Mey Village Hall Project - News and Events at Mey Village Hall, Caithness

2010 & Earlier

July 2010

Craig and Ruth held their wedding in the hall at the beginning of July and it was a very special day.  They erected marquees at the front and spent a great deal of time decorating the whole building with flowers and special lighting effects.  It was wonderful and we wish them all the best!

North Highland Connections will stage a concert on Friday 6 August 2010 at 7.30.  Tiller’s Folly, a Canadian Celtic roots band will perform and it’s sure to be a good night.

Over recent weeks we have been working with the Dunnet and Canisbay Day Care group looking at the possibility of building an extension to the hall to cater for the older and less able residents of North East Caithness.  We continue to investigate the installation of a wind turbine and have made some approaches to funding bodies.

June 2010

The committee raised £444.50 at the Vintage Car Rally in John O Groats by selling hot topped pancakes and teas.  It was a good day out and the stall was very busy.  We received an unexpected donation this month from the Scarfskerry Pier £270.  The association has been wound up and kindly gave half of its remaining funds to the hall.  

Suzie and George held their wedding reception in the hall on the 11th and had a great time by all accounts.  The bride’s father spent rather longer in the hall than expected.  When the key broke in the lock he decided to sleep there all night to keep the building secure! 

April 2010

It was a great privilege to have Professor Phil Cunningham visit and perform in the hall earlier in the month.  North Highland Connections staged another great event – a concert with Phil Cunning, his students from the RSAMD and a host of local children who attended a week long music workshop.  The music was inspiring and the hall was filled to capacity.

March 2010

It’s a year since the hall opened and the committee has reviewed the letting fees). They were initially set low to encourage new users and although a small increase is needed they will still be very reasonable with no additional charge for electricity. 

The Ground Source Heat Pump has performed very well and the building is always heated.  Electricity remains our biggest overhead and the committee has decided to investigate the installation of a wind turbine.  This would mean the building would be heated and powered entirely on renewable energy and our costs would be greatly reduced.   We have produced a brief detailing our needs and hope to apply to Community Energy Scotland for funding. 

January 2010

The committee meets on a monthly basis, usually on the last Tuesday.  This month we also held our AGM and we have fifteen members at present.  Fundraising over the year totalled £3,700 so thanks once again for your generous support.

Eden Court Theatre has just started its Body Currents series of dance classes with the first one on Saturday 23rd

Badminton began on Monday 25th and will meet weekly 6.30pm for juniors 7.30 for seniors. 

 It can be difficult for clubs to get the initial start up funding needed to buy equipment so if you are thinking of trying something new in the hall the committee may be able to offer advice and assistance with funding.

 December 2009

It’s been a long time since Crossroads Primary School was able to hold it Christmas Play in the hall.  For many years the building had been too dilapidated so we were delighted to welcome them back.  The whole community enjoyed a wonderful adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  The singing, costumes and scenery were all first class.  

We plan to hold a Hogmanay Party this year.  It will be an informal affair so bring your own food and refreshments please.  The hall will be open from 10.30pm. 

November 2009

Our Halloween party was a great success.  The hall looked great with spooky decorations, scary lanterns and some very creepy costumes. The committee also held a Body Shop party at the end of November to boost funds.

October 2009

The Scottish Government Rural Affairs Committee held a two day conference in the hall this month. Twenty three delegates from all over Scotland attended the event which was chaired by Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment.  They were interested in all aspects of the new hall particularly the ground source heating system.  They enjoyed their lunches and afternoon teas and were impressed buy the new hall and its facilities. 

Crossroads School held a party in the hall to celebrate its 40th Anniversary.

September 2009

We decided to hold a car boot sale on Sunday 13 September and raised £400.  We sold teas and hot pancakes and there were eleven car boots on the day.  We also raffled a celebration cake baked and donated by June Webster.

A few enthusiastic individuals have started a craft class on Thursday nights at 7.00.  It will run throughout the winter months so please go along if you are interested in joining. 

The stage curtains made by J and C Joel Ltd are now complete and hung.  They really look the part!

August 2009

An Comunn Gaeltachd held a Gaelic concert in the hall to raise funds for MOD 2010.  The acoustics gave a crisp clear sound and there was a great variety of music singing and verse.  The hall committee ran a bar with the takings going to hall funds.

An indoor bowling ‘Come and Try’ night was held recently and there was a very good turnout.  Coaches from the St Fergus club in Wick came along to give some advice and the group will continue to meet weekly on Wednesdays at 7.00pm.  All ages and abilities are welcome.

Opening of Mey Hall by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay

On Sunday 2 Aug 2009 HRH Prince Charles Duke of Rothesay opened Mey hall.  He chatted to members of the committee and unveiled a stone plaque commemorating the event.  He was delighted to see the building brought back to use and congratulated everyone on what had been achieved

Mey Community Celebrate in Style

On the Saturday night (28th March 2009) the Mey Hall Committee hosted a party to remember as they celebrated the completed refurbishment of their village hall.  The project cost just under £700,000 with the bulk of the funding provided by the Big Lottery Fund, Highland Council and HIE Caithness and Sutherland.  Six trust funds, including the nearby Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust also contributed generously to the project.

Over one hundred and sixty members of the local community saw the new hall for the first time and were amazed by the transformation.  In his speech chairman Graeme Angus said ‘it has taken a long time, over eighteen years to finally achieve what we set out to do but we think it has been worth the wait.  Everyone agreed.

The design by Arch Henderson and Partners includes a large sports/entertainment space with permanent stage, a kitchen servery/bar, meeting room, small hall and disabled access.  The hall is heated by a ground source heat pump and fully equipped with new furnishings and equipment.  The construction undertaken by GMR Henderson took just over a year to complete and the quality workmanship of all the contractors involved was much admired.

