Page 1





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

Balquhidder’s Festive Fun

Supreme Champ at the Tree Fest!

Christmas fun started early in Balquhidder with the colourful and atmospheric Tree Festival, the brainchild of Karen Methven, on the 10th December. The Children’s Party on the 21st celebrated the official start of the holidays and Santa Claus’s busiest time! On Christmas Eve at the Monachyle Mhor, ‘Santa’ Tom Lewis welcomed everyone to sing carols and Christmas songs with mulled wine and mince pies in the magical atmosphere of the barn. The next decision was whether to go to the party in the schoolhouse before or after Church as the Hunters are mad enough to have two parties to accommodate all ages on this special night. The church this year was perhaps busier than normal because of people wanting to hear the “new man”! A lovely service was enjoyed by all even when the lights refused to come back on after a time of contemplation by candle light until we had all made our collection offerings! New Year’s Eve in the Hall started, as it

should, with the pipes, played by Donald McLaren - then the traditional Gay Gordons opening dance. But after that, ‘Pass the Parcel’, the Twist and the Drongo Dance set a slightly different tone! Order was restored with some beautiful singing and a very entertaining story telling by the inimitable Alan Sneddon, who readily agreed to do double time when ‘The Rev Jolly’ was unfortunately indisposed. The Bells were celebrated in the usual way with lots of hugs (and passing on of colds) before all dispersed to first foot and enjoy more music and chat and a welcome dram. The fun continued a few hours later when, being a band of hardy souls, people walked/cycled/rode up the glen at lunchtime to Immeroin Farm where they were met with homemade soup by the gallon and a table groaning with cheese, cake and every kind of treat. Then it was ‘dancing shoes on’ again later that same day - for a night of non-stop dancing in the village hall till the small hours!

Christmas Tree Festival 2016

Carols at the Barn, Monachyle Mhor

Hogmanay music from Caol Deàn

2 First footin’ and jammin’!

Now into its second year, the 2016 Christmas Tree Festival was a resounding success. People came from all around and marvelled at twenty-five tree-inspired creations. The ‘Overall Supreme Champion’ prize went to the Arkotxa family with their ‘Little Christmas Fairy’ entry helped by little Naia. The ‘Business Class’ rosette went to Mhor 84’s ‘Recycled Tree’. Janet Richard’s ‘Painstaking Poinsettia’ took the ‘Individual’ prize and the Williams family romped away with the’ Family/Group’ rosette for their ‘Christmas Spice Tree’. Other prizes included the ‘Special Award’ which went to Gill Waugh and Lesley Blain for their ingenious ‘Tree for Peggy’ whilst little Jenna Sneddon was delighted to receive the ‘Junior Award’ with her ‘Santa Dazzle’. Penny Hannah and her Aussie relatives, Kirsten and David, all of whom were a treemendous (ha ha) help, got the ‘Super Duper’ category for their ‘Missy Christmas’ entree (and again!) and Vera Stewart’s family received a voucher in recognition of their Kiwi inspired tree. Many thanks go to Callander Brass for their continued support and for kicking off the event with a Christmas medley, followed by the Balquhidder Trio (Abbey, Gaylor and Gill) and Vera’s piano sing-a-long, which all helped us get into the Christmas spirit. Festive fayre was provided by Inverlochlarig venison burgers, Mhor bread and cakes, Gillian’s mulled wine and Sue Haste’s mead tasting. Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa ...Thank you, Santa! For those looking for that stocking filler, Carol Russell’s glassware, Kasia’s home made soap, Alison Inglis’ Angels, Mike’s Mead and artisan produce from Venachar Lochside, provided an ideal opportunity. A pop-up auction with Charlie Methven and his gavel soon whipped up a lot of interest in a variety of holiday destinations in Balquhidder, Edinburgh and Lewis. A reindeer rug, tartan fleece and a 30-second trolley dash around Strathyre shop provided a great boost to air ambulance funds whilst Malcolm McNaughton’s welded horseshoe creations saw people clambering over each other to get one! The tree fest organisers, an increasing band of enthusiasts, young and not so young, would like to thank all those who helped to make this such a successful event by either helping or being there in support on the day. The final amount raised came to an amazing £1000 which will be winging its way to the air ambulance. All would not have been possible without the support from our wonderful sponsors Mhor 84, Carol Cowie, Inverlochlarig Venison, Sula Furnishing, Gaylor MacNichol, Venechar Lochside, Carol Russell, Alison Inglis, the Arkotxa family, The Wee Gem, Mike’s Mead, Balquhidder Braes, Jananne McNaughton, Strathyre Village Shop, Alistair the Farrier and the Villagers. Particular thanks go to Penny Hannah who has supported this event wholeheartedly. 2017’s Christmas Tree Festival is on Saturday 9th December. See you there! Karen M

New Year Dance Once again, the Balquhidder New Year Dance, held always on the 1st of January to welcome in the New Year, was a resounding success enjoyed by many. I was asked for a little bit of history about the dance so had to get my sleuthing cap on. I certainly remember going to the dance in the seventies with all my family and many neighbours in the glen. Always a great dance band was booked and I used to think, especially with the old hall and the music and hot air spilling from the open windows and the sprung floor certainly springing!......that the roof would burst open as well, such was the exuberance of the music and dancing. However, the New Year dance has been running since 1st January 1951. The old hall was built during the summer of 1950, so I imagine this would well and truly have ‘christened’ the hall and ‘bedded in’ the floor! It was a pre-fabricated building expected to have a life-span of about 20 years. In fact, that hall lasted for over 40 years! Before that there was a smaller hall situated near Tigh na Voil, but during the war, evacuees were accommodated there and it must have come to the end of its useful life by the end of WW2. Dances were also held regularly in the laundry at Stronvar Farm and I remember my Great Aunt telling me stories about these wonderful fun and lively nights. Having spoken to a well kent Callander gentleman, he informed me that a Norman McDiarmid who worked on the Lock Katrine Steamship had a band that played back in the ‘50s. His son, Jack (Jackie) McDiarmid also had his own band and although they did play with each other sometimes, there was a bit of rivalry too. One year Jack had the booking and his father, Norman was on duty as bus driver for the night. He brought a bus load of revellers up from Callander, then went to pick up a bus full from Lochearnhead. On his return, he asked his son if he could play with him that night only to be given a firm ‘no’...there was no room for him. However, the senior McDiarmid decided to fetch his accordion from the bus, perch on the end of the stage and play anyway, not wanting to miss being part of the Balquhidder dance.... after all, he had driven half the people there. Hamish Menzies and his band from Callander played as far back as 1957. He remembers it as THE dance of the year! In the mid 60s the dance was so busy that there was absolutely no room in the hall for sitting.... only dancing.... the chairs were removed for maximum dance floor space.  Other well-known bands that have played include Jack Delaney, Bill Black, his son Robert Black, Simon Howie and most recently, for a number of years now, providing great Scottish dance music and back again next year by

Photos from the New Year’s Day walk to Immeroin

popular demand - Stuart McKeown and his Ceilidh Band. There were and still are, a lot of dances around New Year in the wider local area that are very popular with the young and not so young. Our own dance has people coming not only from Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre but Killin, Callander, Thornhill, Doune, Port of Menteith, Brig o’Turk, Blair Drummond and beyond and everywhere in between. It is super to see their enthusiasm for just getting on the floor and dancing and twirling the night away...... till next year.... same time, same place and we look forward to seeing you there. Fiona Leishman


Editor’s Bit Happy New Year to all our readers, reporters, advertisers and the ‘Team’ beavering away every month to bring you all our local news. “The ultimate success of the enterprise depends on YOU. No newspaper will survive without adequate copy. Your production team needs short articles on topics such as gardening, cookery, wildlife, nature notes as well as hobbies which could include painting, horseriding, pets, embroidery - the list is endless.” The above paragraph is not one of my usual rants - but a quote from the very first Villagers, published in January 1993. It’s so amusing to see how little has changed in twenty-four years, but also to realise how relevant the warning is as we enter our 25th year. One major difference is that the article goes on to say “we would be delighted to receive black and white photographs showing the area and the people...” and we now send out a plea for good quality colour photos - as we really want to include as many as we can to reflect the changing year. The first issue’s front page also included a photo of the new team and Hilda Astbury was in the back row smiling away. Hilda has continued to be involved with The Villagers in several roles and is only now in the process of handing over the subscriptions to Andrea Poulter. We thank Hilda for all she has done so far for The Villagers and hope she will be our guest of honour at the AGM! I am sure we can persuade her still to be involved in some new position. The AGM will be at the Achray Hotel in St Fillans this year on Friday 17th March (tbc) and we welcome you all to come along with all your great new ideas. Finally, a big thank you to all the people from the four villages who organised the festive events we all enjoyed. From a Balquhidder standpoint a big thank you to all the helpers who arrive to set up and, even more importantly, come to help clear up the hall ready for the next event even when they are here ‘on holiday’. Jill

Local Emergency Plan Could you help?

Brisk business!

