The Alness Community Association Ltd
The Alness Community Association Ltd is registered in Scotland (No 128982) and has charitable status. It incorporates the Alness & District Times, Ross FM and the Alness Civic Centre Project.
Alness Community Association is one of the oldest community groups in Alness. It began life in the '30s as Alness Shopkeepers Association and then in 1945 after the war a group of local people, business people, farmers and professional people from Alness and Ardross revived it as the Alness Ratepayers Association.
There were members from the whole village and surrounding district and committee members were voted on by ballot of the whole village. Democracy came early to Alness!
The huge sea change came to Alness in the late 1960s when the oil industry and an aluminium smelter were built nearby; Alness became the dormitory town and grew to 8,500 people in about three years, from a steady population of 1000 - 1200 during the previous several hundred years.. The Ratepayers Association had to evolve to encompass all the new towns-people.
In 1969 Alness Ratepayers Association became Alness Community Association and the Association was heavily involved at that time in the integration of all our new arrivals. Many clubs were set up and ACA held dances and functions to welcome the new towns-people.
Over the years since then ACA has played a large part in the running of the town. It was the umbrella organisation which helped many small clubs get started; it ran Galas and functions throughout the years and in 1989 became Alness Community Association Ltd. a charitable company limited by guarantee.
Also in 1989 ACA Ltd began the Alness and District Times, our local community newspaper which is produced by local volunteers in the community office and comes out on the first Thursday of each month. The November 2002 issue is the 141st edition.
In 1991 and 1994 Alness Community Association Ltd hosted the Scottish Pipe Band Championships. Over a hundred pipe bands and almost 10,000 people descended on Alness. Many went away certain it was the best Pipe Band Championships they had ever attended.
ACA Ltd now has a large archive of history and photographs which are in continuous use, as they are put on public display in a changing rotation in the Heritage Centre at 102-106 High Street. In past years such exhibitions, featuring Alness at War, etc. were mounted in the Perrins Centre during the annual Alness Gala Week. Since the opening of the Heritage Centre some eighteen months ago large numbers of visitors have been attracted to the permanent but changing exhibitions there. Many ex-service personnel have returned to their RAF days in Alness in the 1940's and are so happy and grateful that their comrades are being remembered.
Exhibition subjects are RAF Coastal Command in Alness; Alness at War; the History of the 'local regiments' the Seaforth Highlanders and the Cameron Highlanders; Farming and Distilling; Alness and her people – and the very successful 'Alness in Bloom' Project. Large groups of school children use the centre regularly and local WRIs and Women's Guilds also visit.
This year the volunteers who staff the Centre have helped many visitors from overseas to trace their roots and as, the archive grows, they will be able to help many more.
We at the Heritage Centre hope that when you visit Alness, on the Web or in person, you will get in touch with ACA Ltd. We are always delighted to meet people with Alness connections or old Alnessians, people with an interest in old history or people who are looking for a friendly town with attractive shops, beautiful flowers and lovely surrounding country-side.
For further information, contact:
The Alness Community Association Ltd
102-106 High St
Ross & Cromarty
Tel: 01349 883005
Fax: 01349 884224
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