The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans
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Afternoon Teas with Style!
Many congratulations to Rebecca, Grace, Freya, Laureen, Madelieine and Lucy for serving such delicious cakes, sandwiches and scones for their many visitors to enjoy. The girls were raising money to allow the P7s from Strathyre School to continue going to Ardmay House for residential visits. They raised a magnificent £609.30 over the two days. They would like to thank all the mums for their tasty baking - and they have this to say: “It was a great effort by all concerned and we would like to thank everyone who came along to support us on what was a lovely weekend with a great community atmosphere.” The girls said they had enjoyed being waitresses for the weekend and will be an asset to any of the local businesses in a few years time - or even competition!
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Editor’s Bit We always try to be topical so this month we have various references to sport in several of the articles. Probably one of the most important is the opening of the new astro pitch at Mclaren, which will certainly be of benefit to all the youngsters and any slightly older sports people. Closer to home is the possibility of re-opening the tennis courts at Strathyre where I would love to see if I still have a backhand return and, of course there is football, a chance for “Scottish” teams to have fun on the 13th in a 5 a-side tournament down at the bottom of Balquhidder Glen (or is that at the top of the Glen I can feel angry letters coming!) And even a book on the subject of Scotland’s sporting grounds. We were also lucky enough to get invitations to two receptions in Perth (oh the perks of being an editor, always willing to share the highs and lows) which I can really recommend either to your visitors or even a trip yourself. The first was to the Ryder Cup at the Museum and the second was to see the Prestonpans Tapestry in St John’s Kirk, neither place I have to confess we had been to before but both beautiful buildings ad exhibitions very well presented. Perhaps after two months of controversial articles peace has returned but hopefully someone can provide something to provoke debate for next month. JJ
The following readings were taken at ‘Bramblings’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder for the month of MAY 2014. Average max temp Actual max temp Average min temp Actual min temp
15.6 ºC 22.0 7.6 3.2
60.0 ºF 71.0 45.6 37.7
Rainfall 7.4cms 2.9ins Strongest wind gust: 30mph on 16 May 2
! E K I B N YER
On Saturday 6th September Balquhidder hosts its very first
promising a fun day out for everyone - whether they be keen mountain bikers, keen road cyclists or simply families with bicycles. Based at the village hall and making use of the National 7 Cycle Route, the Kirkton Glen Forestry tracks and Kirkton Field, the day promises something for all ages with: All day food with coffee, tea, home baking and an all day BBQ Free bicycle clinics/checks from Wheels Cycling Centre Treasure hunts for cyclists and those on foot A Fun tent with kids facepainting ‘n’ stuff A kids’ bike agility course in Kirkton field A Big Noisy Family Bike Parade lead by the pipers and bikers of Balquhidder A Kirkton Glen Mountain Bike Ascent Race for keen mountain bikers A Race round the new National 7 Cycle Loop for keen road cyclists A series of 3 short “run and bike” Duathlons for all ages If you have no wheels or simply don’t fancy pedalling then we do hope you’ll dig out your claxons, horns and bells and come along for the fun of it to make a big noise supporting and encouraging the riders as they depart and return from their pedalling antics. To top the day off we have a BYO Ceilidh/Party in the hall from 8pm with “Jock the Box” and “Alpine Road”
Mark it in your diary and get pedalling over the summer!! For full information please see the webpage at www.balquhidder.info
The recently formed self-help/support group is changing its monthly meeting place on the 5th July from the Old Bank Restaurant in Callander to the conservatory in the Trust Housing flats in North Church Street. When they were asked what they would like to call the group, it was suggested ‘The Optimists’ might be apt as, despite the difficulties in acquiring recognition and help from the medical profession, sufferers from these painful and debilitating illnesses somehow manage to keep going within limitations that are sometimes severe, and to keep hoping for an improvement in their health and circumstances. Meeting together is not a ‘pity party’ but a good-humoured social occasion where there is no need to explain or to apologise for cognitive dysfunction or physical debility. There is also a helpful exchange of up-to-date research information and hints about how to cope. The group usually meets on the first Saturday of the month at 2.00pm. For further information, please contact Alexandra Russell at email@example.com.
The St Fillans Bit
by John Murray
For some time now local concern has been expressed over the ‘encampments’ which appear on the lochside in lay bys and on grass verges between St Fillans and Lochearnhead during the summer months. The letter in The Villagers last month from visitors Alan & Hazel Richards expressed their views on the problem and a villager has asked me to highlight the problem in this issue. The National Park has introduced controls over long term camps on other lochs but not, as yet on Loch Earn. As far as I can see from (limited) internet research there are no laws which prohibit long term parking in lay bys. It seems that 20 years ago some law was passed restricting such parking to 8 hours but was never enforced, or might even have been rescinded, because folk such as long distance lorry drivers and genuine tourists need to be able to use lay bys as rest areas. But it must surely be illegal to park caravans and motor homes for weeks on the grass verges at the side of a trunk road which happens here every summer? Some years back I was given a formal notice to remove some large stones which I placed on the grass verge at Achray House to prevent people driving up onto my foreshore lawn – it was seemingly illegal to create any obstruction within two metres of the side of a trunk road. PC Will Diamond – your thoughts? I admit to having mixed views on the problem since, in my younger years, I was an avid motorcycle camper, back packer, caravanner and motor home user and toured many a mile through Scotland, England and France. Whilst many times we would stay on organised camp sites I also loved the freedom to ‘wild camp’ – to stop where the whim took me, my home on wheels being self sufficient - and to stay a few days by the side of a lake or mountain stream. We now enjoy living in a superb area of natural beauty but I remember as a younger city dweller how great was to escape to places like Loch Earn for a few days. We are lucky to be able to afford to live in rural Perthshire but we can’t close off our countryside to those not so fortunate. So I guess the question is - how do we differentiate between genuine folk who just want to experience the joys of our loch, and those who build an encampment with the obvious problems of human waste disposal and anti-social behaviour? which in turn puts off the genuine tourists on whom our economy depends to some extent. It’s not an easy one but it has to be tackled. The National Parks Officer tasked with trying to solve the problem is Charlotte Wallace (charlotte.wallace@ lochlomond-trossachs.org) and she says that the more local input she receives will make it easier to prioritise the Loch Earn problem – so if you feel strongly, take five minutes to email her. Continued overleaf
The St Fillans Bit
(Continued from Page 3)
I have to pick up on the two ‘Soapbox’ letters last month which were in response to Alistair Barclay’s piece the previous month about community spirit in Lochearnhead. Firstly, well done Alistair for provoking two responses – in all my many years of writing for The Villagers I’ve never had a single letter sent in to the Editor in response to anything I’ve written! More seriously, as an old git in his 70s, I have experienced both sides of Alistair’s problem. In my early years in St Fillans I was involved heavily in both organising and supporting community events and fund raisers and I couldn’t understand the villagers who didn’t want to be involved in or support local events. I was told then that some villagers just wanted to live their own lives. I found that strange. Now I’m one who just wants to live my peaceful life, enjoy my mobility buggy rides in the hills, watch my sport on Sky etc. I don’t enjoy quiz nights (mainly ‘cos my aged brain can’t come up with the answers) but am happy to donate to them. I don’t enjoy noisy environments because I can’t hear conversation. I, like so many others, donate on a monthly basis to chosen charities close to our hearts so do not feel the need to donate to every local fund raiser. But I like to think that I still have ‘community spirit’ – I’m ever ready to help anyone in bother and I know that I only need to ask to get reciprocal help from virtually anybody in the village. I think the old adage ‘live and let live’ applies very much in rural communities. Here’s a pic of the new sculpture in the loch in front of The Four Seasons.
Last year Andrew had three sculptures on loan but this year he has commissioned a permanent one from Rob Mulholl of Aberfoyle - and a mighty fine thing it is. I am told that the piece is based on a photo of Andrew as a (much) younger man when he was heavily into fitness, but that is not confirmed. Mary tells me of some changes in opening hours – The Bistro is now open 4
all day on Saturday but on Sunday the Restaurant is open for Roast Lunches from 12 till 2.30pm then the Bistro opens from 3 onwards. Every day sandwiches, soup, cream teas and club meals are available from 3 till 6. Sorry to see Head Chef Didier depart for a position closer to his family, but new Chef David is in place – more of that next month. After my mention last month of the seemingly dire progress on the renovation of The Drummond I’ve been told by a villager with extensive property development experience that he is now giving input to Arran Brewers in producing specifications, tender packages and a realistic programme for further works. The intended programme seemed much more believable than some of the wildly optimistic predictions previously publicised. I did suggest to Mr Michaluk, MD of Arran Brewers, in early June that with that in mind he might like to take the opportunity of using these pages to promote the planned works and put a more positive ‘spin’ on the project but I did not receive a response. However there seems to be a bit more happening there in the last two weeks. We can only wait and see. I had an interesting meet with Marcus Salter (Dundurn Walk developer) this week and he tells me that the major problems on the first development which were discussed at recent Community Council meetings are now resolved. The road has been adopted by P&K; the flooding problem has been sorted out by Tayside Contracts at no cost since the defunct Genesis Properties had in place a bond to cover the cost. All outstanding remedial works have been done and a solution to the problem of the communal parking area in the quadrangle has been found and instigated (I didn’t even know there was a problem there). So there might be more support now for the next proposed phase of the development? Another thing I didn’t know was that Marcus is a Cub Scout Leader in Comrie. He became involved a couple of years ago as he took his laddie to the cubs then collected him afterwards but thought the double journey was pointless so started helping as a Parent Helper. When the leader moved on Marcus undertook the necessary training and checks to lead the group – the Perthshire 21st
(Comrie and Dundurn) Group. There are some 32 members as either Cubs (8 -10 years) or Beavers (6-8 years). They meet weekly in The White Church and their training is very much activity lead with Challenge Badges awarded for completing community challenges which in turn lead to a Silver Award for Cubs or a Bronze for Beavers which come with a certificate signed by Bear Grylls which are much treasured. The group are self funded by parental contribution and fund raisers carried out by the lads which include a Christmas post service, supermarket bag packing and the like. This funding allows the group to enjoy Parent-Cub camps, residential courses and, in July, a day at the Commonwealth Games to watch the Rugby Sevens with 36 lads and 7 adults going along. A brilliant experience for the boys.