Lochearnhead Village Hall Hogmanay Party The village hall Hogmanay party was a sell-out again this year and it was a lively affair from start to finish. The live music for dancing provided by Raband was excellent and the dance floor was full from start to finish. For the second year running there were some outstanding ‘guest’ performances from the audience – let’s hope this becomes a regular feature! As always the raffle was well supported by local businesses and individuals and trade over the bar was brisk. Overall record-breaking funds of over £1300 were raised which will go a long way towards covering the annual running costs of the hall. The village hall committee would like to thank local businesses and individuals for their continued support of this event and their generous donations.

Extraordinary General Meeting of the SVA This will take place on Tuesday 28th February in Strathyre Village Hall at 7.30pm. 4

Dancing the night away...

Our local readers will be well aware that there were some severe problems from flooding in Strathyre last winter. As a result, Kenny Higgins - with expert knowledge of such things from his former career - stepped up (figuratively speaking) to put his finger in the hole in the dyke. Kenny has put together a small team of people and written an emergency plan for Strathyre that should enable the whole village to be better prepared for anything similar in the future. In fact, the plan will cater for pretty much any kind of major incident that happens locally. Of course, this team of people is not going to be providing “front-line” rescuers. We have excellent emergency services already well equipped and trained for such eventualities, but local volunteers have local knowledge - of both the lie of the land, and the people who stay here. They are aware of those who need particular care and attention, or who have particular resources. All of this is very valuable to the emergency services, the local authority and any other agencies that have to be involved. This initiative was presented at the latest meeting of the community council and it was decided that it would be great to see something similar being developed in our other villages nearby. Kenny is more than willing to see the template of the plan he has developed being used elsewhere, so the main need is simply to find a small team of people in each village who would be willing to turn out in the event of some major incident, and provide help with local communication and liaison. Stirling Council is willing to provide some basic equipment to help with this, and there will be an initial commitment to come along to a few meetings in order to sort out the details of how it’s all going to work. Thereafter, it should just be a matter of keeping in touch from time to time, and being aware of local changes and developments. If you would be interested in supporting this venture, please get in touch with Paul Hicks at Lochearnhead (14 Vorlich Road), email at pnr.hicks@ or brave the anti-spam messaging system on 01567 830359!

Strathyre News Hogmanay in Strathyre For those who attended our annual seeing out the old and bringing in the new, I’m sure you will agree - it was a great evening. The work and effort Ron and Maggie put into the event to make it such a special night is greatly appreciated. However, on a more sombre note, this is to be Ron and Maggie’s last New Year’s dance. Having organised this event for the last six years; they both feel that it is time to call it a day and pass the mantle onto somebody else. Is there anybody out there...? Full training given! The event itself was headlined by The Tin Men who are regulars to Strathyre at this time of the year. During the interval, we were entertained by Gemma Gray, daughter of Tin Men’s lead singer and Sophie Milne, granddaughter of Ron and Maggie. Both are veterans from The Strathyre Music Festival. With this in mind, Ron and Maggie had agreed previously that all proceeds would go to this year’s Strathyre Music Festival, which is to be held over weekend 26-28 May 2017. This was very generous and I would like to thank them on behalf of our committee for this very kind gesture. The Festival itself is funded mainly by The Balvaig Bar and ticketing over the Festival weekend. However, fund raisers such as this one also form a very big part of the financial mix. Talking of fund raisers, we are to embark on yet another one later on in the year over the Easter Weekend; a bottle stall on 15 April 2017 to be precise. We will be holding the Bottle Stall from 10.00am to 4.00pm in Ancaster Square. Entertainment will be provided in the afternoon by top local band Balvaig; so come and support us. All bottle donations greatly received at The Village Shop here in Strathyre. Once again, Ron and Maggie thanks for helping us to cross one year into the next having a dram, a can and a good old knees up. Mike Keeney Chairman Strathyre Music Festival

Can I just start by wishing all our readers a belated Happy New Year? 2016 ended with lots of parties going on around the Village - starting off with the ever-popular Children’s Christmas Party which was a huge success as always, so well done to everyone involved for all the hard work and organisation they put in every year. Then came the New Year Village Dance which saw out 2016 and welcomed 2017. It was, as ever, a fantastic evening with singing and dancing the whole night through, enjoyed by everyone in attendance - with the hall being “fu’ tae the gunnels”! It’s a wonderful occasion where friends, family and visitors can join together to celebrate the start of a new year. A huge thank you to Ron and Maggie and every one else who help put this together; they are worth their weight in gold. Let’s not forget the local hotels and staff who work so hard during the festive season to make sure we “punters” enjoy ourselves, often working long hours with little rest. We salute you for your efforts... (but keep them up!) and a wee thank you to “Santa” for taking the time to come along all the way from the frozen North. Going back to the New Year’s party, sadly Ron and Maggie will be standing down from organising this and we need volunteers to help organise future events. If this is something you would be interested in please let me know; while I personally would not be involved, I would be more than happy to help put a team together who could co-ordinate the event. I’m sure Ron or Maggie would be happy to advise if needed. This is not an event the Village should lose! If you would like to help in any way, please feel free to give me a call on 384384/07768221661 or just pop in see me if passing. To end the celebrations, I was part of a party of “first fit’ers” on New Year’s day. This is an old tradition which has seriously fallen away over the years; some villagers decided it was time for reinstatement and it is turning into a “must have” event. Can I speak for all the party concerned and thank everyone who allowed us into their homes and supplied us with food and a wee dram ‘or two’ to help us along the way? Hope all your dreams come true in 2017! Wullie D

Stuc A Chroìn Hill Race Just an update on progression of renovations at Reck- ground. The new path at the start of the race is now completed except for tidying up (see photos) so we are well on our way but there is still plenty to do before the race in May. As always, we are looking for volunteers in any shape or form for this year’s race which is a combined British and Scottish championship, so we expect a full field of runners which could possibly be in the region of 400. If you can offer any help please feel free to contact me or any Stuc committee member with your details. 5


St Fillans Bit

Firstly, I’d like to wish everyone a merry Candlemas Day (or if you happen to be reading this in America, happy Groundhog Day). According to superstitious folklore, if Christmas decorations weren’t taken down by twelfth night, they should be left and taken down at Candlemas (or the 2nd February to you and I). More importantly though, this month gives us Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day) which sadly means I’ve got to postpone Sugar Free February until March – what a shame. We start this month by proudly announcing that the village now boasts an MBE as one of its residents. Sam Morshead, who is a former jockey (of the horse kind) and retired manager of Perth racecourse, was awarded the Queen’s honour in recognition for his services to racing and charity. Congratulations to Sam, who I spoke to earlier this year, and who was very humbled to receive the award. I’ll be catching up with Sam next month and hope to have an interview with him, so we can get the news straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. At the end of last year, I was intrigued to hear about a newcomer to the village. With her ancestral roots extending as far away as Tibet, this new little lady would need a very kind and gentle family to make her feel at home. Fortunately, Cathy and Ian Moncrieff were able to provide just that and I’m delighted to welcome you to Tibby, the Tibetan terrierTsang Apso (shaggy, bearded dog) also known as “The Holy Dog of Tibet”. As Cathy explains: “these intelligent dogs were kept by the monks as companions, good luck charms, mascots, watchdogs and herding dogs and also to retrieve articles that fell down mountain sides!  They were never sold, as this was believed to bring bad luck to the family and village alike, but were given as gifts to promote good fortune.  The breed is not a member of the terrier group but  was given their English name by European travellers.    They are happy, fun loving dogs and good companions.  Tibby has settled well in St Fillans, she loves “Big Brother” Barney who has been 6

by Isobel Howell very patient with her wilder puppy moments, though occasionally, when she is hanging on his ear, his eyes say ‘please send her back to Tibet!’ In spite of puddles, bites and crazy moments she has brought great fun and joy to our home.” (See our picture, top right.) On Saturday 21st January the Sandison Hall was transformed into a cosy setting for the village Burns Supper - always a sell-out event, and not surprising at £25 a ticket – great value for money for an evening’s entertainment. This year, under the Chairmanship of our resident Festive Weekend compére and entertainer, Dave Pryde, we were treated to some first class speeches and performances. The evening began with the traditional piping in of the top table guests and the haggis, to which Jim Brierley delivered the address. The Immortal Memory was given by a very eloquent Alex Duncan, who has been compared to John Cairney, such was the delivery of his speeches throughout the evening – truly impressive. Cathy Moncrieff gave a beautiful recital, which was followed by Alan Milne’s thoughtful and considered Toast to the Lassies I don’t know if the fact that his wife,

Barney being patient with Tibby

Jean Milne, gave the Reply to the Toast to the Lassies, influenced his choice of words at all. Jean, who has in the past, given us many performances at various village plays and staged events, gave us a fine performance and included several costume changes and was magnificent as Jean Armour (for me, she stole the show). Jim Brierley appeared again to give us an impressive rendition of “Tam O’Shanter”, without any script, as so did many of the evening’s speakers. How on earth they managed to remember their lines, I have no idea – my hat goes off to them all, including Dave Pryde, who gave us an excellent Holy Willie’s Prayer. Last, but by no means least, a vote of thanks for the occasion was given by John Light. Throughout the evening we were treated to a three course traditional meal of cock-a-leekie soup, haggis with neeps and tatties, followed by trifle and tea and coffee with tablet, all kindly provided by

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

Andrew Scott and his catering team from Auchingarrich who did a sterling job of making sure we were all looked after food-wise. Thanks also go to John Bennett and everyone on the organising team. Acknowledgement also goes to Anne Duncan and Lynda Pryde who were also guests on the top table. Over Christmas, in between the Quality Street and usual repeats on tv, I was shocked to see the devastating damage that storm Conor brought to our village. I’ll never forget the sight that met me whilst walking the dog on the playing field on 27th December – the image will haunt me forever. Reminiscent of scenes from The Wizard of Oz (another seasonal repeat) lying up-ended on the field, like a discarded toy … the shed (that’s not really a shed – more like a shed biscuit cutter). Whatever it is, sadly it is no more. It was last spotted in January, squashed to pieces. You will be shedly missed (said in a Sean Connery voice).

