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

04 Mar 2019

Gairloch Hotel 7.15 pm.



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



Hugh Macintyre.


1. Conflicts of Interest

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


2. Minutes of the Board meeting 21 January & Matters Arising

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

We still await the finalising of future insurance arrangements.


3. Treasurer’s Report

The accounts should be with PNL Accounting very soon.

With recent grant payments from HLF and HIE, together with additional, very welcome, funding contributions via Brabners, our bank balance suffices to meet our bills. However, the ongoing delay in Highland Council’s finalising of the payments due from the RCGF and VDLF funding streams is a concern.


Dugald explained the requirements and implications of setting up GDHM Trading Limited registered at Companies House in Edinburgh as SC622897 on 1 March 2019. GDHM Trading Limited is wholly owned by Gairloch & District Heritage Company Ltd, which is a charity, and all profits from the Trading Company will be gifted to GDHC. Only retail and exhibitions activities will be undertaken by GDHM. The Board unanimously approved the ten resolutions required.


4. Curator’s Report

Karen had circulated her Report covering: Building & grounds; Collection; Training & networking; Project: Dismantling and re-installing the Fresnel lens; Racking; Progress on packing and conservation work; Exhibitions, events & outreach; Donations.

Further points arising:

i) we need to arrange the collection from Culloden of the chairs we have been given.

ii) Karen has registered the address of the new Museum with the Post Office, though it may take a while for it to appear in all directories.


5. The Kauri wood slab

Karen is considering the options for collecting this unusual donation from Fife. Willie is able to store it and the intention is to have it made into a table for the Library in the new Museum.


6. Request for support for a heritage project in Kyle

The Board agreed that a letter be written to express our support for Kyle and Lochalsh Community

Trust’s proposed Plock developments, including a Visitor Hub and Viking Living Village.


7. L&I Officer’s Report

Katie had circulated her Report covering Events, outreach & activities: winter events; spring events; volunteers; Natural History competition; Schools; Reminiscence work; Great Wilderness Challenge.


8. Museum development: updates & way forward

i) Roy updated the meeting about progress on building work at the AAOR. Substantial completion is now scheduled for the end of March at latest and a completion certificate will be needed before the design team come in to commence the installation of the Collection.

ii) The Bank of Scotland has, once again, declined to support our application for project funding, this time for work on landscaping & external interpretation. Karen is submitting an application to Bòrd na Gàidhlig for staff/volunteer training workshops. Some funding has now been secured to help fund the fitting out of the retail/café areas. Given this, the Board agreed that an application should be made to HIE, as already discussed with Lindsay Simpson. Mia is working on this.

iii) The Interpretation Group has one further meeting, 6 March, to finalise panel, object and other texts. Karen initiated a discussion about the approach that could be taken on the ‘Welcome’ panel and screen. There was general agreement that we want to give visitors a ‘sense of place’, both through landscape and people.

As well as the public recognition of donations, a place needs to be found to exhibit the batik work that was completed during family activity workshops.

Although no formal meetings have been held with the design team in recent weeks, there is ongoing communication and clarification.

iv) David McAllister, our new HLF Monitor, visited on 19 February. He spent the morning on site and then held a meeting with project team members and Museum staff. He seemed impressed with what we have achieved. His main concern was to be assured that we are fully cognisant of the ‘risk/cost’ implications of opening later than originally scheduled and are mitigating these consequences. Mia and Roy are working on providing the further information he requested.

v) Notes from the meetings of the Commercial Operations Group (COG), held on 22 January and 27 February, have been circulated. The post of Operations Manager has now been advertised and it is understood that there has been some interest from potential applicants. Allan explained how the short-listing was being processed. Given the time scale between the final date for applications and the proposed interview day, Board members hoped that arrangements could be flexible should a good candidate not be able to come to interview at short notice.

vi) Roy and Allan had met with a couple who are very interested to take on the café lease and discussed various possibilities with respect to lease, menu, fixtures and fittings etc.  It is hoped that they will progress their interest with Graham & Sibbald.

As there is no confirmed tenant yet for the second retail unit, we should consider how the space might best be used in the short term. Some ideas were proposed for consideration at the next COG meeting, should it be necessary.

On behalf of GDHM, Allan has applied for a Liquor Licence for the premises.

vii) After further discussion of the recommendation from COG that there should be a ‘family’ admission category, it was agreed that it should be available, at a fee of £12.

viii) Notes from meetings of the Exhibition Planning Group held on 23 January and 26 February have been circulated. The first exhibition in the new Museum will be “Inspired by Gairloch”.

Karen is revising the Temporary Collections Policy as necessary for arrangements in the future. The Board agreed with Marcus’ proposal that the commission to be paid by exhibitors should be standardised at 30% (+ VAT where appropriate) for all.

ix) Roy has initiated discussions with Highland Council for the provision of ‘brown signs’ with three appropriate locations identified. Although desirable, it seems less likely that we will get permission for (much more expensive) signage at the A835 trunk road junctions.

Campbell & Co. are preparing a design for stone signage on the grass verge outside the AAOR.

WHC also require directional signage. A useful meeting had been held recently with them, and Heads of Terms are to be drawn up for agreement.

x) Roy, Karen, Irene, Allan and Pauline will begin to consider the arrangements for the ‘official’ opening on 9 July.


9. Any Other Business

It has been confirmed that we can use Gairloch High School for the AGM on 15 April. Invitations for this and membership renewal will be sent out 7/8 March.


