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DECEMBER 2010

The

Price

VILLAGERS

& JANUARY 2011

40p

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

A V E RY M E R RY C H R I S T M A S - A N D A H A P PY N E W YE A R ! !


St Angus’s Episcopalian Church, Lochearnhead Dear friends (and it feels as if I am telling the truth when I say ‘dear friends’ this year). We’ve had a very busy year with getting a new roof, worshipping in the Village Hall for a couple of months and getting down to some serious fundraising. And the great joy of all this has been the delight of meeting so many more of you. As a small church community we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the community at a time we needed help, and we wanted to make it clear that we look forward to finding ways of serving you in our turn. The trouble is every time we try to serve - as in the Quiz night when we were raising funds for Killin Care Home, we find ourselves having such fun that we forget it is work at all! And as we have been helping to develop the new Lochearnhead Home Group, a bunch of folk who gather to explore their faith with the help of scrumptious puddings on a Wednesday evening, so we have been uplifted and challenged and warmed as we have found new friends. At this time, when we celebrate the coming of the Christ child into our world, that spark of love that transformed our everyday lives with a blaze of glory, so we want to be that spark here at this end of Strathearn, among these lovely hills. May this begin with our Christmas celebrations, to which you are all invited. God bless you all, and bring you to the joy of love for one another, love for our environment, and love for the Creator of Rector Paddy Allen it all. DECEMBER 2010 Services 5th 11.15am Holy Communion 12th 6.00pm Evensong 14th 6.00pm “Come and Sing” Community Carols Village Hall, Lochearnhead 19th 11.15am Holy Communion 25th 9.00am Christmas Day Holy Communion 26th 5.00pm Carols by Candlelight JANUARY 2011 Services 2nd 11.15am Holy Communion 9th 6.00pm Evensong 16th 11.15am Holy Communion 23rd 6.00 pm Evensong 30th 6.00pm Holy Communion VISITORS ARE VERY WELCOME Rector, Rev. Paddy Allen 01764 655389 (rectory) Church Secretary, Lawrence Hopkins 01567 830238 (home) 2

Balquhidder Kirk No doubt by the time you read this, Christmas cards will have begun to arrive through the post. Since the first commercial Christmas cards were sent in 1843, the number of cards sent each year has grown and grown. No longer are cards hand coloured, but are mass produced in a bewildering selection of designs. So what designs would you choose this year? A snow scene of the church perhaps, or one illustrating the first Christmas - something to do with shepherds and angels, wise men or the holy family? The Victorians popularised the Christmas tree, and the man in a red suit is very popular but the link with St Nicholas is all but forgotten. This Christmas we’ll be remembering the age old story at Balquhidder Church at 8.00 pm on Christmas Eve. Some say that ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’ … that is true … but it is also true that ‘Jesus is not just for Christmas’. May I wish you all a happy, peaceful and blessed Christmas and New Year. The Revd. John Lincoln

Christmas Service 24 December 8.00pm All other services on Sundays at 12noon

St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Callander We three kings of Orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar, Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder star... Like the wise men in the Christmas carol most of us follow a star throughout our lives, but unlike theirs the stars we follow, such as money, power, fame etc., can lead to destruction. Theirs led to Christ and to Life. More than ever we need to find and follow that true star today for a truly meaningful and happy Christmas. God bless all your readers. Father Jim McCruden

Christmas Services 24 December Episcopalian Church, Killin – 7.00pm St Joseph’s, Callander – Midnight Mass 25 December St Joseph’s, Callander – 11.30am

Dundurn Parish Church, St Fillans Christmas is a feast of joy, a joy that is today celebrated in many different ways, ranging from the deeply spiritual to the purely secular. Whatever today’s business and media may have made of Christmas, this wonderful Feast will always stand for an eminently spiritual reality: God intervening in the history of humankind, being born in a human family and blessing every member of the human race with His Love, Peace and Joy. Because of this reality, each one of us now has a duty to encourage one another and work for the benefit of all society, so that everyone may flourish and grow in safety and security. Today, in Scotland, we seem to be inundated with huge problems: a failing economy where everyone is watching what little money they have, corruption never seems to be far away in any sphere of life, and unemployment is increasing...with no job being considered ‘safe’. In such conditions the fabric of society can deteriorate with people feeling less and less valued, and more and more suspicious of others around them. May this Christmas strengthen our determination to help in the realisation of God’s plan when He took birth in the stable in Bethlehem: a new lease of life, where people of all colours and creeds can join hands with one another and work together to re-create the earth into a place where justice, peace, understanding and forgiveness are found by the bucket-load...and not just by the tea-spoon. Then, every day will be Christmas! May I take this occasion to wish everyone a joyful Christmas, full of blessings and the peace that only God can give. Rev Graham McWilliams Advent and Christmas Services of Worship December 5th 6.00pm Carols by Candlelight 19th 10.00am United Nativity Sunday worship at Comrie 24th 6.30pm Christmas Eve Family Service at Comrie 11.30pm Watch-night Service 25th 10.30am United Family worship at Comrie (bring a Christmas present to show others) 26th 11.30am United worship at Dundurn Parish Church January 2nd 11.30am United worship at Dundurn Parish Church


The St Fillans Bit

Once again an excellent fireworks display organised by the Festive Committee on 6 November – albeit with a rather dramatic start to the evening when the bonfire ignited with considerable (and unplanned) ferocity. Dangerous stuff, that napalm. The group laboured hard in very adverse conditions, the worst period of rainfall this year, to

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

erect the marquee and set everything up and the evening was much enjoyed by a large crowd despite the quagmire. The only minor problem was my iPod which was generating the dramatic musical accompaniment deciding to pause every now and then for a few seconds. Said iPod now replaced. I gather that some folk were slightly annoyed that the evening was promoted as ‘free’ but then there was a bucket collection. So maybe some clarification might help from one who has previously been heavily involved in running village events. Nothing in the world is ‘free’ (apart from the hours which volunteers spend organising things), everything costs money. The excellent summer Festive Weekend is expensive to produce, but shows a surplus thanks to the generosity of villagers and friends. Part of this surplus is used to fund Bonfire Night, which itself costs about £900 to put on.

Quite a few people enjoy the bonfire night but do not participate in the Festive Weekend so the bucket collection lets them contribute to the costs as well as other villagers who just appreciate a wellrun show. The collection this year, I’m told, raised a very useful £400 odds which goes back into the Community Trust Kitty. This means that when a violent night of wind the day after the fireworks resulted in an upturned marquee (see picture above) there are funds available for the repair of the tent. Entry to the party is free, contributions are voluntary, so no problems there - seemples! The continuation of village life will always depend on fundraising to cover costs. Thanks to Johnston for this report on a Sandison Hall fundraiser: “The Committee of the Sandison Hall recently held a quiz night to help raise funds for the maintenance on the Village Hall. Seven tables of six people took part in a quiz of 10 rounds on a variety of subjects and 2 rounds of table quizzes. The standard of quizzing was varied (aye,

we came last – JM) with a delegation from Killin Drama Group coming out on top. The St Fillans teams showed however that they could enjoy themselves without having to prove that their bedtime reading was the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Further fundraisers are planned and members of the community are reminded that the Sandison Hall is available for hire for private parties, meetings, seminars, coffee mornings or any other event.” I can always rely on Mary from the Four Seasons to give her input every month and it is interesting to note her comments that many locals are visiting for meals, especially Sunday Lunch, and a high proportion mention that they are there because they read about the various choices of speciality menus in The Villagers. The various Fishy Friday, Make Sunday Special etc offers still apply from Thursday evening till Monday lunchtime until the hotel closes after Hogmanay. It’s worth a reminder that their Hogmany Dinner Dance with live ceilidh band is open to non residents and is always a great night. Contact Mary for details. There aren’t too many months ever go by without a mention in this column of the intrepid Moncrieff’s achievements in the world of Blind Golf. Delighted to hear that a new arrival to the Moncrieff household is imminent – in the form of a guide dog for Ian, a golden retriever. I understand that Ian is spending two weeks on a training course with the dog (not sure who is being trained) and that it took some time to find a dog who could read Italian. This unusual canine ability will hopefully prevent a recurrence of the unfortunate episode two months ago when Moncrieff was away in Italy at a blind golf tournament and found himself in need of toilet facilities in the early evening. Unable to see properly, or understand, a prominent notice on the toilet door he ensconced himself. Sadly the notice informed users that the loos would be locked at 6.00 pm – which they were, with Ian happily going about his business in a stall. When he discovered his predicament he says he panicked not, the place was warm and clean so he resigned himself to a night in the shunky. ‘Twas not to be because when it came to Ian’s round at the bar (when he’s usually missing anyway) his trusty minder, Owen, went off in search and effected a rescue. A sad tale but true. Thanks to Fraser for a picture of the various major prize winners at the St Fillans Golf Club annual prize giving in October. The event was followed by the annual dinner dance at the Four Seasons which was well enjoyed. I gather that some St Fillans Seniors Continued overleaf 3


Continued from previous page

EDITOR’S NOTE It’s traditional at this time of year to look back and remind oneself of all that has taken place over the previous twelve months and I have been doing just that by reading over our last year’s publications in order to choose the best items to be entered for the next round of Community Newspaper Awards. The phrase ‘All human life is here’ springs to mind at once as I read of the ups and downs in our four villages; new ventures, old established events, talents of all kinds brought to the fore through sport, music, arts and crafts and the common thread running throughout is the community spirit which is found in abundance. How fortunate we are to live here. Roll on next year and more of the same! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our readers, contributors and advertisers. See you all in 2011.

