So far twelve letters have been sent to some of the smaller trusts and foundations requesting support for our redevelopment, none of which have resulted in any funding yet. RG is also working on the first stage of an application to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for funding support towards our interpretation.
RG had a positive meeting with WREN (Wester Ross Environment Network), who responded favourably to a question re our eligibility for one of their £300 grants. This would be put towards the purchase of a listening post for our fishing display, which would play clips from some of the herring fishing interviews.
Visitor surveys and comments are continuing to be logged, and RG is starting to prepare an audience report that collates all of the data we have been collecting from all the different sources (visitor surveys, event evaluations, consultations, comments book, TripAdvisor). This report will feed into the Interpretation Plan.
Informal surveys of non-visitors are taking place, but progress is slow. RG would be very grateful if the Board could identify their family and friends who live locally and who they know don’t visit and ask them to fill out a questionnaire (available at the board meeting). The surveys are anonymous and can be posted through the letterbox for even greater anonymity!
An email was sent round advertising our loan boxes with all relevant local and community groups, and the WWII box was borrowed by Sarah Wright who runs the class for adults with learning difficulties. (PB has been doing a lot of work with this group recently). RG proposes that our next new loan box topic should be Gaelic, as it may interest the local schools as well as the Gaelic toddlers group.
Attached at the end of this report is a table which summarises section 4 of the Interpretation Plan, showing proposed section titles for our new displays, with a brief description of the subject, messages and objects they will contain. The messages are key pieces of information we want our visitors to understand after they have been to each section of the exhibition, rather than sentences that have to be included in our text. The messages in particular still need a lot of work, so please do take the time to look at this and give comments. (NB, the lighthouse will be in the central atrium rather than the exhibition space so hasn’t been included in this table).
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 winter.
PB and RG have been offered a visit to the Royal Observer Corps sites at Dundee and Arbroath to learn more about the Cold War history of the area. There is no money in the budget for this so the trips will be made at their own expense.
The third and final benchmarking trip as part of the Robertson/MGS-funded project curator’s post has been organised (thanks to KT) to visit Museum nan Eilean on Lewis, the Seallam centre on Harris and Taigh Chearsabhagh on Uist. RG and KT will be accompanied by Roy, Irene and Alice.
RG, Roy, Jeremy and Rachael Thomas will be visiting the museum at Biggar on 30 October to view the displays created by Campbell and Co (our designers) there. They believe there is a degree of overlap between our collections and intended displays and those at Biggar and have strongly encouraged our visit.
Anne MacInnes and Willie MacRobbie have got off to a great start with the Securing the Memories project, interviewing six people already. Four of these recordings have been ‘cleaned up’ and transcribed so far. RG has interviewed George Hodgson re his memories of working in the ROC post on Mihol Road. Irene has expressed an interest in interviewing people who used to work at Gairloch Hotel. If you have any ideas about who else could be interviewed, on any subject, please pass on your thoughts.
GHM are working with the Wester Ross Fisheries Trust who have tasked Sue Pomeroy with collecting interviews from the Loch Maree ghillies. We have had an input into some of the questions that will be asked and topics covered, and will also be the repository for all the interviews once they have been collected.
RG will attend fundraising training on 28 October in Inverness. This should be very useful as she has the opportunity to get feedback on our draft funding application to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (this feedback will also inform future applications).
Rosalyn Goulding (Project Curator)
Gairloch Heritage Museum : Achtercairn • Gairloch • Ross-shire • IV21 2BP • UK
Curator : Dr. Karen Buchanan (Thompson)
tel : 01445 712287
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Gairloch Heritage Museum is operated by Gairloch & District Heritage Company Ltd which is run by volunteers and is a registered charity no. SC010249