The road outside Angle cottage on the Ardentinny to Whistlefield road will be closed between 7am and 7pm on 27 October, 2019 to enable works to take place in relation to the Cuil Burn Hydro Renewables project. Contractor Robert Brakes informs us that the road to the beach past the village hall will remain open at all times. Diversion signage will be in place at the Loch Eck and Cot House turnings. As it is a Sunday it should not affect the 489 West Coast Motors Service as it terminates at the Village car park.
It is fair to say that this year’s outgoing Village Hall committee did not have an easy ride. They inherited a hall in a serious state of disrepair and had committee transitional issues and reneged on builder commitments to resolve. Nothing insoluble but which required extraordinary effort and dedication. However, despite the odds, they were able to report some considerable achievements.
Fabric of the hall
Last year’s AGM had approved the spending of a proportion of contingency funds to cover the necessary repairs to the fabric of the building. Some critical faults were identified in the electrics resulting in a complete upgrade of fuse boxes and sockets.
Roof timbers need attention as do some slates along with the flat roof section of the building and quotes indicate that the roof repairs will cost around £3,000. There are also plans to roughcast (£1,000) and paint (£1,800) the exterior, all of which should improve the integrity of the building.
Activities and events
The village hobbies, indoor bowling, badminton and bridge clubs have continued to run throughout the year contributing £7.00 an hour to hall funds. There have also been well supported courses in Tai Chi, Ceramics and Watercolour with Bill Williamson donating his ceramics course fees to the Hall. The Hall hosted a Community Coffee Morning; a Winter Fair; a Kids’ Xmas Party; a New Year Party and a Spring Concert. Hire of the Hall by groups such as the community council earns £10.00 per hour while private hire achieves £100 per day.
Savings and Innovation
A change of insurers to one specialising in village halls resulted in an annual saving of just under £200
An offer of a cheaper electricity tariff in exchange for permission to erect a pole on village hall ground as part of the latest hydro electric project was warmly accepted by the hall committee. Robert Brakes, partner of Co-Hydrover, was in attendance to update the meeting on progress and answer any questions. Work to erect the pole and install the necessary connection box etc. should begin late summer and when in place should provide a 70% tariff reduction while the turbine is running.
It is anticipated it will run for 10 months of the year and the supply will automatically revert to the grid and the existing tariff for the months of July and August. During the installation the personnel will stay on site in a caravan and use the hall’s facilities, providing additional rent to the hall. In addition, and in line with the existing Baron Turner scheme, the Ardentinny community will receive 5% of the profits per annum, paid through Ardentinny Renewables Trust.
Therefore, despite the challenges, the committee achieved improved integrity of the building and significant savings both now and for the future while running a full programme of activities and events.
It was agreed to establish a ‘Friends of Ardentinny Hall’ programme to boost funds and to begin a hall membership drive while also looking at the current and previous versions of the constitution with a view to deciding if further changes are required for members to vote on.
Returning and newly elected committee members are: Guy Elder (Chair); Clair Tierney (Secretary); Susie Robertson (Treasurer); Merle Ferguson (bookings); Margo Hendry.
Oh what a night. Late April twenty nineteen. What a very special evening. As I remember, what a night!
Think of great music; dedicated, accomplished performances; warmth and camaraderie both sides of the stage mixed in with a touch of cafe theatre with family and friends and you have last Saturday night in Ardentinny Hall. But what made it so good? The programme was as eclectic as each component part was individual and the standard of the performances was testimony not only to the talent of the performers but to their outstanding dedication to their craft.
Talented fiddler Iain Davidson opened the programme with a couple of Scottish marches, then a slow air from Shetland and finally a foot-tapping two-step.
Next up with a change in style and tempo, Ambrose Harper, Allan Guerrish, and Bill Tierney gave us Lindisfarne’s ‘Meet me on the Corner’ followed by Richard Thompson’s ‘Waltzing for Dreamers’ and finished with Buddy Mundock’s ‘Comin Down in the Rain’ with the trio’s instrumental skills and harmonies charming us in equal measure.
Las Jubiladas (Linda Petty, Jane Mitchell and Julie Forrester) followed with a master class in recorders, the likes of which many of us had never seen, if heard, before. Their set, incorporating different musical styles – jazz, folk, boogie – and types of recorder, was as instructional as it was enjoyable.
Step change as Ceol Breagha (Ian Darroch, Aileen Morrison and Jim King) offered up a feast of Celtic music with a selection of Irish, Scottish and Breton marches, Strathspeys, Jigs, Reels and Hornpipes.
After a buzzing interval of chat, food, drink and raffle draw Ukes not Nukes (Mike Loochin and Susie Robertson) gave their first and most impressive ukulele performance supported by Clair Tierney and Derek Nelson. First with Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ followed by George Ezra’s ‘Budapest’.
The final set of the night was Ardentinny’s own singer songwriter, Clair Tierney supported by her Dad, Bill Tierney, Derek Nelson, Allan Guerrish and Ambrose Harper. It was a wonderful mix of country numbers interspersed with Clair’s own compositions from her Cowal Song Cycle and showcased the depth of her talent along with that of her accompanying musicians.
The whole event was ably strung together by our equally entertaining compere Alison Duncan who also performed her self-penned ballad Baron MacInturner and an Ian Ingram song dedicated to former Ardentinny outdoor centre instructor, the late Hilary Smith. For local and visitor alike, the evening held an enduring sense of place and culminated in a finale with audience and performers singing Harry Lauder’s O’er The Hill to Ardentinny.
11 performers and 12 distinct instrument types later, it’s little wonder Clair Tierney said ‘Transatlantic Sessions eat your heart out!’. With that in mind and an increasing appetite for more, have we just experienced the birth of an annual ‘Tinnyfest’? Let’s hope so!
O’er the Hill was live streamed by Ardentinny.org with audiences as far apart as South Uist and New Zealand. Recording is below.