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JULY 2010





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

Our Nation’s Rugby Future - Keeping it in the Family In Strathyre, the Nixon Brothers’ success on the rugby pitch goes from strength to strength. At the end of the McLaren RFC Minis 2010 season, the younger Nixon siblings scooped Player of the Year awards for both P4/5: Jamie and P6/7: Gregor following in the footsteps of their elder brother Andrew, who was awarded P6/7 Player of the Year for 2009. Their fine array of silverware is on display at the family home - The Inn and Bistro on Main Street, Strathyre. Well done boys, all the hard work and cold dreich Saturday training sessions really have brought rewards - a trophy cabinet will soon be needed.

With so much local rugby talent around Strathyre and Balquhidder - Duncan Hendry (P7 Winner), Connor Ramsay -Clapham (P6 Runner-up) and Harry Barker (P4 Winner) to name but a few, the next generation of Strathyre Highlanders is sure to be a formidable team of the future. A special thanks for all the parental support, transport, freezing noses and toes on the wintry touchline and gallons of delicious warming soup, courtesy of Chef/Dad Stephen Nixon, that make it all possible. Good luck for the 2011 season, keep up the hard work and the trophy cabinet will soon be bursting at the seams.

Jamie and Gregor Nixon

Ruaridh Leishman

In Balquhidder, Ruairidh Leishman, who plays rugby for Stirling County RFC under18s, Caledonia District under17s and McLaren High School, has just returned from two weeks in Viadana, Italy, having been invited to join the Glasgow Thistles rugby development trip. To be invited is a considerable honour and to be a Glasgow Thistle means being a member of a very small and exclusive group of players – only seventeen were invited this year. The success of the Thistles is never easy to measure although it can be clearly demonstrated by the number of Glasgow Thistles who have gone on to achieve rugby honours at the highest possible levels in domestic, professional and international rugby.

Angus Leishman

Younger brother Angus, who plays for Stirling County under15s, the Crusaders under15s district team, and McLaren High School, spent ten days at Easter with Stirling County under15s touring Orthez and Biarritz in South West France and Madrid in Spain. This was a very successful tour and on return Angus was voted “Player of the Tour”. He has just been selected for Crusaders under16s. In January this year Ruairidh joined the UK Sport Olympic ‘Tall and Talented’ programme which he hopes will lead to competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by being selected for the ‘World Start Rowing Programme’. 1500 young people aged between 16 and 23, and taller than 1.9m, had applied, from whom 800 from all over Britain were selected for Phase 1 tests. Ruairidh, one of the youngest competitors, attended an assessment day at Stirling University where everyone underwent an extensive series of tests to identify their suitability for rowing. He was successful in showing an aptitude for the sport and was invited to take part in the final selection phase which consisted of just 50 athletes attending the National Rowing Centre at Nottingham for a 3-day course. On completion of this final phase he was not selected. However, this was a valuable experience and bodes well for the future!


This is the month for congratulations - Villagers young and slightly older are celebrating their achievements, be it in sport, entertainment or academia. We are happy to blow the trumpets for you - well done to everyone. The Gardenshare Scheme is one in which I am very happy to take part, being one of those who has lost the battle with the encroaching weeds. It seems a shame to let a good piece of ground go to waste and my plot has become very fertile since I kept pigs a few years ago. I miss those friendly creatures so much but the cost of keeping porkers even for a short six months has increased to such an extent that it is impossible to contemplate on my own. However, if anyone local is interested I would love to share another porcine adventure. The other idea I had for my garden is to turn it into a patch of heather hillside in order to keep bees. There is a great danger that the bee populations in this country will decline so fast that they can never recover and that would spell disaster for our ecology. Fruit farmers are already very worried indeed that their crops will suffer if the main pollinators die out. The British Beekeepers Association says “What is clear at present is that there is no one factor causing the problem. The causes of pollinator declines are likely to be complex and involve interactions between pollinators, the environment and the pests and diseases that affect these insects.” We already have wonderful local honey from the Hendry’s up at Immeroin and perhaps down here at Auchtubh we could also do our bit. Anyone interested? Marguerite Kobs