RAIN It rained and rained and rained, The average fall was well maintained, And when the tracks were simple bogs It started raining cats and dogs. After a drought of half an hour We had a most refreshing shower, And then, most curious thing of all, A gentle rain began to fall! Next day but one was fairly dry Save for one deluge from the sky Which soaked the party to the skin, And then at last the rain set in. Anon Requiem for November 2010

Weather

Report

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

12.0 ºC 15.6 4.5 -3.8

53.6 ºF 60.0 40.1 25.1

Rainfall: 22.3 cms 8.9 ins Strongest wind gust: 42mph on 9th Oct 4

St Fillans Golf Club Winners

were a bit miffed at my recent mention in this column of them being home in time for Countdown after the Seniors prize presentation. It should have read, of course, Deal or No Deal. Sorry about that….. …which flows well into the Monday evening activities of the St Fillans Carpet Bowls Club. The club meets every Monday evening during the winter months in the Sandison Hall at 7.00 pm. The proceedings are based more on an evening of fun rather than cut-throat competition and new members are very welcome (contact Fraser on 685350 for more info). It is, apparently, not unknown for the bowlers to partake of the odd libation in local hostelries after the evening’s bowling – so if you fancy a fun way of filling a dark evening contact Fraz. On 16 February 2011 the AGM of the BLS Newspaper Association (the formal name for The Villagers) will be held in

St Fillans at The Sandison Hall at 7.30 pm. At that meeting our Editor will be standing down and we are hopeful that a new editor will be taking over. There is a pretty strong readership of The Villagers in St Fillans and I’d love to think that we might get a decent turnout of them at the AGM. Often the attendance at AGMs is very poor and a bit disheartening for the various volunteers who produce this newspaper - so a good show by St Fillans readers would be rewarding. Can’t offer the best night out of your year but you do get wine and nibbles and a chance to have your say about the publication. Why not put it in the diary? This is the last issue of 2010 and I’d like to thank the folk who have given input to the St Fillans Bit over the year and to wish both my readers a Merry Christmas and a Good New Year. See you at the Sandison at Hogmanay when I’ll hopefully be hopping about on sticks after new knee surgery. John Murray

Two AA Red Rosettes for Fine Dining Winner of Good for the Soul Award

During December open Thursday Evening until Monday Lunch inclusive. ‘Fishy Friday’ and ‘Make Sunday Special’ still available. Hogmanay Dinner Dance - Open to Non-Residents

The Four Seasons Hotel, St Fillans

01764 685 333 www.thefourseasonshotel.co.uk


Disused Railway Path - St Fillans to Lochearnhead As part of the Core Paths planning initiative arising from the Land Reform Act, local residents were asked by the National Park Authority and Perth & Kinross Council to help identify key informal paths and access routes in our area. One of our primary suggestions was to incorporate the disused railway track between St Fillans and Lochearnhead within the proposed Core Path network covering the St Fillans area. The National Park and the Council were fully supportive of this principle; however the decision was made not to include the full length of the railway route as put forward (a proportion leading from St Fillans towards the Glentarken Burn had already been agreed). The reason for this relates to the missing bridge over the Glentarken Burn. The basis of the decision not to include the whole route was twofold; firstly, the potential cost of replacing the bridge being high and second, that a project aimed at funding a new bridge would require a partnership between the National Park and a.n.others, therefore the timescale over which this might be achieved would likely exceed the statutory two-year limit on Core Paths being usable from the time a Core Path Plan is adopted. However, the Core Path Plan within the National Park is ongoing and it is our aim to see that the St Fillans to Lochearnhead Railway Path be adopted at a future review. The major outstanding obstacle to this aspiration still remains the missing bridge at Glen Tarken. Therefore, to tackle this, we are proposing that the community initiates development of the existing railway path, primarily the funding of a new bridge, so that the route is again complete, accessible and useable. To this end, we have been working with the National Park over the past year to identify the best way forward and at present are investigating alternative ways to cross the Glentarken Burn. The

It will help encourage exercise walking and cycling

Adds crucial network link to other footpaths, creating more walks and access to the countryside

Spectacular scenery and views from an elevated vantage

Links to National Cycle Network Route 7 at Lochearnhead

Adds excellent East/West route

Potentially part of Scotland Coast to Coast route (SC2C – Oban to Dundee) and Pilgrims Way (Iona to St Andrews)

Creates ‘Loch Earn Circular Route’

most likely solution is a footbridge (similar to that built over the Lednock, by Laggan Park in Comrie). This is a significant project and will require a substantial fundraising effort by our Community Trust. We understand there are potential sources of money available for this kind of project. We strongly believe that, if this can be achieved, it will provide a much-needed safe and pleasant alternative for walking (and possibly cycling in the future) along the entire length of our beautiful loch and will provide a key link with the rest of our local path network. As a first important step, before taking the idea any further, we have been busy trying to contact those who we think would be directly (or indirectly) affected by the proposal, including the relevant landowners, to discuss their views and

Glentarken Bridge - or what is left of it! Photograph by Alistair Barclay

their early agreement. Our discussions are ongoing and so far the feedback has been very positive (and we have verbal agreement from the relevant landowner to build a new bridge). We are keen to hear the views from everyone in order to gauge the support from the community. So, if you would like to comment, please write to or e-mail the editor - see contact details on back page. If you think this is a worthwhile endeavour, your positive support matters and will help secure the necessary funding to make the project succeed, so please get in touch. Some benefits for developing the St Fillans to Lochearnhead Railway Path Disused railways are perfect for adapting to path and cycle routes - there are no steep gradients and they are traffic free (safe and ideal for children). Most of the ‘hard work’ has already been done to achieve the outstanding suitability of these old railway tracks as paths. (The longer they are left un-adopted, the harder it will become - use them or lose them forever.) Geoff Hardman-Carter St Fillans Community Paths Group

5


Christmas Greetings

The Strathyre Village Christmas Party Saturday 18 December Strathyre Village Hall from 4.30 - 9.00pm All children must be accompanied by an adult Kids Games 5.00 – 6.00pm Santa Arrives 6.00pm Ceilidh & Buffet 6.30 – 9.00pm (Music by Voice Box) Please bring along your own drink and a plate of food for the buffet. Watch out for the food list in the Village Shop!

If you require a lift please phone: Mel: 384668 or Sarah: 384654

Hannah Malloy

in Old Station Court, Strathyre, would like to wish all her friends and neighbours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Helen and Brian Hughes

from Auchessan send greetings and best wishes to all their friends. Happy Christmas and a Guid New Year to everyone.

New Year Dance

Thea Matyjasek and Rufus

in Callander wish all their two and four-legged friends in all four villages a merry Christmas and a peaceful, happy and healthy New Year.

BALQUHIDDER VILLAGE HALL

SATURDAY 1ST JANUARY 2011

9.00pm – 1.00am Dance to

Stuart McKeown’s Ceilidh Band Tickets £8.00 at the door or £7.50 from J.McNaughton or A. Leishman 01877 384232 or at Dunwhinnie’s Cafe

Valley Furniture Recycling Project Don’t dump your old furniture, cookers, washing machines, fridges and freezers. The Salvation Army will recycle almost anything. Contact: 01786 479 262

sandra.clements@salvationarmy.org.uk

Illustration by Jim Hannah

FOR SALE WESLO PURSUIT 625S Exercise Bike Sturdy and reliable £50 Contact: 01567 830 296

I have been adding up the number of folk in our four villages to whom I would love to send a personal Christmas card but thanks to having made so many friends over my years as Editor the list ‘just growed’ like Topsy, so I’m taking this opportunity to make an apology no cards but please all accept my sincere wishes for a very happy festive season. Marguerite.

VALUE AT THE LOCHEARNHEAD HOTEL End of Season Sale 2 course Fish Supper £12.50 Last chance to enjoy Robert’s Famous ‘Fresh Beer Battered Haddock’ on Thursday 23rd December Dates for your Diary Hotel closed Friday 24th December Reopens Friday 11th February 2011 Dominoes Night - Saturday 19th February 2011

Tel: 01567 830229 Fax: 01567 830364

email: info@lochearnhead-hotel.com www.lochearnhead-hotel.com 6


Lochearnhead Lochearnhead Village Village Hall Hall Committee Committee invites invites you you to to aa

HogmanayDance on 31 December starting at 9.00pm There will be a licensed bar and ‘The Session’ will be playing, as in previous years. Please come along and support this fundraising event. Information will be on posters or you can call

07900 576 320 for more information.

