#25 Timespan

My name is Ruan Peat and I would like to adopt Timespan Museum.

Timespan (Image courtesy of Craft Scotland via Flickr)

Timespan (Image courtesy of Craft Scotland via Flickr)

Tell us a bit more about yourself

I live in Caithness, in the north of Scotland, and have been here for 20 plus years. I am the Network librarian for the Wick ILC and I am based and mainly work form the Wick High School Library. I am a keen crafter and love painting, I adore the Highlands of Scotland and know that if how good it was up here was known down south we’d be inundated!

Tell us a bit more about your adopted museum
Timespan, located in Helmsdale in the Scottish Highlands, started in 1986, and while it has moved and upgraded over the years, it has kept the original ethos of local history made accessible, and welcoming. It covers the local area of Sutherland from the far past of early man and how the very land formed, to cutting edge art and post clearances survival. It is good value with even a family ticket under a tenner, and is open all year round; also it’s a great venue in bad weather or good.

Why have you chosen to adopt this museum?
My first visit was due to car sickness, my then small children needed a break and we followed the museum signs. With no preconceptions we wandered in and fell in love. My oldest child is dyspraxic and chats away nonstop, the staff answered every question and showed him how everything worked, they let him touch and hold, see and help, he learnt so much from that visit and many since. They have the local heritage come alive, and every visit has left understanding more about this wonderful culture. The changes over the years have been to its improvement and the little café should get recognition all on its own. They hold exhibitions that could be very local right up to international ones linking us to the world. Timspan is very much a Highland locals museum, run by supporting staff and set up for locals and visitors, to help bridge gaps and spread knowledge wider than just who you know. A true hidden jewel as its off the main road and runs on Highland time.

Why would you recommend people visit?
My family have been visiting for over a decade, and Timespan has always kept their attention. I have a friend whose elderly brother from America always made time to stop and visit and like me recommended it to his friends and family too. The museum can be done in your own time, so you can dash round if you’re in a rush or wander and explore if you’re not. The sets allow you to get a get a feel for the past without being disconnected from it. The staff have always been welcoming and knowledgeable, if it isn’t their area they find someone else to help! For me it embodies The Highlands, warm welcome, local knowledge and awareness of the world beyond. It is a place that stays in your memory, and welcomes repeat visits. You can spend a day there and come away going ‘I didn’t know that’ whatever your age and background. From the Kildonan gold rush, to the Sutherland Clearances, the geology of the rocks to modern art, Timespan has something to
offer everyone.

How would you sum up your museum in three words?
Welcoming, Fascinating, Heritage

(Image source: Craft Scotland on Flickr via Creative Commons)

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