Marcus is pictured here in The Stocks at a fund raiser – a bit of Dundurn Walk irony? Just goes to show that even the village ogre has another side (yes, Marcus knows I call him that). Hopefully the ogre image will fade as the next part of the development eventually proceeds and all can live in harmony. Finally and not unconnected with the above, many of you know that I destroyed my Taiwanese off road mobility buggy in 10 months (do you take it out in the rain the supplier asked – dooooh). I now have a new UK made machine which costs far too much but is designed for UK conditions and takes me merrily about the hills with my trusty spaniel. A couple of weeks ago I met two guys in smart clothes up by the power station, taking in the lovely view down the loch. We conversed, most folk do when they see my buggy, and the older guy said “why do politicians and countries always want to do battle when we inhabit such a wonderful Earth?” After ten minutes I assumed that they were staying in The Four Seasons. No... they were Jehova’s Witnesses! Their message was understood by a confessed atheist. JM
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On Thursday 12th June we had our presentation of trophies for our Inn and Bistro winter darts tournament. Once again it was a very competitive event with some new faces taking part and very welcome they were and a big thank you for joining us. Well done to our leading players this year (pictured) who are as follows. First Lady Linda Anderson
Overall Winner Runner up (yours truly) Third place
Arthur Crammon Wullie Dalziel Emma Richards
Arthur also took the special prize for the highest three dart checkout of 106!! Can I just say a massive thank you to Steve and staff for looking after us and the wonderful food that was always made available during this most enjoyable tournament which is played in the most friendliest of terms and something we all look forward to each year, a special thank you to Janet Richards for giving her time to present the prizes (I know she was not feeling too well) and to herself and Rosanne for keeping the bar going! Hope to see everyone and more later on in the year.
Real Ale - Real Music
At last - it is repaired!
Finally, the wall in Strathyre (the eyesore we have had to endure for a number of years) has been repaired and what a difference it makes. However do not be fooled into thinking that it was repaired by the bodies that SHOULD have repaired it. I’m afraid they had no hand or interest in this repair and shame on them for allowing this to go unattended for so long. The people we do have to thank is Sustrans who are responsible for the beautiful cycle track that is now being constructed and will link Strathyre to the rest of the path at MHOR84. The village is looking forward to its completion and I for one will put it to full use abetted by Jan. SO well done to Sustrans for a wonderful job, just a pity that a charity had to foot someone else’s Bill! Get on your bike and enjoy.
Callander & West Perthshire
We are nearly at the end of our second year and are already planning the timetable for courses starting again in September. Details will be available on our Enrolment Day which will take place on Tuesday 26 August in Callander Kirk Hall after the AGM starting at 2.00pm. Group Leaders will be present to answer any questions and to take names of members interested in attending their courses. Refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing returning U3A members and welcome anyone new who would like to find out more about us and the courses on offer.
Broadband Update... Fibre to Sheep?
Here we go again: time for the semiregular update on local broadband and the semi-inevitable rant about BT and its unholy relationship with local and national government agencies. It’s tempting to stop right there, but let’s try to get at least some crumb of information out of the situation, so… There was a public meeting for Community Councils at the end of May with a presentation by BT’s and the Scottish government’s project managers for the current Step Change 2015 project. The long and the short of it is that core areas have already been identified and, in some – such as Callander – installation of upgraded exchanges and street cabinets is already under way. But that’s mostly for well-populated areas that, frankly, should have had fast broadband long ago and it does nothing to give substance to the flowery expressions of commitment to rural broadband that have been made for many years now: If broadband delivery were powered by hot air, we’d all have had worldclass coverage long ago. Two main issues arose at the meeting: firstly, BT showed a map of currently planned coverage for fast broadband, based on the surveys done so far, albeit that their commitment to proper ground surveys ahead of planning seems to have vanished without trace or challenge. They had however, taken most geographical features out of that map. When asked why, the BT manager’s reply (and this is as verbatim as I can manage) was, “Oh, we can’t give people real information – they’d believe us!”. A full and frank exchange of views ensued. We were however able to work out something from that map, given that the positions of the lochs give a good clue as to where things are around here: Strathyre itself should be OK, with delivery scheduled for January-June 2015. Whatever does happen in and around Lochearnhead and Balquhidder will happen in July-December 2015. Balquhidder however falls mainly into the category of ‘under evaluation’, which appears to mean ‘not under evaluation’ given the lack of a ground survey which, by the commitment given by BT to the Broadband Advisory Group last September, should have taken place by now. A more detailed look at the map of the area appears to show a strong commitment to provide Fibre to Sheep capability - lots of fields are coloured in, but not places where people actually live. My interpretation of the 8
map’s marked coverage is that BT are NOT planning to take the simple step of providing a cabinet in Balquhidder Village, accessed via the ducting they put in at a cost of £160,000 in 2007 (easy, cheap and effective), but are likely to take the non-step of doing precisely nothing here, leaving us to rely, as we do now, on lines that run direct to the Strathyre Exchange. Given the nature of the technologies involved and if nothing else changes, that will mean that, for much of Balquhidder and the outlying areas, provision will likely get much WORSE, if not impossible. Attempts to get clarification of this have, to date, proved fruitless. The Scottish Government project manager was then questioned about how they are evaluating such marginal areas: the answer I’d hoped for was that they’d be looking at both domestic and economic demand in order to determine priorities – with the number of substantial businesses locally, that would have given us some useful weight. I got no such answer. In fact, we got no specific answer at all. A full and frank exchange of views ensued. There is supposed to be a commitment to provide services of at least 2Mb/s (ie what the rest of the planet had circa 2002) by ‘other means’. The lazy option here (and therefore the most likely) is satellite, which is NOT an effective long-term solution. What we have done locally is to enter into discussions with Community Broadband Scotland: we have produced initial costings for a community-based broadband system that is completely independent of BT’s vagaries and failings - the figures look initially promising but the issue with such projects is less the up-front costs than the longer-term running costs. More will be published here as we refine things. For more information, please contact Richard, at email@example.com . The slides from the BT/Scotgov presentation are on balquhidder.net (download link is http://bit.ly/balquhidder1) – this site also has running updates on progress (or lack thereof) and a diary of my experiences with the Tooway satellite broadband service. The “Rest of Scotland” Digital rollout map is at: http://www.digitalscotland.org/media/1123/ ros_deployment_091013_2.pdf I would really, really like to be able to report something positive about the BT/Scotgov project. Go on BT, give me a chance… Finally, I note that they’ve now changed the name of the Step Change 2015 programme, presumably to take out any commitment to anything happening by or in 2015… Digital Curmudgeon
Anyone Anyone for for tennis? tennis? On 31 May, around 30 villagers from Strathyre (and a few from Lochearnhead!), aged between 1 and 85, got out their brooms, secateurs (and even chainsaws!) to spruce up Strathyre tennis court. They weeded, brushed and tidied up so that so that we now have a nice tidy tennis court, in preparation for the Active Stirling summer coaching. Thanks to everyone for turning out and helping. It has even been power-washed (thanks Wullie), re-lined (by another Willie from the Peak in Stirling) and we have a lovely new tennis net, courtesy of Tennis Scotland. So on 21 June 2014, coaches from Active Stirling held a tennis taster on the court. The session was well-attended - especially by the younger element (see photo) and “fab” according to everyone who turned up. So now we are looking forward to the Thursday afternoon coaching sessions by Active Stirling from 2 until 5 pm, for 5 to 16 year olds. You can just come along on the day if there are spaces. Ring Active Stirling on 0300 028 0101 for more information. But the court is for everyone. So dust down your tennis racquet and go and give it go. We are trying to raise the money for replacing the court and we would love to see it used. If you want to get involved, ring Sara on 01877 384799.
