The Ardross-man


Building works

200th post in two years

It’s hard to believe that it has been two years since I started blogging this journey.

6th November 2015 saw my first post being published and I reached my 100th post less than a year later on 18th September 2016.

Things have slowed down since then and my updates have become slightly less frequent but here we are at my 200th post on my 2nd year anniversary of blogging (anyone would think I had planned this LOL).

I hope you have enjoyed reading my trials and tribulations, the woes of owning a disused building and the joys of renovating a historical landmark.

I hope the next 100 posts will be just as insightful, revealing and entertaining.

Thanks for following my exploits.


The Ardross-man


Raindrops keep falling on my head

Another potential disaster diverted –

We had a leak in our Training Hall which we found out came about because the last storm ripped a few slates off our roof.

So an intrepid young roofer climbed up and despite the high wind managed to hold on, albeit somewhat precariously, and fix on some new tiles for us.


Many thanks to Paul Marchetti for arranging the roofer and the brave lad who carried out the work.

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Storm Brian

Having survived the tail end of Storm Ophelia, I thought my church building had weathered the worst of it – and then along came Storm Brian!


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(I mean, who names a storm Brian anyway??)


Winds in excess of 70mph ripped off the seafront and into the church building and pulled off one of the protective glass windows.


Hopefully you can just make out the outline of the protective glass on the ground – and thankfully it’s in one piece so we may manage to get it back in situa.

Fingers crossed.


Waterfall wall

Oh dear – more water ingress in our Training Hall area. 😦

This time, it’s the wall of our equipment store area which leads to the main doors of the church hall.

I came in to find that the entire floor area was a pool of water and the water had flowed under the doors and into the hall room, under the training mats.

The problem was, I couldn’t find the source.

Initially, I thought it was seeping up from under the floor but a check of the external wall didn’t reveal the problem. But I did notice that the flat roof above the entrance area had a drain pipe which went inside the wall – could this be what was causing the leak?

I had to rip off a piece of the hardboard wall covering to reveal the down pipe and sure enough I had discovered the leak source – or sources a it turned out.

There was a pipe which seemed to be blocked as water was flowing down the connection with the U-bend – but there was also water flowing down the wall signifying another leak probably on the flat roof.


For the time being, I’ve caught the water in a bucket until builder extraordinaire Paul Marchetti can come fix it…..which may be some time as i got this photo from him –

Apparently Paul broke is leg in a number of places when a heavy pallet being unloaded from a lorry fell on top of him on another job.

Get well soon Paul

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The new Training Room

In 1886 an appeal was made for funds to erect a hall, able to seat around 300 people, on ground adjacent to the Barony St. John’s Church (or as it was known then, New Ardrossan Parish Church). Funding was successful and the hall building was opened in 1887 at a cost, including furnishings, of £1,000 (around £120,000 in today’s money – which is still a bargain).

Now, exactly 130 years later in 2017, we have finally managed to renovate a major part of the hall building into a Training Room for my charity (The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety).

The before and after photos below show a dramatic change;


Rotten timbers and broken floorboards, crumbling wall and ceiling plaster, water ingress, wet rot, dry rot and decaying, broken windows meant this room was completely unusable.

But now, it looks like this –


We have a wonderful new Training / Meeting Room which can seat up to twelve people for the various training courses we provide including Personal Safety in the Workplace, Lone Worker, First Aid at Work, Refresher First Aid, Emergency First Aid, Paediatric First Aid etc. as well as accommodating meetings and social gatherings for both ourselves and other groups within our community.

Dr Danielle Farrel will be offering independent advice for carers and those living with a disability via her social enterprise, Your Options Understood (YOU), which will be operating out of this room from this week onwards and we will be offering free Personal Safety classes for people with low or no vision, every Thursday from 11am until 12.15pm.

All this is thanks to our funders; The Hugh Fraser Foundation, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Trusthouse Charitable Foundation who funded the building works for the room.

hughfraser  clothworkersfoundationlogo       The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation 

And “Thank you” to Howdens Joinery Co. in Ardrossan who kindly donated the kitchen units and worktop for our tea/coffee area.



