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Visitor Numbers On The Up At Highland Folk Museum (09/09/09)
Since the decision was taken by The Highland Council in 2007, the Year that Scotland Celebrated Highland Culture, to make the Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore, a free admission attraction, visitor numbers have continued to grow at the popular open air ‘living history’ venue.
Three years on and in 2009, the ‘Year of Homecoming’, visitor numbers have made a dramatic rise. Visitor numbers for July this year were 26% higher than July 2008.
The staff at the popular living history Museum have been overwhelmed by not only the numbers of but also by the responses they have received from enthusiastic visitors to their welcome, the exhibits based around relocated and recreated buildings, the interpretation, activities and overall environment.
A recent survey indicated that 85% of visitors rated their visit as ‘excellent’. Museum Curator, Bob Powell said: ‘We are very proud of our staff who endeavour at all times to give our visitors a welcoming, enjoyable and informative visit. They all give more than their hundred percent and this undoubtedly contributes to the success of the Museum and has been reflected by the museum once again achieving the premier visitor services accreditation of ‘Hospitality Assured’.’ This is on top of the UK museum profession’s standard of ‘Accreditation’ awarded during 2008.
On top of maintaining free admission, the Museum continually strives to develop it site further to enhance the visit for both new and returning visitors. 2009 saw the completion of a newly recreated Turf House at the Museum’s 1700s Highland Township and the opening of a early 1900s Summer House, a small vernacular type of building that was key to the earlier Highland tourist trade.
New for the 2010 season will be a 1800s cottage which is currently being recreated and plans are underway for the relocation from Newtonmore village of what was once known as the ‘Craigdhu Tweed Cottage’.
The Highland Folk Museum is open until October 31st, 2009 from 11am to 4.30pm. Forthcoming attractions include as part of the Highland’s October ‘Homecoming’ celebrations a visit to the Museum by the re-enactment group ‘The Fraser Regiment’ on October 24th and 25th, weaving demonstrations of the Museum’s ‘Homecoming’ tartan on October 23rd and 24th and traditional ‘Waulking’ (Shrinking the tweed accompanied by Gaelic song) on the 21st and 26th.
The Highland Folk Museum is part of The Highland Council’s, Education Culture & Sport Service. www.highlandfolk.com