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The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans • August 2017

Gathering at the Games

Congratulations to the organisers of the Highland Games 2017 for another wonderful event. See page 14 for the Report!

Editor’s Bit

It’s Lochearnhead’s turn for the front page this month and all concerned with the Games certainly deserve a very big pat on the back for providing so much fun for so many people of all ages. It certainly appeared from my vantage point in the Beer Tent (I was working there, I hasten to add!) that it is a major attraction for tourists from all over the world and I did say hello to some ‘locals’ although not as many as I might have thought would be there so, if you haven’t been for a while, I highly recommend you put it in your diary for next year or even consider helping for a spell. One volunteer we are going to miss here at The Villagers is Iona Mchedliani who has been our Business reporter. Iona has now finished her journalism course at Stirling and we would like to wish her every success as she starts her new career, possibly in a new country with her family. We would really appreciate someone coming on board to cover this aspect of our community life in whatever way they want so please get in touch with any idea you may have. So far, we have only one ‘postcard’ about your favourite day out/best places to go feature we launched last month (page 20) so hopefully some of you will now have returned from holidays and be prepared to share your top spots next month. JJ


Balquhidder Broadband Update

Seldom has a green box caused so much excitement!

Firstly, apologies for taking so long between updates on our broadband project. But that’s not been because nothing’s been happening: quite the opposite. Our silence has been born of not wishing to bore people with details of the conflict over funding we’ve had with Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) and then our not being allowed to say that we’ve officially ‘started’ our project - apparently saying so could have prejudiced some of the public funding. But we’re now moving forward with funding from Stirling Council and LEADER (EU/Stirling Council), some private investment (including from our partner Bogons Ltd) and some to come from CBS. However, as of the end of July, we can say that: - the glen’s internet connection is ordered and Openreach has installed the ducting needed to go from where the fibre ends at Stronvar Bridge into our cabinet. - the cabinet which will serve the glen is now installed at Stronvar. The electrical supply to that is now installed and we’ll have a live connection as soon as

Openreach turns up to make the final connection. - we’ll be putting in a wi-fi point immediately at the cabinet, so that anyone who’s in dire need or who just wants to test out what world-class broadband (1000Mb/s) really means will be welcome to wander up and try it out. - the first kilometre or so of ducting for the fibre network is in place and our priorities are, once we’ve got everything tested and debugged with the first few houses, to push on as rapidly as we can, from Stronvar to: Monachyle Mhor, via Muirlaggan, Bealach & Tuarach, and taking in Tulloch, Dhanakhosa & Craigruie along the way; to Gartnafuran and Gart; to Ballinluig/Red House area and to the Village Hall. Thereafter we can work back down the glen from the village to Mhor 84 and then Balquhidder Station. With all that in place, anyone who wants to pitch in can get on with building other bits of the network out from there without having to wait for us to connect them back to the feed at Stronvar. That will enable all the rest of the connections in the glen to get underway just as rapidly as we can round up volunteers to dig holes, lay duct and make tea. This isn’t rocket science: 75% of the cost of laying fibre is in the labour for the basic plumbing of the ducts needed to run the fibre through, so the more donkey work we do ourselves, the further the money goes. For those who haven’t been over to the Stronvar side recently and therefore either fallen into a trench or found the road blocked, there’s a gallery of pictures from the current work here: . In parallel with the actual digging of holes, we’re working with Bogons on the partnership contract and will be having a public meeting and Q&A session just as soon as we can arrange it - that’s likely to be in September. There will be many more regular updates from now on (firstly on but if you’ve any questions, please contact Richard or David on info@balquhidder. net at any time.


St Fillans Bit

Just a short piece this month, and I’m delighted to reveal details of the Festive Weekend which starts on Friday 25th August and runs through until Sunday 27th. This year’s event has been extended to mark the 200th anniversary of the renaming of the village to St Fillans in 1817. To mark this happy occasion, we are invited to meet at 6pm on Friday 25th August at the site of our 200th anniversary commemorative cairn, just where the walking/cycle path to Comrie intersects Station Road. The site was specially chosen as its grid reference also incorporates 18 and 17 (clever, eh?). Festivities will begin at exactly 18:17hrs when one of our eldest villagers will lay the first stone of the cairn. To span the generations, the second stone will be laid by our youngest resident, who was born in St Fillans. Attendees will be invited to indulge in a toast to St Fillans and enjoy a dram. Thereafter, villagers and guests will be invited to lay a stone. There will be plenty of stones available, so don’t worry, you don’t have to bring your own! It is not intended to finish building the cairn on that night - a work party will be press-ganged into doing that later. The cairn will, in due course, be marked by signage explaining its significance. A Time Capsule will be built into the cairn and offers of interesting and appropriate items for inclusion in the capsule will be gratefully received by the Festive Committee. Thereafter, the Company will move to our marquees in the playing field to enjoy supper and live music, both of which will have a nod to the hundred-year period between 1817 and 1917. The Saturday will focus on the next 40 to 50 years from the First World War to the mid twentieth century, with the usual Saturday afternoon repast provided by The Diner (courtesy of Dave and Don) and games which reflect that period. The Festive Committee are also delighted to confirm the return of professional entertainer and magician, Gary James; as well as being a member of the Magic Circle, Gary has always amazed audiences in the past. In addition to a meal, the evening will bring something quite different. Thanks to financial support provided by some local businesses and individuals, a Murder Mystery play has been commissioned and written, based on an actual royal visit which occurred in

by Isobel Howell the village in 1936... ok, so there wasn’t an actual murder but the royal visit certainly did occur. To find out more, order your tickets now! After the play, the evening will continue with music from our resident DJ. Sunday will bring us up to the present day with a delicious buffet lunch and guests can enjoy and dance to live band, Mystery Train, who were a major success when they last visited the marquee two years ago and performed at the May Ball. Tickets are on sale now and, thanks to a grant achieved from Lottery Funding through PKC, the price for a weekend adult ticket is still only £25 and a child ticket just £5! If you attend all sessions, you will enjoy four meals and four live entertainment acts – this offer is NOT TO BE MISSED! Tickets for the weekend, or for individual events, are available from Dave, Don, Jo, Sam, Hayley and Bruce. Finally, as always, the Festive Committee will welcome donations of items to be either raffled or auctioned as suitable, during the weekend. Finally, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the village to the new owner of The Four Seasons Hotel, Susan Stuart. Susan has a background in hospitality and special events and hopes to retain the position of the hotel within the local community. Please pop along to meet Susan and I would like to wish her every success.

Are you interested in becoming a Strathcarron Hospice Befriender?

There are few more rewarding things in life than making a difference to the lives of others, particularly at a time of greatest need. Strathcarron Befrienders are volunteers who give their time freely to offer social and practical support to people who have an advancing illness or a condition which limits their ability to participate in things which are important to them, often making them feel isolated or lonely. They do not provide personal care, domestic duties or administer medication. We are looking to recruit new Befrienders. What we require is someone with a friendly ear, a caring disposition and a few hours to spare either weekly or fortnightly to visit a person in their local community. Training, support and expenses will be provided. Volunteers make an enormous difference by giving up their valuable time and sharing skills to support patients and their families, both within the Hospice and in the community. If you would like more information on becoming a Befriender please visit the website at  strathcarronhospice. net  or contact Mandy Ross for an informal, no obligation chat on 01324 826222 or

Light Lunch and ‘Specials’ Menu in the Bistro • Afternoon and Cream Tea • Evening A La Carte and Rosette Menu • Sunday Roasts from £15.95 • Lunches, Afternoon Tea, Suppers and Dinner served daily


Horticultural Show - Last call for Entries! Lochearnhead Latest

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre

Horticultural Group

Annual Show

Saturday 26 August 2-4pm at

Lochearnhead Village Hall The Hall will be open to receive exhibits from 6.30pm to 9pm on the evening prior to the Show and from 8.30am to 10am on the day of the Show. All baking must be exhibited on paper plates, please! Exhibits in the Horticultural Categories must have been grown by the competitor and must have been under their care for at least six weeks prior to the Show (not applicable to Floral Art and Children’s classes). All entries in the Children’s classes must be unaided work. Competitors must complete an entry form showing the Reference No. of the classes in which they intend to compete. Completed Entries must accompany all exhibits on the day or the evening before - or if you would prefer, hand your entries in to either Strathyre Village Shop or Lochearnhead Village Shop. Any queries - please call Linda on 01877 384315 Enter as many classes as you like for £2.50! No entry fee in Children’s classes. The judging will commence at 10.30am and no competitor, except Committee members, will be allowed in the hall during judging. All rosettes collectable from 4pm. No exhibit may be removed before 4pm on Show Day. Competitors Free. DONATIONS OF PLANTS FOR A SALES TABLE WOULD BE APPRECIATED!


