30 December 2022
You are invited to the Annual General Meeting of the Victoria and Albert Halls (Ballater) Trust which will be held on Tuesday 17th January 2023 in the Albert Memorial Hall, Ballater at 7.00 pm.
1. Welcome and apologies
2. Minutes of the last AGM of 25 January 2022 Note#1
3. Trustees Report 2022 – Chairman Note #2
4. Financial Report and Annual Accounts for year ended June 2022 – Treasurer Note #3
5. Election/Re-election of Trustees
Those members that have indicated so far that they wish to be elected or re-elected are on the list accompanying this invitation Note #4
 6. A.O.C.B.
The Trustees look forward to welcoming you to the AGM to hear of considerable progress, listen to your comments and ideas and enjoy refreshments.  
Yours sincerely
Gordon Riddler
Trustee and Chairman

Note #1 Draft Minutes of the last AGM of 25 January 2022
Draft Minutes of Annual General Meeting
of the Victoria & Albert Halls (Ballater) Trust
Held at the Mike Sheridan Room (with Zoom option)
at 7.30pm on Tuesday 25th January 2022
Attendees:- Trustees – Bill Braid, Ed Bushnell, Willie Meston, Wallis Riddell, Doug Glass, Alan Ross, Ian Hay, Lyndsey Boden and Gordon Riddler (in the chair).
Members – Janet Riddler, Veronica Houston, Russell Hogg, Cat Scripps, Ade Scripps, Mike Forbes, Paul Gibb, Linda Drever, Stan Tongue, Joan Anderson and Allan Harrison.

1. Welcome and Apologies

All attendees were made welcome by the Chairman of the Trust, Gordon Riddler. Apologies had been received from John Rutherford, John Burrows, Elizabeth Wilson and Alan Duncan.

2. Minutes of the last AGM of 26th January 2021

The Chairman asked whether there were any amendments necessary to these, and in the absence of any comment, sought approval of these, proposed by Alan Ross and seconded by Allan Harrison.

3. Trustees’ Report 2021

The chairman summarised his report and expressed thanks to John Rutherford and Amy Muir for their time on the trust. He explained that it has been a difficult year in terms of income but a great year for the refurbishment of the halls.
Ian Hay spoke as the Refurbishment Group Convenor and went over his written report.  He added that we have received office furniture that has been donated to the halls.
Douglas Glass spoke as the Maintenance Group Convenor giving a summary of his report. In addition, he thanked Gordon Riddler for his fundraising efforts and Stan Tongue for his continued dedication to maintaining the halls.
Lyndsey Boden spoke as the Communication and Marketing Convenor. Nothing further to add to written report.
Ade Scripps (Hub Manager) summarised his written report. Nothing further to add.

4. Annual Accounts and Financial Report for Year Ended June 2021

The Treasurer briefly summarised the Financial Report and Annual Accounts to June 2021 circulated with the AGM Invitation, pointing out the considerable reduction in lets from the previous year due to COVID-19 restrictions. The treasurer explained there is still a need for more fundraising to keep the halls at the standard we aim to get them to. Thanks were given to Gordon Riddler for his fundraising efforts this year. The Chairman asked for a proposal accepting the report and this was proposed by Ed Bushnell and seconded by Ian Hay.

5. Election/Re-election of Trustees

The Chairman referred to the names of the nominated members who had expressed agreement to be elected, as listed in the AGM Invitation, and asked for proposals and seconders individually as follows:

Nominee Proposer Seconder
Lyndsey Boden Stan Tongue Allan Harrison
Bill Braid Stan Tongue Allan Harrison
Ed Bushnell Stan Tongue Allan Harrison
Doug Glass Stan Tongue Allan Harrison
Ian Hay Stan Tongue Allan Harrison
Willie Meston Stan Tongue Allan Harrison
Wallis Riddell Stan Tongue Allan Harrison
Gordon Riddler Stan Tongue Allan Harrison
Alan Ross Stan Tongue Allan Harrison
Russell Hogg Lyndsey Boden Gordon Riddler
Catriona Houston Gordon Riddler Willie Meston

The Chairman asked whether there were any objections to the proposed appointments, or any abstentions. As there were none, taken together all were thereby appointed as trustees.

