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APRIL 2011




T he Vo i c e o f B a l q u h i d d e r, L och earn h ead , S t rat h yre & S t F illans

Dolly Is a Triumph! Callander Amateur Operatic Society staged one of its best productions in recent years at the McLaren High School from 9-12 March. In this show the title role and supporting cast is so important that it is too easy to compare the performances of past ‘Dollys’ such as Barbra Streisand, Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable and Pearl Bailey, to name but a few. It’s a great role that requires great talent, great enthusiasm and above all, great courage. Dolly at the McLaren ticked all the boxes. Hannah Sanderson was just great! Bashing out the show favourites like Call On Dolly, It Takes A Woman and Put On Your Sunday Clothes. So cleverly supported by the chorus

of New York singing and dancing Before The Parade Passes By, Brian Collie looked and sounded the part of Horace Vandergelder, playing the bad guy role and contrasting with the excellent comic duo of Mark MacDonald and Callum McNeill-Ritchie. The ladies did a clever job of painting the stage with colour and fun, moving expertly in the cramped space at the McLaren. Unfortunately no review can mention everyone in the cast but I couldn’t let a show pass without saying ‘Well Done Again’ to Bob Johnston (Rudolf) and Olga Watson (Ernestine). Costumes, music, stage direction and scenery were as good as you would

expect to find outside London - and that is praise indeed! If there was a weakness in the show it could be on pace. The first half sagged slightly but that could be put down to the structure of the storyline. It was obvious that the company enjoyed the show. The audience certainly did and despite the absence of really ‘big’ songs it was a great evening. Thanks also to the company, to James Cassidy, Director, to Ian Milligan, Musical Director and to Alan Clarke, Company Pianist. Another Good Show! J A Hannah

Taking Over the Library Tea Room Was that my voice suggesting at the Strathyre Primary School Partnership meeting that the P6s and P7s take over the Library Tearoom for a weekend, to fundraise for their two- day adventure at Dalguise Outdoor Education Centre in June? At over £200 per child, plus £400 for transport, it was an expensive trip but attempts to find a cheaper and as exciting an option had drawn a blank. The only way was to raise some money towards it. We needed to do something that could attract wider public support than just the parents, that the children could be at the centre of and that was, hopefully, fun and educational at the same time. Running the tearoom popped into my head from nowhere and everyone thought it was a great idea. Tom and Lisa Lewis were won round with Lisa even agreeing to taking part in a tasting session at the school when the P6s and P7s brought in their best home baking. Well someone has to do it! She also helped with the classes on working out how many squares of carrot cake would be required to satisfy the sweet-toothed villagers over two days…and chocolate cake, Victoria sponge, Malteser brownies, scones, fairy cakes and savoury tarts. With recipes tried and tested by the children, Steve and Jill Nixon at the Inn in Strathyre took on the brave task of hosting the baking session in the restaurant’s kitchen. In net hats, donated through Margo Steadman from Campbell’s Shortbread, and matching Elizabeth David aprons, donated by Annie Good and Ian Murray, of the sadly now defunct Word of Mouth cookbook shop in Glasgow, tins were greased, butter and sugar creamed, flour sifted, eggs beaten and chocolate melted with not too many fingers licked in between. Then in rotas of twos and threes over the weekend of 19th and 20th March the young catering corps greeted customers, washed dishes, plated up orders, washed dishes, cleared tables, washed dishes, sold raffle tickets for a scrumptious chocolate cake and other donated edibles, and, of course, washed more dishes. (The chocolate cake was baked by the children and iced by Lisa.) A leaflet beforehand attracted over seventy advance bookings and over the



The following readings were taken at ‘Bramblings’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder for the month of February. Average max. temp. Actual max. temp. Average min. temp. Actual min. temp.

6.3 ºC 11.5 1.0 -4.0

43.3 ºF 52.7 34.0 24.8

Rainfall: 23.2 cms 9.3 ins Wind speed - highest 53mph on 4 February 2

EDITOR’S NOTE Spring is just around the corner and there is much to celebrate in this issue. We have another new series starting this month – recipes from our local hotels – see p.7 and enjoy! Our new rule regarding prepaid advertising comes into effect now and blanks will start to appear unless we can be assured that ‘the cheque is in the post’. Speaking of the post we all know that stamps cost more as of this month and so we are sorry but we have to increase our charges to our mail order friends. These are now: GB - £11.00 Europe - £20.00 Everywhere else - £27.50 I’m sure we are all looking forward to Easter and maybe we’ll have some really warm weather for our outings and family celebrations. Happy egg hunting! Marguerite Kobs

next two days the twelve children made an astonishing, unbelievable, incredible £880 (and still rising as others make belated donations). Thanks for its success go to Lisa Lewis for the extraordinary generosity of her time, all the ingredients and the Library Tearoom for free, to Steve Nixon for his patience, time and trouble, helping with the two baking sessions, to all the villagers and visitors who gave amazing enthusiastic support and money to the project and especially to Callum, Cameron, Charlotte, Connor, Dan, Emily, Iona, Jamie H, Jamie N, Katherine, Kim and Lewis for taking on the challenge and uncomplainingly working so hard to make it work so well. Clare Hunter

The Village Store St Fillans

Newsagent • Off-licence • Top-ups Tobacco • Groceries • Gifts Hot Pies to take away Hardware • Oil • Fishing Tackle & Permits Café • Dunfillan Coffee Soup • Toasties • Baking • Packed Lunches OPENING HOURS:

7.00am - 5.30pm every day Late opening (Fri/Sat/Sun) till 7.00pm

01764 685309

The St Fillans Bit Oh the joys of the first sign of Spring, fair lifts my heart. No, not the little spring flowers or the buds on the trees – the fact that the Village Store is now on summer hours and open at 7.00am. As a lifelong six o’clock riser my life is content if I can be reading my papers just after seven. Liam at the shop reports a pretty steady winter’s trading, with the coffee shop an increasingly busy aspect of the business. It’s good to see the shop being successful and Liam being rewarded for his 7 day a week efforts. Not such good news is that John and Eileen Stanyon are leaving the village and heading for the warmer climes of Yorkshire. Long before recycling became fashionable JS was a one man recycling centre in the village – didn’t really matter what you were trying to get rid of, John would take it away and either modify it to suit his purpose or move it on to someone who could. Over the years John has put many hours and much effort into our village and the Golf Club and it will be sad to see the Stanyons depart. I’ve many fond memories of The Stanyon Family in the Achray when I owned it, with ‘oward’ Stanyon putting the world to rights over a beer as only ‘oward’ could. Happy days! Through this column I’ve often been critical of the roads authorities and their tardy progress in maintaining the A85, so it’s only fair to give praise for their speed of action in rectifying the horrendous new potholes and splits in the main road caused by the severe winter. Potholes on

roads are a serious national problem and a real safety hazard, particularly for us motorcyclists, and it seems that funds just don’t exist in most areas to repair them. It must be galling for the authorities when they are constantly criticised when they fail but hardly ever praised for the things they do get right. But then I suppose that applies to any business. Another improvement to our local environment was effected this month by a group of volunteers, headed up by our glorious CC Leader, Russell, who demolished the eyesore of the 8ft high blue painted hoarding guarding the site where once stood Ingleside and erected a neat and tidy 3ft high paling fence (all with the consent of the land owner). It was hard to imagine a bigger blot on our village than Ingleside was before its demolition, but the big blue hoarding certainly trumped it. The project was financed by the Community Council and is a massive visual improvement, with the knock-on effect of letting prospective buyers see the very attractive housing plot which is on the market but was previously hidden by the hoarding.

