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

23 Apr 2019

Gairloch Hotel 7.15 pm.



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

Katie Pilcher.



Dugald Macpherson.


1. Conflicts of Interest

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


2. Election of Officers of the Company

In accordance with Articles 36 & 54, officers were duly nominated and appointed:

Chairman: Roy Macintyre; Vice chairmen: Jeremy Fenton & Hugh Macintyre; Treasurer: Dugald Macpherson; Secretary: Pauline Butler.


3. Minutes of the Board meeting 4 March 2019 & Matters Arising

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

Matters arising:

i) David Campbell has looked at the Kauri slab (donation) and will draw up a design for the legs, with costs.

ii) The minutes of the additional short meeting held on 15 April will be circulated. Karen is following through the need to appoint an Alarm Receiving Company.


4. Treasurer’s Report

In Dugald’s absence, Roy reported that the financial aspects of the usual Museum operations are continuing as through the closed season. We are awaiting several grants due so that we can pay contractors’ bills in full. The complex negotiations involved are being pursued with great diligence and urgency on our part, but we are in the hands of the solicitors of the other parties to the agreements.


5. Curator’s Report

Karen had circulated her Report covering: Building & grounds; Collection; Project: racking & progress on packing and conservation work; Education and training; Donations.


6. Revised Exhibitions Policy

Karen’s draft policy, taking into account the circumstances of the new Museum, has been circulated. Marcus raised the issue of the commission to be charged for exhibition-related card sales and it was agreed, after explanation and discussion, that this should be 40% + VAT. Nevis has proposed some corrections and amendments, which Pauline will take on board in the final version. This will be posted on the website for public information. In due course, all policies will need to be re-presented in the new ‘branding’ format.


7. Letter of support for GAD’s Gairloch beach toilet redevelopment proposals

The Board agreed that a letter be written to Gairloch Community Council to express our support for Gairloch Area Development Company Ltd’s plans to seek funding to redevelop the toilets and provide other amenities in the car park next to the beach/Golf Course.

A letter has also been sent, as part of a wider Highland Museums initiative, in support of projects to ensure that heritage on the western seaboard is included in events for the 2020 Year ofCoasts and Waters.


8. L&I Officer’s Report

Katie had circulated her Report covering Events, outreach & activities: Winter lecture series, Gairloch & District pub quiz challenge, GAMS, BLEAT, Basket workshop, Ceilidh Trail, Doors Open Day; Other matters: Future of Museums: learning & engagement conference, House of Memories.

It was noted that there had been very positive feedback from a number of quarters (Facebook, schools, GAMS and families) about how successful and enjoyable various activities had been. It will be good to be able to develop them in our own facilities in the future.


9. Museum development: updates & way forward

i) Roy updated the meeting about unforeseen delays with the building work at the AAOR. Substantial completion is awaiting the resolution of an issue between EDF and SSE about the installation of the electricity meter required. There has also been slower progress than desired on the landscaping. All possible is being done at our end, so the situation is frustrating.

ii) There have also been ongoing delays, again out of our control, in finalising the legal (securities over the building) requirements to enable the payment of the big grants coming through Highland Council. These are critical for cash flow.

iii) The Wolfson Foundation has confirmed it will pay its £40K grant at the end of April, and HLF is due to remit the fifth instalment of its grant very soon.

iv) Campbell & Co., and their contractors, are now actively engaged in working towards the installation of the exhibits. A detailed schedule has been provided. The mount-makers will be on site from 19 May. Volunteers have been trained for the object unpacking and are fully organised to start as soon as the building is available. How best to thatch the crofthouse has been decided. Some corrections need to be made to the racking system and this is in hand.

In order for NMS to deliver the ‘Poolewe Hoard’ on 11 June, Karen needs precise information about a wide range of security-related matters. She has asked the NMS adviser for recommendations of good practice. Details of security arrangements are also needed to apply for the fire-arms licence.

v) Notes from the meeting of the Commercial Operations Group (COG), held on 27 March have been circulated. No appointment was made following the interviews for an Operations Manager, which was disappointing. At an extra Board meeting held on 15 April, it was agreed to re-advertise through Bruce Tait Associates and a range of contingency measures were considered. To enable an efficient service from opening, Highlife Highland may be able to provide a short-term secondment from their staff and this option is being pursued. Irene is investigating the experience of various businesses to ascertain the best option for a relatively simple EPOS system. Karen will check out if any Highland Museums can help with recommendations.

Roy and Allan had hoped to meet the couple who are very interested to take on the café lease to discuss the Heads of Terms. However, problems with their accommodation meant that this did not happen. A survey has been undertaken of the kitchen and the design/layout is now being planned in detail. A building warrant is needed for the work.

vii) Notes from the meeting of the Exhibitions Planning Group held on 26 March have been circulated. All is in hand for the opening exhibition in the gallery. As yet, there is no confirmed interest in the second retail unit so, in the short term, it will be used for photography and craft exhibitions to complement the ‘Inspired by Gairloch’ exhibition. Mark Appleton and Rowena Dugdale have been invited to join the EPG.

viii) The organisation of the official opening is well underway, with a ‘preview opening’ on Monday 8 July, to which our community donors and funders are invited, and the ‘official opening’ on the morning of 9 July. There are many protocols to be followed and details to be finalised.

ix) An initial discussion took place on the opening hours proposed by the COG group. These are longer than has been our practice and might include Thursday evening and Sunday opening. Staffing logistics need careful consideration. We need to determine our initial opening hours at the next Board meeting.

x) Campbell & Co. have preparing some design options for roadside signage. After discussion, it was agreed to progress the maroon-coloured version. WHC will be consulted about how their logo should appear on the sign. The proposal needs to go to HC Planning.


