4th April 2011 It’s Official – Elphin Community Sign Lease!
It has been an exciting year for the hundred or so souls who make up the community of Elphin, Ledmore, Knockan and surrounds, and who are now celebrating the signing of a twenty five year lease on the old Assynt School.
The building is owned by Highland Council, but has been largely unused for the last ten years. Around a year ago, a steering group of locals surveyed all the resident population to find out if there was enough interest to turn this building into a community asset and the overwhelming response was that the area lacked somewhere for people to meet, share interests and to celebrate the high points of life in this remote community. So, a company was formed to promote these aims, and the building has now become the focus for many community activities. Over half the community are signed members of this organisation (know as ELKcal, for short) and there is no membership fee, since it is fundamental to their principles that all residents and interested parties should benefit from the social and educational opportunities that they area able to offer. In recognition of this, ELKcal has now been awarded charitable status.
Of course, with the signing of the lease has come the responsibility of paying the running costs and maintenance of the building, so most of the events of the last year have been fund-raisers. There has been a fancy dress walk, Chicken Day (all about chickens!), numerous quizzes at the Altnagealach Inn (thanks to Kate and Mike), an indoor car boot sale and a winter market of local crafts and produce. The committee are pleased to announce that the success of these events has given them heart and means that they can pay the bills for the next wee while, though they know that they cannot rest on their laurels and still have much work to do.
Now that the lease is signed, ELKcal can make long-term plans. The popularity of last year’s events mean that in 2011 there will be similar events, such as a dog show, a music festival and a chicken and duck day. The winter market was such a success that there will be now be a summer market of local craft and fresh produce on many Wednesdays throughout ‘the season’, making Elphin a destination for a good day out.
The winter market will take place in November, but the winter is also a time to find quieter, smaller and more regular events that will keep up everyone’s spirits during the long, hard months. There are plans for a keep fit class, a craft group and a gardening club. In January and February of this year, the ‘Drop-in Fridays’, which mostly focussed on playing games, such as pool, table tennis and darts, were such a success (especially with the youth of Elphin, Ullapool, Lochinver and beyond) that a similar scheme is planned for next winter. In the meantime, though, the youth will not be neglected, since there are going to be activities days in July and October aimed specifically at their interests.
One of the best things to have come out of the acquisition of the old school is that it is now being well-used by school-aged and under-school-aged children, who have sorely needed somewhere to congregate. Babies and Toddlers meet every Friday afternoon and the pool room is seeing much use by those a little older! Of course, events not planned or sponsored by ELKcal are also encouraged. The local Gaelic choir met there the other day for rehearsals and are giving thanks by agreeing to perform at the music festival in July. However, if you’d like to use the hall and would rather not sing for your supper, then you can find hire charges listed on the community website.
There are so many people who have helped in the formation of Elkcal and who have helped breathe new life into this community. In particular there has been the support and advice from local councillors Jean Urquhart and George Farlow, Chris and Fran of the Macphail Centre, Yvonne Boa and Colin Anderson, Colin Mackenzie and Andy Mackay of The Highland Council Property Department. There have been donations of equipment from the community of Lochinver and from Martin Howard. Brian Davidson of ‘Up And Running Webs’ continues to give much voluntary time to developing and updating our community website, which is now full of information about events, topics of local interest and local businesses. To have a look at what is happening, go to www.elkcal.co.uk . New contributions to the website are most welcome.
There is now no doubt that, thanks to the encouragement of those mentioned above and so many of the general public from Ullapool, Coigach and Assynt, this community venture has a long life ahead of it. Plans have, so far, been modest but the organisation is bound to grow, and development will come with that. However, we will not lose sight of the fact that this beautiful little school, sitting in the green of Elphin and surrounded by the stark magnificence of the Assynt landscape, is for the use of a small community who respect the heritage of this area. We intend to be a small but beautifully formed example of community spirit and look forward to this coming year with high hopes.
Elphin Association Committee meetings – AGM’s
These are the AGMs of the Elphin Association Committee meetings. The documents will be arranged in reverse chronological order. The documents are available in both Word and Pdf formats and can be viewed by clicking on the links.
Elkcal accounts 2011 To Period ending 31st July 2011 pdf
28th Oct 2011 Directors’ Meeting 28th October pdf | word
29th Oct 2011 AGM 2011 Agenda pdf | word
29th Oct 2011 New Directors Meeting pdf | word
These are the minutes of the Elphin Association Committee meetings, the documents are arranged in reverse chronological order.
The Minutes are available in both Word and Pdf formats and can be viewed by clicking on the links. You can download a free Adobe Pdf reader at www.tucows.com/freeware. The Excel document is a pie chart based on the Elphin public survey conducted in March 2010.
9th Sept 2011 Director’s meeting pdf | word
27th August 2011 Director’s meeting pdf | word
06th August 2011 Director’s meeting pdf | word
27th June 2011 Committee meeting pdf | word
11th June 2011 Committee meeting pdf | word
19th March 2011 Board meeting pdf | word
15th February 2011 Committee meeting pdf | word
7th January 2011 Amended Constitution pdf
4th December 2010 Extraordinary meeting pdf | word
12th November 2010 Directors meeting pdf | word
27th October 2010 Committee meeting pdf | word
1st October 2010 Committee meeting pdf | word
12th August 2010 Committee meeting pdf | word
8th August 2010 1st Board meeting pdf | word
11th June 2010 Constitution pdf | word
29th May 2010 Public meeting pdf | word
21st May 2010 Membership Form pdf | word
13th March 2010 Public Survey pdf | word | excel
8th February 2010 Steering Group pdf | word
2nd December 2009 Public meeting pdf | word
7th December 2005 Steering Group pdf | word
The following text is an extract from the Elphin, Ledmore & Knockan Community
Association Limited ‘Articles of Association’ which was completed on 11th June 2010.
Aims and Objectives
4 The company’s objects are:
To acquire the old Assynt Primary School building and its associated land in Elphin and to convert and operate it as a community centre for the use of the full and part-time residents of the townships of Elphin, Knockan, Ledmore, Lyne and Benmore and their neighbourhood in the Highland Council area of Scotland without distinction of age, race, or sex, or political, religious or other opinions, including:
i) use for the social welfare of the local community and meetings, lectures, exhibitions, classes and other forms of recreation and leisure time occupation and arts and literature;
ii) encourage training and the advancement of education;
iii) the promotion of agriculture, fishing, industry, tourism and commerce among the local community;
iv) encourage the study, understanding and exposition of the Assynt region’s history, culture, natural history, geology and geography;
v) use as a polling station;
vi) any other purposes that may reasonably be regarded as analogous to any of the preceding purposes.
5 The company’s objects are restricted to those set out in article 4 (but subject to article 6).
6 The company may add to, remove or alter the statement of the company’s objects in article 4; on any occasion when it does so, it must give notice to the registrar of companies and the amendment will not be effective until that notice is registered on the register of companies.