Loch Earn’s Finest View... and Food Glorious Food

Bistro Lunch from £9.99 Afternoon Teas, Fine Dining or just come along and enjoy our view! The Four Seasons Hotel, St Fillans

01764 685 333

Meanwhile the Garden Group have been working away clearing the riverside on the western side of the village. The extent of the clearance is impressive and the roadside has been transformed from a jungle to a very pleasant area with the river now visible again. A side benefit of the efforts has been the salvaging of large quantities of small tree trunks which the group have cut into logs. I mentioned last month the first batch of these logs which sold quickly and more are now available through Eric. All of the proceeds go into the Garden Group fund for the ongoing knotweed eradication programme; which fund has benefited from the surplus raised by the ‘Gardeners Arms’ fun night last month, totalling some £1435. It was encouraging to hear that there were several new prospective members at the St Fillans Players meeting last week. The drama group has suffered from dwindling numbers over recent times as folk get older so ‘new blood’ is essential to keep the players going. I gather that a new play is in the reading process and my better half tells me it’s very funny. Look forward to it. St Fillans has never been renowned for athleticism but there is change in the air. We now have a weekly Keep Fit Group meeting every Tuesday at 2.00pm in the Sandison Hall – open to both sexes and very informal, with sweats the preferred outfits, not leotards (pity). All welcome, just turn up. Meanwhile our veteran village rowers, The Village Idiots, are honing their bodies to perfection ready for the annual Great Loch Earn Boat Race on Sunday 17 April. Spokesman for the team, Russell Cunningham, tells me that this year they are adopting a very new training regime developed in the USA and designed to bring them to peak performance exactly on the 17th. It seems that in previous years they peaked too early (often in The Drummond) but they are very confident of a podium position this year. Sponsors are very welcome – contact Russell – for a good cause and a fun day. I gather that the village might also be fielding a second team of ‘young bucks’ this year. Which, skillfully, brings me to the pair of deer currently grazing peacefully by the roadside, often close to the shop, Continued overleaf 3

Photos courtesy of Alistair Barclay

Continued from p3

and having total disregard of people or vehicles. I’ve seen them several times, never with a camera to hand, but now the tame animals have been spotted and photographed by Trevor Woodward lying happily in the sand in a bunker on the 9th at the Golf Club, whilst club members play round them.* Quite amazing for beasts who are normally so people shy. Sadly, it seems that Gordon Hibbert levied a charge on the animals for use of the course but it was not paid as it was considered two dear. (Couldn’t resist it, sorry).

Richard and Cathie

All Change at Lochearnhead Post Office Goodbye to Cathie and Richard

*So the deer and Trevor all lay happily in the sand together?? (Couldn’t resist it – sorry – Ed). News from The Four Seasons is that the hotel will be open again 7 days a week by the time this issue of The Villagers comes out. Despite price increases all around us the Two Course Lunch in the Tarken, Monday to Saturday, is still only £9.99! I sampled it last week and can fully recommend it. Early bookings for Easter Sunday Lunch are essential as it is usually a sell out. I was talking to Alan at The Achray House a few days ago and he mentioned the problem of folk using their fairly limited car parking area whilst not being patrons of the hotel. This is nothing new, it used to irk me years ago when I owned the hotel. It is not, of course, a problem if the hotel is quiet but can be a real nuisance when the place is busy. The obvious answer is just to ask Alan or Jane before parking there – seemples! After many weeks of rumours and speculation about the future of The Drummond I’m happy to quote direct from a statement given to me last week by Rebecca: “This year on its reopening The Drummond will be ringing in the changes and looking forward to a prosperous year that will go with a swing. The Drummond is undergoing plenty of changes which will bring it into this century, many of which will be a matter of taste, décor and joviality. Unless you become a regular and learn of these snippets as they happen then you’ll just have to watch this space!” So now you know. Finally, my usual plea. I need input to fill our ‘bit’ in The Villagers, so please let me know about happenings, coming events, concerns or whatever. John Murray 4

It was with much sadness that we were saying Goodbye to Cathie and Richard at the Post Office. We had a little presentation for them on 23 March – a surprise for them before they left. Cathie and Richard ran the Lochearnhead Post Office for five years and will be missed by the posties, Moira, Phil, Donald and Tom and all the villagers who found them so friendly and helpful. As neighbours, Christine, John and I will miss their kindness, especially on bin day. Richard will know what I mean! I’m sure that we all wish them the very best and good luck for the future. Noretta Glass

End of Season at the Lunch Club After a wonderfully satisfying lunch of roast pork with all the trimmings, followed by the now traditional end of season clootie dumpling, accompanied by wine, tea, coffee and biscuits, the happy band of BLS Lunch Clubbers enjoyed a raffle before the AGM. A rapid run through of the financial report by the treasurer, Betty McAusland, showed a deficit – hardly surprising since the severe winter weather had prevented the lunches from taking place on several occasions – but the good news was that despite this setback costs for next year would remain the same. The Chairman, Maurice Baker, thanked all the committee, the planners, the cooks, the washer-uppers and the eaters. He in turn was thanked for stepping into the breach once again by providing the warm and cosy premises of the Lochearnhead Scout Camp after yet another disastrous flood in Balquhidder Village Hall. The club will meet again at the start of October.

Hello from Cathy I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome I have received from the neighbourhood and Cathie and Richard for all their help with purchasing and opening the Post Office. I have moved down from Dalwhinnie which was near where my father originated from and a childhood dream to live in the Highlands. I have many pets – some of you will already have met Digger, the new labrador security, plus six cats, two horses, chickens and a duck called Howard. I have been self employed for many years but never with a Post Office, so please be patient as I am also a technophobe. I hope to expand the range in the shop for both locals and visitors and would welcome any suggestions for new ideas to sell. I am a huge fan of the outdoors so please don’t be surprised if you come to say Hello and there is a ‘Gone skiing/cycling/riding/hiking’ sign on the door! I look forward to meeting everyone and being part of the community for many years to come in Lochearnhead. Cathy McLean

Community Newspaper Awards Congratulations to both the Ben Ledi View and the Buchlyvie Bulletin on their success in this year’s awards. We know only too well how much hard work goes into producing our community newspapers and it really helps to have our efforts appreciated and rewarded. Of The Villagers the judges’ comments were: “The Villagers is an in-depth and comprehensive publication with many engaging stories. Its breadth of news really shows that local news has a strong future.” We received two Runners-up awards, both of them for Gill Allan’s work; in the categories Best Front Page and Most Amusing Item. Dan Hesp received an award in the Young Writer of the Year category and here he is receiving his certificate and prize voucher. The following are the comments made by the judges: “Dan Hesp’s account of his team Taekwondo adventure with his father provides an endearing account of a father and son’s medal-winning experiences in a clear, readable and enjoyable fashion which works well.”

Winners Community Newspaper of the Year 2010 (circulation over 500) Ben Ledi View (Callander) Runner-up - Strathard News (Aberfoyle, Kinlochard, Stonachlachar & Inversnaid)

Community Newspaper of the Year 2010 (circulation under 500) Buchlyvie Bulletin Joint Runners Up - The Bridge (Doune & Deanston) and Croftamie Claivers Best Article Community View, Raploch Interview with Community Police by Maria Balfour Runner-up - The Bridge (Doune & Deanston) Best Photograph supported by an article Ben Ledi View (Callander) Runner-up - Killin News

The Ben Ledi team - winners of the Community Newspaper of the Year (circulation over 500)

Best Regular Contribution Buchlyvie Bulletin Runner-up - Ben Ledi View (Callander) Best Front Page Community View, Raploch issue 11 Runner-up – The Villagers – February 2010 issue Most Amusing Contribution Strathard News (Aberfoyle, Kinlochard, Stonachlachar & Inversnaid) Runner Up - The Villagers for the Nef & Sanch cartoon Young Writer of the Year Ben Ledi View - Andrew King and Clinton Sejpal (age 11 & 12 years) The Bridge – Lorna Wallace (age 16 years) Buchlyvie Bulletin – Max Cumming (age 15 years) Croftamie Claivers – Izzy O’Keefe (age 5 years) The Villagers – Dan Hesp (age 10 years)

The Buchlyvie Bulletin team - winners of the Community Newspaper of the Year (circulation under 500)

Dan Hesp receives his certificate

Ho o


Ye e hah !