Balquhidder

Christmas Market Sunday 5 December 11.00am till 4.00pm.

Come along to Balquhidder Village Hall for Tea, Coffee, Lunch, Home Baking... Christmas presents you can’t buy anywhere else and a super Raffle!

Birth Announcement

q

Congratulations to

Donnie MacLeod and Emma Welsh on the birth of their son

Euan John

on 11 October 2010

New Baby in Strathyre!

Strathendrick Singers Strathendrick Singers perform in different villages around the area and this December will sing for the first time in the newly refurbished

St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Aberfoyle. Sunday 12 December at 7.30pm The programme includes carols from home and abroad and some traditional works by Charpentier, Johnston and Hearne Candlelight, mulled wine and mince pies Tickets: £10 (£7 concessions) from Philip Gaskell 01360 661011, choir members, and at the door.

A big thank you to Steve and Jill Nixon and also to the Richards family for sorting out all the food at the fireworks display at Strathye Primary School in November. Their grand efforts raised over £200 on the night.

Balquhidder Indoor Bowls Club

The club has made a good start this season with both adults and youngsters joining. It is now established on Monday evenings at Balquhidder Hall and the start time is being moved forward to 7.30pm. Instead of an annual subscription there is now a weekly fee of £2.00 for adults and £1.00 for children. New members are most welcome and should phone John Cooper on 01877 384331

We are delighted to announce the safe arrival of our son Angus Ian Todd - a brother for Abigail! Angus was born on the 17th September, weighing in at 9lb 5oz at Stirling Royal Infirmary. We would like to thank everyone for their best wishes - and gifts received for both Angus and Abigail. Ewen, Suzie and Abigail Todd

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Church News Balquhidder

The Christmas Eve service this year is at 8.00 pm and there is no service on Christmas Day. All other services will be on Sundays at 12.00 noon as usual. If, like me, you were a wee bit surprised by the choice of Wallace and Gromit for Christmas stamps this year, you may be glad to know that there is an alternative. I am told that stamps with an image of the Madonna and Child are also on sale, although you may have to ask for them. Church Christmas cards will be on sale at the Church stall at the Christmas market in Balquhidder Village Hall on 5 December. We will also have books, CDs and home baking for sale, all in aid of Church funds, specifically to cover winter Our Christmas Card fuel costs. We are arranging a New Year Concert to be held on Friday 14 January in Balquhidder Church at 7.30 pm. Talented local artists of all ages will be taking part, offering a variety of musical performances. Guest artist Margaret Bennett, singer and folklorist, will be launching her new book In Our Day, a collection of reminiscences and songs from rural Perthshire which features children who attended Balquhidder School in the 1980s and also two well known and much loved local folk: the late Mrs Jean Innes of Inverlochlarig and Mrs Mary Mathieson of Glen Ogle and Lochearnhead. A host of memories told in their own words will remind everyone of their lifelong contributions to the community. The book, which includes a collection of Perthshire songs recorded on CD, will be on sale at the concert and Margaret hopes to have the audience join in with her as she sings some of these songs. Tickets will cost £5.00 and all proceeds will go to Church funds. Our sincere thanks to all who helped to care for the Church throughout the past year and, last but not least, we wish everyone a very happy Christmas and all the best in the year to come. Jean Edwards

Remembrance Services - Sunday 14 November 2010

The services were commemorated at Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre at the three village War Memorials. The Lochearnhead service was held at 10.45am, PC Andrew Ward stopped the traffic for 15 minutes whilst the short service was conducted. Approximately thirty villagers were in attendance and a troop of Scouts from Cumnock in Ayrshire, in uniform, were also present. The Scouts, who were staying at the Scout Station, had made their own poppy wreath on the Saturday evening and were warmly welcomed, taking part in the wreath laying. The Reverend Paddy Allen from St Angus’s Episcopal Church and Malcolm White, Elder at Balquhidder Church, led the devotions. The Reverend John Lincoln, Minister at Balquhidder Church, was conducting a similar service at Killin at that time. Malcolm White pointed out that this was the 90th Anniversary of Remembrance Sunday, 96 years after World War 1 started in 1914. We remembered Remembrance Day at Lochearnhead the 31 who died from the Parish who fought in both World Wars, 1914Photo courtesy of Alistair Barclay 1918 and 1939-1945 also remembering those who have lost their lives in recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The wreath layers were Paul Hicks, Secretary of the Community Council, Lt. Col (Retd.) Rory Gilchrist, late of the Black Watch Regiment, a boy and girl Scout and Lawrie Hopkins on behalf of St Angus’s Church. Our Piper, Kieron MacNicol of Balquhidder, played an excellent lament Flowers of the Forest. He is a pupil of Pipe Major Jim Brown, Balquhidder, late of the Royal Scots Regiment and the Highland Light Infantry. Kieron’s mother Gaylor was thanked and we certainly hope that this young Piper will pipe for us in 2011. Alistair Barclay supplied the photograph and copies can be obtained from him, reasonably priced. The Balquhidder service took place at 12 noon, conducted by the Reverend John Lincoln and the Piper was Clan Chief Donald MacLaren of MacLaren, the first wreath being laid by his son, Bombardier Donald MacLaren, Younger, serving with 7 Sphinx Commando Battery, Royal Artillery, Royal Marines Condor, Arbroath. Donald was resplendent in military uniform bearing rank, commando flash, Parachute wing, Green Beret and two campaign medals, having already served in Iraq, with two tours of Afghanistan and about to be deployed again in April 2011. The second wreath was laid by John Stewart of Balquhidder. The photograph was supplied by Maureen Lipscomb, Lochearnhead. The Strathyre service was held at the Memorial at 3.00pm, again conducted by the Reverend John Lincoln and arranged by Church Elder John Stewart. Kieron MacNicol piped the Lament and Mrs Pat McIntosh laid the wreath. Remembrance Day at Balquhidder Church Thank you all for your support again this year. Photo courtesy of Maureen Lipscomb 8


Mary Mathieson 26.07.1918 26.07.1918 -- 09.11.2010 09.11.2010

The family of the late Mary Mathieson would like to thank most sincerely relatives, friends, neighbours and carers for their support and condolences after the recent sad loss of their mother (Kizzy Granny). Special thanks to the Rev John Lincoln for his comforting service and to Andrew Anderson & Sons for their guidance with the funeral arrangements. Currently the generous sum of £592 has been received for Erskine Hospital. I first met Mary on the lane behind her house when she was out walking her little cairn terrier Dileas. She took one look at my large, black, woolly canine and headed for sanctuary in the porch of the derelict cottage nearby. I explained that although Fish looked like a bear he was in fact as soft as a teddy bear and that neither she nor Dileas would come to any harm. Thus began a new friendship between people and dogs and we had many a saunter together. Mary was very fond of poetry and over the years she sent in several of her favourites to be published in The Villagers. I am re-printing one which she certainly loved. A staunch supporter of village life, Mary came to events in all the local communities: jumble sales, strawberry teas, film shows and of course, the annual Horticultural Show. In 2004 the show was held in Lochearnhead and Mary was asked to hand out the prizes. Her family rallied round to help her dress for the occasion and she

Mary Mathieson at the Lumber Jill Memorial

appeared in a wonderful straw bonnet, adorned appropriately with flowers, fruit and vegetables, which was so large and heavy that she had to remain seated during prize giving and asked me each time she handed out a silver cup, “Who is it now? Do I have to kiss this one?” In February 2008 we featured Mary on the front page of The Villagers after she had received her medal in recognition of her work as a Lumberjill in the Timber Corps during the Second World War. She was taken to see the commemorative staue to the women of the Corps which was erected in the grounds of the David Marshall Lodge near Aberfoyle. I interviewed Mary for the article and we sat in her kitchen with a large pot of tea to keep us going while she told me tales of her work, her friends and the fun they all had. I asked about her husband and she said “ In 1944 I met my husband Sandy, we were married and lived happily ever after….and that’s the end.” The end of the interview but not the end of Mary’s story by any means. She will be missed by so very many people in our villages. Ed.

The Bogle of Glen Ogle

There’s a bogle in Glen Ogle And his name is Angus Og, He doesn’t screech or howl at you But gives a gentle squawk. He hides behind the boulders And is really very shy, If you raise your voice or shout at him He’ll turn away and cry. He plays among the heather And whispers to the sheep, He paddles in the Ogle burn If the pools are not too deep. He flits among the rowan trees, But avoids the cycle track, And strokes the furry bumble bees Which fly right through his back. For a ghostie or a ghoulie He’s really very sweet, So please be nice and smile at him If ever you should meet. F M Lochearnhead First published in The Villagers in October 2002

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McLaren High School News by Yvonne King

Children in Need On 12 November the school embraced the spirit of Children in Need and raised £778. A highly successful Mufti Day, with S6 in fancy dress, contributed to this amount. The main event of the day was an obstacle course competition between the top team boys, won by Leny with Bracklinn coming a close second. Many thanks to all those who took part and contributed on the day. Zoolab Visit On Thursday 21 October Zoolab visited all our S1 pupilsl. The purpose of the visit was to introduce the topic of classification and allow pupils to see and handle animals from different families. Our thanks go to Zoolab for a great day. Left: Making friends with Mr Rat, and right: Tara Leishman, Balquhidder & Ryan Welsh, Lochearnhead getting to grips with a scaly specimen!