6. Ian Hay explained that it will be the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Albert Hall in 2025. He I keen to mark the occasion and asked for assistance finding information about how the occasion was marked in 1875 as he can’t find any details in the paperwork

7. The AGM closed at 8.10pm.
Note #2 Trustees Report 2022

The Trust has emerged from the difficult time during the pandemic lockdown when the Halls had to be closed to the public. Fortunately, during that period it was possible to complete a great deal of refurbishment work making the Halls an attractive venue for a broad range of activities for people of all ages and abilities. There is still work in progress particularly addressing heating large spaces in the face of greatly increased energy prices. Halls usage is recovering, and the Trustees would urge residents and outside organisations to consider using the Halls to ensure their sustainability.
The Trust is fortunate in having a dedicated team addressing the enhancement and stewardship of your community Halls complex. The Trust is moving on from its major refurbishment programme and working on increasing the usage of such an attractive facility at the centre of the village. More than ever, with increasing activities, there is a need for community members to join in and how ever little time can be spared it all helps to sustain the Halls and make it a destination of choice.
As Chairman, again, I wish to thank sincerely the collective contribution of the Trustees, employees and volunteers who have worked hard to maintain and improve the Halls for the benefit of the Ballater community. To Cllr Paul Gibb and his successor Cllr Sarah Brown, for assisting the Trust through another year providing links to Aberdeenshire Council and keeping the Trust up to date with regulations and funding opportunities.
Ian Hay, Refurbishment Group Convenor reports that with the passing of another year, it is time to outline how facilities in the Victoria & Albert Halls complex have improved over the past 12 months.

  1. Installation of a new lift. After quite considerable delays, the lift was finally installed and operational during the year, and once again less able Halls users could enjoy the first floor facilities of the Albert Hall and Mike Sheridan Room. This new lift is a considerable improvement over the more than 50 years old one it replaced. Meanwhile, negotiations have been ongoing with the lift installer regarding a contract for maintenance of the lift. Any contract will not start until 5th May 2023 as this is a year after the lift was commissioned.
  2. Bin Platform. The Victoria & Albert Halls are an iconic landmark on Deeside, and the presence of a large number of dustbins arrayed in front of the building did nothing to enhance any tourist photographs. The creation of a Bin Platform to the left of the Community and Heritage Hub has hopefully tidied up what was an eyesore. Funding is being sought to possibly make use of the under-platform space by weather-proofing that area for storage purposes.
  3. New basement storage. For many years the question of where to store items has taxed the trustees. However, a new storage area has now been created in the basement, and currently, efforts are underway to install shelving for storage of less frequently used items owned by regular Halls users as well as the Trust itself.
  4. New External Notice Board. For many years, a scruffy board graced the wall of the Victoria Hall, but now there has been installed a superb fully glazed and locked notice board with room for much information relating to community activities. Responsibility for overseeing the board is in the hands of the Hub Manager, Ade Scripps.
  5. Community Hub Furnishing. Following some delays, the displays by Ballater Highland Games Ltd. of their trophies etc., and by Ballater Local History Group have been installed in the Hub. However, after 12 months of of increasing operation, it has been found that some re-adjustment of the furniture and layout has been required, and this matter is currently in progress including seeking funding.
  6. Additional Heating in Victoria Hall. Although the infrared heaters in this Hall have been a vast improvement on their predecessors, there are still “cold spots”, particularly in the central area. Some funding towards meeting a part of the cost of installing 2 additional centrally placed heaters has been accessed from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, courtesy of the efforts of Ballater Royal Deeside Ltd. and the Ballater Resilience Group. At the time of writing, these funds have only recently been received and a revised and more detailed quote obtained which will mean that the balance of the costs not met from the SSEN grant may need to be met from current funds, although other possible sources of funding are being explored. The installation for the new heating will not be until the middle of February 2023 because of the delivery of the 18KW Tansun Heaters & associated controls from the supplier. Meanwhile, SSEN has been asked to provide details of how the temporary generator will be connected to the halls distribution system. A reply is still awaited. Through discussion with Canon Vittoria Hancock, contact has also been made with Electric Heating Solutions who supplied new heating for St Kentigens (Ballater) & St Thomas’s (Aboyne) over the last year. They can survey the halls (at no cost) to see if they can come up with a suitable alternative to, or additions to what we have determines so far.
  7. Sound System. A fully functioning permanently installed sound system has now been installed in the Victoria Hall and has already proved its worth at several functions.
  8. Updated Electricity Distribution Boards. The distribution boards in both the Albert Hall and Victoria Hall have all been updated during the year. An Emporia Vue Energy Monitor has been installed within the basement switchroom (Albert Hall) by Stuart Davidson (Electrician). A connection with Wi-Fi is awaited to allow full monitoring of power usage.
  9. Albert Hall Entrance. The carpet in the Albert Hall entrance and stairs has been replaced and the entire area has been redecorated.
  10. Solar panels, battery storage and air/ground source heating. For the future, the Trustees are looking at seeking planning permission and costings to possibly install solar panels on the roof of the Victoria Hall, in conjunction with some battery back-up, to improve insulation in the entire roof area of the complex, and to establish the feasibility of air source/ground source heating. Obviously, the costs of heating the Halls are considerable following recent increases in electricity charges, and these improvements might help reduce running costs, which are of course eventually borne by Halls users in the form of increased rentals. However, the capital costs of panels, batteries and insulation will require funding from elsewhere, and while this has become more difficult recently, it is being pursued.
  11. Electric Vehicle Charging:- In conjunction with enquiries regarding Solar Panels, information is being sought about possible installation of Electric Vehicle charging points in the Halls curtilage.
  12. Recent Freezing Temperatures:-  Once again the Halls have been hit by freezing pipes during an extremely cold spell of weather. While little can be done to prevent external waste pipes from freezing, we really must look to for a means of insulating hot- and cold-water pipes in kitchen and toilet areas. As noted in paragraph 6 and 10 above the Trustees are fully aware of the difficulty and cost of heating large spaces. These are issues that will continue to be addressed could further project for 2023?