With only a few weeks to go before the BLS Horticulural Group Show there is just enough time for you to get cracking on your submissions. It may be a little late to start growing something - but there are so many other classes for you to have a go at... Floral Art Why not try your hand at a floral project? Floral Arrangement in a Matchbox sounds tricky - but remember you can get larger boxes at 10cm - a bit easier maybe! Or perhaps a Miniature Landscape in an ice cream tub could be a really fun thing to do (see sketch, right). Baking Remember tv’s Bake Off? Now’s your chance to shine! There are so many categories here: Madeira Cake, Oatcakes, Cheese Scones, a Bundle of Cheese Straws, a Wholemeal Loaf, 3 Pancakes, Flan, Trifle, Swiss Roll, Clootie Dumpling, Highlander Shortbread, Swiss Milk tablet, Truffles... Kindred Activities Made jam or chutney recently? Why not put forward some of your efforts. Choose between: Garden Jam - any homegrown variety Thickcut Orange Marmalade... Unusual Jam! Lemon Curd, Chutney (any variety), Homemade Wine - red, white or rosé... ...and hens’ eggs come into this category too, so if you keep hens, choose your best four eggs for judging.

Make a miniature landscape in an ice cream tub!

Arts, Crafts & Photography The general theme for the Show this year is ‘Landscape’. This theme can be portrayed in any way you like - whether it’s in a painting, an embroidery, or a sculpture - or why not write a poem? Here are some categories for you to think about: A ‘Tattie Bogle’ (scarecrow) made from recycled objects A Landscape themed Montage made from food labels A Peg Bag with Tree Decoration A Landscape themed Cross Stitch project A Landscape themed Embroidery project A Landscape themed Sculpture made from wood We would love to see your paintings and photographs with a Landscape theme. There are different age groups for the painting categories. See the panel left for some details - and you can still collect an entry form (which lists all 100 categories) from the Village Shops at Lochearnhead and Strathyre, or by email from gill@ The Horticultural Show in recent years has seen something of a decline in interest; last year we had so much rain that there were very few entries in the fruit and veg classes. It would be wonderful to see lots of entries arriving at Lochearnhead Village Hall on the 25th and 26th August especially from our younger residents. So come on - get your creative side active and join in the fun. Good luck! The BLS Horticultural Group

Home grown edibles and drinkables!

Make a scarecrow!

Strathyre News Strathyre Music Festival Fundraising Events


Race Night

When: 23rd September Where: Ben Sheann Hotel Time: 7:30pm


Get Ready for

Strathyre’s Got Talent 2018 Details to be announced...

eeeee Fred Menzies

(Formerly of Creagan Cottages, Strathyre) Fred passed away peacefully at his home in Glen Gardens, Callander on Friday 2nd June 2017, aged 90. Catherine, Christine, Gordon and family would like to thank all relatives, friends, neighbours both old and new for their kind thoughts, cards and flowers. Also for paying their last respects at the funeral service “A Celebration of the Life of Fred” in Balquhidder Church on Saturday 10th June 2017. Thank you to the Doctors and Staff at the Leny Medical Practice, Callander. Special thanks to the wonderful nurses, Majella, Evelyn & Michelle, at the Callander Medical Practice and to Susan and Evelyn at the Killin Medical Practice for the excellent care and kindness given to Fred over the last few years. Many thanks to Ross and Kevin of Andrew Anderson and Sons, Funeral Directors, Callander for their excellent services and kindness shown to all the family. Thanks to the Minister: Rev Dr Russell Moffat for his uplifting service. Thanks also to Robert, Amanda and their staff at Lochearnhead Hotel for the lovely lunch they provided after the service. The generous sum of £720 collected at the service has been given to the Leny Medical Practice in Callander. Catherine, Christine, Gordon & Family.

Here are some remarkable photos of brown trout caught by our very own Davy Allan ranging from 16lb 8oz to a mind blowing 33lb. Davy is a very experienced angler both on fresh water and the sea, and has gained a reputation for landing and returning [in most cases] very large fish. He started the season with the 16lb 8oz and went upwards after that. Angling requires patience and Davy has lots of it. He enjoys nothing better than to spend a night on his boat with a friend or by himself. I have had the pleasure of doing a “night shift” with Davy and drawing from his vast knowledge of fishing we had a wonderful night, landing a brace of Brownies, which weighed in at 45lb for both fish, and a wee dram to celebrate! With regards to the 33lb caught and returned, legalities do not allow it to be registered as a British record, which I believe stands at 31lbs, but as far as I am concerned Davy is a record breaker. He has a fantastic bespoke cabin cruiser which he has turned into the perfect craft for the type of fishing that he enjoys on loch or at sea and is more than happy to have friends join him on board, he will even cook you breakfast! Fishing with Davy gives you confidence and you just feel that you are going to land something special, so much so that I am now going after that record, as I am sure there are bigger fish to catch, but I am probably being a bit optimistic... still you never know. ‘Tight Lines’! Wullie D

Fireworks Display

The Strathyre members of the BLS Trust have decided to organise a firework display at the tennis court area in Strathyre on Friday 3rd November from 6pm. They have booked a professional display and are going to hopefully make this an annual event for Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre so are looking for Balquhidder and Lochearnhead residents who would like to help them. This is an expensive event and is costing £1,500.00 for the display and they thought if each village could raise £500.00 each to cover the cost then that would be great and any extra money raised could be put for next year and have the display in Balquhidder then Lochearnhead the year after that or vice versa. This could be a fantastic event bringing all three villages together so if you have any ideas on raising the money and would like to come on board the firecrackers team please give Mel a call on 01877384668 or 07919384724 . Strathyre’s first fund raiser is a table top sale at the Munro Hotel on Saturday 19th  August from 11. For anyone who would like a table please contact Mel on 01877384668 or 07919384724 and we are doing a baking stall so all donations will be greatly appreciated and please come along on the day. 5

Andrew Dow and Dalveich Hidden away in the home of my late grandfather’s house at Dalveich on the banks of Loch Earn was a ledger book that he meticulously kept to record all financial transactions made on behalf of Lochearnhead Recreational Club between the years 1924 to 1948. He was the treasurer of the club and within the ledger lies a social history which some of your readers of The Villagers may find interesting. There were many summer dances for example, one of which was described as an “all night dance”, suggesting locals knew how to enjoy themselves. The money raised on these occasions indicated that many people attended, one dance raising £26/6s/2d which would now be the equivalent of £1060.80 if the online conversion is correct. It is also interesting that the cost of phone calls in those days was very expensive, one call in March 1931 costing 5d. It is now been donated to Jill Johnston, the magazine’s editor, by Marion Cowie, the daughter of the treasurer and my mother. My grandfather Andrew Brown Dow was born at Lechine Cottage on the banks of Loch Earn in 1904. His own father worked on the Lochearnhead railway, later becoming the road cleaner for the area and his mother was a McPherson whose family can be traced back hundreds of years in the district. The family grave is in Killin graveyard and one of the family headstones dates back to the 1600s. Andrew spent a happy childhood at Lechine Cottage and as an only child was doted on by his two aunties and Uncle Peter, the McPhersons, who lived at Dalveich. Peter and his two sisters occupied one of the cottages and a number of other families, including the McLarens and Robertsons, lived in the other properties so at that time Dalveich was a small, thriving and close-knit hamlet. None of the McPhersons married and Peter often tested the patience of his sisters with his wilful and reckless streak which included selling the family horse one night in the Lochearnhead Hotel whilst under the influence. His life became much quieter as neither sister would speak to him for a considerably time after the horse’s departure! Uncle Peter was also the local poacher and it is said that on the Glorious Twelfth he visited Perth Market with some fine specimens of grouse, the only man to catch any that day, which led to his incarceration for a short time in Perth Jail. Despite his ruinous behaviour, Peter built the farmhouse at Dalveich that can still be seen today, standing proudly in a beautiful setting with views of the loch. My grandfather both admired and was exasperated by his Uncle Peter in equal measure because of his antics. When Peter died suddenly in the1920s Andrew took over the farmhouse and became a tenant farmer. Andrew married Mary Ferguson in 1935 and they had a daughter, Marion, in 1938 who was born at Dalveich. Most of the work on the farm was done with a plough and a couple of horses. The scenery was stunning but the hours were long and the work was back breaking. Andrew was a slight man but


