It has been quite a busy time in the last few months. There is always loads of planning and admin work running in the background, even when it may look like there is nothing happening on the hill.
Substantial progress has been made over the past months on the funding applications for the Lowther Hill clubhouse. We are pleased to announce that we have already been awarded £39,890, and a final decision on the remaining £49,066 is expected to reach us by the end of August. We cannot emphasise enough how much time and work has been invested over the past years on the design, planning, liaising with stakeholders, and the different strands of the funding process. We are really looking forward to a positive outcome and start focusing our energy on other existing and new projects.
Sometimes things don't go as planned and that's okay, it just means we need to come up with a different way around it. One of this year's projects was to replace our old timber engine shed with a brand new, fit for purpose structure with much needed storage space. The project, which would have included an eco-design concept in cooperation with a Scottish university, did eventually hit a dead end. We'll go back to the drawing board and try again; however, with the huge amount of work looming up in the coming weeks and months we are unlikely to put further work onto that project until after next season. Let's hope that our old engine shed survives one more winter!
Storage space (lack of) has always been an issue for the ski club, but most particularly over the past year. A growing amount of ski club's equipment remains scattered across several garages and residential properties in Leadhills and Wanlockhead. In the past months we had to shift several times quite a bit of equipment from one location to another - and that's valuable volunteer time that is not being spent on the hill! This is another reason why we are so looking forward to the clubhouse and the storage space it will provide. In the meantime, here is again our sincere gratitude to all of you who have a bit of ski club equipment in your garage or loft.
October and November will see the usual flurry of activity on and off the hill. We are expecting another combination of funding applications to allow us progress in late autumn with the snowfencing on Throw Rig and the nursery slopes on Whiteside. There is always ongoing maintenance work to be done on the ski tows. The slopes will need to get their annual haircut mow before the frost arrives. The clubhouse will need to be furnished and decorated (that'll be us going back to our scrounging and begging for donations). The crowdfunding campaign for the snowgroomer is likely to gain momentum as soon as we have the garage where to park it :-). And, amongst other things, we also have to hold our AGM, arrange insurances, recruit a tow operator, and update the memberships' paperwork before the season starts!
Come and say hello: Lowther Hills Ski Club stall at Leadhills Gala 2017
In previous years we have held in summer an Open Day to meet new and old friends and give all members the opportunity to catch up with club matters. We hope to have this year's Open Day at our brand new clubhouse on Lowther Hill, fingers crossed before the season starts. In the meantime, come to Leadhills Gala on Saturday 12th August to say hello; as is tradition, Lowther Hills Ski Club will have a stall there. A family friendly event, there are lots of great things to see and do at Leadhills Gala day. See the full programme here.