My life as a museum novice – Settling down for winter

As we hunker down for winter, Ellen explains how her role changes with the seasons.


As the visitor season ends at the Crannog Centre, a quietness can be found outside – the usual hustle and bustle of our little Iron Age village has been packed up for the winter, hibernating away from the cold, wet weather.  But behind the scenes, it’s still business as usual!

Over the past 4 months, I’ve spent a lot of time learning new skills from our tour guiding to crafts to marketing and social media.  Most of my experience has been focused on one aspect of the job – engaging with visitors on site.  So now that we’re closed for the season and there are no visitors to engage with, where do we focus our attention?  Well, in fact, there are still visitors to think about; future and potential visitors that is!

The vision of the Crannog Centre is to become a ‘national treasure, admired by all’ and to get to that stage, a lot of forward planning is needed.  As with any business trying to build their brand, future visitors from all over the world are at the forefront of the plans for the future.  Next year will be the ‘Year of Music’ at the Centre and so many of our projects and events are focusing on that theme.  These events need to be created, sourced and planned for the coming year in order to be exposed to as many people as possible through traditional marketing and social media (the platform that never sleeps).  There is also maintenance to be done both inside and out as our Crannog sits quietly on the loch waiting to have a spring clean and repair.

Part of my experience will be getting stuck into the redevelopment of the exhibition and the display of the collection as we add new artefacts to be admired by the public.  As the Crannog ages, so does the museum so, as many do in the spring months, we will be updating and expanding the interpretation to be bigger and more engaging than ever.

So, although the site is empty, and it might seem like there will be no sign of life until spring, there will be plenty of new skills to be learned and new experiences to be had.  I look forward to seeing what the next year will bring not only to me but to the Crannog Community 2019!