Board Member applications invited – Ardentinny Renewables Trust


Following its AGM, Ardentinny Renewables Trust (ART) has announced the resignation of ART founding member and Vice Chair, Rob Bray. Along with Dennis Gower of the then Ardentinny Community Council, Rob sowed the seed of Ardentinny’s interest in Hydro renewable projects with Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS). Subsequently FCS’ collaboration with Hydrover and local farmer, Ross MacArthur led to the establishment of three hydro projects in the village and the need for a Trust to manage and allocate the mandatory 5% of project revenue to the community.

ART held its AGM on 23 July at which it confirmed that it had granted a total of £4,835.33 in funds to date with a remaining balance in account of £6773.61. Any Ardentinny resident or local group can apply for funds for projects which will benefit the Ardentinny community. Applicants must be Trust members and membership is free.

A member of the public raised the question of what assurances were in place regarding the quality of projects carried out, citing the design and structural failings of the new notice board, as an example. The Chair stressed that it was outwith ART’s constitutional remit to become involved in the management of grant recipients’ projects. However, it was agreed to update the application form to include a reminder to applicants that this responsibility lies with them.

In the event of Board member Janette Reilly standing down, due to her leaving the village, Stuart Gray volunteered to replace her. This was unanimously agreed by the committee.

The current Board of Trustees comprises Dougie Menzies (Chair); Bill Tierney (Treasurer); Neil Robinson (Secretary); Kenneth Evans; and Jennifer McLundie.

Anyone interested in applying to replace Rob Bray must live in the Ardentinny Community Council district and not have been disqualified from being a charity trustee. They can request an application form from Neil Robinson, Secretary or via any of the other Board members. The power of appointment rests with the Board of Trustees.

Download ART Funding Application (.docx)

Download ART AGM minutes – July 2019

Download ART Membership Form

The Last Days of Ardentinny School

Ardentinny School closed in the late 90s, however, a high-profile campaign staged in 1992 brought together villagers in an effort to retain the school, as shown in this historic TV documentary.


Hiroshima and Nagasaki Commemorations

In the shadow of WMD at RNAD Coulport, we remember the hundreds of thousands of people killed by the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

Remembrance vigils will be held at Faslane on Tuesday 6 August and Friday 9 August; a commemorative gathering will be held at Castle Street alongside Princes Street, Edinburgh on Tuesday 6th from 6-7 p.m. and a two-minute silence will be held, followed by spoken words and a chance to float chrysanthemum petals in the River Kelvin at 6 Professors’ Square, Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow on 6 August, 1-2.30 p.m.

…and the heavens opened

Torrential rain is not usually something that deters the hardy locals and visitors to Argyll from enjoying themselves, and last Sunday’s Big Picnic at Glenfinart Walled Garden, Ardentinny was no exception.

Although, as expected, the garden had a smaller attendance than usual, the event was still a great day out. Despite the challenging weather (which actually cleared later in the afternoon), the Elderly Brothers, along with their guests – Ambrose Harper from Dunoon; Tom McIver from Hunter’s Quay; Benmore’s Sharon Erskine; and Ardentinny’s very own Liz Kohlmeyer – provided an excellent musical backdrop to the day.

Where else in Cowal can you enjoy a free concert with such a range of talent on a rainy Sunday afternoon?

The garden was looking resplendent in its July colours and the tea cabin with its delicious home baking, generously created by volunteers, did brisk business.

Local environmental group AFFtheClyde were also in attendance and added more signatures to their petition opposing the proposed Ardentinny fish farm.

So, all in all, a good day out. The Walled Garden’s next event is the Harvest Fair on 22 September. Fingers crossed it will be blessed with better weather!



The picnic continues under cover.. and not a leak in sight!
…and the band played on

..and the rain kept on coming

The clouds finally cleared

Ann Woods of AFFtheClyde is interviewed by Dunoon Community Radio


A Night at the Opera

A night at the opera
On Saturday night Ardentinny was the fortunate host to a preview of Aria Alba’s latest production. Following their opera residential at Ardentinny Centre, we were invited to an ‘open rehearsal’ of Bellini’s La Sonnambula
This was no picturesque pastoral village in Switzerland, the original setting of the opera. Instead, Dr. Nell Drew, Director of Voice & Musical Director and co-founder of Aria Alba, saw parallels with the small community customs, intrigue and general shenanigans of a Scottish highland village (she hails originally from Loch Tummel). Therefore, she decided to use just such a setting placed in the 1950s, making it eminently relatable. It is also difficult to imagine a more appropriate venue for last Saturday’s performance than the village of Ardentinny!
Aria Alba’s mission is to widen opera participation and to develop and provide opportunities for both amateur and professional singers from all backgrounds. There are usually two and sometimes three casts to ensure that everyone has a chance to perform.
We were asked to be forgiving of their state of preparedness – there are still 5 weeks of rehearsals to go. There was nothing to forgive!
 As Dr. Drew explained, Aria Alba never performs opera in translation as the score depends so much on the music of the language in which it is written. Also ‘La Sonnambula’ is demanding in its range and length of arias for soloists and long renditions by the chorus. In it Bellini was “hailed not only for the beauty of his melodies but for his restless harmonic shifts into remote keys”*
Written in the Bel Canto style, it is renowned for its difficulty. The lead role of Amina, performed by Fiona Breingan, “requires a complete command of trills and florid technique…” There are equally difficult vocal challenges for the lead tenor Elvino, a part shared by Neil MacTavish and Joanna Bleau.
The company also showcased its acting ability, most notably in the part of Lisa. While the narrator, Isobel McGregor kept us up to speed with the plot as it unfolded. In short – a wholly enjoyable performance!
The Cast
Amina      Fiona Breingan
Elivino      Joanna Bleau, Neil McTavish
Lisa            Jolanda Grijpstra, Judy Miller
Count       Robert Hardiment, Jamie Whitfield
Teresa      Hilarie Howarth
Alessio     Les Moffat
Notary      Jody Dalzel-Job
Narrator   Isobel McGregor
Chorus      Adam Feith, Kata Feith, Cath McNaught, Ann Dawson, Gill Quille 
The performance was co-directed by Dr. Nell Drew and Robert Hardiment and expertly and indefatigably accompanied by pianist, Michal Gajzler
Aria Alba will premiere its operatic re-imagining of La Sonnambula at the Edinburgh Fringe 7 p.m. Thurs. 22 to Sun 25 August 2019, Stockbridge Parish Church, 7b Saxe Coburg Street, Edinburgh EH13 5BN.