Villagers reap rewards of SSDT
VILLAGE halls across Lochaber have been reaping the rewards of the Scottish Six Days Trial.
The iconic event attracts thousands of visitors to the area each year, and the communities which riders pass through during the week have been benefiting from the surge of people.
The Kentallen and Duror Community Centre has provided refreshments and car parking for spectators of the SSDT for many years.
Over the past 11 years the community has produced enormous quantities of soup, sandwiches, scones and cakes, all provided by villagers.
The community field has been improved so that around 450 cars can fit on it. And this year more than £ 3,000 was raised which will go towards the running, maintenance and improvement of the hall.
Chairwoman of the community hall committee Jan Gibson said: ‘Without this annual fundraiser, the community hall would not be able to function in its current fashion and I hope people can see how the hall improves each year.
‘My sincere and massive thanks to all the people who help on and before the day to make this event so enjoyable both for the trials’ spectators and we villagers.’
Last Tuesday Ardgour Memorial Hall held a similar event which raised £ 370.
New routes passing through Ardgour, in the avenue behind the hall, were introduced last year.
Fifteen volunteers dedicated around 50 hours to making food and cakes for the event.
Hall treasurer Kendra Turnbull told the Lochaber Times: ‘We need to make £2,000 every year just to cover the running of the hall so everything we raise has to go to that. Anything over and above goes towards the new toilets.
‘It’s a really fun event for people and it is good to get fundraising from people outwith the local catchment area, because all of our other events throughout the year are targeting the same people.
‘ We had a lot of repeat cus- tomers from last year, too. It’s good promotion for the village hall and great for the village.’
In Kinlochleven the school’s parent council raised £1,767 from the Pre- 65 event, which will go towards the extra- curricular activities programme.
Rebecca Machin, head teacher at Kinlochleven High School, said: ‘I can still remember the first time I saw the list of actual costings for the school trips and activities put on by Kin- lochleven High School when I first arrived two years ago, and then the amount that families are asked to contribute - the difference is huge.
‘The parent council of Kinlochleven High School does an amazing job, plugging the gap between cost and contribution, making things like the S1 week to Outward Bound and the S3 week with Ocean Youth Trust, where our youngsters get to sail around the Outer Hebrides, affordable and available to all.’
She added: ‘This was my third Pre- 65 Saturday and I can now proudly say that I have mastered the art of frying eggs and have now passed the landmark of 1,000 cooked and sold.
‘I joined 26 other volunteers that day, pupils and parents, many who came in before or after work to help, to make this a success for our parent council and the school as a whole.
‘It fills me with pride to see so many people coming in to help and it is very humbling to be one of them.’
With 450 spaces available, at one point there were none left in the extended field next to Duror and Kentallan community hall.