Update on Furnace and Inveraray Surgeries

Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) is delighted to announce
that following a competitive recruitment process Dr Robert Coull has been successful
in his application to take over the General Medical Services (GMS) contract for the
Furnace and Inveraray Medical Practice.

The HSCP would also like to thank Lochgilphead Medical Practice, who held the
previous GMS contract, for their work caring for the patients at Furnace and
Inveraray as well as their assistance during the recent recruitment process. The
HSCP will now be working with the staff involved in the change of GMS contract to
ensure there is a smooth transition for them when they move to their new employer.
Fiona Duff, Interim Head of Primary Care for the HSCP, said:

“I am delighted that we have been successful in appointing a General Medical
Services contract for the Furnace and Inveraray Practice and I look forward to
working with Dr Coull when he takes over the delivery of services from 1 August.
“We would like to thank the local community for their ongoing engagement with the
HSCP over the last few months and also those community representatives who
helped us with the recruitment process and interviews.”

Dr Robert Coull said:

We are delighted to be offered the opportunity to provide GP services to the patients of the Furnace and Inveraray Surgery from the 1st of August, and we are really looking forward to working with the new patient Participation Group and the HSCP as we develop the future service.

Dr Coull also holds the GMS contract for Strachur Medical
and will continue to provide services from Strachur as well.


Auction Night

Kenny working his magic and playing the part of auctioneer perfectly, helped by his equally able assistant, Mark.

Furnace Village Hall was packed to capacity on Friday evening (3 June 2022) as it seemed the entire village turned out for the eagerly awaiting our Grand Auction.

There was an air of hushed anticipation as Auctioneer Kenny Miller and Able Assistant Mark Boston took their places surrounded by a tempting array of objects, ranging from a beautifully turned and polished wooden oak bowl, through glittering hand-made jewellery  to oil paintings of local scenes and interspersed with mysterious looking envelopes with only the lot number on the front.

The evening quickly turned to one of fun and laughter as Kenny played the audience to perfection, hecklers emerged and there were moments of high tension as  the bidding for some items  went into the high hundreds.

Andy Henderson, one of the organisers said, “The whole evening went better than we could ever have hoped for. We raised £4,200 for charities to be split between the Hall Fund and a Ukrainian Refugee charity and that’s simply amazing for a small village like ours and a real tribute to our community.”

She continued, “ There are so many people to thank that it would be impossible to name them all, but I would like to say a massive “Thank You” to all the individuals and businesses that donated items and experiences, to everyone who made a bid, whether successful of not and to everyone who put their time, effort and skills into making the whole evening so enjoyable.”

The top bid was for £705 for a This is Your Life research and book, whilst a painting by  local artist Ann Dodd went for £350.

Photos by Lynda Syed and Emma Hawthorne Irons.


Furnace Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning

Furnace Village Hall was able to finally fling open it’s freshly painted doors wide on Saturday 23rd after a long 19 months sleep due to Covid to host a well-attended Macmillan Cancer Support Coffee Morning.

Guests were welcomed with a bowl of hearty soup made by Cindy from the Village Shop. This was eagerly ‘washed down’ with tea and coffee, which in turn was soaked up by sandwiches and cake…and plenty of it! All made by bakers within the village. The cups were refilled, the plates refreshed throughout the morning leading up to the raffle with donated prizes, including a print of Furnace from The Harbour Gallery, a hamper full of local produce, Avon products and an amazing Topsy Turvy Cake, very much a team effort from four bakers in the village.

“ The event exceeded all our expectations” said Ruth Tott, organizer of the day, “We raised a staggering £780 which will go straight to Macmillan to help them offer valuable emotional, physical and mental support when people need it most. This was very much a team effort and want to thank the washer uppers, the servers, the bakers, the ‘meeters and greeters’ for the day.


End of Summer Bash

The sun shone down on Furnace once more for our well-deserved End of Summer Bash – as good a reason for the village to turn out in force as anything recently. With over 200 folk attending the stalls did a roaring trade, and a wide range of produce was on offer from cosmetics, wax melts and Avon toiletries to cream teas, woodcraft, cakes, dog treats, jigsaws and jewellery. Plus the event had Furnace’s very own hairdresser, Lynsey McKinnon on site, cutting hair to raise funds for the school along with Laura Taylor’s wonderful cupcakes. As usual the tombola was a top draw with many happy winners hugging their booty in either bottles or boxes. Outdoor Bingo proved a huge hit too – something we are almost certainly going to repeat at future summer events. And many thanks too to David and Cindy from the Village Shop who ran a street food stall, generously donating all the proceeds from the sales of burgers to the village hall floor fund. In all the day raised £622 to go towards the restoration of the village hall floor, and a jolly good time was had by one and all.

