Category Archives: Society News

Monifieth Local History Society Annual Report November 2018 – October 2019

Monifieth. Local History Society

Scottish Registered Charity Number SCO34053

Trustees Annual Report

For the period 1st November 2018-31st October 2019

Constitution

Monifieth Local History Society is a Scottish Charitable Unincorporated Association and it was registered in its current form on 5th December 2002.

Appointment of Trustees

Trustees are recruited at the Annual General Meeting. The office Bearers are elected at the Annual General Meeting.

The trustees are to meet on a regular basis monthly as and when required. Objectives and Activities Charitable purposes

1 To act as a group catering for residents and other groups interested in research, and representing Local History in the Monfieth area.

2 The aim of the group shall be to advance the education of the public about the history of the Monifieth area and in furtherance of this aim develop and share Local History information through events, displays of common interest to the residents of Monifieth, Angus, also nationally and internationally.

Achievements and Performances

Monifieth Local History Society (MLHS)was formed in the year 2000, by those interested in preserving the local heritage of the area. By 2002, the Society proved to be successful with their displays, talks and services to the community and it became a registered, non-profit making Scottish Charity No. SCO34053, and a member of the Angus Museums and Heritage Forma. In 2004, with no fixed meeting place the Society leased former vacant retail premises at 55, High Street, Monifieth, and with help from members of the community repaired and decorated the premises. This provided a meeting place for talks, displays and for people to learn more of Monifieth’s past. It became known as the House of Memories, managed and financed by unpaid volunteer members of MLHS.

Members of the public requested that MLHS accept items of historical interest to be displayed in the House of Memories, leaving the items in the custody of the Society. With no Town Hall, Museum or Community Centre in Monifieth, they stated a desire for the items “to be retained and displayed in Monifieth where they belonged”. Over the years the House of Memories flourished by providing many services for all age groups and interests and for the benefit of the whole community.

The MLHS website became internationally recognised as a great source of local historical information and at the same time attracting visitors from afar. Monifieth was on the tourist trail!

Visitor numbers were high and it was calculated that over the years, by providing the many services, free of charge by unpaid volunteers, Angus Council had saved in the region of £1,000,000. Similar services in other Angus towns were provided at the Council’s expense. It became apparent over the years that the leased premises at 55 High Street, known as ‘The House of Memories’, were no longer suitable. More appropriate premises in Monifieth, the former Angus Council Access Office, had become vacant as the staff had been moved into the library across the road. More spacious accommodation would enable us to offer further services to those of talks, trips and displays. We would have space for offering events with a historical content to both old and young and a place for elderly Monifieth residents to meet and reminisce. We developed a questionnaire outlining our aims and plans and seeking the views of Monifieth residents. We received more than 260 responses supporting our ideas and encouraging us to go forward with our plans. Conditions at the House of Memories at 55 High Street, Monifieth, deteriorated to a critical state and the landlord was unwilling to carry out the repairs. In August, 2018 MLHS were forced to close the doors to the public.

MLHS made Angus Council aware of our interest in the property at 81, High Street, formerly Angus Council Access Office. This building had facilities for the disabled, a high street frontage and a main area as well as other rooms suitable for a community heritage centre. Following discussions with an Angus Community Development Officer, MLHS made a Community Asset Transfer (CAT) application for the Access Office on 27th. February 2018. Request for permission to view the vacant premises were met by excuses and difficulties. At very short notice, a few MLHS members were allowed entry accompanied by a Community Development Officer. Opinion was that it could be suitable for a Monifieth Community Heritage Centre and would allow room for improvement of the services and display of the community heritage exhibits. The possibility of relocation created new interest in the work of the House of Memories. On the 9th. October 2018 Angus Council unanimously approved the Community Asset Transfer application. The MLHS was not informed of this until a much later date and this failure in communication became typical of relations with the Council. By November 2018 we were still unable to gain access to the building while structural conditions at the House of Memories had deteriorated to the extent that contents were suffering water-damage. In view of the dire circumstances Angus Council Property Department offered a temporary Occupancy Licence, for storage purposes and to provide an address for the Society until 1st February 2019 or until the lease agreement for 81 High, Street, Monifieth, was signed. On the 6th December 2018, MLHS Trustees with the assistance of a removal firm moved all the heritage items and furniture from the House of Memories along to 81 High Street. Although no lease had been signed, and we were not the sole occupiers of the building, we started being billed for water, gas and electricity services which we were not using.

Once we stored our material in the new accommodation a fund raising project with community support was begun. A member of the community set up a Crowd Funding Appeal which was generously supported by the community. Unfortunately, Angus Council “Matched Funding Limited Donation” was not awarded us, as they did not support ‘Go Fund Me’.