New Book Celebrates Scotland’s Sporting Heritage In what promises to be a landmark year for sport in Scotland, a new book has been launched by Historic Scotland, celebrating some of the country’s most interesting and iconic sporting buildings. Scotland’s Sporting Buildings is the end result of months of detailed work by heritage listing experts, who visited hundreds of sites across the country for assessment. Their findings have been compiled into a beautifully illustrated book by the author Nick Haynes. Many of the pavilions, club-houses, huts, stadia and swimming pools reviewed had never been assessed before for listing, or had records which hadn’t been updated for up to forty years. With fresh research, a fascinating and more accurate picture of the special interest of Scotland’s sporting architecture has emerged. As a result, 20 properties were listed for the first time, including the unique weighing room at Hamilton Park Racecourse, and seven existing listed buildings were recognised as of national or international importance by having their category of listing changed from B to A, including the Grange Cricket pavillion in Edinburgh and Gala Fairydean’s Nether Road football stadium in the Borders. Eighty-four listed building records were updated with new information, one of the most eye-catching being Gleneagles Hotel Golf Resort, which hosts the 2014 Ryder Cup. One of Historic Scotland’s duties is to compile and maintain statutory lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Many buildings are of interest, architecturally or historically, but when considering a building for listing this interest must be special. The book’s author Nick Haynes commented: “Scotland has always had a fascinating, sometimes tumultuous relationship with sport. Although most of the sports popular in our country today are accessible to everyone, this wasn’t always the case, and these buildings reveal a lot about the people who
built them and the communities surrounding them. Hopefully it offers a useful introduction to anyone interested in architecture, history or sport in Scotland.” The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “In this landmark year for sport in Scotland, when the country hosts two of the world’s biggest sporting spectacles in the form of the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, it seems an appropriate time to take stock of our incredible sporting heritage. “For a relatively small country, we have had made several key contributions to the history of sport, with innovations that have shaped most of the world’s best played sports such as Golf, Rugby Union and Football, as well as Curling, Shinty, Swimming, Highland Games and others. This new book offers a fascinating insight into how this came to be.” The buildings featured in the book reflect more than just fashions in popular sports, they tell us about many wider factors in society at the times they were built. Some of the earliest buildings are associated with grand properties, showing the strong link between wealthy individuals and recreational pursuits. Scotland’s oldest sporting building, the Royal Tennis Court at Falkland Palace, is a fine example of this, built in 1539-41 for King James V. Other games, such as curling, were famously played by all ranks of society, particularly
among farmers, masons, and others whose work was disrupted by hard frost and freezing temperatures. Some of the most iconic sporting buildings were built in the 19th and 20th centuries, designed to cater for mass participation or viewing. Stadiums such as Celtic Park, Ibrox and Murrayfield are fine examples, as is Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Swimming Pool, designed for the 1970 Commonwealth Games, and listed at Category A.
Local Farmer’s Despair at Unauthorised Wild Campers’ Mess
Local farmer Charlie Methven was angered this week when on inspecting his stock in the fields adjacent to the river Balvaig he came across this mess left behind by wild campers. Charlie, who has been farming in the glen for more than 30 years says it’s the worst case of camping debris/litter he has come across and despairs at people’s lack of respect for the countryside and the livestock. “Every small piece of plastic poses a threat to inquisitive calves and cattle that might easily swallow the rubbish.” Everyone wants to enjoy the countryside, but it’s the few that behave like this that spoil it for the responsible campers amongst us.
The 10 Golden Rules for wild campers are very simple. Please can we ask that everyone respects them if they are thinking of venturing out into the wild. 1 Ask the land owner/farmer first! 2 Leave all gates as you found them. 3 Avoid land with livestock - particularly cattle which can be dangerous. 4. Do not walk through the centre of field that might have crops. Walk round the perimeter. 5 Pitch your tent discreetly and not on full display to the world or in the middle of a field. 6 Do not light fires on the grass/ground or under trees. (A stone/gravel beach is acceptable). 7 Control your noise - it travels far outside at night. 8 Take all your litter home! 9 Dig a hole as a loo and fill it in before you leave. 10 Leave no trace of your stay - and return the ground to the way you found it when you arrived!
BLS - Where Business Does the Talking
by Iona Mchedliani
Originally from the Isle of Islay and having moved here from Glen Lyon thirteen years ago, Eila RamsayClapham runs a fascinating book restoration business from The Crannog in Balquhidder. This June I had the pleasure to meet with her. As well as being given an insight into the many intricacies of the business, I also had the opportunity to be shown around the actual studio where Eila works, restoring often badly-damaged and antique books to a fantastic and readable condition! How long have you been repairing books? I did my first books when I was at college, in 1956. How did you first get introduced to the art of book restoration? It was much later. I met a very experienced restorer who had worked in large London galleries. I already had a bit of knowledge but she taught me many other techniques and guided me in buying the best handmade papers and leathers. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her over a period of about six to eight months where I learnt so much about books, large and small, old and new. It is the older books that fascinate me, however I will mend any book of any age, if someone wants me to. How did you learn the different techniques and are you at all self-taught? People who do crafts of any kind are always semi-self-taught. In book-binding you’re taught the basics, and then you have to adjust them to fit the period and the date of the specific book, the leather to use for example, and what you’re happiest with. Are there many different techniques and methodologies to restoring books? Yes, not particularly named. People go about it in different ways, but there is still a sameness to it. Every bookbinder can recognise another bookbinder’s work if they know them. But the process remains the same. Books are more or less the same construction. But you may get people who do “Coptic Binding” for example, which is quite different, in that it doesn’t have a spine cover, so all the stitching is visible. It’s a very early technique. There was a woman on the West Coast who specialised in it. I don’t particularly do that.
to be rested. The old paper has to get used to the new paper, even though they’re both handmade and both compatible, one is still new. And so you have to rest it before you move on. That’s why it takes quite a long time. What kinds of tools or materials do you need to repair a book? I use many different tools for the different processes. The main ones are rulers, scissors, hammers, a variety of knives (for example a leather paring knife), as well as book presses, brass letters for the titling, and a stitching frame. Books are covered in all types of materials, from fabrics, book cloths, paper, and then of course different kinds of leather. There are lots of different kinds of leather, and it’s not the same sort of leather that you would make either clothing or furniture with. You wouldn’t cover sofas with book leather, and you wouldn’t cover a book with the sort of pliable leather for a sofa. It’s completely different, right back at the tanning stage, as any tanner will tell you. What is your favourite thing about your type of work? You come across interesting people. And also, it’s just very satisfying to see something restored that really fifty percent of the population would say was fit for the bin, yet it is not. It can be restored, and it can be made so that it’s safe to read, and to look at and be interesting, even if it is written in sort of funny lettering! How long does it take on average to complete a book repair? It depends on the size of the book. A small book, a book from the early 1900s, 1930 - around that period, would probably take about five days. You can do it a bit faster. It depends what’s wrong with it. Who are the majority of your clients - private individuals or larger organisations like museums and libraries? My clients come from a wide range of people. Some are private individuals with a favourite book to be repaired. Others are collectors of books, organisations like churches, schools and small libraries, both public and private.
What is the largest project that you’ve ever taken on, in terms of a collection or commission? The largest commission I ever had was when I worked on a private library on the West Coast. It took eighteen months. There must have been about a hundred and fifty books in total, of all sizes. I restored over sixty large leather-bound family albums and scrapbooks of cuttings and photographs, going right back to the 1800s, giving amazing records of many wars past, and life in many of the family’s’ beautiful houses in this country and abroad. A truly fascinating collection! What has been the oldest or most valuable book that you’ve ever worked on? The most valuable, I can’t really say because it doesn’t belong to me. The oldest would be an old book, published in the early 1600s, with very pretty 17th century illustrations. Everything was very torn though, it was a bit sad how the pictures were torn. Roughly how many books do you repair in a month? Roughly four. Sometimes it can be more, sometimes it can be less. If a book is going to take two weeks to do, I’ll only do that book, because I don’t have a great big studio. I’ll only deal with one at a time. There’s quite a pile waiting at the moment! Does living rurally have an effect on your type of business? No, as it’s all done by post. Everything comes in by special delivery, and goes back out the same way. With the rise of technology, and more people reading books on electronic devices, do you think that there will be a decline in the popularity of books in general? No I don’t, because there will always be collectors, the people who like old books. They may read things on a tablet, they may do their research on them, because it’s convenient, but you’ll find that they will still collect old books. Visit Eila’s website:
Is it a long and complicated process to restore a book? It’s slow, because particularly with old books - books that come in from the 1600s and 1700s for example, they need 11
Tommy Retires from Cancer
Well known Tommy McGregor of Auchtubh, Balquhidder has finally thrown in his hat. It has been 50 years since he first started fundraising in the Parish, and feels it is time to let someone else take the reins and carry on this extremely necessary role. For years and years Tommy provided various ways of raising money and one way was the collecting bottles in the bars in the former Kingshouse Hotel (now Mhor84). Aided and abetted by Bill Courtney and others, who so encouraged folk to give up their loose change for guessing what YCWCYAFPFCR stood for and also by dropping a 10p piece, later a 20p piece, into the inner little jar stuck inside a ‘Sweetie jar ‘and filled with water! You dropped your coin through a slot in the lid. If you did it you won a dram of Whisky – Yes honestly. Many a grand evening was spent trying to win the ‘drammies’. In days gone by, about 4 times a year or more if needed, Tommy and others would empty the jars and proceed to count all the money. You can imagine coins in the ‘wet’ jar were none to wholesome to pick-up and the odour was not Chanel No. 5! Tommy managed to collect on average £1000 a year from this. So well done to all of you for contributing. Chris and Sheena, who have been holidaying in this area for over 35 years, have contributed to the funds enormously. Every year they would save their 20ps at home, arrive for their holiday and put every 20p in the ‘win a dram’ jar. Over the years they have given hundreds of pounds and had won a few free drams. Tommy thanks them so very much. So let’s raise a glass or two to Tommy and wish him a very long and happy retirement. Here’s hoping someone else will take on the voluntary role of fundraising for this worthy cause. P Perkins (previous dram winner!)