With the exception of the installation of the lift in the Albert Hall, all other works mentioned above have been undertaken by local contractors and businesses. This has been a very conscious attempt by the Trustees to support local firms during what has been a difficult time for all businesses following the Covid pandemic.

I must again express the gratitude of the V&A Halls Trust to the Trustees of the Edna Mary Edwards Memorial Trust for the considerable annual donation made to the Halls’ improvement funds under the terms of the trust deed drawn up by former Ballater resident Mrs. Edna Edwards.
Finally, I must mention my grateful thanks to Gordon Riddler, Bill Braid, Alan Ross and Ade Scripps for their hard work and support during the past 12 months. Gordon’s efforts in completing many funding applications have resulted in considerable funds coming our way, while Bill and Alan have contributed their professional experience and knowledge in the electrical and construction industries to help the trustees achieve improvements to the Halls facilities. We all worked as a great team. Thank you also to David Cobban for his timely advice on project management.
Dr Douglas Glass, Maintenance Group Convenor reports that routine maintenance has been carried out; the gutters have been cleared twice by Allan Milne, who has also checked for any leaks which have appeared after heavy rain.
Ted Emslie has put in a new carpet at the entrance to the Albert Hall covering the entrance, stairs and top landing. The Improvement group arranged for this area to be redecorated.

