The weather in Helmsdale: 7°C / Light rain

From Tuesday 2nd November we are open on Winter hours: Tuesday1200- 1600 ; Saturday & Sunday 1000 - 1500.
Advanced booking for museum visits is advised. Please ding 01431821327 | to book your slot


Jacquie Aitken: Heritage Officer – encyclopedic and endlessly curious about local history and how community knowledge informs and produces history. A trained archaeologist, she’s our star landscape de-coder and favourite person to walk the hills with.

Paulo Atherley: Jam Fire Deli Manager – Paulo’s our Jamaican heritage chef who’s brought his jerk drum to Helmsdale to fire up our tastebuds. He keeps Timespan banging with his tunes from his time as a music producer.

Laurie Brown: Design, Editorial & Communications Manager – Laurie designs our content into gorgeous, cute gifs, videos and posters and we very much welcome them experimenting on us with new recipes.

Rona Ellis: Food & Green Community Coordinator – Rona’s our green fingered go-to herb identifier and you’ll find her in Helmsdale Kitchen Garden arguing about how much space is used for trees vs veg.

Debbie Farrall: Cleaner – Debbie keeps Timespan sparkling between her massage therapy and looking after her horses, donkeys and chickens.

Fenella Gabrysch: YASS! & TYCI Youth Worker – Fenella’s an Olympian trained swimmer and can be spotted floating down the Helmsdale river for a swim out at sea.

Anyuta Gillespie: River Cafe – Anna is our expert pickle maker, baker and resident photographer, all of which we value equally.

Penny Kane: Front of House – Penny is the number one ambassador for the village public loos and serves the village in a myriad of ways on numerous committees and councils.

Caroline Kelly: Finance Manager and Shop Manager  Caroline keeps Timespan running and does all things numbers and finance. She is Timespan’s number one football nut and gives us Monday updates on trials and triumphs of being a Ross County supporter.

Shaun Macrae: Technician and all round solver of practical problems – Shaun happily sorts out every one of our requests from laying a floor and painting murals to translating elaborate ideas into exhibitions.

Lisa Macdonald: Front of House – Lisa is our am-dram queen and first port of call for the village’s dramarama needs. She writes plays and sings at full volume in the choir and bands, and is our go-to party planner.

Heather Macdonald: River Cafe – Heather gives it laldy in the village choir and keeps the cafe singing and is now a confirmed baker and mad about natural bread.

Louise & Mauro Mcmeekin: Cleaners – Husband and wife team share the labour to keep us sparkling and sanitised after busy weekends.

Marija Nemcenko: Timespan’s Institutional History Project – Marija is an artist who loves bashing in her boxing gloves.

Sadie Young: Director – committed to testing the political potential of the cultural institution and learning from outside disciplines and movements. Very amateur but enthusiastic gardener.


Jean Sargent, Chair

Expertise: Former chair, scientist, project management, local heritage, fundraising, staff management

After a career in medical research, Jean retired toHelmsdale, the birth place of her father. She soon became interested in andinvolved with Timespan and has been a member of the Board of Trustees for over 8 years. She became Chair, a post that she held for almost 6 years, during atime of immense change for the organisation when she gained many new skills.She has a deep interest in the community and its heritage and enjoys thediversity provided by the arts. Jean is also a director of the Helmsdale andDistrict Development Trust, secretary to the Friends of Kildonan Church and isan active member of Bunillidh Coastal Rowing Club.

Alison MacDonald, Secretary

Expertise: Human Resources

Alison has been a Director of Timespan and member of the Board since 2003, as well as Company Secretary since 2004. Alison is responsible for strategic HR / People direction on the Board as well as ensuring Companies House has up to date information for Timespan, including the filing of all statutory company information. Alison has been working in HR since 1994 and is currently a People and Organisational Development Manager for NatureScot. She advises the Board on HR strategy and employment law and also supports the Director on operational HR issues within Timespan.

Catriona Whitfield, Treasurer

Expertise: Accountancy, Law

Catriona Whitfield is treasurer and is as such is responsible for ensuring the correct finance records, policies and procedures are in place.

Catriona has a degree in law and qualified as a chartered accountant in 1991.  She has a professional background in audit, investigations, dispute resolution and commercial litigation.  She is currently a member of the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland Charity Appeals jurisdiction and of the Disciplinary Panel for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. She was a member of the Scottish Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for 10 years, served as a member of board of management of North Highland College and has acted as trustee for a number of charities.

Anson MacAuslan

Expertise: Land Management, Commercial Business

Grace Maxwell

Expertise: Music management; Veg Stall Seller and Helmsdale Golf Club Number 1 Fan

James Mooney

Expertise: Contemporary Art, Critical Theory

Jim Mooney taught at Middlesex University and the Royal college of Art from 1989 – 2009 where, respectively, he was Reader in the Theory and Practice of Fine Art and Senior Research Tutor in Painting. Sunsequently, he held Visiting Professorships at Birmingham City University and Grays School of Art, Aberdeen and was elected Fellow of the Royal College of Art in 1995. Mooney has exhibited widely internationally and writes on contemporary art, focusing on painting, radical art practice, ecology, ethics, queer theory and Fine Art Research Methodologies. He has published extensively including essays on Lari Pittman, Félix Gonzalez-Torres, John Dougil, Michael Curran, David Wojnarowicz, Peter Hujar, Queer Sorority, Hamish Fulton, the Algerian photographer, Hocine, the Kurdish artist Rebwar Saeed and Shirin Neshat. His most recent solo exhibition was held at the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery in 2020.

Iain Robertson

Expertise: Critical History, Higher Education

Iain Robertson is a historian by training but a historical geographer by inclination, with a particular focus on the twentieth-century Highlands and Islands. Iain is a Reader in History at the Centre for History, University of the Highlands and Islands. 

Heritage Group

Local heritage research and development of projects for the community archive. Chair: Maggie Adamson

Friends of TS

Programmes events and keeps us intune with the local ecology and village life. Chair: Penny Woodley

Knitting Ladies

These women know their patterns and wool! Meet every Tuesday afternoon to knit together and their beauty jumpers, socks and toys can be bought for a bargain from our shop.