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The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

Ringing in the New!

HAPPY NEW YEAR There were Hogmanay celebrations a-plenty in all four Villages! Here are a few images from Balquhidder’s night of music and dance - a truly memorable time. Thanks to Iain Ramsay-Clapham for a great piece of organising.

Photographs by Richard Harris

Editor’s Bit It was lovely to read all the reports of the different villages’ New Year celebrations. In Balquhidder Iain and Gillian did a brilliant job in organising music and dancing in the hall at 6 followed by a Safari supper all round the glen and managed to get us all back for more dancing and fireworks at midnight! Thanks must also go to Marianne and David who have a tradition of providing soup (and a marvellous spread of “goodies”) for New Year’s Day lunch for all who walk the miles to their farm (and even to the ones who leave their cars at the gate). Thanks are also due to the McNaughton clan for the traditional New Year’s night dance, raising much needed hall funds and enabling those with energy left to dance another night away and meet up with friends old and new. I hope our new gardening feature will inspire us all to get out as soon as the weather improves; perhaps an Argentinian Tango round Gardeners Cottage will help me produce something more than my normal display of nasturtiums! Finally I extend our sympathy and condolences to Vera and her family; we will all miss John’s contributions at our committee meetings and his meticulous organisation of The Villagers’ finances. JJ

Villagers AGM

The 19th Annual General Meeting of the BLS Newspaper Association, publishers of The Villagers, will take place on

Wednesday 8 February 2012 at 7.30pm in the Kingshouse Hotel. All very welcome!


St Angus’s Church Lochearnhead

On Monday 12th March at St Mary’s Church Aberfoyle there will be a talk On behalf of the members of St Angus’s I would like to wish everyone a Very Happy New Year and with our good wishes come our heartfelt thanks to all those who have supported our money raising efforts in 2011. It is a sad reflection on the church in general that we seem always to be obsessed with money but it is a fact of life that nothing comes free and the wee Episcopal Church in Scotland has very few extraneous funds to draw on and if we want to maintain a Christian presence in the community is has to be by our own efforts. The small - in numbers - parishes of Crieff, Comrie and Lochearnhead must raise the funds yearly to cover the housing, expenses and stipend of a minister as well as maintain and repair our buildings so, you can appreciate, any help you can give us by supporting our events is greatly valued by the congregation. We will shortly be working out our programme of events for 2012 and look forward to seeing you all there again and we will try to make it as much fun as possible (any suggestions would be welcome). As a congregation we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and accepting church so why not give us a try? Folk can be put off by being unsure when they are expected to stand, kneel or sit in our services but, do not worry the regular congregation sometimes get confused! The important thing is - NOBODY cares, you could stand on your head and we would still be pleased to see you (but not wearing a kilt…!)


The following readings were taken at ‘Bramblings’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder for the month of November.

The following readings were taken at ‘Bramblings’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder for the month of December.

Average max. temp. Actual max. temp. Average min. temp. Actual min. temp.

Average max. temp. Actual max. temp. Average min. temp. Actual min. temp.

11.0 ºC 14.0 5.2 -1.8

56.3 ºF 57.0 41.3 28.7

6.4 ºC 12.9 0.8 -3.7

43.6 ºF 55.2 33.4 25.3

Rainfall: 20.1 cms 8.0 ins Rainfall: 19.8 cms 7.94 ins Strongest wind gust 46 mph on 27 November Strongest wind gust 65 mph on 8 December Total rainfall for 2011 - 192.9 cms 77.2 ins 2

The Road to Arnhem by Judy Urquhart (daughter of Roy Urquhart) about the influences in the life and military career of

Major General R E Urquhart The talk will start at 7.30pm. Tickets will be £8.Wine and nibbles will be served afterwards. Tickets available from Mark Seymour

01786 870710 email: or at the door.

Open Invitation! Friday 10th February

You are cordially invited to join the

Lochearnhead Ballroom Dancing Club... Ever fancied Ballroom Dancing? But been afraid you’d make a fool of yourself? Got a partner who maybe lacks some confidence? The Lochearnhead Ballroom Dancing Club is having an ‘Open Invitation Evening’ on Friday 10th February in the Hall at 7.30pm. We’re also going to supply a buffet supper for you all at no charge. All you need to do is come along with your partner, or even on your own if you can’t drag them off the sofa and bring a drink with you. We’ll introduce you to the other class members and demonstrate some of the dances we’ve learnt in the past. Want to have a go? No problem as we’ll guide you into a few basic steps. So if you fancy having a fun evening, then contact Alistair or Mary on 01567 830453 to book your place. Numbers are limited.

The St Fillans Bit You’ll gather that my report last month of my demise as St Fillans contributor to The Villagers has been reversed. The idea of a group of four taking over was agreed by the Committee but that fell through and I was persuaded to carry on with the role for the next 12 months. So you’ll have to put up with my Birmingham prose for a bit longer. I’m writing this in early January as I’m going to be away for the next month, so it might not be too current, and it will be brief. In December The Villagers organizing group held a ‘farewell’ supper for our now retired Editor Marguerite. We had a very pleasant evening in the Kings House - and it was a fitting tribute to a fine editor. We managed to ruin our night by deciding that as just a few snowflakes were falling as we set off we’d just take the wee 2-wheel drive Suzuki. As we ate, the snow fell heavily and when it came time to depart there were 4 inches of snow on the road. An interesting drive back home – or nearly home as we had to trudge the last 200 yards in the snow with the wee Suzuki abandoned. Which begs the question – why leave a 4 wheel drive especially bought for winter conditions on the drive and set out at night in a 2 wheel drive? The definition of ‘Numpties’. I often seem to upset someone through this column; the joys of amateur journalism... This time it seems that my mentions of The Drummond last month upset the owner, Andy Wilson. For that I apologise. I have, through these pages, and in the community, tried to give The Drummond (and all village

enterprises) every support and would not try to harm their businesses as I know how much St F depends on visitors. One of the downsides of writing this column is recording the death of a villager. In this case a close friend - David Morrison.

Dave, pictured here, died in December from, I believe, a heart attack in his home at the crazily young age of 45. Dave was just a permanent part of St Fillans life. As a barman, as a builder and latterly as Dor2Dor taxi service he was a vital part of many lives and will be sorely missed. I was delighted to be given the honour of presenting a eulogy at his cremation in Perth but, sadly, I was given a strict time limit of 6 minutes (to sum up a life!). I managed to extend that by a couple of minutes but would have liked 20 minutes to tell some of the tales, good and bad, which would have really shown the real Dave. Dave, 25 years my junior, always said that when I popped it he’d look after Daisy Mae – and I know he would have. RIP, Pal. On a more cheerful note, on the day after the great storm in December (when we were

all powerless) a crew turned up in St Fillans to get the cabling live again. Believe it or not they had been sent from Southampton to help out in Scotland, so dire was the Scottish problem. It always amazes me that when we have a big storm and the power goes off some folk expect the leckie boys to climb poles at 2 in the morning in a howling gale so that they can get a cup of tea at breakfast. Anyway, when our Southampton rescuers had the power on again Russell invited them all in for a dram. Their response was ‘what’s a dram? Cultural difference at its best. As far as the power cut went, we had a lovely 36 hours in candle light with the wee transistor radio on, my Kindle reader with its built in light and meals cooked on a camping stove and no emails. Life wasn’t so bad all those years ago. I hear that Angus and Steve came upon a fallen tree blocking the road to Comrie just after the gale. The police were there, seemingly guarding the tree but doing little else. Angus then produced a chain saw from his motor and proceeded to slice the tree up to open the road. That’s what Cameron calls ‘The Big Society’ – though it begs the question what a high heidyun in Perth prison was carrying a chain saw for. Probably a pretty effective interrogation aid? The Hogmanay Gathering in the Sandison was well supported and plenty of folk jigged and rocked the night away. As my health is not all I’d like just now I was delighted that a group of volunteers turned out to set up the hall and then clean the place out again on the 1st. Much appreciated. Sorry this so short (and sweet?) but hopefully I’ll be back next month a much fitter and livelier Murph. A Good New Year to all who read this column. John Murray

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:

7.30am - 5.30pm Mon-Sat Sunday 8.00am till 4.00pm

01764 685309


Strathyre News

Can I take this opportunity to wish all our readers a belated Happy New Year and I hope you had a good one. Jan and I certainly did as we enjoyed a very traditional Hogmanay in the Village with songs and music in the Inn provided by local people and then a wee bit of first footing afterwards, a tradition which is dying out in most places but is making a comeback in Strathyre, thank goodness. On behalf of the Village I would like to say a very big thank you to Jill, Steve and Kirstyann and all other staff at the Inn for all the hard work and long hours they put in so the rest of us could relax and enjoy ourselves, which we duly did. They must have been exhausted by the time the celebrations were over, so thank you again.

From top: The Lads, looking ten years younger... The Lassies, demonstrating how a ‘tache can do wonders... and Wullie - without the facial decor!

A Close Shave... After a month of facial growth these very suspicious looking characters had all evidence removed at the Inn & Bistro on 2 December 2011 and raised the sum of £612.73 which will go to prostate and testicular cancer awareness, so well done to all the lads and LASSIES on the night. However... while I thought I was there to cover the story, I was not aware of an ulterior motive behind it all. I was to become a ‘victim’ as well! After being surrounded with chants of ‘Wullie, Wullie!’ I laid down a challenge that if £200 were put on the bar I would have forty years of facial growth removed. Basically, I dropped my guard and forgot how generous the people of this Village are - and in less than five minutes, which could Just an update to some of my moans and groans in the December issue where I questioned Stirling Council on some issues that were evident in the Village at the time. I have had responses to these issues but it is a very complicated scenario as a number of organisations are involved and the ownership of different areas is just a nightmare to sort out and is certainly not going to happen overnight. I do have a few routes to go down and phone calls to make which I will pursue and hopefully reach some conclusion as to who is responsible for what and what action can or will be taken. In fairness the responses I have had 4

Quiz Night

Well done lads!!

