Strachur Hall Committee

Quarterly Meeting

Sunday 30th January 2018


1. Attendees:

Executive: Patrick Gibb (PG-Chair), Evie Campbell (EC-Booking Officer), Douglas McHugh (DM-Treasurer), Sheena Dowse (SD-Events), Gordon Neish (GN- Events), Alison Roy, (AR-Secretary),

Group Representatives: Ian Asher (AR), Margaret Asher, Catherine Harrison, Jackie Scott-Mandeville, Anne Fiddes, Robin MacKenzie (RM), Susan Gaffney (SG),

Others: Fiona Campbell (FC) was invited to speak about the issue of missing names on the WW1 plaque.

Apologies: Archie Reid, Tom Peebles, Drew Stewart, Catherine Montgomery, Douglas Currie, Gerry Gibson, Iain Wilkie, Rita Mackellar, Sheena Anderson


2. Chair’s Welcome: Patrick welcomed everyone to the meeting noting the good attendance.


3. Previous Minutes: Combined minutes from Annual General Meeting and Quarterly Meeting Sunday 29th 2017 were accepted. One correction: Treasurer’s Report: Balance: £1, 2269.39-corrected to £12,269.39.


4. Action Tracker:

a) Develop a system to manage the boiler: (PG) -this was discussed along with other issues related to heating.

The plan to develop a team of 4 to maintain the boiler has not been realised. There was a date for the wood-fired boiler to be ‘fired-up’ after repair but was not possible as the boiler was still not working. After an inspection by the engineer a faulty sensor was identified- the cost of repair would be approximately £750 with VAT.

The oil boiler now is very temperamental and frequently cuts out. Fiona has to routinely manually start the boiler most mornings which may or may not work. The boiler could be repaired but would be expensive and as it is 17 years old the discussion moved to replacing it rather than repair. A verbal quote was obtained from A&D Watt for installing a new boiler. The cost quoted was £2798 + VAT, and we would also need to pay for the electrician. The total cost would therefore be about £4000 with installation costs. There is a five year warranty for the new boiler.

GN suggested that the wood-fired boiler be scrapped but as this was bought with grant money it was unclear if this could be done within the current timescale. It was decided to keep it in ‘retirement’ for the time being and replace the oil boiler.

There may be a scrappage scheme. PG will contact ALIenergy to enquire about this.

Also we could look for a more competitive price for oil-Bilsland or Highland Fuels (also Oilfast and Gleaner). PG to look into the possibility of sponsorship.

The committee agreed to go ahead with a new boiler. Watt is to be contacted.

It was also noted that some of the radiators in the New Hall are not working and may need ‘bleeding’.

b) Develop proposal for major refurbishment of Memorial Hall: (GN) To undergo a major refurbishment of the hall with backstage and conference facilities would cost over £1,000.000!

A more modest refurb. for £30,000 would give us a theatre with sound and lights which can be disassembled in two hours and £35,000 would finance a cinema as well - also easy to take down.

The projector is radio controlled.

Storage: A major problem. The old shed and container could be replaced with I big new waterproof container for only £1000. We may need planning permission to replace the shed with the new. GN to contact Douglas Currie about the old shed and to research the new one. The plan is to have a fund-raising event to fund the purchase.

c) Investigate refurbishment of multi-court: (EC) The fence is now complete. EC has applied for a Third Sector Grant from Argyll and Bute Council, a grant from Tesco Bags of Help and also to Strachur and District Community Fund for further funding for the actual multi-court.

EC will put a notice in the Strachur Newsletter advising everyone that they will be invited to vote online for the Argyll and Bute Council Third Sector Grant in order to obtain its grant.


5) New Items:

a) Boiler Problems: See Action Tracker

b) Painting the hall corridor and toilets: There has been an offer from the HELP team- a group of voluntary but supervised youngsters (who have had some personal problems) - with painting the halls. They have already completed work in Dunoon which according to GN was superb. The corridor paint is thought to be the original and has coloured flecks which makes it more complicated than the rest. After much discussion it was decided that HELP would be asked to paint the Committee Room and the toilets and we would assess the result with a view to asking them to paint other areas. SG asked that the history room be painted. There is paint in the sheds that may still be o.k. for the history room and the committee room. If not SD is to choose the colours. The toilets are to be painted with washable paint. PG to contact HELP.

c) War Memorial Plaque-missing names: FC informed the committee that there are two names omitted from the WW1 part of the Memorial Plaque. One person had definitely been resident here and the other had parents living at ‘Laurel Bank’. RM noted that we don’t know why the names have been omitted –no records are kept at the church now and would need to be located in Edinburgh. Each local area made their own decision as to which names should be included. The WW1 part of the Memorial would be difficult to add to and a separate plaque would need to be added.

