Michael Leybourne, an architect with Smiths Gore and veteran of several successful lottery bids is leading the Funding Committee. This committee is tasked with putting in a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and also figuring out how we are going to get our matched funding. Michael has announced that we should be able to get a bid into the HLF by June. On the one hand this has triggered a certain sense of excitement but on the other it has delivered a certain level of panic about how we are going to get there! The part of the HLF that we will be applying for will be “Your Heritage”. This is for amounts under £100K. It is also a rolling programme which means we can apply when we like but Michael's date has certainly given us focus!
The core members of Michael's group are Brian Johnston, accountant and partner of Armstrong Watson, and Keith Walker, our schools liaison officer on the board. When he wants, Nigel, (former secondary deputy head) or me we will also sit in on the group. Michael is working out a programme to achieve our deadline.
The Technical Committee is being organised by Ian Turner, polymath and orienteerer, and myself with Dr Matt Davies, of Glasgow University and a board member, and Alex Bryden, of Forest Mapping Solutions. We have over the past months consulted with Chris Fleet, chief map curator of the National Library of Scotland, and Prof. David Munro, who is studying the maps at Drumlanrig and is an ex-director of the Royal Scottish Geographic Society. We are hoping to broaden the consulted area of expertise over the next months as well.
At the moment we are concentrating on forming a brief for the various parts of the bid; copying/digitising the maps, database construction, and computerisation. Our current job is to report to the Funding Group so that everything can be costed adequately.
The third group to report was the Events Committee. This is led by Peter Norman, biodiversity officer for D+G council, and Deborah Thurlow, art historian and lady about town. They are tasked with providing events for members to attend. They are currently lining up some three or four fine events involving real 18th century maps and dates for these events will be out in the next few weeks.
All in all it is exciting times for DAMP. As a result we may need a little more help on some fronts shortly. The sorts of volunteering we will be looking for will vary from playing with databases to helping to park cars at one event or another. If there is anyone out there who might like to help please let me know along with a note of your area of expertise.