Comment posted First lambs at Auchindrain since 1967 by Bob Clark.
The vacancy was advertised for several weeks through JobCentrePlus – the Government’s official system. After reviewing applications from all over Europe (only a handful of which were from within the UK and even fewer from within Argyll), an open and objective recruitment process selected the applicant with the best mix of experience and skills.
Provided that language ability is not an issue and the applicant is an EC citizen, I do not believe it would be lawful to take an applicant’s nationality into account as a recruitment issue.
Recent comments by Bob Clark
- Argyll & the Isles Tourism Cooperative: where’s the mojo?
The perhaps widely-unexpected sudden departure of Mike Storey from AITC is to be much regretted, because over the last couple of years he has made a huge contribution to the development of tourism marketing in Argyll. But what’s done is done, and one has to hope that the reasons he has moved on were not avoidable.
Mike is absolutely right in saying that there are some very good people involved in the Board of AITC, and it is indeed now up to them and the rest of us in the sector to continue to carry the torch and to develop onwards and outwards from the point to which his hard work and determination has brought us.
There is, however, perhaps in this just one concern, which is that Argyll is not historically used to having a tourism sector that is dynamic, vociferous and active in promoting itself. It will be all too easy for everyone and everything to slip back into a state of recumbent semi-dormancy until in a few years someone else like Mike comes along and kicks it all back into life again.
In the short to medium term, one might suggest that what we now need is for a strong individual or collective leadership to emerge from the AITC Board – or indeed from amongst individuals not currently on that Board – which can focus on consolidating the ground gained and widening the base of people willing to actively engage in the process of making things happen. If in this respect AITC maybe has an inherent flaw, it is that its Board consists of the nominated representatives of a series of organisations, some stronger and some weaker, which may each have a tendency to focus on their own area rather than following the visionary zeal of “Argyll and the Isles” and who, at the end of the day, will each be a team of one with many other roles and responsibilities as well.
Whilst there is much to commend such an approach in a strategic body whose primary role is to ensure the ship continues to sail in the right direction, is there perhaps now also a place for a wider and maybe less formal grouping consisting of active “doers” who buy into Mike’s vision and who are prepared to work together in pursuit of it regardless of the particular area or grouping in which they sit?
So who (else) is ready and willing? And in the immediate future, who will now step forward to pull us together under the directional leadership of the AITC Board? Please … will someone put their hand up for this?
- Auchindrain gets credit for going Scotwest
A fair question, but one to which we cannot at present provide any answer other than that in due course all will become clear.
Our short-term appeal in June raised enough to keep us going for a crucial period. Thank you, everyone.
- Auchindrain gets credit for going Scotwest
No, we don’t have many employees, but shouldn’t we do the best by those we have? A good number of those that work here are youngsters on government-funded training placements, and our view is that helping them to learn the discipline of saving and careful financial management is just as important as teaching them practical work-skills. It’s not like it is a major activity that takes much time or effort, or costs us money.
For the past three years the Trustees have been very active indeed in seeking a solution to the half-century-old conundrum of a small, single-purpose charity seeking to care for a large and internationally-significant historic site, almost in the middle of nowhere and without the capacity to handle large numbers of visitors, with no resources other than earned income and short-term project grants. But it is a slow process and not one that can be played out in the public eye: ForArgyll and the rest of the media may well not know what is happening in this respect, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing going on!
- How do you write a tender and appoint a bidder when you know nothing about the subject yourself?
Sue Crossman has a very sound background in arts and heritage consultancy, as well as tourism, and is a “known name” who has been around a long time. She is shrewd, incisive and nobody’s patsy.
Keep in mind the possibility that in practice she may do most of the real thinking and strategising, within an exercise fronted up by others. In consultancy such an outcome wouldn’t be unknown.
There are FAR worse potential bidders that the Council could have picked.
- Vintage tractor mechanic wanted by Auchindrain for 1950s Fergie
Auchindrain has an excellent working relationship with Kittochside, and from time to time the two museums do of course work together. Regrettably, however, it is not a practical proposition for their vehicle maintenance arrangements to be extended 80 miles north-west to cover Auchindrain – even if that were contractually and financially possible.
We also have a great relationship with our local Ferguson deadlers, Hamilton Brothers, who rebuilt the tractor earlier this year. But they are 70 miles away in Campbeltown or 60 miles away in Bishopton, and a place like Auchindrain can’t afford to be calling out “main dealer” mechanics every time something needs to be fixed or an oilchange is necessary.
We are hoping to hear from someone who is based not too far away from us, who has a background as a mechanic and is familiar with tractors, and who is willing to do some work for Auchindrain when necessary.
All motor vehicles require regular servicing, and most from time to time need minor repairs. The frequency and extent of what needs to be done tends to increase in relation to the vehicle’s age and the amount it is used. We can only continue to use our Fergie as it was intended if we can look after it properly, and unfortunately none of the people in the museum’s very small team has the skills and experience, let alone the time, to take on an additional role as Tractor Mechanic!
Ideally, we would like to recruit someone who will join the team at Auchindrain on a long-term, even if very part-time, basis. We want someone who will come in and help us create a proper tractor maintenance facility in one of our barns, who will then undertake all the routine servicing in accordance with the manufacturer’s schedules (which we have), who will be on call to respond when a fault develops, and who in general will take responsibility for making sure that it stays running and in good condition.
Obviously, being a Scottish Charity, our ideal solution would be to find that we’ve got a retired heavy vehicle mechanic living nearby who would quite like to keep his hand in and help a good cause in the process. Being realistic, however, we expect to discuss the basis of a working relationship with whoever comes forward to offer their services.
So: if you are based not too far from Auchindrain, have experience in vehicle maintenance, and fancy the challenge of looking after a 1950s tractor that is actively used, we’re very keen to hear from you. Email, as above, to email@example.com.
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