We were advised by our lawyer to have a professional survey done of the building at 81 High Street D.M.Hall carried out the survey and their report raised concerns regarding the structural condition of the building and its implications for the financial responsibilities which would be faced in accepting the Angus Council offer of the lease. Angus Council described these as ‘cosmetic repairs’. A further complication was that our letter accepting the CAT lease offer was not received by Angus Council until after the 13th May 2019 after the lease had expired. With no lease agreement signed, notice was given to MLHS by Angus Council to remove all the community heritage property from 81 High Street by 30th June 2019. A frantic search for alternative accommodation in Monifieth was made but nothing appropriate was available. The community heritage property was packed up and placed in store at Montrose.

A decision was made by the Trustees to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in July 2019, with a view to winding-up the MLHS. At the meeting the Angus Council representative explained that there had been confusion between the CAT process and the Licence to Occupy. At this point in the meeting, Stewart Hosie, MP intervened stating that there had been a clear breakdown in communication and that Angus Council should have been assisting MLHS to establish a CAT or a lease. On questioning the Council official, it became clear that the rules and regulations surrounding CATs and Leases were specific to Angus Council and not required by Law and therefore a Lease agreement could still be taken up after repairs had been carried out at 81 High Street, Monifieth. Our lawyer then proposed that MLHS re-negotiate the opportunity to lease the property at 81, High Street. He expressed regret that the attendance of the Angus Council official was the first face to face contact between MLHS and the Council, despite postal and email communications and an invitation to send a representative to every meeting of the MLHS Heritage Centre Group. He also noted that none of the local. elected Councillors, though invited, were present at this EGM.

Angus Council then sent our lawyer a ‘Heads of Terms’ document and he replied to this on our behalf. We were then told to expect a new lease document to arrive and requiring our signature before the end of October, 2019.

However, before the 30th October, 2019 the Society suffered three further setbacks, as follows;

(1) We had applied to the Angus Town Centre Regeneration Fund. As our new Heritage Centre building was in the High Street and would bring new interest and footfall, we thought that we stood a good chance of receiving funding. However, the £107,000 was awarded as follows: £27,000 to an ‘unidentified’ Youth Café; £80,000 to the Monifieth Boys’ Football Club, based far from the town centre. Nothing was awarded to the proposed MLHS Heritage Centre which would be located in the town centre. If the CAT application had been passed unanimously by the Council, what had happened in between times, that our project of a new Community Heritage Centre on the High Street was not deemed worthy of funding?

(2) On the 23rd October 2019, a final attempt was made to attract volunteers from among a large Monifieth Community Group as the signing of the lease was imminent. This group had been following the progress of the MLHS search for premises and it was hoped that with success in sight some members would volunteer their services. But alas, no volunteers were forthcoming.

(3) On the very same day our inspirational President, Margaret Copland, B.E.M, became seriously ill and was taken to hospital.

A week later our lawyer notified us that the Head of Terrns had arrived. The MLHS /Heritage Centre Committee held a meeting (30th October 2019) and voted not to sign with a majority of 6, with 1 abstention. The reasons for not signing were: absence of our President through illness; elderly office bearers and committee; unfilled posts of Secretary, Treasurer and Fabric Convener; verbal written support, but no active commitment from the community, despite repeated appeals. Because of all of the above, we instructed our lawyer to inform Angus Council that we would not be signing the lease,

Thus ended a year described by our President as: ‘the Monifieth Dream that became a Nightmare’. Special thanks are due to our lawyer, Alan Masterson, who supported us Pro Bono’ with no fees as he believed that MLHS was an asset to the community of Monifieth.

Conclusion

It has been painful and sad to go over the dire events of a year, which should have brought a vibrant new Heritage Centre to Monifieth. The trustees of MLHS could have been spared so much disappointment, stress and even illness, if Angus Council had appointed a knowledgeable and sympathetic officer to guide us through the complexities of the CAT process and helped with liaison between the different Angus Council departments. After our MP, Stewart Hosie speaking up on our behalf at the AGM, we did receive some help and advice from a council officer, but it was too late by then. There is a local saying: “Monifieth is the town in Angus, which has nothing, and gets nothing!” In our case, this has proved to be true.

Marianna Buultjens

Vice President, Monifieth Local History Society.