Lechine Cottage

remained physically strong and working well into his seventies and I am sure that was due to the years of guiding the plough through the heavy soil of which he was an expert. Marion, my mother, left home to work in Edinburgh when she was young so my Grandfather kept the farm running with my Grandmother and a little help from an old tramp called Joe who lived in an outbuilding by his own request. My Gran would feed him and Joe seemed to enjoy his time there as he stopped ten years until he went into a care home. Neither of my Grandparents were concerned that a tramp lived on the farm which gives an insight into the sort of people they were and how society has changed so much. They were both very welcoming and hospitable people who opened their doors to evacuees, to disabled orphans, to holiday makers seeking Bed and Breakfast, friends, family and the homeless. The farmhouse itself was built by Peter McPherson and was still full of his old furniture which was antique. Half of it was riddled with woodworm and the other half my Gran had painted battleship grey when she got bored one afternoon. Every Scottish cliché was in that farmhouse. The beautiful home-made raspberry jam and pancakes, the servings of haggis, the view down the loch and the fiddle that sat high on a dresser in the kitchen. When the fiddle was brought down from the dresser on an evening we would spend happy nights murdering the old Scottish folk songs with our singing. Gramps was a talented violinist; sadly that gene was never passed down to me. I have instead inherited his big ears and the distinctive McPherson nose which I don’t know is a good or bad thing. He was in a band throughout his young life which was often in demand, especially at the village hall, and which kept the spirits of the community up during the long, cold nights of winter. Even after the arrival of the “wee grey Fergie” tractor in the 1930s a horse was kept on the hillside as a pet. I can still remember the day when a letter from my Grandparents landed on the door mat of our house in Lincolnshire. Mum read the letter out to us all thinking it might be full of general chit chat but it soon became clear that Tommy the horse had died and we were all devastated. Tommy, the big old carthorse, was like a member of the family and even now 45 years later I can still recall that letter arriving.

All my summer holidays were spent there with my sisters and we would arrive on the train from Lincolnshire, just when the hay making was at its busiest and from day one of the holiday we would follow my Grandfather everywhere, getting under his feet, asking endless questions and always wanting a ride on the “bogey”, his old cart, and so throughout August for ten or more years he had hay to cut, fences to mend and livestock to tend, all with three excitable chattering children at his heels . Life settled into a routine based around the changing seasons and Lochearnhead Church where Andrew was an elder. Years later, when he finally had to leave his beloved Dalveich because of ill health, in the care home Gramps, as we called him, recalled how little money he made in his first year on the farm which was just £42, and even 70 years on it shocked him how little it was. There must have been an endless list of jobs to do and all of them were done in hob nail boots, jeans, checked shirt and jumper. Sometimes the jumper came off in summer but only on the very hottest of days. Only when they became too frail to look after themselves in their late eighties and staying wasn’t an option did my grandparents reluctantly agree to leave Lochearnhead. Their kind neighbour Heather had helped to find them a good care home in Callander and Gran made her last trip to Owen ‘s shop where he would have made her chuckle at one of his jokes. That was the day my grandfather had always dreaded. To him Lochearnhead was the best place in the world and he would have preferred to stay there until his dying day; instead he had to be content living with the memories of Dalveich and all the people who had passed through its doors over the years. Gran and Gramps moved to the care home in Callander where they were looked after very well. Gramps was 95 when he died and Gran 97, proving that life at Dalveich, although difficult at times, was a special place where its residents could live long, healthy and fulfilling lives. It will always hold a very special place in my heart as it was the place where I also came into the world in 1963 and where I spent my happiest times. I hope readers who share memories of Dalveich and the community of Lochearnhead from times past will be able to look at the ledger and find its contents interesting. Michael Cowie

Callander Cinema is 40 Years Old!

I, Daniel Blake

A new season of films to enjoy at the Callander Cinema On September 23 we open the 41st year of screening movies in Callander with a free showing of I, Daniel Blake, the most significant film of 2016. The movie has been sponsored by Clanranald and will help to raise awareness of the work done by Start Up Stirling Foodbank and The Food Train. Monetary and/or food donations will be accepted at the door. There will be two screenings - at 5:30pm and 8:00pm. Reserve your seat by calling Eammon at 339323. Our 55 seat movie theatre in St. Kessog’s is one of Callander’s best kept secrets. Come along to the free screening of I, Daniel Blake (donations accepted) or join us for one of our five movies at Summerfest which include Trainspotting 2 and Manchester By The Sea. We will go on to screen another 14 movies beginning in October. The full programme and a membership application are attached. The cost is £26 which works out at less than £1.75 per movie, an absolute bargain and a perfect night out. Due to remodeling at The Waverley it is sad to announce that after 20 years of screening a Classic programme has come to an end. We have included two classic films in our upcoming season, The Maggie on December 2 and Double Indemnity on March 31. We will miss David Skelsey with his projector, 16mm reels and the bar breaks while he changed the reels over. David has gone digital and all of our screenings will be on Blu-Ray DVD with a digital projector and a surround sound speaker system. Many thanks go to our sponsors, Clanranald, Deli Ecosse, Gordon’s Barber Shop, Spirit of Scotland and the Texas Hold ‘Em Poker players at The Waverley. We are online at facebook under Callander Film Society and there are more details on our programme at the British Film Institute site at: http://www. callander-film-society Eammon O’Boyle (339323)

Come to the party on October 8th. Balloons, bubbly, birthday cake...and the best films on the go. Yes you read it right, Callander Cinema Society is moving in to its 40th year and we’d like YOU to join in the birthday celebrations when the season kicks off on October 8th. Come along and raise a glass to another 40 years. There are two sides to the Film Society – Contemporary and Classic - so there’s something for all tastes and all ages. Friday night in the Waverley Hotel is ‘Classic Night’ and every other Saturday you can see the most up-to-date films in the 60 seater Clanranald Theatre in St Kessogs Ancaster Square. The contemporary season kicks off with four award winning blockbusters. Spotlight shows on Saturday October 8th (party night!), followed up over the next few weeks by The Revenant on October 22nd and Room on November 5th, all Academy Award Best Picture winners, and November is then rounded off on the 19th with the 2016 Best Foreign Movie, Son of Saul. If the classics are your thing then another Academy Best Picture winner - All About Eve shouldn’t be missed on November 11th. The full programme is here, so get the dates in your diary now and make Saturday (and sometimes Friday) Movie Night! You don’t have to be a member to come along – just pay at the door - but if you’d like to join the Cinema Society then we’d be more than grateful for your support. You can check us out on our website at www.b callanderlm-society See you at the movies! Eammon O’Boyle (339323)


McLaren Leisure Centre, in Callander, has recently received funding for a community home energy-saving programme called the Trossachs Energy Saving Team (TEST) project. The project is an environmental one designed at reducing carbon related emissions, and therefore associated bills, brought about by home energy usage. It is funded by the Scottish Governments’ Carbon Challenge Fund for the Trossachs & Teith region and peripheral boundaries. TEST will be linking trained volunteers with residents by offering practical advice for reducing energy usage, tackling problems regarding condensation, help with using heating controls, plus, with HES, information on possible government grants. Are you, or anyone you know, interested in this project either as a volunteer willing to help or a resident needing advice. What McLaren Leisure Can Offer Volunteers - Energy Awareness (6281-01) City & Guilds Level 3 - First chance for home energy improvements - Training on climate change issues among many other incentives Volunteering with TEST will not only improve your knowledge of home energy issues for yourself but further improve your CV for greater employability choices. It will help your community too. If you would like to volunteer, receive energy-saving advice or would like more information please contact me. David Payne M: 0778 759 7012     T: 01786 841101 E: 7

