January 2018 Update

In the Christmas newsletter Mike Thornley, vice chairperson, gave an update on the meetings taking place between the Friends of Geilston and the National Trust for Scotland, in our efforts to find a secure future for the property which would be agreeable to both parties. A mix of proposed uses had been identified to support the garden. These included; the house being converted to a holiday let, the steadings to accommodate a café and a multipurpose space which could be used as a gallery and activities space, weddings. At the time of our last report we were awaiting details of costs and funding.
Unfortunately, it became clear at our meeting on 11 January that more work is required on the costings. Also, very little information has been provided on funding, despite the Friends putting forward initial suggestions. Both will be required if we are to make progress.
The NTS, on a number of occasions, has suggested a Community Trust to take on
responsibility for the house. The Friend’s initial re-action is to question why, with one Trust in place, is it necessary to form another Trust? Nevertheless, the Friends are not unwilling to consider all options, but to do so we need the NTS to explain its thinking, including on the funding and governance. There are a lot of important matters to be discussed at our next  meeting in February.
On a more positive note the NTS has agreed to the Friends promoting events at the garden in 2018. (More information to follow soon) The Trust has commissioned a Conservation Plan  for the property and a useful meeting took place with Ann Steele (NTS Head of Heritage Gardens-Policy) on a range of matters relating to the garden. Nigel Allan and Patrick Trust were afforded the opportunity of inspecting the collections in storage in Edinburgh and reported on their apparently satisfactory condition. Last, a visit was arranged to see the inside of the house which left the committee feeling both inspired about its potential but saddened by its condition.
You can now find us on the world wide web.
We have our own website at – http://www.friendsofgeilston.org
We are also on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/friendsofgeilston
Many thanks to Stella Kinloch and Veronica Davis for all of the hard work they have put into getting us set up, and for the regular updates, photos and monitoring of the sites. No easy task.
We now have a membership of 466 and would like to thank Nancy Gray in particular for all of her hard work recruiting new members in Cardross. We have a special request from Fiona Lockhart our membership secretary who would like you to email her if you are not presently receiving newsletters by email. It is a great way to keep in touch and will save us postage.
Her email address is friendsofgeilston.membership@gmail.com. We will of course
continue to send out newsletters to all our members who do not have an email address. If you still have the paper joining forms and are wondering where to send them, Please send them to: Mrs Fiona Lockhart, Tregarthen, Main Road, Cardross, G82 5PD.
We are planning to have some interesting events and activities at Geilston in 2018 and are very conscious that this might put an undue burden on the Geilston Staff. We are hoping to form a team of people that can be drawn on to help with setting up and catering arrangements. If you would be willing to help with this could you please email – allison.hillis@tesco.net with your contact details. Could you indicate wether you would be willing to help with setting up and or catering. (This does not mean you have to be a whizz at making melting moments although if you are, that would be fantastic!) The larger the pool of people the less of a burden it will be for everyone. You can telephone me if that is easier – 01436 820614
We now have a Royal Bank of Scotland Business Account and would welcome a payment of £5 for membership subscription from everyone who has not yet been able to pay. You can pay in at any Royal Bank of Scotland branch using the account details or you could use online banking;
SORT CODE – 83-23-03 ACCOUNT NUMBER – 10866079
Please ensure that the payment includes your full name.
Alternatively you can send a cheque or postal order to our Treasurer.
Mr John Hanks, 9 Chapelacre Grove, Helensburgh, G84 7SH
We are in the process of setting up a Pay Pal Account on our website and once this is up and running you will be able to pay by going onto the website.
We would like to compile a booklet of memories, photographs, reminiscences or documents that people might have of Geilston. Either about Miss Hendry, Miss Bell and the other families which lived at Geilston or of the house and garden. If you feel that you would like to contribute to this, could you please email David Price – price.clydeside@btinternet.com his address is;
Mr David Price, 5 Cedarwood Court, Main Road, Cardross, G82 5BT

We would like to thank you for your continued support and will be in touch again in February when we will be able to give you further details of our planned events and hopefully further progress with the Trust in securing the future of Geilston.

With Best Wishes
Allison Hillis (Friends of Geilston Chairperson)

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