Glassford Blogs

People Of Glassford

The main objective of the Glassford Community Group for 2021 (Scottish Charity Number SC050214) is to complete an asset transfer of the village hall from South Lanarkshire Council to create a true community hub.  We need your help and expertise in in our quest.

We know that while some people like attending meetings and working as a group, others prefer to influence from afar. It doesn’t matter which of these you are, if you have the skills then you can help.  By skills we mean everything from your background, your qualifications and also your local knowledge.

If you would like to help shape and influence the community where you live there are lots of ways you can get involved. Take a look below and see if you could be a member of a one of the groups from the comfort of your own living room.  We are not asking for a lot of your time and you really can make a difference if you get involved.  The more community support and involvement we can demonstrate the better our chance of a successful outcome on the asset transfer.

Our sub-groups

We are working with a consultant on the development of a Business Plan.  This is a key document as it tells SLC how we will fund the hall and how we will be able to sustain its operation over the first five years.


We need to be able to fund the purchase, design, development and ongoing running costs of the hall.  Our success in identifying funding sources will determine what we would be able to do with the full project over coming years.


We plan to undertake a survey on the condition of the hall at the moment, and we also need to assess what are the options on the site, which will include surrounding land.  The design will involve coordinating with how the community sees its use in the future and also how we rebuild to take account of climate change challenges.

Community Engagement 

A key element of our business plan is understanding what you, the community, wants from a community hub in our village hall.  Help us understand and act on the needs or issues of the community, helping to achieve positive change.


We need to develop a plan for how the hall will be used, how it will be accessed and how it will be managed.   


As a community group we need to be seen to be working together with other groups and organisation, both within Glassford and across Avondale.  We have to bring individuals, agencies, organizations and community members themselves together in an atmosphere of support to systematically solve existing and emerging problems that could not easily be solved by one group alone.  As a community hub there may be organisations across Avondale that can bring services to the community hub for the benefit of Glassford and its residents.

What is an asset transfer?

Asset transfer is a process to allow a community organisation to take over publicly owned land or buildings, in a way that recognises the public benefits that the community use will bring

Annual General Meeting 2021

Glassford Community Group held its annual general meeting (AGM) on March 2nd 2021. It was its first AGM since it was granted charitable status in June 2020 and was held as an online meeting due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The minutes are published below and if you would like to download a copy please click this link

Minutes of Annual General Meeting Tuesday March 2nd at 7pm

The meeting was held online using Zoom


Clare Miller (CM)

Morag Walker

Les Hoggan (LH)

Lisa Webb (LW)

James Newall (JN)

Sandra Kilby

David Kilby

Stevie Urquhart

Mark Shields

Jinty Crawford (JC)

Martin McManus


James Newall as Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for their attendance.  He also thanked everyone for their support over the last year in delivering leaflets, collecting prescriptions, delivering meals and steak pies at Xmas, etc.

Minutes from previous AGM

The minutes from the previous AGM in 2019 were approved.

Summary of Last Year

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic it was not possible to hold any events or fundraisers in the village.  Over the course of the year the Community Group joined up with ‘Working together for Avondale’ (WTA) to provide coordinated community support, helping with shopping, prescription collection, free weekend Steayban vouchers, eyesight checks, etc.  The work was funded through WTA.  In early 2020 the Community Group funded additional Xmas lights for the village and in February it installed an information board on Covenanters at the graveyard.  It received funding from Kype Muir Community Fund for the Xmas lights and from the Micro Grant Scheme for the information board.  In early 2021 it was confirmed that the Community Group has been awarded funding from the Micro Grant Scheme as a contribution towards a new bench at the to of the Borlands.

Charitable Status

LH went through the process of achieving charitable status and confirmed this had been awarded in July 2020.  This enables the group to pursue funding that would otherwise not be available and also provided benefits in the event of a community asset transfer for the Village Hall.  The annual return including audited accounts is due annually in July. At present the trustees are James Newall, Les Hoggan and Lisa Webb. Other members of the Glassford Community Group can be added as trustees at any point.

Treasurers Report

LW took the meeting through the treasurers report.  The starting balance was £11200.06 and to date around £1000 in refunds for the Beer and Gin Festival have been paid out.  We will put another post on Facebook and put up posters around Glassford and Strathaven to remind people that the event is cancelled and asking for donations/refunds.  A cut-off date is to be agreed.  It was also agreed to put posters up around the village highlighting the cancellation for those not on social media and also on the notice board in Strathaven.

Income from 2021 calendars was £373.  The first raffle in December 2020 raised £930 and the second raffle raised £965.  There was a donation of £475 from McLeans Gin for sales of ‘The Glesart’ and a local resident donated £250.  The accounts are due to be audited at the end of March 2021.