Top: Tommy McGregor, and above (left to right): Sheena Thorpe, Bill Courtney, Rena Courtney, Tommy and Chris Thorpe - counting out the last of the donated monies from the bottles.
Pin-Feathers*by Old Nyati
*Once in demand by Victorian miniaturists,
the tiny pin-feather comes from the leading edge of a woodcock’s wing and only two such feathers occur on each bird (one on each wing). This month, Old Nyati describes old shooting party practices.
veryone knows of Pop Concerts, Race Meetings, Music Festivals and events like that - but how many folk have heard of a Wappenschaw ? Take a moment to look at the painting of such an event. It depicts a Wappenschaw in Fleet Valley, Gatehouse of Fleet around 1860. But what is going on? Look closely and notice someone in the prone position firing a rifle and another in the process of loading a muzzle loading gun or rifle.There is much more to be seen: a gathering of contestants, someone registering entries, dogs and children with a fearful child, perhaps afraid of the bangs, being comforted by her mother. The painting hangs in the collection of the National Trust for Scotland in Edinburgh. But that was in Kirkcudbright. What of the area around the Four Villages? Well, we know of an ancient rifle range at the entrance to a local glen where the range consisted of firing across the whole width of the glen, something up to 1000 yards. There is evidence of spent bullets to be found in what would have been the butts on one side and an obvious place on the opposite side from where the shooting would have taken place. That would certainly have been rifle shooting, with muzzle loading rifles - and earlier, with muskets. A muzzle loading rifle using black powder, carefully loaded, would have been surprisingly accurate even at that distance. There is yet another place that we know of by an old smiddy where shooting at flying glass target balls was popular. One can imagine a gathering of locals competing their skills in competition for a pint of ale. So what about this name ‘Wappenschaw’? Was it in fact a ‘weapon show’? That is actually near to the interpretation of the Gaelic word. There were many areas in Scotland were there would be an annual gathering of either troops or local people, to show off and compare weapons and to demonstrate their prowess and readiness for action, should that be necessary. One can imagine that there would have been arguments - which would inevitably turn into a fight - with the help of a drop of local brew. The dogs would probably have joined in as well.
My other photograph, right, shows the sort of equipment that would have been put out ready for a journey to the nearest gathering. These items do see the occasional outing, on historic occasions! Let us ponder on the thought that maybe the ‘Red Fox’ would have been at such a gathering and the gangrel too. A few verses from ‘Bundle and Go’ in the book The Road to Rannoch might set the scene from the Gangrel’s point of view. O Orchy’s stream is my stream, for it keeps me by its side On the road among the heather where the fairy folk abide; In a bed of scented myrtle I lie and hear them sing, And heather bells are ringing in my dwam of dovering. Tickled trout are tasty trout, and a weary man must eat; So I light my fire at Ba Bridge, and frizzled fish are sweet. I give a cry at Kingshouse, Buchaille Etive and Glencoe, But the sea- wrack of Leven lures me on, and I must go. I make a bed of sound sleep in the wood of Lettervore, I dream of all that happened there in days that are no more; I see the unknown shooter, and the Red Fox is his game; But even in my dreams I durst not tell his name. The back was made for bundles and the oxter for the pipes, So steep the withie, draw the door, and turn the rusty key; For summer’s here, and everywhere there’s music in the air, The whaups are on the heather and the white birds on the sea!
Our Gangrel would certainly have been at a Wappenschaw somewhere on his travels. Old Nyati
(A Whaup is a curlew.)
Church News BalquhiĐĐer Reg. Charity No. SC012316
A Note from
On June 8th a special service was held in St Fillan’s Church, Killin when they were officially welcomed into the Strathearn group of parishes.
Paddy’s ministry will be supported by Kate Sainsbury and other lay readers to enable this to be as smooth a transition as possible. It was a service of celebration attended by about 70 people and presided over by the Bishop. We in St Angus’s look forward to a shared future with them. As part of the continuing celebrations we are having a Coffee Morning at St Fillan’s Church Killin which we hope will be supported by the other parishes as well. For young children there will be a Teddy Bears’ Treasure Hunt in which they will hunt down the bears and work out their names (with the help of parents!). This will cover a distance of about half a mile leaving from the church towards Loch Tay - full directions on the day. The teddies are looking forward to it and want to invite as many children as possible so please pass the word around, they will be very sad little bears if children don’t go looking for them, especially if it’s raining! I’m told they have waterproofs so please children bring yours too just in case... There will also be a stall for bric-a-brac and home baking - all contributions welcome! And now pause for thought - two thousand years ago there lived a man named Jesus (that is an historical fact). His followers were not saints - they were imperfect humans just like you and me. Those followers saw their leader tortured and killed and they, terrified for their lives, huddled in secret rooms, only daring to meet at night. The whole thing had apparently ended in failure. Why then, do you suppose, that all this time later that same movement - now called “The Church” still exists and, indeed, in many places in the world continues to grow? What could have happened to that terrified band of men to change them into strong, fearless people prepared to die rather than deny their faith and who took the trouble to record their experiences in a book we now call the Bible? It doesn’t make sense - does it? 14
On 25th May, our Minister, Revd John Lincoln, took his last Sunday service here in Balquhidder Church with a baptism added for good measure. We had our “ceilidh” musicians as well so it was a cheerful event despite it being a farewell! John was presented with a footstool covered in Harris Tweed, from Sula Furnishing just up the road at Kingshouse, so he has no excuse not to put his feet up. Julie was delighted with two cushions in the same tweed. There was also a substantial cheque so that they can buy whatever they choose for their new home when they leave the manse in Killin. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the gifts. We thank Mr Lincoln for all he has done for us in his tenure here. We have been grateful for his pastoral care, teaching and encouragement. He has always been generous with his time and his advice on the practical needs of the church has been invaluable. We have enjoyed his knowledge and use of Gaelic and are rather proud of his work in translating the gospels into Gaelic. I think it noteworthy that this parish has had two ministers who have translated the Bible into Gaelic: Robert Kirke in the 18th century and John Lincoln in the 21st century. We wish John and Julie a very happy, healthy retirement and we shall miss them very much indeed. From all we hear about the Church of Scotland, John will not be short of opportunities to keep his hand in! On the 1st of June, at a meeting following the Sunday service, members of the congregation on the Communion Roll were able to elect 3 members to the Nomination Committee which will start the work of looking for a new minister to take over the linked charge of Balquhidder and Killin and Ardeonaig. Those elected are Eleanor Bell, Jean Edwards and Maida MacLaren. We have had pulpit supply in June, but for 6 weeks, starting in July until mid August, we shall welcome a theological student, Bob Johnston to take services and undertake some pastoral care under the guidance of the Interim Moderator, Revd Stuart Fulton. We look forward to getting to know Bob and hope he will enjoy his time with us. Jean Edwards
Crossroads Caring Scotland West Stirlingshire
Crossroads Caring Scotland is a national charity with over 30 years experience of providing support for vulnerable people and their carers. We are seeking essential people who are willing to share in promoting and supporting the work of Crossroads on a voluntary basis. This would primarily be done by promoting the work we do and thus encouraging others to contribute to funding our vital service. Organised, committed and caring people who feel they would like to help facilitate the survival of this worthwhile charity, may wish to contact us. We would love to hear from you if you can spare a few hours a month. Anticipated start: 1st October. Please contact Crossroads at; Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
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Farewell to John
Forth Valley U3A
Our Minister, Revd. John Lincoln, took his last service recently before heading north to a new home - and a welldeserved retirement. Here are some pictures from the service at Balquhidder Church.
Left: John tries out his new footstool! Above: John and Julie; Below: Little Seamus Brydie is baptised; and lastly: John says his goodbyes!