Burns Supper at the Sandison Hall Thanks to Geoff Carter for providing me with this update on the works to the old railway path. Geoff reports that planning of phase three of “LERP” (Loch Earn Railway Path) from Station Road, heading west behind the Four Seasons Hotel, is underway. Plans were submitted to the National Park at the end of last year and a decision will be announced this month. This section of the track will take you along the path running parallel to the field at the back of Dundurn Walk, behind the A frame houses and up an incline directly onto the track. Further along you will be able to walk through the tunnel (so no more scrambling up the rocks at the side, unless you enjoy mountaineering) and emerge into daylight again behind the Four Seasons’ chalets, with the new surface stopping behind Fernside/the power station. If everything goes to plan, completion is likely to be the end of April. I am surprised at how quickly this can be achieved, once everything is in place. As Geoff pointed out, the hard part is “getting all the ducks in a row” (i.e. consultation processes, funding and planning applications, putting construction work out to tender, etc. RIP Shed... etc.) – a lot of backroom work that most of us don’t see or appreciate that goes Notes for your diaries: into projects like this. It is admirable of Looking further ahead, this year’s Festive everyone involved in the plan and Geoff Weekend will revert back to three days, has worked tenaciously on the project. starting on Friday 25th August and My one suggestion to the constructors include the Saturday and Sunday, in would be to ensure that the kissing gate celebration of this year’s bicentennial at the Station Road end is made wide anniversary of the renaming of the enough to enable someone who is wider village. Before then, as part of the celebrations, a May Ball is being planned, than Skinny Malinky to fit through. On the subject of the railway path, in which promises a fun evening in support November last year a team of volunteers of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance. No (pictured below) armed with spades and doubt at some point this year The Great muscle power planted over a hundred Loch Earn Boat Race will return to our new trees at the sides of the new path shores – it usually takes place in April, along the “s bends” at the end of Station however, I’ve no news at present. I guess Road. Well done and thank you to the organisers must be busy planning the event in secret somewhere. More everyone who helped or was involved. news on all events as and when I find out the details. Until then, you can enjoy the St Fillans Community Council on 22nd February. Hopefully, if Don puts the heating on now (I’m writing this in January) the Sandison Hall will have warmed up nicely for the meeting. Happy Valentine’s Day and have a cracking Collop Monday too!



Church News Balquhidder • BLS Reg. Charity No. SC012316

A Note from

St Angus’s

It seems a long way from Christmas already – and even past that sense of relief as we get ‘back to normal’ after all the fuss of Christmas. One of the things I was particularly aware of was the sense of community. We notice it particularly as we are such a small church and yet people are so kind and supportive of us. We hope we give something back out of the generosity that we receive: warmth in welcoming you to functions we have, friendship to our neighbours and practical support. This year one of our biggest functions was the dinner we held at the Four Seasons Hotel, thanks to the hospitality of Andrew Low, and what a pleasure it was to hand over half the proceeds in a cheque of just under £500 to the Killin Mountain Rescue – an organisation which helps to enable us all to enjoy the mountains here. We were a bit nervous about the Community Carols this year because timing made it difficult for the Killin Choir to be with us, and we have tended to rely on their great singing. However, the Village Hall was well filled and we were reminded again of the value of simply being with friends. And the ultimate giving back was the telling of the Christmas story at the Crib service and the Christmas communion – even Gus the sheepdog joined in – oh dear – the ultimate ignominy: he was voted to act as the sheep!   And all of this serves to remind us that we follow a God who is not out there alone in solitary splendour, but right here amongst us, showing himself in the most unexpected ways, in the hands and hearts of friends as much as the beauty and splendour of nature – and this is for the whole year – not just for a few days at the end of December!   My hope is that we find that in and with each other as this year goes on.   The next event that we are looking forward to is the pancake morning on 28 February (Shrove Tuesday) which marks the beginning of Lent. The venue is to be confirmed but note this for your diaries: loads of magnificent pancakes by the magicians in the kitchen, tea and coffee and good conversation, bric a brac, books and cards for sale, a raffle – do join us from 10.30 – 12.30 – and feel free to bring small people with you.   God bless you all in the ordinary things this year as well as the highlights! Paddy Allen  8

A very warm welcome to the Rev Dr Russel Moffat, our new Minister! Hi Folks! Happy 2017 to everyone from Balquhidder church! My first Christmas here was both interesting and enjoyable. First, Brenda and I attended the Christmas Tree Festival in the village hall. What a wonderful and amazing event…hats off to the organisers and everyone who contributed to making it a very special event indeed. It was a wee bit like Dr Who’s tardis, from the outside you couldn’t imagine everything that was going on inside that building! There was a great buzz in the hall and it was an excellent way to get in the mood for Christmas. Thank you! The Christmas services went very well indeed. On Christmas Eve I was blown away with the attendance! At first I thought I was in the wrong place! A huge thank you to everyone who came and who helped create a festive atmosphere - it was greatly appreciated. Although there is not a tradition of having a Christmas Day service in Balquhidder it fell on a Sunday this year so I had to attend (I’m paid to!!!) but there were 15 other brave (sober!) souls who joined me for a short but special remembrance of the Saviour’s birth. Once again thanks to all involved. For many years whilst living in Edinburgh, Brenda and I holidayed in the Lake District amongst the Fells, Tarns and Becks. So imagine my delight on seeing Herdwick sheep in a field in this area. Herdies are my favourite sheep so whoever owns them give me a call and I’ll baptise them for you! Last year I read James Rebanks’ wonderful book The Shepherd’s Life. It is a superb depiction of life in the Lake District and is justifiably a best seller. All the way through the book, Rebanks introduces us to terminology from his shepherding world - much of it of Norse origin. One such word is “heft” - a term well known in Northern England and Scotland. The noun refers to a piece of land to which a farm animal has become attached. The verbal form means the act of becoming so attached and the adjectival form of course describes livestock that has become thus attached. Apparently, the root of the word goes back to an old Norse word meaning “tradition”. This is a useful analogy as human culture has involved us being shaped and moulded by the stories that we not only tell ourselves but in which we live and move and see our world consciously or not. The Early Church Father Tertullian writing in North Africa around 200AD referred to reports he had received of Christians who were living North of the Roman wall in Britain. Presumably this was Scotland! If there is any truth in this then our Christian heritage goes back a long way indeed! People are like sheep; we are “hefted” to traditions (ethnic, religious, political, philosophical) that shape who we are. I want to make a plea for the Christian “Story”. As the tide ebbs on Christian culture in the 21st Century I believe we are in danger of losing something of great value. As a Minister I want to highlight the relevance of the Christian Tradition, which can enrich and empower our lives. Good people of the parish of Balquhidder - you have an amazing treasure in the Church building that attracts so many tourists and pilgrims throughout the year. Yet that building points to an even greater treasure which is the great “Story” behind it all. Watch this space! RM


Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses take part in various training programmes throughout the year. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoon will provisionally be on: Thursday 16th February 2017 Wednesday 29th March 2017 On these afternoons, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments. Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12.30pm. We hope that emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs, however, this will not be confirmed to the practices until nearer the time. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 111.

Bracklinn Practice will be joined by a 5th year medical student in March

2017. Megan is currently studying at Dundee University and will join the practice from the 6th March for 4 weeks. Students are encouraged to do a GP placement in a rural setting in their final year, and we look forward to Megan working with the practice.


Vicky Jack tells us how she conquered Everest

Balquhidder Village Hall Sunday 19 March 2017 2pm

Including the 1996 classic Everest IMAX film:

‘Everest Takes you to the Top of the World’

Many members joined the Sunday Lunch Group to start the New Year with an excellent meal at the Roman Camp Hotel in Callander. The Group meets every two months in a restaurant within our catchment area which gives them plenty to choose from as the area encompasses many villages. C&WP U3A interest groups begin their meetings in September each year but we welcome new members at any time and the good news is that if you join now your membership fee will only be £5. Have a look at our website ‘Callander and West Perthshire U3A’ where you will find details of all our groups, the current timetable and a Membership Form. Here’s to another year of Learning for Fun’.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo To raise funds for the Crianlarich and Killin childrens’ nurseries the parents’ group are organising a Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo night on the 25th February 2017. The fun will start at 6pm at the Crianlarich Village Hall. Families welcome. Games are £2.50 per round and hotdogs, snacks and a bar will be available. Come and test your musical knowledge!