Good Food - and a warm welcome awaits all. Our exciting new kitchen team will be cooking the best locally sourced produce to ensure our winter menu has something for everyone. To make a reservation and enquire about our free transport service contact George at the Kings House. Reservations Tel: 01877 384 646 Fax: 01877 384716 email: 5


Birth Announcement Congratulations to our local Park Ranger Gareth Kett and his wife, Karen, on the birth of their son Tristan Connor Kett. Tristan was born on 16 March at Stirling Royal Infirmary and weighed 8lbs 13oz. He spent a couple of days in the neo-natal intensive care unit as he had trouble breathing at first but made a speedy recovery. Tristan is now doing great. He’s been spoilt rotten since getting home and huge thanks to all his well-wishers from Karen and Gareth.

... to Trossachs Woollen Mill, Callander, on the birth of a female calf to Heather, their Highland Cow. Saturday 5 March was also a very special day for big Hamish, the bull, who has now become a very attentive and loving stepfather but the calf needs a name and the competition is fierce. There is still time until 16 April to visit either the Kilmahog or the Trossachs Woollen Mills and enter your choice of name for the chance to win the prize, which will be a ‘Highland Coo Hamper’.

What’s my name...?

Congratulations to Wullie Dalziel who is 60 this month...



Wullie and Rab have bought a boat, Both of them hope that it will float. Wullie is working both day and night To make the thing watertight; He screws and saws and makes a noise, Just like the boys with their new toys, But one day, as we all know, Into the water it must go, Then Wullie and Rab with the crew Will go and fish in waters new. Good luck to them is what we wish, And hope that they - will bring us a fish!

Happy Birthday from the Immervoulin Gang 6

Well done to Dan Hesp who has won the Stirling Amateur Swimming Championship trophy for Boys under 10.

the unusual woodland plant nursery wide range of trees, shrubs and perennials. ...also interesting indoor and outdoor gifts and ornaments, fairtrade wooden craft, range of birdcare, tools and garden sundries. open 10.30-5.30 except Tuesday

01764 670038

We’re just west of Comrie on the A85

Hans Kauster Died 30 May 1983 aged 57 years (mentioned in the interview with Eoin Campbell last month)

In the 1970’s or so, if you strolled along the traffic-free, recently tarred road towards Loch Voil you would pass by a delapidated old cottage from whence came the sound of a gentle “putterputter” to harmonise with the silence. The source was a small fan which had been set up to generate electricity from the trickling burn at the side of the house; though such light as it gave was feeble. The dwelling belonged to a tall, rather gaunt man named Hans. He had worked with the Forestry at the prisoner of war camp in Comrie. Eoin Campbell recalls the animated discussions of allied and erstwhile enemy soldiers on the same events of the war. One day the putter-putter had noticeably stopped. The reason was plain; Hans was dead. On arriving in Balquhidder Hans had lodged at first with the Bennett brothers, gardeners for Stronvar and later the Forestry Commission, who lived at ‘The Kennels’. When a ‘tied’ cottage was offered for sale at £100, Hans’ offer of £75 was accepted. Enquiries were made as to the whereabouts of Hans’ family. It was discovered that his mother and a brother were at that time alive in East Berlin under Russian rule, thus explaining the severance from his family. Thanks to the benevolence of Balquhidder Kirk, a small marble stone in the churchyard commemorates his life. How poignant that this boy soldier, conscripted into Hitler’s army at 16, should have found solace in the peace of the glen and warmth of the people. Flora Phillips

recipes from our local hotels Spinach & Cream Cheese Roulade by Robert Kerr at the Lochearnhead Hotel 500g Baby spinach leaves 4 Eggs Zest and juice ½ Lemon 115g Full Fat Cream Cheese ½ tsp Ground nutmeg Salt and pepper Shallow baking tray approx. 12 x 6in Parchment paper 50g Grated parmesan cheese Method 1. Blanch spinach in seasoned water for 2 mins, then cool down in iced water. 2. Chop spinach and squeeze out excess water. 3. Separate 4 egg yolks and whites into different bowls. 4. Mix together cooked baby spinach, egg yolks, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper and nutmeg. 5. Whisk egg whites until stiff, fold into above mixture. 6. Line shallow baking tray with parchment paper and spread mixture evenly. 7. Bake for 10mins at 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4. 8. Remove from oven after 10mins, cover with grated parmesan, turn onto parchment paper and roll (like Swiss roll). Roll back and allow to cool for 5 mins, then spread on the cream cheese, roll back together and refrigerate. Serve with rocket salad.


Church News St Angus Eastertime Services at St. Angus.

Leading up to Easter there will be 11.15am Communion for Palm Sunday, with distribution of Palm Crosses. On Good Friday at 2.00pm there will be an hour’s Service of Meditation. Easter Sunday morning we will celebrate Communion at 8.00am at the loch side, courtesy of the Watersports Centre. Afterwards breakfast can be taken in the centre. For those who feel that is too early there will be a Communion Service at 9.45am in St. Serfs in Comrie. We look forward to welcoming you to these special services to celebrate the joy of Easter. Mary Barclay Vestry Secretary

Church News Balquhidder Reg. Charity No. SC012316

The Church A.G.M. was held on Sunday 27 March 2011, when the accounts for 2010 were presented. The financial report emphasised the problems caused by the loss of regular income over the past 2-3 years and the need to address this urgently. Property matters were covered within the accounts. However, I can report that the annual inspection and general repairs to the Church roof have been completed, together with removal of moss from tiles and the main roof ridge. In view of the state of the Church finances, you might like early notice of the next main fundraising event this year, which will be another concert planned for Friday 24 June. So, all those folk who missed out in January will get the chance to enjoy the local talent that was such a success despite the snow and ice! Watch out for posters and more details nearer the time. Jean Edwards


(Children’s Hospice Association Scotland)

SUNDAY 24th APRIL 10.00am – 3.00pm ROB ROY WORKSHOP KINGSHOUSE BALQUHIDDER £10.00 PER TABLE To book phone Fiona 01877 330103 or Kevin 01877 384274 Parking at the Kings House Hotel or The Wee Mindin

Callander Surgeries

Easter Holidays Leny Practice

Lochearnhead Ladies’ Supper Club The Ladies Supper Club met for the second time on 2 March in the Lochearnhead Hotel. The idea is to allow women of the village to meet informally four times a year for a nice meal and a chat with other women, some of whom they might never have met. When first muted, the intention was to advertise in The Villagers, however, the suggestion spread like wildfire by word of mouth and within three days the full quota had been reached, so apologies to anyone who missed the boat. No doubt some will fall by the wayside due to moving away or other commitments etc. so if anyone is interested in joining us, please contact Janette on 01567 830490 or email jcurle@ 8

Closed: All day, Good Friday 22 April All day, Easter Monday 25 April All day, Royal wedding Day 29 April

Bracklinn Practice

Closed: Afternoon of Good Friday 22 April All day, Easter Monday 25 April Afternoon of Royal Wedding Day 29 April

Pin-Feathers* *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). Old Nyati stays close to home this month.

by Old Nyati

Here be Giants... What do we see as we look around the glens? Trees! Yes, those great blocks of Sitka on the hillsides, but what about the few remaining Douglas Firs, Scots Firs, Wellingtonias, the old original Scots Larches (not the hybrids). The oaks and beeches - see if you can find them - stand beside one and look up - how high is it? 30, 40metres? How old? 150 years - these are living things, these are the Giants! Someone a long time ago had the confidence in the future and the vision to

Oak seedling in birch tree

plant them all,just because they would look wonderful in years to come and we now have that legacy of being able to admire them all. But what of the future? Those who can, why not plant a specimen tree to commemorate a birth or happy occasion, it will far outlast most other gifts and be a wonderful living thing to watch as years go by and for generations to come. If you do think of that, please make sure to fence it safely to protect from deer and sheep for at least ten years and DON’T plant it too close to the House - at least 50metres away, where it will be a great pleasure if you can see it from your window. It is good to see that a number of oaks and beeches have been planted recently and I know of two well grown Wellingtonias that are looking very comfortable.