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

15.0 ºC 25.1 4.4 -3.2

59.0 ºF 77.0 39.9 26.4

Rainfall: 2.7 cms 1.08 ins Strongest wind gust: 26 mph on 27th May 2

Taekwondo Triumphs Back in April, my Dad and I took part in the TTA UK Team Taekwondo Championships at the Time Capsule in Coatbridge. All the clubs from around the UK were there and it was very full. We had to wait a long time Dan with his Dad Lee for it to start and when we finally got in all my friends from our club, Falkirk and Callander Taekwondo, were there. I was competing in the under 30 Kg weight category and I had to wear lots of body armour because I could have got hurt. In Taekwondo, you learn to defend yourself using your hands and feet. Taekwondo means “the way of the hand and foot” in Korean. My first fight came and the atmosphere was very tense. The bell rang for the start of the fight. I could hear everyone cheering me on and as the bell rang for the end, I felt pleased that I had won. I was especially glad because the boy I had beaten, had beaten me in a previous competition. My second fight was not as successful as the first one because the person I was fighting was from my club and he was also better than me. I lost 12-11 and I was sad because I had been knocked out of the weight category. After all the fights had finished, the award ceremony started. I got a bronze medal and when I stood on the podium everyone started cheering. My dad won a gold medal as he was in a team of blue belt adults who won 3 out of their 5 bouts. We had a team photo afterwards and everyone smiled as all our medals counted towards the Club Championships and we had won, so we were UK Champions for the fourth time in a row. When we got home from the competition I had a shower and then I went to bed. I felt tired - but happy! Dan Hesp HELP WANTED Some personal care together with cooking and housework 4 days a week (days are negotiable) 9.00am -12.30pm £95.33 per week Please phone 01877 384 715

The St Fillans Bit Cassius said of Julius Caesar “Why man, he doth bestride the narrow world like a colossus, and we petty men walk under his huge legs and peep about.” In St Fillans abides our own ‘colossus’ in the unlikely form of Angus Ross who, in April, completed a serious challenge in tackling a 74 mile trek along the Great Glen in aid of Maggies Cancer Centres. Angus completed the 30 mile mountain bike section through the forests and hills between Fort William and Fort Augustus and then a 40 mile hike on to Inverness – and all in 22 hours. Angus was part of the Scottish Prison Service team (let out for the day) who participate regularly in the challenge and to date have

Ian and Angus

raised over £80,000 for Maggies. Please form an orderly queue to ‘walk under his huge legs and peep about’. On second thoughts... Meantime the fairer sex (by some distance), namely three of St Fillans Golf Club ladies, were storming the Comrie Open on May 12 and scooping up the prizes. In the Silver Division Scratch, Ena Bennie took 1st place and Janis Whyte 3rd, while Rita Milburn won the Bronze Division and was overall winner of The Laggan Braes Trophy with 41 Stableford points. At the Mixed Open on June 12 fifty couples from around the area competed and the winners were again St Fillans Club duo Ali Ferguson and Mike Calder. Must be all down to the determined single minded inspiration of Club Manager Gordon ‘Fabio’ Hibbert (*) (* as I write England have just qualified for the knock out stages of some obscure competition in Africa which, I am told, Scotland did not enter. In the interests of Civil Order and good taste the Editor will probably strike this paragraph). The annual St Fillans Golf Club BBQ was enjoyed by 110 members and guests on June 19 after the Captain v Vice Captain

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

Open Daily for Bar Lunch 12-2.30pm Two courses from £9.99 Supper 6-9pm in the Tarken Bistro Dinner 7-9pm in the Meall Reamhar Restaurant Friday Night is Fish Night in the Tarken Bistro ‘Make Sunday Special’ Traditional Sunday Roast lunch 12-2.30pm Monthly Theme Night in the Tarken Bar 6-9pm.

St Fillans Ladies Golf Winners: Janis, Rita and Ena

team competition in which the Vice Captain’s team, lead by Ena Bennie (she’s back again) and Fraser Ballantyne, were clear victors. Various fundraising activities over the day raised some £900 for the purchase of new picnic tables – a far better way to enjoy the splendour of St Fillans Golf Course than belting way at a wee ball I’d have thought, far less stressful. Which flows nicely into the news that Four Seasons Chef Matthew Martins was shortlisted to take part in the Escoffier Challenge Ecosse 2010 in June and won the competition. He will now go forward to represent Scotland at the UK Finals in London later this year. The next theme night at The Four Seasons is on July 14 when it’s Chinese Night, a night which will get even a committed dieter like me out for a meal. Mary reminds me that their conference room is available to book for smaller parties of up to twenty and that they are happy to discuss ideas for your party if you pop in or phone them. On June 2 the Community Council hosted a presentation by RAF Squadron Leader (rtd) John Gilbert on low flying exercises in the local area. It seems that John has received hostile receptions when giving his presentation in other areas but in St Fillans the audience was receptive and interested in the history of the RAF and in an awe-inspiring video made by RAF crews of their day to day duties in Afghanistan, some involving Chinook helicopters and extremely precarious landing sites (like

Continued overleaf

This month: 14th July - Chinese Night!