*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 reveals some surprising facts about the colours of trousers. Are you s itting comfortably...? It was a loyal reader who commented that Old Nyati was an absolute mine of very interesting but useless information. That is taken as a grateful and personal compliment. This month it seemed that there should be a few more gems of true but useless information as a sequel to the last issue’s story.  But why a photo extract from an advert for corduroy trousers?  Take a close look at the names of the colours on those corduroy trousers. What about ‘corn’? the colour of corn perhaps, but why?    Let us go back about a hundred years. The mills in Yorkshire were manufacturing cotton cord cloth. Very hard wearing, it was traditionally worn by most factory and country workman and exported the world over. There was only a colour choice in those days of either ‘corn’ or ‘damson’.  As a sequel to the subject in the last Villagers let us consider how that colour and name came to be. In the countryside in those far-off days, every large country estate would keep a pack of hounds: bloodhounds, foxhounds, beagles or otterhounds, in purpose built kennels. The staple diet was flesh from fallen farm animals and flaked maize (corn) as in your Kellogg’s breakfast.   Now how did those trousers get that same lovely corn colour? Long before synthetic dyes, the poo from those hounds fed on that diet had that same lovely yellow corn colour, and when the kennels were cleaned out every morning that poo was packed into wooden kegs, taken to the local railway station and shipped to the Yorkshire cotton mills where it was used in a process to dye the hard-wearing material. Even after being thoroughly washed there was still a faint hint of that characteristic smell - but the traditional ‘corn’ colour was fixed.   On the subject of uses for recycled poo, it is little known that those domestic ECs down the garden were emptied from time to time and used carefully on the vegetable gardens, and to make compost for the greenhouses - a useful source of potash and phosphate. After emptying, the surface of the brick lining would then grow a salty crystalline covering which was collected and used in the manufacture of gunpowder 10

saltpetre and flowers of sulphur. In fact, black gunpowder was often used as a laxative.Quite explosive, no doubt! This all has to be the ultimate in recycling. When we see the other colour name, damson, how did that come to be?    Most country house orchards and farm hedgerows would have lots of  damson trees growing. They were planted there to provide a cash crop of damsons, not so much for the kitchen jam making but also to be sent off to the cotton mills to be processed into a dye for those trousers which then had that traditional purple damson colour.   Now we come to the final photo of the elevated ladies’ toilet. This was seen at the rear of a trackside cafe in New Zealand called the ‘Road Kill Café’ where ‘Possum Pie’ was a speciality along with ‘Radiator Rabbit’ and ‘Smidgen of Pigeon’. “You kill it, we grill it” was the motto.   Quite how the ladies would cope with the facilities is left to the imagination.... perhaps a penny for an extending ladder!!!

Fun in Tandem with BLS Community Did anyone spot a couple on a tandem in January? Matilda tandem writes about adventures with Captain Colin Calder and Stoker Diane Lockhart. Her recent blog at www.matildasmusingsdotcom. features the BLS community and regional Scottish Thistle Award winning #BLiSStrail.

Her latest Social Media account of the adventure mentions warm hospitality from Colin and Sheridan Adams, including their delicious breakfast and home-made ice cream at Airlie House B&B while Janet and the Strathyre Village shop cat Jess were photographed for Twitter. The couple enjoyed a meal at the Ben Sheann Hotel before joining Strathyre and visiting Lochearnhead villagers for a fun night of Burns and Scottish Music at the White Stag Inn. LETi Vice Chair Kenny Higgins and band Balvaig entertained with some well kent tunes while the tandem duo chatted up local tourism business folk learning more about Catriona MacGeoch of SULA Furnishing, Bill and Leslie Lindsay of The Broch Café, Angus Cameron, president of the BLS Highland Games, Kenny Higgins of Strathyre Outdoors and others. Balvaig broke with Scottish Music tradition to surprise Colin and Diane with a song dedicated to Matilda tandem.

LETi Chair Kim Proven was handed the microphone to lead the sing-a-long of A Bicycle Built For Two. The following morning the pair set out on a photo shoot with Matilda and #BLiSStrail meeting a family of cyclists from Strathyre Forest Cabins on route. They were persuaded to pose with Matilda, Crew and Kim, at The “Ride Out Seats” near the Broch Cafe, Kim was then challenged to take up the stoker position and cycle hands free along Route 7. Incriminating videos of Kim messing about on a tandem and singing with Balvaig are available on You Tube. LETI has applied to Sustrans Scotland for an ArtRoots grant to place a new #BLiSStrail installation on the cycle path in Strathyre. “The sculpture will fit well with this year’s Visit Scotland tourism theme of History Heritage and Archeology - #HHA2017 - if we can pull it off “ said Kim. LETi is also working on an on-line history map. If anyone in the BLS community has access to old area photographs that they have permission to share, LETI would be delighted to consider them (contact Kim, briarinfo@ if you can assist). See more tandem tales on Twitter @ ColinCalder and @robroycountry plus #BLiSStrail at

Clockwork, from top left: Colin and Sheridan, Airlie House B&B; Kim as sub Stoker RT 7 on Matilda Tandem; Janet and Jess the Cat at Strathyre Village Shop; Colin and A Soaring Eagle; Diane at Sloc Nan Sitheanach; Balvaig at White Stag Inn; LETi #working together at White Stag inn


McLaren High School St Andrews Night Concert

McLaren High School held their first ever St Andrew’s Night Concert on 30 November. The evening was a celebration of Scottish Traditional Music which was organised by Head Boy and Pipe Major Callum Hall to raise funds for the McLaren High School Pipe Band. It featured the McLaren High School Pipe Band, the school’s Traditional Music Group and young folk musicians from the school. We were delighted to welcome back former teacher Dave Johnstone to carry out the MC duties for the night and the evening ran smoothly under his control. There was a real buzz in the hall and the audience were treated to a wide variety of traditional music, songs and highland dancing. There was also a raffle and an auction during the interval and the total raised at the end of the night was in the region of £1,500. Well done to Callum and the rest of the Pipe Band Committee for a brilliant night’s entertainment and thank you to everyone who came along to support us.

Above and left: performers at the St Andrews Night concert. Below: The 3D experience from the science visit.

Rotary Chef Competition

On Wednesday 7 December 4 pupils competed in the Young Rotary Chef Competition. This involved making a two course healthy meal costing no more than £10.    Each individual planned their own meal and completed this in 1hour 30 minutes.  All pupils produced an excellent and delicious meal and Niamh King (above) was the overall winner.  She made Soy Poached Chicken with Asparagus served with Coconut Rice and Hot Sour Sauce followed by Paper Thin Fruit Pies with Crème Anglaise. It was a most enjoyable day and a great experience for all.  Thank you to Peter Ireland, Nick Parkes and Christine Ffinch for judging the competition.  Niamh now has a place in the next round of the competition which will be held in January 2017.  Good Luck Niamh!

Science Visits

A representative from Zoolab visited the school recently and S1 pupils had the chance to hear about and see up close some animals they wouldn’t normally. Glasgow Science Centre also recently came to school to present a 3D show “Body Works on Tour” throughout the day to pupils in S2 and S3. Pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

visit our website:


Christmas at McLaren in Photos!

We held 3 dances just before the end of term. All were well attended and pupils had a great time dancing each night to The Ian Milligan Trio. Our Christmas Concert took place on Monday 19 December. The hall was full with standing room only and a festive evening was had by all. There were performances by all the musical groups/ensembles, the orchestra and there were carols where the audience sang along enthusiastically. Top left: Senior Dance armography; top right: S1 and S2 Dance stripping the willow; right: S3 and S4 brotherhood, and below: Seniors in full swing!

The ‘Clay Head Unit’

Art at McLaren

S2 Pupil’s kick started the Clay Head Unit in Art and Design. A lot of preparation went in to this before the pupils were let loose on the clay. They worked very hard and, as you can see by their faces, they really enjoyed it. 13

What’s Your Heritage? Campaign seeks local groups to help change future policy

CREATE A ‘SPORTS CLUB’ The Trust has been trying to raise funds to restore the tennis court in Strathyre but accessing such funds requires the creation of a ‘Sports Club’. This does not need to be a single sport ‘Sports Club’ but could be a combination of sports such as ‘Bowling’ from Lochearnhead, ‘Badminton’ from Balquhidder, ‘Tennis’ from Strathyre or for that matter ‘Darts’ from Strathyre. To discuss the options a meeting is being arranged as below. Please come along and let’s see what can be achieved. 7.30PM on Tuesday 7 February 2017 at The Munro, Strathyre.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the heritage body in charge of listing buildings in Scotland, has today unveiled a toolkit to help local groups across the country answer the question ‘What’s Your Heritage?’. The toolkit is part of a once in a generation opportunity for the people of Scotland to have their say about the historic environment and how it should be looked after. HES is asking people to consider the places and structures that have special meaning for them with a view to updating the way it assesses sites and buildings of significance.   Over 1,000 people across Scotland have contributed their views so far using an  online survey, and HES is organising workshops in collaboration with a number of groups across Scotland. The variety of responses already received, from battlefields to childhood homes, shows Scotland’s passion and interest in exploring what heritage means. HES is now calling for local groups, organisations and clubs to get involved by running their own events using the new toolkit.   Head of Designations, Elizabeth McCrone said: “Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is the perfect time to be opening up the conversation about how we assess the interest of our historic environment. We’re thrilled to be working with organisations like the West Dunbartonshire Council, Scottish Commission for Learning Disability, Positive Prison Positive Futures, Perth and Kinross Council and many more. Now we’re inviting people to get hands-on and organise their own workshops.