French Trip to Cinema On 3 November a group of senior French pupils were accompanied by Mr Allan and Mr Brown to the Vue cinema in Stirling where they joined pupils from other local schools to see Micmacs a tirelarigot, (‘non-stop shenanigans’). The film takes place in Paris following a down-on-his-luck tramp called Bazil, intent on avenging his father’s death and his own near fatal shooting. He enlists the help of a mismatched group of vagrants living in a scrapheap and together they plan revenge on the arms dealers responsible. Dubbed as a satire on the world arms trade, its French humour, loveable characters and ingenious ‘shenanigans’ had the whole group, including the teachers, laughing.

Quintin 10

FutureChef Tuesday 26 October saw the school heat at McLaren High for the FutureChef competition. This prestigious contest is held annually with subsequent heats being held at local and national levels. Mr Cotter, Deputy Headteacher, was involved in the judging to help Ms Nicoll, our Home Economics teacher, with a very difficult decision. Many delicious meals were presented to a very high standard including chicken, mackerel and prawns. The winning entry was from Quintin Lyle, S4, who gave the judges Pan Fried Chicken Breast stuffed with Sage and Apricots served on a bed of Garlic Mash with Smoked Pancetta, Savoy Cabbage and Glazed Carrot Ribbons. Quintin will now go through to the local heat which will take place later this month. The runner-up was Andrew Phillips also of S4.

The winning dish


Healthy Eating winners (Junior)...

Mobile Phone Collection Donate your old mobile phones and get new technology for the school!! The campaign, called Give Every Child a Voice, will exchange old mobile phones for the latest classroom response devices. All phones donated during the campaign will be recycled and converted into valuable funds for the NSPCC’s Child’s Voice Appeal. Promethean will donate £500 to the charity for every 250 phones collected by a school. Schools sending in 250 mobile phones will also receive a FREE Promethean ActivExpression Learner Response System (a set of 33 handsets). Rugby News On 5 November McLaren U16s travelled to Broxburn to play their 2nd round Scottish Cup/Bowl Match. In very difficult conditions, with a very slippery ball and up against a big Broxburn pack, the boys gained the upper hand early on and eventually ran out comfortable winners 34-0. Tries were scored by Harry Milligan, Angus Perrie, Fraser Kerr, Cameron Reid and 2 by Jamie Patterson with 2 conversions by Harry Milligan. Special mention has to be made of Cameron and Jamie who continue to improve with every game. Central Schools Swimming Trials 11 pupils represented McLaren High School at the Central Schools Swimming Trials. Out of the 14 swims entered, there were 13 new personal best times, fantastic results as 8 of the pupils had never competed in a gala before. Rebecca Millar received a silver medal for 100m Backstroke and both Rebecca and Nicola Allan have qualified to represent McLaren at the Scottish Schools Swimming Finals in Glasgow in January 2011.

and Healthy Eating winners (Senior)

Christmas Concert The McLaren High School Christmas Concert will take place in the school on Thursday 9 December at 7.30pm. Tickets go on sale on Thursday 2 December and will be available from R114 in the school at lunchtimes, or on the door, price £5 and £3.50 concession.

Illustration by Jim Hannah

Caitlin Hall and Leah Murray are pictured depositing some old mobiles in the collection box.

Design a Healthy Sandwich Certificates were awarded on 15 November to S1 class winners and runners up in the Design a Healthy Sandwich project which ran in Home Economics classes for two weeks in October. Thanks to Mrs Leckie, Catering Manager for judging the competition. The overall winner was Carys MacLean 1M with “The Chilli Chicken Sandwich”. As part of the partnership with the school and the Hungry for Success initiative the sandwich was sold in the cafeteria all week.

Scottish Poppy Appeal The school collection raised the sum of £128.65 for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Thanks to all staff and pupils who contributed. Fresh Website Monthly Draw The first set of cinema tickets was awarded to the following 15 pupils at the end of October: Harry Cordner, Darek Kunecki, Steven Lauder, Will Cartwright, Angus Leishman, Morag O’Shaughnessy, Fiona Morgan, Kristina MacEachern, Jinny Dowling, Francesca Respinger, Megan Rhys, Lindsay McEwen, Laura Aitken, William Vernon and Kelsie McAlpine Congratulations to all and well done for making healthy choices when purchasing food in the cafeteria. The all new healthy eating reward scheme is now up and running with 15 sets of 2 cinema tickets to be awarded in a monthly draw. At the end of the school year in June 2011 the 80 pupils in Stirling Council’s high schools with the highest points will each receive an Amazon voucher to the value of £100.

visit our website: www.mclarenhigh.co.uk 11


Strathyre Primary School News

H HH

Sponsored Walk

On Monday 15 November the children (pictured above) held their Sponsored Walk. We had been waiting for good weather so on that morning, seeing as it was a glorious day, we set off from the school, along the Laggan Road, up to the waterfall and back. It was approximately 5 miles.

Christmas Service Our Christmas Service will take place in Balquhidder Church on Wednesday 22 December at 1.30pm. Coffees and teas will be served after the service. Bag Packing in the Co-op Go to the Co-op in Callander on Saturday 11 December and get your bags packed by the children of P6 & P7. They are raising funds for their Dalguise Trip.

Christmas Fa

Come along to the sch ir ool on Friday 10 December for our Christmas Fair from 2.00-5.00pm. Our stalls will have a tombola, a raffle, home baking, face painting, new book s, and gifts. Tea, coffee an toys, cards, d mince pies will be served and of course, there will be a very special Santa’s Grotto. Everybody is welcome . Contributions for homebaking, the raffle and tombola prizes will be gratefully received.

H

H

Active Scotland Outdoor Activities

‘Winter Boat Storage’ Take the hassle out of towing your boat away at the end of the season. Let Active Scotland take care of your winter storage needs by arranging for your boat to be stored inside until March. Towed from and returned to Clachan Cottage Hotel ready to start the 2011 season. Call 01567 830321 for details. Active Scotland Crieff Road, Lochearnhead 01567 830321 www.activescotland.com 12

At Dobbies World of Work On Tuesday 23 November all the children Stirling Castle, Pizza Hut, Pets at Home, spent the day going around different The Peak, Frankie and Benny’s, Riding businesses in Callander and Stirling for the Disabled, The MacRobert, B&Q, The Smith Museum, the Fire Station and finding out about the world of work. P1 - P3 went around Callander to the ‘Roll on Flooring’. The pupils made up Toy Museum, the Post Office, Mhor questionnaires for the workforce and Bread, the Leisure Centre, Police Station gathered information about the different roles which people play in their work and the Bank of Scotland. P4 - P7 split into five groups and went places. Rhoda Keenan to Stirling where they visited Dobbies,


BLS Community Council The Community Council met on 3 November in Lochearnhead and welcomed a couple of local visitors, despite the rather cramped nature of the meeting room! Various matters were discussed but a major theme running through everything was that of devolving responsibility to local level. After approving the audited accounts for the past year, some time was spent in preparing for the forthcoming visit of Mr Bob Jack, the Chief Executive Officer for Stirling Council. He is due to meet with members of the Breadalbane Forum of Community Councils towards the end of November and it will be an opportunity to hear how the current financial climate is likely to affect us all in this area. However, the main issue of concern to the BLS Council is that of joint working amongst the various statutory bodies that operate in our vicinity. Because their policies vary on some issues, there is a lack of concerted effort when it comes to tackling problems such as litter. It was, therefore, agreed that this should be included on the agenda for that meeting. Two matters affecting Lochearnhead were raised: the construction of a proper pavement on the A85 between Auchraw Terrace and Auchraw Brae and the future of the school. The council was informed that both matters are still under consideration but no positive developments were on the horizon in either case. Cllr Fergus Wood then raised a subject close to his heart: the further development of the scheme for “Village Officers”. These are multi-skilled council employees who operate locally with access to a full range of Council resources and responsibility for most of the routine tasks in their area. Stirling Council is keen to expand this service and Cllr Wood is keen to explore how the Community Councils might play an increased rôle in these operations. Several other initiatives were then discussed. Stirling Council is planning a special event in 2014 to mark the historical events associated with Bannockburn. Council members expressed the fervent desire that existing local events (such as The Highland Games) would not be ignored as they had

been during the events to celebrate “The Gathering”. Slow progress was reported in bringing together all interested parties to address the widespread problem of litter in our area. The National Park Authority is, however, taking the lead in this and things are coming together. It is hoped that the meeting with Mr Jack will provide the catalyst to accelerate this process. The question of extending the scheme for “Demand Responsive Transport” (Dial-a-Bus) further East towards Comrie and Crieff is still under consideration but all parties concerned are wary of the additional costs that this is likely to involve. We also looked again at the “Comfort Partnership Scheme”. This is designed to address the matter of looking after public toilets in our area. Stirling Council would very much like to devolve responsibility for this to local enterprise but there is a shortage of offers available so far. Our MSP, Bruce Crawford, is seeking evidence of the state of broadband services in our communities. Following a couple of recent wholesale failures, there was plenty of adverse comment about this! However, it does appear that Lochearnhead enjoys something approaching the national average, whilst Balquhidder and Strathyre both lag significantly behind and have only very poor service. Mr Malcolm White and Mr Jim Hamilton had both taken the trouble to attend the meeting

in order to raise matters of local concern. These concerned the ongoing problem of litter and damage caused by certain visitors during the summer months, the question of motorists speeding through the village (particularly after dark)and a specific issue of localised flooding. The first two problems are already being addressed in various ways and progress reports were given by some of those present. The flooding problem would be reported to Stirling Council with a view to coordinating the response from the various statutory bodies involved and local landowners. Thus buoyed up with optimistic fervour, the meeting closed shortly after 9.00pm. Our next meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15 December at the village hall in Strathyre. Any local residents who wish to attend as observers are very welcome to do so. Paul Hicks

