Committee Meeting Minutes, 11 May 2020

Crail Preservation Society

Minutes of Committee Meeting

Monday 11 May 2020, 6pm

via Zoom

Present: Dennis Gowans (Chairman), Kelsey Jackson Williams (Secretary), Derek White (Treasurer), David Jerdan, Anne Black, Jude Gallon, Paul Hutchison, Laura Mackay, and Sandy Young, Sutherland Madeiros, Derek Maclean.

1. Apologies were received from Ian Ramsay, David Mann, and Stephen Illingworth.

2. Minutes of the previous Committee Meeting were approved as read.

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

  • Jude Gallon gave the Membership Report.  There have been 59 renewals to date.  Of the 12 complimentary wine club memberships only one has renewed.  Several deaths and changes to address were noted.  Currently there are 68 life members with no new memberships this year.  David Jerdan suggested reoffering the complimentary membership to the wine club in the future.  Sutherland Madeiros expressed concern that the membership rise of £5 in the last year may have affected renewals.  However, Jude Gallon indicated that £370 had also been received in donations this year suggesting that financial issues may not have been the principal reason for declining membership.  Dennis Gowans suggested a membership push together with distribution of the kirkyard flyer towards the end of May or beginning of June once lockdown is eased was in order.
  • Derek White gave the Treasurer’s Report.  Financial transactions have been limited since my last formal report to the Committee in March.  There have been only a handful of them.  Rather than repeat an almost identical formal report for this meeting, I am restricting myself to this short narrative update covering March and April.  The Society has received two further grants (£10,000 from Fife Council for the Kirkyard project and £375 From Paths for All for the Denburn Park project).  David Jerdan has kindly arranged for us to receive a donation of £100 from a neighbour and the Museum has paid its annual rent. A few more subscriptions have trickled in.   On expenditure, the Society has paid the fee (£202) for a planning application for the Mercat Cross, settled the regular BT bill (£147) and refunded a fee for maintenance of our website (£132).  The society currently receiving very little interest in its bank account and it was suggested to move bank accounts accordingly.  DW was given permission to proceed accordingly.
  • Ian Ramsay has been in touch with a surveyor concerning correcting the doocot insurance estimate.  Derek White questioned whether this might be repeating work already done.  Concern was expressed whether insuring the doocot to full reinstatement value – as indicated in the contract with HES – was not realistic given the impossibility of reinstating a unique historical building.  It was, however, agreed that it would be financially feasible and best practice to insure the doocot for full value.
  • Paul Hutchison gave the Planning Report.  The planning applications for the Watch House and the former East Neuk Hotel have both been approved, but no progress has been made during the lockdown.  However, work has now started on the slightly contentious West Green site.
  • Kelsey Jackson Williams gave the Website Report.  The website is currently up to date and was recently expanded by KJW and DG.  KJW requested additional material on the Mercat Cross project from PH which will be added to the website in due course.  DW queried the recurring domain hosting costs.

4.Sandy Young gave the Doocot Project & Maintenance Plan ReportContact has been made with Nick Sweeney concerning minor repairs.  Electricity has not yet been paid for, but according to the metre the doocot is currently using ~£70 per year of electricity.  The current plan is to pay the house owner from whose electricity supply electricity is taken either quarterly or annually accordingly.  The doocot lock, after briefly malfunctioning, should now be fully functional.  SY suggested that oil or varnish be put on the door to prevent expansion from damp.  The collection box has collected £10.18 since late March.  PH enquired if the doocot should be closed in line with other public sites during lockdown.  The committee was in agreement and SY will lock the doocot until further notice.  DG reported that the broken doocot dehumidifier has been replaced by the company with a new one, which the CPS will attempt to sell in due course.

5.Dennis Gowans and Kelsey Jackson Williams reported on the Kirkyard ProjectThe walls are unlikely to be finished until 2021.  The Kirkyard Flyer is now ready for printing.  The Pilgrim’s Trust is paying £550 towards this and additional support will come from the Museum as well as the CPS itself.  The graphic designer has waived payment due to the length of time taken.  The print run will be 2,000 copies.  £10,000 have been received from the Fife Council Settlement Trust for the Airdrie monument restoration, but the application for £10,000 from HES continues to be outstanding.  HLF funding is now unavailable due to crisis response, but the Pilgrim’s Trust have responded positively to enquiries and a funding application will be submitted to them in due course.  A Lumsdaine family society part-funded past restoration and this possibility will be explored.  Anne Black was thanked for her work weeding the kirkyard walls. 

6. Dennis Gowans reported on progress with Denburn Park. 

7. Small Projects and Updates:

  • Dennis Gowans reported on Denburn Wood.  Following on from the success of the CCP asset transfer, it was suggested that a similar avenue should be followed concerning Denburn Wood ownership.  Fife Council has been contacted concerning this and DG is awaiting a response. 
  • Paul Hutchison reported on the Mercat Cross project.  ARC architects in Cupar have been engaged.  An application for planning permission (including removal of the two obstructive trees) went into Fife Council and PH has been in touch with Paul Higginson at Fife Council concerning funding sources for pursuing the project.  The plans will be posted on the website.
  • Dennis Gowans reported on the Kirkyard Sundial.  All parties are currently awaiting Jimmy Aird’s moving of the dialstone.

8.AOCB: David Jerdan noted that the Wormiston open gardens was intended to be a fundraiser later in the summer, but that this is now unlikely to happen given lockdown.  It was also noted that the golf tournament was unlikely to occur this year.  DMcL proposed postponing it until next year now rather than later.  PH raised a formal vote for cancelling the tournament which was carried.  DJ suggested proactively contacting the golfing society concerning hosting a tournament next year.

Respectfully submitted,

Kelsey Jackson Williams

Hon. Sec’y

11 May 2020

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