Where else can you go to learn as many new and stimulating things as you have time for, such as Mandarin, Mah-jong, Spanish, art appreciation, poetry, line dancing, Thai Chi, knitting design and current affairs, to name just a few of the activities that members of Forth Valley U3A take part in on a regular basis. All this as well as outings, visits to places of interest, social gatherings and fun. These activities and more were celebrated at the tenth anniversary of Forth Valley U3A held recently in the Mayfield Centre, St. Ninians. Reminiscing, socialising, learning and entertainment were the order of the day, as old and new members shared memories, compared notes, and enjoyed the friendship that U3A generates. Many of the 47 interest and activity groups had display tables and a slideshow illustrated members in action, taking part in both familiar and totally new learning experiences! The Forth Valley branch began when Doreen Robinson moved to Stirling wanting to meet new friends and to discover new activities. She was assisted by the Third Age Trust to set up the Forth Valley branch and she entertained everyone with her reminisces about the early days. The group had 31 members then with 10 interest groups and now, 10 years on, there are 47 groups with the 300th member signing up last week! Margaret Risk told of her involvement and John Cummins sang his memories in verse, much to everyoneâ€™s enjoyment! Graham Clark of the Third Age Trust spoke of how the organisation continues to assist new groups to set up all over Scotland. Callander Chimes, a group of U3A hand bell ringers, provided entertainment with a delightful recital of short pieces, and rang out a special version of Happy Birthday just for the occasion. Guest speaker, the Stirling Makar, Anita Govan, not only performed her poems enthusiastically but also told how her dyslexia inspired her passion for words. As a child she had learned poems by heart and found that words were her way to develop and express herself. Her poems were full of energy and emotions, which touched many members of her audience. If you would like to make friends while continuing to learn and to share interests or to try out new activities you will be very welcome. Come along and see what we will be doing during the next ten years! Contact June, the Membership Secretary on 01786 822062 or look at the website: www.forthvalleyu3a.org.uk 15
McLaren High School News
Cutting the ribbon for the opening of the new pitch Pitch Perfect – 3G Opening On Friday 4 April Callander and the surrounding communities celebrated the opening of the eagerly awaited 3G Multi User Synthetic Pitch. Both the School and McLaren Leisure Centre hosted dignitaries and members of the local community to celebrate the community opening. During a ceremony in the Assembly Hall hosted by Head Girl Samantha Boyle and Head Boy Daniel Speirs, the School paid tribute to the hard work of the parent led team who coordinated raising the £500,000 needed to turn the pitch from a dream into a reality. There were musical performances by Ava Dinwoodie and the string quartet and the ukulele group, followed by a drama presentation. Mrs Wiedmann and her group told the story about the fact that on the day of the official opening Callander had both the oldest football pitch, based behind the Roman Camp Hotel, and the newest football pitch. We were also honoured to have the oldest football on display, kindly donated for the occasion from the Smith Museum in Stirling. The artificial turf named 3G (third generation) is a surface created using synthetic fibres and rubbers, made to look like grass. One of the main reasons for the development of this type of pitch is the ability of the artificial turf to stand up to heavy use and the low maintenance factor, as the pitch requires no irrigation (handy for coping with Callander’s notorious high rainfall!) or trimming. A day of activities dedicated to celebrate the opening began with the all-weather pitch at McLaren being officially ‘christened’ with senior pupil house teams taking part in friendly matches of football, rugby and hockey, followed by local sports teams in the evening being able to try out the new facilities. The official ribbon cutting was performed by BBC personalities Rhona McLeod, John Beattie and members of the McLaren Parent Council MUSP group – Mrs Pam Campbell, Mrs Celia Cordner, Mrs Fiona Leishman and Mrs Janet Al Asadi. The £500,000 investment with help from Cashback for Communities, SportScotland,
Some of the horticultural tasks the pupils have learnt about are; watering plants, carving wood, planting bulbs, barrowing heavy loads, picking blackcurrants, making bonfires, making fresh apple juice from the apples picked in the garden, Christmas reaths, making marrow and ginger jam, washing and disinfecting plant beds ready forthe planting of bulb and root vegetables, pruning fruit trees, learning woodwork skills and looking after the ducks and hens. Reece, Adam and George made a garden bench during their time spent at Green Routes and Green Routes very kindly donated it to McLaren High School’s garden. Sponsored Walk 2014 Friday 16 May saw the annual sponsored walk get underway. A little bit earlier this year, the walk followed the well trodden route from the school through Coilhallan Wood toward the fish farm, returning along the Invertrossachs Road.
Forth Valley & Lomond Leader, Kilmadock Windfarm and Stirling Council has enabled the community to create a fantastic state-ofthe-art pitch, which will become a real asset for the entire community. The new pitch will certainly help to increase the opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in sport and physical activity.
Green Routes: Adam Watson, Reece Venn and George Oakes with the bench they made Green Routes Starting in August 2013 three pupils from McLaren High School - Reece Venn, Adam Watson and George Oakes - have been very fortunate to attend Green Routes every Friday to learn more about horticultural skills. Green Routes is an organisation which helps to build a positive learning environment for adults and young people with additional support needs. There is a dedicated team of volunteers to support and teach the adults and young people their new skills in horticultural. Green Routes is based at Gartmore House in the Walled Garden area. Training and great teamwork takes place encouraging our pupils to learn new skills. The training takes place in poly-tunnel, greenhouse and out in the open in all elements of weather all year round!
In advance of the walkers, Mr Robertson and Mr Clark chaperoned a group of runners to complete a couple of laps of the course. The fair weather that had been forecast stayed true and even picked up with the sun breaking through bringing out the best in the woodland backdrop. Classes set off in five minute intervals allowing a fairly even spread of participants along the way, avoiding crowding. There was an air of energy and enthusiasm amongst pupils as they enjoyed a ‘stand down’ morning away from their normal routine. As well as the real need to raise some funds for school activities the exercise accomplished flirtations for many with good practice in health and well being. Walking with friends, chatting, taking in the scenery, passing time with the teachers who were walking or stewarding the route, and even getting some exercise all contributed to this. Most classes completed the 5km route in just over an hour and the next important stage of collecting the money is now in full swing. Any parents, friends or relatives who sponsored someone should pass money on as soon as possible. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated. All funds raised go towards supporting the many clubs and activities that are available to our pupils.
Hockey History was made on Wednesday 21 May, with McLaren hosting their first ever hockey match on the new all-weather pitch. In fact it was probably the first hockey played at the School for some 25 years! The visitors were Balfron and they brought a boys team and a girls team, both playing 7-a-side across the pitch. Players took time to adjust to the surface but this didn’t detract from the pace of the game. Everyone demonstrated a high level of commitment and effort. While the McLaren girls (right) held their own for a long time, they eventually succumbed and once the Balfron team got their noses in front, they added a couple more. There were some resolute performances from Eilidh Graham, Jenny Holl, and Louise Dinely, but at the end it was the older more experienced Balfron girls that triumphed. In the boy’s game, the contest was much closer. Freddie Bawden was central to this demonstrating great skill and awareness and giving a bit of stability to midfield. James Wray and Andrew Murphy added a little bit of physicality, and the combination of this ensured that the McLaren team were always in contention. Two goals by Balfron were equalled by McLaren and the game ended in a well fought draw. In these first games at the school, there remains a lot of enthusiasm and optimism for hockey in the future. It is hoped that other matches will follow before the summer and that interest will now flourish. The training takes place at the School on a Monday after School, and a Thursday lunch time. Anyone can attend.
Hockey - Girls’ Team
McLaren High School’s Activity Week ran from Wednesday 28 to Friday 30 May...
Horrible Haunted Histories On the morning of Wednesday 28 May, the 16 members of our group registered and prepared to depart the school. We travelled by coach to Dunblane, where we boarded a train destined for Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Dungeons. Combining the grim history of Edinburgh with a fair dose of humour the characters we met along the way told us the story of people such as Burke and Hare as well as the grisly Sawney Bean. It was fascinating, terrifying and such good fun! The next day we registered in the library and then piled in to the minibus for the journey to Edinburgh. When we arrived we had 10 or so minutes to spare and seized the opportunity to take a look inside St Giles Cathedral. We then made our way to Mary Kings Close and began our tour. Our tour guide spoke very fast and he was very funny and knowledgeable and I enjoyed the tour. After we ate lunch we went on a ghost tour. Initially we all seemed to think that it would be a bit silly but we were very wrong. Firstly we were shown some quite gruesome torture implements and then we were taken in to the vaults. It was the most interesting of the three tours and the most terrifying. Later that evening we met at the library for our sleepover armed with scary stories, onesies, vast amounts of chocolate and dibs on the seat with the best view of the screen. In the morning we tidied up and scared ourselves some more. Later in the morning, award winning author Cathy Forde let us share our stories and then worked with us to create a scene (or potential short story) based on our experiences at the Edinburgh vaults. The three activity days were all amazing although my favourite experience was visiting the vaults. I’ve learnt a lot about the horrific history of Edinburgh and I’m glad I took part, it was the highlight of my school year! Mary Donnelly S3 Let’s Build Something The “Let’s Build Something” activities week group (4 pupils) set to work measuring and marking out the pieces for a traditional small wooden stool. It’s an apprentice piece for craft apprentices dating back over 100 years. The level of expertise and craft skills was originally intended for 16 to 17 year olds but our group of 3 x S2’s and 1 x S1 pupils made a determined and very successful attempt at this challenging model. All succeeded in the allotted 3 days to complete all the processes from the measuring and marking to the final varnishing: every product was dry enough to transport home on the Friday afternoon! This was the first time that this activity had taken place and it really was a great success with four very happy and proud young people on Friday afternoon getting onto their buses. Well done! Mr R Johnson Total Wipeout During this year’s activity week 25 pupils from S1-3 took part in Total Wipeout. This consisted of cliff jumping and canoeing on the first day, which meant a lot of team work which was good for the first day, to get to know each other better. The 2nd day was spent gorge walking (the most nerve-wracking activity for me) and for Thomas...possibly the most painful activity from landing in the sorest position launching himself off a rock! On the 3rd day the group spent the day at ‘Go Country’ which has the water assault course including the iceberg (impossible to climb) and ‘the Saturn’ – EVERYONE had a go on this although it was the most time consuming it was definitely the most fun. This day
Activity Week: three pictures, from top - Haunted Histories, Let’s Build Something, and Total Wipeout in my opinion was the best for us all to take part in, for the sun was shining, everyone took part together, we got a BBQ at the end of it and because there was a range of different activities for us, we spent the time wisely. We couldn’t have asked for better leaders for our time at ‘Go Country’, they kept spirits up, pushed us to the limit and kept us all going through the scariest times (minus the teachers who weren’t too happy about their mascara running down their face!). All in all this week was brilliant for everyone and we couldn’t have had better teachers taking the trip – the food they brought made everything 10x better, and everyone had an adventurous week for sure with smiles all round! Kirsty Allan S3
Bracklinn Practice PUBLIC HOLIDAYS The next public holiday is Monday 13th October. Bracklinn Practice will open in the morning as usual, but will close at 12.30pm for staff training. If you require urgent attention when the surgery is closed, please contact NHS24 on 111. Thank you for your co-operation. Margaret A Davis Practice Manager Bracklinn Practice Callander Medical Centre Geisher Road, Callander FK17 8LX T: 01877 331001 E: email@example.com
Where will you be on the 18th September?