Church News

Balquhidder BLS


A Note from

St Angus’s

Can’t believe that by the time you read this we will be into our last month of full summer (if you can call it that in these parts)! We in St Angus’s hope that you have had a good summer and that the next months will be good too as school begins again and all our autumn activities. We would like to thank folk very much for their support for the interesting talk given by Anthony Weld-Forrester: The Bible in Art – a whistle stop tour of the great masters and their different interpretations in paint of the Bible story. And the glass of wine and nibbles afterwards helped the conversation to flow! For your diaries, we plan another event for autumn: around the time of the autumn clear-up our thoughts turn to next year’s gardens so what better time than to have a ‘Gardener’s Question Time’ – of course with wine and nibbles and leading local gardening fundi.  Date: 20 October at 7 for 7.30pm. Venue to be confirmed – in Lochearnhead. All welcome.   We continue to hold times for Food for Thought  whenever there is a 5thSunday – a chance to discuss matters of moment over a glass and a plate of sandwiches on a Sunday evening from 5.30 – 7pm – mostly in the Lochearnhead Hotel, although we have also met in the Killin Hotel. In these days where honest and respectful discussion gets more and more difficult with the angry, aggressive tone for public discourse set by the media and politicians it seems really important that we keep alive the possibility of discussing things that are important to us in a rational and kindly way. We have grappled with topics like human sexuality, the need for charitable involvement, most recently after the Tim Farron debacle the question about whether you can be Christian and a politician anymore. The next one is Sunday October 29 so if you have a burning question you would like to explore, do let us know.   All the very best

Paddy Allen


Hi folks Country people, I have found, are down to earth and not easily impressed. They are too well grounded for that. My first charge was in New Deer in Buchan. A member of the congregation there told me this story to indicate the “earthiness” of the local people. At the time of Noah’s Flood, a farmer was standing on top of Bennachie (the highest hill in the area which can be seen in the distance from just about everywhere else in Buchan as the area is fairly flat). He was wearing his bunnet and smoking his pipe with the other hand resting on a stick. As the Ark floated by him he nodded his head and said “Aye, mucky nicht!” Now doesn’t that say it all! I can’t help but think that the Disciples of Jesus were like that. Rural Galileans were a hardy, no-nonsense sort of people, not easily impressed but stoical, pragmatic, and probably a little cynical as well. Yet they saw in Jesus something of worth and value and were prepared to take the risk of following him. By the time you read these words, the Clans Maclaren and MacGregor will both have attended a Sunday service at the Church of Balquhidder. It many ways this represents an annual “pilgrimage” and is rich in significance and meaning. Furthermore, on the 9th August we will have our annual commemoration of St Angus Day, remembering the coming of Christianity to these local Glens. Despite the decline in church membership and attendance throughout Western Europe, apparently the theme of Pilgrimage is making a significant come back in the 21st century. Old Pilgrim routes are being opened up throughout Europe with the annual numbers at traditional sites increasing at an amazing rate. For example - the famous Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James) in northern Spain only attracted a handful of pilgrims in the 1980s but now has upwards of 250,000 each year. I mention this as the route is the setting for the Film The Way starring Martin Sheen as the main character. It is excellent and well worth a look. After the death of his estranged son in a storm in the Pyrenees whilst aiming to walk the Camino de Santiago, the character played by Martin Sheen sets out to walk the route in memory of his son. Along the way he meets a bunch of troubled misfits from various places walking the pilgrim route for a variety of personal reasons. It is a very human story and highlights the hunger in the human soul for something ‘other’. But we don’t need to travel abroad for this. So many pilgrim routes are being re-established in Britain - and especially in Scotland. One of the exciting things in Balquhidder church is the number of visitors we get from all over the world and especially those who join us for worship on a Sunday. It is always fascinating to hear their ‘stories’ and enjoy their company. When was the last time you paid our wee church a visit? Why not come along on the 9th August at 6.30 for St Angus Day. We hope to have some local musicians helping us make this event worthwhile. It will not be serious or sombre but an informal and meaningful celebration of a special event and a special place. Come and join us!


I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely summer. The Church has been pretty quiet recently, but by the time you read this we shall have had the Lochearnhead Games and Clan Sunday on 23rd July when the MacLarens and MacGregors come to the Church  - not together you understand! We usually see the MacLarens at our regular 11.30 am Sunday service  while the MacGregors have their clan service at 3.00 pm that Sunday afternoon. Much as we enjoyed the variety of Ministers who helped during the vacancy, we are very glad indeed to have our permanent Minister, Rev Dr Russel Moffat with us. He and Mrs Moffat are well settled in the Manse in Killin and we hope they will be very happy there. The timing of the Sunday service at 11.30 am seems to suit us all- easier in summer of course. It would be nice to see a few more people in Church on a Sunday morning. Most of us are able to be home in good time for Sunday lunch! Please note that I have resigned as Church Treasurer - old age is catching up on me. Many thanks to Charlie Hunter who has kindly taken over from me. Lastly but by no means last, we are very grateful to the many visitors from all parts of the world who visit the church during their holidays. We would not be able to keep going without their interest and support. Jean Edwards

Scottish Wildlife Trust - Good News Summer

Orchids in Lochearnhead Thanks to Rory Gilchrist for the photos.

The first good news is that we have an excellent range of topics and speakers for our next programme of eight monthly talks on Scottish wildlife. The season opens on 12 September with ‘White-tailed eagles in the East of Scotland’ given by Owen Selly, RSPB’s Sea Eagle Officer. The following months cover Scotland’s Small Mammals, The Wildlife of Glencoe, the role of SNH in Deer Management in Scotland, Bird tracking and migration, Survival and Dispersal Strategies of Moths and Butterflies, Scotland’s Cetaceans and Orchids around Callander. Meetings are on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 in Callander Kirk Hall. If you would like a full programme and/or a monthly reminder, just send your email address to, it won’t be shared with anyone else. The article in the previous issue included the unusual range of wildflowers along Braeleny Road. A walk there in mid-June walk confirmed what a special site it is, with 7 species of orchids plus other flowers in one 2-3m2 patch. The good news is that the cattle were being grazed elsewhere for a couple of weeks so the flowers should have chance to set seed and flourish but the long-term grazing regime is still under discussion. Also a potential clash with the re-routed descent path from the crags has been resolved and the new path will now avoid the plant areas – a great outcome of determined lobbying by individuals. More good news from one of our local SWT group members who, for many years, has monitored the local barn owl population. 2010 was the best season since records began for barn owls in Central Scotland with 74 breeding pairs. However, in the very severe winter of 2010/2011, 3 prolonged periods of thick snow cover protected the main prey species, field voles. This catastrophic event resulted in large numbers of barn owls starving to death with 100 adults lost and probably most of the 211 young that had fledged and were just learning to fend for themselves. From that low point of 24 breeding pairs, the population recovered to 58 pairs by 2016 and this season the cyclic field vole population has peaked with a corresponding increase in barn owl numbers.

By late June 80 chicks had been recorded with a hope of reaching over 100! Let’s hope there will be enough voles to feed them through winter.

Hedgehogs also seem to be having a good year, being reported more frequently in local gardens, probably helped by two mild winters. However, they are still at risk and gardeners can help with relatively simple measures. A wild corner with long grass / tall flowers provides a site for invertebrate food and daytime nesting; buy a ‘hog house’ or make a log pile for winter hibernation; don’t use garden chemicals; open up access between gardens by a small tunnel or a 5” square hole; supplement natural foods with meat-based cat or dog food, crushed unsalted peanuts, mealworms or raisins, especially if they are active between November and March. Look out for them crossing the road and, finally, if you find one that looks sick or injured, put it in a box indoors with a towel to hide under and contact the local hedgehog hospital or call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801. Hope to see many of you at the talks as part of an equally good autumn. Lesley Hawkins

Callander SWT Group

DIARY Sunday 13 August Himalayan Balsam Bash

10:00-13:00 meet at Callander Medical Centre, Geisher Road Callander FK17 8LX



*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 tells a supernatural tale... There is an ancient legend which is recorded in several old books about the Scottish Highlands regarding a magnificent, legendary and mythical stag. The same legend is also spoken of in Scandinavian countries, this time of course about a moose, or elk as they are called there. But first let us consider the Scottish story which goes something like this:  Long ago a stalker was out on the hill when he spied the most magnificent stag he had ever seen and, after an arduous and prolonged stalk through the mist and rain and at times fearing that the beast had gone, he finally crawled within shooting distance. night in a high state of nerves and related He rested for a while to consider whether his ghostly encounter with everyone he should shoot this wonderful beast there. Amongst the other guests was an or leave it to live on. On most ethical old stalker from another estate who said stalking estates, this would also be a that he had heard tell of this wonderful stag.  He also related a further story that consideration today. After some soul searching he raised his it was believed that if the hunter could rifle and took aim.  At the very moment keep his rifle aimed at the stag and make his sights came to bear on the stag it his approach while taking the shot the changed into a most beautiful naked maiden would lead him away to some young maiden. Completely taken aback secret place and unknown delights. at this he lowered his rifle away from the It was also related that this had once maiden whereupon she immediately happened to a young and innocent young stalker who succeeded in keeping changed back into a stag. This of course presented him with a his aim and was seen to be led away by great dilemma, what should he do? He the young maiden, disappearing into lay for a moment in disbelief and then, as the mist, never to be seen again. if by some strange coincidence, the mist   My photograph shows an image of a large and magnificent elk, as it is in came down and the stag disappeared.   When he returned to the lodge that Sweden. It was the custom there that after dinner there was much singing and telling of stories and it was this same story related to me without any knowledge of the Scottish version whilst staying as a guest in a huge estate house called Massvick in the village of Saffler on the shores of Lake Vanern after a day of traditional elk hunting.   There has to be a connection in old hunting legends with our friends in Scandinavia, or is there something a little bit supernatural going on?


