Robin Herrick

Robin is a mechanical engineer with loads of experience in the nuclear industry. For many years he devised strategies for dismantling the toxic innards of the famous Dounreay fast reactor Sphere, which can be seen by the coast heading west out of Caithness. Naturally drawn to unusually-shaped buildings, and possibly exhibiting some repressed interest in being an architect, he found a role in the Caithness Broch Project team first as CAD wizard, then Chief Engineer, and now Chairman, project manager, graphic designer and occasional drone pilot. Robin is also infamous for appearing in several series of Robot Wars: one of his robots from the early series was turned into a toy by the BBC. Robin likes to escape on walks and bike rides in Caithness or wherever he happens to be working.

Iain Maclean

Iain is known locally as “the Broch guy”, being a founding member, spokesman, and the keystone of the Broch Project. Working as a building surveyor in Orkney and Shetland, he became obsessed with the idea that Caithness was missing out on heritage tourism. Iain’s passion for early and prehistory (particularly Roman, Greek and ancient tribes) combined with his skills in the building trade, and the Broch Project was conceived. He has designed the replica broch and village, drawing on his encyclopaedic knowledge of brochs and working with computer designers to create engineering and visualisation models. Iain runs his own construction business, undertaking all kinds of building from modern to conservation and stonework. His other interests include music, diving, and snowboarding, but most of his free time is spent exploring forgotten ancient places and walking the hills with his partner Dawn.

Kenneth McElroy

Kenneth co-founded the Broch Project with Iain back in 2013. He is our social media wizard and meme meister. His interest in heritage tourism, archaeology and community development took him to Glasgow University to read archaeology, where he was nominated in 2018 as a 'Future World Changer'. Kenneth's final year dissertation - "Choost an' Owld Pile o' Ston? The Value of Archaeology to Caithness", which explored the economic and social value of archaeology to the county - featured as part of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland conference, Archaeological Research in Progress 2021. Kenneth is the Education & Volunteer Officer at Kilmartin Museum in Argyll in a period for the museum of exciting expansion. He loves everything to do with ‘the past’; that includes looking at old maps, wandering through cemeteries, or researching Arctic and Alaskan tribes. In his free time, Kenneth loves playing football. He also loves cats, a passion which he tries to combine with archaeology and memes whenever possible.

Dawn Mackay

Dawn grew up in Bettyhill and loves the history and landscape of that area. Moving to Thurso in her teens, she focused on raising two children and her work for a local architect, not exploring the area until she met Iain, co-founder of CBP and now her partner. She joined CBP to support Iain’s aim to build a broch whilst also doing something which benefitted the community, and is now a director. Dawn uses her draughting and design skills on the project, and her experience of building control and planning. She is fascinated by people and other cultures and landscapes, and has travelled to China, Outer Mongolia, Russia, southeast Asia, Australasia, North America, and trekked across the Sahara Desert. Dawn loves music, singing, dancing jive and salsa, and drawing portraits. She is interested in her Gaelic roots and enjoys researching the meaning of place names.

Pete MacRae

Pete has worked in broadcast journalism in Glasgow for over 30 years but is Caithness born and bred. Childhood summer holidays with his Granny in Dunbeath, with walks up the Strath and tall tales of Vikings and Picts, started his love of history and brochs. Pete was feeling homesick one day back in 2016 when he heard about the Project and he immediately joined up as a life member. He later joined the committee and is now a director. As Deputy Head of News and Managing Editor with BBC Scotland, Pete brings journalism, communication and project management skills to CBP. Over the past decade he’s managed a number of large and small projects including the launch of BBC Alba and BBC Scotland channels. He is currently strengthening the links between the Higher Education Sector and BBC Scotland and now teaches journalism part-time to post-grad students. Pete’s hobbies include mountaineering, skiing and running marathons, and he is keen to get back into sea kayaking.

Chris Aitken

Chris is a native Keisser who lives in Upper Gills with his wife, Caroline, his two sons Callum and Finlay and their dog, Sparky. He has taught Computing Science at Wick High School for 12 years where he has won many awards for his work with Apps for Good and, more recently, with his Inventors’ Club. Chris has a strong interest in local history and is inspired by the work of many community groups who are dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich history of Caithness. In his spare time, he enjoys coastal walking, fishing and spending hours browsing Pastmap.

Lilly Hurd

Lilly is an American who is passionate about her Scottish roots. She is descended from a Highland weaver and the ancestral callings first moved her to visit Scotland in 2016. That was a life-changing experience, and Lilly soon traded her corporate Boston career to go freelance, and her high heels for hiking boots. She has a degree in Wildlife Sciences, so her explorations off the beaten path engage head and heart. In this new life, Lilly has become a storyteller, blogger, and online community builder. Her next goals are to pen her first historical novel set in Scotland and pursue a certificate in archaeology.

