Festival of Museums 2018
This exciting 2-day event will explore the acoustics and sounds of archaeological sites and interpret them through creative voice narratives and objects from the museum’s collection. The events will be led by an archaeologist, sound artist and storyteller, who will explore the sights and sounds of Iron Age roundhouses and underground passages and inspire participants with stories and creative making sessions.
Friday 18 & Saturday 19 May, Timespan
Iron Age Torc Hunt: Treasure Hunt Activity | 18 & 19 | 10.00 – 17.00
Reconstructing the Past Display: Roundhouse & Earthhouse | 18 & 19 | 10.00 – 17.00
Talk entitled Exploring Scotland’s Iron Age Sites | Friday 18 | 19.30 – 21.00
Making Stories at a Roundhouse | Saturday 19 | 11.00 – 12.30
Sites and Sounds of an Iron Age Landscape: Walk and Recording Session | Saturday 19 | 13.30 – 16.30
Discover Iron-Age Scotland: Themed Meal and Quiz | Saturday 19 | 18.30 – 21.30
Annual Duck Race and BBQ: Saturday 2nd June
Racing ducks, BBQ, bottle stall, produce table and sunshine!
Caithness to Patagonia Distant Lands and Close Relatives | Ian Leith | Friday 6 April | 19.00
Story of emigration in the late 19th and early 20th Century of Caithness men and women who took on the challenges of moving and building their lives in a wild, windswept and open land
Practicing Deep Time | Friday 23 and Saturday 24 March
Yellowcake Atomic Modern | Gair Dunlop | 22 March 2018 Exhibition Opening 19.00
This Changes Everything film screening | Saturday 17 March at 19.00
What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?
World War 1: A Helmsdale Family Story | Wednesday 14 March at 19.00
All Aloud | Monday 12 March 19.00
Meeting to discuss forming a village choir. All Welcome.
Metamorphic Forms | Lotte Glob, Jenny Mackenzie Ross, and Patricia Shone
11 November 2017 – 25 February 2018
Crafts for Kids | Tuesday 20 February
Meet the Director | members of the community came to meet Sadie, our new Director.
Alternative Burns Night | 20 January 2018 at 19.00
The Fund Raising Committee hosted the Alternative Burns Night in the cafe. We were greeted in the foyer by Murdo Whitfield playing the pipes, sat down to a lovely haggis supper served by the volunteers. Lisa Macdonald read the Immortal Memory and Jean Sargent addressed the haggis. Following dessert of trifle or cranachan we had a half quiz set by Joan Murray which was won by a new team to the regular quiz evenings. The evening finished with singing by Lisa Macdonald and accompanied by Alan MacLeod.
Helmsdale River Opening | Thursday 11 January, 9.00 | Riverside Cafe Open
Timespan “Thank You” Tea Party | Friday 19 December at 14.00
We enjoyed an afternoon of fun as we reflected on the successful heritage programme of 2017 and looked forward to an exciting programme in 2018 with further collaborative museum developments, the new digital virtual world reconstruction project CINE exploring over 4000 years of human occupation and land use in Kildonan and local heritage initiatives led by the heritage group. A short presentation was followed by a quiz, games, raffle and lots of cake!
CINE is supported by The project is funded by the Northern and Arctic Periphery Programme (ERDF)NPA that this is a “European Regional Development Fund”.
Thank you to National Lottery Players | 16 and 17 December
National Lottery players who visit Timespan were given a free print of a historical photo from our Archive
Christmas Carols with Golspie Choral Group | 13 December at 19.00
Sale of Christmas inspired local produce
Golspie Choir at 19.30 followed by mulled wine and tasty treats
Hut Circle Survey at Caen, in Kildonan | Wednesday 13 December, 11-3, 2017
The archaeological survey went ahead despite the snowy weather and recorded three hut circles and souterrain located to the northwest of Caen Burn. The plans and data are being incorporated into a new virtual world reconstruction of the site as seen in the Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age and forms part of CINE (Connected Culture and Natural Heritage in a Northern Environment) which aims to aims to transform people’s experiences of outdoor heritage sites through technology, building on the idea of “museums without walls”.
If you would like to participate in future CINE events please contact Jacquie Aitken, Project Manager – email@example.com
Coffee Tasting | 26 November at 15.00
This was a fund raising event with proceeds going towards purchase of new coffee machine. We tasted four different coffees: Columbian, Monsoon Malabar, Java and Kenyan Zanadi. Coffees were supplied by the Inverness Coffee Roasting Company. Coffee cake and dessert, raffle and quiz.
The Great Edge by George Gunn| Book Launch | 16 November at 19.30
The Great Edge brings together lives – ancient and modern – on the northern plateau where Scotland stops and starts, where history and myth fuel everyday reality, and where nothing is as it seems.
When an archaeologist comes to Caithness to research an early Christian chapel, she must reckon with a crisis that is global and contemporary as well as local and ancient. Adopted by Fracher, a retired roughneck and local fisherman, Mags is spun into a galaxy of characters and events that force her to a profound understanding of the relationship between Past, Present and Future. Meanwhile, in 21st-century Atomic City, the decommissioning of a national nuclear icon brings several dreams to an end.
Annual Spooky Walk | 24 October 2017 with storyteller Lorna Jappy
Quiz Night with supper | 21 October 2017 at 19.00 | was won by The Four Candles team by a margin of four points.
