Hall adopts free membership model at community meeting

Ardentinny Hall Management committee held an open community meeting on 10 October to inform residents on the status of the village hall and to discuss the possible future role of the asset within the community. 

For the moment the committee is keeping the hall ‘ticking over’, having reopened it for club and other bookings; ensuring that it is cleaned, that regular outgoings are paid; and making the relevant official changes of office bearers.

Management committee member Guy Elder reported on the fabric of the building. The gutters and downpipes were blocked and water is overflowing and seeping into the building and, despite clearing the back and side, the actual source of the ingress has yet to be determined. There are also no obvious drains taking water away but once they obtain field drawings of what drainage exists the committee will then decide what needs to be done before hiring a digger to make the appropriate provision. In the meantime they have applied for a National Park (building) grant to cover the cost. This has successfully reached the second stage whereby a further application has to be submitted by 20 October.

The Chair then referred to the 2015 Community Action Plan and the likes, dislikes, wants and needs of the residents expressed therein, with a view to discussing if/how the village hall asset might play a part in achieving the community’s vision for its future. There were various suggestions from the floor including the need to consult the whole community. This was agreed along with scheduling another open community meeting in the near future.
 
In addition, after many years of charging an annual hall membership fee, it was decided to provide free hall membership to all the community in line with other village halls along ‘the shore’.
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Ardentinny Community Trust AGM

Ardentinny Community Trust held its AGM on 19 September 2017 which covered the year April 2016 – March 2017. Its reported activity concerned Glenfinart Walled Garden which is the Trust’s sole project.The Trust Chair reported as follows:

The garden opened for the season on Monday 28th as part of the Forestry Commission’s Easter Eggstravaganza.
The garden was open Saturdays and Sundays 12.00 – 4.00 p.m. and on the first Friday of each month 11.00 – 2.00 p.m. (when Ardentinny Village Hall had their ‘Soup n Sandwich’ event).
However visitors were welcome in the garden any day if the gate was open or by appointment.

In April Franziska decided to return to her home in Germany. She held very informative Masterclasses which were well attended and helped to raise the profile of the garden. She encouraged volunteers and generally improved the flower and vegetable areas. Franziska shared her knowledge with all through her Gardener’s Blether. Simon Richardson was appointed as the new Volunteers’ Coordinator/Gardener and began work in July.
In the interim months volunteers and Community Payback planted out the vegetables in the polytunnel and kept the garden ticking over.

Our thanks go to Friends of Benmore Gardens who once again donated plants left over from the Benmore Botanic Garden Open Day.

Corrie MacDonald from Dunoon Grammar School Learning Centre started work experience in September 2016 travelling to the garden with a support worker every Monday.

Joe Robinson started work experience in the garden in February 2017 for his UHI College Course.

Events:
The Big Picnic, with live music from the ‘Elderly Brothers’ attracted a lot of picnickers and despite the damp start was enjoyed by all.

During Cowal Open Studios, Anthea Gage exhibited in the shed and welcomed 145 visitors to her exhibition.

The Harvest Fair, our annual fundraising event attracted many visitors and raised £1100 some of which went towards a diesel generator. Thank you to all the people who helped to make it such a success – too numerous to mention!

There was a ‘Sparkle Bomb’ the Garden event. Locals and visitors brought Christmas decorations to sparkle the children’s area.

Fundraising and Outreach:
The Trust was awarded a Tesco Groundworks’ Grant to put in Disabled parking.

A grant, awarded by Cowal Health and Wellbeing Network in February, will assist with the transportation of volunteers to the garden.

Trustees attended the Community Partnership’s Annual BBQ in Ardentinny Village Hall and their EGM and workshops in The Three Villages Hall, Arrochar.

The Garden had a fundraising stall at Dunoon Dazzle.

The garden had a stall at the Jobs’ Fair in Dunoon Grammar

A powerpoint presentation about the garden and its history was delivered at one of the TSI meetings in Dunoon, at the first meeting of the DASH Recovery Cafe and at one of the Parkinsons’ and Carers’ Group meetings. Talks were again given at the Job Centre

Visitors:
The 500th visitor of the season signed the visitors’ book in September. This did not include the visitors who do not sign the book, regular, local visitors and the people who attended the Easter event, the Big Picnic and Cowal Open Studios.