Stewart and Ross Davidson (Electricians) have carried out several jobs: a new heater has been installed in the Mike Sheridan room. Following very large electricity bills, new meters have been put in to monitor the usage by the Cairngorms National Park Authority and ensure that the energy costs of all the areas they use are correctly allocated. A device has also been installed which can more closely monitor the use of electricity in each circuit, to check where high usage might be. Stan Tongue (Hall Keeper) and Bill Braid (Trustee) did a lot of investigation to check where the high use of electricity is occurring.
On Fire Safety, the Trust is engaged in attending to updating requirements of the Fire Risk Assessment. Fire safety records are now lodged in the new Halls Office. Fire extinguishers are being regularly checked to ensure they are properly placed and not obscured; some think they make good door stops so they are often not where they should be.
Catriona Houston, Communications and Marketing Convenor been energising the development of activities and events in the Halls as well as maintaining the website and social media presence. Havoc@the Halls gained momentum among other activities including Halloween events, the Winter Festival and several fairs and quizzes, which have been included in what is now a regular production and release of a Programme of Events and Activities.  Lindsay Boden arranged for the St Margaret’s Braemar Trust to stage the performance of Legendary Deeside in the Victoria Hall in October, which was a sell-out. It also provided an opportunity to meet Trustees of St Margaret’s Braemar with a view to collaborating on future events. The Book Sale at the Hub has been a great success – where a strong supply of second-hand books meets a community interest in bargain prices.
Russell Hogg and Lyndsey Boden have completed the difficult task of setting rental charges taking into consideration escalating energy costs and prices are posted on the website.

Ade Scripps, The Ballater Community and Heritage Hub Manager reports that the Hub has had a very busy year. It has been involved in some way in nearly every event that has taken place in the village reflecting the fact that the village has had in turn a very busy year following the pandemic and the death of the HM Queen Elizabeth II. The Trust was privileged to host a gathering in the Victoria Hall of those that helped on the day the cortege travelled from Balmoral to Edinburgh to be met by TMs The King Charles III and The Queen Consort.  
The roles of The HUB have been expanded and it now carries out amongst other tasks

  1. Recycling
  2. Meeting
  3. Information spreading
  4. IT/Admin Support
  5. Exhibitions 
  6. Emergency Support
  7. Art / Craft / History projects
  8. Support for Community Group
  9. Business Support
  10. Booking Office
  11. Event Management
  12. Sales for fundraising (Books Mostly)
  13. Parcel Collection
  14. A1 and smaller colour and B&W printing

The HUB was originally set up to be a community resource – a centre of information and communication and a resource which all groups and bodies can use to support events and activities.
It has been agreed as part of the original intent of the new Ballater Working Group, which comprises the Ballater Business Association (Visit Ballater), Ballater (RD) Limited, Ballater & Crathie Community Council and the V&A Halls Trust that it should become a supervisory or governance body to support and provide oversight.
The intent and aspiration is that the Hub should become financially sustainable by generating enough income from the various activities it undertakes, but this is some way off at the moment and therefore there is a discussion about ongoing funding while this income is built up and then the ongoing monitoring of the accounts to ensure that financial sustainability.
Ballater Films Whilst not quite firing on all cylinders at the moment Ballater Films, is still pottering along… Death on the Nile was shown as part of BVW, in association with Crathie Opportunity Holidays, The Flying Scotsman as part of Thrive Bike, Top Gun and Minions 2 as part of the Winter Festival. A Spooky Disco was also run for Ballater PIG for Halloween, with a Quiz on the Sunday and on Halloween itself, a Dance-along Halls projection set up. The equipment, including the new PA System is being used by various groups, including Probus, Ballater Victoria Week and the Ballater Walking Festival.
Ballater Films hopes to get back into showing more regularly in the new year and there are a back-log of films to show. Ideally though a bit more help is required on the organisational front, setting up a programme and getting other groups to join in.
Fundraising. The Trustees wish to acknowledge the support of all donors, charities and organisations which have contributed including The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Trust, the Scottish Government Town Centre Fund, the Place Based Investment Programme, the Cairngorms Trust Green Recovery Fund, SSEN, individual donations and those who have used the Amazon Smiles programme. The 300+ Club continues and has attracted several new members. And a special thank you to the community members (young and a little older) who raised funds for the Halls through local events and teas.
Stan Tongue, Bookings Convenor reports that it has largely been a successful year, following the Covid restrictions, with bookings picking up as the year progressed, with an odd blip due to weather related issues. The  Trust has  seen the return of all pre-covid users, along with a few new users, thanks to the efforts of Catriona Houston chasing events. Currently our main issue is the extreme cold spell, which is making it impossible to heat the halls to a comfortable level, resulting in some groups having to cancel. This issue is being actively addressed.
The Trust appreciates the work done by Stan and Lynda Tongue on Hall Keeping and is pleased to welcome Catherine Mitchell who is assisting with the Halls cleaning. Most users leave the Halls as they find them but here is still a bit of attention required here.
First Aid kits have been updated to comply with the latest HSE guidelines and a procedure put in place to carry out regular checks to ensure if needed they are up to standard.