It could be possible to research the events and the opening of the Memorial Hall from archived Dunoon Observer copies dated from after WW1- SG to investigate this possibility.

There are funds available to refurbish WW1 memorials- the War Memorials Trust- but this may only refer to outside monuments.

GN asked that the shelf on the war memorial could be hinged as it is a hazard to stage users.

Douglas Macpherson is to be asked to tackle the problem and it is suggested that he consults with Donald Cameron (who worked on the design and carpentry of the Memorial's surround with John Anderson.)

The surround and shelf were added in 2000 when the hall was upgraded. GN suggested that the Memorial Plaque be eventually moved to another wall.

d) Hub request for reduced fees: IA requested that the Hub be awarded the lower concessionary rate of fees (£6.00/hour instead of £7.00/hour). He questioned the rationale for the criteria for a seemingly arbitrary allocation of hourly charge. The Friendship Club pays the lower rate after applying to the committee some years ago. AF informed the committee that the Friendship Club charge members and also fund raise to keep the club going. The Hub are funded at the moment but are not sure if this will continue. They only ask for donations towards costs but the hall fees are covered by their grant. Finances have been stretched owing to the popularity of the club with numbers well increased from the inception.

The Hub organisers decided not to charge members initially but to invite donations from attendees. To charge for the provision of food would invite regulation and scrutiny from Environmental Health which was felt to be unwarranted for a project of this scale. (Information added: at least five members hold Food Hygiene Certificates).

It was agreed that the Hub, as good users, benefitted the hall and the local community and contributed well to the hall finances.

GN suggested that the proposal was looked at in 6 months’ time as the funding for the Hub from the ICF is in place until 2019. IA is to research who made the first application for funding.

e) Table Trolley: IA requested the purchase of a table trolley to help with moving tables from the New Hall to the Memorial Hall. It would be beneficial if we could leave tables in the hall. There is no storage at present but this could be rectified with the purchase of a new container. For the present time tables could be left in the Memorial Hall from Tuesday to Thursday if they don’t conflict with other hall users. It was agreed that the purchase of a table trolley would benefit the hall. DM and IA to look at tables and choose one.

Standing Items

1) Bookings: EC – bookings all going well.

2) Events:

a) GN proposed organising a function in November to raise funds for the new storage unit. He suggested booking Archie McAllister- cost £600-£700. GN is to look into getting a grant to cover the cost. We could charge £10 a ticket.

b) SD is planning a big show for Strachur Youth Drama – Peter Pan on 28th/29th September which will include other local celebrities. She hopes to access a grant to finance this grand event.

The plan is to use the whole hall which will mean leaving scenery/stage in the hall for the preceding week-from set-up to the end. All groups will need to be asked if they are agreeable to this.

AR will notify users through the Strachur Newsletter. The possibility of an agreed block rate booking was mooted.

C) Finance: DM: Fabric Fund: £322; General Fund: £9761- total £10,083

Purchases agreed: Boiler: £4,000; Table Trolley: unknown

There are two debtors: Yoga and Argyll and Bute Council- A total of £547 owing. DM to follow this up.

There is also £230 to come in from advertising in the Strachur newsletter.

£200 is to be paid to Strathlachlan Hall.


This is the centenary of WW1 and SD and GN asked if anything was to be organised to commemorate the date. SG informed that the History Society is planning an event for 10th November 2018. The history society is interested in any stories from individuals from WW1. These can be from anyone not just concerning local events/people.

PG asked if Tuesdays suited the committee and it was agreed to continue with that day.



This was not discussed at the meeting but the proposed dates for the remainder of this year are:

Tuesday April 24th @7.45 p.m.

Tuesday July 31st @7.45 p.m.

Tuesday October 30th @ 7.45 p.m. - AGM