“You don’t have to be an expert in heritage or archaeology, we are appealing to all ages, backgrounds and locations. This is a landmark project for us, and we want to hear your views and ideas.  The responses will help shape future policy and how we identify and look after places and buildings that matter to you. We can only achieve this with the help of local people on the ground.”   The ‘What’s Your Heritage?’ Workshop Toolkit is free to download and contains everything needed to organise a workshop. It includes an introductory video, photographs, a presentation, research tips and briefing materials, as well as items to help promote your workshop including a social media brief, draft poster and press release.   Workshops will take place in February and March. After this, feedback will be reviewed and summarised in a report which will inform the next steps in policy changes.   Register for a toolkit and fill out the online survey by visiting: whatsyourheritage/

Broadband Update It’s nice to be able to start the year with some good news, after the interminable bureaucratic setbacks of the last eighteen months. Firstly, we were finally able to issue our new tender just before Christmas, through the usual government and EU mechanisms. All 62 separate documents of it. And, rather to our own surprise, no civil servants were permanently harmed during the production of it. Some ears did get singed though. Seriously though, the various people we’ve dealt with have been as helpful as they possibly can be, and we do get a real sense of commitment to making this project happen. The blocking issues have been with the utter lack of 14

a coherent UK communications strategy, the ‘check-box’ mentality behind so many of the so-called initiatives to deliver broadband and, above all, the utter failure of multiple government and public agencies to understand the concept of actually delivering the end result. However, all of our public funding authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to the project, from Community Broadband Scotland, Forth Valley LEADER and Stirling Council. In current circumstances, it’s worth noting that the first two are both EU money, from the European Regional Development fund. And finally, it appears that we may

Do you need an affordable home? Rural Stirling Housing Association aims to support local communities by providing quality homes at affordable rents for families, couples and single people in housing need.

Callander Rambling Club

We currently have over 550 rented houses and flats. Around 50 of these become available for rent each year. We hope to have new properties in Strathblane and Balmaha soon and currently have properties in the following communities

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 incallander. in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: February • Sat 4th - Hill - Beinn an t-Sithein (Strathyre) • Wed 15th - Ramble - High Corrie walk • Sat 25th - Stroll - Dunblane towards Sheriffmuir

Gardening... Our Gardening writer, BeverleyClaire Wainwright, is away at the moment, but will be back before very long. In the meantime here she is doing exciting things with spring bulbs!

Lochearnhead Post Office The post office in Lochearnhead has changed its times:

Monday 10am until 1pm Thursday 10am until 1pm

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

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

in renting when they contact us:

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

Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SC037849

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

indeed be able to use the fibre that Openreach has just installed. This was put in for EE to support their forthcoming 4G mast for the Airwaves replacement emergency services network. We’re meeting with the relevant Openreach director to discuss this. And of course, the 4G mast going in will, we believe, also be available as part of EE’s normal offering, so a proper mobile data service for the glen isn’t that far away. So we hope that everyone enjoyed their Christmas and New Year and can look forward to 2017 being the year we finally join the 21st century, even as the politicians in Westminster try to take us back to the 18th. Richard Harris 15

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of a meeting held at The Inn, Strathyre on 7th December 2016. Please note that these minutes have not yet received formal approval and should be considered as a draft version only. Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Paul Hicks (PH), Alice Duncan (AD), Loraine Telfer (LT), Karen Methven (KM), Richard Eastland (RE). Apologies: David Johnston (DJ), Ruth McLusky (RM), Adrian Squires (AS), Angus Cameron (AC). Cllr Fergus Wood, Dionne Gallacher, Stirling Council. In attendance: Pam Campbell (PC), Theresa Elliot (TE), Stirling Council; PC Will Diamond (WD), Police Scotland; Billy Ronald (BR), National Park. 1) Approval of Minutes It was proposed by KM, and seconded by LT, that the minutes of the meeting on 26th October 2016 should be accepted, and this was approved unanimously. 2) Declarations of Interest No declarations were made. 3) Police Report Between 25th October and 5th December, no reports of antisocial behaviour were received. On 5th November, an offence of dangerous driving was committed on the A85 through Glen Ogle, when a driver executed a series of poor, overtaking manoeuvres that caused other motorists to take evasive action. The driver was reported to the Procurator Fiscal. A number of fixed penalties were also issued to motorists for motoring offences, including speeding, driving untaxed vehicles, uninsured vehicles and without an MOT. On 22nd November 2016, a male suspect visited Old Forest Lodge (Maple Lodge) in Strathyre and stole a quantity of firewood. He returned the following evening and stole some more. Owing to recent thefts elsewhere in the local area, high visibility patrols and static road checks have been carried out in order to deter and detect travelling criminals. Festive patrols have also begun and will continue into the New Year. See “” for more details. Work has also begun on the Mountain Safety Initiative with the local Mountain Rescue teams and the National Park. 4) Matters Arising 4a) Cheque account. LT reported that the Bank of Scotland had finally processed the change of authorised signatories for the community council’s cheque account, and all outstanding debts have now been paid. 4b) Community council vacancies. PH reported that nobody from our area had submitted an application to stand for election on 29th November. This leaves us with three vacancies: two for Strathyre and one for Lochearnhead. The council can continue to function with nine elected members, requiring a quorum for each meeting of just three members. Richard Eastland had previously been co-opted as a member for Lochearnhead but PH understood from item seven of the constitution, that he could not be co-opted again for a period of six months (expiring on 29th May 2017). However, PC advised that this was not necessary so PH proposed that RE should be co-opted again with immediate effect. This was seconded by MM and agreed unanimously. The next elections are not due until Autumn 2018. There was then some discussion regarding a new resident of Strathyre who had applied to join the community council, but been advised that she had not stayed in the area for a sufficient period of time. PC also queried this but said that she would seek to clarify the matter. AD stated that it was difficult to find volunteers from Strathyre as there was a significant overlap with the Strathyre Village Association. Members suggested that it would be good to find someone who was prepared to be a member of both organisations in order to provide better liaison between them. 4c) Pavement in Lochearnhead. PH reported having spoken with several of the landowners who will need to sell some land in order to accommodate the construction of a pavement between the old water sports centre and the Lochearnhead Hotel. They are all willing to sell up to one metre of land adjoining the trunk road on the South side. It was suggested by one landowner that a full pavement would not be necessary, provided that proper drainage could be provided. A simple track, constructed from small stones or chippings, would be sufficient to enable pedestrians to walk safely beside the road. PH had then corresponded with George Fiddes, the Area Manager for Transport Scotland, to see if the previous project could be resurrected. Mr Fiddes is looking into this, but warned that there are national regulations which govern the size and type of structure that may be built. Accordingly, the simple construction envisaged may not be acceptable. 4d) Sign on Stroneslaney Road. PH reported on behalf of DJ, who had spoken again with the householder who made the complaint about the positioning of the sign. DJ had also liaised with Cllr Martin Earl, and all parties had agreed that a suitable solution might be to contact Stirling Council and ask them to move the sign when they next had some work to do in this area. MM stated that he and KM had also seen the complainant but, after inspecting the location, could not see where else the sign could be placed. PH queried whether the position of the sign might be dictated by traffic legislation and PC confirmed that this could be the case. PC undertook to liaise with the Roads Department regarding the possibility (and legality) of re-locating the sign. Action: PC to liaise with Stirling Council Roads Department. 5) Local Emergency Plan PH reported having attended a meeting of the Strathyre Village Emergency Response Team on 29th November. The chair, Kenny Higgins, had introduced presentations from Paul Laidlaw of the Scottish Flood Forum and David Bright, the Emergency Planning Officer for Stirling Council. As a result PH had liaised with DJ regarding the possibility of expanding the scope of the Strathyre Plan to include Balquhidder and Lochearnhead. PH suggested that the heart of the proposed plan would rely on assembling a small team of people in each village who would be prepared to act as liaison officers or coordinators in the event of a major incident in our area. The task would be to provide local knowledge to the emergency services and other agencies involved. PH proposed that a short item be submitted to The Villagers to explain what is envisaged and to seek suitable volunteers. This was agreed. Action: PH to submit short article to The Villagers seeking volunteers. PC also reported that Stirling Council is holding a desktop exercise to test existing plans (such as the Strathyre plan) on Saturday 21st January 2017. BLS CC has been invited to send delegates and he proposed to attend himself. He invited other members to consider joining him. Action: PH to attend desktop exercise. 6) Bye-laws and Clear-ways. PH reported that nothing new had been notified regarding the alcohol bye-law or clearway legislation. WD stated that he was aware that progress is ongoing for the alcohol bye-law, and the police are expecting it to be live by 1st April 2017. There was some discussion about the operation of the new camping bye-law. BR stated that no problems were anticipated, and the National Park staff would happily deal with any questions. Interested landowners, businesses and community organisations should get in touch with Charlotte Wallace. 7) Correspondence 7a) Letter of Appreciation. PH reported that he had received a letter from a resident of Lochearnhead, Rory Gilchrist, regarding the refurbishment of the war memorial in the village. Mr Gilchrist wished to convey his thanks to all those who had been involved in the research, resulting in the successful funding application. He very much looked forward to seeing the outcome of the restoration work. LT added that, whilst we had been offered a grant from the War Memorials Trust, there would still be an outstanding amount of £600 to match the best quotation for this work. PC said that an application to the Community Pride Fund might cover this shortfall. PH proposed that we should make an application and this was seconded by LT. It was agreed that LT would make an application to the fund for £600 to cover the remaining cost of the work required. It was also agreed that LT should accept the grant from the War Memorials Trust, and ask the contractor who had tendered the preferred quotation to set a date for the work. If the application the Community Pride Fund was unsuccessful, the community council had sufficient funds in hand to make up the shortfall. Action: LT to apply for £600 from Community Pride Fund, accept grant from War Memorials Trust and commission repair work. 7b) Timber Transport. MM reported that he had received a notification from the Stirling & Tayside Timber Transport Group regarding its Timber Transport Management Protocols. This covered all of our area, but particularly affected parts of Balquhidder where timber is currently being harvested. Members noted this with approval and comment was passed on the considerate and efficient way in which this process is being managed locally. 8) Planning Matters PH reported that AS had advised him that nothing significant had been proposed recently in our area. 9) Matters From Councillors BR had nothing further to add, and there was nothing of particular interest notified by the local councillors. 10) Any Other Competent Business No items had been notified. There was no other business and, at 8:30 p.m., MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is due to take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 11th January 2017 at The Inn & Bistro, Strathyre.