Beer and Gin Festival

With the beer and gin festival for 2021 officially cancelled, planning starts for the 2022 Festival which is intended to be bigger and better. The Community Group will start to assess options and begin to pull together outline plans over the course of 2021.

Community Asset Transfer

LH outlined the current status of plans to complete and asset transfer of the Village Hall.  Discussions have continued with South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) and a formal note of interest was registered.  It was highlighted that Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust had withdrawn its application for an asset transfer of the Ballgreen Hall, mainly due to its inability to raise funds because funders have diverted all resources to COVID-19 support.  Martin McManus (McM) confirmed this and advised that it was likely to be 2022 before funders reverted to normal practices in supporting community asset transfers.

Concerns were raised (JC and CM) about the potential for SLC to close the hall permanently and put it on the open market.  This was discussed and it was agreed to arrange an online meeting with Joanne Forbes and John McCafferty to discuss next steps and Community Group concerns about the viability of the hall for community use.  In the interim it was also agreed to assess options for an independent surveyor to evaluate the condition of the village hall and to request access for the community group.  It was also agreed to chase up the asbestos survey to inform future planning.  LH agreed to email SLC after the meeting and advise the Community Group of any response.

In addition, SLC has set aside £250,000 to support community groups interested in community asset transfers.  LH agreed to contact SLC to request details of how it could access this fund.  Glassford Community Group is in the final stages of an application to the Renewable Energy Fund for £4000 to support development of a business plan for the asset transfer. McM has provided the final supporting document which LH will forward to SLC and upload with the latest bank statement to complete the application.

Plans for the Year Ahead

In addition to planning for the 2022 Beer and Gin Festival it was agreed to look at options for an event later in the year ahead of Xmas. Glassford Community Group was also awarded a Micro Grant by Strathaven and Glassford Community Council as a contribution to replacing the bench at the top of the Borlands. There are also proposals to restore and reinstate the Conservation Area sign which is currently in storage.



Date of next meeting

Tuesday April 13th at 7pm.

Rupert Black

Over the last few years the Glassford Community Group has welcomed many musicians and performers onto the stage in our Village Hall, but only one can claim to have performed in the village as well as on stage in Philadelphia as part of Live Aid in 1985.

Rupert Black joined Big Vern and the Shootahs in 2003 to fill a vacancy as keyboard player. Previously he had been the keyboard player with The Pretenders, Talk Talk, The Alarm before joining Big Vern after recording a charity single with Big Vern guitarist Dave Ramsay. Rupert also performed with the Kevin McDermot Orchestra when they played at Wembley Stadium, supporting Rod Stewart, Status Quo and Joe Cocker in 1991.

Rupert played with The Pretenders in Philadelphia at Live Aid to millions of people worldwide that day and still found time to play the Glassford Hall to help us raise money for the local community.

The thoughts of all in Glassford Community Group are with Rupert’s family and the other members of Big Vern and the Shootahs.

Below are a few images of Rupert performing in Glassford Village Hall with Big Vern and the Shootahs in 2019.

Latest news from the Glassford Community Group

COVID-19 Support

The Glassford Community Group has been working as part of a wider community support effort under the banner of ‘Working together for Avondale’ and has been delighted to do its bit during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The group consists of a number of organisations across Avondale including Strathaven Business Association, Strathaven Evangelical Church (SEC), Avondale Young Farmers, Outreach Community Church (OCC), Avondale LEAP and Strathaven & Glassford Community Council. The group has had great support from VASLan and Home Energy Scotland.

Through being part of the group we have been able to access funds held by Strathaven and Glassford Community Council with donations from Falck Renewables, Banks Renewables, the Renewable Energy Fund and Sandford and Upper Avondale Community Council.

These funds have enabled us to support our community through prescription collection, emergency eye care, free meal delivery from OCC, 15 Steayban vouchers for frontline workers (1/3 was paid from the fund). There are also plans for Glassford Primary School to benefit prior to reopening in August and with Karen Gibb of Glassford business Mind Marvels providing mindfulness support sessions Glassford has certainly benefitted from the wider community support offered by ‘Working together for Avondale’

The Community Group was therefore delighted to be get a mention in an Early Day Motion presented to the Westminster Parliament by Dr Lisa Cameron MP in early June 2020. The community effort has been fantastic and the fact all of those groups were willing to coordinate and collaborate has meant it has worked so much better than if they had worked individually.

Early Day Motion for Avondale Community Support presented recently to the Westminster Parliament

McLeans Gin and Jaro Design support the Glassford Community Group

Colin McLean of of Avondale’s McLeans Gin produced the gin liqueur ‘The Glesart’ for the 2020 Glassford Beer and Gin Festival, which unfortunately had to be postponed (To October 3rd 2020) due to COVID-19. This didn’t stop Colin though, who has always been a supporter of the Glassford Community Group.

