The weekend of 15th February 2018 will go down in our history as the turning point in the restoration of the Monteath Mausoleum. In freezing weather with snow on the hills, I was sitting by the wood stove trawling through emails as dusk began to fall. Nothing much was happening. We had submitted two funding bids before Christmas, both in connection with the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund, and had spent most of January answering a variety of queries from the awarding bodies BCCF and WREN who distribute the SLCF funds donated by FCC Environment. Yes, it’s complicated.

At around four o’clock, a new message popped into my in-tray. It was a huge document with several attachments, but it was only necessary to read the first line -”I am pleased to inform you that your application ...has been successful”. That was 45% of our required funding from WREN - just like that! It matched the 2015 offer from Fallago Environment Fund for a similar amount, which meant that both offers were now secure, but we were still not yet fully funded. Since our original budget, inflation had added some extra costs, and there was a Third Party Contribution fee to be repaid to the Landfill Operator before we could obtain the funds. I said it was complicated.

Our second bid was with BCCF, based on public access criteria, which Nicola, our Treasurer, had been dealing with. Spurred on by the good news from WREN, she contacted BCCF over the weekend, and received a confirming email on the Sunday afternoon that they had awarded us the final 10%; only the inclement weather had prevented the offer letter being posted!

So here we are, four years since the Friends began, with enough funds (just) to restore the mausoleum to its original glory. Keep checking the website News page for details of how and when the work will take place, what contribution the Friends can make, and how we intend to maintain the building in the longer term. There is a lot of work ahead.

Meanwhile, time to put another log on the stove.