Sara Herrick

Sara just loves a good spreadsheet, crunching financial data to keep the Project on track. Out for walks in the countryside with her family, Sara likes taking pictures of landscapes and birds, and occasionally a broch! Sara is a carer and home educator with 4 children. She is Director and Vice Chair of the No Limits charity in Wick. Sara has a background in banking and accounting in the United States of America before coming to the United Kingdom where she founded and was Managing Director of a small manufacturing company for 10 years. Sara enjoys gardening, baking, bird-watching, photography and listening to Radio 3.

Sarah Lamb

Born and raised in Wick, Sarah's interest in the Broch Project comes from a love of exploring the landscape of Caithness and the stories it can tell. Since graduating from Heriot-Watt with a degree in Marine Biology, Sarah has worked in various aspects of the fishing industry. Sarah's current job is Development Officer for a funding programme to support fishing communities around Highland and Moray, supporting community-led local development. In her spare time, she can be found travelling the coast enjoying life in her campervan.

Alex Groves

Alex is a fairly recent arrival to Caithness, and is presently enjoying being a full time parent. Previously she has worked as a CSI and a pharmaceutical laboratory analyst. Already an MSc in Forensic Archaeology, she hopes to further her studies in archaeology, locally. Having grown up in an area heavily dependent on tourism, she appreciates the need for its sustainable development and wider education. She believes the CBP will put Caithness on the map as a destination, improving the local economy, and therefore the lives of people lucky enough to live here.

Joanne Howdle

Joanne joined the Broch Project in 2016. She has degrees in archaeology, museum studies and arts management. She spent 28 years as a Museum Curator working in national, local authority and independent museums. Joanne moved to Caithness in January 2009 to take up the post of Curator and Deputy Director of Caithness Horizons Museum in Thurso, where her interest in the Scottish Iron Age began. This interest led her to further study, and she graduated in 2017 with an MLitt in Viking Studies awarded with Distinction from the Institute of Northern Studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Since April 2018 Joanne has been Tour and Events Co-Ordinator at Dunnet Bay Distillery, makers of the multi award-winning Rock Rose Gin and Holy Grass Vodka. Joanne is currently working with distillery Owner/Director Martin Murray on the conservation and revitalisation of Castletown Mill, the largest and most impressive grain mill in the North of Scotland built in 1818/1819 into a new visitor attraction.

Gail Ross

Gail was the MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross from 2016-2021 and CBP Patron for 5 years before stepping down. Before that she was a Highland Councillor for Wick and Caithness Civic Leader. She lives in Wick with her husband, Stewart and son, Max. She's a keen gardener and likes to spend time by the sea, walking Monty the dog and writing. She is Scotland Patron of the campaign group Dignity in Dying and a member of the Mey Games Committee. She loves being creative and has been writing on and off since sixth year in high school and takes her inspiration from people she meets or places she's been, often with a leaning towards the melancholy side of life. She is fiercely passionate about the county of Caithness and is delighted that its importance in the archaeological world is finally being recognised.

Kirsty Lilley

Kirsty is currently completing a PhD in archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, where she is researching Sardinia's Neolithic rock-cut tombs and their relationship to prehistoric identities. Interested in anything and everything ancient, she has a passion for fieldwork and for Scottish archaeology, and when not studying can usually be found digging in Scotland or Sardinia, exploring new sites, or helping to record Scotland's rock art with Scotland's Rock Art Project (Historic Environment Scotland). Despite living in the south of the country, family connections have ensured plenty of visits to Caithness and Sutherland over the years - so she enthusiastically followed the Broch Project's progress for some time, before getting involved in 2020 to help with content creation for CBP's new website. Aside from archaeology, Kirsty loves travelling and being outdoors, walking, and wildlife.

Magnus Davidson

Magnus is a Research Associate with the University of the Highlands and Island’s Environmental Research Institute, based in Thurso. A native of the Highlands his work focusses on setting out a new vision for 21st rural Scotland which works for both people and nature and reverses centuries of depopulation and ecological degradation. Magnus believes in community led approaches to local development and is involved with various organisations working on this mission. Magnus is delighted to be involved with the Caithness Broch Project as it means he gets to work with like minded folk on realising Caithness’ potential. He lives in Thurso with his family is often happiest when tramping with his dogs through the peat bogs of Caithness and Sutherland.

Paula Fisher

Paula brings a wealth of life experience and resilience to survive against the odds to the project. As a wheelchair user, she’ll also keep us right on access issues for the Big Broch Build. It was while working as a stevedore at Hull docks in her native Yorkshire that Paula got a job offer to come to Scrabster to work for a sub-contractor for Northlink Ferries. That was 20 years ago. Leaving behind cargoes of steel and cocoa, tugmaster and forklift truck driving, Paula moved north and, like many others, fell in love with Caithness. Permanently injured after an industrial accident, but undaunted, Paula turned to knitting. She now sells her products at craft fairs and online. She joined the Broch Project in 2021 inspired by its aim to promote our archaeological heritage and encourage visitors to spend more time in the county rather than just head over to Orkney. Paula wants others to discover what she found when she moved to Caithness. That it's a great place for all interests and ages and abilities.

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