Colin has been working with Janet and Lynzi of Jaro Design to sell his stock of ‘The Glesart’ and associated miniatures and they have been doing online gin tasting as well as selling the gin liqueur through Jaro Design in the Common Green in Strathaven. It is now almost gone (still a few left if you are quick).

In a gesture the Glassford Community Group is extremely grateful for, Colin donated £475 from the sale of ‘The Glesart’ to the Glassford Community Group and on top of that Janet and Lynzi donated £100 from sales in their shop to the group as well.

These types of generous donations go a long way to helping the Group achieve its objectives. Along with having been granted charity status we are that bit further on the road to our key objective of securing the Glassford Village Hall as a community facility.

Community Group Update April 2020

As everyone will be aware April is the month we usually hold our Annual General Meeting, under the terms of our constitution. Because of restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 emergency, we are unable to do so and have decided to defer the meeting until guidelines change to enable a meeting to be scheduled. We are also unable to use the village hall and with the Steayban and Glassford Inn there is nowhere to meet at this time.

We decided to summarise where we are. Our meetings with South Lanarkshire have gone well and we are in the position where we had started preparations for an Asset Transfer of the Village Hall under the terms of the Community Empowerment Act. This requires us to prepare a business plan outlining how we will manage, maintain and fund the hall, and to outline planned uses for it.

Our constitution has been redrafted in a template suitable for the Office of Scottish Charity Register and also for a Community Asset Transfer. This has been submitted along with an application for Glassford Community Group to become a Scottish Charitable Incorporate Organisation. This is an essential step in proceeding with an Asset Transfer.

Within the constitution we have defined Glassford Community Group as having three charitable purposes (The are fourteen charity purposes but having taken advice we restricted our purposes to three.)

1              The organisation’s purposes are:

1.1         The advancement of citizenship or community development (including rural or urban regeneration).  As a rural community it is important to provide resources, activities and events that tie the community together and that reflect the priorities and needs of Glassford.

1.2         The advancement of the arts, heritage, culture or science.  The objective is two-fold.  One, to provide events and activities that provide entertainment for the Glassford community and that provide a use for the village hall.  Two, to provide a forum for local musicians, brewers, gin suppliers and food outlets to help sustain arts and culture while supporting local businesses.  We also aim to reflect community priorities in relation to heritage, for example through provision of information boards in the village cemetery and through promotion of local heritage and history on our website and social media.

1.3         The provision of recreational facilities, or the organisation of recreational activities with the object of improving the conditions of life for the persons for whom the facilities or activities are primarily intended. With an increasingly elderly population and being a rural community with poor public transport, it is vital that services and activities are provided that give people an outlet within the village.  The Community Group plans to organise recreational activities and also to support community use of the village hall for meetings and regular activities.

As part of our application we included in a response to OSCR the activities of Glassford Community Group since its formation in 2014, under the headings of our three proposed Charitable purposes.

  • The advancement of citizenship or community development (including rural or urban regeneration).
  1. We carried out a full community consultation, including local groups such as WRI, Senior Circle and Masons to assess usage of the hall on a regular basis and requirements following an asset transfer.  The community consultation included the village primary school.  The objective of the community consultation was to assess priorities for both the use of the village hall and also wider issues relating to life in Glassford.
  2. We raised funds to purchase Xmas lights for the village and also provided a family film night in the village hall after the lighting up ceremony had taken place.  We also provided a Christmas tree for the village in each of the past two years and involved the primary school children of the village by supplying wooden decorations for them to paint.  Once varnished they were put on the tree.
  3. The group previously ran a fundraising campaign to upgrade play area facilities in the village park.  Work was completed on the second phase of installation in 2017.
  4. The group funded purchase and installation of a defibrillator in the village.  It also ran several training courses in CPR attended by around forty people.
  5. The group organised an information board for the village cemetery on the history of the covenanters in Glassford
  6. Our aim is to provide a community hub for people to meet and to carry out group activities.  It is a priority for us to be seen to be engaging in community life and to be encouraging development of Glassford as a community and not just somewhere to live.
  7. We will continue to enable and encourage local people to have their say.
  •  The advancement of the arts, heritage, culture or science
  1. Glassford, Lanarkshire and Scotland are all rich in arts, heritage and culture.  We run events at which local musicians can perform and we encourage local businesses to get involved.  The Beer and Gin Festival is a key fundraiser for the group and we ensure that all beer and gin suppliers are as local as possible, and are largely small, niche suppliers.  We also ensure that our food suppliers are local and that the entertainment provided for the customers is by local musicians. The events in 2018 and 2019 were highly successful.
  2. Our music events and our beer and gin festival are key means of raising funds to enable us to put on the other activities for the community.  They are a key part of our business plan and we require to be able to demonstrate to South Lanarkshire Council that we have a sustainable business model to enable the asset transfer to be completed.  It is also a requirement for an asset transfer that we are set up as a SCIO.  To date we have had live performances by GUN, Big Minds, Raymond Mearns/Phil Differ and Big Vern & the Shooters. In addition we also supported the Strathaven Folk Festival by supporting a live event in the Village Hall.
  3. Heritage is an important issue.  We have funded installation of an information board at the village graveyard.  We worked closely with the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and its allocated artist (Ewan Allinson) in the development of heritage walks around Glassford.  We are also currently assessing options for the three standing stones in the village following a recent case of vandalism.  This will involve community consultation.
  4. Glassford Community Group has supported Glassford Galaday in each of the past two years, funding part of the entertainment in the primary school.
  •  The provision of recreational facilities, or the organisation of recreational activities with the object of improving the conditions of life for the persons for whom the facilities or activities are primarily intended. 
  1. As part of the community consultation respondents highlighted the need for recreational activities in the village hall.  With public transport poor and Strathaven over two miles away, there is a clear need to provide suitable facilities, including carpet bowling, meeting space, provision for fitness classes and workshops, courses, support for local community group including WRI and Senior Circle.
  2. Glassford Community Group facilitated the installation of goalposts and nets in the village park.