Kasia’s Cookin’

Another Bogle of Glen Ogle Here’s a wickedly delicious and tempting treat to make... to be eaten while you’re reading the poem (right)!

Hobgoblin’s Gooey Brownies Delicious brownies, full of chocolate and flavour. Soft inside, crunchy outside. Perfect for winter days.

There’s a Bogle in Glen Ogle And his name is Hamish Mor. Angus Og’s his brother You’ve heard of him before. Now Angus is a shy wee chap But Hamish is not the same, When there’s trouble in the village He’s always in the frame. When socks are missing from the line Or Owen’s milk turns sour This truly is a ghostly sign Wild Hamish’s been on tour. He sneaks out from the bracken And surfs the Ogle Burn Shrieking at the frightened sheep As he makes a skidding turn. Into the village pub he creeps And steals a sneaky slurp Of whisky or a pint of beer Then leaves with a ghostly burp. So if your washing’s missing Or your glass is just half full Be sure it’s only Hamish Mor That mischief making ghoul. Fiona Martin

Ingredients: 190g dark chocolate 190g salted butter 3 large eggs 150g caster sugar 115g plain flour Icing sugar to decorate Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 20x24 cm baking tin. Melt butter & chocolate together slowly in pan. Set aside and cool. Beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Transfer into the chocolate mixture. Fold flour into egg mixture until smooth and fully combined. Pour into a lined tin and bake for 15-20 minutes- until the top is dry but middle still soft. When cool cut into squares and dust with icing sugar. Enjoy! (Thanks to Kelly for the recipe.)

Now at Venachar Lochside!

Kasia 17

SEEING STARS by Keith Wilson 

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs makes Countryfile shortlist Loch Lomond & The Trossachs has been shortlisted for the title of National Park of the Year 2017. It is the only Scottish National Park named in the five finalists for the title by BBC’s Countryfile Magazine.  Now in their sixth year, the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2017 are a celebration of the British countryside and its people, from great heritage attractions and our favourite holiday destinations to the best nature reserves and the finest rural pubs. This year’s awards feature 12 categories, and launch in the February 2017 issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine and online on 19 January. BBC Countryfile Magazine has asked experts in each field to draw up a shortlist of nominees in each category.  Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park has been chosen by Countryfile presenter John Craven alongside:   -       Yorkshire Dales -       Peak District -       South Downs -       Snowdonia   Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, said: “Loch Lomond & The Trossachs is an incredibly special place with rolling lowland landscapes to high mountains, lochs and rivers, forests and woodlands.  “It’s also a living, working landscape, home to many wildlife as well as offering a huge range of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy.  “Each of the 15 National Parks across the UK are wonderful, unique places and we are honoured to be shortlisted 18

Countryfile’s John Craven

among the other nominees for National Park of the Year.”   Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park covers 720 square miles, including 21 Munros, two forest parks and the UK’s new and largest National Nature Reserve – The Great Trossachs Forest.  Countryfile Magazine Editor Fergus Collins says: “The awards provide a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to the best of the British countryside. Our experts have nominated a range of exceptional contenders and I look forward to hearing our readers’ views and discovering which nominees prove the popular favourites.”   The winners are decided by public vote and will be announced mid-March. Voting is open from 19th January until 28th February 2017.   You can vote online on the BBC Countryfile Magazine website,  www.   Alternatively, you can vote by post, sending the form in the February issue of the magazine to BBC Countryfile Magazine, Tower House, Fairfax Street, Bristol, BS1 3BN.

FEBRUARY On a clear winter night look to the south and you will see the brightest star in our night sky Sirius. It appears so bright because it lies fairly close to us, just over 8 light years away. The ancient Greeks called Sirius ‘Seirios’ which translates to ‘scorcher’. They believed that as the star rose in the late summer it’s extra heat would result in hot and humid days - dog days - and so it is nicknamed the ‘dog star’. Across the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt the Egyptians looked on the appearance of Sirius as a welcome sight as it coincided with the flooding of The Nile which in turn would, they hoped, lead to a good harvest. Sirius can be found in the constellation of Canis Major which represents one of Orion’s two hunting dogs. It’s much younger than our sun and unlike our star it has a faint companion star known as a white dwarf which is in the process of dying and will eventually become a dead black world orbiting its glowing companion.

Camping byelaws coming into effect on 1st March Camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the National Park whether in a campsite along an idyllic lochshore or river, or for those who prefer the solitude of ‘wild camping’ away from the hustle and bustle. New byelaws coming in this spring will affect those wanting to camp in some loch shore locations in the National Park, whether they are staying in a tent, campervan or motorhome. The new byelaws come into effect on the 1st March and they will cover camping in designated Camping Management Zones and fire lighting. Their purpose is to protect some of the most fragile loch shores within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, and will help manage camping in some of the busiest areas of the Park from March to September each year. There are four Camping Management Zones, which include some of the most heavily used loch shores in the National Park. Together they make up less than 4% of the National Park area, so most of the Park will not be affected by the byelaws. Camping will be possible within the Camping Management Zones in designated permit areas and campsites. The byelaws will create 300 camping

spaces in East Loch Lomond, West Loch Lomond, Trossachs North, and Trossachs West. The cost of camping permits within the permit areas will be £3 per night per tent or motorhome. The National Park’s informal campsites in the zones will cost £7 per adult per night, with under 16s free. Costs at private campsites vary. Camping anywhere not in a Camping Management Zone is not affected by the byelaws and camping across the entire Park from October to February is unaffected. The Park Authority are running a wide-ranging information campaign highlighting how to camp responsibly within the National Park including ‘wild camping’ outwith the camping management zones, as well as camping

in permit areas and informal campsites and private campsites. A series of information roadshows will be taking place in local communities later in February. Details of these events will be publicised locally as well as online through Facebook. com/lomondtrossachs and Twitter @ lomondtrossachs. A series of leaflets and maps highlighting how to camp in the National Park are also being produced. Anyone coming to camp in the National Park between March and September is being urged to plan and book ahead if they are coming to one of the Camping Management Zones. For more information or to book permits and campsites go to www.

Resort Director of 5 Star Cameron House Resort is New Chair for Love Loch Lomond Destination Organisation Love Loch Lomond is delighted to announce the appointment of its new Chairman, Andy Roger, Resort Director of Cameron House, Loch Lomond, who takes over from Beth MacLeod of Knockderry Country House Hotel. A graduate of Edinburgh University, Andy Roger has had an impressive career in hospitality to date. After taking on his first General Manager’s role aged 27 with Hotel du Vin in Tunbridge Wells, he moved to the North East and opened Malmaison in Aberdeen. He later returned to Glasgow as General Manager of One Devonshire Gardens and in 2013, moved to his present location at Cameron House, first as Operations Director, then Resort General Manager. He became Resort Director of Cameron House in March 2016. Resort Director Andy Roger leads a team of over five hundred staff and is in charge of the 5 star, 136 bedroom resort, including the Carrick Spa and 18 Hole Championship Golf Course.

