Be welcomed by locals

Elliot Melton - shire

Learning and Access Assistant

Hi my name is Elliot Melton, I’ve been living in Irvine since I was ten. Having grown up in Dreghorn and attending local schools in the area (Fencedyke Primary and Greenwood Academy), I went on to pursue my further education at James Watt College in engineering and electrical systems. Following on from college I began volunteering at the Scottish Maritime Museum were I was awarded the Saltire Award for over 500 hours of volunteering, which was before I became a member of staff and where I’ve been working since 2013. I’ve had two positions in the Museum one as Visitor Services Assistant and my other roll in which I have just finished was as a learning and access trainee in partnership with MGS (Museum Gallery’s Scotland) as part of their award winning “Skills for Successes Program”.

James McKinlay - shiel

Tour Operator & Professional Photographer

James is an experienced and knowledgeable tour guide who worked in tourism while living and travelling in New Zealand for 5 years. After 8 years travelling the world he returned home to Scotland to continue his excellent services in sightseeing, history and culture. In addition to guiding tours, James is an award winning photographer and loves to get outdoors to photograph our stunning Scottish landscapes.

Louisa Davidson - bute

Mount Stuart Trust

Hi, my name is Louisa Davidson and I live and work on the beautiful Isle of Bute. Having been born and raised on the Island I am extremely proud to be able to call myself a ‘Brandane’, a term which originates from the patron saint of Bute, St. Brendan. At 17 I was itching to experience the bright lights of the city and moved to Glasgow to attend university. Indulging my love of travel I then spent time in New York, Gloucester and Coventry yet Bute always remained home. City living certainly had its perks, yet I yearned for Bute’s fresh sea air, strong sense of community and breathtaking coastal scenery. When a position became available at Mount Stuart Trust I leapt at the chance to join the team and I’ve been here for five years now. My role as Visitor Experience Manager at Mount Stuart is to oversee the day to day operation of the visitor attraction. I ensure that visitors enjoy an outstanding experience whether they are touring the house, dining at Bute Kitchen or simply enjoying a walk in the gardens.

Sheila Gilmore - arran

VisitArran & The Arran Trust

I was born and raised on Arran, and my family have been on the island since 1935. Originally from Brodick, I now live in Shiskine and consider myself a true Arranach. I’m passionate about our wonderful island, and want to share the real Arran experience with everyone who can appreciate our stunning island’s natural beauty. I’m very involved in various community groups, and see my involvement with these complimenting the work that VisitArran carries out – if it’s good for the community, it’s good for the residents and the visitor too! Apart from my lovely family, of which there’s many (spit on one, and you spit on us all…!), my passions are acting and producing drama, walking, downhill skiing, travel and chocolate – though not necessarily in that order! I am responsible for the day to day operation of VisitArran, our lovely island’s not-for-profit destination management organisation. This can involve everything from meeting with local businesses, to speaking at the Scottish Parliament, to cleaning the information leaflets on MV Caledonain Isles!