Note #2 

Available on request.


I have examined all vouchers relative to the receipts and payments account set out herewith. I can certify the papers and records are in order and the total resources display a true reflection as at
30th June,2022.

Mrs P.Downie.
Dated 24thNovember,2022    -
William Meston, Treasurer reports that the year ended 30th. June 2022 was very challenging. However, with the easing of lockdown, income from lets doubled with most user groups back. Donations and fund-raising were also well up. However, to maintain the improvements and to cope with the rising electricity costs we need to focus more on this. One very positive project, introduced by Cat Houston, was the sale of second-hand books. This has produced a great new source of income.

The Chairman has been very successful in obtaining grant aid and we are fortunate to see many of the improvements that have been made. Further projects are being pursued at present.
I will be pleased to answer any queries at the AGM or at any other time.
Note #4 Members indicating that they wish to be elected/re-elected for the coming year:
Lyndsey Boden
Bill Braid
Ed Bushnell
Dr Douglas Glass
Ian Hay
Catriona Houston
Russell Hogg
William Meston
Wallis Riddell
Gordon Riddler
Alan Ross
A maximum of 12 Trustees can serve in any one year. If any further members wish to enter the election please respond by return with a proposer and a seconder to the Chairman at
Gordon Riddler
Trustee and Chairman

Whilst we try to keep the hall hire charges low, they have been held at the current rate for over 4 years, due to the recent increase in the cost of electricity, the halls are now in the position that when the heaters are in use, some events are costing more in electricity than is being charged for the hall hire.

With that in mind a group is currently assessing the hire charges for the halls, which will have to increase to keep the halls open. Once the result of the group is finalised, new hall hire charges will be published.

Please see the latest Minutes from our AGM Held in January

Halls AGM 2022

See below for our latest News.... Check out our Facebook page as well for more information

COVID-19 restrictions have obviously had an impact on the income for the Halls.

BUT YOU CAN HELP at no cost to yourselves.

The Trust is eligible to receive donations from the Amazon Smile programme.

All you have to do is type in your web browser and select Victoria and Albert Halls (Ballater) Trust as your chosen charity. 

Then when ever you shop at, you still pay the same prices for your Amazon shopping and Amazon gives 0.5% of the net purchase price on eligible purchases to the Trust.

Thank you for supporting this important community facility.

Halls Refurbishment 





Victoria Hall / Hub Toilets


Community and Heritage Hub

Building works completed. Awaiting internal fixtures and fittings.

Victoria Kitchen


Victoria Hall Inner Doors

Victoria hall inner doors have been replaced with glazed doors.

Mike Sheridan Room

New curtains fitted.

Water supply

The water supply throughout both hall buildings has been changed from gravity feed to a pressurised system.

Notice to Members of the Victoria and Albert Halls (Ballater) Trust - Data Protection: Notice will be sent to members along with our Data Protection Policy 2018 in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation 2018. 


  • to explain how, why and for how long we will use your personal data;
  • to make members aware of compliance by the Trust with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force on 25th May 2018 as well as ensuring the rights, privacy and security of members’ personal data through its own Data Protection Policy.


Regular meetings of Clubs and other groups are on the calendar but you can also find information at @VAlberthalls on Twitter & our Facebook page, @VictoriaandAlbertHalls.Ballater, where all the major events are listed. 

Fire & Emergency Evacuation Plan (2019) - All Hall users need to be familiar with locations of fire exits, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, defibrillators, etc. Please read the plan and let us know if you have questions whatsoever.

Help Heat the Halls! - Details on how to sponsor a heater in the Halls.

News items are also posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest! Please email our Bookings Secretary,

Photos / Videos / Events: If you have any photos or videos or events at the Halls, historical or recent, please send them to us with a note of how you would like the photographer credited.

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