Cartoon by Jim Hannah 13


Letter to the Bank

Shaping Stirling’s Future

Dear Sir, I am writing to thank you for bouncing the cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity and also for debiting my account £50 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that, whereas I answer your telephone calls and letters personally, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank, whom you must nominate. (Be aware that it is an offence for any other person to open such an envelope.) Please find attached a Contact Application which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone-in bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows: IMMEDIATELY AFTER DIALLING, PRESS THE STAR (*) BUTTON FOR ENGLISH #1 To make an appointment to see me. #2 To query a missing payment. #3 To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there. #4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping. #5 To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature. #6 To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home. #7 To leave a message on my computer a password to access my computer is required. A password will be communicated to you at a later date and to that Authorised Contact mentioned earlier. #8 To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 – 7 again. #9 To make a general complaint or enquiry. The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. #10 This is a second reminder to press* for English. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call. Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

www.scotlandscensus.gov.uk

Scotland’s biggest population count, the 2011 Census, is set to take place on Sunday 27 March next year and work is already underway in the Stirling area to ensure that everyone is counted. The census enables people across Stirling to send a message to government and businesses about the services they and their community use, now and in the future. Census questions ask about our circumstances – for example, age, health, accommodation. While personal details are kept confidential for 100 years, the statistical information generated provides the basis for properly planned and funded services such as health, education and transport, in the area and Scotland as a whole. Stewart Gibson, Census Regional Manager for Stirling and East and West Dunbartonshire said: “I am a publicly minded person, interested in Scotland’s development and the advancement of its people. I am keen to help deliver an effective census in my region in order to give decision makers the statistics they need to plan future services”. As one of the biggest logistical undertakings by the public sector in Scotland, the census will see questionnaires delivered to around 2.5 million households. The completion of the census questionnaire is required by law and everyone needs to be included. As part of his role, Stewart is responsible for the recruitment and training of nine district managers, 27 team leaders and 304 census takers (enumerators) in Stirling and East and West Dunbartonshire. Further details on Scotland’s Census can be found at:

14

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year? Your Poor Customer...


Faster Broadband in Balquhidder and Strathyre As you may have seen on the recent tv advertisements, BT is rolling out superfast fibre optic broadband across the UK. Whether you use the Internet for Business, Education, Entertainment or Services - your life would be transformed by faster Broadband! The Race to Infinity is giving people the chance to vote online for their area to enjoy fibre optic broadband. By now you should have received a flyer like the one below, showing the website address where you should make your vote. It’s really simple to do - and it could put us on track for the all-singing, all-dancing Broadband service that we all need! Don’t forget - vote today - time is Gill Allan running out...

Callander Rambling Club Stirling Council Library Service...

is delighted to offer you a new and free service. We are always looking to improve our service to you and this is the most exciting development in years. Families living in an area served by the Mobile Library Service can now order books on line (internet connection required) from our extensive catalogues. The requested items will be available for pickup on the mobile library as soon as the item is available. We will advise you when the item is ready to be collected. Families can now order up to twenty books at a time and it’s free. We also have some great internet sites to help you choose books for all the family i.e. www. fantasticfiction.co.uk All we require is for you to complete a membership form along with a four-digit PIN number of your choice. The library service has a varied selection of books from old favourites through to the most up to date best sellers in all formats. We stock hardbacks, paperbacks, oversize, large print and talking books. Why not order a book you enjoyed in your youth, for your child? We also have a large selection of information books that can be used for your child’s school project. Access is now available to adult and junior encyclopaedias on our website. It is now possible to download a selection of audio books from our website and this is also free. The books are available to download to your computer, MP3 player or iPod. We look forward to welcoming you to our friendly, fast and free service. Opening times will be published in February’s edition of The Villagers.

Walks Programme 2010/11 The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www. incallander.co.uk/ramblers.htm in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New Members and guests are always welcome. DECEMBER 2010 • Wed 1st 9:30am Ramble - The Whangie 5 miles Jen Shearer 01877 330446 • Sat 4th 8:30am Hill - Innerdouny Hill (Ochils) 497m Rob Smallman 01786 825877 • Wed 8th 9:30am Stroll - Mystery Walk 5 miles Peter Ireland 01877 330444 JANUARY 2011 • Mon 3rd 11.00am Stroll - Town Walk - 4 miles John Snodin 01877 331621 • Tues 11th 7.30pm - AGM Callander Fire Station, Geisher Road • Wed 19th 9.30am - Ramble Mystery Ramble - 5 miles Elio Scarpa 01877 330685 • Sat 29th 8:30am Hill - Ben Dearg - 401m Paul Prescott 01877 330032

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Rangers’ Review By Graeme Auty

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park This winter Gareth and I will be continuing our involvement in the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) Bird Atlas survey, which is now approaching the end of the four year survey of Britain’s birds which began in 2007. (see www. bto.org/birdatlas for more info). Anyone with a keen interest in birds and good bird identification skills can still become involved in the bird atlas, just see the above web address for details. There are still several squares available for people to survey especially in upland areas like ours. If you are interested in taking on a square then you can contact Neil Bielby, our regional coordinator, at n.bielby@ sky.com and he will be able to provide you with all the advice you need on how to get involved and on which areas are priorities for the atlas. One notable sighting already this winter has been large flocks of waxwings. These birds first started to arrive in early November, having travelled hundreds of miles from their summer home in Scandinavia.

‘The waX factor’

Photo by John Arnold Photography

Several large flocks of these distinctive, colourful birds have been spotted right across the area including in Balquhidder and Glenample, with several birds even crash landing into our Lochearnhead office window as they swooped down en masse from their lofty treetop vantage point into the berry-filled rowans and cotoneasters of the surrounding gardens. These birds will spend the winter here moving in bustling flocks of up to fifty or more seeking out this autumn’s plentiful supply of hawthorn and holly berries. If you are lucky they will allow you to get very close, often providing ample opportunity to appreciate their russet

plumage with distinctive crest, black bib, yellow tips to the tail feathers and white markings in the wings. Even the little red waxy tips to their wings, which give them their name, can often be seen. This year is unusual in that so many of these birds have arrived here. This may be a combination of a successful breeding season earlier in the year followed by the early onset of wintry weather, forcing them south to our shores in search of food. So keep a look out for these charming, gregarious wee birds which are sure to brighten up a winter’s day. Gareth and I would like to wish everyone a happy festive season and as always, if we are about at the Lochearnhead Office, please feel free to drop in, or to call if you have any queries, wildlife sightings or just for a catch up. Gareth is in most days but I am 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 graeme.auty@lochlomond-trossachs.org or Gareth at gareth.kett@lochlomondtrossachs.org.

Scottish Wildlife Trust, Callander Member’s Centre • Talks Programme Winter 2010/11 All meetings are open to members and non-members and are held on the first Tuesday of each month in St Andrew’s Church Hall, Leny Road, Callander at 7:30pm. Cost £2 includes tea/coffee and biscuits. Do come along and join us in learning more about what is around us in this fabulous part of the world. More details on the organisation can be found at www.swt.org.uk

Tuesday 7 December 2010 7:30pm Goshawks - past and future Dave Anderson, Cowal &Trossachs FCS Wildlife Manager Followed by a Christmas meal at The Old Rectory (must pre-book via June Forbes Tel 01877 331658)

Tuesday 1 March 2011 7:30pm The Katrine Fold Cattle and conservation in Harmony Donald Hendry, Forestry commission Scotland’s Livestock

Tuesday 5 April 2011 7:30pm Tuesday 11 January 2011 7:30pm The uses and folklore of some local wild Red Kites and wildlife friendly farming at Argaty plants - herbal remedies, fairies and witches Mike McDonnell, Ranger at Argaty Red Kite V/C Dr John Holland, SAC Hill & Mountain Research Centre, Kirkton Tuesday 1 February 2011 7:30pm Climate Consequences - Wildlife Winners and Losers Dave Warnock, Environmental Consultant

HORSLEY JOINERY & SUPPLIES Proprietor

Kevin P Horsley MIOC

ROB ROY WORKSHOP Est. 1986 BALQUHIDDER • LOCHEARNHEAD FK19 8NX

Bespoke Joinery, Manufacturing and Joinery Supplies • Open to Trade and DIY 01877 384274 kevin@robroyworkshop.co.uk mobile 07885 276573 Opening times: Monday 8.30am - 5.30pm Tuesday 3.00 - 7.30pm Wednesday 8.30am - 5.30pm Thursday 8.30am - 5.30pm Friday 8.30am - 7.30pm Or by appointment at other times

Now in stock: Dulux and Glidden paint - a selection of primer/undercoat and gloss • White Emulsion in matt/silk and soft sheen • A selection of quick drying and interior varnish • Decorating sundries e.g. white spirit, sandpaper, paint brushes • November offer - Decorator’s caulk - 90p + VAT per tube.