If you are on holiday or away from home due to work or educational course etc. you should apply NOW for a postal vote for the Scottish Independence Referendum. Existing postal voters and new applicants who apply before 8th August will be posted their ballot papers by 28th August, anyone who applies after this date will not be issued ballot papers until 5th/6th September. You need to be registered to vote at a Scottish address by 2nd September to vote in the referendum and if you have moved address or will move address before then apply to register as soon as possible. Application forms to vote by post or to register to vote are available to collect in local libraries and can be downloaded from www.saa.gov. uk/central. Young voter registration forms for 15 year olds who will be 16 by 18/09/14 are available from the website below. Completed, signed forms can be returned by scanned email attachment, fax or by post. More information on eligibility and voting options is available by contacting the Electoral Registration Office Tel 01786-892289; Fax 01786-892255 ; email registration@ centralscotland-vjb.gov.uk 18
Munching at Wild in the Park
Callander Youth Project Trust
were invited to provide the catering for Wild in the Park, a celebration of Scotland’s Outdoor Learning which was followed by the inaugural Outdoor Parliamentary Reception, at Holyrood.
There were 250 exhibitors on site and we were tasked with providing all the food for the day. We partnered with local chef, Tom Lewis of the MHOR Group and coffee suppliers Espresso Adesso, part of Miko, who have pioneered the ethical brand Puro, endorsed by David Attenborough. Our menu was a celebration of locally sourced Scottish food including Pheasant Goujons, Venison Skirlie and Callander Trout salad. We supported a group of 6 young people from McLaren High School, complemented by our staff team, to deliver the outdoor catering and we served a delicious menu to both exhibitors and patrons. Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford hosted the event alongside opposition leaders Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson and Willie Rennie. Afterwards he said: “It was a pleasure to host this
groundbreaking reception, celebrating the excellent work of the multitude of organisations and volunteers encouraging participation in Outdoor Learning. In particular it was great to see Callander Youth Project playing such a prominent role in proceedings”. Chris Martin, Managing Director of CYP said: “As a youth project we made a strategic decision three years ago to purchase the Bridgend House Hotel in Callander to train young people in Hospitality and Tourism - a major labour driver in Callander. It was great to see our young people rise to the occasion and deliver on such a large scale. I would like to say a big thank you to all that made it possible including CYP and McLaren High School staff and young people, Stirling Council, the Mhor Group, Espresso Adesso and Intrepid Scotland. Further, I would like to extend a warm welcome to your readership to experience, first hand, more of what the young people have to offer on your next visit to Callander to see our new Callander Hostel and Bridgend Café.” Chris Martin CYPT Managing Director
Gardening Gardening diary, July 3rd: pull weeds, Tuesday... pull weeds, Wednesday... pull weeds... Weeding is a chore to which all gardeners must become accustomed. An early mild satisfaction of pulling and howking soon wanes and in a wet warm summer all but the keenest of us are becoming slightly if not totally maddened. It is a creeping emotion - much greater than the sheer anger at a demolition of a row of lettuce by slugs or looking out onto a scene from Watership Down to find the largest rabbit lying down with four paws in the air having gorged heavily on your parsley. Deer rank highly, too, in raising the horticultural blood pressure in these parts. Alas - if you could only train them to eat your weeds! To date, the ape in us has found clever ways to both reduce the labour involved and to allow greater time for leisure. For that, I mean ‘other time for other work’. At the heart of good weed control is therefore vigilance and early scutching (Scots - ‘to slash or trim’) with a hoe, before seed is set. This is by far the best discipline for hot sunny weather. Pull when wet, hoe when dry, is a truism. The hoe has actually become a much underused tool in the shed - but any good allotment holder will have one well worn and shiny and, although mulching with bark looks good and saves work, a good hoe will save you money. I have a loathing for Shepherd’s Purse - this weed is best pulled young before it explodes in your hands like a machine gun, blasting seeds in all directions while you panic to get it in your bucket. Weed seeds lie dormant for years in the soil, so as little disturbance as possible of the top layer is required, or you will be simply re-sowing more from the bank deeper in the ground. Bear in mind that nature mostly covers bare ground if left alone, and many pioneer species have been adapted for this purpose. Windblown seeds are typically called ruderals (much studied by Philip Grime as part of his model of plant succession, referred to as the ‘CSR triangle’) the others being stress tolerators and competitors. All weeds fit into one of these three categories. Ruderals are plants that succeed in areas of high intensity disturbance but low stress, i.e. your lovely garden soil. Stress tolerators on the other hand are adapted to harsh environments, for example acid soils from coal pit spoil which can lie bare for many years. The competitor weeds are those thuggish ones that grab the light with their rosette shapes or their ability to spread or climb.
J U LY
by Jonathan MacDonald
Shepherd’s Purse - aaaargh!
Now, no swearing please: Ground elder. Bind weed. Creeping buttercup. Weeds are simply trying to re-cover the ground. However, we seek growing room for our crops - so why not beat nature to it? When developing gaps in a border in the first year, choose a packet of wildflowers or hardy annuals - both cheap and simple living ‘mulches’. Take care also when watering. Splashing water all over the border simply waters the weeds! Direct your nozzle to the areas needed and deadhead anything that is about to flower, especially brambles and thistles, whose spread will be checked. Weeds do have some benefits, though, and it was a delightful sight to see on a small nettle recently, which was alive with smallish black caterpillars (on initial inspection these could make the more squeamish feel funny). This slowly convulsing blob contained the soon to pupate mass of hundreds of peacock butterflies - a garden favourite - having a wonderful Latin name: Inachis Io. They are wonderfully marked to ward off predators and make for excellent camouflage when resting on trees. They only live for about a year and, if you ever
think how cute they are fluttering about together, then remember it is mostly like a small butterfly war as the males are extremely territorial after mating and will chase others away. I once had a peacock butterfly as a pet for the winter when it came into my student flat bedroom one autumn to hibernate. I caught it snacking on an earl grey tea bag which had been left on a plate - no doubt enjoying the sugar that remained from the dunking process - its long proboscis drilling deep inside. It slept happily in the corner all winter and I named it ‘Beefor’ (I’ll let you work that one out). The carpet was a ghastly student flat affair in exactly the same colour and pattern as Beefor. For weeks before it settled down for the winter I would have to tip toe around gingerly when it was off its perch for fear of squashing him. Although these butterflies are sometimes eaten by rodents, they have developed a curious hissing ability to ward predators off, as well as their daytime camouflage. What other wonderful creatures will we see in the garden this year? Happy weeding. JM
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Best wee garden centre we’ve ever been to!” Mabel MacKay, Perth
View from the Park by Owen McKee The Scenic Routes Viewpoints are now in use. I had the privilege of attending the official opening and I am mightily impressed. After the hustle and bustle of the official opening I paid a visit to the Viewpoint at the South Loch Lubnaig car park. Somehow it gives an air of quiet reflective calm. And even though nothing has been removed it seems to open up the view. The initial impact of the viewpoint at the Falls of Falloch is very different. You enter a cage but again the architects have produced something which transform the view of an impressive waterfall into something magical. A late addition to the Scenic Routes Viewpoints is the installation in Balquhidder Glen - and it proved quite a surprise! Having left the main group on other duties I had travelled to Balquhidder in advance and felt a bit of a twit when I couldn’t find it. However when eventually I was joined by the main group I was relieved to find that I was not such a numpty after all for the viewpoint, although sitting in the middle of the field below Monachyle Mhor Hotel, is not visible from the road. And that is part of its charm. It is a box structure whose wass are stainless steel and these reflect the landscape in which it sits. Another advantage of the stucture is that it is portable and thus can be moved to suit the seasons of the year. I think you will find all three viewpoints well worth a visit and they surely will be something you will wish to introduce to your guests. Park Duties are not all about fun and
games though. The current economic climate has driven the need to explore ways of making up the shortfall of our running costs brought about by the cuts in the nsupport from the Government. I recently attended a meeting of the UK Association of National Park Authorities where the main focus was pursuing sponsorship magreements. You may have noticed the Airwick National Park Fragrancies adverts on TV. This is producing much need finance and negotiations are going well with another couple of national companies which will , hopefully, come into force later this year. We are currently reviewing our Local Plkan and from the conversations we have had with the Park communities we have produced a Main Issues Report on which we are seeking comments. As part of the exercise we have made a particular effort to engage with the younger generation and have appointed a young persons champion whose role has been to visit schools and youth groups. We have also introduced a dedicated website LIVE PARK which not only gives all the detail of the Main Issues Report but has the facility for interactive comment. Give it a try and let us know your views of what development should or should not take place in the Park. Owen McKee
The late addition to the ‘Scenic Routes Viewpoints’
As always I can be contacted as follows: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead. 01567830214 firstname.lastname@example.org
Callander Rambling Club
Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear
The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www. incallander.co.uk/r a m b l e r s . h t m in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: July • Sat 5th 8:30am LDP – CT(1) Blairgowrie to Bridge of Cally (7miles) contact 01877 330032 • Wed 9th 9:30am Stroll: Braes of Doune (6 miles) – contact 01786 841240 • Sat 12th 8:30am Hill: Stob Ghabhar & Stob a Choire Odhair (1090m) – contact 01877 331067 • Sat 19th 8:30am LDP: CT(2) Bridge of Cally to Kirkmichael (8miles) – contact 01877 330032 • Sat 26th 8:30am Ramble: Covenanters and Cairns, West Linton (11miles) – contact 01786-825198
We meet in Ancaster Square, unless otherwise indicated. Please bring wet weather clothing, appropriate footwear and a packed lunch. And please let the walk leader know if you plan to join the walk via the contact number given. Thanks!
