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FRIENDS OF GEILSTON
CHRISTMAS NEWSLETTER 2021

We were delighted to hear that at the last NTS Board of Directors meeting in November, the first tranche of spending on the restoration of Geilston House was approved.

Ian McLelland, West Area Manager, updated us on future plans; (Please note that the detailed brief is being financed by NTS and will investigate whether the NTS proposal to turn the house into a holiday let is viable.)

"This approved spending (£35,000) is for Phase 1 which involves further investigation as well as preparation of a detailed brief for next steps, we would aim to complete this by March 2022.

It is planned that the next phase would follow from Easter 2022 and would involve opening up the finishes, necessary enabling work and a full strip out, followed from Easter 2023 by the repair and fitting out works, (which would mean full project completion for 2024.)

Our surveyors have advised that the work should take place in clearly defined stages, so that findings can be reviewed at regular intervals and also to allow full drying out of the building prior to reinstatement."

With this encouraging development, the proposals put forward to the Board by FoG are on hold and we will not be proceeding with the viability study. We have returned the generous grant of "8,000 from the Architectural Heritage Fund which was specifically for the study. There will be another charity who will be able to make good use of this money.

We were grateful to the NTS who donated "1,000 to FoG for the cost of the interim options appraisal carried out by Community Enterprise for our submission to the board. We hope, at a later stage, to be able to contribute to the kitting out of the rooms which are to be set aside for events in Geilston House.

Geilston Calendar 2022

The sale of our 2022 calendars is going well. Having printed 400, we set ourselves quite a task to have them all sold before Christmas. We sent calendars to the NTS trustees and executive and this year we received an appreciative thank you letter from Phillip Long (NTS Chief Executive) who reaffirmed the Trustís commitment to Geilston.

Thank you very much for the splendid calendar and your letter enquiring after the Trust and, of course, Geilston.

For our charity overall the year has continued to be a challenging one with severely depressed visitor figures, and difficulties in restarting all of the conservation work we would like to undertake - in particular because of wider market conditions. Nevertheless, because of all of the support we received last year, the Trustís financial position is not as bad as was feared it might become at the outset of the pandemic. We are planning optimistically for the future, albeit with caution given the ongoing considerable uncertainty.

On Geilston, I can reaffirm the Trustís commitment to the property. Ian has been working with colleagues to establish a way ahead and the budget needed for the restoration of the house. We cannot be precise about this as yet, and expect the work required will need to be done in phases to establish precisely what is required.

I know Ian will be pleased to keep in touch with the Friends about this so we can work together to realise the best possible future for Geilston. In the meantime, can I thank you and the growing number of Friends for your own support and encouragement and look forward to meeting before too long."

If you would like to buy a calendar, hereís where to find them. You will need to hurry as they are running out fast! They are selling for £5 at:-

Ardardan Farm Shop - Cardross Newsagent - Linda MacDonald Jewellery - Cardross Pharmacy - Craigend Plant Nursery - Community Advertiser - Destination Helensburgh and Cafe Rhu.
If you would like to have calendars posted to you please contact Ken Readman - ken.readman01@btinternet.com

AGM 2022

We are beginning to plan our next AGM and itís hoped to hold this on Thursday the 17th of March 2022. Four committee members will be standing down and we would like to thank them for their valued contribution. This means there are four vacancies to fill and if you would be interested in joining this enthusiastic team at a time when we can look towards a more encouraging future for Geilston, please contact Allison - allisonhillis17@gmail.com or phone 07907675145 to find out more.

If you feel that you would like to help out in some way but do not have the time to become a committee member, please contact Chris who will add your name to the volunteer list. The more people we have to call on the easier it is for everyone. Chris Moore - chrismoore42@btinternet.com.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Healthy, Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year.

Best wishes
Allison Hillis
Chairperson
Friends of Geilston