next site progress meeting is on 4 September.

A considerable quantity of stone is being assembled, on site, for the croft house construction, which will begin soon. A photo record should be kept of this.

ii) There have been no recent meetings with the design team. Those working on interpretation appreciated the time spent, and guidance from, Rosalyn during her recent visit to Gairloch. Karen has submitted the content for the Lighthouse display to the design team and we look forward to seeing how they work this up into panels and labels.

iii) David Campbell has agreed to reduce the size of the logo fish within the two lines of words as requested. His team is now working on the Gaelic version of the logo.

iv) Notes from the meeting of the ‘Commercial Operations Group’ (COG), held on 22 August, have

been circulated. Bruce Tait Associates have been commissioned to lead on the appointment of an

operations manager. Discussion took place on various aspects of the proposed ‘Contract Report’

including job remit, person specification, salary and on-costs, advertising and timescale of the

appointment schedule. Roy will take these matters further with Mavy Williamson, our direct contact. It

is hoped that the interview process will be concluded before the end of October so that the essential

work to set up the retail and commercial aspects of the new business can begin early in 2019.

v) Our solicitor has been instructed to inform our landlords of the date we wish to terminate our lease.


8. Any Other Business

i)  Dugald has negotiated a good deal for the renewal of our electricity contract.

ii) After discussion, the Board agreed that it would not write to support the replacement of the current

‘Wester Ross Coastal Trail/Pictish fish’ signposting with standard North Coast 500 signage as is being

proposed. Visit Wester Ross will be informed of the reasons for our decision.


9. Date of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 15 October 2018.


There being no other business, the meeting ended at 9 pm.

















Curator's Report 27th Aug 2018


Building and Grounds


Marcus has repaired the front door.  Thanks Marcus!




July admissions were up slightly on last year (4%) and August has been steadily busy.  It seems to have been a healthy season to date, as far as admissions are concerned, despite the excellent weather in the early part of the season.  Hopefully the forthcoming WW1 exhibition will draw in some local visitors.




I have accessioned a large number of photographs recently, and purchased a new scanner for the purpose.


The backlog of objects awaiting accession has been largely cleared but the archive backlog remains.  Duncan Ross continues to input the archive catalogue to Adlib.


The Rubha Reidh lens and other objects have been deaccessioned and loan paperwork completed to retain them in our collection.


We have had one or two other additions to the collection.



Training and Networking


My university classes start again on Monday 10th September.  I am taking two modules this semester which I anticipate being very useful:

• Gaelic Poetry

• Land and People, the Scottish Highlands 1800-2000.

Both of these modules are fortuitously timetabled on a Monday so I propose to work at home on Mondays from 10th September until Christmas and resume 9-5 working hours Tue-Fri.

Once these modules are completed at Christmas, I propose to take a sabbatical from study for one semester, while the new museum displays are installed.  I would then start year 3 in September 2019.




I have arranged for Peter Fleming, a former engineer with the Northern Lighthouse Board to visit in mid September to undertake a risk assessment for moving the Rubha Reidh lens, to write a method statement for the move and draw up a list of equipment required.


I have commissioned Bruynzeek Storage Systems to provide the racking for the artefact store and library. Richard Tong is the contact and he is now in touch directly with the architects to arrange installation.


I am organising the production of a replica of the James IV charter granting the lands of Gairloch to the Mackenzies and its missing seal.  John Mackenzie of Gairloch has kindly offered to cover the cost of this.


Draft content for the Lighthouse display in the new museum has been submitted to the designers.




AIM have provided us with £3000 towards our decant, as compensation for not having considered our application to their Collections Care Scheme.  £1500 of this will go on employing a conservator for 10 days to assist with dismantling and packing our new displays in October.  The rest will go on conservation materials.


We did not manage to field a team for the Great Wilderness Challenge.  I have apologised profusely to Pat and told her we will try harder next year.  Please think of any friends or family who would enjoy completing the challenge in aid of the museum.


Exhibitions, events and outreach


Events are covered in the Learning and Interpretation Officer's report.


There has been no change to the exhibition since the last board meeting.


I am making a trip to Furnace in early September with the artist who is providing an installation for us next year on the ironworkings and forests of Loch Maree


We have been approached by the BBC for expertise on the Red Smiddy at Poolewe for the programme Scotland from the Sky.



Karen Buchanan (Curator)





Learning and Interpretation Officer Report 27th Aug 2018


Events, Outreach and Activities


‘A Land Fit For Heroes?’ preview evening Friday 7 September. Exhibition running Saturday 8th September-Wednesday 31st October. Trialling fancy dress for children.


Tours of the AAOR on Saturday 22 September.


Highland Archaeology Festival

Guided walk through Gairloch - Monday 1 October & Thursday 11th October, 10.00-11.30am

A Trail with a Tale: The past and possible future of the Sand River Trail - Friday 5 October, 1.30pm onwards

Achtercairn Archaeology Walk – Wednesday 3 October & Monday 15 October, 2.00-4.30pm.


Sit, chat and spin with Margaret Beaton – Thursday 18 October, 12.00-4.00pm at GALE. Drop in afternoon with spinning wheel demonstrations, older children able to spin on additional wheel, drop spindles, activities for younger children.


Creative Crafting - Thursday 25 October, 10.00-12.30 in Gairloch Community Hall Annexe. Taster craft morning. Potential to continue if popular.


100 Years on: Remembering Our Heroes – Wednesday 14 November, 7.00-9.30, Gairloch Community Hall. Talk from Bob Shanks on his medal collection, authentic WW1 refreshments, music and readings.


Winter lectures – awaiting responses from 2 potential speakers. We will be teaming up with the cinema in the Aultbea Hall for our February slot to show 2 documentaries. If you know of anyone who would be happy and willing to give a lecture for us, please pass me on their details.


Pub quizzes – myself and Allan are in the process of speaking to the local pubs about hosting our pub quizzes this winter. We are considering holding one more quiz than last year.


Really great night hosting our ceilidh as part of The Poolewe Ceilidh Partnership on Wednesday 1st August. We raised £607.80 and had 166 people come along in total. A lot of very positive feedback. Some wonderful donations for the raffle from individuals and local businesses. We sold out the whisky raffle within half an hour of people arriving. Thank you to everyone who helped out.


On 29 September, organising a hot drink and coffee afternoon for the volunteers on the desk. This will be an opportunity to get feedback on how the season has been going and for me to get any general feedback about the trails which will feed into preparations for the new museum.


We had a visit from the CooVan (Visit Scotland’s outreach team). The team spoke with passers-by, giving out first-hand visitor information and advice about local sights and activities. They were happy with the interaction they had with visitors.


Anything to Add




Jo Clements is the new Documentation Project Officer at Ullapool Museum. She has been employed to make parts of their collection accessible to the public on eHive. They are keen to share their experiences with other museums in the Forum.


Have been in contact with the company who are responsible for eHive to try and see if they can accommodate what I envisage for making our collection accessible online. It can be done. I can use one of their free APIs or Plugins to channel our data onto our website. People will be able to search on our website for specific dates, materials, themes etc. Will need to involve Jim in this.


Here are links to 2 museums who have used eHive in this way –

Fairfield Halls  http://thefairfieldcollection.co.uk

Fan Museum  https://www.thefanmuseum.org.uk/collections/


Current plan is to keep this in line with our galleries in the new museum. Begin with taking one area of our collection and use this as a starting point/an example. I’d be keen to use this as an opportunity for work placements/DoE/internships/regular volunteer post for those interested in heritage/ documentation/photography. Will update as I look into this further.


Katie Pilcher (L&I officer)







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