Not all the lockdown time has been wasted with regards to hut use. During a time when booking huts has not been possible, some significant improvements have been made to the Raeburn hut. The need for this arose to solve an electrical fault, caused by overloading of the existing electrical supply.
The main power saving has come from a new LPG water boiler and LPG gas heater installed in the drying room. Also, infrared heaters have been fitted to hallway, dorms, toilets, and showers. These are proving to be ideal in heating the area quicker than before. In addition, the lights have all been changed to LED in the altered areas and LED bulbs to existing fittings elsewhere.
The main visible change to notice will be the toilet and shower layout. It was decided that lockdown would be the most cost-effective time to make improvements to the layout. Also, the relevant trades would be on site to resolve the electrical issues. The existing shower room was in need of upgrading and too small for ease of use, the toilet dedicated to ladies was seldom used as such.
The new layout sees two unisex toilets side by side – both of reasonable size and a large increase to the shower room. Further reduction in electricity use has come from the old shower being changed to a thermostatic shower, which was made possible due to the new gas boiler. Works are now almost complete with minor snagging and commissioning still to do.
Thanks go to the members who gave up their free time to help, including Martin McKenna, Neil Adams, Massa Sakano, Kevin Hall, Dougie Russell, Andrew James for design and tendering works, and especially Gordon Lacey, the new custodian of the Raeburn Hut.
Electric, plumbing and heating works have been carried out by RW Bell of Pitlochry.