My wife Jan, with the help of some friends, organised a charity quiz night in The Inn on 9 December and what a wonderful and educational night it was. The questions were very varied and the old grey matter was stretched to the limit - but everyone enjoyed the challenge and, I am sure, now know a few facts that they never knew before. Well done to Jan, who was also Quiz Master for the evening. All money raised was donated to the funds for refurbishing the Children’s play park. (We were made very welcome when we had popped in to deliver The Villagers and joined in. Just don’t mention golfers! - Ed) Thanks Jan.

are quite positive in some areas and in time I hope to report some success but unfortunately, mother nature being as she is, has caused prolific damage in the area, as I am sure everyone is aware, and there are more serious and urgent repairs that need to be attended to first, so patience is the order of the day. I can report that an offer has been put in and accepted for the purchase of the toilet block by a resident of the Village but as usual red tape abounds and it could be some time before anything happens to the building, but watch this space. The broken bridges are being addressed, but again, ownership is the delaying factor

as is the case with the toilet car park. I also sent a report to the forestry about the swing bridge and the fact that a local lady had what could have been a very nasty accident when she slipped and fell due to the lack of maintenance to the surface area and can now say that the matter has been noted with a view to a non-slip surface being laid at a future date. The signage into and out of the village is maintained by Transerve [they are responsible for the A82 and any signage on the carriageway] but I have still to contact them which I will do by the time this goes to print. So I am still on the case, let’s see how things progress!!!

be some sort of record, the cash was on the bar and I was done for. But it was very satisfying that I had taken part along with the rest of the lads, helping to raise funds for such a worthy cause. PS the moustache is staying off - I’m not going through that every forty years!!

Strathyre Primary School News Christmas Fair by Lottie Hesp On Friday 9th December we had our Christmas Fair in the school. We had a Santa’s Grotto, raffle, toys, books, tombola, baking, arts and crafts which we made ourselves and face painting. We had a very busy afternoon and we made £640 for our school fund. The Bonus Ball winner on the 10th December winning £73.50 was Ally MacGregor from Strathyre and the winners on Christmas Eve winning £73.50 each were Owen McKee from Lochearnhead and Ally MacGregor from Strathyre. Carol Singing We went carol singing around the village on Thursday 22nd December. We were all in a joyful mood wearing our Santa hats, reindeer ears and tinsel, the weather was cold and damp but our spirits weren’t dampened at all. We stopped off at houses along Keip Road, and then we went to the village shop and old Station Court singing our hearts out. We then went to the Inn where Jill Nixon was pleased to see us. We then went to the Watsons where after singing they gave us all a sweet. We finished off at my house before we walked back to school. Nativity Rock by Freya Stewart Earl We performed Nativity Rock in Lochearnhead Hall. The hall was packed with parents, grandparents and friends of the school. Nativity Rock was very jazzy and a lot of fun to do. Mrs Cantlay brought the music to life and we brought the nativity to life.

Skye and Kay meet Santa

Christmas Party and Lunch by Dan Hesp We had our Christmas party in Lochearnhead hall. We played games and we danced traditional Scottish jigs. It was great fun. On Wednesday 21st December we had our Christmas Lunch in the school. Marianne cooked an amazing traditional dinner. Staff and pupils thoroughly enjoyed the meal and we all put on a pound or two after eating it. Well done Marianne – Keep Cooking!

Yummy! Christmas lunch in the school - thanks to Marianne!

Curling P6 and P7 are getting curling lessons from Active Stirling. This is a starter session in the school and if they wish to pursue this sport they can do at The Peak in Stirling.

Carols in Old Station Court

Right: Our wee angels in Nativity Rock

And Finally... Is it just me or do you have a problem when filling your car to stop the pump on .00? I continually end up 1p over no matter how hard I try even when I have returned the nozzle and it registers 00, I go into pay and 1p has clocked up when I was not looking. I have noticed that when filling up the numbers do not roll over numerically but can jump two or even three at once and this happen in several stations that I use. Now I am not suggesting that I am not getting the petrol I have paid for but I just find it annoying that it happens. To show how sad I am, I did some research as follows: The UK has 8787 registered filling stations as recorded in 2010. If half of these (4394) were over charging 1p, say, for 100 customers per day, which I think is quite feasible, then we have an amount, of £4,394 overall! Make that weekly, and we have a figure of £30,758. Starting to get the picture?! Now make that annually and what do we have: A staggering £1,599,416!! All for 1p. So next time you fill up, think about that 1p - and complain. Fuel is a complete rip off without add-ons! Wullie D

Victorians by Lauren Wilbert & Jamie Nixon Lauren: Our topic this year is the Victorians. We are learning all about the Victorian era. We are looking at children, education, fashion, houses, industry and transportation. If anyone has any Victorian artefacts or books we would love to see them. Jamie: We have a personal project to do at home on the Victorians. We have to hand it in by the 20th February. We have to do a Victorian time line and pick one aspect of Victorian life. We have to include as much information and pictures as possible. These will be on show at our Victorian Day in February; the date has to be confirmed. You are all welcome to come along to this wonderful day. 5

Church News BalquhiĐĐer

New Year Concert

We are sad to report the death of Mr John Stewart on the 19th of January. He was an Elder of our Church and before that also in Edinburgh. His knowledge of the Church of Scotland was a tremendous asset to us and we shall miss his counsel and his smiling face very much indeed. We send love and condolences to Vera and all John`s family. This year will be a critical one for our Church as discussions take place about its future within the Church of Scotland. We need to show that despite a low attendance at services, the Church here is still viable and that it means a great deal to its members and the three villages as well as to our many visitors. Two recent events illustrate this. On Christmas Eve, our watch night service was well attended by residents and visitors who donated a total of £130.00 to Borderline. This charity is based in London to help any Scots who have fallen on bad times there. Then, on 13th January this year, we had a concert similar to those held last year, which raised £329.00 for Church funds. It was almost entirely local musicians who took part and we thank all of them, especially Joan Mann and Charlie Hunter who organised the concert. We all enjoyed the music making and, as a result, plans have been made to invite some local musicians to help with the music at Sunday services on the last Sunday of each month. The music will have a Celtic flavour and we hope it will not only enhance our worship but attract folk who do not always respond to the more traditional format. Please come along and give it a try! It will certainly still be a service but with a backing to the piano which normally accompanies us. Jean Edwards

You chewed up my list of New Year’s Resolutions! Go od Boy!

Singing is Good for You! Thanks to everyone who gave their time and energy to the various musical events over Christmas and New Year. We have definitely landed - and Thursday evenings are now for singing - all styles! Balquhidder Village Hall, each Thursday at 7.30pm. Everyone welcome! Gill Allan 384203


What a wealth and variety of musical talent we are blessed with in our small community! Again our New Year Ceilidh proved to be a most enjoyable evening. As well as members of our own community, we were pleased to welcome our friends from Killin.

Jim Hannah

Reg. Charity No. SC012316

Keiran MacNicol got the concert off to a stomping good start on the bagpipes. As ever, the musical acts were varied, and this year, as well as some of the old favourite artists, we had three new groups of performers. Special mention must be made of the young people, namely the Jacopipes & Dancers and the Killin Junior Gaelic Choir. The Jacopipes entertained us with singing and dancing as well as on small pipes, whistle, guitar and tambour. Not only were they delightful to listen to but also to watch. The Killin Choir, led by John Lincoln, sang two beautiful Gaelic songs. John also entertained us with a Gaelic song followed by a medley of Scots tunes on the fiddle which almost had us dancing in the aisles! Making its debut was the talented group Jings with a repertoire of modern music. In contrast, the Drambuskers played some hauntingly beautiful 17th century music, while Matt Duncan accompanied by Vera Stewart did not disappoint us with contrasting numbers, which even included some Italian opera! Margaret Bennett, Gaelic singer and storyteller, held the stage by herself accompanying herself on guitar, and involved the audience in some interactive fun! Margaret kindly donated copies of her latest CD Take the Road to Aberfeldy towards church funds. Some copies are still available. Special thanks go to Charlie Hunter who ably acted as Fear a Taighe and drew the evening to a finale by bidding us all goodnight in song. N.B. Some of the local musicians are hoping to join us as part of our Sunday worship. They will be playing in church on the last Sunday of each month. We look forward to hearing them on a more regular basis as part of our Sunday morning services at 12 noon. Joan Mann


John Stewart 27.03.1932 - 19.01.2012

ohn Stewart took over as Business JManager of the BLS Newspaper Association

in April 1999. Over the years John took on more duties including collecting and distributing approximately 600 copies each month and also acting as editor for a year when there was a danger that the paper might fold. By 1999 the newspaper had doubled in size from its original six pages in 1993 and it continued to expand over the years until it reached its current maximum of twenty eight pages. A parallel increase in the number of adverts meant an ever increasing load of work for John, keeping a check on the advertisers being occasionally one of the less pleasant parts of the job, and he was only relieved of this burden when Alistair Barclay came to his aid last year. Always ready with his financial report at committee meetings and on time with fully audited accounts at the AGM each February, we all knew we could rely on John, but few people, even on the committee, really knew how much time and effort he put into the running of the newspaper. His wife, Vera, was a great help to him and each month their dining room was a hive of activity as copies of The Villagers were counted out, stacks both large and small rapidly appearing on the table, each neatly labelled with their destination. Next day John would set off on his rounds of the local hotels, village shops and caravan sites in all four villages (trusty Phillips screwdriver to hand), retrieve the money from the honesty boxes, hand over new copy and take back any unsold from the previous month. Back home the tallying up would begin. In the past the summer visitors sometimes paid with foreign coins but since the advent of the Euro there has been much less of that! On a personal note I owe John a great deal for his help over the years we worked together. He was always ready to promote The Villagers and attended almost all of the annual awards ceremonies. I know he was proud of the newspaper and wished for its continuing success. Marguerite Kobs

John remembered....

