Ardentinny’s Village Hall Revival

At the Village Hall AGM in Ardentinny last week, one thing became abundantly clear. Namely, that the intervention at the EGM the previous August by Agnes Harvey, Guy Elder and Merle Ferguson who volunteered to stall the then imminent disposal of the Hall by caretaking it over the winter, had paid off. During that time the hall was ‘reopened for business’, allowing local clubs to return to use it and organisations and individuals to rent it for meetings and events. Minor and more serious defects in the fabric of the building were identified, the former being dealt with by Guy while quotes were obtained for rectifying the latter. Agnes, as Treasurer, dealt with documentation, the bank account and necessary payments while Merle, as secretary, handled hall bookings and correspondence and undertook a survey of residents as to the future of the hall.

Out of a total of 105 respondents to the survey 94 considered the hall to be a valuable community asset. 67 wanted it maintained as it is. Others voiced a variety of alternative uses: replacing it with a sustainable, custom-built hall on land beside the village car park with perhaps some social housing units to attract young families or even refugees, as in Sutera; to be maintained as a heritage site, e.g., museum/arts/information centre; to be used as a hostel; to be used as a pet cemetery; to be let to an approved business. With a considerable majority voting to maintain it as is, the meeting progressed in that vein.

While the annual accounts are not yet complete, Agnes reported that current hall funds stood at £16,282.37 with all bills paid to date. Mrs. J Urquhart, Accountant, has volunteered to audit the accounts, when completed.

Guest speaker, Anne Sobey, Development Manager, Community Partnership, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, informed the meeting about the forthcoming village hall summit, being held on the 27 June. She explained that, in response to a survey of all the Park’s Village Halls, they decided to organise this summit in the following way: Halls have been circulated with a pre-meeting checklist in order to establish their precise needs and which they are requested to complete and bring with them. On the day, rather than have a standard workshop, they have invited a group of experts to attend. These range from architects, professional agencies, business representatives, all with specific skills and with whom hall representatives can consult in this pop-up skills marketplace with the ultimate aim of going back to their communities with a sustainable plan for their hall’s future. A representative from Ardentinny is invited to attend and there will be Community Partnership follow-up thereafter.

Guy Elder then outlined problems with the fabric of the hall. There is a considerable problem of water ingress due to blocked drainage systems which require groundworks to clear and probably replace old clay pipes and provide an effective new drainage system. The septic tank also needs to be investigated and probably replaced to bring it up to current Health and Safety standards. Dry rot has been identified in the rafters which needs to be remedied and new damp coursing is also required. Finally, there is an urgent need for re-wiring and an upgrade of fuse boxes. The total cost is estimated at £4,200 and a show of hands was requested in support of using some of the hall’s capital in this way. The 50-strong audience gave a unanimous yes.

The meeting was then opened up for questions and discussion. It was suggested that the four community entities, i.e., The Hall Trust, The Community Council, Ardentinny Community Trust and Ardentinny Renewables Trust meet together to agree a season or year plan of collaborative fund-raising village events.

There was a complaint about lack of communication and inclusion which led to some voicing their preference to return to paid membership. There was a vote 21/13 in favour of the latter. However, it was pointed out that this was not representative of all residents who are currently and automatically non-paying members. It was also suggested that a more inclusive, non fee-paying membership may be more favourable when applying for grant-funding. It was suggested and agreed to ask this question at the Village Hall Summit and also to survey all the residents before taking a decision. Neil Robinson volunteered to write and circulate a regular newsletter to improve communication.

The current committee stood down and were proposed and seconded to return for another year. In addition another 4 came forward to join the committee which now comprises Agnes Harvey, Merle Ferguson, Guy Elder, Linda Naismith, David Edwards, Clair Tierney and Ken Walker.

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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 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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Village Hall on brink saved at eleventh hour

The prospect of Ardentinny’s 111 year old village hall being closed and sold off was averted last night at a well attended public meeting.

Outgoing Hall Association Trustee, Jo Carr, read aloud a letter from Hunters Quay resident Agnes Harvey in which she expressed her regret at being unable to attend the meeting but volunteered to work with anyone or indeed to assume sole responsibility for ensuring that the hall in Ardentinny remained a village asset.

It was explained that the Hall Association’s constitution required two further volunteers to come forward in order to make that possible. Local residents Guy Elder and Merle Ferguson stepped up to the plate thus ensuring the continuance of the Village Hall Association as a Charitable Trust.

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Ardentinny Kids Christmas party

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.

Anna Williamson.

 

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Bonfire Night Fundraiser

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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.

Lynn Kerr

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Ardentinny’s Traditional Kids’ Xmas Party

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What has now become an established annual event, Ardentinny’s Xmas Party was thoroughly enjoyed by 30 children with parents and grandparents in the Village Hall last Saturday.

Organisers Anna and Mary Jane produced a traditionally themed afternoon with vintage games such as The Grand Old Duke of York and Musical Chairs and pianists, retired local vet and partner, provided excellent accompaniment. There was also the more unusual ‘parachute game’ and the making of a snowman.

As ever, there was a sumptuous buffet for the children while Margaret Robinson provided coffees and teas for the adults.

The ‘wee yins’ successfully beckoned Santa with several renditions of Jingle Bells till they were loud enough for him to find them.  Their reward – Santa’s own personalised gifts!

Click image to enlarge.

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Kids Christmas Fun

Xmas began early in the village hall with a party on Dec 1st for over twenty children who enjoyed lots of games, Christmas goodies and a present from Santa. The event was organised by Anna and Mary Jane who were ably assisted by many Mums, Dads, and grandparents, &, of course, Santa himself! The day was such a success that they are already thinking about next year’s.

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Cosy Den Youth Club presents…

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The pantomime programme from a production of Cinderella presented by the ‘Cosy Den Youth Club’ almost 50 years ago in the village hall. Were you there and whose names do you recognise? Thanks to Anna Williamson for these memories!

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What’s happening in Ardentinny Village Hall in December?

Monday: Bridge 19.00 – 21.00
Tuesday: Badminton 10.00 – 12.00
Tuesday: Art Club 14.00 – 16.00
Wednesday: Hobbies 19.00 – 21.00
Thursday: Carpet Bowls 14.30 – 16.30
Friday: Soup & Sandwich 11.00 – 13.30

On Fridays the most delicious homemade soup and home baking is to be found in the Village Hall and we are very proud to keep this social event going throughout the winter, weather permitting. Every month Ardentinny Community Trust takes a table to raise money for Glenfinart Walled Garden. There is also a weekly table to raise money for Clic Sargent. The Village Hall also has a table selling bric-a-brac and secondhand books to raise money for the Village Hall funds. Look out for details of our annual Christmas Drop-in which will be happening in early December (great mincemeat pies!). The Village Hall Committee would like to thank everyone for keeping alive the traditions of a village hall which has now been going for over 100 years.
Merle Ferguson

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