Are there any stalkers out there who have come across these phenomena, or heard of any strange disappearances out on the hill? Would the mountain rescue be of any help... or would it be best just to leave well alone? Old Nyati

Road traffic accidents and near misses caused by deer

Balquhidder Deer Management Group, Police Scotland, BLS Community Council and SNH are trying to mitigate the problem of Deer encroaching onto the main A84 (or any local roads.) It would be very helpful if anyone experiencing an accident or near miss would contact Our Community Police Officer Will Diamond giving him the location and type of deer involved. i.e. large Red Deer or small Roe Deer. Incidents should be sent to william.diamond@scotland.pnn.

Community Champion Awards The search for National Park stars begins!

Nominations are now open for this year’s Community Partnership ‘Community Champion Awards’ 2017 which recognises the amazing work being carried out at grassroots level in communities across Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. The special event at the Millennium Hall in Gartocharn on Saturday 4th November will celebrate the achievements of the real stars and amazing groups who have contributed greatly to the development and enhancement of their communities. Nominations are now being sought from community interest groups, Community Development Trusts and Community Councils in this

year’s categories; Volunteer of the Year, Rising Champion of the Year, Young Volunteer of the Year and Community Organisation of the Year! With voting now made much easier with the addition of an online nomination form there is every opportunity to get in your submissions before the closing date on Monday 23rd October. Of course you can still vote in the normal way and download a copy of the form from The Community Partnership website at www. All nominees and their families will be invited along to the special award at which the winners of each category will be announced. Winner of last year’s ‘Rising Champion’ award is Lynne Schroder who was

nominated by her community for her remarkable contribution to the community through her passion for art and creativity. Lynne who is committed to community art believes firmly in the power of art to create community pride and was a founder member of Creative in Callander which provides a supportive network and retail outlet for a large group of artists and crafters in the area. Lynne told us why the award was so important to her; “Receiving the award was a great honour… but it’s a community thing. I couldn’t have done it without Jim my husband and the amazing volunteers on the ground. I hope it inspires others to learn that volunteering gives you back more than you give.”

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Run Mhor at Mhor 84 2017 Running fever returned to Balquhidder with the recent Run Mhor 10K, Half Marathon and Fun Run, which took place on the 24th  June. The event sold out in just 28 hours and over 300 runners took to the start line in windy but dry conditions.  Based at Mhor 84, the event took in the scenic roads through Balquhidder Glen, Route 7 cycle path and linked the villages of Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead. Mhor 84 hosted the event keeping everyone well fed and all runners were treated to a complimentary pint of Mhor 84 lager, sponsored by Belhaven Brewery. The men’s half marathon was won by Jack Arnold (1:19:08) and the women’s race by Judith Dobson (1:43:39). The men’s 10K was won by Bryan Innes (39:26) and the women’s race by Karen Brown (42:28). The Fun run was also a great success with lots of young runners getting involved and some running with their parents or grandparents over the 840m course. Huge thanks must go to the event sponsors Mhor and Tom, Lisa, Dick Lewis and Kim Crooks along with the fantastic team of chefs and staff at Mhor 84. Special thanks also to Belhaven Brewery who kept all the runners refreshed at the finish and Wheels Cycles in Callander who sponsored the race prizes. Furthermore, the day would not have been such a success without the support of Jane Simpson and Alexander Bowers and the help of John Morris and Iona Waugh along with the numerous local volunteers and friends who joined in and worked very hard on the day. £200 was raised from participant donations and this was given to Lochearnhead, Balquhidder and Strathyre Playgroup, who helped on the day. Congratulations to everyone who took part this year. The feedback has all been very positive and plans are already afoot for 2018, keep an eye on for details. Pete Waugh, Run Mhor Event Organiser

Clockwise, from top: The half marathon start; Half marathon lady winner; kids’ start; 10k lady winner; Half marathon winner Thanks to Ron Allner for the photographs!


From top: the 10k start; Winner of the Kids’ Race; 10k winner.

Pete was too modest to include any of the competitor’s rave reviews of his organisation so we have included a couple. If you are feeling inspired the next local event is At Monachyle and is the Hidden Glen on Saturday 16th September. “The half marathon was quite simply a great run; the first half was such a lovely country road run and the second half was just glorious trail and track. The view from the top of the zig-zags was spectacular, worth every step up that hill. Very well organised and Mhor 84 proved to be a great starting and finishing point. The marshals did a wonderful job, especially the brave souls standing in the middle of the trees being eaten alive by midges - that’s dedication! Thanks to all who put so much effort into making this a great day. Looking forward to next year’s run.” “Extremely well organised with a super chilled laid-back atmosphere. The toughest Half I’ve ever run - but also the most beautiful. “ CAPTION COMPETITION! See if you can come up with a caption for this photo of wishful thinking at the tape. Send your idea to The Editor at

Do you need an affordable home? Rural Stirling Housing Association aims to support local communities by providing quality homes at affordable rents for families, couples and single people in housing need. We currently have over 550 rented houses and flats. Around 50 of these become available for rent each year. We hope to have new properties in Strathblane and Balmaha soon and currently have properties in the following communities

Aberfoyle Deanston Gartmore Lochearnhead Balfron Doune Killin Strathyre Buchlyvie Drymen Kinlochard Stronachlachar Callander Gargunnock Kippen Tyndrum

We may be able to build in other communities in the future – please let us know to if you want to live in a village that is not listed above. Information on local housing need and demand helps us plan for the future. If you are interested one of our properties become available please

in renting when they contact us:

Rural Stirling Housing Association Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AA Telephone: 01786 841101 Email:

Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SC037849


Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Highland Games 2017 We are told that tourism contributes greatly towards Scotland’s economic wellbeing and to its reputation around the world. For one weekend every July the little village of Lochearnhead punches way above its weight in lending support to that goal.

A band of volunteers set about the task of producing a day in the calendar to be remembered. There have been Highland Games around the shores of Loch Earn for over 200 years now and these Games in particular are held in the old spirit, combining the best traditions of measuring strength of the heavyweight athletic events, grace of the dancers, skill of the pipers and fleetness of foot of the runners. An arena is created out of a sheep field, rolled cut and marked out and over one day 65 different events unfold in the friendliest spirit of competitiveness and good humour. Tourists do come from all parts to stroll around the flag dressed arena and to have fun with the the traders and sideshows that line the playing area. While there are flags of many nations on display, helpfully this year we were reminded too that we were missing a Dutch and even a Russian banner from our display. Individual mastery of traditional events is to be marvelled at and we remember in the best tradition to include competition among our spectators in our athletics, tossing the sheaf over the bar, tug o war and hill race, once our main competitors have impressed the judges with all the feats which are the essential elements of pure highland games. Our day begins early for our solo pipers (aah... the endless pibroch!) and the first stones were thrown in the athletic competition at noon, as the dancers make their way to their own stages. Many champions in their disciplines were present to display their talent in events uniquely born of Scotland. For those who came to wonder at the feats of strength, Lorne Colthart, recently crowned world champion caber tosser, prevailed in the ‘Heavy’ events, chased home in the competition by Craig Sinclair and Stuart Anderson. In our excellent dancing competition Charlotte Simpson of Motherwell won at 12 and under level, Kirstin Mitchelson from Monifieth at under 17 and Candice Walker from Glenrothes was leading adult. The Open piping award was shared this year by Calum Wynd, Dunblane and William Geddes, Glasgow for their aggregated performances in March, Strathspey & Reel and Piobaireachd. 14

