Video of the refloating of the Golden Cross on Wednesday 29 August.
Related to the Golden Cross mooring incident reported earlier this week, we received the following email for publication from Mr. D. Symon which is reproduced here with his permission.
Just a short note to let people know the facts about the mooring of the Golden Cross. The tug did not break or wear through her mooring chains. After consultation with an expert (of) 30 years experience the mooring had been tampered with. The Queens Harbour Master had inspected the mooring when it was laid and he was happy with it. So myself and other parties involved along with a mooring expert have come to the conclusion that one or more persons tampered with the mooring. We thank ardentinny.org for their unbiased report.
Vintage tugboat Golden Cross is this afternoon lodged on a sandbank off Ardentinny beach. The historic ship which has been moored off Ardentinny since April appears to have broken free from its mooring overnight and drifted towards the beach. According to a villager, an MOD police launch was seen in the vicinity of the marooned boat early this morning. See the LochLongCam.com webcam for latest live pictures.
Ardentinny Community Trust displayed its Glenfinart Walled Garden project at the Hunter’s Quay Holiday Village ‘Small Acorns’ environmental event on Sunday 8th August. In addition to the information video and leaflets, there was a Wish Tree where young and old alike could hang their wishes for the garden. Among the many wishes for sunshine, rain and strawberries, two of the most memorable were one from a three-year-old who wished for ‘compost’ while a ten-year-old boy felt ‘a million pounds’ was what the garden needed most.
The Trust thanks the organisers for their invitation to exhibit at this wonderfully entertaining and informative event.
Ardentinny Community Council repeated its plea for a volunteer to research and possibly take forward a hydro power project for the village. The issue was raised at its bi-monthly meeting held after its AGM on 7 August, 2012. National Park Representative, David McKenzie stressed that the government and its agencies were fully supportive of such projects and cited examples of where the developer pays for the plant in exchange for 50% of the revenue from the grid while the community takes the remaining 50%. Although the figures didn’t always stack up, as it was mentioned that Forestry Commission Scotland also expected 50%, if the site was on their land. Clearly there is a need for further research into the proposal. Anyone interested in being involved should contact Community Councillor, Dennis Gower on 01369 810220.
PC Donald MacKay brought along security UV Marker Pens for community use. These were distributed among the community councillors for further distribution to residents. Alternatively, you can contact Eileen Connell on 01369 810285 for the use of one. PC MacKay also reported successful patrols with Operation Ironworks and it was agreed that there had been no problems at the Picnic area, as in previous years. He reported that he will soon be undertaking the necessary training for his licence to drive the mobile police facility which will then make visits to Ardentinny.
The Forestry Commission’s representative reported that the beach toilets were ready but had not been installed as they are still awaiting the relevant permissions from SEPA and the National Park Planning Authority. She also requested that anyone seeing anything untoward happening at the beach area should contact the police (01369 763000) immediately rather than wait to report it to them within their working hours.
The MOD had still not confirmed whether or not it will send a representative to Community Council meetings. The Convenor reported that she had been invited to attend HM Naval Base Clyde’s Local Liaison Committee Meetings. Councillor Bill Williamson requested that he might also attend and said he thought there was still a case for an MOD representative to attend Ardentinny Community Council meetings as there was a precedent for doing so and that the invitation had been extended in the light of issues published by the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator’s annual report 2011. In addition, Community Councillor Malcolm Bartley expressed concern about the plans to *privatise the security provision at Coulport.
Ardentinny Centre closure for refurbishment
Centre Manager Aidan Docherty sent his apologies but submitted his report stating that the Ardentinny Outdoor Centre would close on 20th August for 6 months for the purpose of refurbishing the premises. They hope to be back in operation in the village by Easter or June 2013, at the latest. In the meantime they will operate out of Toward and they are continuing to negotiate the purchase of Ardentinny centre from Argyll and Bute Council.
While the Walled Garden is the Trust’s current project, interest in buying and restoring it dates back to 2007 when the Trust organized a ‘Day of Information and Imagination‘ where one of four proposals to be considered by the community was that of the Trust buying the Walled Garden from Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and sourcing funding to restore the Grade II listed wall. Part of the proposal included leasing the garden space to a local company who proposed restoration and use of the garden. The day was attended by Forest Enterprise, The Community Land Unit and the National Park’s Community Future’s Initiative. However, on the day, the Community Land Unit informed both the Trust and FCS that leasing community land to a private enterprise was not permissible and so, sadly, the proposal had to be abandoned before residents could give it their full consideration.
However, in March 2010, FCS advertised the sale of Glenfinart Walled Garden for which the community was given first refusal. In April of that year the Community Council registered interest in the property. As The Community Trust had since completed the process of dissolution due to a lack of board members, the Community Council appointed a Walled Garden Working Group to ascertain the views of residents. This group surveyed every household and collected and collated the results. Residents were asked if they wished the community to buy the garden and, if yes, how they wished to see it used. The majority voted in favour and their suggestions guided the initial business plan. With this result, there was a clear need for a Trust to raise funds and manage the project and so Ardentinny Community Trust was revived in response to that need.
From that point on it was a question of, first, convincing the National Forest Land Scheme Evaluation Panel that Ardentinny had a viable and sustainable plan for the garden; then, sourcing the funding to buy it, which the Trust achieved in September, 2011. All of which, and more, is documented here.
The Trust’s report for this last year includes a variety of fund and awareness-raising activities; sourcing funding for and the appointment of a project development officer and a volunteers’ supervisor and, above all, the successful completion of the purchase of Glenfinart Walled Garden for and on behalf of the community of Ardentinny.
Trust Convenor, Dennis Gower, who has steered the Board of Directors since the Trust’s revival, is stepping down as Convenor but will remain on the Board. Pauline Gordon and Anna Williamson are retiring from the Board while Bill Williamson and Carolyn Elder were proposed and seconded as new Trust Directors. In accordance with the Constitution, office bearers will be elected at the first meeting of the new committee.