Read the latest Ardentinny Community Trust Newsletter here (PDF)
Following media reports regarding Ministry of Defence police officers to begin patrolling civilian areas of Argyll, published last month in the Herald newspaper and Dunoon Observer, Val Kennedy, Ardentinny Community Council’s representative on the Clyde Local Liaison Committee contacted the MOD for clarification.
At last week’s Community Council meeting Val reported that some members of the Ardentinny community were concerned by the press reports. “I asked Coulport if we could have a statement which explains to us what their side of the story is because there was some suggestion by the people who came to me that there was information about increasing armed patrols and they were disturbed about this.” The MOD statement received by the Community Council is as follows:
“Ministry of Defence (MOD) police officers have historically routinely undertaken external patrols in the vicinity of HM Naval Base Clyde, which includes the Royal Naval Arms Depot at Coulport. The extent of MOD police patrol activities is covered by an agreement with Police Scotland. Responsibility for the maintenance and enforcement of the law in Scotland rests with the Chief Constable of Police Scotland. There has been no increase to routine MOD police patrols outside the two establishments during the last 24 months, although the MOD keeps security at all of its establishments under review and there are no current plans to expand these external patrols. Any proposals to increase external MOD police patrols would be agreed with Police Scotland.”
Aiden Doherty, Head of Outdoor Education at Ardentinny Outdoor Centre told the Community Council that, at a meeting with the MOD late last year, the MOD had asked for permission to use the Centre’s slipway, to which they had agreed.
On Monday 13 February two MOD police officers who had earlier disembarked from an MOD Police ‘RIB’ were seen on foot on the main Ardentinny road near Ardentinny Church.
Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O’Hara on 12 January, 2017 tabled a total of 21 questions at Westminster on the increased role of the Ministry of Defence Police within local civilian areas in and around Helensburgh and Lomond.
As has become customary, Glenfinart Walled Garden took a stall at the annual Dunoon Dazzle event again this year. There was marmalade, pickles, chutneys, home baking and knitting on sale together with a busy raffle. Just over £350 was raised so a big thank you to all the volunteers who contributed to this.
Maryjane and Anna hosted the annual Xmas party in the Glenfinart Hall dressed as elves this year and everyone had great fun. There were lots of games played with prizes won, and the occasional dance, all to the music played on the keyboard by Roger and his able assistant.
The children enjoyed a buffet and had a wonderful time pulling Christmas crackers and bursting all the balloons.
Alistair Bleach brought along the parachute game which has become a firm favourite.
Of course, the highlight of the day was Santa, and we look forward to seeing him and all the children again next year.
Apart from the Winter chill it was like a still Summer’s evening at Ardentinny Beach on Bonfire Night. The bonfire roared away lighting up the beach, while children and adults enjoyed the warmth and goodies on sale in aid of village hall funds.
There were toffee apples, cakes and toffee with Hot Chocolate, Bovril and Spiced Apple drinks to keep you warm on the inside. Cleverly designed natural braziers added extra warmth and provided a safe way to toast the marshmallows on sale.
Once again Maryjane, Linda and their hard working team excelled themselves with eerie walks, amazing decorations and delicious chilli supper at the annual Ardentinny Bowling Club Halloween Party. There was a Horror Film Quiz with clever cryptic clues and a ‘Guess Who’s Buried in the Graveyard?’ quiz as well as ‘Guess how many Eyeballs in the Jar’.
Pumpkins lined the path to the clubhouse and there were laughing Ghouls, screeching Witches and flashing Skeletons to scare the unsuspecting guiser approaching the club house. The best costume was won by the very convincing caveman. There was music and dancing and a good time was had by all.
Glenfinart Walled Garden’s open season culminated once again with a successful fund-raising Harvest Fair. The warm sunny day showcased the garden’s autumn hues and there was a raft of things to savour and enjoy. Carefully tended organic vegetables provided rich vegetable soup while apples from the hundred-year-old tree and its younger neighbours supplied crumble, flapjacks and delicious juice.