Christmas Holiday - Close 5.00pm Christmas Eve and re-open 8.30am on 4 January 2011. New stocks of 25kg bags Rock Salt in! Now £5.50+vat. I would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year and look forward to seeing you all in 2011.

Don’t forget that VAT goes up to 20% on 4 January so now is a good time to buy...and I can hold your items until you need them - as long as they are paid for! 16


Christmas Crossword DOWN 1. At Christmas for shoes or baubles (4) 2. Shortly (4) 3. He knew a lot (7) 4. Round it goes to keep you warm (5) 5. The more points it has the better! (6) 6. He was a 3 down (7) 11. Christmas! What it’s all about! (7) 14. Wear yours and look good (6) 16. Foolish beasts? (5) 19. Cards or bananas together (4) 20. Of cotton or eight? (4)

ACROSS 7. Honest smoke for the gift (12) 8. Not a nice day love, we hear (8) 9. You need this when the wheel is spinning (4) 10. He’s walking in the air (7) 12. Chat North of the border (5) 13. A prop to the workers (5) 15. Said to be as nice as perry when drunk (7) 17. It’s hot in the love nest! (4) 18. He’s sitting on the ground and watching (8) 21. You can gobble this up (6,6)

Finally - Something from China! Having promised Marguerite a monthly update about life in China, we have singularly failed in the first four months. But, there are a few reasons (read ‘excuses’!), mainly that, having been posted to Beijing, we haven’t actually been here that much. On both business and pleasure, we have been traversing across the Far East, mostly in China, but also enjoying an extraordinary week in North Korea for their 60th Anniversary celebrations. A step back to behind the Iron Curtain in the 1960s, with big parades of tanks and other military equipment, generals everywhere, empty shops, run-down trams, grey skies and very quiet people walking everywhere. But on the plus side, no mobile phones, no internet; quiet bliss! And we did get to see Kim

Jong Il and Kim Jong Un at the Arirang (‘mass games’). And to buy the very best that North Korea has to offer in tourist artefacts; i.e. books of stamps and pots of honey... In China, we have moved by plane, train, automobile, foot, rope, bus, porter, phut-phut, boat and raft. Including the bullet train at 200mph, and a bamboo raft at 2mph. We have been to the Great Wall (lots!),loads of places in Beijing, Guangxi, Guizhou, Tibet, Qinghai, Shanghai, Suzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Qingdao, and more. Amazing what you can do when you have no house, children, animals or other responsibilities. Oh, and off to Mongolia on Sunday, so best we get packing. Despite all this, we have managed to find a flat to live in, and have even (finally!) been able to unpack our

Tania and Duncan

boxes and turn it into a home, with the addition of a few big plants to keep Tania happy. More to follow next month; maybe a photo of Mongolia, where it is currently -15 degrees. This month’s photo is of one of our visits to the Great Wall, only an hour or so from our flat. Duncan and Tania Francis

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POLICE REPORT

Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

A day at the Police OSCARS On Monday 1 November I attended the Scottish Police College along with colleagues from across Scotland who had also been nominated for the Scottish Government Annual Scottish Policing Awards. The particular category for which I had been nominated was “Making Our Communities Safer”. I was surprised to learn that I was to receive the “Outstanding Contribution” award. This was presented to me and Sergeant McFarlane by Mr Kenny McCaskill, the Justice Secretary, who commented to those present that this was an exceptional initiative and very well deserved. Thankfully, unlike the real Oscars, we did not have to make an acceptance speech. Whilst very honoured to have received the top award in the category I was also delighted because, like most awards, it was only possible due to the hard work of all those who helped. In particular the staff and pupils of the school must take the credit as it was their enthusiasm which enabled the project to be the success it has been. Lucky escape in Crianlarich Around 3am on Saturday 13 November I was carrying out a static patrol in Crianlarich when I saw two males running along the A82. Before I could stop them they had disappeared into the area of the railway station. Whilst searching for them I noticed a green coloured Vauxhall Vectra parked at an unusual angle in the car park at the junction of the A82/A85. On checking the car I found that a small fire had been deliberately started inside. I quickly extinguished it and called out the local fire fighters who made it safe. I would urge anybody who either saw the car or anybody acting suspiciously in the area, to contact me or my colleagues. The potential consequences of this incident speak for themselves; if the fire had taken hold the other cars and also the adjacent hotel would have been at risk. The car was later reported stolen! Car seized from local woman About 5pm on Saturday 13 November I stopped a car being driven on the A84 between Strathyre and Lochearnhead. Following a number of checks on the various police data bases the female driver, who was alone in the car, was charged with: 1. Driving outwith the conditions of her provisional licence. 2. Failing to display “L” Plates on her vehicle. I invoked the police powers which allowed me to seize the car and have it taken 18

to a secure compound. The woman had been driving in and around Lochearnhead and to the neighbouring villages on a regular basis for the past few weeks. I have no doubt that she would have continued to do this until she was caught, which may well have been too late if she had been involved in an accident, especially for the other people involved. Her actions showed not only a total disregard for the law but contempt for all those other road users who make every effort to ensure they remain within the legal system. Just because a person may think they can drive a car the reality is that until they pass the exam and receive the necessary certificate they are not shown to be competent. What will happen to the woman next? Like the TV programme she will probably end up with a row of Xs. X...A criminal conviction for life. X...A minimum disqualification of 1 year. X...A heavy fine at court. X...Future high insurance premium. Along with the assistance of the public and by using the various data bases available to me I will continue to target those drivers who believe they can do what they like whether that is driving whilst drunk, breaking the speed limit or, as in this case, driving without the proper paperwork.

radar checks in Strathyre and Lochearnhead. Apart from the usual cases of speeding and minor vehicle defects we stopped a male driver who was en route from Stirling to Oban. Checks were carried out on both the car and the driver which resulted in the car being seized since he was driving without insurance. In addition, the female owner of the car has been charged with permitting this to take place. As with the case above this is a serious offence which will result in a fine, points on the licences of both people and increased premiums. Again I have no doubt that this man believed he could get away with no insurance so long as he did not bring his driving to the attention of the police. Fortunately for us, by ignoring the speed limit, he did just that.

Radar checks yield good results During the evening of Friday 19 November, PC Frickleton and I carried out a series of

PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000 www.centralscotland.police.co.uk

PC Andy Ward and pupils conduct traffic survey

Good Food - and a warm welcome awaits all. Award winning local chef. Eddie McAnally will be cooking the best of local produce. 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: hotel@kingshouse-scotland.co.uk www.kingshouse-scotland.co.uk


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The

Grumpy

Column

This month I am not just grumpy, I am downright fuming having just read in the newspapers that the Scottish Government is asking for tenders to supply flat screen, HD ready TVs for Scottish prisoners!! What?? In view of all the cutbacks and sacrifices that most homes will suffer in order to make ends meet, especially as the weather has turned wintery, why on earth is money being spent on this? As I understand it, prisoners already have television, so why do they need flat screens? A picture is a picture and they should be grateful to have any television in their rooms (sorry, cells). There are people who need to choose between heating cost and food cost and cannot get any government help. Sometimes I wonder just where the sense has gone in this country!! I have written to my MP, MSP and the First Minister for justification on the ridiculous amount of money being spent on this, and I would urge anyone else who feels strongly about it to do the same. Have you ever cut your finger and wrapped something round it while you search the first aid box for some sticking plaster? You eventually find the plasters and manage to get the box open with the loss of some more blood, only to find the plasters, not only individually wrapped but fixed together. Having got one of the right size separated you are only half way there and still have to open the packet. You soon discover that there is no way you can do that with a hanky or tissue, getting redder by the minute, round the finger. By the time you have got the plaster ready there is blood over everything including the finger that caused the problem in the first place. What do you have to do ? It’s obvious – wash it, but then even with careful drying (and soaking the towel in blood) the d….. plaster won’t stick. There has to be a fortune to be made here!

