We enjoyed a lovely day at the Retreat yesterday as we officially opened the Pier.
Last year Cathal Morgan (architect in Tony Kettle’s practice and our day to day architect for the Retreat) designed a pier that complemented the Retreat perfectly. We got planning consent and then we were introduced to the lovely folks at the Wooden Spoon Charity and after consideration they agreed to fund the Pier. What we didn’t know at the time was that our estimate was way off base!
However, we met up with the folks from George Leslie, a contractor more used to building huge piers. They said that they would love to build our pier and it was to be the smallest they had built and that the funding we had in place from the Wooden Spoon charity would be fine. (I think they have called it a cost-minus project though also acknowledge how rewarding it was to support us).
It was a massive construction job – we had a huge crane (if you know the site, you can imagine how tricky it was to get the crane to the site) and some days the weather was kinder than others but the guys kept going.
The curved end of the pier – the shelter – was funded by a private donation and that is made of glulam beams- made in Austria because no one in the UK was able to bend the beams to the curve required.
It really is a beautiful pier and allows families the chance to sit and look down the loch enjoying the stunning views. If they are experienced sailors and want to hire a sail boat or canoe the nearby Loch Venachar sailing club is happy to help. And if they have no experience, the sail club is happy to offer tuition or just take the family out on the water.
Yesterday, President of the Wooden Spoon in Scotland, the rugby legend that is Gavin Hastings, officially opened the pier. Several trustees from the Wooden Spoon came along too as did CEO of George Leslie, John McNaught and Ross Ritchie, also from George Leslie and Tony Kettle, architect of Ripple Retreat.
We were extra lucky in that as her next race is in Newcastle, one of our Patrons, Lynsey Sharp, was able to attend. She had visited the Retreat when it was a muddy building site and so was blown away by its beauty now that it is finished.
The pier represents a fabulous collaboration between two charities ( us and the wonderful Wooden Spoon charity), two businesses (George Leslie, the pier contractors and indeed several other businesses who supported them. Glulam Solutions for the curved shelter), our incredibly talented architect team at Kettle Collective and a private donor for funding the curved shelter – we are grateful to them all for providing this stunning addition to our Ripple Retreat. It will enhance the experience of every family who stays at Ripple Retreat.
Thanks to one of our Lead Ambassadors, Elaine Whellans for some cracking photos from the day.