Committee Meeting Minutes, 12 August 2019

The Crail Preservation Society is committed to transparency and accountability in all of its actions. As part of this, minutes of committee meetings will now be publicly available via the Society’s website.

Crail Preservation Society

Minutes of Committee Meeting

Legion Hall

Monday, 12 August 2019

Present: Dennis Gowans (chairman), Paul Hutchison (vice-chairman) Kelsey Jackson Williams (secretary), Derek White (treasurer), Derek Maclean, Jude Gallon, David Jerdan, Anne Black, Sandy Young, Laura McKay, and Sutherland Madeiros.

1. Apologies were received from Ian Ramsay and David Mann.

2. Minutes of the Committee Meeting of 13 May 2019 were approved as read.

3. Officers’ and Sub-Committees’ Reports were given as follows:

  • Sutherland Madeiros gave the Membership Report.  18 fewer membership renewals this year, but 12 new members, making for a grand total of 83 paid up members at present.  12 free memberships given via the offer of membership to the Wine Club, who it is hoped will become paid up members in 2020.  A small number of additional renewals expected.  It was agreed that a specific donations form would be developed by Dennis Gowans and sent to Life Members while an annual subscription form would continue to be sent to Regular Members.
  • Derek White gave the Treasurer’s Report.  The CPS is now back on an even keel after the expenditures related to the Doocot and financial engagements relating to the CCP have now been resolved.  The final payment from HLF has been received, with the final payment from HES (£3,840) still outstanding.  The cheque made out to CCP in resolution of the agency agreement bounced due to a confusion concerning signatories with the bank (RBS).  It transpired that the bank had confused the CPS’ account with that of the Crail Museum and had removed all CPS signatories from the account.  Dennis Gowans and Derek White have now been added as signatories.  It was unanimously agreed that compensation would be requested from RBS.  It was further agreed that the committee no longer had confidence in their current banker and that investigations into a change of banker will be made.  Doocot electricity bills have yet to be received and will require reading the metre adjacent to the doocot.  It was agreed to do this quarterly.
  • Paul Hutchison gave the Planning Report.  Dennis Gowans has registered a complaint concerning the plastic piping on the old book shop on High Street.  It was noted that very few planning applications have come through recently.
  • Kelsey Jackson Williams gave the Website Report.  Minutes will now be made available online after they have been vetted and sensitive information redacted by the committee.  Website up to date, but lacking Denburn Despatches.  The nature of a blog roll means that older posts will remain visible.  Dennis Gowans will make contact with current coordinator of the Denburn Diggers and encourage information to be supplied.

4. Doocot Project        

  • Regular traffic, but a surprising number of individuals read the informational sign without entering the doocot itself.
  • Sandy Young suggested the desirability of gaining feedback via a questionnaire, potentially during the Doors Open Day.
  • Sutherland Madeiros indicated the need for greater signage on the Nethergate to direct individuals to the doocot.
  • David Jerdan enquired whether a plaque would be placed by the tree planted by the Lord Lyon.  It was agreed that this would be done in due course.
  • Visitors’ behaviour has been generally acceptable, but many individuals interfere with the door lock, turning the handle in the belief that this is required to keep the door open and accidentally causing the electronic lock to not engage.  One plastic pigeon was removed from its perch but has now been restored. 
  • CCTV working well but reports of false entries possibly caused by light or wind interfering with the technology.
  • The doocot wifi will not be publicly available.
  • Most days have seen donations collected with a running total of £370 gathered since the doocot’s opening.  It was agreed that all donations would go into the ring-fenced doocot preservation fund.  It was also agreed that the possibility of an electronic scanner for card donations would be investigated.

5. Kirkyard Project

  • The Council now undertaking work on the south / south-east wall.  The architects have been contacted for further information, but were out of office and have not yet replied.
  • Derek White and Dennis Gowans visited HES in late May to discuss the project.  Their new policy is that funds such as that obtained previously for the doocot will be spent only on listed buildings which need to be improved for community use and the kirkyard falls outwith this remit.  However, other funding is available which might support the renovation of one or two monuments at a time, and HES provided advice on alternate funding streams.
  • It was agreed that an application for conservation of the Airdrie monument would be put in for HES’ 30 November deadline.
  • Jimmy Aird has agreed that the dial stone will be returned to its historic location.