Current projects include managing an exciting, ongoing multimillion-pound refurbishment of the hotel to enhance the food and beverage offering, the hotel’s public spaces and rooms, and the resort’s unique natural setting on Loch Lomond; with its most recent developments already winning positive feedback from guests. Commenting on his new role as Chair of Love Loch Lomond, Andy Roger said: “I am delighted to be taking over the role as Chairman of LLL having been involved for the past two to three years. Beth has done a fantastic job in steering the Board through the challenges of the past year or two and I look forward to the next chapter for Love Loch Lomond as we embark on our plans for 2017 and beyond in continuing to keep Loch Lomond at the forefront of the Scottish Tourism experience.” Love Loch Lomond Destination Manager Karen Donnelly said: “We thank Beth McLeod for her significant contribution to our destination development and we look

forward to benefiting from Andy’s industry expertise, energy and commitment in an exciting year for our industry partners and business members and the next phase of Love Loch Lomond”.


Ranger’s Review by Gareth Kett

It isn’t unusual for the Ranger Service, returning to work after the New Year break, to find damage from high winds and heavy rain to deal with. But not this year. Winter site checks are continuing as usual, but the calm, mild autumn has become a calm, mild winter, meaning that so far storm damage has been minimal. This has allowed the Ranger Service to catch up with more routine maintenance tasks such as culvert and ditch clearance on Ben Vorlich and the West Highland Way and repairs to site infrastructure such as benches and signs across the National Park. We’ve also continued monitoring wetland bird species across the Park’s lochs through the Wetland Bird Survey, contributing to a national database, while keeping abreast of the Park wildlife population dynamics. The database is used by the Government and conservation organisations to monitor climate change and to inform decisions on conservation priorities and policy. While 2016 was a good year for golden eagle (as discussed in December’s Ranger Review), perhaps the year’s most significant conservation success story came at the end of the year when the Environment Secretary Rosanna Cunningham announced that European beavers are to be allowed to remain in Scotland and will receive legal protection under the EU Habitats Directive (1). This follows the findings of a five-year trail beaver reintroduction at Knapdale and research into the impacts of the Tay beaver population that has become established over the past fifteen years or so following escapes from private collections and/or illegal releases. While white-tailed sea eagles, red kites and capercaillie have been reintroduced to Scotland having been driven to extinction by persecution, over-hunting and habitat destruction, the acceptance of the beaver marks the first time that a mammal has been officially reintroduced to Scotland. The ministerial decision recognizes the fact that beavers are one of Scotland’s few remaining keystone species (a keystone species is a species that has a disproportionately large effect on its 20

environment relative to its abundance) (2), playing a crucial role in promoting biodiversity and reducing flooding. Beavers are amongst the world’s best natural engineers creating wetlands and restoring native woodlands, but in doing so they can cause significant problems for farmers and land managers so, while beavers will receive legal protection under the EU habitats Directive, there will also be provision for management measures up to and including culling under licence. They were hunted to extinction around 300 years in an era that also saw the extinctions of two other keystone species in Scotland – the wild boar and the lynx. Locally, with patience you can watch beavers on the River Dochart, at Lochtayhead and near Comrie. The Ranger Service will be working with Killin Primary School pupils over the next couple of months studying beavers and other wildlife in the Killin area for their John Muir Awards. Another of Scotland’s keystone species is the Atlantic salmon. They spend between one and four years at sea before migrating up to 4000km back to their natal areas to spawn. After spawning all the male and most of the female salmon, die releasing valuable nutrients into the water, which in turn supports aquatic flora and fauna. However their influence goes beyond this as predators/scavengers such as otters, foxes, mink, eagles, buzzards, cormorants and herons feed on dead and dying salmon before later relieving themselves away from the river releasing nutrients onto the ground. In this way nutrients collected by salmon in the Atlantic enter Scottish aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The transfer of nutrients from spent salmon to terrestrial ecosystems would have been even more dramatic if wolves and bears still roamed Scotland, and returning salmon numbers hadn’t declined by more than 65% since the 1970s due to climate change (3), overfishing, fish farming and pollution (4). We are looking forward to resuming our Salmon in the Classroom programme with Crianlarich Primary School in February when pupils will learn about Atlantic salmon; their ecology, threats and place in the Scottish economy.


Many thanks for all your reports of wildlife sightings. As usual if you have anything you wish to discuss or any wildlife sightings to report you are welcome to drop into the Lochearnhead Office, or you can contact me by e-mail at gareth.kett@lochlomond-trossachs. org, or call me on 01389 722044. If I’m not in the office please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

References: 1. 2. Paine, R.T. (1995). “A Conversation on Refining the Concept of Keystone Species”. Conservation Biology. 9 (4): 962–964. 3. population_trends.asp 4. NaturallyScottish/riverrunners/salmonpressures.asp

Scottish Wildlife Trust


(SWT) Callander Group Meet 7:30pm in Callander Kirk Hall. Suggested donations: £2 members, £2.50 non-members, free to full-time students, includes tea/coffee & biscuits.

Tuesday 14 February ‘Short-Eared Owls’  by Neil Morrison Scottish Raptor Group (Tayside group)

Tuesday 14 March ‘Dragonflies in Scotland’ by Daniele Muir Scotland Officer of British Dragonfly Society

Scottish Wildlife Trust Ben Lawers and LL&TNP Helen Cole, manager of the Ben Lawers Nature Reserve spoke to the Callander Scottish Wildlife group in November. Taking its name from the highest peak in the Central Highlands, it also includes nine peaks over 3000ft. It was bought by National Trust for Scotland in 1950 with the primary aim of conserving the rare plant species of national and international importance. Initially, most of the heritable grazing rights were retained but since 1990 NTS has managed to buy a third, easing the conflict with hungry deer & sheep. While plants often benefit from controlled grazing, several exclusion areas have been fenced to enable habitat restoration. The reserve has a huge diversity of habitats from higher alpine regions to lower grasslands and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), National Nature Reserve (NNR) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Rare and endangered plants include the Alpine forget-me-not, fleabane, gentian, bristle sedge and the Ben Lawers dandelion. It is also an important site for lower order plants with c.350 species of mosses & bryophytes and 500 species of lichen. Unusual fauna are also benefitting from the habitat restoration, including the mountain ringlet, pearl-bordered fritillary, blaeberry bumblebee, black grouse and water voles. Management is by a joint committee with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) on a 6-year rolling cycle that includes detailed monitoring. Taller plants are easily counted but ones like the 1”snow pearlwort require painstaking placement and counting of small flags while binoculars are needed for species such as alpine fleabane that survive only on high ledges. Trees and shrubs have not fared well, especially montane willows that only survived on inaccessible ledges but 5 species of willow and juniper have been successfully re-introduced from collected seed. Birch woodland up to 1800ft, planted with a seed-producing understory, has seen an explosion of moths and butterflies eg the bizarre pussmoth caterpillar, with consequent new birds. This area flanks the lower section of the footpath. Peat and blanket bog restoration is underway, covering bare patches with a mix of heather brash and sphagnum moss on top of a biodegradable mesh. In addition to management of specific

Ben Lawers, above; Puss Moth Caterpillar, left; Black Grouse, below.

plants and habitats, an in-house path building team repairs the paths worn by >30,000 walkers and mountain bikers annually. For more information see BenLawers. December’s speaker was Simon Jones, previously SWT’s project manager for the Scottish Beaver Trial but now Director of Conservation &Visitor Experience for Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 Gentian sets out four aims: to conserve & enhance the natural and cultural heritage, promote sustainable use of natural resources, (INNS). Habitat restoration concentrates promote understanding and enjoyment by on woodland habitats mountain bogs, the public and promote sustainable social including peatland restoration. All projects & economic development of the area’s depend on close working with other land communities. Specific policies and actions managers and conservation organisations are published in 5-year plans; http://www. like SWT and SNH. Perceived threats to biodiversity include; publications/. loss of habitat, pollution of water bodies 15,600 people live within the park while from land run-off, over-population of > 50% of Scotland’s population lives within deer and goats in upland areas leading to 1 hour and contributes to 7 million visitor reduced tree cover increased soil erosion, days per year. The majority of the land the spread of INNS and impact of climate is not in Park ownership; 56% is private, change eg flooding. 35% public, 5% in the hands of charities Questions inevitably included the Park’s & NGO’s. Land use is 65% agricultural, attitude to beavers. The policy is not to 27% woodlands/forestry with 7% covered proactively encourage but to manage them by water, both fresh and salt water lochs, where they occur naturally. The Trossachs adding a marine environment. does offer outstanding beaver habitat Conservation of natural resources and some from the Tay population have is covered in the Wild Park 2020 plan, already arrived, including in Loch Achray available on the Park website. The flagship and Glen Dochart. A team is mapping their species for habitat conservation are presence so if you see beavers or signs of red squirrels & black grouse along with their presence then the NP would like to control of invasive non-native species know. Lesley Hawkins 21


Killin Folk  Festival was previously held in the 90s, and lasted until the early 2000s. It was a prime entry on the festival calendar and was much missed when it fell by the wayside. Now, however, a modern, energetic team is running the Killin  Music  Festival in June 2017, bringing numerous headlining talents to the stage in Killin. In  our maiden year, we will welcome Skipinnish, Trail West, BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2015 Claire Hastings and her band, Donald Black, the Scott Wood Band and many more incredibly talented artists to our stage. The festival main stage is being run in the McLaren Hall, Killin - which will limit our ticket numbers considerably

compared to the other established festivals, but will result in smaller, more intimate gigs with our packed line-up. In view of ticket numbers being limited, we are encouraging festival goers to make use of local accommodation providers, as we won’t be running a festival campsite this year. This will be re-evaluated for next year, depending on this year’s success. Early bird weekend tickets are on sale now, via our website  www.  and are selling fast! Remaining day tickets and under 18s will go on sale at the end of February.  We are also encouraging impromptu music sessions throughout the village

in our session bars. There will also be numerous workshops going on. More details will be released nearer the time. We are also holding a fundraising concert in March to help with financing the festival. And we are looking for sponsors who would be interested in our sponsorship opportunities. We are very excited and proud to be bringing talent of this calibre to our festival stage, and we hope this sets the bar at a high standard for any of our future events. We look forward to welcoming the lucky ones that secure tickets in our first year - we’re sure you will have a weekend filled with memory making moments!