Wellingtonia in Balquhidder Douglas Fir

Dead giant on Manse Rock

Larch on Loch Voil

On the subject of the old Giants, there are some yew trees in Balquhidder that must be very old indeed, perhaps 300-400 years. Who planted those? They would certainly pre-date the Stronvar estate creation; were they for making bows? Yews were certainly planted for that purpose but we can only guess. The Atlantic Oaks were coppiced for charcoal and iron smelting. The Scot Firs

on the Manse Rock must also be older than Stronvar; just stand close to one of those and think of all the things they have lived through - and what more will they see? Most of the trees in my photographs would have been planted by the Stronvar Estate and thankfully these remain but there are also some very old stumps around indicating that many were cut down. I heard tell of some argument within the Carnegie family; one loved the trees and another had some of them cut down to spite the relative whilst he was away. Perhaps an early return saved the ones we see now! The Wellingtonias and Douglas Firs would have been amongst the first to arrive in this country from British Columbia and planted, as was the fashion then, on country estates. Why not think of a reason to plant some more, though it may seem a long term strategy, but you will enjoy watching a new, living thing together with the feeling of leaving something for generations to come. Let’s hope they will see Giants too. 9

McLaren High School News

by Yvonne King

Blood Transfusion Service Talk to Senior Pupils On 10 February, Julie Morley from the Blood Transfusion Service came to McLaren to talk to S5 and S6 pupils about giving blood. She talked about the benefits and reasons for giving blood, and discussed with us the details of what is involved and where to go to give blood. There are 3 places to go to give blood in Scotland with various mobile units operating throughout the country, including one which visits Callander at the Kirk Hall. We found out that if we give a pint of our blood we can potentially save 3 lives. Only 3 teaspoons of blood are needed to save a premature baby, however only 5% of the population give blood. It was an interesting and informative afternoon. Thanks to Julie for talking to us. Emma Buchanan S5 Following the recent talk, 9 pupils gave blood and their efforts were gratefully appreciated by the Blood Transfusion Team. Well done to those pupils involved.

McLaren U-16 v Morrisons Academy McLaren under 16s beat Morrisons Academy in the quarter finals of the Scottish Schools Bowl on 22 February. From the start Morrisons were the better organised The Under 16s team and a well drilled pack soon gave their backs the first try of the game which was converted. McLaren fought back and winger Cameron Reid was released down the wing to score in the corner. Morrisons scored again to lead 12-5 at half time but a determined McLaren side tackled well and started to apply pressure on Morrisons with captain Adam Wood getting our second try to cut the deficit to just 12-10. Morrisons had a penalty to go further ahead but missed. The last 10 minutes were all McLaren’s and Adam scored again to give McLaren a 15-12 win to go into the Semi-Finals against Jedburgh Grammar.

Forth Valley Cross Country Championships Six pupils in S1-3 recently participated in the Forth Valley Cross Country Championships in Alloa. They all performed really well and represented the school excellently with a great team ethos. Young Writer of the Year 2010 Awards Congratulations to Andrew King and Clinton Sejpal (both S1) who received Young Writer of the Year 2010 awards from the Stirling Community Newspaper Forum for their article printed in the Ben Ledi View about their Induction Day at McLaren High School.

Cross Country team!

Clinton (left) and Andrew (right).

West of Scotland Ski Championships Glencoe On 2 March two teams from McLaren took part in the West of Scotland Ski Championships at Glencoe. Jane Brisbane, Hannah Brisbane, Seona Glen and Sophie Parsons were the McLaren A team, and Robbie Dingwall, Regan Dingwall, Ailsa Halliday and James Ronald were the McLaren B team. The pupils did very well, scooping up several medals. Robbie Dingwall was the fastest boy overall and the McLaren B Team got 3rd place.

visit our website: 10

Under 14s at Stirling High U-14 Rugby On 24 February McLaren U-14 played at Stirling High beating Wallace High 3 tries to 0, then Balfron High 8 tries to 0 and finally Stirling High 3 tries to 2. Well done to the team who remain unbeaten this season with 8 wins and 1 draw.

Bethany Ross

Scottish Schools Table Tennis Championships On 27 February, the Scottish Schools Championships were held in Perth. Bethany Ross S6, was competing in the Under 18 Girl’s event. Having won the Stirlingshire Schools regional qualifier, she went into the event as the top seed. In her last year in the event, Bethany had no trouble in taking the title. This means that she now goes on to compete at the British Schools Championships in Lilleshall, England on the 24 – 26 June as the top seed for Scotland. Brewin Dolphin Scottish Girls U-18 Rugby Cup Three S4/5 girls represented McLaren High as part of the central schools rugby team in March. They were unfortunately defeated by Plockton/Atholl but the girls enjoyed playing with other schools in the central area and had a great experience.


Strathyre Primary School News

Jamie Nixon

Cross Country After coming 5th in the Cross Country Race at Stirling Rugby Club, Jamie Nixon was invited to the Forth Valley Championships which were held in Alloa on 3 March. Jamie’s mum accompanied him to the event and he raced with over sixty children. Jamie finished 13th in the final. Well Done Jamie.

World Book Day On 4 March we celebrated World Book Day. Everyone dressed up as their favourite character from a book they had read. There was Huckleberry Finn, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Mad Hatter, Worst Witch, Wally and Cat in the Hat, just to name a few. The children spent the day playing word games, participating in paired reading sessions, listening to Roald Dahl and having a quiet time in the “ Reading Tent”. Both children and adults enjoyed dressing up, another great day at Strathyre Primary School.

Red Nose Day Any excuse and we all get dressed up again. This time we had to wear only red items of clothing. There were red socks, tshirts, hats, gloves, underwear, jumpers, cardigans, dressing gowns, wigs, tights, shoes, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, hair baubles, nail varnish, hair bands and of course, red noses. This wasn’t a competition to see who could wear the greatest number of different red items but there were some children who wore over twenty. Well done to everyone and we raised a total of £80.95. Thank you to all parents and children who donated money to this worthy cause. 12

Technology Week The pupils have been looking at Ecohouses, different types of renewable energy, insulating methods and eco building materials. The children presented their information to one another and then worked in groups to design and build an eco house. They were advised by a local architect, Mr Dimmer from Callander, who showed them plans of houses and gave them tips about how to draw a 2D plan. Mr Alan Corrie Wright, from Stitt Bros in Killin, came to give a presentation about building houses. The children then started to build their own eco houses; each one had to have a kitchen, living room, bedroom and a bathroom and some had even more rooms. They had to show wall insulation, roof insulation and heating. Boxes, cardboard, underlay, polystyrene, hay, straw, felt and wool were put to good use. The houses were painted and finished by the Friday morning and they all looked amazing. The eco friendly house made by P7 pupils will be displayed at Mclaren High School at the induction day in May. Cricket Active Sport coaches have been coming to Strathyre to teach the P6 pupils cricket. They have been out in the playground learning specific cricket techniques and have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions which will continue after the Easter holidays. Grounds Day We had our first grounds day in March. The children swept, weeded and planted out all their vegetable seeds in pots and tubs. When the plants are big enough they will be transferred into the vegetable plot. There was also a general tidy up after the hard winter, thus making the grounds look spick and span again.

Every child worked hard and they all worked collaboratively to complete the challenge. The results were amazing, stunning, brilliant, awesome, there just isn’t one word to describe the houses or the way the children worked to complete their task. Well done all. Bernie Macdonald

Here’s Rusty McD’s monthly feature - a 5-minute interview with someone in our community - and their chosen furry, feathered or scaly friends!

