Listen: Rachel Backshall explains how the team are planning to keep the centre going
Following the devastating fire last week at the Scottish Crannog Centre, the future is looking bright with staff rallying to re-open to visitors this week and beginning a new fundraising event on Thursday nights.
Rachel Backshall from the Scottish Crannog Centre spoke of the ‘huge shock’ she and the rest of the staff felt when they were called to the site of the Crannog on the night of the fire. Even in those sad moments, the comradery of the team at the Crannog centre shone through.
“Our director and our operations manager called everybody and just said you might as well come down and be here and we will all be together.
“We had all the staff in on site on Monday as well just to kind of pull together and keep everybody feeling supported.
“We have had enormous amounts of support from – for example – Museum Galleries Scotland have set up sort of mental health support for any of our staff as well so that’s been really really generous of them.
“I think we’re starting to feel more hopeful now – a bit more positive. There’s lots of options for hopefully what we can do.
“It’s definitely not the end. It’s not the end of the story, it’s part of the story.
Rachel spoke of the Crannog Centre’s appreciation for the overwhelming support from the community.
“On Monday, we had John Swinney the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, he was on site with Pete Wishart and Mike Williamson and that was just incredible to have their support.
“We’ve also had John Duff and others in on the Sunday to support also. There’s a lot of people trying to help and there’s a lot of people pulling together and starting to put jigsaw pieces down for how we recover from this.
“I think we’re so lucky. I mean it’s been a very humbling experience actually to have all this happen and then to just look on Facebook, on Twitter, and just see all these messages and all these people that are just outpouring kindness to us.
“We’ve had so many offers of support from all sorts of different people in organisations institutions, and even our Just Giving page. That was set up by a local business the Loch Tay Highland Lodges and they’ve actually handed that over to us to run ourselves now as it’s still gaining traction so I think we’re on £30,000 as of Tuesday so yeah it’s just keeping on going.
“The plan is we will rebuild the Crannog, I think the only question is where.
“We were already going through plans and the community consultation process for building the others on the other side of the loch.
“I think that’s one of the questions it’s up for conversation at the moment within our organisation especially within our board as to what the next step forward is but there will be another crannog is just whereabouts it will be and it’s just a shame that the original Crannog won’t be there to see the others.
Thankfully for locals and visitors, we won’t have to wait long before we can visit the Crannog Centre once again.
The centre re-opens this Thursday, 17th June 2021.
“We will be reopening Thursday to the public and running tours, just as we always do.
“It will be a five-pound ticket price and it’s just keeping us going and keeping the momentum going, keeping us open and we still got a fantastic story to tell, we’ve still got all the artefacts there and we’ve still got all the staff who are ready to go, and want to keep going and support the crannog.
Looking to the future and assisting with fundraising, the Crannog Centre will be hosting ‘Crannog Craic’ – a two-hour event on Thursday evenings.
“It’s a way of us fundraising but also bringing people together and in keeping moving forward, bringing staff together, bringing the local people together and bringing others in as well just to be on the site and to be here and be present and to look to the future and that is really, really valuable for us at the moment that we’re able to do things properly and physically in person rather than just closing.
“We would really really like to express our gratitude for all the support that we’ve received, and all the kindness and the messages just everything that people have done for us whether it was making teas, on the night from next door, the marina, whether it was for the fire brigade the fire service and the police service that came down that night who were just amazing and we would have lost an awful lot more without them.
“We are just incredibly grateful to everybody and watch this space.”
Anyone looking to donate can go to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/scottishcrannogcentre-fire-fund?utm_id=66&utm_term=qeV3PkXVN