We took the keys just before Easter and began to contemplate our folly in the pouring rain. Water poured off the bedrock in to the back passage area, overloading the drains which just about managed to cope:
Two skips were quickly loaded with debris and junk. The kitchen was in a sorry state, tiles covered with grease and all the equipment removed. Much of the tiling felt hollow, so off it came, revealing distinctly flaky surfaces behind. Having taken much of the wall area back to the structure, it feels as if the room can breathe again, but there’s still a way to go before we’ll be cooking in there…
There was a strange detail of a gutter under a beam where the pool table had been. We were told that this had been put there to stop water dripping on the table! It was fairly obvious where the water was coming from; a balcony above sloped inward and had nothing to stop water seeping below the doors. What was less obvious was that someone had supported half of the floor above (with the balcony doors) on to one tiny timber that spanned half way across the pub on to another small timber to which a token strengthening effort had been made. To top all this off, we then found loads of bricks in the ceiling.
Jane and Bethan went off to see the Arran Banner who, along with pretty much everyone else we spoke to about our plans, were very positive and welcomed our plans to keep the PHT as a pub rather than be converted to flats as had seemed to be the likely future of the building.
In clearing out the junk, we came across an old aerial photograph which showed a fantastic garden to the rear with walkways and steps up the bank, none of which was evident to a casual glance. A bit of jungle exploration revealed that some of the structure of these walkways remain. Certainly the garden and bank is full of interesting plants, a bit of a ‘lost garden’ perhaps waiting for rediscovery.
Lots of measurements were taken and plans drawn, we would like to create an area on the roof from which guests can appreciate the vista of Lamlash Bay and Holy Isle.