Proceeds went towards finalising the Revisiting the Museum project
Bertha Bollette Boyd: Among Mountains and Monasteries | Tonje Bøe Birkeland
1 September – 8 October 2017
Lairg & East Sutherland Gaelic Choir at Kildonan Church | Sunday 1 October, 15.00
Transport leaving Timespan at 14.15
Followed by Cream Teas at Timespan
The Jellicoe Express The Royal Navy Special from Euston to Thurso
Plaque unveiled at Helmsdale Station 10.00
Illustrated talk by Robert Foden at Timespan 11.45
The Age of Stupid film screening | 21 September at 14.30
Ghosting the Castle | 15 & 16 September 2017
- Ghosting the Castle preview evening and archival material viewing session | Friday 15 September, 18.00
- Between Memory and Archive guided walk with Nicky Bird | Saturday 16 September, 14.00
- New Perspectives on the A9: Cultural heritage and photography talks | Saturday 16 September, 19.00
Saint Donnan The Great: Sanctuary and Sites in Kildonan | 2 September 2017 at 11.30, trip at 13.30 (shared cars)
Talk by Audrey Munro
Tonje Bøe Birkeland Talk at Eden Court part of the Flow Photofest | 2 September 2017
Walks on the Edge of Time: Eagle Rock | 3 September 2017 | £20 / person
Local mountain guide John King leads the second of two walks along a newly mapped route that traces the edge of a meteorite impact crater made 1.2 billion years ago.
Ghosting the Castle: A conversation between art and archive | 3 September 2017, Eden Court part of the Flow Photofest
Ghosting the Castle Memory and Archive | 15 & 16 September 2017
St Donnan the Great | Audrey Munro | 26 August 2017 at Kildonan Church | Bus leaves Timespan at 13.15
It was a fascinating look at the history of the Pictish Church and the life of St. Donnan in early Christian times. We followed the journey and work of St. Donnan from Whithorn, Kildonan to Eigg, and we learned more about the saint’s martyrdom and commemorative sites. This talk commemorated the martyrdom of St. Donnan which took place on 17 April AD617 – 1400 years ago! Sponsored by the Clan Gunn Society and The Friends of Kildonan Church
Helmsdale Highland Games | 19 August 2017
Digitising objects for preservation, evaluation & Engagement | 17 August 2017 Aimed at museum staff and volunteers
10.00 – 12.30 Object digitisation, technology, processes and virtual museums
13.30 – 16.00 Hands on sessions
Walks on the Edge of Time: Glen Calvie circuit | 13 August 2017 | £15 / person
Local mountain guide John King led the first of two walks along a newly mapped route that traces the edge of a meteorite impact crater made 1.2 billion years ago.
Folklore, Folklife: Four Decades of Collecting | A conversation with Peggy Yocom | 26 July 2017 at 14.00
Folklorist Peggy Yocom has spent the last 4 decades collecting folklife customs and traditions in Maine and Northern Virginia. We joined Peggy and Timespan’s Archive Development Officer, Jo Clements, for a conversation about collecting folklore, recording family stories, and archiving.
The conversation was followed by oral history training led by Jacquie Aitken, Timespan’s Heritage Officer. We learned how to use oral history recording equipment and conduct interviews.
Both There and Here: Walks on the Edge | Susan Tichy with Margaret “Peggy” Yocom | 25 July 2017, 19.00
Poet Susan Tichy read from her forthcoming book, The Avalanche Path in Summer, and spoke briefly about her new project, NORTH/ROCK/EDGE, which brought her from America to Sutherland.
The folklorist, poet, and storyteller Margaret “Peggy” Yocom also told a traditional tale, “The Black Laird and the Mossy Green Boat,” that invited us to cross boundaries of time and geography.
Black Rock Ceilidh | 7 July 2017
The Fundraising Committee hosted Black Rock Ceilidh band on Friday 7 July 2017 at 20.00.
Good music and traditional Scottish Country Dancing.
Admission £7.50 includes stovies. Licenced bar
Annual General Meeting | 21 June 2017
Talk by Helmsdale Kitchen Garden at 19.00
AGM at 19.30
A full copy of our annual report and financial statements was available at the meeting.
Duck Race | 10 June 2017, 14.00
Barbecue, Bottle Table and Produce Table
Duck Hunt | 10 June 2017, from 10.00
Jenny Sturgeon in Concert | 9 June 2017, 19.30
Common Groin | Christine Borland
Geoprophesy | Alison Scott at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery | 22 April – 4 June 2017
Revisiting Helmsdale’s Medieval Castle | Festival of Museums
Mapping Helmsdale Castle | 19 May at 14.00
A walk to the site of Helmsdale’s famous castle where we plotted it out on the ground and recorded it from above. Its size and shape was marked out by weather balloons. We discussed its history, architecture and more recent memories with our team of experts, led by artist Nicky Bird.
Its History, Memories and Grand Designs | 19 May at 19.30
We held an evening of short talks and dramatic presentation that shedded new light and perspectives on the castle that once presided at the coast. Artist in-residence Nicky Bird explored local recollections connected to the castle shared with her during research for her forthcoming project Ghosting the Castle. We learned about the castle structure, both past and virtually in the future, from Kate Morrison, Architectural Technician and playwright Lisa Mcdonald performed a new piece on the murder plot at the castle as recalled by the instigator Isabel Sinclair!
Storytelling and Art Session | 20 May at 10.00
A storytelling session was led by local pied piper Lorna Jappy who regaled us with thrilling tales and local stories from medieval times. We learnt about Medieval symbols and designs and were inspired to create colourful parade banners and flags.