Farm Forum: A New CAP for the New Year! When writing this article each month Agricola is very conscious that he is writing mainly to a non agricultural “audience” and therefore tries to stick to topics that are of universal interest or at least will affect us all. The re-negotiation of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is a case in point. The whole thing is fairly dull but in some way or another will affect everyone. I will not bore you with all the details but it is worth mentioning that The Farm Commissioner has at last come out with a paper laying out how he envisages the new policy. As with all politicians the whole thing is suitably vague but does emphasise one or two important principles such as the importance of food security and direct payments to producers. At the very start of the process and as a precursor, various public surveys were conducted across Europe and these surveys showed that the concept of providing public support to grow food, manage the land, underpin our rural economies and to provide public good, is overwhelming – 83% of those polled in the Euro barometer. The whole process of negotiation is scheduled to be complete some time in 2012 with implementation commencing in 2013. we cannot have much idea what the final deal will look like because every nation within the EEC will have its say and then hopefully agree on a common policy and bearing in mind there are a lot of new members it will not be easy, and to say it will be a compromise is probably the understatement of the year! The problem is that many EU members have completely different cultures and to make one set of rules adequately fit all is quite impossible. In this country we have completely disproportionate penalties for making a genuine error (I don’t mean fraud which is quite different) and there are lots of checks and cross checks because any major misappropriation can trigger a large EEC fine on the country concerned. However a cynic said the other day that we should be like Greece and simply pay out the money and pay the EEC fine and we would be well in pocket through not having to employ inspectors! That was off course said with tongue in cheek but probably disguises an element of truth!

Christmas Stamps

Christmas stamps with a Christian theme, which feature the Madonna and Child image, are on sale now. They are alongside this year’s stamps featuring Wallace and Gromit, “to give the customer a choice”! The stamps with a Christmas theme will be available to those who ask for them.

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View from the Park by Owen McKee I recently attended a Scottish Government Planning Conveners’ seminar in Stirling where one of the main speakers was a Property Developer from Edinburgh. The theme of his talk was the impact of the new planning arrangements in bringing a development to fruition. Had the process speeded up and were communities better served by the need for them to be consulted by the developer of a major development prior to the submission of the Planning Application? Not surprisingly, his conclusion was that the answer tended to be no to both questions and he put the blame on the community consultation process. Prior to the establishment of the new code his firm was accustomed to local consultations and generally found communities reasonable in their approach to a development, with amendments suggested usually readily achievable, but the mood has changed with the introduction of the requirement to consult. More and more the demands being made put the development at risk. The old problem. Does the right to consultation mean the right to control or merely to influence?

The climate change agenda has influenced a change of policy at Historic Scotland. Single glazed windows in listed buildings and conservation areas may now be replaced by double glazing provided the framing etc is wooden and their design mirrors the windows being replaced. It may have taken six years to achieve but the replacement bridge at the Bracklinn Falls in Callander has been an instant success in re-establishing a facility much used by locals and visitors alike. The new bridge and the extensive use of the Conservation Area Regeneration Schemes in both Callander and Killin should help our communities realise that the National Park Authority is very active in areas other than Loch Lomond. To make sure that activities do continue in these bleak economic times the December meeting of the Park Authority will be discussing ways of raising further funds. The Park Authority operates a couple of slipways on Loch Lomond where at present there is no charge for the launching of boats. These slipways have to be manned and maintained. Similar facilities in National Parks in England attract commercial fees and for some time now I have questioned why we should not do likewise. There is a right of free passage on Loch Lomond

and West Dunbartonshire Council historically provided free launching. These and other matters will doubtless arise during the discussion but I do have a feeling that the current economic climate dictates change. There has been a healthy response to our recruitment drive for Volunteer Rangers with some 50 people being interviewd for 25 posts. It is hoped that those recruited will be on post for the start of the 2011 season. As the festive season is almost upon us, may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Bracklinn Falls Bridge re-opened

The community of Callander celebrated the official opening on 16 November of the new Bracklinn Falls Bridge. The popular beauty spot around the gorge has been without a bridge since flash floods washed away the original in 2004. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park worked closely with Callander Community Development Trust to find a replacement although the rural location of the site made it impossible to use traditional installation methods including crane and helicopter options. A team of two contractors winched the 20m steel and timber structure into place by hand. The bridge has a distinct copper roof and is designed using locally sourced Larch and four Douglas Fir tree trunks each measuring 12m long. In total, the structure weighs 20 tonnes and took over 3,000 man hours to install. 20


U3A Current Affairs Class

Photo courtesy of Mark Shimizu

This photo shows just one of the many, varied and interesting classes run by Forth Valley U3A. Several local villagers attend and would thoroughly recommend joining. The next open day where you can see the list of classes, talk to the leaders and sign up for the new session, will be held on Friday 7 January at St Andrews Church Hall, Callander, from 10.00am - 12 noon.

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 enquiries@rsha.demon.co.uk www.rsha.org.uk Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SCO37849 Please note that we encourage all applicants to also apply to Stirling Council’s housing list (Tel 0845 277 7000) Being on both lists is the best way to maximise your chances of being re-housed.

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Pin-Feathers*

by Old Nyati

*Once in demand by Victorian miniaturists, the tiny pin-feather comes from the leading edge of a woodcock’s wing and only two such feathers occur on each bird (one on each wing). This month Old Nyati looks back to a winter when he was but a little nipper.

“This isn’t winter, that was winter!” Those senior ones amongst us will remember it: February 1947. But first a quick look at the photos of a walk on Loch Voil just to remind us of last winter. Being able to walk on the ice-covered loch is not something that happens very often now; perhaps long ago winters were colder and the remains of the ice house at Stronvar indicate that ice blocks were cut from the frozen loch each winter, stored in the underground construction on the bank and used in the kitchens during the summer. The other picture from last winter shows a pile of salt at the roadside, frozen solid. Attempts had been made to dig out the salt through the hole. It prompted the editor to say that it looked like a giant molehill after the mole had fled to warmer places. So what was that great winter of 1947 really like? We hear stories and boasts from older people about how they coped with the hardships.Take a look at the other pictures – yes, it was like that, starting in late January and continuing into April without a break. Remember this was only two years after the war so everything was rationed; petrol, coal, food, clothing and most other things were unobtainable. There were power cuts every day as coal could not be transported to the power stations because of the closed railways. Of course the railways at that time were the main means of transport, many villages in remote areas were cut off for weeks; the menfolk took sledges and struggled out and back from the nearest town which had a few supplies. Airlifts of food to some villages were organised by the R.A.F. with one tragic accident when an aircraft crashed into a nearby hillside whilst doing a low pass. Several steam locomotives in our area got stuck and

A giant molehill, perhaps..? 22

were abandoned, the coal in the tenders being quickly “utilised” by local people and when the locos were finally retrieved the drivers said they had never seen the tenders so clean! Jet engines were fitted to some trains in an experiment to try and blast a way through the drifts but this either blew up the track or pushed the train backwards! My memory recalls that a local doctor requisitioned a steam loco to get him to a patient in the hills when he could not get there by road. And was it cold? I slept with a woollen balaclava helmet on. Milk from the cows could not be collected for many weeks and it froze solid in the churns; fresh milk had to be poured away, although some of course was made into butter and cheese; rabbits were caught and eaten but even these became so thin it was not worth bothering. We children of course enjoyed the fun of it; no school, caves dug into the snowdrifts and sledging until we were tired out. There is a memorial telling the story of a shepherd who perished out on the Derbyshire hills whilst trying to get his flock into shelter, and whose collie dog was found alive beside his body six weeks later when the thaw came. There are many tales of the struggles and hardship of that winter and the eventual thaw was so rapid as to cause extensive flooding in April, with some major roads washed away, causing further problems. It has been suggested that all this cold weather now might be an omen for the rest of this winter, but remember the old saying “If the ice in November will carry a duck, the rest of the winter will be sludge and muck.” Well, there was a duck on the ice so perhaps it may be so. Fingers crossed, we shall see.

The trek across the frozen loch...


Funding Surgery LOCHEARNHEAD POST OFFICE AND SHOP POST OFFICE AND PARCELFORCE SERVICES. CASH MACHINE (no fee) Greetings Cards ~ Stationery Films and Batteries Hot & Cold Drinks ~ Confectionery ~ Ice Cream Lochearnhead Souvenirs ~ Children’s Toys Signed books by Local Authors

There will be a funding surgery in the Arena at McLaren Leisure Centre, Mollands Road, Callander on Thursday 20 January 2011 from 2.00 - 7.00 pm. This is an opportunity to find out about small local funds and meet the funders on a one-to-one basis. If you are involved with a community or voluntary group that works in the rural Stirling area please take this opportunity to discuss any projects you are planning or generally find out what small grants could be available for your group. The funders present on the day are CFSLA Payroll Lottery, Sons of the Rock, Stirling Council Community Grants, Clackmannanshire & Stirling Environmental Trust, LEADER and the Co-op Community Fund. To book an appointment with the funders please contact Jean Cowie, Funding Officer at Stirling Council on 01786 432268. The last hour of the session 6.00 - 7.00 pm will be on a drop-in basis, no appointment required.