John with Maisie

Both John and I shared the same affliction of being a bit Mutt ‘n’ Jeff (deaf), much to the irritation and despair of our wives, though this always had its lighter side of blank looks and then laughter or sometimes a kick under the table! It was usual to meet John out walking with his dog Maisie and have a bit of a blether about current affairs. John spent many years in the banking world so the financial crisis was always given a good ‘airing’, not forgetting Matt, the cartoonist in The Telegraph.

Returning from a recent visit to India gave me the opportunity to share a few names and places too; John had spent some years there as a younger man. There was still much to talk about but, sadly, time takes its toll. His company will be greatly missed in our corner of Balquhidder. Our feelings go out to Vera, Rowena and Sandy with the grandchildren in New Zealand. Edward Chadfield

John in his counting house! (first published July 2010) 7


Tim Holcroft Tim Holcroft, who died after a short illness on 23rd December, was a familiar sight in Lochearnhead in his Land Rover with a row of obedient dogs looking out of the back. Tim spent 17 years as a regular soldier in the 11th Hussars, seeing service in Malaya, Northern Ireland and in Aden and the Trucial Arab States. He retired in 1971 with the rank of Captain to take up farming in Hampshire, near where his mother had been running the family farm ever since his father had been killed in 1942. He and Charmian came to Glenbeich in 1987, where they took over the hill sheep stock and also established a herd of beef cattle. Tim was a hands-on farmer and, despite his previous farming experience having been in fertile Hampshire, quickly became an efficient and enthusiastic hill sheep farmer, although his first love was cattle. Tim was also a keen sportsman and an outstanding rifle shot. He was a particularly keen stalker, having for many years taken stalking on Dunalastair Estate in Rannoch. He did most of his own stalking of stags and

culling of hinds. But he liked nothing more than sharing his enjoyment of Glenbeich with his and Charmian’s many friends and relations, who came to shoot or stalk or just to enjoy the warm hospitality of Glenbeich. He was a popular figure in the village and in the farming community and could rarely pass the time of day without cracking a joke or pulling someone’s

leg. He was a person of strong faith and a staunch supporter of St. Angus’s Church. Tim was 77 when he died and fit and active until his last illness. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by Charmian and two daughters, Alexandra and Caroline, by his previous marriage. He will be greatly missed. Here’s a Recipe for you!

Cheese and Celery Loaf 1 lb/450g SR Flour 8 oz/225g mature Cheddar Cheese 2 tsp salt 2 Eggs 2 oz/50g butter 1/2 pt Milk 3 large sticks of Celery 2 cloves Garlic

Happy New Year everyone! We are now doing Takeaway Pizzas... Call us for details!


Grease a 2 lb loaf tin. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl and rub in the fat until crumbly. Chop celery finely. Crush garlic and grate cheddar coarsely. Add celery, garlic and cheese to flour mixture. Beat egg and milk together. Add to dry ingredients. Mix to a soft dough. Knead lightly and place in tin. Bake 220 deg C/425 deg F/Gas 7 for around 50 minutes. Recipe from ‘Manna from Heaven’ produced by Strathearn Episcopal Congregations. This is just one of many interesting recipes in a beautifully compiled book, with lovely illustrations from several local artists. The book may be purchased from local shops or contact Mary Barclay - 01567-830453.

Rusty McD, our fearless and intrepid reporter of furry, feathered or scaly friends in our community, is back with another 5-minute interview...

5 minutes with...

Elaine Ross, ‘Rosie’ and ‘Fitzsimmons’ The lovely Sophie Jardine from St. Fillans nominated her neighbour Elaine Ross to be interviewed next and so I am finding myself on my way to St. Fillans again. It is at the back of 4pm and it is still more or less light. The days are definitely getting longer. The views over Loch Earn are spectacular as always – I love the road to St. Fillans and the views, especially in daylight! I am also looking forward to meeting up with Sophie again as I promised we would do this interview together. Elaine opens the door and straight away introduces me to Rosie - a young Lurcher - and pours me a lovely mug of Earl Grey. Sophie arrives shortly after me and so we all get chatting. Elaine, how long have you lived in St. Fillans? Elaine: We have lived here since the houses were built which was 4 years last October. Our house was the first house, after the show house. I no longer work as I suffer a long term health problem. When our old dog suddenly died on holiday we felt quite traumatised. Dogs are great to get you out and about and keep you going so we decided to contact the Dogs Trust to see if they had any dogs available that would be suitable for us. Tell me about your dogs! Rosie is a two year old Lurcher cross. I’m sure there is a bit of terrier in her. As you can see she has a large scar on her back. She was found at a scrapyard and the scar is a barbed wire wound. There is very little known about her and we can only guess, but she clearly has not had a good start in life. Because of this, she can be quite nervous. Fitz (or Fitzsimmons as I like to call him) is a 7 year old purebred greyhound. He is the size of a small Shetland pony and his tail is like a lethal weapon! He was born in Cork and his race name was Trumper Tyson. He was a long distance runner. He retired when he was 4 or 5 and his last owner was a very elderly man who could no longer look after him. Fitz had been at the Dogs Trust for a while already and there he and Rosie got to share a kennel. Rosie and Fitz became very good friends

Sophie looks on as Elaine gives some love to Fitz and Rosie!

and therefore it would be kindest to them to be rehomed together. This is how they came to us. The Dogs Trust microchip them, spay them and give them their first vaccination. Dogs leave with a Dogs Trust collar. Sophie: Can you tell us a bit more about greyhounds and lurchers? Greyhounds and Lurchers are good natured dogs in general. Lurchers are greyhound crosses with many of the greyhounds characteristics but often with more stamina. They are often bred for their speed as hunting dogs (rabbits and hares). Thousands of greyhounds each year are abandoned or disposed of because they no longer win prices, are too old for racing or have proven not to be of racing standard. They can be difficult to rehome and are often mistaken as difficult pets. Dogs that have been raced have usually been kept in kennels and are therefore not house trained. Their instinct tells them to chase after things. When they see something moving at speed they cannot help but chase. It is in their nature. We only have had them since September and they are improving and adjusting all the time. Thank you so much for having us, Elaine. You know my next question: Who would you like to nominate for the next ‘5 Minutes With...’ ? I thought it would be nice to ask a lady called Yvonne Spearing. She has a dovecot (doocot). That sounds great! Sophie: Yes, I’ve seen the lovely white doves there! 9

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Callander Rambling Club

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www. a m b l e r s . h t m in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New Members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary:

Ospreys in the Trossachs was the topic for our December talk. Robert Fraser-Binns nobly stood in at the last minute with our planned speaker stuck in Inverness. Robert is the osprey officer for the joint RSPB & FCS project at David Marshall Lodge. The osprey’s diet of solely fish makes it unique. Watching it fold its wingspan of 1.7m as it plunges into water is always a thrilling experience. Adults are largely monogamous and return in late March/ early April to the same nest. After 2 weeks refurbishing the nest (the size of a double bed) they mate and 2-3 eggs are laid over a few days in mid/late May. The male’s role is to provide fish for the female as she hatches eggs over ~2 weeks then feeds the chicks, the oldest one first. He usually fishes within a mile of the nest but can travel up to 15 miles, fishing up to 7 times per day by the time the chicks are 2 weeks old! Development is rapid; feathers in 3 weeks, legs fully developed at 5 weeks followed by wing-flapping exercises and first flight at 7-8 weeks. At this time the female starts her migration, the male staying to feed the young. In late August/ early September they are fully fledged and migrate 3500 miles to West Africa, feeding along the route and arriving mid/late October. They spend Christmas feeding up (sound familiar?) and by February from their 2nd/3rd year undertake the return journey, exchanging heat for undisturbed habitat with plenty of fish in lochs and rivers. Migration routes are variable but tracking devices are building up a picture. The average lifespan is 8-12 years but the well-reported female that returned to the Loch of the Lowes this year was 26! Unfortunately, the osprey became extinct 10

FEBRUARY • Wed 8th 9:30am Stroll: Invertrossachs (4 miles) contact 01786 842081 • Wed 15th 9:30am Ramble: Along Loch Ard (6 miles) contact 01877 382803 • Sat 25th 8:30am Hill: Cleish Hills (379m) contact 01877 862799

as a breeding bird in England in 1840 and in Scotland in 1916, another example of man’s persecution for frivolous reasons such as egg-collection, taxidermy and even fashionable headwear! However, in 1954 a pair from Scandinavia nested at Loch Garten. Re-colonisation started slowly due to the continued activities of egg collectors and possibly organochlorine pesticides in the food chain. By 1976 there were only 14 pairs but 2001 saw 158 breeding pairs, located mainly in Scotland. That year also saw the first successful nesting of ospreys in England for 160 years, by naturally recolonising birds in the Lake District and re-introduced ones at Rutland Water. Today there are 200-300 pairs of ospreys in the UK (none in Ireland) with around 20 nests in Central Scotland. Our local ospreys last bred successfully in 2008. In 2009 the male was caught in fishing line, got stuck in a tree and died. The female had to leave the nest to feed and the eggs failed to hatch. In 2010 the female was on eggs when a second male drove off the first and threw the eggs out of the nest, disastrous as females lay only once per year. In 2011 April’s good weather saw the ospreys return 2 weeks early but May’s bad weather meant the male struggled to fish. Again the female left the nest and the cold eggs didn’t hatch. Fingers crossed for a successful 2012! Lesley Hawkins

MARCH • Wed 7th 9:30am Stroll: Killin Heritage Walk (4 miles) contact 01877 330444

We meet in Ancaster Square, unless otherwise indicated. Please bring wet weather clothing, appropriate footwear and a packed lunch. And please let the walk leader know if you plan to join the walk via the contact number given!