5 minutes with... Colin McGregor and Rusty

Interview by Rusty McD.

And so off I trundled along the scenic South Loch Earn Road in Lochearnhead to meet Colin McGregor whom I found fixing his tractor at his home at Carstraan Croft. Colin, you were born in Lochearnhead. Tell me what it was like growing up here. C: I went to Lochearnhead Primary School and there were 42 pupils and 2 teachers at the school. One teacher was called Mrs McLennan and then there was Mr John Sinclair who originally came from Oban and whose Dad worked for the railway. Farming, forestry and the railway were the main employers in our area. I remember the train and during my first six weeks at the High School, I was catching the train from Balquhidder Station to school. Then there was a landslide at Glen Ogle and buses had to take pupils to school instead. Lochearnhead was a lively community and lots of people were involved in farming. In Edinample for instance they employed 3 shepherds, 1 tractor man, 1 cattle man, 1 gardener and a handyman. The thing that sticks in my mind was the fun we had in summer time. At clipping time we had maybe 20 people clipping with handshears and 5 or 6 people catching and rolling up the wool. There seemed to be laughter all the time. People were shearing on stools. Some of them were wooden but the ones we had here were made of turf. The turf stools had wooden stakes in them

to keep them together and in place. The wives were the hardest working, maybe feeding 30+ people at the time. Lovely memories. What makes you laugh? C: It is the simple things that make me laugh. A classic anecdote from the past is one about our old tractor man. He was really a horse-man but had converted to tractors. One day he was sent away from Carstraan to Edinample with the tractor and a new dung spreader to spread some dung over there. He duly filled the spreader using a graip (dung-fork) and once he was fully loaded he left for Edinample with his load of dung. Unbeknown to him however, the dung spreader was left in gear and arriving at Edinample he realised that the spreader was empty!! All along his route, he had been merrily spreading dung all over the place!! What do you like best about living in Lochearnhead and what is maybe not so good? C: We lost our son Jamie two years ago and I am really blessed with very good friends and caring people around me. This has helped us so much to cope. Not so good: The very few new people who are not willing to learn about the countryside (the majority have adapted very well though!). It is a shame that there are now so few youngsters in Lochearnhead and that the older types of employment have gone, so people have to commute.

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. 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. APRIL • Wed 6th 9:30am Stroll - Mystery Stroll (5 miles) Peter Ireland 01877 330444 • Sat 16th 8:30am LDP CtoC (1) Portavadie to Ormidale Lodge (10 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Wed 20th 9:30am Ramble - North Third & Sauchie Crags (7 miles) Evelyn Dick 01786 850235 • Sat 30th 8:30am Hill - The Glen Sherup Horseshoe (645m) Myra Craig 01786 841240

Tell me about Rusty.../C: Rusty was actually Jamie’s dog and came up from Wales. Jamie had been on holiday in Wales and arrived home with a mischievous grin on his face and a wee pup hidden in his jacket. That was twelve years ago. Rusty has obviously got it in her mind that she is here to teach us and NOT for us to teach her!! She is the most stubborn terrier I’ve ever known. I really enjoyed our chat and you know what’s coming: where are you going to send me for the next interview for ‘5 Minutes with…’? C: Mike and Karen Holliday (both of them, because they are a team) and their dog Corrie. I am sure they’ll have some good stories to tell. 13

PRESENTATION AT KINGS HOUSE HOTEL ON SAT. 9 APRIL AT 3.00pm TO TOMMY MCGREGOR By CANCER RESEARCH in recognition of his 48 years of fundraising for the charity. All are welcome to join him and celebrate his success.

Great Loch Earn Boat Race Preparations for the Crieff Round Table ‘Great Loch Earn Boat Race’ are going well. The event is to be held on Sunday 17 April, with boats departing from Lochearnhead at about 12.30 pm, with the first teams arriving in St Fillans at about 2.45 - 3.00pm (weather permitting!). There has been great demand this year and all fifteen boats have already been allocated. However, there is a possibility that a boat or two may not be able to participate, so interested teams are being put on a reserve list. Once again the boats are very kindly being supplied by Alec at the Drummond Fisheries. Neil and the Watersports Centre are hosting the start and Alan and Jane at the Achray House Hotel are allowing the intrepid rowers a well earned rest, a plate of stovies and will also host the prize giving at the end of the day. The emphasis of the event is on having fun and raising money for charity. Crieff Round Table allocate the £80 per boat entrance fee to local good causes. In addition, teams also raise sponsorship for charities and good causes and the event typically raises about £4000 collectively. Stan MacKeddie Crieff Round Table

Enjoying wonderful views over Loch Earn and the surrounding countryside

The hotel is family run with ten en suite bedrooms, lounge bar, restaurant and residents’ lounge. Relax in the bar, take in the stunning views from our terrace and enjoy your drink or bar meal. For something that little bit more special try our menu in the Lochview Restaurant.

Reservations - Tel: 01567 830229 Fax: 01567 830364

email: 14

BLS Community Council Report Our latest meeting took place on 9 March in the comfortable surroundings of the Kings House, in pleasant contrast to the wintry weather outwith the dining room! The large flakes of snow drifting down looked threatening, but your hardy bunch of community councillors is made of sterner stuff and every member was present. Given the weather conditions outside and the consequent call to urgent, constabulary duties elsewhere, PC Ward was obliged to abbreviate his customary, informative and diverting account of mayhem and skullduggery in our deceptively tranquil part of the world. Thus we heard only a brief account of a recent attack upon the police vehicle parked behind the police office in Lochearnhead. Clearly, the enthusiastically proactive approach to justice in our area is not welcomed by every member of our local community. However, at the very time that this took place, PC Ward himself was going to enormous lengths to combat another crime that took place recently in our area. He had tracked to Northallerton in Yorkshire a gang of thieves who had stolen some BT cabling from Strathyre. There they were arrested, interviewed and charged with various offences arising from their visit. It would be a sad day indeed if instances of mindless, criminal damage were to persuade the powers that be, that a local police presence was no longer financially viable in our community, particularly when the current incumbent is so good at what he does and provides a real deterrent to travelling criminals who might otherwise be encouraged to think of our rural setting as a target for “easy pickings�. We then turned our attention to some local planning matters. A proposal to construct an hydroelectric scheme at Ballimore was considered first. It is planned to take place between April and October this year and would involve additional traffic, particularly along the roads through Balquhidder. An extensive investigation and report had been provided by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) with the conclusion that the impact on the local environment would be minimal. Fears regarding the likely impact of the construction vehicles travelling back and forth were also allayed by comments that similar schemes elsewhere in our area had not had much effect on the local roads or the traffic. No other objections were raised in the meeting so it was decided that no formal objection should be raised by the community council either. A second issue was then put forward, although it is not yet the subject of a formal, planning application. Recently a static caravan has been placed on the ground immediately behind The Munro hotel in

Strathyre. Local residents were alarmed at the prospect of the vehicle remaining there and rumours of it being joined by at least one more. A local community councillor had contacted the National Park Planning Enforcement Officer who had advised that the authorities were already aware of the situation and were taking action to prompt the owner of the hotel to submit a formal application for planning permission. This will enable proper account of local feelings to be considered before the situation becomes permanent. We then heard a report concerning the Community Health Partnership where our representative is to raise concerns regarding a reduction in the number of volunteer drivers available to transport people to and from hospital and medical clinics. A meeting is imminent and the Community Council will be apprised of developments in due course. Two of our community councillors recently attended a meeting convened by the National Park Authority with a view to coordinating the efforts of various agencies and organisations in tackling antisocial behaviour in the Park. The Councils involved (Stirling and Perth & Kinross) have conflicting policies regarding the collection and uplift of litter but cannot (as yet) be persuaded to resolve their differences and agree on a joint approach. The Park Authority and Central Scotland Police, by contrast, are working closely together to encourage a consistent approach to such behaviour throughout the area of the Park. This has been helped by a recent, national initiative to provide formal bye-laws in the area of East Loch Lomondside. Although this is by way of being an experimental approach, it is seen as having great potential for wider application. One or two other matters were mentioned. Bruce Crawford (MSP) is meeting with representatives of Transerv later in March to pursue the matter of road safety on the A84 at Balquhidder Station. The BLS Community Trust is still hoping to raise funds to renovate the tennis courts at Strathyre. Lastly, but by no means least, comment was passed on the dreadful and, in some cases, positively dangerous state of local roads after the adverse weather earlier. Cllr Owens (Stirling Council) advised people to ensure that all potholes and other dangers were reported to the Council. The more people who come forward and make complaints about dangerous conditions, the quicker remedial action is likely to take place. The meeting closed at 8:40pm and our next meeting is due at 7:30pm on Wednesday 20 April at Strathyre village hall and any local residents who wish to attend as observers are very welcome to do so. Paul Hicks 15