Parade, Picnic Lunch and Medieval Mayhem Games | 20 May at 12.30
There was a special medieval themed parade and picnic lunch nearby the site of the old Helmsdale castle. The parade began at Timespan where picnic lunch boxes could be bought and collected. Our medieval storyteller led the parade and the afternoon’s Medieval Mayhem Games. Picnic lunch boxes and refreshments £4.50.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet | 20 May 19.30
A film screening of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the plot of which is said to have been partly inspired by the poisoning that took place at Helmsdale Castle. Showing the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2010 production of Hamlet starring David Tennant as a modern-day Hamlet in a mercurial, thrilling and often funny performance.
Quiz night with Supper | 29 April was won by the Tony’s Tigresses team
Pathways to Poetry workshop | Writing workshop with Laura Morgan organised by Flows to the Future, RSPB Forsinard | 8 April 2017 (via firstname.lastname@example.org)
Common Groin exhibition opening | 7 April 2017
Flowers from your Garden in any Container | Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad | 10 March – 2 April 2017
Making Museums: Place + Politics Symposium | Helmsdale Museum for a Day | 10 + 11 March
Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad exhibition Flowers from your Garden in any Container opening 9 March
A Layered Land | 19 November – 5 February 2017
Timespan 30 Years | An Organisational History
Making with Nature | Craft Workshop | Sat 4 February, 10.00
Peat Roads and Bog Lands Walk | Sat 4 February
Burns Supper | Sat 21 January 2017
Helmsdale River Opening | Wed 11 January, 9.00 | Riverside Cafe Open
Christmas Carols | Wed 14 December 2016, 19.30 | Admission £5
Whisky Tasting | Fri 9 December, 19.30 | Admission £5
The Jellyfish Society | Book Launch by Lydia Popowich | Sat 3 December, 15.00
Timespan at 30 – Open Day and Celebration Ceilidh | 19 November, all day
The Permanence of the Young Men – Five Seaforth Highlanders | Sat 12 Nov, 14.00 | Book Launch by Shona MacLeod and Robin Reid
Clockwork – The art and fascination of mechanical clocks | 10 November, 19.30 | talk by Dr Christopher Edwards
Cookery Demonstration | 8 November, 19.00 | with Rob from Thyme and Plaice
Spooky Walk | 24 October at 18.30| with storyteller Lorna Jappy
Seine Net Queens: What we’ve learned | 25 October at 15.00
From Parchment to Paper and Photographs | 2 November at 10.45 – 15.00
Highland Archaeology Festival object trail | 1 – 16 October 2016
We were one of more than 30 Highland museums participating in the HAF object trail. If you visited during the festival you would have discovered our featured object.
MAKE IT! | Children’s holiday activities | 10, 12, 14 Oct at Timespan and Helmsdale Community Centre
Quiz Night with Supper | Saturday 8 October was won by the The Fork Handles team.
Eabhal | presented by Sutherland Sessions | Friday 7 October, 20.00 at Timespan
DNA Genealogy Research Talk | 8 September, 19.00
A talk by Alasdair Macdonald of the Scottish Y-DNA project.
Drifters, Follow the Fleet | Film Screening | 10 September 19.30
Beatboxer and composer Jason Singh performed his live vocal score to John Grierson’s monumental silent film Drifters which follows North Sea herring trawlermen through their dramatic daily routines.
Children’s Duck Hunt took place on 3 September, there were three age groups – under 5, 5 -7 and 8 -12.
Duck Race the Fund Raising Committee held the annual duck race, there was a bottle stall and produce table and cream teas available.
All Objects Great and Small exhibition | 24 June – 28 August 2016
An exhibition in Timespan’s Community Workshop of Timespan’s full Collection of nearly 2000 objects opened up to the public.
Seine Net Queens exhibition opening | Friday 19 August 18.00
Object Photography Workshop with Rebecca Marr | 30 August 2016 | 11am
Childrens’ Drawing Workshop | 30 July 11.00 – 13.00 | Free to attend, materials provided
A workshop for children 12 and under exploring different drawing techniques and materials through a variety of games and activities inspired by the exhibition Tool Tales.
Vík Prjónsdóttir exhibition| 7 May – 26 June 2016
An exhibition that brings together contemporary design and traditional craft, showcasing the textile work of the Icelandic design collective Vík Prjónsdóttir.
All Objects Great and Small Exhibition Opening | 24 June at 18.00
Annual General Meeting | Tuesday 22 June at 19.00
Song of the Sea | Saturday 19 June 14.00
A screening of Song of the Sea, a gorgeous, animated retelling of Irish selkie myths that has enthralled children and adults alike.
Hamish Young: Reinscribe | 21 May to 18 June at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
An exhibition of work developed at Timespan by Timespan’s first Graduate Fellow Hamish Young on show at IMAG.
Last Footsteps of Home
| Friday 17 June 19.30
A haunting short film inspired by the true story of Kate MacPherson who was forced to leave her home during the Highland Clearances in 1813.
Stitches in Time: Knitting films and objects | Saturday 28 May
Stories of knitting past and present, factual and fictional though objects and film. Including a display of items from Timespan’s collection which relate to the history of knitting in Scotland as well as the screening of a selection of short films. Programmed in parallel to an exhibition of knitted work by Icelandic design collective Vík Prjónsdóttir.
Dale of the Helmet: Helmsdale’s Viking Heritage Day | 14 May 2016
Timespan invited you to the Viking village of Helmsdale to be immersed in an action-packed day.