Scottish Wildlife Trust, Callander

Member’s Centre Diary Tuesday 14 February 2012

Fish Eagles in Cambodia by Dave Anderson FCS Wildlife Manager Tuesday 13 March 2012

The Role of the North Sea Bird Club by Andy Thorpe Founder NSBC All meetings are open to members and non-members and are held in St Andrew’s Church Hall, Leny Road, Callander at 7:30pm. Cost £2 includes refreshments, free for full-time students. SWT details can be found at including Members Centre pages

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 investigates something strange at Loch Earn.

Does this explain the Loch Earn ‘crater’ mystery? In 2009 in a Villagers article I asked for assistance in explaining the mysterious feature on the hillside at the end of Glen Ample, above the castle by writing the following: “Some people say it is a meteor impact crater as there appears be a secondary shock wave fault above the water erosion on the left (which must have occurred after the Ice Age melt down), partially cuts through the outer rim of debris, so did the impact occur soon after the Ice Age? Please give us your feedback and any explanations. I can find no reference to it on the internet and the ordnance survey just shows a few kinks in the contour lines. Can anyone settle the argument; is it a meteor crater or just an old quarry?” I now have the following response from Carol Pudsey, a retired geomorphologist who is used to interpreting glacial features in the landscape: “What a funny thing. I think it’s a glacial/postglacial landform. It isn’t marked on any maps as a quarry or pit. There was an aircraft crash in 1994 but that was up the Glen Ogle road. The accompanying photo (right, top)shows the same photo with a satellite photo from Google maps beneath. On both, the black dashed line indicates a slide scar or the top of a landslip, which is just above the eastern end of a band of hummocky moraine (top of band shown by red dashed line) marking the tip of a valley glacier as it paused during retreat. Below the slide scar, soil or till several metres thick slid downhill. It didn’t slide all the way down to the loch but stopped near the base of the steep bit of the slope. So what you’re looking at is where landslide debris got mixed up with hummocky moraine. That’s my best guess anyway. Landslides still occur in the area of Glen Ogle.”

Carol’s images show the glacial facts!

The Last Supper This beautiful tapestry, which you may have seen if you were at the Balquhidder Christmas Market, has been stitched by The Friends of Balquhidder Church and is going to be auctioned through The Villagers. There is a reserve price of £200.00. Bids to Maureen Lipscomb:

01567 830 234 Mobile 07877 155342

Closing Date is 30th March 2012. 11



by Jonathan MacDonald Gardens are complex places. They inspire poetry and feelings of joy. We can relax and play in them, shout and scream and be hidden away from the world. There is food to be grown to sustain us and our families. We can invite nature in on purpose to goggle at our creation; a curious woodpecker may squint at your very ‘human’ creation. Of course a lack of opening hours may suit others and without the courteous booking they can dine on your patience. We learn no matter how small our ‘postage stamp’ or how large our hillside landscape - you have the power at your fingertips to create something quite magical. With plants we become artists - not with brush and canvas but with welly and fork and a good greasy elbow. Roberto Burle Marx, the famous Brazilian landscape designer, captured the sense of a garden when he described plants themselves as being the colour, shape and volume used by the artist. That artist is you. You have a free exhibition at your very own private art gallery which the world will enjoy. Are you the gardening Tracy Emin of one of the Villages? Your exhibition hall is there - perhaps you have not seen it thus. Rip the dustsheets from the old upright in the corner, yank back the curtains and this year why not let the light and colour stream into your garden. What better time therefore in the still, chilly calm of winter when a warm mind by the fire raises thoughts and spirits of splendour to come. You could start a secret plan... It was William Kent who developed the notion of ‘painting’ a garden and although his works were on the grandest of scales you simply need to scale it down to your own requirement. The rules still apply. Rhythms, scale, harmony, balance and so on. To start, take your plot as your dance floor and think ‘rhythm’. Start clicking your fingers and as you walk through your garden from front to back compare yourself to that jazz singer and click the outstretched hand. Repeat that beat, click, click. A clipped box ball here, another here, click, click, a smaller one here and right at the back tap, tap, click, and click another bigger one here. You have now got a rhythm going. Try that again with a colour. Take purple as a good example. Think tall purple Verbena bonariensis and then bring in a harmony rhythm with a lower grower, a grace note, same colour and another great beginner plant Verbena venosa. They go well together, being in the same genus, and have a natural pure 12

rhythm. Bring seasons into the beat. Try blending straight through using early flowering tulips in that purple colour again, jumping into mid season and then on to late flowering varieties - all worthy fireworks rising in the sky just before the others have faded. Then silence the crowd by sending up your power rockets, giant purple alliums. Bang, bang...BANG! They shoot up straight, popping out from the fading tulips, and can be left for months after as their heads tan nicely in the sunshine. If you get it right you hardly notice that one has gone and the other has arrived; an endless sea of nodding purple heads. Get a big bag of them and go round blobbing in the colour. Here we will have a

blob (7 in a cluster), over here several blobs and a scattering of singles and then finally onto the last blob. Give the rhythm an offbeat. A tall wavy grass perhaps: Stipa or Miscanthus, both good performers. Bring in a balanced colour - say yellow and gold - and off you go, painting, making music. January is this time to sit and dream and if you stand serenely in a frost-covered, still and silent garden, just imagine that fanfare of colour. Jonathan MacDonald is a Horticulture lecturer and plantsman who runs the Riverside Garden Centre in Comrie. Next month: How to create the perfect lawn the easy way.

Grand opening March 5th 8ft garden canes - 10 for only £4.99. Amazing new product called SB solution - the best organic control for vegetables and ornamentals. Ground cover fabric weed suppressant - range of sizes and densities. Ideal for the allotment! Pots and compost etc. Local delivery on bulky items. Lawn renovation service. Gardening courses starting in the spring. On the main road (A85) going East in Comrie Tel: 01764 670800

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held at the King’s House Hotel on 11th January 2012

Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Alistair Barclay (AB), Adrian Squires (AS), (MK), Rosanne McWilliams (RM), and Paul Hicks (PH). Apologies: Richard Eastland (RE), Sara Hesp, Marguerite Kobs, Karen Methven, Angus Cameron, PC Andy Ward (Central Scotland Police) and Owen McKee (National Park). In attendance: Cllr Paul Owens (PO) and Suzanne Player (SP) of Stirling Council (SC).