Rangers’ Review By Graeme Auty

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

of woodland beside Scotlands lochs and rivers. For more information about this project take a look at:

Grasp an Aspen

Now that spring is well under way, this is the time of year to start watching out for all the usual signs of rebirth; however one annual spring activity which often goes unnoticed is the flowering of the native aspen tree (Populus tremula). Characterised by its shimmering, trembling leaves in summer and amazing golden splash of colour in the autumn, the aspen tree is a beautiful but rare feature of the Scotland’s native woodlands and forest. The early signs of flowering are the fattening flower-buds. Unlike leaf-buds, which are pointed, flower-buds are rather round and occur in clusters. Aspen is dioecious, so individual trees are either male or female (in contrast to most trees, such as Scots pine, where male and female flowers occur on the same tree). Trees flower in April, before the leaves appear, with both the male and female trees producing catkins. Pollinated female catkins ripen in early summer and release tiny seeds; however this seed production only occurs very rarely in Scotland. In the Highlands it will grow at elevations of up to 550 metres, and is most often found on rocky slopes or cliffs where it is able to grow out of the reach of grazing animals. The leaves are round, measuring between 2.5 and 6 cm across, and have irregular blunt teeth on

Lead on!

Aspen, home to a diverse range of insects and other wildlife

their margins. The leaf stalks of aspen are flattened and very flexible near the leaf blade. This results in the characteristic fluttering of its leaves, even in the slightest breeze. Aspen roots can stay alive underground for many years after the death of the parent tree. This leads to the appearance of shoots in areas where there are no mature trees. Individual trees are relatively shortlived, surviving for perhaps only 50-100 years. However, it is very likely that a tree would have grown on from a sucker belonging to a much older clone. Recent research carried out on aspen in America has concluded that individual clones can survive for 10,000 years or more, making them possibly the longest lived organisms on the planet. If you see any signs of flowering, please take photos and a note of the location, and send us an e-mail. We will then pass this information on to Scottish Native Woods whom are aiming to restore aspen trees as a significant and valued component

Once again it is that time of year when I would urge all dog owners to keep dogs under control whilst out on the hills and not to enter into fields with livestock in and please find an alternative route. A loose dog amongst pregnant ewes can cause early abortion, and there have been repeated incidents of loose dogs resulting in fatalities in recent years. This obviously applies to all visitors to the area and local residents alike so if you own a dog please do be aware of its whereabouts at all times. If you need any lambing signs please get in touch.

Looking for leks

The rangers have now started the annual black grouse surveys in the area. As was reported in the February issue, this year we are carrying out ‘lek searches’ over several 5km by 5km grid squares in an attempt to locate new unrecorded lek sites. Some of the surveying will involve the usual early 4am start; however we will be carrying out some evening lek searches as well. All the information gathered is fed back to the RSPB, and will guide the ongoing conservation management of this threatened bird, hopefully ensuring its future survival.

If you see any others please let me know! As usual, if we are around at the Lochearnhead Office, please feel free to drop in, or to call Gareth or myself if you have any queries, wildlife sightings or just for a catch up. Gareth is in most days but I am only part time and am on duty Thursdays and Fridays. You can call me on 01389 722115 or on my mobile 07764371700 or alternatively you can email me on or Gareth at gareth.kett@ 16


Hidden Glen Safaris

Hidden Glen Safaris is a new tourism venture operating in and around Balquhidder Glen, run by Alan Sneddon and Catherine Lochhead. Alan was former farm manager at Monachyle Mhor. We offer 2½ hour and full day trips and can take groups of up to 8 in our Land Rover Defender. We have access through some stunning scenery and usually spy red deer and even golden eagle along the way. With 25 years’ wildlife management and farming experience and a wealth of local history knowledge, our aim is to showcase the wildlife of the glen through high quality telescope and binoculars, to bring the landscape alive with tales of the exploits of Rob Roy and the people who lived here centuries ago, whilst also explaining the vital role which the farmers of today have as producers of food and custodians of the land. We hope to work with and support local businesses and can provide a pickup service to local accommodation providers for groups of 4 or more free of charge (with prior notice). For more information please contact us on 07765 789 354.



Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

New working partner By the time the paper comes out I will have a new working partner, PC Iona Frickleton, who is based in Killin. Iona has a keen interest in both road traffic matters and drugs so we will be targeting these areas to ensure that you can be safe in your own community. Police car vandalised Unfortunately I find myself once again having to report that the police car based at Lochearnhead has been targeted and vandalised. The incident took place during the early hours of Monday 7 March when the car was parked at the rear of the police office. Paint had been smeared over windows and bodywork and a number of items were glued onto the bonnet. As a result the car could not be used for the next two days. Ignoring the costs of having the car uplifted by a garage to be cleaned and repaired what is more important is the fact that it could not be used in the event of an emergency. What would happen if: 1. there was a serious road accident 2. there was a house break in 3. a child had gone missing 4. somebody needed urgent medical attention and I was the nearest emergency service. These incidents occur on a regular basis and require an immediate police response. Not only do I rely on the car, so do my colleagues but perhaps more importantly so do YOU, the public. How do we know some more significant damage has not been caused to it which would make it dangerous to use. With this in mind the car had to go into the garage to undergo a full safety check before anybody could use it, again a cost we should not have to contemplate. Those who make decisions on financial evidence alone may well ask the following questions:

1. how much did the repairs cost the police budget? 2. what are the financial implications on the local policing if a vehicle is off the road? 3. can we afford to risk the car being damaged again? 4. does it make financial sense to have an officer based in Lochearnhead if the police property is at risk of damage? I would like to reassure everyone that I will make every effort to identify the culprit. Given the time, date and location of the car I strongly believe that the person responsible lives locally. Remember, if I am prepared to go to Yorkshire to track down a thief then knocking on doors here is not going to be difficult. Now for the good news. Updates to recent crimes in the area Recently I reported the theft of BT Cable from Strathyre. I am delighted to say that after extensive enquiries in both Scotland and England we detained a suspect in Yorkshire, who eventually made a full admission to the theft. At the beginning of September the Clachan Cottage Hotel in Lochearnhead was broken into during the night and along with cash and alcohol four charity tins were stolen. Thanks to the CCTV a positive identification of the male responsible was made. Fingerprint and DNA samples taken at the time also confirmed his identity. He was traced to the south coast of England where he was wanted for similar crimes and was due to appear at Stirling Sheriff Court but faced with a considerable amount of evidence he pled guilty prior to going to trial. At the start of June last year I reported the confiscation of an air rifle from a 25 year old male from Kirkbridge. He recently attended Stirling Sheriff Court where he pled guilty as charged. He was fined ÂŁ200 and the air rifle has been kept so it can be destroyed. First chain saw of the season The fishing season was only open one day before I caught a male from Alloa.

