By the end of last month after protracted discussions the Committee had decided the time was not right to organise activities in the Club’s name, although the government was allowing “organised sports”, ie the Ramblers and clubs in membership of the BMC, to sponsor outdoor pursuits for groups of up to 30 following “Covid secure” arrangements. We agreed we should prepare the paperwork for when the time was right but it is no longer clear when that time might be since the Westminster government’s decision to tighten up social distancing by several notches. The permission for organised sport – except at premium level – has been cancelled as has the ability to meet six others outdoors. We may now only meet one other person from outside our household bubble for exercise, not share transport and by implication at least not travel far.
On the huts front you have received John Patrick’s schedules for re-opening Craigallan, saying amongst other things he would take bookings from 5th November. The Committee confirmed that Craigallan can be used from that date, wholly mindful of the constantly evolving regulations and advice aimed at suppressing Covid-19, which we affirm we will follow and expect members to observe. Booking with John is obligatory and he has the final word as to whether any particular request to use the hut or grounds is appropriate. That position has been given an added twist by an English lock-down being added to the Welsh, leaving only people in Scotland in its Tiers One and Two with the opportunity to drive to Ballachulish. We have 16 members living in Scotland, of whom perhaps 10 still have that freedom of movement.
The other issue of note is that the Committee has decided on a temporary scale of charges for use of any of the huts when they come on stream again, and applying to Craigallan immediately. To open a hut with all its facilities at the normal member rate of £6 a day would not make economic sense, particularly when a “household” in our case is most frequently a single person. For the duration of hut occupation being restricted to exclusive use by a single household, the charges will be £20 a day for a single occupant and a further £20 a day for a second occupant with additional household members being charged £10 a day. That wasn’t an easy decision but any comparison with commercial rates demonstrates good value. A “household” is what it says – a member and her/his family (or bubble!) members.
Beyond that, a rate of £10 a day will be charged for each occupant of any wholly self sufficient camper van booked to park overnight in the Craigallan yard. Hut bookings have to be separated by 72 hour quarantine breaks. Self contained camper van use doesn’t requiire such an interval. There are a number of hook ups on the shed but sensitivity to the neighbours’ views will limit the level of use. This is all an experiment for the Club and we retain the ability to change these decisions if that looks necessary or sensible.