Other groups who visited the garden were: Strone Primary, Dunoon Grammar School Learning Centre and Glasgow Art Students who were staying at the outdoor centre. Carers from ENABLE and ASSIST brought their clients to enjoy the space.

Neil Black and Eilidh McKerry from the National Park visited the garden on their annual grant monitoring visit. They were delighted with the progress of the garden.

Tamara Hedderwick from the Groundworks’ grant team visited the garden to take promotional photographs.

Volunteer and Community support:
National Park Rangers regularly visited and NP Volunteers attended our Action Days on the last Saturday of the month which was extended, in July, to include the second Sunday of the month.

Tullochan Futures Group visited the garden with Steven Kenny from the National Park

The Forestry Commission provided us with marquees for our events. The village hall lent us tables and chairs.

The EXP, Youth Group spent a MAD (Make A Difference) day during the summer holidays.

ISS Facility Services Landscaping, Cowal and Bute Team, led by Andy continued to support the garden by professionally strimming the’ tump’ round the sensory garden and cutting the grassy areas to ensure maximum growth.

Two young men from the HELP Project began working in the garden on Thursdays.

The Community Payback Teams continue to be a great asset to the garden.

Development:
The storage yard was completed by attaching a large net to telegraph poles to hide our store of resources. Climbing plants were be grown up the net to further hide them. The compost bins were extended.

The shed roof was covered by box profile to make it water tight and to help preserve it for the years to come. The gutters were renewed and we are, again able to gather and store rain water in the bowsers behind the shed. This has made the watering of the polytunnel much less labour intensive.

The improvement to the water supply was completed. Water butts situated in the polytunnel and at the ends of each planting area were fitted with individual taps connected to pipe from the main bowser.

A diesel generator was installed behind the main shed. There is now power in the shed and outdoor electric sockets for events.

Sam Campbell felled several trees to make way for the parking spaces outside the wall. The Road Upgrade and 2 Disabled Parking spaces as well as parking for a minibus and 1 car were completed by Ross Macarthur Contractors ltd with a grant from Tesco, Groundworks ‘Bags of Help and Argyll and Bute Council.

Our grateful thanks go to the many supporters of the garden project who give of their time and resources and of course to the visitors who come from far and wide.

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Open Studio at the Garden

Cowal artist Anthea Gage has been exhibiting at Glenfinart Walled Garden as part of the Cowal Open Studios weekend. Despite the challenging autumnal weather, Anthea’s unique exhibition of prints has so far welcomed over 100 visitors.

The event continues until 5pm on Monday 25 September at Glenfinart Walled Garden. Entrance is free.

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Glenfinart Walled Garden Harvest Fair 2017

In response to ‘the harvest’ Glenfinart Walled Garden’s Harvest Fair was held a little earlier this year. Despite a very wet growing season, there was still plenty of fresh organic veg on offer both in its raw state and also in wonderful vegetable soup, preserves and even courgette cake! The orchard offered up delicious pressed apple juice and the now famous Ardentinny home baking ensured a constant stream of customers at the tea tent.

The kids had lots of fun in their own garden space and there was a mini mall of craft and other stalls to tempt the visitor, including more garden produce in the shape of fresh flowers and plants.

Time flew as The Elderly Brothers, along with their young and older guest performers, entertained the crowds with lively song and and expert accompaniment, while everyone’s contribution raised the much appreciated sum of £1310.

Click any image for slideshow

 

Facebook Live video on dodgy 3G..

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Ardentinny Hall Association – Community Notice

Ardentinny Village Hall is currently managed by a group of three people.

Merle Ferguson (Secretary) 01369 810220, Agnes Harvey (Treasurer) 07802 424487 and Guy Elder.

If you would like to strengthen that group please get in touch.

Key Holders: All of the Management Group have keys to the hall. In an emergency please contact either Guy Elder or Merle Ferguson (01369 810220).

Hall Bookings All Bookings should be made directly to the Secretary (Merle Fergusson)

Keeping Updated
The Management group will use their best endeavours to update the community on any progress. Minutes of Management group meetings will be displayed on the Hall notice board.

Periodically an ‘Open Community Meeting’ will be held and the first of this has been set for :-

Tuesday 10th October 2017 at 7pm in Ardentinny Hall. All welcome.

This will provide an opportunity for anyone within the community to come along, put forward any ideas and thoughts they have and ask any questions or express any concerns etc.