10. Date of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 23 April 2019. (Note – a Tuesday, not Monday as usual.)


There being no other business, the meeting ended at 9.55 pm.























Curator's Report 4th Mar 2019



Building and Grounds


No new developments to report.




We have had some additional donations, which are awaiting accessioning. I have decided that we should not take any more objects now until we have moved as we probably will not have time to accession and pack them.


I have purchased a rare book on the Scottish Home Industries for the library for £60 from Leakeys in Inverness. The chapter on Ross-shire was written by Lady Mackenzie of Gairloch and the National Library of Scotland succeeded in purchasing the volume of The Gladiator for £3000 and are committed to digitising it in the future. I will try to take a look at it when I am Edinburgh next.



Training and Networking


I attended a meeting of the Highland Museums Forum at which VisitScotland’s Industry Relationship Manager, Caroline Robertson, gave a useful talk on their Quality Assurance Scheme and future marketing strategies, following their recent staff restructuring.




Exhibition design progress:


All of the text for the display areas has now been written, and there will be a final meeting of the Interpretation Team on Wednesday to agree the last tranche, before sending to Campbell & Co. Proofs have been received and checked for some display areas, but there is still a lot of work to be done on this – we are waiting for Campbell & Co. to send the proofs. We have had detailed drawings of some of the display areas, which C&Co. are currently working on, such as the Walk Through Time. We have not had a meeting with Campbell & Co. for over a month now.


Katie and I would like to have a chat with the board members about the ‘Welcome’ display in the meeting.


Dismantling and reinstalling the Fresnel lens:


The lighthouse lens components were moved to the AAOR in the second week of February. It was arranged to reassemble the lens in the third week of February. Unfortunately colleagues from NLB and the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses could not join us. The work was undertaken by Simpsons under the supervision of Rachael Thomas and with assistance from Peter MacDonald. A wooden box has now been built around the lens to protect it while the scaffold is dismantled and the fitting out works are completed.




The racking in the archive and library space was installed in February. Unfortunately some of the parts for the racking in the artefact store had not been delivered so that, when the installation team arrived, they could not install all the roller racking. As yet, I do not have a date for the second stage of the installation.


Progress on packing and conservation work


Anne and Fran are currently engaged in sewing Tyvek pouches for our blanket collection.  This is the final task that needs to be done before we move the contents of the textile store.  Otherwise, all objects are packed.  I do not intend to start packing the library and archive until we have a moving date, as we are still using these materials on a regular basis.


Exhibitions, events and outreach


I am pleased to be part of the newly formed Exhibitions Planning Group, which I am sure will improve the quality of our temporary exhibition schedule.  I am currently updating the Temporary Exhibition Policy accordingly.




Hugh Macintyre has been to see the slab of Kauri wood which we had been offered and recommended that we accept it.  I am trying to get quotes for bringing the wood up to Gairloch from Fife.



Karen Buchanan (Curator)






Learning and Interpretation Officer Report 4th Mar 2019



Events, Outreach and Activities

Winter events


Pub Quiz Challenge

• 21 teams joined us at the Myrtle Bank 18th January and 18 teams joined us at the Gairloch Hotel on 15th February.

• We have raised just over £2600 from the 4 quizzes so far.

• Our next quiz is 22nd March at the Old Inn. This will be our 20th quiz since we started holding the pub quizzes during the winter months.

• Any donations for the raffle would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Winter Lecture Series

• John’s talk scheduled for the 29th January was cancelled due to the poor weather conditions. This is to be re-scheduled.

• Our partnership event with 3 Lochs Cinema was a huge success. 98 people came along to watch the film screenings. We were sad that we had to actually turn people away, but due to safety reasons, the Aultbea Church of Scotland can only accommodate 100 people. Raised £285 for the Museum.

• Due to reasons beyond my control, we have changed the topic of the next winter lecture. Iain will be talking about the legacy of the 1919 Land Settlement (Scotland) Act. Also, due to the WCA event scheduled to be in the Gairloch Main Hall, we have re-located Iain’s talk to the Gairloch Hotel.


Spring events

Easter event

• Will be holding a crafty event for families on Friday 19th April. Fran Harvey has volunteered to help.



• Finished working with 6 volunteers to record the audio files that will feature on either a listening post or audio visual screen in our 3 Wars Gallery. Editing the files to be sent to the designers.


Natural History competition

• Selected 3 winners from the competition entries. 23 people entered.



• I have been involved in a local primary school project with author, Mike Nicholson. Mike writes the Museum Mystery Squad books and has been visiting local primary schools delivering workshops on writing stories and how he wrote this series. With each of his books in the series, Mike’s starting point would be a museum object and from that, his story would develop. I provided him with a selection of our objects for the students to do the same thing and provided information for the sessions I couldn’t be involved in.  I assisted on workshops in Gairloch and Poolewe and Liz assisted with a workshop in Kinlochewe (thanks Liz). The information and objects have been copied/photographed and it is hoped that a book of the students’ stories, based on these objects, will be produced.


Reminiscence work

• I’m leading a reminiscence session this month with GAMS. Trialling a Schooldays memory box.


Anything to Add

Great Wilderness Challenge

• I will be doing the Great Wilderness Challenge this year to raise money for the Museum. I’ll be doing the 25 mile walk. We’ve been given 5 spaces for a team so I’m getting a small group together.



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