1) Approval of Minutes The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed. It was proposed by RM and seconded by AB that the minutes should be accepted and this was approved unanimously. 2) Police Report PC Ward was unable to attend so no report was available. 3) Matters Arising 3.1) Memorial Path, Forest Lodge, Strathyre RE was unable to attend so no report was available. 3.2) Nursery Bus SP reported that a quotation had been obtained from Kingshouse Travel to transport up to sixteen children, twice a week. Parents were willing to contribute when their children attended the nursery but provision had to be made for shortfalls through unforeseen circumstances. Estimates suggested that up to £70 per week might be required. PO was asked if SC might be prepared to fund any such shortfalls. He responded that opinions might be mixed but he, personally, would argue that such support is vital in rural areas, particularly as SC is focused on early intervention with problem families and promoting attendance at a nursery school would support that goal. It was also pointed out that the local nursery might suffer a loss of funding if children could not attend due to lack of transport. The further point was made that, having had very short notice as to the demise of the previous service provided by SC, the parents of affected children had worked hard to seek an alternative and were prepared to support it, both financially and in the practical matter of providing daily escorts for the children. PO reminded councillors that SC prepared its budgets for the coming financial year in February and SP offered to work with parents to prepare a formal proposal to SC, in time for it to be included in the appropriate budget. Action: SP to work with parents on formal proposal. 3.3) Telephone Kiosk at Balquhidder PH gave a short report on the suggestion that an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) should be installed in the telephone box at Balquhidder, now owned by the CC. He highlighted the benefits of having such equipment available and pointed out that two key factors would be: the need for an electrical supply to be restored to the kiosk, and the need to raise money toward the cost (between £1,600 and £2,000). MM raised concerns about the security of the equipment but was keen to pursue the project, provided that such queries could be resolved satisfactorily. It was suggested that an electrical supply might be made available from the Village Hall and PH agreed to do some further research regarding the aspect of security. Action: PH to research further the security of the AED. 3.4) Modular Fuel Stations PH then gave a short report on a proposal put forward in the bulletin of the Association of Scottish Community Councils for a modular fuel station to be sited in a rural area. A British company (Terence Barker Tanks) manufactures modular fuel stations using a unique system of above-ground, storage tanks. They are designed to provide unattended fuel service and are considered ideally suited to rural locations such as our own. Councillors were attracted to the idea but foresaw significant obstacles. No details of cost were available and, although the company was offering to build two test sites at cost, it was thought that the capital required would be beyond the means of the local communities. It was also pointed out that profit margins on the sale of fuel are extremely low and that such a venture would probably only succeed if allied to another business venture (such as a small shop or other retail outlet). It was decided that PH should seek to obtain some indication of the costs involved but, unless an interested party came forward to take on the idea as a business venture, this proposal should be held in abeyance for the time being. Action: PH to seek details of cost from TB Tanks. 4) Correspondence 4.1) Forest Planting at Balquhidder MM had received some correspondence regarding the planting of trees at a site near Balquhidder but, so far as he could see, it was only likely to affect one local farmer (C Methven) and MM undertook to liaise with him about it personally. Action: MM to liaise with CM. 5) Planning Matters 5.1) Ballimore Hydro Scheme AS reported that no evidence had come to light that the arrangements agreed with the National Park authorities in the traffic plan for this scheme were not being followed. After discussion, it was apparent that only one family was likely to be affected significantly and could be relied upon to report any problems, either to the CC or to the Park authorities. It was decided that no further action by the CC was necessary. 6) Any Other Business 6.1) Elections to Community Council All ten of the existing councillors are willing to continue in office so, constitutionally, the work of the CC may continue unabated. However, there are two vacancies for representatives from Strathyre and notice of a forthcoming election in May 2012 has been given. PH distributed application packs for prospective councillors but RM pointed out that there seems to be little interest currently from residents of Strathyre in joining the CC. One or two people have been approached but, so far, no firm commitments have been made. Members agreed to keep in mind the opportunity to recruit two additional members during the next few weeks. 6.2) Waste Disposal at Glenbeich, Lochearnhead AB reported that five households at Glenbeich (his own included) had not had any domestic waste removed for at least four weeks. Rubbish was accumulating and he had serious concerns for public health and safety. PO offered to contact the appropriate department in SC with a view to resolving this issue. Action: PO to liaise with SC to resolve this problem. 6.3) Five Lochs Management Plan AB reported that the details of the plan are still being prepared but the final draft is scheduled for presentation to another meeting in February, whereupon the finished product will be made public. 6.4) Attendance at CC Meetings MM reported that he had been approached by a candidate in the forthcoming election to SC with a view to being ‘introduced’ at the next meeting. Whilst, of course, anyone was free to attend the CC as a member of the public, he was concerned to maintain the non-political stance of the CC itself. Members agreed with this and SP offered to check the protocol of whether political candidates should attend CC meetings. Action: SP to check protocol of political candidates attending CC meetings. 6.5) Local Road Conditions MM reported that he had recently contacted the head of Environment Services at SC regarding the extremely poor and dangerous condition of some local roads. He had been advised that a team would be filling in pot holes during the early days of January 2012 but, so far, he had seen no evidence of this. AB added that the problems were exacerbated by the lack of hedging and ditching operations, leading to many roads being covered for long periods with standing water and having stones and other debris washed over them from surrounding land. It was suggested that Perth & Kinross Council had adopted a more through and effective system of dealing with damaged roads, resulting in less damage to vehicles and, consequently, far smaller costs from compensation to motorists. Action: PO agreed to raise this with the appropriate authorities in SC. 6.6) Toilets in Strathyre RM reported that the building and the land on which it stands are currently the subject of a planning application. If this is successful, a local business has made an offer to buy the land and re-develop the area as a tourist facility, providing light refreshments, toilets and parking space. 6.7) Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations SP advised members that applications for grants towards the funding of events and functions to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee may be made to the Community Pride Fund. The final date for submission is 17 February 2012. There was no other business and, at 9:05pm, MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is planned to take place at 7:30pm on Wednesday 22nd February 2012 at the Kingshouse Hotel.


Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses Callander Medical Centre is having some alterations made to the upstairs of the building very soon. More office space is being made available for NHS/Stirling Council staff working with elderly people in the area. The building work will take approximately 3 weeks, and there may be some disruption to services during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your co-operation whilst the work is being carried out.

NEW STROKE CLUB FOR TROSSACHS? We are investigating the possibility of starting up a new Stroke Club for the Trossachs area and are looking for people who would be interested in being part of this exciting endeavour, from anyone who has had a stroke to folk who would be willing to give their time and skills as a volunteer. Carol Anderson of Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland supports many clubs such as these throughout Scotland and explains, “The stroke club is intended to be a place where people who have had a stroke can make new friends and enjoy interesting activities. It makes a real difference to someone who has had a stroke to realise that other people understand the difficulties faced by stroke survivors.” The nearest stroke group for the Trossachs area at present is in Bridge of Allan so it was felt that something more local would be of great benefit to the rural area. If you would be interested in having a local stroke group where people can get together on a regular basis to have fun, chat, go on outings, etc then please get in touch with Carol. Tel: 07760 765325 or email:

Come and walk with us...!

health walks in Callander and in Killin Callander

Walk in the Park got off to a great start in 2012 with our First Fit! event bringing everyone outside and back to exercise after the holiday. In a very full morning, which included a health walk, 23 walkers enjoyed a Tai Chi session, participated in some Otago exercises and began using pedometers to set fitness goals for the next year. We have an exciting programme of walks planned for 2012. Walks take place on a Tuesday morning – we meet at 10.20. No need to book simply turn up and join in ... everyone’s welcome! It’s also a great way to meet new people and we usually enjoy a coffee and a chat together once the walk is over. All our walks aim to be accessible and interesting for everyone. Walks last about 45 minutes, and routes are mostly flat, with slight inclines, and all have good walking surfaces. Date Meeting Place Route 7/2/12 National Park Office Meadows, Leny Feus, Meadows 14/2/12 Callander Medical Centre NCR76 towards Keltie Bridge 21/2/12 National Park Office Two Bridges and Meadows 28/2/12 National Park Office Meadows/ Tulipan Crescent 6/3/12 Meadows Car Park NCR7 towards Kilmahog We intend that walks will go ahead as planned, but if it is necessary to cancel due to inclement weather a message will be left on 01389 727748 by 9am on Tuesday mornings.

Would anyone be interested in attending a

First Aid course at Balquhidder Hall?

If so please give me a call or email me at Gilly Allan 01877 384203


Following the success of the health walking project in Callander, we are hoping to begin health walks in Killin in April. We are holding an open meeting in Killin on Wednesday February 8th (10.30 in the Meeting Room at the Tin Church) to share ideas with those who are interested in a health walking scheme in Killin, both as walkers and as volunteer leaders. Volunteer???? Would you like to help other people to discover the benefits of walking? All these Health Walks are volunteer led. To have as many Health Walks in Callander and Killin as possible, we need friendly, reliable volunteers from the community to help lead, assist and promote the walks. If you like being outdoors, meeting new people, are enthusiastic, outgoing and keen to help others this could be the opportunity for you. Training will be provided. If you have any questions about joining in any of our walks, or about volunteering, contact Walk in the Park Coordinator Wilma Ellis (01389 727748) or send an email to More details on all of our activities can be found at:


Gordon Banks MP Surgery Notice

Friday 17 February 2.30-3.00pm St. Fillans Sandison Hall 3.30 - 4.30pm Crieff Constituency Office in Penny Lane Arcade, Crieff

Lucky Sods Raise £1000 plus! The Lucky Sods Campaign, launched in October 2011 by the McLaren MUSP Working Group (MCMWG) for the proposed Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) in Callander has raised in excess of £1000. The draw took place on Friday 23 December 2011 at McLaren High School and there were 6 lucky winners; congratulations to: Morna Webster, Paul Corrieri, Shane Perrie, Alan Martin, Brian Cartwright and Susan Chalmers. We would like to thank everyone who contributed and helped to raise the money including Callander Golf Club, Dun Whinny’s, Screw It, Mhor Fish, Callander Library, Callander Post Office, Doune Library, Killin Library, Thornhill Village Market, Thornhill Village Store, Lion & Unicorn Thornhill, Strathyre Village Shop and McLaren High School. The total cost of the project is £550,000 and to date £241,527.00 has been secured. Further funding applications are in place and although equipment costs have been included in the costing we would welcome any contributions. For further information on the project, or, if you would like to make a contribution, please contact Pam Campbell, Chair MCMWG (01786 841542)

Register of Electors The new register of electors effective 1st December 2011 has been published and is available to view in local libraries and some council offices. A full list of places of publication is listed on regviewingstats.html Most registers show a reduction in the total number of electors as over 2500 electors in the Stirling Council area were removed for failure to respond to the annual voter registration form or reminder posted by the Electoral Registration Officer. Brian Byrne, the Electoral Registration Officer reported an increase in electors responding to the enquiry form by email this year to over 20% in the Stirling Council area. (Only 17.5% in Clackmannanshire & 18.5% in Falkirk council area) The prompt response to an email last July by over 13000 households in the Forth Valley Area reduced the number of forms being printed and posted and saved over £5000. Brian is encouraging anyone with an email address to contact him to allow the annual enquiry to be emailed in future years. Most electors who have chosen this option are supportive of this option as they find it more convenient and quicker to notify no changes after receiving the email in July. An added benefit is that the ERO can contact the electors when they move address or make enquiries if notified of any change in the number of people at their address. With local council elections taking place on May 3rd 2012 Brian is offering local community groups the opportunity of a visit from his staff to check members registration details and to help fill in forms to register or to vote by post. His staff and returning officer staff from Stirling Council would also be able to explain the local council voting system to electors. Anyone wanting to arrange a meeting should contact Russell Taylor 01786-892207 More information and application forms are available on

Voting check offered

Piano Tuition Professional musician offering lessons in Strathyre

Edinburgh University and Royal Academy of Music trained. Full member of Incorporated Society of Musicians. All levels - beginners welcome. Competitive rates. Contact

Robin Versteeg ATCL


07835 737905 / 01877 384736 Email:

With the local Council elections taking place on 3rd May 2012 Brian Byrne, the Electoral Registration Officer is offering all electors the chance to check if they are registered to vote now. You can phone his office on 01786-892289, fax 01786-892255 or email giving your address and who should be registered, alternatively ask to see the copy of the local Register of Electors kept in your local library and check you are listed. If you are not already registered to vote at your current address you can pick up a registration form in your local library or request a form from the above contacts Anyone who wants to vote by post at the elections is encouraged to apply as soon as possible by again obtaining a form from: or or collecting a form from their library.

