Longcraig in the press again!

Last Friday, 25th June, the Flying Scotsman steam engine hauled a trainload of railway enthusiasts and trippers from Edinburgh across the Forth Bridge, to a circular tour of Fie and then back to Edinburgh. Three trips were operated, and as you would imagine, stream trains, and especially The Flying Scotsman, attract a huge amount of publicity, photographers, and the like on their journeys.

Inevitably, many of the passengers would get a great view of Longcraig from their trip across the bridge, and equally inevitably, a number of photo opportunities also included glimpses of our Centre nestled close to the Forth Bridge.

Re-opening in 2021 – Latest update

The relaxation of the lockdown rules continues, although painfully slowly and at times to extended dates, which is often very frustrating for planning purposes.

We’ve done a lot of tidying up and making things ready, and have now moved on to a focus on our instructors and ASU members and our new volunteers who came along this year – yes, they’re all a bit rusty too, so we have made a decision a while back that we need to focus our initial energies and development time on these guys first, so that when the time comes to welcome Scouts back onto the water and doing stuff, we will have a team of people who are familiarised and back up to speed with how to drive a boat!

Other Activity Opportunities

But this is a further reminder that not all of Water Activities have to take place at Longcraig, and although there are rules we need to follow as regards the full re-opening of the Centre, there are numerous possibilities where we may be able to help scouts take part in water activities. These could be at your camps or events – if you are planning to have one of those – or it could be simply an evening or day activity somewhere. We can bring boats and equipment and the expertise; you can help us find your favourite spot to do these things.

Alternatively, for those who have the necessary experience and appropriate skills, we can hire out most of our equipment for your own use either as smaller groups of scouts or even for family use, which can still enable some young people to experience the fun and adventure out on the water.

If this is something you are interested in, please use our contact e-mail at getinvolved@longcraig.info to make enquiries.

Longcraig Team supports Melrose Scouts

A few weeks ago, a small team from the Longcraig ASU headed down to Melrose to take advantage of the relatively safe and quiet waters on a stretch of the River Tweed. The Scouts engaged in a raft building activity on the banks of the river, then tentatively launched their home-made rafts into the river and enjoyed further competition time – not just to see which was the best and fastest raft, but also top determine which one stayed together the longest – a testimony to the quality of knots and lashings created by the Scouts!

We have further activity sessions planned or in the planning during the coming months, so if this is of interest, please get in touch and find out what we can do to support you.

Building refurbishment

The planned building improvements for Longcraig, which involve modernising toilets, showers and changing facilities, is still going ahead. Just not right now! A number of things have all come together to make our planned facility upgrade take place in the autumn of 2022, rather than towards the end of this year as we had hoped. The two main things which influence this are:

  1. Most building contractors seem to be overloaded with work at the moment, some of this due to COVID restrictions means many more home owners are getting home improvements done, and the virus restrictions has made a lot of work more difficult to carry out.
  2. The costs of most building materials has gone through the roof in recent months – again this is a COVID related issue, caused by shortages of key materials, difficulties in the transportation of material, and the increase in building jobs going on around the country. So, we’ve had to re-ascertain the scope of our work, which may also include seeking and securing addition external funding to match up the funds already committed to from the Regional Executive.

So, summer 2022 will see the same Longcraig as before, so book ahead now to have your last opportunity to make use of the existing facilities in 2022, before we dismantle and rebuild over the winter of 2022 to have our shiny new facility up and running for Spring 2023. We’ll arrange a ‘Farewell Old Toilets’ party at the end of our 2022 season!!

Ian Harrower
Longcraig Active Support Unit