- Helmsdale’s Viking Saga Stories | 11.00
Led by Tom Muir, Orkney storyteller
The lore of the Vikings was explored through traditional stories, creative writing and craft making. We learned about the bloody battle between Viking Jarls Svein Asleifsson and Olvir Rosta at Helmsdale in 1139 AD. Decorated Viking shields and swords with our own battle names and symbols and these were used in the battle re-enactment.
- Viking Leather and Wood Crafts Demonstration | 14.00
Led by Mike Ellis, Helmsdale Woodlanders, and Alasdair Sangster, Re-enactor and Leather Worker
We learned about the tools, materials and designs used in Viking leather and wood working crafts with live demonstrations and explanations from the experts.
- Re-enactment of Viking Battle at Helmsdale: Svein v Olvir | 15.30
We participated in the re-enactment of the Viking battle between Jarls Svein Asleifsson and Olvir Rosta in 1139 AD at Helmsdale. We learned about Viking armour and weaponry and our expert re-enactors led and trained two armies and demonstrated battle skills. The commentary followed the historical events.
- Viking Banquet | 18.30
Viking Jarl Olvir Rosta invited you to join him at an authentic Viking banquet which had a wide selection of traditional dishes, ceremonies and toasts. The evening’s entertainment included saga stories, re-enactments and music to stir the blood. The evening’s entertainment included saga stories with Orkney Storyteller, Tom Muir. Tickets £7.50 booking advised.
Quiz Night | Saturday 30 April 2016
The quiz was won by the Quizzicals team with the Pearl Fishers (a new team) a close second, well done to both teams.
Performing Histories exhibition | 1 March – 10 April 2016
An exhibition of video works from Scotland, Norway and Romania using processes of re-enactment to explore the conflicting cultural anxieties that construct national identities.
Glasgow Short Film Festival presents: Lost Treasure | 22 April 2016 19.30
A special film commissioned by Glasgow Short Film Festival for the 60th anniversary of a lost archive film that never was. Assembled by filmmaker Minttu Mäntynen and accompanied live by renowned musicians Drew Wright (Wounded Knee) and Hamish Brown (Swimmer One).
Where the Mirrie Dancers Play | Friday 25 March 18.30
Seven stories of the Northlands incorporating modern myth and ancient legends as we took a journey round the 58 degree latitude to the coasts of Norway, Estonia, Alaska and Canada in the company of the Mirrie Dancers, the Northern Lights. Performed by the Helmsdale Story Tellers and children from Helmsdale Primary School.
Written by Lisa Macdonald, directed by Nick Fearne, choreography Misa Brzezicki and lighting by Hamish Young.
True North Conference: Rewriting Histories | 17-19 March 2016
Disabled Access Day | Saturday 12 March 2016
It was an opportunity to learn about our museum on a guided tour at 11 am, entry to museum free for you and your carer.
A Ladies Fashion Show | Thursday 25 February
The Fund Raising Committee and New Start Highland presented a ladies fashion show. All items modelled and more were available to purchase. Refreshments and Raffle. Entrance £5
New Views of Sutherland in Film and Photos | Friday 19 February
Timespan’s Geek in residence, John McCaffery spent November, December and January exploring Helmsdale and district using a variety of technologies. John’s work is intended to share Sutherland’s beauty from new perspectives, online and on mobile devices.
We were given a sneak preview of John’s work on the big screen, before it was shipped off to the University of St Andrews to be used in further research in this area. There were photos, videos, photospheres and videospheres. Also included was an update on the 58° degrees north project with a showcase of Photospheres produced by the community in Helmsdale as well as by our latitude neighbours.
Winter Salon | 5 December to 31st January 2016
The Winter Salon showcased work from artists and makers North of the Caledonian Canal, shedding light on the breadth of creativity in the region.
Bunillidh Rowing Club | Fund Raising Event |Saturday 30 January at 19.30 in Timespan
Cheese, wine and whisky tasting event
Where we live: Sutherland Street | Saturday 30 January at 11.00
Kildonan and Loth Historic Map Display includes 19th Century Fishing Rods on show.
Walk from Helmsdale Golf Course to Bodachan Gates | Saturday 23 January
Quiz Night | Saturday 16 January 2016, 19.00
The Fund Raising Committee prepared a supper of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. Joan had prepared some very difficult questions, the Four Candles team won.
Helmsdale Rock Walk | Saturday 16 January
Place Names along the River Helmsdale | Tuesday 12 January 2016 at 19.30
This was an opportunity to find out about these old Norse and Gaelic settlements, as well as the meaning behind the names. Included old maps, archival photos, history and stories.
River Opening Breakfast | Monday 11 January 2016 from 8.30
Call for Papers and Ideas | True North Conference: Rewriting Histories | 18-19 March 2016
Where We Live: Historic Maps of Kildonan and Loth | Saturday 12 December 11.30 to 16.00
A display of maps and plans from the 1600s to present day. The display included maps by Gordon c. 1630s, Seller’s circumpolar map c. 1650s, Blaeu 1654, Roy 1747-55, Forbes 1820, OS 1st and 2nd editions etc. We learned more about how the area was planned and mapped through the ages and helped us record local place names in the village and landscape.
Where We Live: Christmas Party | Thursday 17 December 2 pm
Where We Live: Dunrobin Street South Side | Saturday 5 December 11.30 am to 1 pm
A presentation tracing the history of the buildings along the south side of Dunrobin Street. We learned more about Helmsdale’s first commercial street from its commencement in 1814 to present day. The history was brought alive through old archival images and maps, post occupant research and stories from those who lived there.