Without your funding, this room could never have been completed. Thank you one and all.

If anyone is interested in renting this room out, booking one of our courses or simply finding out more about volunteering or fundraising for our charity, please contact us via our website or look us up (ScotCPS) on Facebook or Twitter.

Goodbye for now.

Many, many, many thanks 😀

My Office

At long last, I have finally started to clear out the old Vestry Room and make it into an office space where I can store confidential documents, hold private meetings, etc.

Here is what it currently looks like –

The skylight window is cracked in several places and letting in water…

The plasterboard is completely off one of the walls due to water ingress which has now been stopped. This water damage has also caused a lot of the plaster work to comedown…


And the whole place needs painted and decorated…..


It’s going to take a bit of time but I’ll get there……………….Watch this space! 😀

Crystal clear

After what seems like an eternity, the windows in the Training Room have been completed – and they look fab!

Here is what they looked like before –

The wood was rotten (in fact one of the arched windows fell out when we removed the plaster work around it) and every pane was a different type of glass – frosted, clear, opaque, patterned with dimples, patterned with ridges, tinted, mottled – you name it, it was here.


The wooden windows are exact copies of what was there before even down to the small square opening segment in the middle of the square windows.


With a new coat of paint, the new windows look absolutely fabulous compared to the old, rotten ones.


Now we need to focus on the metal protective covering which is on the outside wall of each window.


These are badly rusted and damaged causing rust to flow down the external stonework so they need removed, de-rusted, repaired and re-painted – if that’s possible. If not, they’ll need replaced.

Onwards and upwards. 😀

Getting there

Yes, I’ve had a lot of setbacks with this Training Room; the water ingress, the plasterwork, the rotten windows, the wrong size windows, the wrong size glass, etc. etc. but through it all Paul Marchetti, builder extraordinaire, has shone through. He tackles every problem with a shrug and a smile and just gets on with the job. Likewise his partner in crime, Peter.

And so, we are finally getting there. The window glass is ordered and in the meantime, the room has been framed off.

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Next stage was to put in insulation between all the frames leaving a gap between the insulation and the stone wall to allow air flow and prevent a build-up of sand and dirt again.

The room is starting to shape.

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The next stage was to take one of the windows out so that it can be sent to a specialist wooden window making company and exact copies can be made. Paul undid a screw at the top of one of the arched windows…………and the whole thing fell out. :-/

Luckily, Peter was there to catch it and between the two of them they managed to lower it to the ground. The frame was a mess, completely rotten.

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Then came the plastering and the painting of the walls and the building of an internal cupboard.

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A lick of paint and that’s one wall done.

The big job ahead is to do the same to the other three walls, two of which contain the windows – and all of this is only if we find the next lot of funding.

I can’t wait to see the windows boxed off internally with shelves below each of them. 🙂

But then the tea/coffee area needs to get built, everything painted, carpet and floor coverings put down – and even then we need to look for funding for the equipment to go in the room (SMART Board, meeting room tables, chairs, dry wipe board, flipchart, WiFi, breakout sofa area, etc, etc.

One step at time though…..we’re getting there. 😀


Well, after the saga of the windows being made to the wrong size (see my What a Pane! post), I kinda hoped it would be plain sailing from here on in with the Training Room windows – but no!

Even although the windows are exact copies of what was in previously, there seemed to be some miscommunication with between the window makers and the glass makers and the builders.

Paul Marchetti and Peter put the glass into the small square windows and got them in okay – even the small opening segment in the middle top was duplicated.


With a new coat of paint, the new windows looked fabulous compared to the old, rotten ones.


Then Paul and Peter put the arched panes of glass into the arched windows – still going well.

But then disaster struck again – the square shaped panes below the arches were too small. 20mm too short to be exact.


So near and yet, so far!

Paul’s having to drive into Glasgow to get the glass especially cut again. Nightmare. :-/

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