There are many more fund-raising activities being planned over the next few months including a MacMillan Coffee Morning on 16th October, a race and curry night, a cocktail evening, sing-a-long events, a pop-up market in November, and a Christmas Market in December. For more up-to-date info check out the village website and facebook site over the coming weeks and months.



Many of you may have heard through the Furnace grapevine that there are problems underneath the hall floor.

This has been an ongoing issue and we decided to get a full survey done of the hall. This was to include the floor, the roof, the wall, ventilation, rainwater goods, essentially all aspects of the hall, toilets, kitchen and bar area. All the money raised at our very successful Easter Weekend Fund Raising Event has been ring fenced to go towards the costs of this much needed restoration.

The surveyor was Ewan Stewart of Bowman Stewart and runs to 22 pages, including several pages of pictures. Ewan noted that he had visited many similar village halls and that our hall was in remarkably good condition for it’s age. Please contact Elaine at [email protected] if you would like to read the survey.

  1. For those who don’t have a spare afternoon to wade through the report the main (Urgent) points are listed below.
  2. Probably built in the late 19th century, the hall is in overall good condition and structurally sound.
  3. Urgent – Overhaul/renew rainwater goods – This is being done under the Hall Renovations programme.
  4. Urgent – Address poor slating at rear pitch/replace slipped slate on front – This will need to addressed asap.
  5. Urgent – Some significant decay to the joist ends and the moisture content of the joists and the wall plate were excessive. There are also beads of moisture to the underside of the floorboards suggesting condensation is a problem. Although the floor structure is not considered unsafe, repairs are needed to prevent deterioration and address what appears to be a longstanding problem with moisture.
  6. Staining to the hall ceiling was noted and this corresponds to water ingress due to the missing slate.

Point 3 & 4 above are the 2 urgent areas of concern. Our next step is to have the perimeter floorboards lifted and inspected to ascertain the extent of the rot. We will then be at the point of being able to get quotes to do the jobs. We will be looking at Grant funding and probably more fundraising.

There were other repairs noted as being needed in the survey. Some of these are already underway in the Hall Renovation programme. Those that aren’t included are recommended as being done in a 5–10 year period.

If you have any questions about this or any other matter you think the SCIO can help with, please get in touch. We’ll do our very best to answer your questions.

Furnace Community SCIO – Working on behalf of the Village and People of Furnace



NB This photo is for illustrative purposes only! It is not going to be this colour.

In December 2020 the SCIO was rewarded a grant of £12468.40 from An Suidhe Find farm Trust to enable much needed hall refurbishments. The list of the work, which is already underway, is set out below. The SCIO feel the works are long overdue and it will be great to have the hall looking new and refreshed for when we are able to open and host events again.

Electrical works

  • Replace 4 x ceiling lights with 4 x LED equivalents, hanging on chains
  • Wire new socket in entrance hall
  • Change 3 no heating points to twin sockets in bar area (inc new RCBO)
  • Wire external socket on side of shed in garden area
  • Wire 3 x external lights on rear fence, switched from inside shed
  • Replace fluorescent light with LED equivalent in store

Interior and exterior painting and decorating

  • Rub down, fill, caulk all external woodwork
  • Undercoat and apply 2 coats of weather shield external gloss to external woodwork
  • Re-putty, fill, caulk and make good all external windows.
  • Spot prime bare wood on windows
  • Undercoat and apply 2 coats weather shield external gloss to windows
  • Stain Block all damp areas through hall
  • Sand down all woodwork in hall
  • Fill, caulk and undercoat all woodwork in hall
  • Gloss spray all woodwork in hall
  • Fix all cracked plasterwork in hall
  • Spray emulsion walls and ceilings in hall

General Work

  • Supply and fit new 5 lever mortice latch to front door
  • Supply 10 x keys for new lock
  • Replace any rotten timbers to external facia and soffit
  • Supply and fit new black seamless aluminium guttering
  • Supply and fit new black upvc downpipes

Another Fund Raising Success

Furnace Community SCIO 04/04/2021 

After a full year of lockdown and only being able to see and talk to folk at a distance, Furnace had an Easter Saturday to remember this year. The SCIO wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support of the Easter Raffle and to those who came to the event outside the village shop. 

