Working hard for Victoria and Albert Halls

Pictured at the final 300+ Club draw, from left, Ellie Wilson, Willie Meston and Archie Leith.
Pictured at the final 300+ Club draw, from left, Ellie Wilson, Willie Meston and Archie Leith.

The final February draw of the Victoria and Albert Halls 300 + Club has been held at the Coilacriech Inn.

Over the year, a total of £1,500 was raised after payment of prizes. Lucky February winners were Number 173, £250 Peter and Rosemary O’Shea, Number 88, £150 James Fraser, Number 233 £75 Sandy Fraser, Number 62 £50 Ian and Sheena Hepburn.

A new series of draws will start in April, and tickets are now on sale from Willie Meston, Coilacriech Inn.

The Christmas wordsearch organized by Betty Wilson in aid of Halls’ renovations raised a total of £160.55. A number produced the correct answer of 23 birds, and three winners were selected in each section. Adult winners were Mrs I Gillanders, Beth Massie and Eileen Ford. Children’s winners were Niamh O’Flaherty, Tara O’Flaherty and Nathan Donald. Look out for another competition in the Spring!

The Victoria and Albert Halls Refurbishment Group under the leadership of Ian Hay has worked hard on funding applications to cover the cost of management of the first phase of insulating the buildings. Their dedication has paid off handsomely with awards of £2,000 each from the People’s Postcode Trust and from the Co-op Community Fund. Aberdeenshire Council has pledged a substantial amount, and support has also come from the Privy Purse Charitable Trust.

Chairman Bell Macaulay says: “After a long slog to set the ball rolling, we are delighted that things are finally happening - many communities would give their eye teeth to own such a wonderful Victorian building, but it will take a great deal of community support to upgrade facilities to the standard we all expect today.

We have a programme of events to suit all ages planned over the coming months, and we are improving our stage lighting with the assistance of Francis Stevenson, locally based lighting designer so that we are able to attract even more.

The Halls Committee is working hard to improve facilities for community use, at the same time identifying ways to ensure that the space available is used to its full potential.”

This year’s first family event - Rango, an animated film with Johnny Depp in the title role - will be held on Saturday (February 25) at 3pm in the Mike Sheridan Room.

Entry is £4, and snacks will be provided by Ballater School Parent Council.