Where We Live: Dunrobin Street South Side | Thursday 10 December 2 pm
Winter Salon Exhibition Opening | 4 December | 6pm
Set Adrift Upon the World | Book Launch | 28 November
In this book James Hunter tells the story of the Sutherland Clearances. His researches took him to archives in Scotland, England and Canada, to the now deserted straths of Sutherland, to the frozen shores of Hudson Bay. The result is a gripping, moving, definitive account of a people’s struggle for survival in the face of tragedy and disaster which includes experiences which have not featured in any previous such account.
1 – 4 pm Minibus Tour of Kildonan
Explore the landscape of the Sutherland Clearances with the author.
7.30 pm Book Reading and Signing
We heard about the authors approach to one of the most controversial episodes in the history of the Highlands.
Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis | The work of Sophus Tromholt refound by Christine Finn
17 October – 15 November
During the first International Polar Year 1882/3, Danish-born school teacher and self-taught scientist, Sophus Tromholt, travelled to Kautokeino, Norway to establish a northern lights research centre.
Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis centred around a set of aurora drawings made by Tromholt during that year and found in the University of Bergen archive by creative archaeologist and journalist Christine Finn in early 2015.
The exhibition presented these images as contemporary art, recognising both their aesthetic and scientific qualities. Also visible is a visual archaeology of the image over time – from Tromholt’s original drawings, through Victorian photographic processes and finally 21st Century digital printing.
Quiz Night | Saturday 31 October
Spooky Walk | Friday 30 October
The Road to Venice | Friday 23 October 2015 18:00
In July 2009 Clemens Wilhelm started out on foot to walk from Munich to the Venice Biennial. The path of more than 600 km took him across the alps in one month, from the Southern German lowlands across the high mountain ranges of the Alps and down to the Adriatic sea. Along the way he took a photograph of the road ahead every 15 minutes.
For this event, image and music came together to create an evocative documentation of this journey with live musical accompaniment performed by Norwegian artist and musician Joakim Blattmann.
Under the Rays of the Aurora Borealis | Exhibition Opening | 16th October
Get Writing! – Creative Writing Workshop | Magi Gibson | Thursday 15th October
Was suitable for beginners and experienced writers.
In this one day workshop Magi Gibson helped attendees find their true voice, the one that’s drowned out by all the other roles life demands. The workshop dealt with the basics of the craft of writing, from poetry to short story to novel, as well as the basics on how to get published. Some new work was started by the end of the day, and attendees left all revved up to write with renewed energy and self-confidence.
Magi Gibson writes poetry, short stories, novels and plays. She has held several Scottish Arts Council Creative Writing Fellowships as well as a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship with Paisley University. Her third poetry collection, Wild Women of a Certain Age, is in its fourth print run, her children’s novels are published by Puffin, and she was joint winner of the Scotland on Sunday/Women 2000 Poetry Competition. In 2009 she was appointed Makar of the City of Stirling, the first in 500 years. Her work is published in many literary anthologies and magazines. She is known throughout her native Scotland as an excellent creative writing tutor, and has worked in both community and university settings.
Malachy Tallack | Book Reading: 60º North | 10 October
The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds. Wrapping itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden and Norway, it crosses the tip of Greenland and the southern coast of Alaska, and slices the great expanses of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, where Malachy Tallack has spent most of his life.
In Sixty Degrees North, Tallack travels westward, exploring the landscapes of the parallel and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory. Sixty Degrees North is an intimate book, one that begins with the author’s loss of his father and his own troubled relationship with Shetland, and concludes with an acceptance of loss and an embrace – ultimately a love – of the place he calls home.
Death Makes Angels of Us All | Clemens Wilhelm
17 September – 11 October 2015
Death Makes Angels of Us All brought together three video works by German artist Clemens Wilhelm who was undertaking a three-month residency in Helmsdale that takes as its starting point the legacy of Joseph Beuys, following the ARTIST ROOMS exhibition of Beuys’ work at Timespan this summer. This exhibition touched on the stories we create about ourselves and about others, and the reasons we might tell them.
Cajun Dinner | 2 October
Hearty Autumn Chowder made with seasonal squash, Gumbo – a stew made with strongly flavoured stock and vegetables and Pecan Pie for dessert.
A Night of World Jazz with David MacGregor | 2 October 7.30 pm
David MacGregor born in Dunfermline in 1985, is a virtuoso solo finger style guitarist and composer. David since leaving Perth College has played in many different genres, such as Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Funk, Heavy Metal, Reggae and traditional Scottish music.
David became interested finger style solo jazz guitar while playing in the band Coma-Toast and in 2009 after having a lesson with the award winning guitarist Martin Taylor he decided to concentrate on a solo jazz career. He has performed all over Europe and North America, receiving rave reviews from promoters and gig goers.
Shore Street | 18 September
Jacquie Aitken gave a presentation on Helmsdale’s Shore Street. Where We Live will focus on research into the history of the houses and crofts and their past occupants in the parishes of Kildonan and Loth.
The investigation will be undertaken by research teams from the local area who have an interest in where they live and a desire to share virtual and real landscapes and village views around the 58 latitude. People around the globe, will be invited to share stories of their oldest buildings and views of where they live, through photospheres and virtual world technology.
There will be a programme of research support workshops, walks and trips to gather archival information and to fill in the gaps in our records.
58º North Exhibition Opening | 18 September
The opening of our 58° North exhibition to view impressions of 6 villages on the 58th latitude illustrated with images, maps, facts and figures in the style of a travel diary. We explored our journey around the globe through Google Cardboard and photosphere technology.
