Android version of the Dunans Rising App is Live!

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The live menu screen …

The month of May has been entirely taken up with working on the development of the new Dunans Rising App. We’ve been collecting all types of material to put into it to make it the “go to” place for all our Lairds and Ladies.

There’s all our latest news, tweets, instagrams and videos. We’ve included our shop with exclusives ready to be launched when the iOS version catches up and goes live. There’s a full audio tour for anyone visiting Dunans, either virtually or not, and we have an audio map too. We have also included our full archive on the restoration – so you can delve deep into all the materials that have been produced by our architects, quantity surveyor, structural engineer and other professionals … Lairds and Ladies can register their personal email addresses too!

It’s also been an excuse to work with some interesting technologies, not least QR codes – here’s the one with the links to our app on Google Play page:

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Of course the app also includes a QR code reader as well …

We’re still developing content, which will be added as time goes on. A full virtual tour is one such, which will include video, photos and audio …

We think you’ll love it!

The link to the Android version of the App is here.

The iOS version will launch sometime before June 5th, Apple allowing!

Prototyping New Product #2: A Decorative Title Exclusively for those who visit Dunans Castle

Here are a couple of images of one of the products we are developing. This one is for a new decorative title which will only be available for the folks who visit us – it has been requested so many times that we’ve finally found time (and inspiration) to get the project going. This title will be available nowhere else … !

prototype1 prototype2And now you’ll be asking what is New Product #1 – and that is a tip-top secret … we’re hoping to launch in the next 6-8 weeks, but more than that we’re not able to say!

 

Put ’em up? Put ’em UP?! Double trouble with the Wiz Around Oz and a certain angry hotelier for TWTC’s new tour

Always enjoy designing posters for TWTC, especially when its for the company’s new tour, this week visiting Norfolk and Suffolk, and later in the year Wales. Both Basil and Dorothy will get lots of outings and introduce the good “folks” to a new brand of form of gently interactive theatre – well aside from being harangued by Basil Fawlty …

The top shot is in Glendaruel during a performance of A Wiz Around Oz 

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Safety First at Dunans: Protecting our visitors and also the castle

Over the last year, as you’ll know if you have been following us, we’ve put in place a variety of surveys, plans and consultations which will help us realise the restoration of the castle. Over Christmas David Wright helped us take a small step further by installing a safety fence around the castle.

Now most safety fences are metal temporary things which have a habit of falling over at the drop of a hat – or weather bomb as the British press likes to call them. There’s a great example of how not to do it along Loch Fyne at St. Catherine’s.

Our safety consultant, Gillian Clark of GMO Consulting therefore recommended a post and rails fence, one that would look relatively benign in the context of the castle, and provide a proper visual and physical barrier to the building.

The results are great – the main photo above shows how the fencing is not particularly visually intrusive, and the ones below the detail of how we fenced and gated the front and side. You’ll notice we have left an area for the signage to remain, so our tours will remain safe behind the fence, but their view of the building won’t be obscured.

Lairds and Ladies Website: Revamped and new content added

We’ve just implemented some long overdue changes to the Lairds’ and Ladies’ website, and more are on the way.

We’ve changed the look, creating a website that uses the same template as the ScottishLaird.com website, but darker (to distinguish it). This is Desktop, tablet and mobile friendly. We’re still working on this, so treat it as a draft …

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We’ve added two new pages as well:

  1. Our plot finder is now part and parcel of the website, and easily accessible.
  2. We’ve created a Tour gallery, where Lairds and Ladies can upload their own photos of visiting Dunans and going on the tour… We’ve put some of our own photos up there already – see if you can spot yourself!!

The next part of the revamp is to include some exclusive content. Our plan is to publish the pdfs and documents that the renovation and refurbishment of Castle and Bridge has occasioned. Much of this you’ll have seen in abbreviated form via newsletters and blog posts here, but this is the full detail.

We’re also getting ready to welcome our new Lairds and Ladies of Dunans Bridge from our ongoing IndieGoGo campaign, as well as trying to streamline our email registration process…

Adorning one’s one square foot: delightful model castle with draw-bridge and two turrets

We have had lots of great moments with Lairds and Ladies when they come to visit their plot of land. Often they will want to leave a marker, or tribute, or ‘development’: we’ve had the flags of most nationalities, we’ve had farmyard animals, we’ve even had a red Monopoly hotel – but today we had one of the most creative …

IMG_2232 IMG_2234If you are a Laird or Lady and want to take the tour and visit your plot of land, please click here for more details!

 

The Joy of Tours at Dunans on the #MayDay #BankHoliday

Both Colin and myself took tours today. I chose the easier option and took Scot AnSgeulaiche’s Jamie and Claire Tour based on the Outlander series of books by Diana Gabaldon. What a lovely bunch of folks from Canada and the US (pictured above taking photos of the newly annointed Lady Sue on her square foot). We did the full circuit including looking through the trees, over the ravine, at the C-listed Fletcher Mausoleum.

Colin on the other hand, was tasked with showing a 32-man tour around – they all definitely had a ball – and there are a bunch of photos on Facebook taken by Jean Donaldson, our fab in-house photographer. The shot below, just shows how many folks that is. A really good day at Dunans!

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#WorkinProgress on the #DunansCastle Conservation Plan book – a gallery of rather lovely rogues!

We’re really enjoying putting together the picture library for the book, which includes, naturally enough, a selection of photos taken of Lairds and Ladies while on tours in the grounds. We’ve included all of them on one page, and here’s the result. You’ll see all sorts of activity, but my favourite are the trio of Ladies with champagne about to have their picnic sometime last summer (and yes, I did quaff too!).

Its looking like the book, Conservation Plan for Dunans, will be published in the next month or so. More details to be announced soon!