My life as a museum novice!

In August 2018, Ellen Pryde, began her journey in the Museum sector thanks to Museums Galleries Scotland’s Skills for Success Trainee programme. Here are Ellen’s words describing the start of her journey.


On 6th August 2018, I took my firsts steps on a new career path in museums after spending the past few years jumping around different jobs in the hospitality industry.  Thanks to Museums Galleries Scotland, I will be spending the next 12 months gaining skills in an industry that more often than not requires a degree to pursue, culminating with a vocational qualification for my efforts.  So far, it has been immensely interesting and unlike any job I’ve had before!

In the last few weeks I’ve learned more about Iron Age life than I ever thought there was to learn; not only because of the vast collection of artefacts and information available in the museum but also through hands-on experience available on site.  As well as a reconstructed Crannog that you can be guided through, there’s an abundance of skills to be taught about technology, cooking and textiles.  In this past month I’ve been shown how to use a lathe to produce objects using turned wood (a skill I have definitely not mastered and probably will not master any time soon), I’ve dyed my own wool using natural techniques which in turn I can learn to spin and weave into a piece of fabric and I’ve been given a glimpse into a world of food just waiting to be foraged from the landscapes of Kenmore and beyond.  All of this could not be learned without the help of my new colleagues, Iron Age interpreters who each day come to work and live out this experimental type of archaeology, which ultimately helps them teach others all about this Prehistoric time period.

The coming months will be full of new skills and experiences in the museum itself as well as behind the scenes.  There is so much more to learn about collections, data and cataloguing, marketing and evaluation of our engagement with the public, local communities and even the group of people who work and volunteer every day – the Crannog Community of the 21st Century.

I hope you’ll follow my journey as I work towards my qualification and see what opportunities the next twelve months bring.