On Saturday 16th October I attended STICK’s (Scottish Transport and Industry Collections Knowledge Network) annual Conference at Kelvingrove Museum. The title for the day was ‘Well Oiled: Sustainability of Scotland’s Industrial Heritage provision’ and the varied programme delivered a thought-provoking and inspiring day.
Alex Hayward (National Museums Scotland) welcomed everyone and kicked us off by putting STICK into context, filling everyone in on how it got started as a group and where it’s got to today. Professor Christopher Harvie (MSP, Mid Scotland and Fife) then gave us an insight into the historical relationship between transport, technology, fuel and the Scottish way of life, including fascinating comparisons with where Scotland sits in relation to the rest of Europe. Lawrence Fitzgerald was then kind enough to indulge the group with the inside view on Glasgow’s Riverside Museum project, and the challenge of creating an inclusive, responsive and sustainable museum.
After a short break Mark Watson (Historic Scotland) provided a completely different angle on the issue of sustainability, looking at embodied energy saved in the rehabilitation of old industrial buildings which included some bewildering but nonetheless fascinating calculations of relative energy savings. James Gunn (Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd) regaled the group with the challenges of delivering a cultural legacy though nuclear decommissioning, before David Woodstock (STICK subject specialist advisor) brought the topic back to museums, looking at the cultural and financial benefits of considered and responsible disposal for all museums.
Following a break for lunch (and huge slabs of delicious cake!) Frank Little provided much food for thought with a round-up of the ongoing Think Tank discussions, before the whole group discussed amongst themselves which actions they think should be priorities for STICK over the next couple of years.
All in all it was a productive day, as many fantastic proposals for initiatives were put forward, so watch this space for future news of STICK projects. It was also great news for the network that their proposed Constitution was adopted, and they hope to elect committee posts at the conference next year. In the meantime, further news about the conference and copies of the presentations will be going up on the STICK website shortly, so keep checking back if you’d like to find out more.