Perhaps most heartening was the list of groups and individuals keen to use the new hall.  Kuk Sool, yoga, bowling , badminton, dance classes and the reforming of the Mey Youth Club are just some of the activities being proposed.

At the celebration the Grand Opening Raffle was drawn and a list of prizewinners will shortly be published on the fundraising page. 

March 2009

The Mey Village Hall Committee are now delighted to announce that your newly refurbished village hall is now open for business.  It has been a long hard struggle but the Hall Committee have finally accomplished what they set out to do over ten years ago which was to upgrade the facility and provide a place in the heart of the community which could be used for social and leisure purposes. 

To celebrate the completion of the new hall the Hall Committee cordially invite you to join them for a celebration evening being held in the hall on Saturday 28th March 2009 at 7.00pm.  This will take the form of a light supper/dance and the music will be provided by Fusion.   The tickets for the event are free but there will be a silver collection at the door.  Due to the restrictions on numbers tickets will have to be booked beforehand and no later than Wednesday 25 March 2009.  To book tickets for the event please call our Secretary Ellen Simpson, Tel: 018147 851 736 or by e-mail to The Grand Opening Draw raffle will be drawn at this event and tickets for the draw are still available from any Committee member.

 For those who are unable to attend the celebration evening the hall will be open for viewing on the Saturday following the event, Saturday 4 April 2009 between 2.00pm and 4.00pm. There will also be a children’s party in April – more details to follow nearer the time. 

The official opening of the hall will not take place until later in the year but the hall is now available for bookings.  There are three rooms that are available for let at the one time, namely the main hall which is very big and airy and makes an excellent games hall, the smaller hall on the upper floor which is a good size for private functions/parties and the meeting room on the lower floor.  The hall also has a modern kitchen, servery and disabled access. 

 If anyone would like to book the hall please contact our Secretary on the number above. User groups that have already booked include Salsa classes, badminton, Kuk Sul and hopefully a Youth Club in the near future but we will keep you posted on this. 

The Hall Committee look forward to seeing you all at the opening celebration event or at our open day.

January 2009

Towards the end of last year we were lucky to secure funding for equipment and furnishings for the new hall.  Awards for All gave us £10,000 and the Highland Council Discretionary Fund allocated £4,200.  This really was good news as it would allow us to purchase the tables, chairs, crockery and kitchen equipment.  The old hall had nothing worth salvaging so we are starting from scratch.

We were unsure at one point if the upstairs room could be fitted out completely as part of the refurbishment.  Our funding was stretched to cover some unexpected costs the largest of which was a new electricity connection.  The Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust came to our rescue by awarding us a grant of £7,850 towards the connection cost.  This has allowed us to go ahead with the complete fit out and the space upstairs looks really good now. 

The refurbishment work is drawing to a close and the completion date is 5 February 2009.  This means that we will have to postpone the opening celebration planned for the 6th February till a later date.  We’ll keep you posted on this.

We held a fashion show in November in the John O Groats knitwear shop and raised £172.00.  Thanks to Louise and her staff for arranging the event.  Karen Williamson also held a fundraiser and both sums will go towards buying a bar/serving counter for the main hall.  The Grand Raffle has lots of great prizes (listed on our fundraising page) and tickets are selling well.  It will be drawn on the opening night.

A generous individual from the Keiss community has donated a bowling mat and a set of bowls to the hall.  This is an excellent start to forming a bowling club.  If anyone is interested in getting a group together please contact the secretary.  We have three groups already wanting to use the facilities on a weekly basis and several individual events booked.

We recently held a well attended AGM in Scarfskerry church hall.  It was good to see so many people and new members join the committee.  The next few weeks will be busy as we prepare for the opening and the launch of the new hall so watch this space!!.

August 2008

Fundraising is very much in our minds at the moment as we look to buy the list of furnishings and equipment needed for the new hall. We decided to have a  home-made sweet stall at the Mey Highland Games this year and raised £141, a very good total considering the weather was atrocious with horizontal rain all afternoon.  Thanks to the ladies who made the sweets and the kind folks who held our stall down when it was about to blow away!!

We will be launching a Grand Raffle Draw to coincide with the opening of the hall.  We are printing a thousand tickets with the first prize of £100.  We have tremendous support from local business and there will be a great list of prizes.  If you have any unwanted gifts or items that would make a suitable prize we would be very happy to accept them too.

Construction work is continuing on site and there is something new to see every day.  The roof tiles and fascias are going on and the first windows are in place.  Last week Scottish and Southern Energy installed the new upgraded electricity supply.

We have submitted two funding applications recently and await the outcomes of both.  We applied for help towards the cost of our new electricity connection from the Scottish Hydro-Electric Community Trust and hope to hear from them in October. We have also just submitted an application to Awards for All to help us purchase the furnishings and equipment we need so fingers crossed!!

Now that work is progressing well on the building we are looking at promoting the facilities.  We are working with the organisers of the Royal National MOD 2009 to hopefully bring some fundraising and fringe activities to our community.  We have also been liaising with the North Highland College and they plan to run a series of Community Empowerment Training events in the spring.

In the next few days we hope to upload photographs of the hall so that our friends, particularly those in far flung places, can keep in touch with what is happening back home.  Watch this space!!

Finally on a sadder note the committee lost one of it’s long time supporters last month.  Sandy Webster was an enthusiastic member coming along to every meeting even when his health was failing.  We will miss him.

Mey Village Hall is managed by Mey Village Hall Trust

Registered Scottish Charity Number SC024554