~ ~ ~

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 enquiries@lochearnheadpostoffice.co.uk

NOW IN NEW GROUND FLOOR PREMISES AT: 6 Cross Street, Callander Tel: 01877 331417 www.beautysalonstirling.co.uk jasmine@beauty5808.wanadoo.co.uk Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Stone Therapy, Facials, Indian Head Massage, Spray Tan, Waxing, Nail Extensions, Manicures, Electrolysis, Tanning Booth, Make-up, Permalase. Monday-Saturday OAP Special on Wednesdays GIFT VOUCHERS 23


On a Dark and Dreary Night... It was a dark and dreary November night when the fireside and cosy lamp beckoned, but - - - I had a ticket for the Callander Rusty Strings concert in the Kirk Hall. My fireside longings soon disappeared in the warmth and brightness of the evening that unfolded. A very varied and accomplished programme ranged from Handel to “Upstairs & Downstairs” by Farris. Solo performances by a visiting flautist and home-grown singer and instrumentalists delighted the capacity audience. Threaded between all these items was the voice of Mary Sandeman - not now the famous singing voice of Japanese Boy but an equally striking voice which took us into the repertoire of Joyce Grenfell amongst other amusing tales. An evening of such variety relied on the conception, planning and execution of two people - Jean and Ron Thewlis the leaders and inspiration of Callander’s ‘Rusty Strings’. What a lovely way to help the work of Leukaemia Research to the tune of £720! Our spirits had been lifted as we returned to our firesides November didn’t seem so gloomy after all! Barbara Legg Sara Hesp, Strathyre, spoke movingly about her daughter Lottie, who has been through the many phases of uncomfortable treatments for leukaemia during these past two and a half years. Happily, Lottie is now well and attended the concert along with her Dad, Lee, brother Dan and Gran, Pat. The family has been actively fundraising throughout Lottie’s illness as has been reported in various issues of The Villagers. We are all delighted at this happy outcome. Ed.

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Mary Sandeman at the Rusty Strings concert

Plan ahead for next Spring

For many gardeners this is a time of reflection on the year so far - what grew well, what didn’t etc, and it’s also an opportunity to continue to enjoy the benefits of all that hard work. But what if you want all this and, for whatever reason, don’t have access to a garden? Or, just as frustrating, you have a garden but, for whatever reason, are not able to make the most of it any more. The way forward is simple: GARDENSHARE STIRLING. It does what it says on the tin - people in the Stirling Council area can now share their gardens through Gardenshare Stirling which has the support of Towards Transition Stirling, Going Carbon Neutral Stirling and Stirling Council. Launched in May 2010, the scheme now has 22 gardens available across the Stirling area, 5 people wanting gardens and three pairs of garden owners and gardeners have been matched up. Matches are initially based on geographical location. Once the garden owner and potential gardener meet up, then all arrangements are sorted out between themselves – this is to reduce bureaucracy and to ensure that both sides make the most out of the arrangement. An outline map of the garden locations and updates on the project can be found at: http://gardensharestirling.wordpress.com/ If you’d like more information or would like to register as a gardener or garden owner, please contact Philippa Cochrane on 07577816262 or gardensharestirling@gmail.com


Tales of a Mountain Rescue Search Dog

Hi there!

It’s Faelan again. It’s been quite a while since I last chatted with you. Mum says that I’ve grown up a lot in the last six months. Mainly I think she means that I sometimes disagree with her on the hill. I’ve learned more about smelly humans and what happens to their scent in complex hilly places and this means that sometimes I know better than Mum what is going on. So we are becoming a stronger partnership and we will try and get our Grade 5 (the highest search dog grade) soon. My first callout was very strange for me, we drove all the way to Cumbria, there were lots of police and people with big cameras. I heard them talking about guns and shootings but I don’t know what those words mean, I just did my job. I had to search roadside ditches and fields that had cows (scary animals) in them. This was very strange as I was used to searching hillsides. When we finished our job Mum and I went to a favourite place called Hard Knott Pass and Mum hugged me for a long time and I kinda hugged her back. I knew that we had just done a really good job. We then went to visit my breeder because I was born in Duddon Valley, Cumbria. The latest

excitement was just the other weekend. You may have spotted the commotion in Balquhidder Glen as Mountain Rescue vehicles from 3 Mountain Rescue Teams made their way towards Inverlochlarig. Thankfully it was not a callout, it was a joint team training exercise involving Killin, Lomond and Ochils Mountain Rescue Teams. I had great fun finding two of the pretend casualties. There were loads of lights and a lot of noise because sixty people were involved. I got lots of cuddles; who said mountain rescuers were burly and grumpy!!? Some sad news though, my best friend, search dog Angus, is very unwell but he still goes out on searches when he feels OK. He’s like me because we both just want to find people and we think searching is the BEST FUN!! Some good news though because Angus now has a baby brother, a black lab called Dugald. He is a bit of a pest because he is a puppy but I’m sure we’ll be good friends when he grows up.

Me looking cute with my new Mountain Rescue Search Dog collar badge

Mum, me and a member of Killin MRT on exercise

So look out for a photo of Dugald in a future episode of Tales of a Mountain Rescue Search Dog...Enjoy the snow! Cheers.

Faelan

Callander Amateur Operatic Society presents

“Melodies d’Amour” on Saturday 15 January 2011 at 7.30pm in Balquhidder Hall

Tickets £5.00 from Strathyre Shop and Lochearnhead Post Office Come along to the village hall and enjoy an evening of song and the occasional titter, in the company of CAOS and friends. There will also be an opportunity to get an appetiser from the 2011 production of Hello Dolly. A trailer of the event can be seen on Youtube if you type in Hello Mary Doll. In these times of financial restraint you will not get better value than this for £5.00 and if you want a wee swallie there will also be a bar and a tableful of nibbles. 25


T H E V I L L A G E RS ’ TRADE DIRECTORY

We’ll send you or your friends ‘The Villagers’ £10.50 for 11 monthly issues (£19.50 for Europe and £25.00 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................................ 26


S U P P O RT Y O U R LOCAL S UP P LIERS !

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• DIARY DATES •

The Villagers’ Contacts BLS Newspaper Association Tom-na-Dhair, Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB

Weekly & Monthly Activities Monday

BLS Lunch Club, Balquhidder Hall - 12.30-2.30pm Indoor Bowls - 7.30 pm - Balquhidder Hall

Tuesday

Keep Fit, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30-11.30am Art Class, Balquhidder Hall - 10.00am-1.00pm Music Circle, Sandison Hall, St Fillans - 1.00pm - 4.00 pm Scottish Country Dancing, Strathyre Hall - 8.00pm

Wednesday

Yoga, Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am-12noon Carpet Bowls, Lochearnhead Hall - 7.30 for 8.00pm

Thursday

Email: contact@the-villagers.org.uk

Friday

Gaelic Playgroup, Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am-12.30pm Upholstery, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-1.00pm

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

DECEMBER 2010 4 5 10 12 14 18 22

Tullybannocher Café - supper evening with Peter Davenport’s Reunion Band Balquhidder Christmas Market - 11.00am - 4.00pm Strathyre Primary School Christmas Fair - see p.12 Strathendrick Singers at St Mary’s Church, Aberfoyle - 7.30pm ‘Come and Sing’Community Carols in Lochearnhead Hall - 6.00pm Strathyre Village Christmas Party - see p.6 Strathyre Primary School Christmas Service in Balquhidder Church - 1.30pm

23 24 31

Christmas Carols at 8.00pm round the Christmas tree in Strathyre. Mulled wine and mince pies! In case of inclement weather venue will be the Village Hall. Christmas Eve Service in Balquhidder Church - 8.00pm Hogmanay Dance - Lochearnhead Hall - 9.00pm start

JANUARY 2011 1 14 15

New Year Dance - Balquhidder Hall - 9.00pm - see p.6 Concert in Balquhidder Church - 7.30pm - see Church News p. 8

CAOS evening ‘Melodies d’Amour’ Balquhidder Hall 7.30pm - see p. 25

The 18th AGM of the BLS Newspaper Association will be held in the Sandison Hall, St Fillans on Wednesday 16 February 2011 at 7.30pm

The deadline date for copy each month this year

is the 24th. Please help us to get The Villagers to you on time!

All cheques for advertising or mail order subscriptions must be made out to ‘The BLS Newspaper Association’

Editorial Team Editor: Marguerite Kobs 01877 384 215 ‘Kalinka’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8NZ Business Manager: John Stewart 01877 384 664 Production Manager: Gill Allan 01877 384 203 Advertising Co-ordinator and Photographer: Alistair Barclay 01567 830 453 Co-editor and 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

The Villagers’ Photographer

Alistair Barclay is available to attend village functions and take photos if contacted in plenty of time. CDs of photos are also for sale. Please phone him on 01567 830453

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 - Lawrie Hopkins Tel: 01567 830 238 Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: graphicsandprint@stir.ac.uk Published by The BLS Newspaper Association

The Villagers December 2010  

News, stories, recipes, events, puzzles, photographs, gardening, wildlife and fun from the villagers of Lochearnhead, Strathyre, St Fillans...

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