Monifieth Local History Society

Registered Charity SCO34053

 

STATEMENT OF BALANCES YEAR TO 31st October 2019

2019                                         2018

 

Cash and Bank                                      339                                            3560

opening balances

 

Surplus or Deficit (Joint)

(as shown on R & P Accounts)               6230                                         -3221

 

Bank Balance at year end                      6559                                            339

 

The final Balance is made up of

: Unrestricted

Funds                                                      6569

Restricted Funds                                         0

Assets are held

in storage with                                        Value unknown

Taylors Auctions

 

 

Marianna Buultjens, Trustee on behalf of all

Date 25/11/20

British Empire Medal awarded to our President

Our president has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
The Courier says “Margaret Copland the driving force behind efforts to keep the heritage of Monifieth alive”.
Mrs Copland said to her team “What I have done in the past, was always as part of a team effort in the provision of benefits for others, with so many others giving their voluntary support in differing ways.
Thank you for being there with me in recognising the importance of Monifieth Community and it’s Heritage
Personal recognition or gain never being the objective .
I am proud to say Monifieth is ‘my home town'”.

Spring Programme 2020

 

Society Logo

 

A series of talks to be held in the ‘new church’ Monifieth at 7pm

 

Spring Programme 2020

 

Thursday April 23: The Declaration of Arbroath

                               Norman Atkinson

 

 

Thursday May 21: The History of St Rules Church, Monifieth

                                 Margaret Copland

 

 

Thursday June 18: 150 Years of  The People’s Friend

                                  Margaret Scott

 

 

 

All Meetings to be held in the Rattray Hall of the New Church at 7p.m.

Light refreshment will be available at the close of the meeting.

 

Members Newsletter November 2019

Monifieth Local History Society

Newsletter November 2019

Dear Member,

Thank you for renewing your membership for 2019/2020. The last time you heard from us we were still hoping to lease the premises of 81 High Street, the former Angus Council Access Office, to establish a Heritage centre, be able to display the collection of items donated by local people and from which to deliver the society’s services and programme. Sadly, because of the many difficulties and unforeseen circumstances outlined below, we were unable to sign the lease:

  • we are an ageing committee with health and other issues; • due to lack of volunteers, we have no treasurer, secretary or fabric convenor; • the challenges of getting the premises fit for purpose had we signed the lease were too great; • a lack of support from local councillors; • we were not successful in getting any money from the Monifieth Town Centre Development Fund; • lack of volunteers; • if the venture was not successful, the committee would be liable for debts incurred by the society.

The final blow was that our President, Margaret Copland, who inspired and led our campaign, was taken into hospital with a serious condition, days before we were due to sign the lease.

But enough of our tales of woe! Our President is out of hospital and recovering her health and strength; financial support from local people through the ‘Go Fund Me’ website has enabled us to stay solvent, and continue to pay for storage of the collection of items which used to be housed in the House of Memories; throughout our difficulties our webmaster, Kevin Clayton has done an admirable job to keep our website up, running and flourishing! With advice from OSCR the Charity Regulator we will be deciding what is to be done with the collection of items from the House of Memories.

Meanwhile we will be drawing up our programme of Talks and Trips (yes, we hope to be able to reinstate this popular part of our programme!) about which our next Newsletter will inform you.

Due to present circumstances we are unable to run our Christmas Meal, but wish you all health, happiness and the Seasons Greetings!

Margaret Copland, President and Archivist; Marianna Buultjens, Vice President; Kevin Clayton, Webmaster; Elspeth Johnston, Diplays and Events Convenor; Diana Robertson, Volunteers’ Manager; Linda Johnston, Membership Secretary; Jessie Meachan, Committee Member.

A Quick Link to Donate

Some followers have had difficulty in navigating to our Crowd funding page.

Here is a quick link – just click on the link below………….

https://www.gofundme.com/urgent-help-the-monifieth-house-of-memories?utm_medium=email&utm_source=product&utm_campaign=p_email%2Bhtml_summary_donations

Our Fundraising Progress

We are sure that the Monifieth Community would like to know how the appeal is going.

We asked for donations by cash/cheque to 81 High Street or by bank transfer.

Then later a Crowd funding account was set up.

Just click on this link ….

https://www.gofundme.com/urgent-help-the-monifieth-house-of-memories?utm_medium=email&utm_source=product&utm_campaign=p_email%2Bhtml_summary_donations

 

The details of the two  ways that we have at the moment are as follows:-

Monifieth Local History Society/ House of Memories

We Need £10000 for 28th April 2019 to secure the lease .

 

Funding Appeal to re-open at 81 High Street, Monifieth . DD5 4AA

 

On 25th March 2019 accumulated Donations

Received by Monifieth Local History Society

 

13th February 2019   Craig Fotheringham                   £15                          

4th March     2019   Edna Conner                               £10

   4th March     2019 Angus Accounting (S Wills)         £500

   5th March     2019 Baldowrie Garage (Kerr )           £100   (by bank transfer)

18th March     2019 Bayne the Baker                           £25

18th March     2019   Coin donation                             £15

25th March     2019   Monifieth Ladies Assoc.            £50

25th March     2019 Monifieth Bowling Club               £25

                                                               Total =             £740

GoFundme ( Facebook ) Community Crowdfunding

Appeal for £6000 launched 11th March 2019.

Nicky Stewart                      £20

Donna Breckenridge           £5

Anon                                   £25

Sheena Cochrane          £500

Anon                                    £10

Anon                                      £50

Monifieth Minions           £100

Maurice Bann                      £10

Tommy Young                      £20

Joyce MacMillan                      £240

Gloria McCabe                      £10

Monifieth Community Council £500

Peter Philip                             £1000

Anon                                            £15

Anon                                         £20

Anon                                           £20

Anon                                           £200

McKinney Plumbing                £150

Anon                                                £20

S Cant                                          £20

Anon                                                £50

Total at 25th March 2019 = £3105

 We still need more donations so ask your friends to donate to this Monifieth cause. Once again our bank transfer details

Account name:    MONIFIETH LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY

Sort Code:       82-61-13

Account No.:   50442286

Or visit the Facebook site

https://uk.gofundme.com/urgent-help-the-monifieth-house-of-memories

Becoming a member also helps

Membership Adults £15 per annum

Two named Family members £20 per annum

Age 5 years to 11 years £5

Age  12 years to 17  years £10

 

 

 

 

 

First Meeting of the New Management Group

Monifieth Local History Society / House of Memories

Thursday 7th March, 7pm, 81 High Street, Monifieth.

President’s Report.

The first meeting of the newly formed Management Group.

It has been a busy time since the 6th February and I feel overawed at the speed at which the Fund raising sub group raced into action. It suddenly appears as though we are moving towards a successful ending towards securing the lease of 81 High Street, the former Angus Access /Police Office to reopen the House of Memories in greatly improved appropriate accommodation for 1st June 2019.

In September 2020 perhaps we will be able to host a celebration of the formation of Monifieth Local History Society in 2000, and recognise all those committed members who have in the past shared their knowledge and skills to bring us this far, working to preserve Local heritage and Monifieth’s past for future generations.

There is still much hard work to be done, and many hurdles to be overcome, however having now reached this crucial stage, I feel confident that with the offered support of Monifieth Community, who we serve, then the House of Memories will flourish bringing unlimited opportunities and benefits to all ages and interests. The Past is now history. The future is in our hands.

Together We Can Do It.

Margaret Copland President.

Annual General Meeting February 6th 2019

AGM Feb 2019

Update from the President January 2019

Monifieth Local History Society / House of Memories Management Group. Meeting 23rd January 2019 at 10.30am Monifieth House of Memories 81 High Street, Monifieth DD5 4AA

President’s Report

Since our last meeting on 23rd January 2019 there have been so many happenings it is difficult to know where to start. Our work and plans are creating interest. This was highlight by the request from STV News on 15th January to be interviewed and filmed for the six o’clock news. The story seemed to go down well, but I am still puzzled at who the old woman was who accompanied Marianna, our shining star. Can I also add that we have interest from others.

Preparations for the Public meeting on 16th January were going well until mid Monday 13th January I was notified that we could not have the use of the Community Cabin resulting from a booking problem. All other local venues for meetings were already booked. Eventually we were, at very short notice, able to get the use of the Lesser Gerard Hall. My grateful thanks, to all who made this possible for the meeting to go on. Twenty two members of the Public attended, with several signing Volunteer forms, with one person signing Membership and Volunteer forms. Two of those present were representatives of McDonalds, Ethiebeaton, who offered their support, and the desire of their staff to ‘sign up’ as volunteers. A pupil from Monifieth High School wished to volunteer as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award project. All very positive. There were among those present who agreed undertaking various roles in the Management of the House of Memories, and becoming part of the management Group.

We do need a Secretary and I am sorry to report that due to ill health our Treasurer will not be standing again for Office. The Chairperson of Monifieth Community Council suggested that I remain in Office as President of MLHS until the relocation and improvements plan were completed. I did not say “No”. The AGM for the Society is scheduled for 6th February 2019, at 7pm in the Lesser Gerard Hall. We must now face the task of moving forward with those who support our ideas, and towards a date of entry to legalise the lease agreement in early May 2019, with a proposed official opening day 1st June 2019, when Membership fees are due for renewal. Finance with community fund raising for £10000 being ‘top priority’ between now and 28th Apri1.2019. We can then say: ” We Together the Monifieth Community did it!………….. we made history”.

Thank you all.

Margaret Copland.

Change of Venue for Public Meeting

Due to circumstances outwith our control we have found it necessary to change the venue of the Public Meeting to the Gerard Hall, Church Street, Monifieth at the same time of 7pm, Wednesday 16th January 2019.
Apologies for any inconvenience caused by this problem.

Please tell anybody that may not check this website
Margaret Copland.