Many of our members have I’m sure been wondering when they would see another update on repairs to Struan Kirk. Donors to the Society’s Kirk fund are no doubt anxious to see some concrete evidence that the funds are being spent, and of course spent to good purpose.
I’m therefore very pleased to report that Phase 1 of the 2019 remedial works contracted for by the Struan Kirk Trust is essentially complete, except for a few very minor “snagging” details which will be done in the next week or two. Work has encountered some weather delays — not unusual for Highland Scotland!
Pictures often speak louder than words, so several are included with this report. Those of our members who are able to attend this year’s Gathering and our annual Service on September 15 will be able to see the quality of the completed works for themselves.
A second and much smaller Phase 2 has to be delayed until October. This is because of the operational constraints imposed on works in the interior of the roof by the seasonal activity of the bats which are heavily protected by law. Nature lovers among the membership will be interested to know that we have both long-eared brown bats and soprano pipistrelles.
By the time of the gathering, all Phase 1 bills are likely to have been paid. Total expenditure by the Trust to that point will have reached in round numbers about £Stg 80,000, split very broadly 50:50 between the purchase price itself plus associated acquisition/legal costs including the setting up of the Trust, and the Phase 1 repair works and preceding survey work.
Early work included essential surveys and certificates covering potential asbestos and lead-in-paint hazards, electrics and energy efficiency, and of course bat presence and activity. An overhaul of the roof tiles by local contractor GGP Roofing followed, including replacements/repairs as needed. The principal contractor for the bulk of the ensuing Phase 1 was the Perth firm of James Normand & Son. Normands are experts in what was the mainly timber-related work involved in completely replacing the old door and fanlight at the back of the kirk and substantial repairs/replacements to and redecoration of the woodwork and glass in the porch and the main windows. (An unusual challenge was that of handling, and replacing as necessary, old crown glass in the tall windows of only 1mm thickness, as shown in one of the photos.)
Additional works included overhauling gutters/rainwater goods, desludging the old septic tank and ensuring overall serviceable drainage, a new pump and other work on the toilet facilities, relaying of some paving slabs around the building, internal plasterwork repairs in the vestry, upgrading of the electrics, masonry works etcetera.
A further update will be provided after the completion of Phase 2.
Clan Society Council Chairman