We can also confirm that we no longer plan to open a shop or a cafe in the Village Hall for the foreseeable future. This was not deemed to be appropriate as part of establishing the Group as a charity, although we plan to look at options in the future. Following further discussions and taking advice, it was decided that our priorities should be on the other aspects of community life and the development of our core activities. 

Community Asset Transfer of Glassford Village Hall.It is likely that in future years and due to further cost cutting within South Lanarkshire Council that the village hall will be closed and sold off.  There is a clear desire within the responses to the Community consultation for it to be retained as a community facility.  It is used on a regular basis by WRI, Senior Circle and the Masons for meetings and for parties.  It is the intention of the Glassford Community Group enable access to all local groups requiring or requesting its use for legitimate purposes.  It is also our intention to ensure that costs for hire and use are affordable and that we reflect South Lanarkshire Council charges for similar facilities and buildings, charging no more for the use of the Village Hall.  All income generated from hire, events and festivals will be used to support the ongoing sustainability of the Village Hall and also other activities and projects undertaken by Glassford Community Group, based on the identified priorities of the community.  It would be our intention to run regular community consultations to ensure that our objectives reflect those of our community.

Glassford Community Group Update January 2020

2019 was a busy year for Glassford Community Group. In January 2019 we had a defibrillator for the village installed at the Glassford Village Hall. In March we held the second Glassford Beer and Gin Festival, now firmly established on the beer festival circuit, attracting over 700 people to the village for a day of live music and beer sampling. After the Big Vern and the Shootahs gig last April, we helped organise a JJ Gilmour Night in the Steayban and supported an evening of American Music for the Strathaven Folk Festival in the village hall.

In October 2019 we submitted our application to become a SCIO (Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation) and as of January 2020 we are awaiting a decision. We also held a series of meetings with South Lanarkshire Council on an asset transfer of Glassford Village Hall, submitting a formal interest. South Lanarkshire Council is working on what it needs to do to support an application and we are working on the development of a Business Plan.

The Community Group applied to two locations funds successfully during 2019. It applied to the Community Council Micro Grant Scheme for funds to install a Covenanters Information Board at the Graveyard, which should be in place in early 2020. It also applied successfully to the Kype Muir Community Fund for funds to support the purchase of Xmas lights for the village and lights for the village tree. These formed part of a lighting up ceremony in early December followed by a kids movie evening in the village hall.

The Glassford Beer and Gin Festival 2020 will be bigger and better than ever with around 1000 people expected to attend. Other events are planned as is the completion of our Business Plan and a formal application for an asset transfer of the Village Hall. Much to look forward to.

Our aims

Glassford Community Group was formed in 2014 with the initial objective to transform the playpark in the village to encourage the children of the village to use it.

After raising around £60,000, this objective was successfully achieved in early 2017, with two new facilities completed.

The Community Group is now working to achieve its further objectives of:

  • Securing the village hall as a community resource with facilities that reflect the wishes of the people of Glassford
  • Putting in place a business plan to help raise the funding required to renovate the hall and put in place facilities that support the community of Glassford
  • Organising events in the hall to entertain the community and to raise further funds to sustain maintenance and ongoing development of facilities
  • Developing the village cemetery to ensure its history is recorded and communicated through signage and information boards

Helping make Glassford better for the future