One feature of our day is the gruelling hill race. 48 runners set off and the winner of the race was Stephen Rawlinson from Killin while our own Lottie Cameron was 4th overall and winner of the ladies race. I wish to record my own thanks and those of the organising committee to all the competitors, to the visitors who flocked through the gates in most unpromising weather at the start of the day and most of all to the volunteers who worked long, hard and cheerfully to give the villages such a great day. Davie and his bar team, Paul and his car parking crew, Liz and the gate keepers, all of the conveners, you see only snatches of the events while making our competitors and visitors feel included, safe and welcome. The support of our Patrons must be recorded here. They give funds generously to allow us to improve our arena, to provide for prizes and to help maintain a culture, which is the preserve of the old Highlands, to enrich the experience of our visitors. These Games are the acknowledged home Gatherings of the Clans MacGregor MacLaren and Stewart of Ardvorlich. They bring their followers and families each year to the village and they are proud to support and to acknowledge all of the efforts of the

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villagers to make them feel welcome. Our own fame is spread by the regular visits of film and documentary crews from many parts of the world and we hope you can enjoy some of their filming through links from our Games website. We would welcome too any happy memories, to our Facebook page. There is much to look forward to next year. Alex Gargolinski, Secretary

SEEING STARS by Keith Wilson 

AUGUST 2017 The constellation of Lyra is shaped like a Greek lyre, compact but perfectly formed. Some ancient people however visualised the constellation as an eagle. The constellation is easy to find thanks to its brightest star Vega, the fifth brightest star in our night sky. Vega in Arabic means ‘swooping eagle’. Vega is a young blue-white star and spacecraft have detected that it is surrounded by a disk of dust and debris that is forming into another solar system. Who knows, perhaps in billions of years time life will evolve on one of Vega’s new planets as it has done on Earth in our solar system. You will find Lyra almost overhead this month with the Milky Way lying in the background. Vega is one of three stars which make up the ‘summer triangle’, the others being Deneb in the constellation Cygnus and Altair in the constellation Aquila. Use the chart above to see if you can identify all three stars and wonder at the new solar system being born around the star Vega.

DOCTORS MEDICINES WASTAGE CAMPAIGN As many of you are aware both Leny and Bracklinn Practice held a medication amnesty during the months of April and May. This is just some of the medication handed in by our patients: The practices were shocked at the amount of medication handed in to the medical centre during the 2 month period. The amount of medication in the picture totalled several thousands of pounds. All the medication has now been disposed of correctly. We urge everyone not to over order medication and waste NHS money. FLU VACCINES – OPEN DAY ADVANCE NOTICE The annual flu clinic will be on Friday 20th October this year. Come along at any time during the day for your vaccination. More information will be given nearer the time. OCTOBER BANK HOLIDAY Bracklinn Practice will be open on the 9th October until lunchtime. The practice will be closed in the afternoon for staff training. Leny Practice is closed all day on the 9th October. In the event of urgent medical assistance/advice please dial 111.

Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses

The surgeries and community nurses take part in various training programmes throughout the year. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoon will provisionally be on: Tuesday 28th November 2017 Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12.30pm. We hope that emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs, however, this will not be confirmed to the practices until nearer the time. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 111. On that afternoon, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments.


Local History Request WHAT IS THE U3A? The University of the Third Age is an organisation which gathers together people who are retired or semi-retired and who enjoy Learning for Fun. No qualifications are required and none are given out because there are no tests or exams.

The following appeal for any sources of information was sent recently to Monachyle Mhor and we wondered if any of our readers might have any relevant knowledge to pass on.

Each of the 49 U3A groups in Scotland run courses in a variety of subjects with the aim of ‘something for everyone’. Your local organisation is Callander & West Perthshire U3A, based in Callander but with groups meeting in surrounding villages and a branch already up and running in Killin. There will be two enrolment days in August, the first in Killin:

TUESDAY 22nd AUGUST 10.30am – 12noon IN THE CONSERVATORY AT KILLIN HOTEL Courses held in Killin during the next session will be as follows: FRENCH CONVERSATION Wednesdays 2.30 - 4.30pm CURRENT AFFAIRS 10.00am - 12 noon on the first Wednesday of the month ART Tuesdays 2.00 - 4.00pm BRIDGE Fridays 2.00 - 4.00pm All courses to begin in September: dates will be given on Enrolment Day. Come and see what’s on offer and chat with the leaders over a cup of coffee. All stages of ability welcome on all these courses. In Callander and environs there will be 34 courses next session and the Enrolment Day is: THURSDAY 24th AUGUST 2.00-4.00pm IN CALLANDER KIRK HALL


Membership costs £10 per year (or £5 if you already belong to another U3A) Group leaders will be present on the day to answer your questions Tea with homemade scones will be served.

William McLean

I have recently been researching my family history, and found that William McLean had tragically drowned in the Monachyle Burn on 22nd August 1900. He was my Great Uncle William and he was 16 years old at the time and in service as a farm hand in 1900 at a local place called Rhuveag. This was given as his address, although he was from Glasgow. It was recorded as accidental and he was brought back to Glasgow to be buried. My grandfather, (his older brother) Donald signed his death certificate, he himself was tragically killed in France in WW1 1914. It was almost exactly a year after Williams father (my great grandfather John) had fallen from a window in Glasgow, and then William had this terrible accident at such a young age. I was wondering if you know of any local historians or local newspapers who went back to 1900 who may know anything about this? Or if you knew anything about the people of Rhuveag at the time who had kindly taken William in as their farm hand? Any information is greatly appreciated, and I’m looking forward to visiting the area very soon.     Best wishes     Heather McLean Peden

Firstly, apologies for missing last month’s deadline and not providing an article. I had an incredibly busy time around the last deadline with ongoing enquiries and I was lucky enough to be invited to attend several national events across the country to speak about wildlife crime, including The Royal Highland Show and Scone Game Fair to name but a few. On the 30th  April, two males were found on South Loch Earn to be committing a number of offences, including possession of controlled drugs, fishing in an illegal manner and 2 offences under The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Camping Management Byelaws 2017. Both males were charged and reported to the Procurator Fiscal to appear at court at a later date.  Over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of July, our Roads Policing Officers carried out high visibility patrols and speed checks on the A84 and A85. Within the villages of Strathyre and Lochearnhead, 25 motorists were reported to the Procurator Fiscal for their speed. For that to happen, the speed must be in excess of 50mph. A further 39 drivers were warned about their speed. One of these drivers was not as lucky as he was caught speeding in Strathyre, and then a short time later caught in Lochearnhead! Clearly someone did not learn their lesson. The highest speed recorded that weekend passing through the villages was 57mph.  On the 15th July, a male was found to be driving his vehicle without holding

a driving licence or insurance and he is now subject to a report to the Procurator Fiscal. The vehicle was also seized by Police. Alcohol Byelaw update  As promised, as soon as I was given an update on the alcohol byelaw, I would pass it on. Just this week confirmation was given that the byelaw will go live on the 7th of August 2017. The new byelaw will create the offence of drinking alcohol within a public place. The Byelaws will cover the Northern aspects of Loch Lubnaig, all the way through Strathyre, the entire length of Balquhidder Glen (including Stronaslaney Road and Glen Buckie). It will also cover Lochearnhead and East along Loch Earn to the Stirling Council boundary. Anyone found contravening the Byelaw will be handed a £40 Fixed Penalty Notice.  Wheelie Bin Poster Initiative    As I mentioned in one of my previous articles, the Safety Camera Unit are currently developing an initiative which will be piloted within three local authority areas (Scottish Borders, Stirling & Fife) whereby the plan is to affix adhesive posters containing a road safety message to the wheelie bins of residents on roads where they currently carry out speed enforcement. The first pilot is already underway in Stow, within the Scottish Borders and it has been very

well received by local residents. In the Forth Valley area, given the route’s history of injury collisions involving speed, the A84, at Strathyre has been chosen for the trial area.  It is the intention to attach these posters to each side of  wheelie bins, thereby displaying a clear message to vehicle drivers and occupants passing through Strathyre in either direction on the days on which the different wheelie bins are at the kerbside. The posters are not designed to be a distraction but will hopefully serve as a subtle reminder to drivers.  The required approval has now been granted from Transport Scotland and Stirling Council and the date for affixing the posters has been set for Wednesday 26th  July. I will be in the village, along with staff from the Safety Camera Unit and local councillors.   As always, I can always be contacted on 101 or for those who prefer email, I can be contacted directly at  william.    Regards, PC Will Diamond


Kasia’s Cookin’...