He was stealing logs. A quick search of the area also revealed a chainsaw. He was issued with a fixed penalty for vandalism and I confiscated the saw. Help needed to trace car and driver We have had a number of complaints regarding the speed of a vehicle travelling between Killin and Callander. The car is described as a relatively new hatch back, similar to a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra and is dark in colour. One report came from a driver from Derbyshire who was forced to brake suddenly because the driver of the suspect car had carried out such a dangerous overtake it nearly caused a head-on smash. Whilst off duty and travelling south along the side of Loch Lubnaig a car fitting the description went past me so fast I was unable to see its registration as the driver drove straight across all the bends. On another occasion when PC Frickleton was off duty she was almost blinded by a driver as he tailgated her car through Glen Ogle. Indications are that the driver is a male aged around 20 years who travels along the road most nights but in particular Monday, Tuesday and Thursday between 7.00 and 9.00pm. Please help the police with ongoing enquiries if you have any information. PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000

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 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.


Breadalbane Community Councils Forum (BCCF) BCCF, which represents BLS, Killin and Strathfillan Community Councils, had a meeting with Bob Jack, Chief Executive of Stirling Council at 7.00pm on 21 March. The meeting was also attended by Local Councillors, Paul Owens and Tony Ffinch, Owen McKee and Les Goodfellow. The original purpose of the meeting was to enable Mr Jack to explain his CEO role but in addition BCCF had requested a discussion on a more efficient way of providing local services. In essence it was proposed that a locally based maintenance team should carry out a range of tasks, in the seven Breadalbane villages, which are currently carried out by a number of teams from different Council departments. Mr Jack explained that the Council was facing a period of unprecedented financial restraint but that due to success in efficiency savings over the past 2-3 years, Stirling was not facing the same headline closures of facilities as other councils. The focus was now on further efficiencies and a need to look at new ways of delivering services. There was also acknowledgement from Mr Jack that the Council could do more to listen and respond to its customers, citizens and communities. Mr Jack responded to the BCCF proposal very positively and agreed to consider a pilot approach to the delivery of local services subject to agreement by elected Councillors. The next step is for the Council to identify someone to work across services and with the community councils to take the proposal forward. Progress will be reported by the BCCF through the Killin News and the Villagers. Full minutes of the meeting with Bob Jack are available through Stirling Council’s website www. or the www. website or by contacting Suzanne Player, Rural Development Worker tel: 01567 820154.

Farm Forum: It’s a small world... Some time ago you may remember me commenting on the then Minister of Agriculture at Westminster, Margaret Beckett, who implied that food security was not important and we could just import what we required. Fortunately politicians seem to be seeing the light now, although there is still a considerable degree of lip service being paid. If it is politically expedient to import certain meat or other food from a country without the strict production codes of practice that we must abide by, and are assured that the consumer requires, so be it. Think what has happened in the last few weeks. A major earthquake in New Zealand, an absolute catastrophe in Japan, problems in Libya and surrounding countries and most recently trouble in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. I was in Saudi Arabia some years ago and managed to visit two farms out in the desert. One of these was a “pivot”. A circular area about half a mile in diameter carved out of the desert at considerable cost. The pivot revolves from the centre like the hand of a clock and extends about ¼ of a mile on wheels. It has nozzles that deliver water and various nutrients to the crops that are grown in wedges. You could have lettuces growing next to carrots or barley or whatever and the flow of water and nutrients is adjusted constantly by computer as the pivot reaches the next type of crop. When I was there they were picking lettuces which were loaded on to the plane on which I returned to London that night. They were in Covent Garden for sale the next day! The main industry in Britain will soon be Call Centres although some of them have gone to other countries where labour costs are lower. I think it is a mistake to assume that there will always be much cheaper labour in other parts of the world – I read somewhere recently that wages in China have increased by about 15% in the last few months. The world is becoming smaller by the day and we are becoming more dependent on each other. I know trade is the lifeblood of the world, nevertheless I am convinced we in Britain should be more self sufficient than we are at present –

and I do not mean only in food. I wonder if anyone noticed the comments by Dalton Philips the other day? Dalton Philips is the Chief Executive of Morrisons supermarket and he renewed their commitment to source only home produced fresh beef, lamb and pork for their 430 UK supermarkets. He said that when they adopted this policy three years ago it resulted in a 32% increase in fresh meat sales. He is quoted as saying that Britain could no longer depend on imports, with global demand for food set to increase by 50% over the next twenty years as a result of population growth and rising prosperity. He went on to say that if people believe that increased beef production in Brazil will meet our needs in the UK they are badly mistaken. He said he had worked in Brazil and that over 80% of the beef produced there is already consumed within the country – a figure which is only going to rise. Much of our quality home produced beef in this country starts in the suckler herds in the hills and many of these farms are simply giving up. The thing that is not fully understood is that if livestock are removed from a hill farm they are very unlikely ever to be replaced, with far reaching consequences, both environmental and agricultural. Agricola


View from the Park by Owen McKee I had hardly said welcome to an early season tourist when he asked me when the ospreys would be back as watching them fish Loch Earn had been the highlight of his visit last year. The conversation dwelt on these remarkable birds for a while and then developed into a general discussion of the wild life in the area. It was quite clear why he had come to the area but often we have no idea why people choose to visit the Park and consequently we cannot be sure that we are always providing for their needs. With this in mind the Park Authority will be conducting a visitor survey during the summer season. We will in turn let the businesses in the Park know what the survey reveals. This year’s Community Grant scheme saw the Park Authority awarding grants totalling £21,500 to community trusts and councils throughout the Park, to help them with schemes ranging from Heritage Routes leaflets to benches and banners and assistance with the administrative costs of running their organisations. Another area where the Park has been continuing with grant assistance is in the Conservation Area Grant Scheme. One beneficiary of this scheme is the Episcopal Church in Killin which is seeing a major refurbishment of its listed corrugated iron building. Sometimes the Park Authority gets a little assistance too and we were delighted to receive £24,000 from Scottish Natural Heritage to help fund a couple of seasonal Ranger posts to assist with the Capercaillie project on the Loch Lomond islands. Forestry Commission, SNH and the Park Authority are jointly funding an officer to to take forward the first Rhododendron clearance project in the National Park under an SRDP scheme. So even in these cash constrained times we are managing to get some projects underway. With those constraints in mind we have been leasing out to commercial concerns our premises at Gateway Centre, Lomond Shores, Luss Visitor Centre,Tarbet and Inveruglas. In each case the tenants are contracted to provide National Park visitor information points. Back to the Reporter’s Review of the Finalised Local Draft Plan. The Callander sessions will be held in the Kirk Hall on 11th and 13th May when they will be examining the housing and mid to long term development plans in Callander. Honest, it will come to an end sometime this year. I promise. Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows. Post: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead Phone: 01567 830214 email: 20

Easter Egg Hunts in April The annual

Launch a Summer of Great Days Out at Loch Katrine

will be held this year on

The Steamship Sir Walter Scott will sail into its 112th year of service on 1st April as the summer season launches at Loch Katrine. Following a 5 months winter programme of maintenance and renovation, the historic ship will once again sail the tranquil waters of Loch Katrine, recalling the gentler pace of times gone by as the tales, history and legends of the loch are narrated by the Sir Walter Scott’s expert crew. Departing from Trossachs Pier, daily 1hour and 2hour sailings will again make up the steamship’s schedule and operators, The Steamship Sir Walter Scott Trust, have taken record reservations for the coming season with more than 3000 places already booked. Trossachs Pier also offers cycle hire, restaurant and retail services, whilst the stunning views and abundant wildlife combine with great walking and cycling routes to make for a great day out for all the family. A number of additional events and activities are being planned for the coming season, kicking off with free Easter Egg Hunts taking place every day throughout the month of April. Meanwhile, the charitable Trust which owns the Steamship has made further significant investment in infrastructure to support the long term future of the historic vessel, believed to be Scotland’s oldest operating passenger steamer. A new cradle has been designed, fabricated and installed at Stronachlachar, enabling the ship to be raised out of the water more easily for essential ongoing maintenance. This latest investment in the future of the Sir Walter Scott will be marked in early April when Robin Denny, descendant of the Denny shipbuilding family who originally built her in the late nineteenth century, will return to Loch Katrine to inspect this most recent investment in the long term future of the Steamship Sir Walter Scott. To find out more and book sailings aboard the Steamship Sir Walter Scott or Lady of the Lake on Loch Katrine this summer go to or call 01877 332000.

