An “ancient resident” of Rosneath is helping to raising money so locals can revitalise a vacant hall in the village.

The ancient resident in question is a yew tree, approximately 375 years old, which stands next to the Princess Louise Hall.

But the tree was badly damaged when Storm Jocelyn tore across Scotland last week, snapping off branches and a large piece of wood.

The Princess Louise Hall Charity has announced it plans to use these branches to raise vital funds for the building.

And the committee which runs the charity is encouraging local crafters to use the wood to make items that can be sold to raise funds for the effort.

Chairwoman Maggie Irving said: “This tree is the hall’s much-loved neighbour, and the timber has special historic significance, not only to the hall, but to the whole community.”

“The committee felt that the wood should remain here in the village to be made, in time, into objects which can be sold to benefit the community centre enterprise.

“We would love to hear from other local craftspeople working in wood and would be happy to share parts of the timber once it is ready – but we are passionate that it should remain first and foremost part of Rosneath’s heritage.”

Helensburgh Advertiser: The tree was badly damaged during Storm JocelynThe tree was badly damaged during Storm Jocelyn (Image: Princess Louise Hall Charity)

The tree was originally part of an avenue of yews which extended from St Modan’s Church to the now-demolished Clachan House.

Local historian Tom O’Brien-Barden said: “Between the parish church of Rosneath and the Clachan House – an old dowerhouse of the Argylls – there is an avenue of magnificent yew trees; twenty-one are still standing; there have apparently been twenty-four.

“The largest is 12 feet in circumference, about four or five feet from the ground below where the branches spring.

“The remains of a larger one is visible, which fell some years ago, and which was cut across to ascertain the age. The age thus estimated was 240 years.”

As well as heading the charity, Maggie is also a woodturner who raises money for the Maid of the Loch paddle steamer through selling her work.

She, along with any other local wood workers and crafters, will now dry out the timber and allow it to season, so that it can be used within the community.

Anyone interested in being part of the yew project to raise funds for the hall should contact Maggie at