179 years on.. The bell falls silent

 

Queen Victoria was just 20, the first commercial electric telegraph line came into use and Ireland was hit by the worst cyclone in 300 years. It was 1838, and the Douglas Family (the then Laird of Glenfinart) had commissioned a small church on the banks of Loch Long. 

Last weekend Ardentinny Church held its final service, a celebration of Harvest Thanksgiving, closing its doors some 179 years after its opening. Ardentinny’s unique little church seated approximately 100 and was one of the Church of Scotland’s three ‘Shore churches’, the others being Kilmun and Strone. The decision to close it came as a surprise to many.

When asked to comment on the closure, a spokesperson from Church of Scotland said:

“The Church of Scotland manages one of the country’s largest property portfolios comprising over 5,000 properties. These include churches, manses, halls and houses as well as a large number of care services and a variety of other buildings.

We have had an excess of church buildings since the 1920s and must continually assess our need for these properties to ensure a prudent use of charity assets, particularly when they may no longer be in suitable locations.

Following the closure of Ardentinny Church and the proposed closure of Kilmun Church, the Kirk Session, Presbytery of Argyll and General Trustees of the Church of Scotland will work together to decide on the future of the two buildings.”

During the final service which the Rev. Joseph Stewart and his congregation kindly agreed for us to film, Reverend Stewart said that this was a celebration, not only of Harvest Time but a celebration of the saintly souls who had worshipped in this sanctuary over the years, leaving their spiritual imprint and example for those who came behind them. The congregation was also encouraged to work together to ensure that there is a future for The Church on ‘The Shore’

Please feel free to share your thoughts and/or memories of Ardentinny Church via comments below or on our Facebook page

With thanks to The Rev. Joseph Stewart and the congregation of Ardentinny Church. 

Racy Fair brings Fun For All

Glenfinart Walled Garden’s Harvest Fair delivered all its usual treats by way of food, drink and entertainment in its beautiful garden surroundings. However, the Fundraising ‘Quickest Quackers’ Rubber Duck Race down the River Finart was the highlight of the day.

During and since the Garden’s Easter Eggstravaganza, a place in the race could be secured by buying one or more of the 200 numbered ducks that took part. While the weather could have been better for an afternoon out, the rainy conditions provided a rushing river which added to the excitement of the race.

There was lively commentary by spectators as they approached the finishing line while plucky volunteers braved conditions at the mouth of the loch, skilfully catching the winners, along with all the other competing ducks. The winning numbers were: First – number 64; Second – number 196; and Third – number 87.

 

Quickest Quackers Gran Finale – Streamed Live.

Possibility of additional hydro projects in Ardentinny

Co-Hydrover Ltd. and Partners are studying the possibility of operating two additional hydro electric projects in Ardentinny, i.e., at the Coull Burn and Old School Burn, the latter being the burn beside the village car park and presumably so-called because of its proximity to the original Old School, i.e., Glencairn Cottage.

Regarding The Coull Burn Project, the contractor, Robert Brakes who was also representing his project partner Co-Hydrover, recently met with members of the Village Hall Committee along with Dougie Menzies, Chair of Ardentinny Renewables Trust. The object of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of erecting a pole on village hall land in exchange for a cheaper electricity tariff for the hall.

Cuil Burn Proposed Hydro-Electric Turbine site – Click map to download PDF

The turbine would be situated on Forestry Commission land, for which they will receive 20% of the project’s profits and the proposal is to connect to the grid by bringing an underground cable across the road and connecting it to a pole to be erected on village hall ground. In exchange, the hall will receive a reduced electricity tariff while the turbine is running, as will proprietors of other property through which the cable runs. Continue reading “Possibility of additional hydro projects in Ardentinny”

Ardentinny Renewables Trust receives first tranche of community funds

Members of Ardentinny Renewables Trust (ART) will already be aware that the first tranche of funds, i.e., £5322.78, from the Hydrover hydro scheme, has been received by the Trust and funding applications for its use are invited.

Applicants must first be resident within the Ardentinny Community Council area and be members of ART. Funds applied for must be for the benefit of Ardentinny. There are no limits to the amount but applicants are encouraged to source funds from more than one grant funder, particularly in the case of larger projects.

Successful applications will be decided by the ART ‘Funding Panel’ of 7 members who were nominated at the 2018 AGM. They will meet privately up to four times a year to consider applications but may occasionally request applicants to attend. They will base their decisions on consideration of which projects offer the greatest and widest benefit to the Ardentinny community, taking into account the number of applicants, the fund balance and any previous awards.

If you are not yet a Trust member and wish to be so, contact Neil Robinson, ART Secretary @ ardentinnyrenewablestrust@gmail.com.

Village Hall groundworks begin

As unanimously agreed at the AGM in May, groundworks to clear and possibly replace the hall’s drainage system have now begun. This should go some way in tackling the urgent problem of dampness in the building.

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