6. Denburn Park

  • The NTS has given their permission for progress with Denburn Park.
  • Dennis Gowans will now notify the Council of change of use.  £200 fee is liable, per the Council, but this will be appealed.
  • The NTS permission was published in last week’s Crail Matters.  One response from a concerned resident objected that many individuals came to see the sheep, but that they had seen no one enter the “dank forest” (Denburn Wood).
  • It was agreed that Kelsey Jackson Williams would request archaeological oversight of any path development in Denburn Park.
  • Concern was expressed that the CCP sub-committee regarding the development of green space in Denburn Park had insufficient CPS representation.
  • It was agreed that this Committee would need to accept and sign off any development proposals before work started.  CPS is the landowner and will carry all the responsibility for the changes made.
  • It was noted that once the sheep are removed, maintenance of the field will be required.  Paul Hutchison suggested that the Golf Club might lend their rough grass cutters for this purpose.

7. Small Projects and Updates

  • Denburn Wood.  David Jerdan reported.  The tree which was a major concern has now been removed.  David Jerdan and Dennis Gowans will discuss asset transfer with Fife Council next week.  A teenager fractured their wrist using the rope on Council ground recently and it was agreed that should this land be acquired the rope and its situation would have to be investigated.  Sandy Young reported that the channels into which the burn is divided are not running properly and that concreting of the channels would be required to fix this.  It was suggested that a project plan would be beneficial as part of the CPS’ decision to exercise greater oversight of this area.
  • Mercat Cross.  Dennis Gowans reported.  The estates department of Fife Council have given the CPS permission to conserve and a planning application has now been submitted.  HES’ Small Project Fund would be an appropriate funding source.  It was queried whether a tree should be removed to make the cross visible from the road.
  • Heritage Trail.  Paul Hutchison has provided text, Kelsey Jackson Williams has provided photographs, and Dennis Gowans is now in the process of preparing the final document.  It will be exposed for sale in the Museum when available.

8. Fundraising

  • The Golf Event sub-committee met earlier this evening and report that all is well in hand.  £1,020 has been raised so far.  The R&A have publicised it to all of their members.  Crail Golfing Society have also advertised.  Paul Hutchison will be seeing the secretary of the New Club tomorrow.
  • The Golf Event will also feature a raffle.
  • Thanks were minuted to Derek Maclean for developing the idea of the Golf Event.
  • James McCallum had offered Wormiston House for an Open Gardens event.  This proved impracticable for this year, but it will – if there are no conflicts – proceed in August 2020 with proceeds being shared between the CPS and the Community Partnership.  Once a date has been determined, a sub-committee will be formed.

9. 60th Anniversary Dinner

  • Anne Black reported 51 RSVPs.  16 have requested the bus service and it is likely that more will do so.  Some invitees appear to have not received their invitations, but the extra invites have already been offered to the Museum volunteers.  The maximum capacity for the event is 80.  Concerns were expressed that an 80-strong contingent could represent logistical difficulties at the venue.

10. Crail Local Place Plan

  • This has been circulated both electronically and in paper form to all members of the Community Partnership.
  • The CPS’ Denburn Park project a part of this.
  • Paul Hutchison reported that he had not yet had a response from the Common Good Fund in regard to his application for four seagull-proof bins.
  • A drop-in session will be held this Saturday, 10-12, in the Community Hall regarding the plan.

11. AOCB

  • Sutherland Madeiros suggested the need for a logo or other pictorial identifier for the CPS.  It was noted that this had been discussed earlier in the year, but that it was best to proceed slowly and with a mind to long-term use.
  • It was proposed that designs would be developed and circulated in due course.
  • Derek White noted the need for additional authorised signatories for the current RBS account.  It was agreed that Kelsey Jackson Williams, in his capacity as secretary, would be added as would Paul Hutchison in his capacity as vice-chairman.

The next committee meeting will be held on 2 December 2019.

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Kelsey Jackson Williams


The featured art is John Henry Lorimer’s “A View through a Window”, National Trust for Scotland, Kellie Castle and Garden.

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