Oldhamstocks Community Association Meeting

held in the Hall on Thurs 21st January 2016


Present: Neil Richerby, Chair, Barbara Richerby, Chris Bruce, Jacquie Riddell, Gordon Simpson, Sharon Simpson, Nathan Simpson, Lauryn Simpson, Mary Legge, Janice Hanvidge, John Hanvidge, Lizanne Longmuir, Angus MacDonald, Alex Ainslie.

Apologies: Kaleena Hanvidge, Dave Legge.

Minutes of the previous meeting on 26th November were approved.

Matters Arising: Neil is to supply diagram drawing of proposed Millenium Bench to Jackie so that she can make an enquiry at ELC. NR, JR.

Treasurer's Report: Current balance in bank: £13792.36, of which £3790.10 is not ring-fenced. Just received is payment from Flower Show Committee for use of the hall - £231, so £4021.10 available. Cash donations were made towards refreshments following the Christmas Walk (£27.62) and on New Year's Day (£27.11) – these will be put towards refreshments for the next occasion.

Asbestos: nothing to report.

Land/New-build structures:

Flemings sketch obtained by Angus shows a wood-clad hall with, in error, a somewhat bigger footprint than was asked for (than necessary?) - should have been 2m wider than current footprint. There is no provision for a disabled toilet. Neil suggested it might be better to have a central entrance, with outer and inner glass doors. To estimate construction costs, an off-the-cuff figure of £1000 per sq m had been mentioned.

Sharon has found out from ELC that the current population figure for the parish is 160, but it is not known exactly what size of floor area would be recommended/required by Planning. We need to plan for a possible future population rise. For the next meeting, Sharon will ask for further guidance from ELC Planning Dept as to exact space that could be required (sq m per person) – based on a required minimum plus extra space for bigger events - and what regulations require to be met. SS

Glulam construction print-outs were passed round the table by Neil. These showed a building without the need for crossbeams giving space into the roof, with wooden flooring and very clean lines. Three firms contacted specialise in this construction (possibly best to let one firm do the whole project rather than have parts supplied and then use separate trades). No specifics for size yet, and therefore no quotes. Costs would be inclusive, from ground up.

Alex suggested having parking space at the side of the hall, moving the structure 5m back into the field. He also pointed out that to carry out construction, 10ft of ground would be required for construction machinery, etc all the way round the perimeter of the footprint

As we have no Title for the present hall/ground, we don't know exactly how long we have assumed ownership of it.

Angus suggested that Flemings could be asked for a more sophisticated drawing (with just 2m extra width, not 4m), so that we can present a more professional drawing to Dunglass Estate as a basis for discussion with the Factor over how much extra ground we may need. He further suggested that perhaps we should set up a Trust to buy the ground and buy it soon. (He had sounded out some folk and concluded that there is a willingness to lend funds, interest-free, for this, if necessary.) But Chris firmly stated/advised that if we purchase land before we have design proposals, we will create difficulties. He reminded us that our remit from the AGM is to investigate and put before the community details of 3 courses of action: do nothing, refurbish the existing hall (which may mean building a replica), and provide proposal(s) for a new-build (projected cost of a new-build would have to include cost of land). He reassured us that, in an email, the Estate Factor had said he would not sell any land around the hall until the community as a whole is clear about what it would want, following the outcome of a vote on options presented (this despite a counter higher offer – requiring now to be matched – submitted by two neighbouring households since the Community Association had been initially offered land for £5000). Chris agreed that we should keep the conversation with the Estate Office going, to maintain good relations. The suggestion to invite Simon Usher and the Factor to a future meeting was rejected at present – better once the community has endorsed an option.

There was mention of funding from Wind Farms (Community Windpower – through BeGreen - and Crystal Rig), and the possibility of inviting personnel to a meeting. Janice advised that Crystal Rig had a much more professional approach and attitude to commitment. Spott's refurbishment project has been funded by Crystal Rig and Viridor. Money is available, but not in specific proportions per village.

Alex had asked Thorburns for advice on steel construction – any size is possible! £1800 per sq m is the projected ball-park cost. Steel beams etc and sheeting would be provided but other trades would be required for the rest of the work.  (A hall of this type at Abbey St Bathans was costed at £320,000 a few years ago.)

Angus agreed to ask Graeme Munro about land rights (if we have any claim since the land was a gift and since the hall has occupied the site for quite some decades – squatters' rights!) A McD

Alex agreed to have an informal chat with the Factor around the subject of land... AA

Summary result of above discussion: at the next meeting, we should have a draft for the community a summary and overview of our findings for the 3 options (NR/BR volunteered to prepare draft):

1: do nothing: not economically viable, physically impossible.

2: refurbish: impossible – because of things like insecure wall-roof relationship and asbestos removal this would mean in effect buildinga replica, entailing compliance with new ELC building regulations and likely resulting in a smaller internal floor area even if it looked the same from the outside. (note: should mention the total cost for Spott refurbishment was £196,000) Neil agreed to ask Richard Atkins for an indication of refurbishment costs. NR

3: new-build proposals: Flemings for a simpler project, and Glulam for a grander scheme.

The summary should include realistic estimates of how we arrive at projected costs, indicate what funding opportunities  are currently available for all options (giveexamples eg what Spott and Stenton spent - Sharon volunteered to research realistic costs from other villages' projects SS).

Lizanne said it would be important/useful to mention that a new hall would attract more revenue.

It should emphasise that a new hall would provide more community space for the community's future, possibly changing, needs, and would be more economically viable and eco-friendly (Chris mentioned fitting solar panels and applying to Torness to fund extra cost.)

When we are ready, information (in writing and with drawings etc) should be circulated to all in the community, with a request to state, by a certain date, the preferred course of action. There seemed to be a general feeling that an actual vote might not be necessary, and thus would avoid excluding anyone (especially younger members of the community) or having to decide if a vote was to be per person or per household.

Social Events: We decided to have a Curry and Karaoke Night (using the Legge's machine) on Friday 11th March and, at Chris's suggestion, a Coffee Morning on Saturday 14th May at which informal interviews with residents could be recorded in order to glean stories and anecdotes about village life for a village digital-age archive. Mary agreed to help with video-ing and Jackie Riddell volunteered to visit Hazel Barker. (Chris agreed to inform Councillor Veitch who is booked to be in the hall on that day. CB) Further discussion about arrangements at next meeting.


The storage shed is letting in water – John Hanvidge volunteered to construct a secondary roof over the leaking one, cost of materials from Association funds. JH

Clear notices have been put up asking hall-users to turn thewater off, indicating precisely which tap to turn!

Thanks to Sharon and Gordon for providing tea and coffee tonight!

Next Meeting: Thursday 25th February 2016 at 7.30pm.

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