For and on behalf of the Ardentinny Hall Association – 19th Sept 2017

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Community Councils – Have your say

Argyll and Bute Council are currently conducting the first phase of a consultation regarding an amended scheme for the establishment of community councils. Copies of the proposed amended scheme and associated documents can be found by clicking on the links here and emailed responses to the consultation should be sent to communitycouncils@argyllbute.gov.uk.

Alternatively they may be posted to the Community Council Liaison Officer, Argyll and Bute Council, Kilmory, Lochgilphead, PA31 8RT. All responses should be submitted no later than 19 October, 2017.

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Three days, three trees, three countries.

The weather finally cleared last weekend, not only for the finale of the Cowal Highland Gathering, but also for Ardentinny’s chance of getting in the record books!

Simon Penfold and Phil Dye from Gloucestershire were on a mission to climb and measure the tallest trees in Scotland, England and Wales over three consecutive days in aid of Cancer Research. Starting last Friday, and with the climbs at Dunster Estate, Somerset and Powys, Wales successfully completed, the lads headed north for Ardentinny.

The Douglas Fir at the Lairds Grave had already been measured using laser by Forestry Commission Scotland. However, for the height to be validated, the conifer would need to be measured by analogue means, i.e. a measuring tape.

Under surprisingly ideal conditions early on Sunday morning, the two tree surgeons, who operate a recreational tree climbing centre in Gloucestershire, started their ascent. With the aid of the measure, a 3 metre pole and a quadcopter, Simon and Phil completed the flawless climb in exactly two hours.

Simon said afterwards “there was quite a bit of deadwood up there, but also a good amount alive. It was a phenomenal view of the loch. It’s now the tallest tree I’ve ever climbed. The only struggle we had was getting the whisky off the tree!” He was referring to a mystery package left by previous climbers some 60 meters up! It contained three miniature bottles of Campbeltown Loch whisky with the message “Great what you are doing. Here’s some Scottish hospitality”.

Simon and Phil with their mystery Campbeltown Loch whisky

Charitable donations in support of Simon and Phil’s weekend climbs have already exceeded their £2000 target for Cancer Research. If you would also like to contribute, click here for their Just Giving page.

So, can Ardentinny claim to have the tallest tree in Scotland, UK or Europe? Watch the video and find out!

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Glenfinart Walled Garden at Kirn Gala

The sun shone last Wednesday evening for the annual Kirn Gala. Glenfinart Walled Garden’s team of Lynn, David and Phyllis were in attendance selling the garden’s organic vegetables, herbs and beautiful bunches of freshly picked flowers. The event raised over £136.

Don’t forget the next big event at Glenfinart Walled Garden – The Harvest Fair on Sunday 17 September. More details soon!

 

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The Ardentinny is recruiting!

Part-time and Weekend Staff wanted

We’re looking for friendly, enthusiastic and hard working person to join our small team at The Ardentinny Bar and Restaurant (formerly The Ardentinny Hotel). Experience preferred but not essential. For more details please contact Aileen and Eduardo on 01369 810126 or pop in with your CV. The only day we’re closed is Tuesday.
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Ardentinny charity climb to establish Europe record

Ardentinny may be home to the UK’s tallest tree and Europe’s tallest conifer, something which could be officially confirmed later this month by arboriculturalists and charity tree climbers Phyl Dye and Simon Penfold, when they scale and measure the suspect Douglas fir near the Laird’s grave in Ardentinny.

On the last weekend of August, Phyl from Wotton-under-edge and Simon from Malmesbury plan to climb the tallest trees in England, Wales and Scotland over a challenging three day period in aid of Cancer Research UK.

The first climb on Friday the 25th will be a Douglas fir in Dunster Estate, England which measured 60.05 metres in 2009; the second will be in Lake Vyrnwy in Powys, thought to be around 60.62 metres; and their final challenge will be in Ardentinny on the Sunday, hoping to confirm the laser measurement of 68 metres when they will accurately measure it by tape during their climb.

Through this taxing endeavour, they hope to raise £2,000 for Cancer Research. If you would like to help them achieve or indeed supersede that goal, you can chip in on their Just Giving page.

You can also follow their progress on their Twitter page,  Instagram and we’ll have live updates at Ardentinny.org and on our Facebook page.

Main photo courtesy Liz Owen.

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