The 1745 Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry Returns to St John’s Kirk, Perth from 13 June - 31 July The 1745 Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry is making its second visit to Perth, exhibiting in St John’s Kirk Perth from June 13th to July 31st. It hasn’t been in the city there since appearing at the Salutation Inn in September 2010. It’s an opportunity for many who missed that visit to have their first sighting and, if experience is anything to go by, for many who saw it four years ago to take another close look. This magnificent artwork never fails to raise the spirits with its extraordinary colours and fine stitching by so many Scots people across the nation. The historical narrative for Perth reads: Cameron of Lochiel had gone ahead and occupied Perth whilst the Prince rested at Blair Castle. On September 3rd the Prince followed, marching through the Pass of Killiecrankie to Dunkeld and arriving in triumphal procession in Perth on the evening of September 4th. He set up his headquarters in the Salutation Inn personally staying at Lord Stormont’s home nearby. One most welcome visitor was Colonel Bower of Kincaldrum whom the Prince saluted outside the Inn (giving it its name. That public greeting was later to be used in evidence against the Colonel in his trial in York as a Jacobite). During the week the Prince busied himself raising taxes and seeking additional troops. Oliphant of Gask joined him as did the Earl of Airlie. Viscount Strathallan came with some cavalry and James Drummond, Duke of Perth, also volunteered. Most significantly of all, Lord George Murray, a 50 year old man and younger brother of the Duke of Atholl with considerable military experience lately in support of King George II, now joined the Prince. Murray was immediately appointed Lieutenant General and Deputy Commander of the Highland army. The Duke of Perth was given a similar rank. ￼￼￼￼￼
Scottish Wildlife Trust This year the Scottish Wildlife Trust charity celebrates 50 years of ‘Protecting Scotland’s wildlife for the future’, ‘working with its members, partners and supporters in pursuit of healthy, resilient ecosystems across Scotland’s land and seas’. Headline conservation projects include the Scottish Beaver Trial, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels and the Cumbernauld and CoigachAssynt Living Landscape projects. SWT is a member of the UK-wide Wildlife Trusts movement, all of which are involved in education, campaigning and development of Government policy. The local groups, or Members’ Centres, are run by volunteers. Their aim is to champion Scottish wildlife and inspire others by holding regular talks and events and carrying out practical conservation work. Everyone is welcome. The website has more information on local groups and events. SWT manages a network of 120 wildlife reserves across Scotland. These cover an area of more than 20,000 hectares and 90% of the Scottish population live within 10 miles of at least one Trust reserve. So why not visit a wildlife reserve near home or visit some while on holiday? The full list and map is on the website www.swt.org. uk, along with individual programmes of events, many for families – a really cheap day out too! Days out from home could include many smaller reserves or a few larger ones with visitor centres. The Falls of Clyde reserve at New Lanark offers spectacular waterfalls, a view of nesting peregrines plus evening badger or bat walks. Loch of the Lowes near Dunkeld is a beautiful site with walks and hides around the loch and a good visitor centre, including webcams of nesting ospreys. There is also a summer programme of events suitable for families. Jupiter Wildlife Centre, in the middle of industrial Grangemouth, demonstrates how urban green spaces can be created from wasteland. The reserve has a range of habitats with a surprising variety of wildlife and runs regular events for children. Further afield is Montrose Basin, best known for wintering geese but in summer has waders and wildfowl along with breeding colonies of terns and sandmartins. There is a good walk round the reserve or just spend time in the visitor centre. Spey Bay near Elgin has the largest shingle beach in Scotland next to the river estuary, offering a wide range of flora and fauna. There is also the Whale & Dolphin Society Visitor Centre, with information on and sightings of passing cetaceans – we spent 22
Falls of Cyde at New Lanark
a happy hour watching dolphins there in May, enhanced by a fishing osprey. If you’re up in the north-west give serious consideration to going out to Handa Island in Sutherland, reached by ferry from Tarbet, 3miles north of Scourie. There is a wide range of coastal and moorland wildlife, including aggressively territorial skuas and everyone’s favourites, puffins. SWT is a partner in the Scottish Beaver Trial and the site in Knapdale, Argyll has many walks around areas that are clearly occupied by beavers. Guided walks are offered and, with 10 confirmed resident beavers, you may even get a dawn or dusk sighting! Of course if you can’t manage to visit the reserves, many have live webcams on the SWT website along with their latest news. Alternatively, for a more active morning out, with minimal travelling, come and join us on 17 August for a spot of Balsam Bashing (see diary below). Lesley Hawkins
The Montrose Basin on the north east coast
Scottish Wildlife Trust Callander Members’ Diary 2014 13 July & 17 August
Balsam Bashing 10:30 – 13:00
Meet at Callander Medical Centre, Geisha Road. Easy pulling of Himalayan Balsam by the River Teith. Wellies/boots & gloves needed. Please let me know if you plan to join us. Lesley Hawkins 01877 339080 or email@example.com
Farm Forum: GM Debate... the politicians must decide Well! The long awaited announcement on the Common Agricultural Policy for the next five years was announced in the Scottish Parliament last week. As is normal with this sort of event a lot has remained unsaid and the devil will be in the detail. It was always assumed there would be winners and losers and this has proved to be the case, but to what degree is not yet clear. The one decision that will be a relief to most farmers is that the new regime will be phased in over four years.
I have mentioned Genetically Modified (GM) crops before and the fact that they are banned in the EEC. This has caused a lot of argument in recent years as other countries allow them including America. It has been announced that the European Union will soon vote on a new GM licensing regime which would give each member state the choice of whether or not to ‘opt out’ of growing crops that have passed the EU scientific assessment. The whole GM saga has very wide implications. These moves have horrified anti - GM campaigners, who have been quite content with Europe’s ultra-cautious approach to GM licensing, and see the shift in decision making to
individual member states as a “fast track” to commercialisation and wide spread planting. The article by Gordon Davidson in the Scottish Farmer goes on to say that the pressure group, Genewatch UK, have said that DEFRA minister Owen Paterson has “worked closely “behind the scenes with the GM industry towards securing the political deal, and suggested the first major consequence would be the commercial planting of “RoundUp Ready” crops, engineered to tolerate the glyphosphate-based weed killer. They go on to say that the UK Government has colluded with commercial lobbyists to fast track RoundUp Ready maize into England, despite the expected harm to British wild life such as birds and butterflies caused by blanket spraying of these crops with the weed killer. Dr Wallace is quoted as concluding “If some farmers in England press ahead with GM cultivation as a result of this proposal, conventional and organic farmers across the country will face the unnecessary risk of loss of markets due to contamination with GM”. Now I am simply not qualified to comment on these highly technical matters except that there is something ironic about most of us being unhappy about being told what to do by bureaucrats in Brussels and then crying out when there is the suggestion of devolving a matter, however controversial, to member states. The experts and politicians in each member state are simply going to have to take the responsibility and take decisions on available evidence and the likely repercussions of whatever they decide.
