Committee Meeting Minutes, 8 December 2020

Crail Preservation Society

Minutes of Committee Meeting

Tuesday, 8 December 2020, 7.00pm

via Zoom

Present: Dennis Gowans (Chairman), Kelsey Jackson Williams (Secretary), Derek White (Treasurer), Lyall Dochard (Treasurer-Elect), Anne Black, David Jerdan, David Mann, Steve Illingworth, Jude Gallon, Paul Hutchison, Sandy Young, Sutherland Madeiros, Laura Mackay.

1. No apologies were received.

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

3. Matters arising: it was agreed that Iain O’Neill will be given life membership of the CPS as a token of thanks.  DG will follow through on this.

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

  • Jude Gallon gave the Membership Report.  There are currently 116 members and 2 new life members.  Existing life members have also made very generous donations.  An updated membership form will be circulated in February.
  • Derek White gave the Treasurer’s Report.  Draft accounts are currently with Henderson Black.  This year there has been a surplus of £3,873 in unrestricted funds and £13,062 in restricted funds (of which there are currently four: the Doocot, Kirkyard, Denburn Park, and Mercat Cross funds).  While the doocot project fund has now been closed, the Tilney fund for doocot maintenance remains open.  DW noted that Ian Robertson had been the society’s independent examiner for at least a decade, but has now moved away from Crail and is no longer available to serve.  In his absence, it was decided to use Henderson Black of Anstruther as the new independent examiner.  Henderson Black have indicated that they will charge no more than £250 at most, dependent upon the complexity of the accounts.  DJ noted the desirability of locating a more economical option for future years.
  • Paul Hutchison gave the Planning Report.  There has been nothing contentious submitted for planning permission since the last committee meeting.  The coastguard station and the former East Neuk Hotel are both progressing.  If further concerns are raised they will be brought to the trustees.
  • Kelsey Jackson Williams gave the Website Report.  There are no updates to report.  DW indicated that OSCR wish our accounts to be available on the website and wish a link to be supplied to OSCR.  KJW will action this.

5. Constitution Change: DG proposed an amendment to the constitution which would allow for AGMs to be conducted virtually.  It is proposed to hold a SGM on 22 February before the AGM for this purpose.  It is anticipated that notice will be given in the Annual Report which should be distributed by mid-January.  This was agreed upon by the committee.

6. Sandy Young gave the Doocot Report in his capacity as Doocot Manager.  There is not a great deal to report.  The doocot requires another coat of limewash which will be done in the spring once the weather improves.  An area of harling at the base of the doocot will also be redone.  A trickle of visitors (and donations) continue to come through.  It is hoped to put the electronic donation device in place before the summer tourist season.  111 Places in Fife That You Shouldn’t Miss (Emons Verlag, 2020), a new publication, includes the doocot and provides a complementary commentary on the renovations.  DJ noted thanks for SY’s work on planting flowers in the area of the doocot.

7. Dennis Gowans gave the Kirkyard Report.  Fife Council have been making good progress on their repair of the south and east walls, though more work remains to be done on the monuments on the south wall.  Two yew trees close to the Lumsdaine monument were removed today, improving access to the monument; two further trees remain to be removed.  The 3D digital survey of the Lumsdaine monument was performed last week and will serve as the basis for further identification of work required.  The dial stone has now been returned to its historic location.

8. Paul Hutchison gave the Mercat Cross Report.  The process of applying for funding has proven challenging, but good progress is being made.  The profile of the project has been kept up through notes in Crail Matters and Karail as well as on the CPS website.  Planning permission has been granted, including for the removal of the two trees currently in the sightline of the cross.  In return, the CPS has undertaken to plant twenty trees elsewhere in the burgh.  Six contractors were contacted of whom three replied and Sweeney Stonemasons have been given the contract dependent upon funding being available.  £10,000 is currently guaranteed from the Common Good Fund, another £4,000 from the Fife Environment Trust, and a final £10,000, it is hoped, will be secured from HES.  This last application will be decided on in February.  If that is secured, a deficit of approximately £1,000 can be covered out of existing CPS funds.  It was suggested that the cost of the proposed informational board near the cross might be defrayed by the Crail Museum.  AB enquired whether the signage at the cross would be consistent with that used at the doocot and PH responded that this would be the case.

9. Dennis Gowans noted that there was nothing new to report on Denburn Park.

10. Dennis Gowans observed that Denburn Wood is currently flooding.  He has written to Fife Council concerning the blocked culvert.  The path beneath the buttresses will be reinstated once that piece of conservation is complete. 

11. Dennis Gowans reported on the Harbour Master’s Office.  The office has not yet been formally purchased by the Community Trust.

Respectfully submitted,

Kelsey Jackson Williams

Hon. Sec’y

8 December 2020

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