Live music kept the atmosphere upbeat as visitors took in stalls of Fair Trade goods; arts and crafts; fresh produce; face painting; and kids’ activities. The event raised invaluable revenue to further fund greater infrastructure which in turn extends the garden’s outreach to individuals and communities with varied and specific needs and aspirations.
The garden is now officially closed to visitors until Easter. However, gardener/volunteers’ coordinator, Simon, normally works in the garden with volunteers on Mondays and Thursdays and visitors are welcome to wander around if the gate is open. The garden is also open on the second and last Saturday of the month 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. to accommodate National Park volunteers. Similarly, others are also welcome. Wherever possible, groups requesting to visit the garden on a specific date will also be made welcome.
Those interested in volunteering call Simon on 07962086474 or Lynn (secretary) 07464485380. Tea, coffee and refreshments are provided.
Artist Anthea Gage held her Cowal Open Studios exhibition in Glenfinart Walled Garden recently. Despite the most atrocious weather, 145 visitors braved torrential rain and followed the brightly coloured streamers down the river road to the garden entrance to view and enjoy Anthea’s fun and colourful paintings, prints and cards.
Anthea Gage RSW taught Art and Design in Edinburgh for over thirty years and has since moved to Cowal. She works in gouache and watercolour and takes her inspiriration from the fun and colour of her surroundings and from lyrics and poetry, examples of which can be seen on her website. She can be contacted by email email@example.com.
On 8 September 2016 Ardentinny Commuity Trust (ACT) held its AGM. Trust Convenor, Anna Williamson, welcomed the attendees and invited them to take time to read the previous AGM’s Minutes and the Treasurer’s Report prior to reporting on the progress of the Trust’s Glenfinart Walled Garden Project.
The year saw the appointment of gardener/horticulturalist, Franziska Schmidt, who not only oversaw the planting and further development of the garden but also produced an informative monthly issue of ‘Gardener’s Blether’ and ran a series of excellent Masterclasses throughout the year. New Trustees, Jean Rowland and Jim Urquhart joined the committee; and from May 2015 the garden opened to the public to coincide with the monthly Soup and Sandwich event in the village hall.
At what has become something of a tradition, Glenfinart Walled Garden held its spring opening day in conjunction with Forestry Commission Scotland’s Easter Monday Eggstravaganza. In July the garden was the venue for the wedding of local girl, Claire Tierney and was also enjoyed by many Ardentinny residents.The Big Picnic in August coincided with one of the few dry days and was well attended and a great success. The Garden’s open season culminated with the Harvest Fair in October which coincided with Cowalfest’s visit.
Fundraising and Outreach
A National Park grant enabled trees and shrubs to be removed from the back wall to facilitate access. The resulting logs were sold on to augment garden funds. The Garden had a fundraising stall at Dunoon Dazzle and the Village Hall’s Michaelmas Fair.
In addition to individual visits by locals and those from farther afield, the garden welcomed a variety of groups throughout the year. In May there was a visit from Inner Wheel. Two college tutors plus 6 students from Dunoon Grammar came along to gather information for a PowerPoint for their horticultural group. The Federation of City Farms visited in June and provided lots of helpful information. Students from Dunoon Grammar and Primary learning centres spent enjoyable days out in the garden. Cowal Open Studios held a picnic on a very wet day in July; and approximately 40 art students from Glasgow, who were attending Ardentinny Outdoor Centre, spent much of their week in the garden building up their portfolios. There were also visits by a Church of Scotland Group and Tighnabruaich Rural.
Volunteer and Community support
Throughout the year there was regular and much appreciated support from the following:
Individual volunteers and Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park groups of volunteers
ISS Cowal & Bute Team
The Convenor concluded by thanking everyone who had donated their time, funds, energy, goods, and expertise, all of which was greatly appreciated.