Since 2014 I have been working for the Architectural Heritage Fund, initially as the Projects & Development Officer covering Scotland and the north of England, later their Support Officer for Scotland, and now as the Development Manager (Scotland).
The AHF helps charities and other non-profits to bring historic buildings at risk back into sustainable new uses for their communities with advice, grants and cash flow loans – find out more here.
Prior to the AHF, in April 2010, I was appointed as Heritage Development Manager for the Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust. The Trust was set up in 2004 to breathe new life into the former Burgh Halls complex at the heart of Maryhill. As part of the project, and their first ever employee, I’ve was involved in a wide variety of different areas, from running workshops based on Heritage Trades, doing work with schools and community groups, managing a tender process for new artworks, doing archive research, interpretation design, negotiating contracts for historic object displays, running the website, writing press releases and managing events, giving guided tours, promoting the project to a variety of audiences through public talks, to creating walking trails and developing associated smartphone apps.
Find out more about the Trust, the fantastic building, and the unique series of stained glass panels depicting the industries of Maryhill in the 19th Century at www.maryhillburghhalls.org.uk
In my spare time, I write, agitate about poor planning applications, give walks, talks and tours relating to Scotland’s history and heritage, and have also in the past provided IT, web and design-related consultancy services to a number of private and public sector clients.
For many years, I was a post-doctoral research fellow in the Theoretical Crystallography group, part of WestCHEM at the Department of Chemistry, University of Glasgow. I was also involved in helping with IT support in the Chemistry Department, in particular working on special projects, including the Chemistry Plasma Information Screen System, and updating many of the database and web-related systems used in the department.
I developed analytical techniques and technologies during my PhD which were developed into a successful commercial software package used in major pharmaceutical companies across the globe, transforming it from an academic project to the gold standard of high throughput data analysis.
For more information on the research into cluster analysis in Chemistry, or details of the PolySNAP and dSNAP data analysis and visualisation software I developed and supported, please visit my old work website here, which also features a full list of the more than 20 peer-reviewed publications I contributed to.
Thanks to my work at Glasgow, I’m a 2008 alumni of the prestigious NESTA Crucible Program, and have been involved in the subsequent DataMIX interdisciplinary project involving data analysis and presentation techniques.
I am also co-editor and creator of the Scottish Cinemas and Theatres website, a web resource dedicated to recording and archiving our historic cinema architectural heritage, and to act as a information resource for people interested in that often overlooked part of our social history. In addition, we host the Scottish Cinemas Database, an online resource of all of Scotland’s cinema buildings, from 1902 to the present day. This is fully searchable and constantly updated as new information becomes available. It currently contains information on over 1,100 cinemas. The Scottish Cinemas Website and Database can be found here.
Additionally, I am a committee member of the Cinema Theatre Association, the national body for the study and protection of traditional cinema buildings, and active in their Scottish branch, CTA Scotland. More information on the CTA can be found here. I’m was also on the steering group of the AHRC-funded Early Cinema in Scotland project, based at the University of Glasgow.
Along with the late, great Andy Parkin, I was jointly responsible for Chem-moo-stry – the Chemistry Cow! A unique member of the 2006 Edinburgh Cow Parade, Chem-moo-stry is a scientific bovine, interested in explaining science through art – displaying some of the modern, cutting-edge chem-moo-stry research from the cow-laborations between the Scottish Universities forming ScotCHEM.
The cow is now retired, and happily currently grazing at Glasgow University’s Chemistry Department – for more details on this Public Promotion of Science project, please visit the archived version of the Chem-moo-stry website here.
I can be found at gbarr [at] mac [dot] com or via Facebook here. I’m also @GordonBarr on Twitter. Some random selections of my writing are on my Blog. A website about the life and over forty overseas expeditions run by my father, John T. K. (Ian) Barr, can be found here.