Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of the Gairloch and District Heritage Company
26 June 2017
Gairloch High School 7.30 pm.
Roy Macintyre; Pauline Butler: Liz Forrest; Hugh Macintyre: Irene Macintyre; Alice Mackenzie; Dugald Macpherson; Willie Macrae; Marcus Simpson; Nevis Hulme.
Jeremy Fenton; Allan Templeton; Jack McCruden; Karen Buchanan.
1. Conflicts of Interest
No potential conflict of interest was declared with respect to the Agenda.
2. Minutes of the Board meeting 15 May & Matters Arising
These were agreed to be a correct record, proposed by Alice and seconded by Hugh.
Matter arising: the meeting with M.S.P. Edward Mountain was postponed because of the General Election but has now been re-scheduled.
3. Treasurer’s Report
i) Dugald circulated updated information about 2017 income and expenditure. The first part of our High Life Highland grant is in, as is the Radcliffe Trust award.
ii) Roy will check on whether anything more is required before we progress the A.H.F. loan request to pay for the tender preparation work.
iii) Finalised, signed accounts for 2016 are now available.
iv) Membership renewal notices have been sent out, with a good response, including donations.
4. Curator’s Report
Karen had circulated her Report covering Building and grounds; Admissions; Training & networking; Exhibitions, events & outreach; Fundraising.
i) The training session on curating sound recordings proved interesting and worthwhile.
ii) Karen’s excellent Report (circulated) on the important collections work made possible by the first Radcliffe Trust grant will, without doubt, have helped us to secure the second year of funding.
iii) It was agreed that we would recruit immediately for the new project post, should our application to M.G.S. be successful. The intense pressures of contributing to the project’s progress and managing all the aspects of the Museum are recognised, so the sooner a colleague is in place the better.
iv) In Karen’s absence, Irene is co-ordinating final arrangements for the Gruinard Garden opening (29 June), Exhibition Preview (30 June) and Highland Gathering (1 July), for which we are grateful.
5. 2017-18 Action (Forward) Plan
Pauline and Karen had drafted this, particularly taking into account the implications of the project on routine Museum activities. The Action Plan is recognised to be a working document and, as such, it was ratified by the Board.
6. Museum development: updates & way forward
i) At the meeting with David Campbell on 16 May, initial discussion took place on a range of aspects, including style of logos and branding material. Detailed measuring work began on collection material. Further meetings and visits are being arranged, including to the AAOR itself, and it was agreed that video-conferencing would be used to ensure on-going communication. A draft schedule for information required was subsequently sent through.
ii) As advised by HLF, a “value-engineering” meeting was held with the LDN team on 25 May. Various possibilities were raised as to how costs might be reduced, and the aesthetic and practical impacts of making such savings were considered, including ‘knock-on’ consequences to the exhibition and education areas. Aspects discussed included the roof lights, the internal stairs, the porch and the internal wall finishes. The meeting will reconvene on 28 June once the financial implications of these changes have been fully analysed. It was noted that, until tenders have been received, all costings are provisional.
iii) Notice has now been placed on Public Contracts Scotland inviting potential contractors to submit Expressions of Interest for the construction work, to be returned by 17 July. LDN will evaluate these and then invite appropriate companies to tender, with returns required by mid-September. Assuming that, by then, HLF have given us Permission to Start, it ought still to be possible to commence work in January. Much of the work is internal, so progress should be possible whatever the weather.
iv) HLF have informed us that, on the basis of the information they have received to date, they are not able to give us their formal “Permission to Start”. We assume that it is because we have not yet secured all funding required, though no reason has been given. Board members have been invited to meet them in Edinburgh - now arranged for 4 July; Pauline to contact Bobbi to request an agenda and details of the information they wish to be tabled. Roy, Dugald and (possibly) Allan will attend.