We drew a circle around the globe on the 58th latitude and identified six creative communities that are located close to the sea with similar populations to Helmsdale, in Sutherland. These settlements share our Northern identity and we will learn how they have been shaped by climate and past events, to reveal our shared histories and unique environment and culture. We will travel to interesting places, create travel blogs and share stories and experiences. This will help us understand the main issues that may affect our future along the 58th latitude.
Death Makes Angels of Us All | Clemens Wilhelm | Exhibition Opening 16 September at 6 pm
ARTIST ROOMS: Joseph Beuys | 6 June – 6 September
Clemens Wilhelm | Talk | 2 September at 7 pm
An evening with Clemens Wilhelm who travelled to Helmsdale from Berlin to undertake a residency in conjunction with the ARTIST ROOMS: Joseph Beuys exhibition.
Clemens shared his thoughts on Beuys’ legacy and the influence his work has had on artists working today, offering an opportunity to find out more about both Beuys and Clemens too.
Force-fire: an antidote for the ills of our age | 15 August
Tim Knowles created a contemporary reworking of the folklore ritual Force-fire at Helmsdale’s Highland Games 2015.
Navidale Crofting Settlement | 25 July, 11 am to 1 pm
It’s history through archive and photos
Make it – Name it – Sail it | 15 July, 10.30am and 17th July, 10.30am
A children’s boat building workshop to construct, waterproof and sail a paper boat (for young people aged 5 to 15).
Duck Race | 4 Jul, 3pm
The Fund Raising Committee had cream teas, barbecue, childrens’ events and the duck race.
Family snap to historical artifact: understanding and caring for your old photographs | Tuesday 30 June 1pm
1pm – 1.45pm Introduction to understanding and caring for your old photographs
2pm – 4pm Drop in with family photographs and attendees found out what Rachel could help them discover
Attendees brought their family photograph albums and snaps brought them down to Timespan to learn about understanding and caring for their old photographs. Rachel Nordstrom, photographic expert from the Institute of Conservation and St Andrews University, joined for a session focused on the photographs that were brought in. Treasures from Timespan’s archive were also on display.
Helmsdale Regatta | 27 June
Bunillidh Rowing Club hosted the first Helmsdale Regatta.
Annual General Meeting | Wednesday 24 June, 7 pm
A recap of last year’s programme and opportunity to elect new Board Members. A full copy of our annual report and financial statements was available at the meeting.
Helmsdale School 60th Anniversary | 19 June, 1.30 pm at Helmsdale Primary School
A wonderful selection of class photos and objects spanning 60 years and more were available to view. There was also a memory book with fascinating bygone school-day snippets from former pupils with accompanying drawings by current pupils.
Gartymore Crofting Settlement | Saturday 13 June, 11am
Jacquie Aitken, Heritage Officer. This presentation was organised as part of a new research project to record the history of the crofts and their past occupants.
Talk: A History of Helmsdale Station | Saturday 13 June, 2pm
Michael Willmot revealed the discoveries made about the history of this unique listed building during its recent rescue and restoration, and explained why this is Scotland’s only nineteenth-century concrete station. The talk was followed by a tour of the 1871 Station House.
Creative Place Celebration | Saturday 6 June
An all-day celebration of Helmsdale as a 2014 Creative Place award-winner! Attendees were able to see the results of Timespan’s recent short residency programme, Serendipitous North, and discovered the creativity abounding in Helmsdale’s homes, crofts, shops and streets.
Meet Your Maker Event: Made in the North | Saturday 6 June
An exploration of contemporary craft practice in the Northern Highlands and Islands. In collaboration with Craft Scotland, Timespan hosted a Meet Your Maker event, featuring hands-on morning workshops followed by an afternoon of informal discussion.
Possible Scotland | 11 April 2015 – 24th May 2015
Possible Scotland presented the recent work of the research and design collective Lateral North. As part of a residency with Timespan, and in collaboration with author Sue Reid Sexton, they visited various Highlands and Islands communities in their camper-van-travelling-workshop, investigated notions of place, culture and identity in Northern Scotland. Their findings were on show in Timespan’s gallery.
Quiz Night | Saturday 16 May
The quiz night included supper and questions on gold to finish the day on the gold rush theme. Supper was included great fish pie or cottage pie cooked by the Fundraising Committee and also featured a raffle, and bar for refreshments.
Gold Rush Around 58 Degree Latitude | Saturday 16 May
Display of unique objects from Timespan’s gold rush collection. Following the story of the Kildonan gold rush of 1869. Information about Timespan’s 58 Degree Latitude project beginning with the gold rush site at Hoonah, Alaska. Younger visitors were able to hunt for gold nuggets and try panning for gold.
Talk: Learn about the collection and archives.
Talk: A Gold Panner’s Story.
Creative Writing Workshop | Saturday 9th May
Historical Novelist, Sue Reid Sexton, used a series of easy exercises that helped us free our muse, blast the block, explore potential and surprised us. Attendees brought an object which signified an imagined FUTURE in their area. Sue is the author of Mavis’ Shoe, a novel about the Clydebank blitz of 1941, and the sequel Rue End Street. She also writes short fiction and poetry. Her work in progress was a non-fiction book about adventures in a tiny camper van. She has a background in social work and psychotherapy and now works in a vast array of writing endeavours. This workshop was programmed in conjunction with the exhibition Possible Scotland.
Residency: Alistair Gentry | Geek in Residence | Feb – April 2015
Creative practitioner, Alistair Gentry, as part of Timespan’s Paradigm North project introduced and gave access to advanced digital technology. Residents of Helmsdale and visitors alike got hands on experience of 3D printing technologies. A collaboration with MAKlab. Visit Alistair’s blog.
