Staff & Volunteers
Rachael grew up in Gairloch, and began her museum career volunteering in the old Gairloch Heritage Museum building. Since then she has graduated with an MA in the Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Objects from Durham University, and has worked with museums and heritage centres across the Highlands to document and conserve their collections.
Passionate about collecting and preserving both tangible and intangible cultural heritage, her main areas of expertise are in collections management and object research. Her areas of interest include the material culture of Scotland’s Gypsy/Travellers, and the interior decorations, fixtures and fittings of Scotland’s vernacular buildings.
Wellbeing Project Coordinator
Sarah’s work is particularly focussed on outreach locally and making the Museum a social place in the heart of our community. She has had a varied career from working in community development and Bible teaching in Nepal to working in the UK with adults and children with special needs.
Trained in working with people with learning disabilities, dementia and autism she is working to ensure her programme is accessible and inclusive to all and to make sure people get the support they need to join in with activities. It is important to her that everyone feels welcome here.
Front of House and Marketing
Eilidh has been working with the Museum since our Art Fund Museum of the Year Award announcement in 2020. Born and brought up in Gairloch, Eilidh’s career has led her from journalism to education, through the environmental sector to the arts. She’s looking forward to welcoming new and familiar faces through the doors of Gairloch Museum.
Front of House and Volunteers Coordinator
Barbara Mackenzie was born and brought up in Port Henderson. After attending Dingwall Academy, she trained as a nurse and lived and worked in Glasgow with one spell back north at the Northern Infirmary on the banks of the River Ness. She moved back to Gairloch to the family croft in 2013 and, though busy with pigs and pets, began volunteering at our old museum venue. She has since stepped up to help run our front of house team in the bunker and is often joined on our online meetings by Percy, her blue roan cocker spaniel. Anybody visiting the Museum who wants to try out or learn a few Gaelic phrases, Barbara will be happy to help.
Front of House
Brought up in the West Midlands, Ally now lives in Aultbea, having been a visitor to the area all of his life. He has a rich and varied background, spending three years in the Amazon working on a community project followed by a decade on the railways, including a spell as a station announcer. Ally enjoys reading and hearing stories about folklore, especially fairies and second sight. His ancestors go back many generations in the Loch Ewe area and he has been busy trying to piece together their history and learn more about their lives. In his spare time Ally likes to kayak, walk the hills and enjoys taking pictures of the barn owls that he feels incredibly lucky to have living next door.
Events and Outreach Coordinator
Emma joined the Front of House team at the Museum in 2022 and enjoyed sharing her interest in the history of our area and local environment with our visitors. She is excited to take on a new role organising our varied events programme. With a background in Environmental Science, Emma conducted ecological research in Iceland and Spain before moving to Poolewe. She can often be found bird watching around the shores of Loch Ewe and, as a keen musician, enjoys hosting our regular Ceilidh House sessions.
Sally begun her career in the hospitality sector at Shieldaig Lodge in the 1980s and has since run her own catering business, managed the Terrace Café at the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh and was employed by the National Trust for Scotland at Bannockburn Heritage Centre. Brought up in Edinburgh, Sally's no stranger to Gairloch, her family holidayed in Laide, in happy proximity to her grandparents at Little Gruinard.
Jack is at the Museum from Napier University, taking part in a six-month Marketing Management placement for his degree. Jack went to school in Gairloch, was also a volunteer at the old museum and was on the Museum board as a young representative. He will be undertaking various marketing tasks for the Museum. We look forward to working with Jack and helping him develop his marketing skills for the future.
Gairloch & District Heritage Company Ltd is responsible for Gairloch Museum. The Board members are all volunteers who live in the parish. We don’t just go to meetings, but are all ‘hands-on’ when it comes to getting the jobs done. You can see who we are and what we do by reading the Minutes in the Board Matters section.
Without our army of ever-willing volunteers, the Museum would simply not exist, let alone open. Just for starters, volunteers welcome visitors, order the books, research genealogy queries, help with the record-keeping, translate Gaelic, polish the lighthouse lens, take guided walks, give talks, write booklets, cut the grass … in fact, do absolutely anything and everything, not to forget being the best bakers in town! In the film theatre you can hear some of them share their stories and see their photos of how life has changed since the AAOR was built in the early 1950s.
More than 120 local people helped make the ‘new Museum’ project a success. The efforts were recognised when we were honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Since we opened, many more people have offered their time and energies. If you would like to join us, then please let us know.