Samantha Marsh volunteered for West Boathouse as part of her MA in Museum Studies at University of Glasgow in 2019. Here she tells us about her work on various aspects of the project. She has recently returned to her native Canada and begun a new role as programme coordinator for Powell Street Festival Society.
As part of my placement with the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust through the Master of Museum Studies program at the University of Glasgow, I undertook three phases of projects assisting in the rejuvenation of the West Boathouse at Glasgow Green. These consisted of caring for the Boathouse collections, the development of a series of self-led heritage walking trails, and the creation of recommendations for the future of the Boathouse as a community heritage site.
Each of these projects posed their own difficulties but were as equally rewarding learning experiences. The first task began as a full inventory assessment of the items within the Boathouse. This consisted of photographing, recording, and categorising the items within the Boathouse; as well as, beginning the decant, dismantling and storing items found within the Boathouse’s attic. Since some objects were exposed to the elements and experienced damage, this was a special case of stabilizing and further preserving the items.
The second phase was a potential project within the Heritage Lottery Fund Activity and Interpretation Plan. The purpose of creating walking trails was to increase visitor numbers to the waterfront and awareness of the Boathouse. These series of walking trails were initially targeted for families, but after testing and surveys from family, was transformed into an educational resource that could be adaptable for a range of audiences, such as school groups, summer camps, and tourists.
More here on Samantha's trial trails...
The third phase was a product of my dissertation research. I outlined five essentials categories that I believe will both help the Boathouse with its outreach efforts, while also helping contribute to Glasgow’s waterfront culture-led regeneration. While it is difficult to determine how the rowing clubs will implement programming and collaborations in the future, the recommendation I put forward (focussing on the creation of: Strong Volunteer System, Diverse Programmes, Ongoing Relationships, Regular Feedback, and Festivals) have the potential to make the Boathouse an inclusive and important resource for local communities. These recommendations were compiled through research from the fields of urban studies, cultural policy, and museum studies and interviews with representatives from the Govan Stones, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, and the Riverside Museum.
These projects exposed me to so many welcoming and passionate people in Glasgow. I learned about the care and time that goes into community consultation, listened to stories and memories of Glasgow’s past, and helped to connect people with resources to preserve their precious objects. Through this placement I learned that the work museums do can be applied to the wider cultural and heritage sector and can be adapted to fit the needs of stakeholders.
You can read Samantha's dissertation here: