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Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard Dunoon Observer and Argyllshire Standard
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Home News Iconic Shore Building In Danger

Iconic Shore Building In Danger

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The clock is ticking on the future of an iconic building on the shore in Kilmun.

The hall committee is desperately trying to secure the future of the Kilmun Younger Hall for present and future generations of shore residents.

At present the main hall is subject to aggressive dry rot which, if it spreads to floor boards and roof timbers, will mean a catastrophic financial cost.

 

 

The building, which has a Grade B listing, was built in the early part of the last century, and is a good example of an early 20th century Arts and Crafts village hall.

It was built by the Younger family of Benmore and then given in trust to the people of Kilmun for their use as a community hub.

And now, despite an expensive renovation a few years ago, the hall is in trouble.

The current problems began when the tower began to leak.

However, a considerable sum of money was spent sealing the leaks in the tower and making it water-tight.

A spokesman for the hall committee told the Standard “Dry rot has set in and while money is a problem, the bigger picture is that any contractor coming in can’t give us a quote for the remedial work, because they won’t know how big the job is until they start it and see the extent of the problem. And we, the hall committee, don’t have a bottomless pit of money.

“Our dilemma is that we need a reliable, sympathetic contractor who can tell us how much it will cost and how long it will take, but we can’t afford expensive initial surveys.”

Potential sources of funding include the Big Lottery Fund and the Historic Building fund, and plans are in place to apply for whatever funding is available, but it is limited.

As well as the tower,

the building has a number of interesting details including many original features, such as the decorative leaded windows - even the thistle-motif wrought iron railings and gates are of particular interest.

It is a unique design, instantly recognisable along the shore, where it has seen excellent service as the venue for many events, including dances, parties, presentations, receptions, and of course it also acts as the local polling station for elections.

The new kitchen and toilets are still in immaculate condition and great working order, and the ‘new’ extension to the rear is unaffected.

The spokesman continued: “The structure is safe, and the hall is still in use and indeed still hosts several regular events, but unless it is given urgent attention – and soon – then the future could be very bleak indeed.

“We must act now – or we will lose it.”

And it would be a very sad loss to the Shore, both for the social life of the community, but also to the built environment if such an architectural gem were to fall into disrepair and disuse.

 

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