Callander Rambling Club

Rose and Pistachio Cake

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

This has become our favourite cake. A few spoonfuls of rosewater in the dough and the buttercream give this cake an exotic taste. The cake is made with potato starch and ground almonds, so it is gluten free. A lovely cake for celebrating birthdays. Ingredients: • 230g salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing • 180g light muscovado sugar • 4 tsp rosewater • 2 tsp vanilla extract • 4 large eggs, beaten • 160g potato starch • 3 tsp baking powder • 160g ground almonds Equipment • 2 x 20cm sandwich tins

For the filling and topping • 225ml double cream • Rose buttercream, or extra whipped cream (recipe below) • 50g pistachio nuts, finely chopped • Fresh or crystallised rose petals (optional) Rose Buttercream: 140g/5oz butter, softened 280g/10oz icing sugar 1-2 tbsp milk 1 tsp rose water

Method to make buttercream: 1. Beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. 2. Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk, rose water and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth. Beat in the milk, if necessary, to loosen the mixture. How to make the cake: Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Line the base of the cake tins with discs of baking parchment and butter the sides. Cream the butter, sugar, rosewater and vanilla extract together in a bowl with an electric hand whisk or balloon whisk until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition. If it looks like the mixture is starting to curdle, add a couple of tablespoonful of the potato starch and beat again – it should come right. Sift the potato starch, baking powder and ground almonds together over the mixture and fold in gently but thoroughly. Scrape into the prepared tins and gently level the surface. Bake for 25–30 minutes until golden, springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tins for 10–15 minutes, then run a thin bladed knife around the inside of the tins. Turn out the cakes and place, right side up, on a wire rack. Leave to cool. When the cakes are completely cold, whip the cream until thick, but not grainy. Put one of the cakes onto a plate and spread the cream almost to the edge. Place the other cake gently on top and twist it back and forth a little, just until the cream is peeking out between the layers. Pipe or spread the buttercream over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with chopped Source: rivercottage pistachios and scatter over a few fresh or crystallised rose petals.


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 ramblers.htm in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: August • Wed 2nd 09:30 Stroll: A Culross Circuit (4.5miles) Contact 01786 825249 • Sat 5th 08:30 Ramble: Glen Dochart to the Kingshouse (7 miles) Contact 01877 330169 • Wed 9th 09:30 Ramble: Loch Katrine South Shore (7.5miles) Contact 01877 330059 • Wed 16th 09:30 Stroll: Aberfoyle Slate Quarry (5miles) Contact 01877 382803 • Sat 19th 08:30 LDP: RB5 – Killin to Lochearn (11.5miles) Contact 01877 330032 • Wed 23rd 09:30 Cycle: Callander to Stank or Balquhidder (9 / 28miles return)  Contact 01786 473768 • Sat 26th 08:30 Hill: Ben Chonzie (931m)  Contact 01877 331067           September • Sat 2nd 09:30 LDP: RB6- Lochearn to Comrie (9miles) Contact 01877 330032 • Wed 6th 09:30 Stroll: Mugdock Moor & Country Park (5miles) Contact 01877 330446 • Sat 16th 09:30 Stroll: Gargunnock & Burnt own (5miles) Contact 01786 825682 • Wed 20th 09:30 Ramble: Cochno, Slacks & Loch Humphrey (8.5m) Contact 01786 841240 • Sat 23rd 08:30 Hill: Stob a’Choin (869m) Contact 01877 330059  

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! Visitors and non-members welcome.

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of a meeting held at The Village Hall, Lochearnhead on 28 June 2017 Please note that these minutes have not yet received formal approval and should be considered as a draft version only. Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Paul Hicks (PH), Loraine Telfer (LT), Karen Methven (KM), Ruth McLusky (RM). Apologies: David Johnston (DJ), Adrian Squires (AS), Margaret Alexander (MA), Angus Cameron (AC), Richard Eastland (RE); Michelle Flynn (MF) Stirling Council; Billy Ronald, National Park. In attendance: Cllr Jeremy McDonald (JM), Theresa Elliot (TE), Stirling Council; PC Will Diamond (WD), Police Scotland. 1) Approval of Minutes Michelle Flynn had asked for the following amendment to be made to item 6A of the minutes of the AGM on 17th May. In the last sentence (‘MF mentioned that there had been a national initiative to plant wild flowers but, where this happened, Transport Scotland needed to be informed. ‘), the words ‘Transport Scotland’ should be replaced by ‘the contracting organisation’. This was approved. It was then proposed by LT, and seconded by RM, that the revised minutes of the meeting on 17th May 2017 should be accepted, and this was approved unanimously. 2) Declarations of Interest No declarations were made. 3) Police Report During the period from 17th May to 27th June, there were no thefts or burglaries reported in our area, but there had been some thefts in the Callander area, including the theft of two vehicles. Similarly, there had been no reports of drunken or anti-social behaviour in our area during this period. A number of “conditional offers” were issued to motorists for various driving offences including speeding, no insurance, no MOT, and careless driving. In addition, four reports were sent to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to drivers travelling in excess of 50mph through the villages. High visibility patrols and static road checks continued, in order to deter and detect travelling criminals. A day was spent with children from Strathyre Primary School doing speed enforcement checks. This was well received, and a number of motorists were spoken to. PC Diamond and others were present at both the Monachyle Mhor Festival and the Strathyre Music Festival, both of which passed without serious incident. MM raised the previously identified problem of an increasing number of collisions with deer on local roads. Scottish National Heritage had been informed, and had liaised with the Police and Transport Scotland with a view to cutting back vegetation and repairing some deer fences. The problem had been highlighted in an article in The Villagers but it was not clear to which body such incidents should be reported. WD said that he would be willing to accept informal reports of any such incidents by email, although he emphasised that there is no legal obligation to report them. This would help to build up a picture of where and when the deer are most active in crossing roads. MM then mentioned an ongoing problem caused by overhanging trees and foliage on the Balquhidder Road (C33), as reported to him by a local resident. At least one resident would be willing to resolve the problem by cutting down overhanging foliage. PH responded that the community council had been advised by Stirling Council (SC) that landowners bear the primary responsibility for managing trees and foliage on their land. Where a problem is identified, SC will write to landowners, requesting them to take action, or offering to use its own resources to cut back growth before submitting a bill to the landowner. If individuals took action on their own, they might be guilty of trespass or criminal damage. The community council does not have access to a full list of landowners. SC can access the Land Registry, free of charge, to compile such a list but is then restricted by Data Protection legislation from passing on the details to the community council. JM offered to liaise with the relevant Council Department, asking them to contact all landowners adjoining this road with a general request. This offer was gratefully accepted. Action: JM to request Stirling Council to contact all landowners. JM then asked WD about the pilot project in Strathyre to place 30mph stickers on waste bins. Would the bins be left out all the time? WD replied that residents would not be asked to do this - although some people have no other place to keep their bins, so they would be visible all the time. 4) Matters arising 4a) Trustees’ Liability Insurance. PH reported that Stirling Council (SC) was pursuing the possibility of acquiring indemnity insurance for ìtrusteesî on the basis that this would cover every member of a community council. The additional cost will be deducted from the annual grant that is made to community councils. Meanwhile, full details of the existing ‘Employers’ Liability’ insurance had been circulated to all community councils. This did not provide any indemnity to councillors for decisions made (for example) in respect of local planning applications. JM reported that SC was in the process of obtaining trustees’ insurance and had circulated forms to at least one other community council for formal agreement to the proposal. MM asked if our community council was now covered by the additional insurance but this could not be confirmed. MM emphasised that we need to receive a certificate to confirm that we are covered. Until then, no decisions in respect of any planning applications or other contentious issues should be made. 4b) Access to fields in Lochearnhead. PH reported that he had corresponded with Guy Keating, Recreation and Access Advisor for the National Park. His assessment was that, in view of the debris and other items that could be a danger to public health at the site of the former water sports centre, the leaseholder would have a duty to prevent members of the public from accessing the site until it can be cleared of any hazardous material. Until this matter is resolved, it appears that little can be done to remedy the situation. Action: PH to notify the McDiarmids accordingly. 4c) Local Maps. PH reported having made some initial enquiries about this with the Loch Earn Tourist Initiative (LETi) and the National Park. There are details of some good walks available on a website entitled, ìî and on ìwww.breadalbane.orgî which offers something similar. This idea has been raised before and people have talked about providing maps, but nothing has ever been forthcoming. Some members of Leti (such as The Four Seasons at Strathyre) provide their own maps for guests and might be willing to share them, but the preference would be for online versions rather than producing printed maps. PH asked for members’ views. KM mentioned that some maps produced by local people used to be available at Balquhidder Church. JM queried whether it might also be useful to have sign-posts erected on paths and trails. The National Park may be able to assist with this. PH suggested that members should try to find local maps that have been produced already. Following discussion, it was decided that printed maps should be available in addition to online versions. Action: Members to collate details of all existing local maps. 5) Proposed Telecommunications Mast ñ Derry Farm, Lochearnhead PH reported that the proposed mast would have a dual function: to extend the Emergency Services Network in order to provide coverage in that area, and to extend the 4G mobile telecommunications network for commercial use. The location was unlikely to impinge on the majority of local residents and would provide tangible benefits for locals and visitors alike. It was agreed that no further representation from the community council was required. 6) Footbridge behind Balquhidder Church MM reported that the bridge in question had been provided some years ago by the Regiment of Royal Engineers for the ‘Friends of Balquhidder Church’. It now required some work to repair the ravages of time and decay. The Church of Scotland Minister had been advised of the situation, and DJ had suggested that the National Park might be willing to make it the subject of one of its volunteer days. DJ would be willing to help organise some local support for this. If the Park could provide some necessary building materials, the local community could provide whatever tools were needed, plus the time and labour to complete the task. This was agreed, and DJ would be asked to liaise with the National Park accordingly. Action: DJ to liaise with the National Park. 7) Bye-laws and clear-ways No new information was available. 8) Correspondence No other correspondence had been received. 9) Planning Matters AS had advised that only one personal application had been made and this was unlikely to impact on the community at large. The details were explained and members agreed. 10) Matters From Councillors Surgeries. KM reported that some councillors were proposing to replace the current practice of holding a ‘surgery’ for local residents with a scheme whereby they would canvas a couple of streets at a time, visiting people house by house, and giving them an opportunity to ask questions or voice complaints. 11) Any Other Competent Business PH reminded members that the National Park was coming to the end of its consultation period on the proposed new Partnership Plan. The online consultation would be open until 3rd July. There was no other business and, at 8:30 p.m., MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is due to take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 9th August 2017 at the Village Hall, Strathyre.


