Monster court battle to decide king of the Loch Ness exhibition venues
01-Jul-10by Annie Byrne
Two rival exhibition centres in the Loch Ness-side of Drumnadrochit have ended up in court, with £1.3m in lost profits being contested over an argument regarding authenticity.The owners of the Official Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, the Bremner family, are suing the Original Loch Ness Monster Exhibition Centre run by Donald and Gillian Skinner, which is just 100 yards down the road.The Bremners has raised a civil action against the Skinners, seeking more than £1.3m for lost profits since 1987. The Bremner family, who opened the Official Loch Ness Exhibition Centre 30 years ago, alleges that the Skinners have deliberately sought to confuse the public by using similar names and colour schemes on promotion material to their company.Documents lodged at Inverness Sheriff Court detail the long-running dispute between the families. Sheriff Ian Abercrombie adjourned matters until 1 July to allow negotiations between the parties. "I would hope and expect to see some written agreement," he said.The Bremners also claim that the Skinners allegedly defaced a sign which pointed to the Official Loch Ness Exhibition Centre by putting a sticker on the sign pointing to his own centre instead. The sticker was removed, but later that same day, another sticker appeared pointing again to the Skinners’ establishment.Visitors to the area gave mixed reviews. Pensioner Ruth Dawson from Yorkshire says: "We came here a couple of years ago and visited the original centre, so we decided to go to the other one this time around."But one man from Glasgow, who didn’t want to be named, was more even-handed, saying "I wouldn’t waste my money going into either".