Residency: Sue Reid Sexton | Lateral North | Feb – April 2015
Author Sue Reid Sexton as part of Lateral North’s Possible Scotland exhibition visited communities throughout the north of Scotland in a retro fitted Roma Camper van.
Residency: Samantha Clark | Dark Matter | Jan – March 2015
Through the dark months of a Northern Winter, Samantha Clark explored what darkness might illuminate, and conversely what light might hide or obscure. Visit her blog.
Trip to Kinloss Cistercian, Moray | Saturday 28 March, 10am-5pm
Dark Matter: Artist’s Talk by Samantha Clark | Tuesday 24 March, 7pm
Samantha shared some of the work developed over three months and opened up some of the scientific, philosophical, and experiential ideas around darkness and dark matter that have informed her practice. Throughout her residency, Samantha was posting regularly to the Dark Matter blog on Timespan’s website, sharing her thoughts and observations as her work developed.
Putting Helmsdale on the Map | Sunday 22 March, 11am – 2:30pm
We contributed to Helmsdale’s map tablecloth with artist Deirdre Nelson. Threads, fabric pens and needles were provided for those wishing to stitch, no experience necessary! What would you add to the inventory of Makers?
Quiz Night | Saturday 21 March
Mini Pilgrimage Walk | Saturday 21 March, 11am-1pm
Gartymore to Badstor: A Crofter’s Journey
Eclipse viewing | Friday 20 March, 8.15am, meet at Timespan
As the moon moved across the sun, a very particular darkness fell across the North of Europe. We watch in company from a Helmsdale viewpoint and experienced the incredible effect of this rare astronomical lunar / solar alignment.
Film Screening: Alasdair Gray, A Life in Progress | Thursday 19 March, 7pm
Alasdair Gray, one of the giants of Scottish Arts, has gained a reputation as a great writer, artist, notorious drunkard, irrascible interviewee and controversial essayist. In this intimate portrait, filmed over the course of 15 years, he allowed himself to be filmed creating work that has become part of the living heritage of Scotland. This feature length documentary gets behind the hype, revealing a character who is by turns incisive, chaotic and laugh out loud funny. Q and A followed the screening with the maker, Kevin Cameron. Watch the trailer here.
Mini Pilgrimage Walk | Saturday 14 March 11am – 1pm
Helmsdale Village: Maker’s Journey with Deirdre Nelson
Trip to Monastery site, Dunbeath | Wednesday 11 March, 11am-5pm
We joined composer and poet Petra Vergunst on a thought provoking journey along Neil Gunn’s Highland River and the monastic site at Ballachly.
Illustrated Talk: Pictish Symbol Stones | Monday 9 March, 7:30pm
We uncovered the mystery of the Picts and learned about their symbols.
True North conference | 5 & 7 March 2015
A multidisciplinary conference on documentation in art and archives. Keynote speakers included artists Ross Sinclair, the research and design collective Lateral North and Peter Davidson, academic and author of The Idea of North.
Mini Pilgrimage Walks | Saturday 28 February
Helmsdale to Navidale: Following in the Footsteps of St Ninian
Rockets Galore screening | Thursday 26 February, 7pm
The sequel to the classic comedy, Whisky Galore, Rockets Galore returns to the fictional Hebridean island of Todday where its community are up in arms at plans to site a missile base in their midst. Though humorous in tone, the film makes visible the very real anxieties around militarisation and Cold War technologies that existed at the time of its production.
WW1 Exhibition | September 2014 – February 2015
An incredible display of photographs, letters and objects from our archive and local sources exploring the effect of the First World War on Helmsdale and it’s people.
Geek in Residence Drop-in Session | Saturday 21 February, 10am-2pm
This was an opportunity to watch a 3D printer in action, to find out about the world of digital embroidery. People brought along objects they would like to scan 3D printed. With the assistance of our #geek-in-residence who made customers wildest, geekiest dreams come true! Alistair Gentry, our geek, in partnership with MAKLab introduced us to some amazing digital fabrication equipment.
Come and meet Alistair Gentry, our geek, and get an introduction to some of the amazing digital fabrication equipment that has recently arrived in Timespan as part of our partnership with MAKLab.
Mini Pilgrimage Walks | Saturday 21 February
West Helmsdale to Gartymore: A Peatcutter’s Journey
The Northern Picts and their Symbol Stones | Saturday 21 February, 2.30pm
An illustrated talk uncovered some of the mystery of the Picts and explored their exquisite carved stones and artwork. We learned what the symbols could mean and how to identify them.
Valentine’s Concert | Hula and the Hoops | Saturday 14 February, 7.30pm
Music of the 50s and 60s, was brought to you by Hula and the Hoops
Mini Pilgrimage Walks | Saturday 14 February
Helmsdale – St. John’s Graveyard – Marrell
Cold War Memories and Futures Workshop | Saturday 14 February, 11am – 1pm
Opportunity to add your voice to the exhibition in the workshop was led by artists Roxane Permar and Susan Timmins. Through conversation and writing the workshop explored memories of the Cold War period and their continued resonances today.
Exhibition opening | Northern Exchange | Friday 13 February, 6pm/all welcome
Featuring Shetland-based artists Roxane Permar and Susan Timmins, Northern Exchange brought together a body of work investigating the legacy of the Cold War in Northern Scotland as it exists both physically in the landscape, and in memory. The exhibition ran from the 13th of February through to the 5th of April.