v) Roy, Hugh and Mia met Margaret Davidson, Leader of the Highland Council, on 6 June, to inform her in detail of our project and gauge the viability of submitting an application to the Capital Discretionary Fund. She emphasised the pressures on Council funding, though is very supportive of the project. She also provided useful suggestions for other avenues to explore. Since that meeting, Roy has met with two of our local councillors, Derek Macleod and Kate Stephen, who fully endorse what we are undertaking. Following discussions Mia has just had with Ian Murray and Graham Watson of High Life Highland, we are going to submit an application to the Capital Discretionary Fund straight away, in the hope it will be considered on 23 August.
vi) As well as further individual donations, applications to the Wolfson Foundation (£40,000) and Radcliffe Trust (£5,000) have proved successful. Through Mark Feeny, the Ravensdale Trust has awarded us £5,000 each year for five years. Pauline is working on two further funding submissions. We expect to hear this week from MGS whether they will help fund the Learning & Engagement Officer (project) post. (Post-meeting information: full request of 40K has been awarded!).
vii) Allan has circulated notes from the latest meeting of the Community Fund-raising group. The new book “Then and Now” is selling well.
Liz will seek contact numbers for those setting up hydro schemes in the Kinlochewe area, so they can be approached to make a donation towards our community project. To date, the support from such local enterprises has been disappointing.
A marketing company in Dingwall has been commissioned to help us prepare a “crowd-funding” approach, based on the Outlander programmes, to the Gaelic-interest diaspora. Alice and Roddie have been involved in providing material for these programmes for some years now.
viii) John English of OTOXO productions has begun his research and interviews in the Gairloch area, including with Alice and Willie, for his forthcoming documentary film. He is very pleased with progress so far and expects to return in August.
7. Any other business
The Chapel of Sand RBS account continues unchanged within our remit.
8. Date of next meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for 14 August, 7.30 pm.
There being no other business, the meeting ended at 9.15 pm.
Curator's Report 26th June 2017
Building and Grounds
The grounds are overgrown with weeds, but I have identified a volunteer who will spray them in the near future.
David Downie has done two grass cuts, but it is growing very quickly this year and he has been asked to do another.
Admissions were up on last year’s figures by 33% in April and 15% in May. So far, June is up by about 10%.
At the termination of the project funded by Radcliffe, a total of 1516 of our 2385 objects have been condition checked, cleaned and numbered (where they were not already numbered).
At the moment there is an accession backlog across all three collections, due to pressure of work. Objects have not been accessioned since this time last year. I hope to resolve this on my return from leave.
Donald McIver and Duncan Ross have started putting the archive catalogue onto Adlib, and are making good progress.
Training and Networking
I have passed my UHI Folklore module with A grade. Next semester I will take another Gaelic Language module and Gaelic Poetry.
I attended a one day seminar on community archives at Lews Castle, Stornoway. I made useful contacts with a Gaelic speaking cataloguer who used to work for Tobar an Dulchais and the person now in charge of Am Baile. I also met the project leader for the ‘Scotland’s Sounds’ project, of which we are part.
Fifteen of our volunteers benefitted from training on curating oral history collections from Douglas Roberts, who was commission by the National Library of Scotland’s ‘Scotland’s Sounds’ project.
At the conclusion of the Radcliffe funded project, 9 volunteers have been trained in object handling and condition checking. Six of these volunteers were new to the museum.
Exhibitions, events and outreach
Andy Howard’s exhibition has concluded. It was very popular and has engaged visitors in a way that many of our previous exhibitions did not. The talk which Andy gave on his techniques was fascinating.
Our Poolewe Ceilidh this year will be on 9th August and the band will be the Broch Inspectors. Please keep the date free.
We had a donation of $500 from a US citizen with Gairloch roots. We have also received a promise of £350 from the Adam C.I. Naylor Charitable Trust. Several outstanding pledges have been redeemed.
A decision on the application submitted to Museums Galleries Scotland for a Learning and Information Officer post to help with the redevelopment project is imminent.
Karen Thompson (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