Stuc a’Chroin Hill Race Saturday 30 April followed by the ceilidh in Strathyre village hall.

If you are interested in helping or being a marshall please contact:

Catriona MacGeoch on 07824 446 024 or Graeme Courtney on 01877 384 788

The Summer Dance will be held in Balquhidder Hall on Saturday 4th June. Dancing will as usual be to the Ian Milligan Band.

H An excellent buffet is included. Tickets available from Mary Barclay

01567 830453

Further details in next month’s Villagers.



Stirling Castle Presents –

A Palace Fit for a Queen

OUR park

FOR SALE New Epson printer inks Teddy Bear Series 2 Black T0611, 1 Magenta T0613, 1 Yellow T0614 £5.00 each Phone 01877 384215


Greetings Cards ~ Stationery Films and Batteries Hot & Cold Drinks ~ Confectionery ~ Ice Cream Lochearnhead Souvenirs ~ Children’s Toys Signed books by Local Authors

Calling local businesses - enhance your green credentials and make a positive contribution to your local area! The innovative ‘OUR park’ scheme is FREE to join and gives businesses in the area an opportunity to enhance their green credentials whilst also making a positive contribution to improving and enhancing the local environment. There are many other benefits to participation including free marketing and publicity! The scheme gives visitors an opportunity to make voluntary contributions through local businesses which is used to deliver wildlife, conservation and access projects in the area, which in turn enhance the visitor experience. There is a choice of options as to how businesses can raise donations, making it easy and flexible to implement. Local business owner, Alice Eastland of Balquhidder Braes Holiday Park, who recently joined the scheme said “We are very excited about the opportunity to fundraise for local wildlife and access projects supported through the ‘OUR park’ scheme. Most of our customers come here to enjoy the stunning natural assets of the area, and the scheme is a great way for them to put something back. In 2011, we will be offering our customers the opportunity to give a donation to the scheme when they book a stay with us.” ‘OUR park’ is being developed by independent conservation charity Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, with support from LEADER Argyll & The Islands, LEADER Forth Valley & Lomond, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Scottish Enterprise. To find out more about the scheme, the benefits of joining or what projects donations will support please contact ‘OUR park’ project officer Alice Blazy-Winning on 01389 727 761 or by email alice@ You can also find out more at Alice Blazy-Winning

There will be a specially ticketed event taking place on the 4 and 5 June at the Castle with full public opening from Monday 6 June. Numbers are being limited to avoid overcrowding and tickets will need to be bought in advance. Weekend opening hours will, though, be specially extended so those without tickets for the event will still be able to get in from 4.00pm, with the castle closing at 7.00pm. The event will feature around sixty costumed performers putting on a range of displays, including everything from Renaissance cooking to mediaeval games. The main attraction will be the chance to be among the very first people to explore the sumptuously refurbished palace interiors – which have been richly decorated in the style of the 1540s. The event will recall the years during which Mary of Guise, widow of James V, made the newly-completed palace the heart of the royal court – and where her young daughter Mary Queen of Scots was brought up before being sent to France. There will also be the chance to see the original Stirling Heads, which were removed from the ceiling of the King’s Inner Hall in 1777 and dispersed round Britain. This will be the first time that all the survivors will have been together – and on public show – since the 18th century. Sometimes known as Scotland’s other crown jewels because of their superb craftsmanship, the heads are metre-wide oak medallions depicting kings, queens, emperors, Classical heroes and figures from the Scottish court. A replica set has been hand-carved and used to recreate the ceiling of the King’s Inner Hall, meaning visitors will be able to see how they would have looked when new.

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POST OFFICE & SHOP HOURS Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri 0900 - 1730 Wednesday 0900 - 1300 Saturday 0900 - 1230 Sunday Closed Post Office Post Box Collection Times: Morning - 12 noon Afternoon - 1600 (Except Saturday) Sunday - No Collection Telephone: 01567 830 201 21


We’ll send you or your friends ‘The Villagers’ £11.00 for 11 monthly issues (£20.00 for Europe and £27.50 for the rest of the world). All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, Tom-Na-Dair BALQUHIDDER FK19 8PB, SCOTLAND Cheques should be made payable to: THE BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION Remittance enclosed £ .........................(do not send cash) Please send copies of ‘The Villagers’ starting on ................ for 11 months To: NAME .......................................................................................................................... ADDRESS: ........................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................POSTCODE .............................. SENDER’S NAME & ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM ABOVE Please send copies of ‘The Villagers’ starting on ............................... for 11 months NAME ................................................................................................................................ ADDRESS .......................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................POSTCODE................................ 22


H All advertising must be paid up before publication can proceed. Discount adverts placed for 6 months must also be renewed on time and any which are in arrears will be removed and a space left until payment is received.



• The Villagers’ Contacts • John Stewart Business Manager BLS Newspaper Association Tom na Dhair Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB 01877 384 664

Marguerite Kobs Editor Kalinka Auchtubh Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8NZ 01877 384 215

Other Contacts...

Alistair Barclay Photographer & Advertising Coordinator Dalvaich Glenbeich Lochearnhead FK19 8PZ 01567 830 453

• DIARY DATES • Weekly & Monthly Activities

The Villagers’ Photographer


BLS Lunch Club, Lochearnhead Scout Station - 12.30-2.00pm


Keep Fit, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 - 11.30am Music Circle, Sandison Hall, St Fillans - 1.00pm - 4.00 pm Scottish Country Dancing, Strathyre Hall - 8.00pm - until 12th April

Wednesday Thursday Friday

Carpet Bowls, Lochearnhead Hall - 7.30 for 8.00pm

Upholstery, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am - 1.00pm Youth Club, Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00pm - 9.00pm

Playgroup, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am - 12noon Ballroom Dancing, Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00pm - 9.00pm

Production Manager: Gill Allan 01877 384 203 Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Susan Revie 01877 384 306 St Fillans Contact: John Murray 01764 685 487 Mail Order Distribution: Hilda Astbury 01877 384 681

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

APRIL 9 9-10 17 24 30

Coffee Morning in aid of CHAS - Callander Kirk Hall - 10.00am-12.00 noon Aero modellers Splash-in - Watersports Centre - 10.00am Great Loch Earn Boat Race - 12.30pm - see p.14 Car Boot Sale for CHAS - Rob Roy Workshop - Kingshouse - 10.00am - see p.8 Stuc a’Chroin Hill Race - Strathyre - see p.20 Cheques for advertising and mail order subscriptions should be made out to:

The BLS Newspaper Association

Copy Deadline Day is always the 24th of the month. Please help us to get The Villagers to you on time!

CHURCH SERVICES Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St. Fillans CHURCH OF SCOTLAND Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316 Sunday 12 noon Minister: Rev John Lincoln The Manse, Killin Tel: 01567 820 247 Dundurn Church, St Fillans Sunday11.30am Minister: Rev Graham McWilliams Tel: 01764 671 045

ROMAN CATHOLIC Callander, St Joseph the Worker Sunday 11.30am Killin, at the Episcopalian 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 Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: Published by The BLS Newspaper Association

The Villagers April 2011  

Village news and life around Lochearnhead, Balquhidders, St Fillans and Strathyre where Parthshire meets The Trossachs in Perthhsire, Scotla...

The Villagers April 2011  

Village news and life around Lochearnhead, Balquhidders, St Fillans and Strathyre where Parthshire meets The Trossachs in Perthhsire, Scotla...