Why not come along and join us as we sing purely for fun every Thursday evening at Balquhidder Village Hall, 7.30 to 9pm. Refreshments at half-time! Contact Gill 01877 384203

“Sorry, son - there’s no app for that.”


Killin Mountain Rescue Over the past few weeks, Killin Mountain Rescue Team have been involved in a Mountain Safety initiative, working in partnership with PC Will Diamond from Police Scotland, Lochearnhead, PC Paul Barr from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, and the Lomond and Arrochar Mountain Rescue Teams. The aim of the initiative was to raise awareness of the issues that the Mountain Rescue Teams face on a daily basis, as well as providing safety advice to visitors coming to the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. Each year, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park select local charities that they fundraise for. This year, the charities benefiting from their generosity are the three local Mountain Rescue teams who are based within the National Park area which includes Killin MRT. The first thing that was focused on was promoting a“Stay Safe”safety leaflet which was created by Scottish Mountain Rescue (http://www.scottishmountainrescue. org/wp - content/uploads/2016/05/ Scotland-MR-leaflet-2016.pdf ) and so far 1000’s of leaflets have been dropped off across the National Park area in key locations such as visitor centres, tourist information offices and local shops and hotels etc. An issue that all Mountain Rescue teams find, is persons who become lost and unable to navigate themselves safely back. It is often found that people lost on the hills do not have a map and compass in their possession, but instead are trying to navigate using their mobile phones. There are some mobile apps that can be of assistance to us, and we decided to break the mould slightly in promoting the use of certain apps; however remaining mindful that they should never be seen as an alternative to traditional means of navigation by using a map and compass. One such app that can be used is called “OS Locate” and it is produced by Ordnance Survey. This app will provide the user with their GPS position and in times of emergency, this can be sent to the rescue teams to allow the team to locate them far quicker. We would recommend anyone heading out into the countryside to download the app before you go out. You can find out more information and download the app at shop/os-locate/  .  Ordnance Survey are also assisting with the initiative and are producing posters which will promote the app and these will again be distributed throughout the National Park area. The focus of the initiative has been a series of short informative videos, which

were developed by the Mountain Rescue teams themselves to aid park visitors. The three videos focus on preparing for a day in the hills, navigation and what to do if things go wrong. A briefing has also been created, which is aimed at Police officers and staff who may be the first to note details of a Mountain Rescue type incident. The briefing will cover how the teams are called out, what they can do to assist the Police and what information is required to allow the rescue teams to carry out their roles effectively. Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Lochearnhead Community Officer (and Killin MRT member) PC Will Diamond said “Every year across Scotland, Mountain Rescue Teams are called out to assist in search and rescue scenarios on a daily basis. There are over 800 volunteers across Scotland who aid 24hrs a day, all year round and will operate regardless of the weather or terrain. These volunteers regularly give up family and work time to turn out and assist complete strangers, often placing themselves in great danger to do so, and they do this often with little recognition. Hopefully this initiative will give some recognition to the vital roles that these individuals carry out.” National Park Police Officer PC Paul Barr added “ Working within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, we see a high footfall of visitors to our countryside, whether they be walkers, climbers or cyclists. Staff from Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park do a great job of encouraging people to make use of the countryside, and we wanted to continue promoting people to visit the area, but provide them with advice on how to enjoy the area safely. This will not only increase the safety of the visitors, but also in turn,

reduce the risks the Mountain Rescue teams face on a daily basis.” Bill Rose from Killin MRT added “The risk increases in the winter but this is a year-round initiative. We have been called out 34 times this year to help people and among them have been several who have simply downloaded a route from a website and gone out without a map or compass. Anyone heading out should take a map and compass, and download the OS Locate app on their smartphone as a backup. The app is free and can tell us exactly where you are.” PC 879 William Diamond Lochearnhead Community Officer Trossachs and Teith Community Team Police Scotland - Forth Valley Division Lochearnhead Police Office, Lochearnhead, FK19 8PT forth-valley/stirling/trossachs-and-teith Twitter: - @stirlingpol 


Happy New Year to all. I hope everyone had a peaceful and enjoyable time over the festive period with time to enjoy with the loved ones. The festive period has now come and gone, and we now look ahead to 2017. We continued to be busy across the festive period, but by in large most people were well behaved! On the 5th November, complaints were received in relation to the manner of a male’s driving on the A85 through Glen Ogle. The driver forced other motorists to take evasive action and he performed several dangerous overtakes. The male has subsequently been traced and a report has been prepared for the Procurator Fiscal. On the 18th November, Police attended an RTC on the A82 near to the Drovers Inn. The male driver was taken to hospital as a precaution and during the investigation was found to have committed a number of road traffic offences, including driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. He is now subject of a report the Procurator Fiscal. On the 22nd  and 23rd  November, two separate thefts occurred each night at the old Forestry Offices in Strathyre that are currently under renovation. On both nights, a van arrived and a male stole a large quantity of firewood each night. Any information with regards to the theft, please let me know.


Overnight between the 12th and 13th  of December 2016, a car had all four tyres slashed in Fingal Road, Killin. Then overnight between the 15th and 16th December, the tyre of a car was slashed in Ballechroisk Court, Killin. We are of the belief that both of these incidents are connected and would ask that if anyone has any information, they get in touch with Police.        On the 14th  December 2016, a male was stopped driving his car without any MOT, any insurance and issues with his driving licence. The male had his car seized and a report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal. On the 30th December 2016, a disturbance took place within Strathyre and the person responsible was arrested and held in custody to appear at court. Throughout November and December, there was a marked rise in the number of thefts taking place in the Callander area. A number of sheds, garages and outhouses were broken into and tools, garden machinery and bikes were stolen. There is every chance that the perpetrators will

be active within our own area, particularly observing houses that they see as potential targets. With that in mind, I would ask everyone to keep vigilant and call in with regards to suspicious vehicles and persons. Every report will be followed up, and it is particularly helpful if you are able to note vehicle registration numbers. There have been a few calls in recent weeks from concerned members of the communities about suspicious vehicles, and by following up with the owners, we have bottomed them out as false alarms. In my mind, it’s always better to report it and be on the safe side. As always, I can always be contacted on 101 or for those who prefer email, I can be contacted directly at    Regards, PC Will Diamond

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

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

David Johnston Production Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

Darts League - The Inn & Bistro - 7.00pm Choir Occasional - Balquhidder Village Hall - 7.30 to 9pm (contact Gill 01877 384203)


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

FEBRUARY 2017 28

Extraordinary General Meeting of the SVA - 7.30pm - Strathyre Village Hall

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

Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316

Sunday 11.30am Minister: Russel Moffat Dundurn Church, St Fillans Sunday11.30am Minister: Rev Graham McWilliams Tel: 01764 671 045


MARCH 2017

The Villagers’ Photographer Jason Allardyce 01877 384295 / 07508 595211 Wedding, Portrait, Social, Pet Photography Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 Councillor Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 924 Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07824 496 019

Callander, St Joseph the Worker Sunday 11.30am Saturday Vigil Mass 5.30pm from May through to September Killin, in the Episcopal Church Sunday 2.30pm Father Jim McCruden 2 Ancaster Square, Callander Tel: 01877 330 702

SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH St Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead 1st Sunday each month: 11.30am Communion 2nd Sunday 5.30pm Evensong 3rd Sunday 11.30am Communion 4th Sunday 5.30pm Evensong 5th Sunday (if applicable) 5.30pm FOOD FOR THOUGHT

A reflective time to discuss contemporary issues in a spiritual context

(Check with Rector for venue: 01764 655389)

Vestry Secretary - Maureen Lipscomb Tel: 01567 830234



We’ll send you or your friends The


£20.00 for 11 monthly issues (£40.00 for Europe and £50.00 for the rest of the world). All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, COIRE A CHROINE 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 .............................. BILLING NAME & ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM ABOVE Please send copies of The Villagers starting on ............................... for 11 months NAME ................................................................................................................................ ADDRESS .......................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................POSTCODE................................

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



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


Here are some images from the Christmas Tree Fest at Balquhidder. Thinking of taking part next year? Anyone can enter a tree - the more ingenious the better! See you in December!

The villagers february 2017  

Balquhidders festive fun and New Year Dance, St Fillans Bit, Lochearnhead Hogmanay Dance, Fun In Tandem with BLS Community (Matildas Musings...