FoSH 3rd AGM : Monday 23 May 2016

 Further to the post on our 3rd AGM, please find the Notice & Agenda below. After the formal business of the evening, we will make a presentation on the plans to restore Seafield House by econstruct design & build and an update on FoSH research into Sir William Arrol






Third Annual General Meeting (AGM)

of the

Friends of Seafield House (FoSH)

will be held on

Monday 23 May 2016



at the

Ellisland House Hotel

19 Racecourse Rd, Ayr KA7 2TD


All Members – FoSH Friends – are invited to attend


Following the AGM, a presentation will be made on the plans for the restoration of Seafield House by econstruct design & build and an update on FoSH research into Sir William Arrol


  1. Welcome and opening remarks from Patrick Lorimer, FoSH Chair
  2. Ordinary business

2.1 To receive a Report from the Management Committee on the last year’s activities

2.2 To receive and approve an examined Report on the Statement of Accounts and Balance Sheet for the year to 31st March 2016 together with the Examiner’s report

2.3 To receive and agree the Base Budget for the ensuing year

2.4 To appoint an independent Examiner to examine the accounts for the ensuing year

3.0 Elections

3.1 To conduct the election of the Management Committee (“one third of the Management Committee shall retire annually and shall be eligible for re-election” – FoSH Founding Deed)

4.0 Founding Deed

4.1 To consider any Amendment(s) to the Founding Deed (Amendments to the Founding Deed may be proposed at the AGM)

By order of the FoSH Management Committee Friends of Seafield House, c/o 4 Eglinton Terrace, Ayr KA7 1JJ

 Tea/coffee & shortbread will be served (£2 – donation appreciated)

It would be helpful in gauging numbers for refreshments, if you would kindly advise the FoSH Secretary by Monday 16 May 2016 that you plan to attend. Contact: Lianne Hackett, FoSH Secretary:


Lightning Strike at Seafield

It has been a balmy, sunny day in Glasgow, very much like the one reported in this newspaper clipping from 8  May 1889. Except that on that day the weather changed and a thunderstorm broke out over Glasgow and across Ayrshire causing a lot of damage.  In particular, it mentions a lightning strike at Seafield House, at the time of its construction.   A plumber and some of the masons and gardeners who were working on the house and grounds felt a shock, followed by sickness, when the lighting struck near to where they were standing. Although no storms for us today, 127 years later we are still caught out by heavy rain and hail showers in May.

newspaper article entitled Severe Thunderstorm, describing events at Seafield House

Dundee Courier, 8 May 1889

Original Plan of William Arrol’s Seafield at NRS

A recent trip to visit the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh uncovered a collection of plans for Seafield House, including the original plan  surveyed in April 1888.  Although the architect is not given on the plan it will be the work of Clarke & Bell and R.A. Bryden who designed Seafield House for William Arrol.

Architects colour plan of the house, out-buildings and surrounding lands

Plan of the lands of Seafield, Ayrshire, Apr 1888, National Records of Scotland, RHP34983/2

The original house where Willliam Arrol took up the tenancy of Seafield is shown at the top of the plan.  It is assumed that Arrol continued to live there whilst his grand mansion was being built.  A later plan by R.A. Bryden & Robertson architects shows changes made on the estate .  The original house had been removed, a ground floor servants’ hall added to the east wing of the new house, the stable block, cottages and gate lodge extended and more glasshouses and outbuildings added.  Also, the original design for a rectangular conservatory was altered to incorporate a bow shaped entrance with a fountain, as can be seen in the 1890 photographs of the entrance and of the conservatory.

Black and white architects drawing of seafield house, outbuildings and lands surrounding

Plan of the lands of Seafield, Ayrshire, National Records of Scotland RHP34983/1

Another series of plans show the water, gas and electricity supply within the house and it is interesting to note that both gas and modern electric lighting were installed.  The plans also show a salt-water pipe fed from the Firth of Clyde and it is thought that this would have supplied the salty baths which Sir William Arrol enjoyed for health benefits.

Together with the plans held by Ayrshire Archives, RCAHMS photographs and other records a very clear picture of the house can be drawn up.  We now know so much about, its design, layout, style, comforts, how people lived in it and how it changed during the late 19th and 20th century.  It will be interesting to see what changes the new development will bring in the 21st century.

For anyone wanting to see the plans copies will be on show at the FoSH AGM on the 23rd May.