OK BO ER RN CO When a twist of fate delivers an ambitious young medical student to the court of King Charles II, he is suddenly thrust into a vibrant world of luxury and opulence. Blessed with a quick wit and sparkling charm, Robert Merivel rises quickly... but then he transgresses the one rule that will cast him out from his new-found paradise. Determined to be restored to the King’s grace, Merivel begins a journey of self-knowledge... Rose Tremain’s book is a whacking good read - by turns, heartwarming, hilarious, tragic, and historically fascinating as the hero experiences all walks of life in his path to fulfilment. Recommended! GA 23
Summer is definitely upon us, and long may this weather continue. The last month has definitely been busier, with plenty of people visiting the area, but thankfully very few incidents to report. When we have glorious weather over the course of a weekend, I am certainly apprehensive about what calls will end up coming in. Over the last few weekends, there has certainly been only a limited number of the “minority” who spoil things for others, and I’d like to think that we’ve got to them early enough with our Ironworks patrols that they’ve received the message that their antisocial behaviour will not be tolerated. I am constantly looking to find other ways in which we can tackle the issues, and over the coming weeks, we’ll be conducting boat patrols on Loch Earn with the assistance of the National Park and their patrol boat. This has been used to good effect on Loch Lomond over a number of years and, if successful, we will use it to tackle issues on the loch here. It gives us a good vantage point to see who is doing what and gather the evidence before approaching a group, rather than driving past in a highly marked vehicle. I’m also working with the Community Council and exploring options to prevent the consumption of alcohol along our loch shores, which will hopefully compliment the proposals by the National Park to implement Clearways and other measures. I am finding numerous persons, local and tourists alike (such as the article in last month’s Villagers by Mr and Mrs Richards), are now raising more concerns regarding the issues around the lochsides. What we need to happen is that the concerns are directed to the right people. My colleagues and I clearly have our part to play on prevention and enforcement, and through Ironworks patrols, we are able to have campers clean up when we find messy campsites, and if they fail to do so (believe me we do check up the next day) they are reported to the Procurator Fiscal. We also deal with the other forms of antisocial behaviour, the drink drivers
and air weapons that we regularly find. The local council need to be contacted to have any discarded rubbish tidied up, and I am aware that Gareth and his colleagues from the National Park were out in force recently doing litter clean ups, which deserves praise. With regards to the caravans, I have passed the matter onto Stirling Council to have them address the issue. This is the second time that I have referred it to them, and I suggest that if you have concern, that you also contact Stirling Council, as well as Perth and Kinross council depending on where you are concerned about. We have unfortunately had a few more thefts over the first week of June, with outbuildings and sheds being targeted for bikes, chainsaws and other expensive tools. Elsewhere, we have also had farms targeted with a quad bike stolen. Please remain vigilant and if you want security advice, get in touch with me. Report any suspicious vehicle or person immediately, on 101 or 999 if an emergency. On a more positive note, I was invited to assist Strathyre Primary School with the annual health week at the end of May and we covered a few issues. I gave a presentation to local parents regarding Internet safety, which is a growing concern and Mrs McDonald is keen to do another input after the summer holidays. I spent a morning with the P6 and P7 pupils looking at cycle safety, where they brought their bikes along, and I brought my police bike and we used a mock road on the playground to teach them some safety whilst out on the roads. The highlight of my inputs was the speeding initiative, which all began in Strathyre several years ago and won several awards. As the pictures show, I spent the day with the P4-P7 children and, with the assistance of Mrs Keenan, we stood on the Main Street and the children targeted the passing motorists. Any driver found speeding was given a
stern talking to by the pupils and asked several questions. The feedback from the drivers by and large was excellent and they felt that they had taken more from the children than I could have delivered by issuing a fine. We stopped over 30 drivers throughout the day, and I thanks the children for their enthusiasm and how mature they were. Again, planning is underway for running the initiative after the summer. As always, I can always be contacted on 101 or for those who prefer email, I can be contacted directly at william.diamond@ scotland.pnn.police.uk. Regards, PC Will Diamond
The Ryder Cup - Gleneagles 23 - 28 September 2014 for the first time since 1973
Seeds of the Ryder Cup
There were two unofficial matches between the professionals of Great Britain and the United States before the birth of The Ryder Cup in 1927, both of which were won by Britain. The first was played at Gleneagles in 1921 but the second of these, played at Wentworth in 1926 was undoubtedly the most significant for among the gallery was a man called Samuel Ryder. Ryder was a seed merchant and entrepreneur from St Albans in Hertfordshire who made his money from selling penny seed packets. He had taken up golf fairly late in life to improve his health and had employed Abe Mitchell, one of the greats of his era, as his personal tutor. Ryder was enthralled by the idea of a match between the best golfers of Great Britain and America and had offered a cup for the 1926 match but that was withheld against the backdrop of the General Strike. Instead the Wentworth Club presented the British players with gold medals. Following the success of that match at Wentworth, Ryder donated a small but striking gold cup that today epitomizes all that is good in sporting competition. It cost £250, with the cost split between Ryder (£100), Golf Illustrated (£100) and the Royal & Ancient (£50). The small golfing figure atop the cup, as requested by the donor, stands as a lasting memorial to Abe Mitchell and The Ryder Cup was born.
1969 - a sporting gesture like no other
The script could not have been more dramatically written: Great Britain and the United States level; thousands of spectators crammed into every vantage point they could find on Royal Birkdale’s 18th green; one match left - and the two greatest players of the time stood on the loneliest stage in the world, with the Ryder Cup hanging in the balance.
Do you need a new home in Lochearnhead, Strathyre, Killin or Callander? If so, Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help The Association’s aim is to support rural communities by providing affordable good quality homes for people in housing need. We currently have 450 rented homes and around 30 of these become available for re-let each year. We also build some new homes each year. For more details and a housing application form contact us at:
Rural Stirling Housing Association Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AA Telephone 01786 841101 Email firstname.lastname@example.org www.rsha.org.uk Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SCO37849 Please note that we encourage all applicants to also apply to Stirling Council’s housing list (Tel 0845 277 7000) Being on both lists is the best way to maximise your chances of being re-housed.
Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin
Tony Jacklin, who earlier in the summer had been the first British golfer to win The Open in 18 years, and Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of his era, were all square, playing the last - and all hinged on them. Moments earlier Welshman Brian Huggett thought he had holed the winning put, mistakenly believing Jacklin was one up on Nicklaus in the match behind - but in fact they were level. Huggett collapsed into the arms of his Captain, Eric Brown but the drama was far from over. Under the most pressure imaginable both Jacklin and Nicklaus strode up to the 18th. Both found the green in two; Jacklin putted first but the ball came up 18 inches short. Nicklaus, putting for eagle to win the match and the Ryder Cup, ran his ball 3 feet past and had to put again. He holed for four but as Jacklin stepped forward to line up his put Nicklaus stooped, picked up the marker and offered his hand. Their game was halved and the match tied. “I am sure you would have holed,” said Nicklaus, “but I was not prepared to see you miss.” The match ended with that one supreme gesture which will forever stand as a memorial to all that is best about The Ryder Cup.￼￼ 25
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S U P P O RT Y O U R LOCAL S UP P LIERS !
All types of tree work undertaken Removal of dangerous trees Crown lifting, Crown reduction, High pruning,Removal of deadwood. All types of fencing erected Mole trapping References can be given. Free estimates
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• The Villagers’ Contacts • Jill Johnston Editor Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227
Gill Allan Production Manager Stronvar Farm Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB 01877 384203
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• DIARY DATES • We e k l y A c t i v i t i e s Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Bowling - St Fillans Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 to11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am to 12.30pm Badminton - Balquhidder Hall - 8.00pm Country Dancing - St Fillans LEGS - Lochearnhead Hall - 6.30pm Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am to 12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00 to 9.00pm Metafit Classes - Strathyre Village Hall - 8.00pm Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon. Mel Brydie 01877 384668 Ballroom Dancing - Lochearnhead Hall
Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Wullie Dalziel 01877 384 384 Mobile 07768 221661 St Fillans Contact: John Murray 01764 685 487 Mail Order Distribution: Hilda Astbury 01877 384 681
The Villagers’ Photographer Alistair Barclay is available to attend village functions and take photos if contacted in plenty of time. CDs of photos are also for sale. Please phone him on 01567 830453
JULY 2014 13 13 26
World Cup Event - Monachyle Mhor Hotel, Balquhidder 12 o’clock kick-off Balsam Bashing with SWT - 10.30 - 13.00pm - Meet at Medical Centre, Geisher Road, Callander Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Highland Games Lochearnhead
AUGUST 2014 17 26
Balsam Bashing with SWT - 10.30 - 13.00pm - Meet at Medical Centre, Geisher Road, Callander Callander & West Perthshire U3A Enrolment Day - after AGM at 2pm Callander Kirk Hall
Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 firstname.lastname@example.org Councillor Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 924 email@example.com Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07824 496 019 firstname.lastname@example.org
CHURCH CHURCH SERVICES SERVICES Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St. Fillans CHURCH OF SCOTLAND
Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316 Sunday 12 noon Minister: Vacancy Enquiries to Interim Moderator: Revd Stuart Fulton 01786 463060 Dundurn Church, St Fillans Sunday11.30am Minister: Rev Graham McWilliams Tel: 01764 671 045
ROMAN CATHOLIC Callander, St Joseph the Worker Sunday 11.30am Saturday Vigil Mass 5.30pm from May through to September Killin, in the Episcopal Church Sunday 2.30pm Father Jim McCruden 2 Ancaster Square, Callander Tel: 01877 330 702
SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH St Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead First and third Sundays of the month: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fourth Sundays of the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Fifth Sunday of the month: please see church noticeboard. Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453
News from the villages of Lochearnhead, Balquhidder, St Fillans and Strathyre in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Nationa Park of Scotland.
Published on Jul 1, 2014
News from the villages of Lochearnhead, Balquhidder, St Fillans and Strathyre in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Nationa Park of Scotland.