10. Any Other Business

a) The Russian Arctic Convoy project group would like to discuss the possibilities for joint ticketing in 2020.

b) Katie has had offers from students and ‘younger’ potential speakers for talks and events which would be a good way to broaden our audiences. However, they would need funding support for travel and accommodation, so we need to consider ways to finance this.

c) There has also been an enquiry for ‘business’ use of the multi-activity space for a programme of craft workshops. We need to determine the hire charges for the room for such purposes, given that the income goes to the workshop organiser.

d) The Publications Group had considered a revised quotation from our photocopier provider for a newer model. The quarterly rental was higher but with a lower ‘price-per-copy’. So, on present usage, the cost would be less than we pay currently. It was agreed that we should change our contract so that this model is installed in our new premises.


11. Date of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for 20 May 2019.


There being no other business, the meeting ended at 9.05 pm.
























Curator's Report 23rd Apr 2019



Building and Grounds


No new developments to report.




We are accessioning objects that we have acquired for display which then require to be packed and moved to the new building.




Exhibition design progress:

We have received a schedule of work for the fit out from Campbell & Co. including dates when they will be in Gairloch.  Over the next two months, I anticipate being exceptionally busy with the decant and installation of displays.


Katie has produced a concept for the Welcome Screen but I have not yet had time to look at it.




The installation of the racking was completed by Brunyzeel but a mistake was made with the longspan, fixed racking.  Simpsons are being contracted to fix this (paid by Brunyzeel) and work should be finished this week.


Progress on packing and conservation work


We have completed packing the object collection, with the exception of the objects mentioned above that are being accessioned.

The gear mechanism for the lighthouse has been dismantled, with assistance from Cameron Thomas.


We have brought in some of the outdoor objects to dry them out and treat them before they are moved to the new building.


We have packed archival accessions which have not been processed into special boxes.  It is imperative that time is found for the appraisal and cataloguing of this material as a priority in the new building.  Some of it has been neglected for well over a decade.


We have given the artefact store a deep clean, but unfortunately will need to clean it again due to the changes that need to be made to the racking.


We are ready to move, have created a rota of volunteers to help with unpacking, but have had to reschedule it twice now due to the building not yet being handed over to us.


Education and Training


Jim Buchanan attended a training day on Digital Media Advertising, organised by Visit Wester Ross.


I was invited to attend a networking event for Women in Scottish Heritage at Culloden Battlefield.




The Kauri wood which was donated to us has been transported up from Fife by Ben Grooters and is in storage.  The museum design team will look at it this week and design a base for it, in keeping with the wood itself and the design style of the building.



Karen Buchanan (Curator)





Learning and Interpretation Officer Report 23rd Apr 2019



Events, Outreach and Activities

Spring events


Winter Lecture Series

Iain Robertson talk

12 people joined us on the night.


The Gairloch & District Pub Quiz Challenge

17 teams joined us on March 22 at the Old Inn. We raised £739.00 on the night. In total, we raised £3,374.70 during the series. We had 30 teams join us throughout and 10 of those teams came to each quiz.

As this feedback would not be seen by anyone who isn’t on Facebook, I thought I’d share this post from Peter Henderson on our page (him and his team came to each quiz) – ‘Yet another great night at The Old Inn for the last quiz of the series. The Old Inn did themselves proud with the half time food.

I don’t think people appreciate enough how much effort is put in to hosting the quiz each month so I would like to take the time to thank all involved especially Alan Templeton who started the quiz nights 4 years ago and, through his efforts, has built this event to what it is today. I really hope we can do this again next year and look forward to being pestered by Helen to extract money for the raffles and trying to answer the questions put by Katie and Alan.’



o Attended and provided materials for a ‘School Days’ reminiscence workshop with GAMS at Inverasdale School. Enjoyable afternoon with cake, tea and lots of talking. Feedback from this session has influenced amendments to the reminiscence box. Look forward to working with GAMs again soon.



o Myself, Jim and Karen produced an interim leaflet to advertise the new museum until we open. This was primarily for the BLEAT event. (BLEAT was a leaflet exchange event for local accommodation and activity providers at the end of March). The leaflet has been reviewed by the Publications Group and feedback has been put together to influence design, images, text on our new official leaflet.


Basket workshop

Really happy with how my Easter workshop went on Good Friday. I allowed for 10 people to book on and had 7 children and 1 adult join in.


Ceilidh Trail

Feis Ros will be performing in the Museum on Wednesday 7th August.


Doors Open Day

We are working with the Adult Skills and Learning Group to put together an exhibition as part of the 30th anniversary of Doors Open Days. The topic for this will be ‘Life on a Croft’. I’ll be going in over the next few weeks and doing different handling and engagement activities with the students. These will influence the final exhibition posters. (DOD are printing our posters for us).


Anything to Add


Future of Museums: Learning and Engagement Conference

Attended Museum Association’s one day conference at National Museums Scotland. Throughout the day the different sessions looked at the role of museums and how museum learning and engagement might develop.


House of Memories

The House of Memories app was officially launched with a Civic Reception in the Inverness Town House, hosted by Graham Ross. Once we are open in the new building, we will be promoting use of the app and encouraging use of the app with local groups.



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