Heritage Walk

walkers

Fancy a walk around Kilmarnock town centre, visit a few pubs, have a few drinks and learn lots of things about the town while you do so?

Well, local Historians Gary Torbett, Graham Boyd and Stuart Wilson are here to help you out by leading a heritage walk in and around Kilmarnock town centre on the evening of Thursday 27th August with any proceeds being handed over to the Killie Trust.

In Gary’s own words:

“The walk will be over a fairly short walking distance, will take in a few town centre bars AND you will learn a wee bit about the town’s history….I hope.

A sort of educational pub crawl.

The plan is to start at Fanny By Gaslight at 5.30 / 6pm for a beer (you buy your own BTW) and then head down The Strand, through The Cross, down Sandbed, along St Marnock Street, up Bank Street and along College Wynd to John Finnie Street.

The walk will visit 6 bars along the way so you will have a varied view of the pubs in Killie!! However the point is to get folk out walking, learning and spending a few quid in the town.

The walk is free of charge – like I say, bring your beer money – but I will collect discretionary donations at the end which I will pass to The Killie Trust.”

If you would like any more information don’t hesitate to contact the Trust here, or on facebook or twitter.

Chairman Stands Down at Recent Trust AGM

Last Wednesday at our AGM, Barry Richmond stood down from his role as Trust chairman after 7 years in the seat. In his final chairman’s report Barry highlighted the work the Trust had done in the past year and the key moments. We had two Comedy nights, one of which raised money for the Laurie and Ellie fund and saw us take our stand up showcase to Kilmarnock Rugby Club for the first time before returning to the Sports Bar for our second fundraiser in November. We also had a representative in the Commonwealth Baton Relay which made its way through East Ayrshire on the 21st of June. Also highlighted was the latest on the Trusts attempt to see fan representation on the club board. Although Barry has stepped down as chairman he is staying on the board and will help with a real membership drive in 2015, he had this to say about his time at the helm and the future…

Outgoing Chairman Barry Richmond (right) with Sandy Armour and former club captain Garry Hay at last years 10 year anniversary ball

Outgoing Chairman Barry Richmond (right) with Sandy Armour and former club captain Garry Hay at last years 10 year anniversary charity ball

“Thanks to everyone who attended the Trust AGM last night and especially to my fellow Trust Board directors who have made my job so much easier down the years. It was an honour to serve as chairman for such a length of time and carry on the good work of those who went before me…but change has to happen if progress is to be made and I sincerely hope that our next chairperson will benefit from all that was achieved during my spell in office. It goes without saying that I remain committed to the ideals of the trust and will continue to serve on the board until such times as I am no longer needed…and my focus this year will be on increasing membership to record levels so you have been warned!”

Also standing down but leaving their positions on the Trust board are Nigel Fitzsimmons who served as Secretary, Elaine Millar who was heavily involved in the RBS Community grant win amongst other things, Davie Davidson who was integral to all things membership in his time on board and Sandy Armour who was in charge of the epic success that was Fifty for the Future before it was wound up 2 years ago. We thank them for all their hard work over the years.

Its not all departures however; John Speirs, Jim Thomson, Paul Markac and Gary Torbett have decided to stand again and were all re-elected. A decision on who will take over as chairman will be taken in the new year.

COG Working Party Update – 18th February 2014

COGlogoThe spokesman for the Community Ownership Group Working Party Gary Torbett and Killie Trust Chairman Barry Richmond met with MSP Willie Coffey and Council Leader Douglas Reid at the East Ayrshire Council’s London Road offices yesterday. The meeting was to discuss the ongoing situation at Kilmarnock Football Club and to relate first hand to the politicians what the COG Working Party are all about, where they are at the moment and what they hope to achieve going forward. Talks proved constructive and it is hoped that with their help, and that of Supporters’ Direct, that a dialogue can be opened with KFC Chairman Michael Johnston in regards the best way forward for the club.

Response to Michael Johnston’s Recent Statement

In response to comments made by KFC Chairman Michael Johnston in todays Daily Record Gary Torbett had this to say on behalf of The Killie (Community) Working Party:

“Further to the announcement by The Killie (Community) Working Party [on the 11th of February 2014] of its intention to offer to purchase the shareholding of Michael Johnston, Chairman of Kilmarnock Football Club, in the event that the club were to become debt free, we are extremely disappointed that Mr Johnston has so swiftly and publicly dismissed our intentions.

“It is disappointing that this proposal has been dismissed so early into the process without any constructive dialogue with Mr Johnston. Mr Johnston has offered our group the opportunity to buy a seat on the board should it purchase circa 10% of the unallocated shares in the football club. It would not be appropriate for this particular group to purchase a tranche of shares at this time to obtain a seat on the board of Kilmarnock FC, given our stated purpose.

“The group would welcome, indeed we would urge for, the opportunity to meet with the football club to establish a mutually agreeable route to genuine community ownership, which has the club’s long term future in mind.

“Our doors remain firmly open to Mr Johnston.”

Supporters Direct Scotland has also reiterated its willingness to work with both parties.

COG Working Party Press Release – 11th February 2014

KILMARNOCK FC SUPPORTERS GROUP MAKE OFFER TO PURCHASE THEIR CLUB

The Killie (Community) Working Party, established with support from  Supporters Direct Scotland, has announced its intention to make an offer  to purchase Kilmarnock FC’s Chairman’s entire shareholding.

garybioGary  Torbett, on behalf of The Killie (Community) Working Party, said: “We  would like to acknowledge the work being undertaken by the Chairman of  Kilmarnock Football Club to make the club debt free and would positively  encourage him to make every effort to come to an agreement with the  club bankers and other significant lenders to reduce the debt to zero.   The Killie (Community) Working Party would like to make an offer to  purchase the Chairman’s entire shareholding if this can be achieved.”

“This  offer would be contingent on a fair valuation of the company and the  completion of a satisfactory due diligence process.  This purchase would  be undertaken by a new Community Interest Company (CIC) with a  democratically elected board.”

Scottish-FansPaul Goodwin, Head of Supporters  Direct Scotland said, “I met with Michael Johnston, on behalf of The  Killie (Community) Working Party, on Friday [7th February] and conveyed  the outline of the supporters’ offer.  I reiterated SDS’ willingness to  assist in progressing this offer to a satisfactory conclusion for both  parties.”

Gary Torbett added: “We see this move as a genuine step forward as we prepare to get our club back.

Unfortunately  there remains concern amongst supporters with the long term position of  the club and we firmly believe that fan and community ownership is  where that lies rather than relying on a single majority shareholder who  won’t be around for ever.  The only constants at any club are the fans  and the community it is based in.”

“We will shortly launch our formal efforts to raise the money to take  the club into community ownership and we hope that the business  community – both private and public – as well as community groups and  supporters will get behind us.”

Kilmarnock fans have a history of successful fundraising and  community involvement. Over £100,000 has been directly raised for the  Club’s youth development programme and a number of initiatives driven by  The Killie Trust have seen financial awards to a many community based  projects in recent years.

The Killie (Community) Working Party is made up, in no particular order, of:

  • The Killie Trust
  • The Kilmarnock FC Supporters Association
  • Minority shareholders in Kilmarnock FC
  • The Business Club
  • Young Kilmarnock

Issued on behalf of The Killie (Community) Working Party by Supporters Direct Scotland.

For further information please contact Paul Goodwin on 07702 252519 or Gary Torbett  on 07905 478179