After raising £600 for the Christmas Raffle, we wondered whether it would too soon to ask for more donations, more raffle ticket buying. It soon became clear that, as always, it wasn’t too much to ask. We raised a magnificent £760! 

David and Cindy, super keen as always to help out, said they would host the tombola,(and what a tombola it was!) table top sales and the Easter Egg Hunt for the kids. Not a rep or a customer was allowed out the shop without donating or buying. 

Meanwhile the bakers and gardeners of the village and surrounds were busy making delicious cakes for the cake stall. Seeds were planted, nurtured and potted on. Plants were lifted, divided and begged to thrive.  

A couple of SCIO members had the unenviable task of separating and folding thousands of raffle tickets.. so much fun!! 

And so to the day. Would all that effort be worth it? Would anyone come? Would we be able to raise even more money? 

The answer of course was YES! The turnout was amazing, way beyond expectation. Everyone adhered to the Face Mask and No Hugging (So, so difficult)) rules but the smiles as people greeted their friends and neighbours could not be hidden despite the masks. Watching the kids running round looking for Easter eggs and the Golden Egg to win the giant bunny was a joy to see. Everyone attending waited patiently in the queues at all the stalls and no-one minded because the sun shone for us. What a glorious day. 

 So all the baking and planting and coaxing donations and ticket sales, the sore feet when it was all over… worth every minute.  

Overall we raised a magnificent £1923.50 

From everyone on the SCIO to all the Furnace Folk & Friends 

Thank You – This kind of money is raised only by your huge and continued generosity 

All money raised will be going towards the Hall Floor Fund – More news on this coming soon 


Furnace Fundraiser Raffle

The kitchen table awash with raffle donations

A fantastic result with Furnace Folk yet again so generous with their donations of chocolates, whisky, wine and other foodie delights along side a couple of reindeer. A big thanks to the shop for promoting the raffle and selling the raffle tickets. There were 23 prizes and the raffle raised £600 Raffle. The money will be split between Shelter, Furnace School and the Church.

Prizes were given to: Macintosh, Nicola Mclean, the Joynsons, Robbie Bell, Bake, John Gillies, Cameyo, Mow, Alison (Garry’s mum), Adele Sinclair, Alma, David Sinclair, Maureen, Jan Brown, Hamish, Margaret Moncur, Eva Pattinson, Adam and Rachel, David and Cindy, and Phil and Val.


History Walk

By popular request local historian Duncan Beaton lead a party (with masks on and keeping our distance) around the village pointing out bits of interest linked to Furnace’s history. Redwell Park, for instance, is so named as there was a well at the bottom which had red water due to the iron, the Galloping Brae was down the hill from Auchindrain coming into Furnace at the start of what we know of now as Leacainn Forest Walk, galloping because the horses picked up speed. We saw parts of the old bridge, were shown where shops once stood proud and flourishing and numerous churches stood serving a busy community.

We discovered old bridges, found out about the shops and quite a bit about the characters that trod the well worn paths through the village through the years.

More history walks are being planned, including a trip around the drovers ways in Spring. If you are interested then keep a look out on the village notice board and on Everything Furnace Facebook page or contact ruthtott(at)


2020 Christmas Lights

It’s not normal behavior to take an evening stroll, walk through neighbours gardens and peer in their windows but on Friday 4th December this year, the year of Covid-19, things were a bit different as Furnace Christmas lights were switched on and many of villagers took up the challenge to decorate their windows in a Winter Wonderland scene. 

10, 9, 8….The Lights go on.

The weather was perfect, a cold, star filled sky. Everyone had dressed appropriately and with the addition of face masks, it was hard to recognise friends and neighbours. The big countdown commenced and low & behold the tree and hall lit up to the sound of clapping, gasps and hurrah! The crowd then joined in a hearty rendition of some Carols led by Furnace’s own Wilf & Barbra Stout. 

The village walk then commenced with various groups taking different paths and roads. And what a sight it was, so many people had put in so much effort. There were snowmen, lots of Santa’s, robins and angels, stars and lights galore.

We even had a stained glass window & a tiny street of houses lit up and surrounded by fir trees. So much to see and of course, we had to walk through gardens to have a closer look. We must give a special mention to the giant reindeer, all hand made by David, which popped up in various gardens. 

Overall, it was a sight to see and having spoken to Furnace Folk on the walk, it was obvious that not only did everyone love and appreciate the effort that had been put in but they thoroughly enjoyed the time spent chatting to friends they hadn’t seen much throughout the long months that had gone before.