Angus with his grandad, John McNaughton

Rugby Success

Angus Leishman from Balquhidder has recently earned his way into a Glasgow Warriors strip! Angus, who plays for Mclaren High School and Stirling County RFC, was selected for the U17 Caledonia Pathway Squad. After 6 weeks of extra training, Angus progressed into the 22 man Caledonia team and played his first National selection Fixture against the Glasgow Pathway team on the 4G astroturf pitch at Murrayfield. The Caledonia team dominated the game and finished with a strong win. Angus was then selected for the Glasgow Warriors team (a combination of Caledonia and Glasgow district boys) to play the Edinburgh Gunners (a combination of Edinburgh and Borders district boys) at the National Stadium. Glasgow Warriors lit up the pitch and played some tremendous fast-flowing and exciting rugby, and Angus scored in the last play of the game to round off a 40-0 win. The boys who are successful in being selected for Scotland U17s will play against England U17s in March.


McLaren High School News by Yvonne King Charities News On Friday 18 November, a Mufti day was held in aid of Children in Need and Bryony Semple’s chosen charity, the Malawi Education Project. The Malawi Education Project helps to fund and keep open a library in Cape Maclear Primary School, Chembe Village, Malawi which was built in 2006. Senior pupils came to school in fancy dress, a wish tree was set up for individuals to give a donation to hang a wish on the tree, and a group of senior pupils painted pink and purple butterflies on students and staff in memory of Bryony Semple . It was a very successful day and in total the school raised £919.00, which was split equally between the two charities. Thank you to all for your generous donations! The Charities Committee Geography Excursion On Tuesday 15 November the S5/6 Higher Geography Class went on a field trip to the Glen Coe Mountain region. We went in order to enhance our understanding of the glaciation that had occurred in the area, and also to take part in a river survey of the ‘River Coe’. We firstly stopped off at the “Three step waterfall”,

Mufti Day - for Children in Need

and analyzed the erosion of a waterfall and the natural nick points that started the whole process. Secondly, we went to the River Coe to study the many aspects of it, such as flow speed, river width and bed-load size. This meant having to get into the water, which was unbelievably cold! We ended up slouching back to the bus with frozen hands, making eating our lunch a bit more of a task. After lunch, we drove on up towards Glen Coe village and went onto the nearby beach

to look at coastal environments and also point out features of glacial erosion in the surrounding landscape. By the time we had finished naming corries, arêtes, and pyramidal peaks we had to return home. Overall, everyone enjoyed the day out, even though it may have been a little chilly. So thanks go to Mr. Williamson for organising the trip and Mr. Stojanovic for driving us around all day. Daniel Mallin-Martin S5

S4 Outward Bound Residential at Loch Eil In December 70 S4 pupils along with 7 members of staff spent a week at Loch Eil Outward Bound Centre. This is now the 8th year that McLaren High School has been offering this residential week as part of the S4 curriculum. The week began with pupils (and some staff ) taking a dip in a very cold Loch Eil! Throughout the rest of the week pupils took part in a wide variety of team building activities including raft building, high ropes and rock climbing. The course challenged the pupils to shift their mind set, take a more positive approach to challenges and move outwith their comfort zones. The week was a huge success with the Outward Bound instructors commenting very positively about the way in which our pupils approached the activities and team building tasks. ‘I feel as though this year’s residential week at Loch Eil tested us in ways that school and everyday life doesn’t. Personally I came away from the experience with a new sense of direction in how I interact with people. I also gained a better understanding of the skills I possess. Arran Mulholland S4

Survival on Loch Eil... and (right) a lesson in balance


Rural Skills Group Recently the S3/S4 Rural Skills Group has been working with keepers Nicola and Vicky at Blair Drummond Safari Park. So far we have been doing the cleaning of stables and fields, preparation of food and the cleaning of the lemur and otter enclosure. Also we took part in feeding the bears and all the animals in Pet’s Corner. Each week the groups are assigned to different tasks like the preparing of food and feeding the animals. Each group gets a different activity, for example one week one group will do mucking out of stables and one group will do the cleaning of fields. Afterwards the groups swap activities, and then they do a different activity the week after. We have been given inside experience of how things work and have had the opportunity to get close to the animals. We have all enjoyed the course so far and look forward to working more closely with the animals. We are grateful to Blair Drummond Safari Park for providing this Rural Skills placement. Sam Frost S3

Cleaning up after a smug-looking alpaca

Dragonfly Event On Wednesday 14 December four S2 girls; Rachel Morris, Morag Beaton, Sophie Conroy and Hannah Michael, went to Heriot-Watt University to learn about chemical and electrical engineering. The first workshop involved learning how to make slime! We then found out the problems with mass producing it. After lunch we took part in a second workshop and learned how to solder. Then we constructed a two octave musical organ which we had a lot of fun playing with! It was a very enjoyable day. Rachel, Sophie, Morag and Hannah S2 Curling On 13 and 14 December our Curling team that consisted of John Graham (Skip), James Graham (3rd), Jenny Holl (2nd) and Hannah Brisbane (Lead) ventured to ‘Dewar’s’ Ice Rink in Perth to take part in the Annual Hay Trophy Schools Open Curling Championships. Playing one game against each of the schools they were drawn in their section Perth Academy, George Heriot’s, St John’s Academy and Brechin High - McLaren played consistently well throughout the competition. James said, “I thought the curling was fun and a great learning experience which I would love to do again next year!” Hannah commented, “I enjoyed our days out, competing against other schools and meeting other young curlers from across Scotland.” Well done to them all!

On Monday 19 December we held our 41st annual Christmas concert. It was a huge success and congratulations to everyone who participated in it. Sophie Conroy at the Dragonfly Event The Outward Bound crew brave the weather at Loch Eil

visit our website: 17

View from the Park by Owen McKee Sneaking my head above the parapet I detect that, although winter has not yet uttered its final blast, the smell of spring is in the air. Snowdrops abound and daffodils are adding a further touch of hope. Surely this year we will have a spring and summer to offset the economic gloom and act as an antidote to the hot air that will doubtless surrounds the referendum debate. Let’s hope so. For some considerable time discussions have been on-going with various tourism groups concerning the rather faded and, dare I say it, the lack lustre - signs that announced the approaches to our National Park. When they were erected it was acknowledged that they were temporary and with nearly ten years of weathering it is little wonder that they hardly register. Thankfully we have finally obtained funding to put in place signage of a more distinctive and permanent nature. The new signage takes its lead from the design of The National Park HQ at Balloch and will be a dry stane structure with an inlaid stone slab with National Park lettering. The lettering and logo will be vitreous enamelled. Unlike the existing signs which define the boundaries of the Park the new signs will be positioned for effect . Consequently some will be outside the Park and we have had to apply for planning permission to the relevant local authorities. Planning permission for the signs within the Park was given at our January Planning meeting. Last year, supported with a two year funding contract from the European Leader project, we helped the charity Rural Housing Services to put in place a Rural Housing Enabler for the National Park area. The Enabler has successfully engaged with various communities to identify opportunities for producing rural housing but it is a long and frustrating toil before housing appears on the ground. Unfortunately the post holder has now intimated that he has obtained a more permanent post elsewhere and will shortly be leaving. Our task now is to find a replacement and ensure that the progress achieved to date is not lost. I had hoped to be able to herald start dates for the intended infrastructure improvements at Loch Lubnaig as part of our Five Lochs project but although 18

progress has been made we are not yet there. It is, however, a priority initiative and I am hopeful that we will soon be able to get the contracts underway. Recognising that a by-product of the Biomass Power Plant at Acharn would be hot water the Park Authority asked the developer to prepare a report on possible uses and encouraged them to engage with the community at Killin to see if there were any community projects that could utilise this heat. Discussion is on-going between the developers and the Killin community with a variety of suggestions from horticultural projects to wood drying facilities to the fore. Consideration is also being given to inviting interest from existing commercial concerns with a view to creating more local jobs. Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows: Post: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead Phone: 01567 830214

BRA Party! Balquhidder Riding Association held their annual Festive Party at the end of December and rocked the night away with music from the Sixties to the Naughties as well as a few Scottish reels. Special thanks to everyone who took part in the Whisky Curling!

2012 in The Park 2012 certainly started with a bang with the recent storms we all experienced. We witnessed some of the worst damage in years around the Park with major routes being blocked, property damaged and lochs at high levels.

