House of Memories

'Highland Memories' supports people living with dementia in Highland


A selection of objects from Highland museums

A selection of objects from 'Highland Memories' featured within the My House of Memories app. 

Over the past year House of Memories has been working with the Highland Museums Forum – a network of independent museums and visitor attractions that span the Highland’s 31,000 square kilometres of moors, mountains, towns and villages.

Dawn Carroll, Relationship Programme Manager for House of Memories tells us more: "You may remember that we took the House of Memories dementia awareness training day to Inverness in February 2018 to kick start our ‘Highland Memories’ project. Since then our colleagues at High Life Highland have been gathering objects and material from across the forum members to add to the My House of Memories app.


"The app is a digital resource co-created by people living with dementia and their carers, which enables the sharing of memories through interesting everyday objects from the past.

"The scale of the Highlands and the richness of its history has made for an eclectic mix of objects. Each image was carefully selected through local consultation sessions supported by project steering group members representing Alzheimer Scotland, Connecting Carers, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Highland Archives, the National Trust for Scotland and Gairloch Heritage Museum.

"The most ‘northern’ item featured is a handmade wooden ‘tattie masher’ from Strathnaver Museum, paying homage to the agricultural landscape and local food sources. 160 miles south, oilskins from the West Highland Museum highlight another traditional Highland industry – fishing.

"The ‘Highland Memories’ package also celebrates some of the most famous Highland pursuits including the fast-paced game of shinty, Scottish country dancing and of course, pipe bands. One of our favourite images is of a ceilidh gathering in a home, complete with accordion, kilts, beards, tartan and whisky.

"However, it is some of the simplest items that are most evocative, such as the knitted swimsuit - which would become weighted down with water if you swam at the beach. Another powerful childhood memory is the ‘rubber duck’. A shiny plastic one is contrasted with a photo featuring a soft malleable one - presumably in the days when they were actually made of rubber - next to a baby that is bathing in the sink.

Pictured l-r: High Life Highland Board Member David Finlayson, Depute Provost Councillor Graham Ross, and Claire Benjamin, Deputy Director of Education and Visitors at National Museums Liverpool holding a tablet featuring the My House of Memories app. Image by Ewen WeatherspoonPictured l-r: High Life Highland Board Member David Finlayson, Depute Provost Councillor Graham Ross, and Claire Benjamin, Deputy Director of Education and Visitors at National Museums Liverpool. Image by Ewen Weatherspoon.

"The ‘Highland memories’ feature of the app was recently officially launched with a Civic Reception in the grand surroundings of Inverness Town House, supported by Inverness Common Good Fund and hosted by the Depute Provost Councillor Graham Ross. The project was funded by National Museums Liverpool, High Life Highland and Museums Galleries Scotland.

"It has been an absolute pleasure working with all of our Highland partners and given how well House of Memories has been received, we look forward to returning in the near future."


Tags:  House of Memories, National Museums Liverpool, High Life Highland, Highland Museums Forum, Museums Galleries Scotland, My House of Memories app, dementia