Balnacra Arts & Pottery by Vicky Stonebridge

The Treehouse programme on TV

so after all the hype, meetings, marketing, workparties, blogging , tweeting, photographing, organising, discussing… it was finally time for the TV programme to be shown. Many of us don’t have TV or Sky tv at least, plus we thought it would be nice to have a community get together to watch the programme, as building communities is what this is all about. So the Carron Restaurant kindly stepped in and hosted an event. The owners Michelle and Peter have been involved all the way through the project and did a wonderful supper in aid of the woodland fundraising group. Somebody on-line commented about us having a tight-knit community, which i suppose we don’t often realise as ‘familiarity breeds contempt’, and when you’ve known people for decades, well we just learn to muddle along together ..or not. But this treehouse has certainly helped, i wouldn’t have imagined an event like this happening before.

there is an official Treehouse website here.
and official facebook page here.
The programme is currently being repeated on Sky channels.
It can be seen on line here ( if you are registered with sky ?).
I’ve blogged about it from the outset in a personal capacity.

It was quite a story, we wondered how it would look on TV, how it would be edited, what would go in and what cut out. I was rather nervous. I don’t mind talking in front of camera’s and doing interviews, i suppose i’ve just done it a lot over the years, so I know it is no big deal. Today’s news is tomorrows chip paper. Nobody likes the sound of their own voice ( well not most normal people ), nobody likes to see their own photograph, I am no different, but somewhere along the line I just gave up worrying about it. Its a bit like ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’ . So does it sound convincing if i explain its a lack of ego rather than a big ego is why i end up in front of cameras and such like? Sometimes one has to step up. It doesn’t mean i was looking forward to seeing the results! I was of course excited to see the process of building the treehouse. I was one of the few folks that the production team had asked to stay away from the build so that we’d get a genuine surprise at the end on camera.

The restaurant was packed out with lots of people from the village and surrounding area, our local district councillor, representatives of various community groups, landowners, community councillors and a lot of the people who’d been involved with the whole project. Just before the programme I was asked to say a few words on behalf of the Kirkton Woodlands and Heritage Group who are the umbrella community organisation in charge of the Treehouse. I really hate public speaking! especially after a glass or wine and with no time to prepare. Watching TV is weird for us, watching TV with villagers rather surreal, watching TV with the very villagers and ourselves on the TV… that was just mad! Exciting, emotional, inspiring, embarrasing, just plain all out weird.

( I took photos of the screen I hope Sky don’t mind all images copyright Sky 2011 )
Charlie arrived by boat, Young Dougal Murray driving it looking all serious. We were cynical about this scene, as we do have a perfectly good road to the village ( as long as its not snowy, flooded, or blocked by landslide or blown down trees like last week ) . However we all felt this loch boat scene was great as it showed the village in the context of the loch and what a stunning place it is to live, but also how remote we are geographically.

Lochcarron looking lovely. The treehouse is equidistant between the village of Lochcarron and small hamlet of Strathcarron, so there might be a little confusion there, the area is Loch Carron, after the Loch, and further up Glen Carron. Kirkton woodland sits behind the village of lochcarron.
 George looks over my drawing of the proposed Treehouse with Charlie on site.
One of the expert build team who worked day & night against all the odds to get the Treehouse done.

Two of the local volunteers who worked on site all week, and on subsequent workparties…
and look ! via the magic of television Dr Murray was there two places at once. ( is to too weird if i point out that the good Doctor birthed two of my children ? yes, Iseabail and Talitha, village life is very strange )
and here we all after the big reveal. Richmonds surprised face was very funny. I was determined not to cry, because once i start…….

and here it is, that’s myself Rich and George on the balcony. It was so beautiful all lit up that night, with the river underneath, the stars above and bats flitting about the lights. very special.

and here’s me, waxing on a little. But its okay if i get big headed this wee village soon cuts through any such nonsense!
Here is a very happy & relieved looking Alex, who worked so hard with Charlie in designing and building this very wonderful structure. It was a pleasure to meet these guys & watch them doing their thing.
And there it was completed in only 5 days.
Here it is now. The canvas awning has been taken down for the winter. We’re waiting for a couple of small snags to be fixed, sticky doors things like that . When the building warrant is signed off we can start taking bookings for events. We’re going to do a course of craft and rural skills classes in the new year, music events, weddings, photo shoots, meetings, retreats, you name it. All proceeds will go into the fund to purchase our local woodland. Perhaps this is the first of many special buildings in the area? who knows what we can achieve? I’m a great believed that if you aim high and dream big, anything is possible.

 A massive thanks to the crew & production company. To Kristine our local development officer. To all the volunteers, to the folks who’ve followed the whole project with interest.
 Thanks to SKY for the images above from their programme. 

One comment on “The Treehouse programme on TV

  1. drow
    January 15, 2012

    Just watched the episode the other day, here on the other side of the pond. Brilliant! I hope the treehouse continues to be a benefit to your community. I'd certainly like to visit it someday.

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