Our maintenance rangers have been working hard to remove debris from affected walking and cycling routes. They have managed to clear many sections of path but the work is ongoing as many trees will have to be removed. Thankfully the weather has settled now but it was inspiring to see communities and public organisations joining forces in the clear up operation. We had a very busy last year here at the National Park and 2012 is set to be even more exciting. This year marks a significant landmark for Loch Lomond and The Trossachs as we celebrate our 10th anniversary. We have come a long way since those early days and have made significant improvements in conservation, visitor experience and rural development, our three focus areas. From the way we welcome and manage the millions of visitors that come to the area every year, to the many conservation projects we support and how we encourage the social and economic prosperity of our villages and towns. To celebrate this landmark, there will be a number of events in and around the Park reflecting on the last ten years and looking forward to the future. We also intend to launch a national photography competition to showcase the stunning scenery, wildlife, people and activities Loch Lomond and The Trossachs has to offer both Scotland and the world. I am passionate about the Park and its people. As a relatively young member of the National Parks family, we are ambitious about what we can deliver for the people who come here every year and our communities living around Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. There is still so much to be achieved and this year we will continue to focus our efforts to make sure visitors and residents have a positive experience of the Park. I’m pleased to announce that the Water Bus service which proved a huge success last year will continue from early this summer season. Thanks to all our local businesses that participated and were instrumental in its success. Having done significant research with our visitors last summer (also with the support of many local businesses!), I was really encouraged to hear how people were taking advantage of all that the Park has to offer and the vast majority of

people reported a superb experience when they visit. It was also great to get positive feedback from visitors to the area on the work of the National Park team. Following on from the successful measures we’ve put in place to help the transformation of East Loch Lomond, we’re now turning our attention to other areas of the Park that are heavily used throughout the season and require urgent attention. The 5 Lochs Management Plan aims to not only combat antisocial behaviour but also improve the visitor experience to parts of the Trossachs. The 5 Lochs Plan is just one of a number of priority actions highlighted in the National Park Plan, a document that steers all the public organisations in the Park. We had a really good response to the consultation on this Plan last year and we’re currently working through the comments before a revised plan goes to Scottish Government Ministers for approval. This year will also see the start of much needed upgrade work on one of the key routes through the Park, the A82.

National Park staff from the conservation, landscapes and access teams along with our ranger service are helping Transport Scotland and their contractors, Amey, with a study of the upgrade works required on the section of road between Tarbet and Ardlui. We have provided information on the landscape, conservation and visitor management issues. Longer term suggestions are also being drawn up for possible new stopping points that would give visitors a good experience of the remarkable landscapes along the northern part of Loch Lomond. As a major tourism route into the National Park, it is essential that we work with the main contractors to ensure the scenic importance of this route is a priority alongside the necessary structural improvements. So, it’s shaping up to be a busy time but I’m certainly looking forward to another year looking after Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. On behalf of everyone here at the National Park, I wish you a healthy and happy 2012. Ruth Crosbie, PR & Media Manager


Sudoku for You...

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. This one is rated EASY. Have a go! (solution on p25)

Ms Kobs taking a bow!

Marguerites for Marguerite

Early in December staff and contributors of The Villagers gathered together at The Kings House Hotel for dinner and drinks to mark Marguerite’s stepping down as Editor. A lovely time was had by all. Thanks for everything, Marguerite - we’ll miss you!

Interesting facts about...


An egg takes the hen 25 hours to make, so at most, a hen can lay 6 eggs per week. When hens are young, they lay small eggs; as they get older, the eggs get larger, and aren’t laid as frequently. The shell appears on the egg just as it is laid. It takes about 10 seconds to harden. The hen always puts the same amount of calcium on her eggs, so small eggs have much thicker shells than large eggs - because the calcium doesn’t have to stretch as far. Eggs have a natural protective coating called the “bloom”, which gives the egg a slightly “matt” finish. Washing Grade A eggs before selling them to the public is illegal, as it removes this coating. In the 19th century in Ireland, a farmer could be put in jail for washing eggs! It isn’t necessary to have a cockerel; the hens lay eggs anyway, but they aren’t fertile. And what about after they are laid? In the kitchen, for example... The fresher the egg, the harder it is to get the shell off after it is boiled. On the other hand, very fresh egg whites whip more quickly than older whites. Eggs are actually a low fat food - an egg has only 5 grams of fat on average, and most of that is unsaturated. Eggs are one of the best sources of protein, as they contain all of the essential amino acids needed by the body. More interesting facts next month!


Farm Forum: Better off than the Victorians? A Happy and prosperous 2012 to everyone! Those that complained about the snow and frost last winter might be eating their words now considering the rain we have had in 2011! In the last four months of the year we “enjoyed” just over an inch of rain each month – for the whole year we had just in excess of 110 inches, sounds better/worse if you say just over nine feet!

Despite the weather 2011 was a better year in as much as stock prices were considerably improved, but the financial crisis in the Euro zone has simply got worse and could well have a spin off effect on us all. Scotland’s food exports were at record levels with lamb and Scotch beef exports reaching their highest level since 1996. The most popular food exports from Scotland were fish and shell fish. The top market for our food and drink exports was France followed by the USA, Spain, Singapore and Germany. The fact that we are quite dependent on the Euro zone countries obviously makes us vulnerable

to any deterioration in the situation there, but the Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead, was quoted as saying “Exports are continuing to rise and we are committed to helping the industry deliver a 50% increase in the value of exports by 2016. So it is great news that there are a number of key growth markets including China, South Africa and Poland – where exports of Scottish produce are seeing significant growth.” I have written at length about the CAP reform negotiations and don’t intend to bore you now except to say nothing much is happening at Commission level and according to the pundits it is getting daily more unlikely that a deal will be reached for original implementation in 2014. I recently came across an interesting bit of information referring to a study undertaken by the “Grocer” magazine. The research showed that a basket of food purchased today cost one thirteenth of what it did in 1862. A shopper would have required £1254.17 to fill their larder for a week in Victorian times compared to just £93.95 today. The magazine calculated the increase in prices by applying an average earnings measure of inflation to the 1862 prices of a basket of commonly bought goods. The study looked at 33 items such as a dozen eggs, bread, chocolate, grapes a tooth brush and a litre of sherry. The analysis found that a Victorian shopper would require to spend one third of their monthly income on food whereas modern day shoppers spend less than 10% on food. Agricola

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CALL SHAMMI on 01877 384715 21

Rangers’ Review By Gareth Kett

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Wildlife-friendly winter and storms

As we move into the second half of winter and days are just beginning to draw out it is easy to find yourself wondering if the grip of snow and ice that we have experienced in the last two winters is going to arrive at all this year. Unfortunately the mild weather seems to have favoured viruses as many of us have had colds over recent months but on the bright side the mild conditions have favoured much of our wildlife too as water has not frozen up and food sources have remained readily available. You may have noticed fewer birds on the table this winter, but this is nothing to be concerned about as this year they are less dependent upon food at bird tables than they have been over the past couple of years. Finches and tits have been able to find natural seed more easily this year, while the unfrozen ground has allowed birds in the thrush family associated with gardens robin, blackbird and the song thrush to find plenty of worms as well as invertebrates. Owls too have benefited from the mild weather as voles have been unable to forage concealed in tunnels beneath the snow out of sight of predators. A lack of frozen lochs has meant that water fowl, who feed on the weeds in shallower areas, have also enjoyed better access to food than in the past couple of winters. The greater availability of voles and mice favours mammalian predators such as pine martens, foxes, stoats and wildcats too, although they need to make the most of the opportunity that exists as small mammal prey species go through ‘boom and bust’ periods with predator population trends tending to follow that of the prey species. The storms of recent weeks have meant that the ranger service has been busy

working with landowners and managers clearing up fallen trees and repairing damage to sites around the national park. Where sites such as car parks, paths and cycle routes need to be managed for public access fallen and unsafe trees are taken down and cleared away, but where there is no threat to public safety fallen wood is left on the ground as part of the natural ecosystem. Dead standing trees are also left where they are not a hazard. They are invaluable to the ecosystem as they decay far more slowly than fallen trees do, providing habitat for a different range of fungi and insects over a longer period of time, with subsequent benefits to small birds and mammals and animal further up the food chain. As always feel free to drop in to the Lochearnhead Office if there is anything you would like to discuss and we are in. Otherwise if you have any queries or wildlife sightings to discuss please contact me on 01389 722040 or email gareth.kett@, or contact Graeme on 01389 722115, email graeme.


The Race Is On...

For Village Hall To Bloom Following Successful Hogmanay Party

The Lochearnhead Hogmanay party was so successful, according to 100% of those who attended, that the hall committee are already planning flower displays and a Race Night event for spring. Hogmanay kicked off to the excellent sounds of trio The Session motivating everyone to shake, rattle or roll whether standing, sitting or lying on the floor! Dancing only stopped while raffle gifts were handed out followed by delicious home made stovies with oatcakes. The hall committee are delighted to announce that over £1100 profit was made on the night beating last year’s total. The event could not have taken place without the generosity and time of volunteers and benefactors. Thank you to everyone who gave their time to; set up the hall, man the doors, organise and serve at the bar, promote the raffle, make and serve stovies. A big thank you also to local business owners and villagers who donated numerous generous prizes. Last years funds helped with; painting, electrical and plumbing maintenance, new heaters, sanding and resurfacing the floor. Plans are already afoot to add secondary soft interior lighting and to enhance the exterior of the building using a range of pretty floral display tubs that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors all year round. Don’t miss out on “Racehorse Night” in the village hall. Mark your diaries now for Saturday 5th May. Entry is free and the bar will be open. Your friends and guests will be made most welcome. Additional news announcements to follow in The Villagers. The committee are asking local businesses to sponsor horse races, e.g. £20 cash and a bottle of spirit. Telephone George Weir 01567 830 415 or email Kim Proven: briarinfo@ if you can help. Interested in assisting with Lochearnhead Village Hall ideas, events, maintenance and fund raising? The Village Hall AGM will take place on 6th March at 7.30pm. Turn up if you would like to join the team or to find out more. Contact: Kim Proven T: 01567 830 443 M: 07917 416 497 Email: Twitter: @Briarcottages

Shaking, rattling... and rolling...

