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So far eight letters have been sent to some of the smaller trusts and foundations. RG is also working on the first stage of an application to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
RG had a telephone conversation with Gillian Simison of MGS Capital Grants on 25 August to discuss our eligibility and timescales for application. They prefer grants to be used for a specific part of the project (lighting or display cases were mentioned as examples) and whilst their funding can be put towards professional fees, it cannot be used solely for that purpose. If we were successful we would hear in December after applying in October, and would have two years after receiving the grant to spend all the money and complete the project. For that reason it seems sensible to apply for this grant in 2016. They encourage us to speak to them again before we apply, and even send them a draft application before submission to check we’re going in the right direction. They are particularly keen on projects that offer apprenticeship opportunities.
A representative from the Radcliffe Trust came into the museum early in August, and urged us to apply for one of their grants. They usually give c. £5,000.
Interpretation has become the most pressing concern due to HLF’s priorities, meaning less time has been spent on audience development. Visitor surveys and comments are continuing to be logged however.
Events – Lighthouse Weekend, 15 August
Sadly only one family turned up specifically for the event, and there were few others in the museum to attend. This was particularly disappointing as we had some lovely stories and poems written for the occasion by the Gairloch writing group (organised by Dorothy Malone) and those in attendance enjoyed the event. Perhaps the material can be re-used for future events, however. Unfortunately our event coincided with the Wilderness Challenge, VJ Day and some better-than-usual weather!
The majority of time is being spent writing the Interpretation Plan – this was not due to be started until November but the work schedule has been moved forward to take into account HLF deadlines (meaning less time is being spent on audience development and the oral history project). If you are interested in seeing a copy of this (currently in draft form) please let me know.
A series of consultations will need to take place with key stakeholders (the Board, volunteers, members, the community etc) re the themes, messages and stories that we will be trying to draw out in our new exhibitions and which will feed into the Interpretation Plan. We will need to start arranging these over the autumn.
An informal benchmarking trip was made to Timespan at Helmsdale – Board members may be interested in seeing how a crofthouse, smithy etc look in a modern building.
A formal benchmarking trip to Shetland was made with PB to view the recently opened development at Sumburgh Head, Shetland Museum and Archives, a few Cold War sites, Scalloway Museum and Scatness broch. We are very grateful to reps of the Shetland Amenity Trust for the programme they put on for us and for the time and care taken to make our visit both informative and enjoyable. Full report to follow.
RG and KT are in the process of arranging a visit to Museum nan Eilean and Seallam on Lewis and Harris.
RG will organise familiarisation training in September / October for those who want to get to grips with how to use the recording equipment. This is aimed both at those who couldn’t make the training on 12 June but are still interested in the project, as well as those who did attend. There is a danger of this project stalling as the demands of interpretation are more pressing.
Rosalyn Goulding (Project Curator)
Gairloch Heritage Museum : Achtercairn • Gairloch • Ross-shire • IV21 2BP • UK
Curator : Dr. Karen Buchanan (Thompson)
tel : 01445 712287
email : email@example.com
Gairloch Heritage Museum is operated by Gairloch & District Heritage Company Ltd which is run by volunteers and is a registered charity no. SC010249