Postcard from a Favourite Day Out

Glencoe Lochan

(also known as Hospital Loch) This is a beautiful little spot hidden away in Glencoe and ideal for all ages - particularly now as three different paths are on offer. The circular route around the Lochan is flat and easy, with a longer woodland trail for those that want to explore further. There is also an option to take a higher-level route signposted ‘mountain path’ giving great views from the top. This beautiful little spot was originally created to resemble a Canadian landscape by a previous owner after his Canadian wife became homesick. The reflections of the mountains and trees in the still water make this a great spot for taking beautiful photographs and it’s so peaceful - making a perfect relaxing escape from the contrast of the wilder landscape that surrounds it. Glencoe with its wonderful mountains can be forbidding in the rain but this spot always seems to have its own special tranquillity. To reach it either take the back road down past Clachaig Inn and turn right before Glencoe village, or down the main road go through the village turning left after you go over a bridge. Enjoy this gem! 20

Balquhidder Village Hall

Events and Happenings! The Hall Committee are conscious that the hall is not used to its full potential for social events, apart from around Christmas and New Year, and would therefore like to create a pool of people who would be interested in helping plan, organise and run events. The thinking being that should someone have an idea for an event they could circulate the idea to the pool and those who are willing to get involved could then combine their efforts to make it happen. With all the talented people in the area surely this is possible! Please contact David Johnston on 01877 384227 or davidandjill1950@ if interested.

The Villagers’ Contacts Jill Johnston Editor Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227

Gill Waugh Production Manager Stronvar Farm Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384203

David Johnston Production Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227

Other Contacts... Andrew Poulter Advertising Coire A Chroine Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384784

Copy Deadline Day is the 21st of the month. Send your contributions to:

Please help us to get The Villagers to you as soon as possible! •

Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 St Fillans Contact: Isobel Howell 07876 031768 Strathyre Contact: Wullie Dalziel 01877 384 384 Mobile 07768 221661 Mail Order Distribution: Andrea Poulter 01877 384784


We e k l y A c t i v i t i e s Monday

Lunch Club - The Scout Station, Lochearnhead - 12.30pm - 2.30pm


Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 to11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am to 12.30pm St Fillans Music Circle - Sandison Hall - 12.45pm to 4.00pm. Light lunch included. Contact: David Anderson (01764 670829) / Bill Thow (01764 670836). Country Dancing - St Fillans

Wednesday Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am to 12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00 to 9.00pm Thursday

Darts League - The Inn & Bistro - 7.00pm


Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon (Contact Mel Brydie 01877 384668)

AUGUST 2017 26

BLS Horticultural Society’s Annual Show - Lochearnhead Village Hall 2-4pm - see page 4


St Fillans Weekend - see page 3



Strathyre Race Night - Ben Sheann Hotel - 7.30pm - see page 5

The Villagers’ Photographer Jason Allardyce 01877 384295 / 07508 595211 Wedding, Portrait, Social, Pet Photography Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 Councillor Evelyn Tweed Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling, FK8 2ET 01786 233101 Councillor Jeremy McDonald Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling, FK8 2ET 01786 233117

CHURCH SERVICES Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St. Fillans CHURCH OF SCOTLAND

Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316

Sunday 11.30am Minister: Rev Dr Russel Moffat The Manse, Main Street, Killin FK21 8TN 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 1st Sunday each month: 11.30am Communion 2nd Sunday 5.30pm Evensong 3rd Sunday 11.30am Communion 4th Sunday 5.30pm Evensong 5th Sunday (if applicable) 5.30pm FOOD FOR THOUGHT

A reflective time to discuss contemporary issues in a spiritual context

(Check with Rector for venue: 01764 655389)

Vestry Secretary - Maureen Lipscomb Tel: 01567 830234



Cheques for advertising and mail order subscriptions should be made out to: The BLS Newspaper Association



Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: Published by The BLS Newspaper Association


Annual Villages’ Football Matches 2017 After clearing up on the Highland Games field in Lochearnhead on Sunday 23rd July the charity fundraising post-Highland Games football match between the married and single BLS men took place. The weather was extremely kind this year and everyone was treated to an afternoon sitting out in glorious sunshine. The married men were keen to take back the trophy after being on the losing side for the last two years. It was a close and hard fought match and as always there was a lot of action for the ‘goalies’ but the eventual final score was 5-4 to the married men - so they regained the trophy! The referee awarded the ‘man of the match’ to Jim of the married men’s team. The ladies half-time 5-a-side teams were reduced to 3-a-side so two gallant members of the men’s teams offered to stay in the goals. The married ladies team came out the winners 3-0 to regain the trophy from the single ladies. According to the referee, the outstanding performance was from Lauren playing in defence for the single ladies for which she was named ‘woman of the match’! However, the outstanding moment of the match came when Cat ‘nutmegged’ her husband in goal – his reward for offering to help out ………..!

Following the presentation of the football trophies, the Above: Spot the Ball! charity raffle and auction got underway hosted by Tom, and below: A daring rescue Shuggie, Martin and George. The raffle was extremely well supported with donations of generous prizes from local businesses and individuals. The proceeds from the afternoon raised just over £1000 and as always this will be used to support local activities and provide a donation to Marie Curie. The organisers would like to thank everyone who donated a prize to the raffle and auction (too many to mention individually) and local supporters Cathy Borland, Jimmy McSkimming on the BBQ and our ‘lovely’ barmaids, Fraser Proven and Graham Galloway (!) for their help on the day, it wouldn’t be possible or fun without you all! Next year’s match will be held on 22nd July 2018; this afternoon of family fun depends entirely on your support (and you don’t need to be a footballer to enjoy it!) so to ensure that we can continue to make this a great success and consolidate community spirit between the villages, please put the date into your diary now. Martin Sanders, Treasurer

Highland Games • Lochearnhead 2017

...taking a breather...

Some more pictures for you to enjoy......... the boys’ race in full swing... ... the girls’ turn...

...The Hammer!

The Villagers August 2017  

Balquhidder, Strathyre, St Fillans and Lochearnhead community news, photographs and events including - BLS Highland Games Lochearnhead repor...