The Christmas Market Bear The bear at the Xmas market was rescued by Carol Russel from Stirling who correctly guessed his name was Muffin. I would like to thank everyone who came to my table for their generosity and as result I was able to send £89 to Care for the Wild International. Edna Haydock



Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

Thefts – Telephone Masts I am sure we have all seen on TV and read in the papers about the high cost of scrap metal, in particular copper. Unfortunately we have been hit by these thieves who over the past several months have targeted mobile phone masts in the area. The material stolen is best described as a flat copper bar approx. 2.5cmx0.5cm and can be as long as 50m and covered in a green plastic coating... Whilst a few of the masts are clearly visible from the roadside a number of them are set in isolated areas. I would urge you to contact the police immediately if you see anybody at or near to a mast even if they look official. The people responsible for these thefts often arrive in “works vans and wear proper clothes”. Bogus Workman - Lochearnhead About 10 am on Tuesday, 20 December, 2011, a man went to a house in Ravenscroft Road, Lochearnhead. He engaged the elderly resident in conversation about a missing tile on the roof of her house. He offered to repair the roof for a “small” fee and attempted to show her the damage at the opposite side of the house. The elderly lady kept her wits about her, refused to leave her doorstep and politely declined the offer. She told her friends and the police were contacted. The tile had merely slipped and was easily repaired for nothing. The male is described as being in his late 30s, slightly built, 5’2-4” tall and driving a small light coloured van. These people often attempt to distract the resident and in some cases have an accomplice who will enter and steal. Happily this lady was lucky and did not part with any cash. As a result of my enquiries I believe I may have identified the person. Vehicle seized - Strathyre About 3pm on Friday 23rd whilst on patrol on the A84 I decided to stop a van with 3 occupants inside it. After carrying out a number of checks on the vehicle and the driver it transpired that the driver was not the holder of a UK driving licence and it was discovered that the insurance for the vehicle was invalid. As a result of this I had the vehicle seized and removed. The driver had driven from the south east area of England to get to Killin. If he had been involved in a collision then the likelihood of the other party being able to make a claim would have been non-existent. 24

Early morning checks On the run up to Christmas I carried out a number of checks on vehicles passing through Lochearnhead and Strathyre I identified and stopped more than 45 vehicles. These vehicles were stopped either because the drivers were travelling at an inappropriate speed (32 - 38mph) or that the vehicles had a lighting defect. I breathalysed 30 drivers and I am very pleased to say that every driver passed. It’s not a pub crawl During the last 2 months I have visited numerous licensed premises within the area where I checked the licences needed by the various staff members, as well as the records held with regards to their individual training requirements. I am pleased to say that we did not encounter any serious breaches of the licensing laws however I was able to provide some advice where it was needed. In addition to the “checking process” I felt it was important to reassure the various members of staff that we were on hand to assist with any issues they may have as well as showing the various patrons that we were out and about and actively patrolling the area to ensure people were able to be safe on their journeys home. The reception we received from everybody was very positive and our efforts were appreciated. Minor disorder -Tyndrum Following an incident outside a hotel in

Do you need a new home in Lochearnhead, Strathyre, Killin or Callander? If so,

Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help

The Association’s aim is to support rural communities by providing affordable good quality homes for people in housing need. We currently have 450 rented homes and around 30 of these become available for re-let each year. We also build some new homes each year. For more details and a housing application form contact us at: Rural Stirling Housing Association Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AA Telephone 01786 841101 Email Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SCO37849 Please note that we encourage all applicants to also apply to Stirling Council’s housing list (Tel 0845 277 7000) Being on both lists is the best way to maximise your chances of being re-housed.

the early hours of Sunday 18th December I charged a local man with a breach of the peace and issued him with a fixed penalty notice. Disorder and anti social behaviour will not and should not be tolerated. PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000


Anne Duff 1920 -2011

Those of us who lived in Strathyre and district in the 70s and early 80s will remember Anne Duff. Anne was born in Yorkshire but the family moved to Scotland when she was a baby and she was brought up in Braco. She trained for teaching in Dundee and taught in various Scottish primary schools before becoming Head Teacher of Strathyre Primary School and moving to the School House in Strathyre. She was always active and at various times during her career she taught Gaelic, Scottish Country Dancing and dressmaking at night school. After retirement she moved to the former school house in Doune where she lived until advanced age forced her to go into care at Wardside House in Muthill. She was a talented musician and played the violin with the Stirling and District Reel and Strathspey Society for many years after her retirement. She also continued to assist with fundraising for the Sir Andrew Murray House Strathyre and the welcoming of visitors to the house. She was made a Commander of the Order of St John in 2003. Anne’s funeral was held at Ardoch Church, Braco on 7th December followed by her burial, beside her parents, in the graveyard beside Ardoch Church.

The Snowdrop by Nessie Gell A fresh new snowdrop greeted me Amongst the leaves beneath the tree That delicate and tiny flower Braves frost and raid and snowy shower To tell us Spring is nigh J My garden soon will bloom again In summer sunshine, gentle rain With pansies, roses, hollyhocks But none can bring such joy to me As that tiny snowdrop `neath the tree.

Sudoku for You... (from p20)




d up must be pai Advertising publication. before rts on a plies to adve This also ap iscount which are 6 month d p for renewal. coming u g out invoices in We are send d to give people a month ahea e to pay plenty of tim t is received en m but if no pay e Day (24th) by Deadlin rt will have ve then the ad moved. to be re

We’ll send you or your friends

The Villagers

£11.00 for 11 monthly issues (£20.00 for Europe and £27.50 for the rest of the world). All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, Tom-Na-Dair BALQUHIDDER FK19 8PB, SCOTLAND Cheques should be made payable to: THE BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION Remittance enclosed £ .........................(do not send cash) Please send copies of The Villagers starting on ................................. for 11 months To: NAME .......................................................................................................................... ADDRESS: ........................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................POSTCODE .............................. SENDER’S NAME & ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM ABOVE Please send copies of ‘The Villagers’ starting on ............................... for 11 months NAME ................................................................................................................................ ADDRESS .......................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................POSTCODE................................ 26

Cheques for advertising and mail order subscriptions should be made out to:

The BLS Newspaper Association


Winter Needs Salt, Snow Shovels, Sledges and Logs Free Delivery Call Lynda 01567 830 396 or 07792 779 662 David and Phil Mather Lochearnhead 27

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

Gill Allan Production Manager Stronvar Farm Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB 01877 384203

Alistair Barclay Photographer & Advertising Coordinator Dalvaich, Glenbeich Lochearnhead FK19 8PZ 01567 830453

Copy Deadline Day is the 24th of the month. Send your contributions to: contac t@the Please help us to get The Villagers to you as soon as possible!

• DIARY DATES • We e k l y A c t i v i t i e s Monday Tuesday

Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 -11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am - 12.30pm Contact Abbey Arkotxa 01877 384671 Badminton - Balquhidder Hall - 8.00pm

BLS Lunch Club - Lochearnhead Scout Station - 12.30-2.30pm


Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am-12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) 3 Villages Art & Craft Group - Balquhidder Hall - 1.00 - 4.00pm - Contact Ruth McLusky 01877 384309


Scottish Country Dancing - Strathyre Hall - 8.00pm Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00-9.00pm Upholstery Classes - 10am-1pm - Lochearnhead Hall - 07824 446024 Community Choir - Balquhidder Village Hall - 7.30pm - 9.00pm (see p.6)


Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon Ballroom Dancing - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.30-9.00pm

Other Contacts... Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Wullie Dalziel 01877 384 384 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

FEBRUARY 8 10 14 17 22 24

BLS AGM - Kings House Hotel - 7.30pm (see p.2) Ballroom Dancing Open Invitation Evening - Lochearnhead Village Hall - 7.30pm (see p2) Scottish Wildlife Trust Talk - St Andrews Church - Callander - 7.30pm (see p.10) Quiz Night at the Inn & Bistro (see p.23) BLS Community Council Meeting - Kings House Hotel - 7.30pm (see p. 13) Gary Smith Memorial Pool Shield Tournament - The Inn & Bistro - 7.00pm

MARCH 6 12 13 14-17 16

Lochearnhead Village Hall AGM - at the Hall - 7.30pm (see p.23) Talk - ‘The Road to Arnhem’ - St Mary’s Church, Aberfoyle - 7.30pm (see p.2) Scottish Wildlife Talk - St Andrews Church - Callander - 7.30pm (see p.10) CAOS Production ‘La Perichole’ - McLaren High School (see p.14) Stuc a Chroin Race Night Fund Raiser - Inn & Bistro, Strathyre (see p.23)

CHURCH CHURCH SERVICES 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, in the Episcopal Church Sunday 2.30pm Father Jim McCruden 2 Ancaster Square, Callander Tel: 01877 330 702

SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH St Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead First and third Sundays of the month: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fourth Sundays of the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Fifth Sunday of the month: please see church noticeboard. Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453 Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: Published by The BLS Newspaper Association

The Villagers February 2012  

Lochearnhead, Balquhidder, Strathyre, St Fillans, village news, wildlife, community council reports, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National...

The Villagers February 2012  

Lochearnhead, Balquhidder, Strathyre, St Fillans, village news, wildlife, community council reports, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National...