The Place Names along the River Ullidh | Saturday 31 January, 2.30pm
Illustrated talk followed by discussion. A ‘Pilgrimage’ journey where we discovered the meaning behind the places names that span over 2000 years of settlement!
Mini Pilgrimage Walks: Rambling around Kildonan and Loth | Saturday 31 January
Helmsdale Village to Land League Monument
Victorian Fishing Rod Display | Jan 12 -18
A wonderful collection of rare rods & reels, carrier boxes, Kainer’s telescope, as well as selection of old archival photographs were on display. This exhibition was part of a week of events celebrating the Helmsdale River Opening.
Timespan’s Burns Supper | 17 January, 7pm for 7.30pm Tickets £18 or £15 conc./booking essential
The Place Names along the River Ullidh | 15 January, 7.30pm
We went on a ‘Pilgrimage’ journey as we discovered the meaning behind the places names that span over 2000 years of settlement!
“Kiss the Water” film screening | 13 January, 7.30pm/free admission
Helmsdale River Opening Ceremony | Monday 12 January/10am
Meeting the Past, Making Our Future | Jan 10, 1:30 – 2:30pm, Timespan Archive
Meeting the Past, Making our Future was an opportunity to explore some recent discoveries and be updated on plans for the future of the archive.
On display were archival items ranging from the 18th Century to 2014, covering subjects as diverse as estate management, the clearances, school photographs and domestic life.
Winter Salon Exhibition | 23 November – 11 January
The Winter Salon showcased work from artists and makers North of the Caledonian Canal, shedding light on the breadth of creativity in the region.
Modern Pilgrimages | 20 December, 11am
We took a mini bus trip with our Heritage Officer, Jacquie Aitken to visit the sites of St. Donan in the Strath of Kildonan.
St Donan’s Journey into Pictland | 13 December, 2.00pm
Timespan’s project on Modern Pilgrimages commenced with a talk entitled ‘St Donan’s Journey into Pictland’. We learned about the life of St Donan and sites associated with the saint in Kildonan and how he became to be martyred on Eigg.
Christmas Tea & Storytelling | 13 December, 2:00pm, 5:00pm
We enjoyed a festive high tea with local seasonal gifts available to purchase. We finished with a storytelling event.
Christmas Concert with Golspie Choir | 11 December, 7:30pm
We got into the Christmas mood with much loved carols and music around the tree followed by tempting festive refreshments.
Retro Night | 5 December, 6:30pm, £12 (incl meal) or £5 dance only
We danced the night away with Hula and the Hoops. Penny Innes produced a delicious three course meal in sixties style.
Starter: a choice of French Onion soup or Prawn Cocktail
Main course: Chicken a la King or Lasagne/Vegetarian Lasagne
Dessert: Cheesecake or Trifle.
The Possibilities are Endless, Edwyn Collins 2nd Helmsdale Film Screening | 27 Nov 6:30pm
We were very excited to host a free screening of The Possibilities are Endless, a documentary capturing the singer songwriter’s return to writing and performing music after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage in 2005. This was a thank you from Edwyn and his wife Grace to the people of Helmsdale.
RSPB Forsinard Talk | 25 November
The Forsinard Flows is an important area of peat land that creates habitats for rare species of animal and plant life. We heard what the RSPB are doing to maintain this very special area.
Winter Salon Exhibition | 22 November, 7:00pm
Our Winter Salon exhibition opened showcasing the breadth of creativity of local and regional artists. We also held a discussion to conclude the Winter Salon Launch; BOUNDARY LINES: Where is our Local? What is our edge? An event that focussed on the question, what defines local in this region and in what way is an art practice shaped by living in the North.
Christmas Quiz | 22 November, 7:00pm
Doug Allen – Life Behind the Lens | 18 November, 7.30pm, Tickets £8
The award winning cameraman regaled us with stories of his adventures, encounters and insights. TV credits included the epic wildlife series: Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Life, Human Planet, Ocean Giants, Frozen Planet, Operation Iceberg and Wild Cameramen at Work.
The Possibilities are Endless, Edwyn Collins Film Screening | 11 Nov 6:30pm
We were very excited to host a free screening of The Possibilities are Endless, a documentary capturing the singer songwriter’s return to writing and performing music after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage in 2005. This was a thank you from Edwyn and his wife Grace to the people of Helmsdale.
Helmsdale’s War – WW1 Theatre Production | 8 November | 6.00pm
A Story of the 1st World War in word, image and song directed by Mike Hardy de Guerra and written by Lisa Macdonald.
To commemorate the centenary of WW1, Timespan hosted a theatrical production. A combination of projection and spoken word were used, it was a reflection on the War and its effects on the people of Helmsdale.
Timespan Halloween, Spooky Walk | 29 Oct 6:30pm
Helmsdale’s World War One Exhibition Launch | Saturday 4 October, 7pm-9pm
The official community opening of this thought provoking display focusing on the local service men and women involved in WW1. The display included photographs, war diaries and letters, medals and items which represented many families from the area. The Heritage Committee gathered photographs about the people on the war memorials.
Serendipitous Dance Sessions | Every Friday from 29 August – 26 September, 3.30pm-5pm – 60+, 6pm-8pm – Open session (14+)
200 Years of Sea Fishing at Helmsdale presentation | Thursday 25 September, 7pm
This presentation included a summing up of the project and what had been achieved to date. There was an update on the preservation of the old Fifie boat and a chance to see some of the more interesting photographs and stories that have come to light. Refreshments & Raffle