The Four Seasons Hotel, St Fillans

01764 685 333


Continued from page 3

the top of a mountain looking little bigger than a dining room table). To minimize public nuisance the RAF restrict plane training flights to the hours between11.00am and 7.00pm but helicopter flights are unrestricted. An interesting fact is that the planes must keep a minimum distance of 250 ft between them and ‘objects’ – i.e. us – but those of you with basic physics knowledge like wot I dun at the Gramma Skool will quickly (?) work out that at 400 mph a plane is covering 352 feet a second. So when one of those paraffin budgies goes over St F we are 0.7 seconds from being toast. Wish I hadn’t done that sum! Seriously, low flying training is like Budget Cuts – fine if they don’t affect me (topical, eh?) but if we want young guys to risk their lives on our behalf then we have to accept that they have to train. I’m told that one of the audience was McLarty’s ewe, Florence, who asked if flights could be cancelled during the lambing season since a Tornado had scared her witless at the point of birth and Moira had to get two wheelbarrows to carry off six wee bleeting lambs born in a record 4.8 seconds. Isobel Howell gave me the précis for the above paragraph because I was not at the presentation as I didn’t make the effort to attend. She makes the point that the only disappointing part of the evening was the poor turnout of villagers, especially after interest shown previously in the subject. The CC are considering further presentations on matters of interest to the community but can only do that if we support them – memo to self. One forthcoming event which I’m sure will be well supported is the visit of Nigel Ogden to Dundurn Church in St Fillans on Sunday, August 15 at 7.30 p.m. Nigel is well known (even to a philistine like me) as presenter and player on the BBC2 programme ‘The Organist Entertains’. He is equally at home on church organs, electronic and theatre organs (or even on the stool at a push) and has recorded many CDs on the organ which first sparked his interest – the Blackpool Tower Wurlitzer. He regularly travels the UK to play concerts of classical and popular light music in churches. Tickets to hear Nigel play cost just £10 and include a glass of wine or soft drink and light refreshments and can be obtained from The Church Office in Comrie (telephone 01764 679184). The far less salubrious happening upcoming

is the St Fillans Festive Weekend on Friday to Sunday 13-15 August. Format is similar to previous years with some twists and innovations and starts with the village cricket match on the Friday evening, followed by a ceilidh in the marquee with a light supper. Saturday sees the BBQ with games, sports – contact Harry or Russell if you fancy entering a team - and general merriment with a (not compulsory) theme of Blazers, Bonnets and Bow Ties. Then on Sunday the ever popular Allander Jazz Band will entertain during a Hog Roast. Tickets for the whole three days cost £30 for an adult and £6 for a child (under 14, I think) and individual day adult tickets will be £12. Tickets available by the time you read this from Angus, Russell, John Stanyon, Harry or Don Forrester. I’m not sure how many villagers saw the recent Landward programme on TV during which there was a visit to St Fillans, and more specifically to Rose Cottage. The visit was to compare the garden of the cottage in 1874 to that now and included a fascinating photograph of the garden as it was in 1874. Snapper Fraz recorded the transmission and the picture you

see on this page was photographed off the TV screen so isn’t perfect but it’s well worth including here as a reminder of just what a ‘garden’ meant all those years ago. The presenter pointed out that in 1874 there was no village store (Liam had only just been born) and villagers had to be self sufficient as far as possible – hence the extent of cultivation. Long standing residents of St F will remember that only twenty odd years ago the garden at Rose Cottage was run as a boat yard and repair facility by the renowned Jimmy Mills – I’m told that he, Geordie Bennie and Bert Morrison had a rare thirst in those days, quenched, of course, at The Drummond. Thanks to all who have passed on contributions this month, I’ve had to edit them because of the amount of input but that’s a far better chore than struggling for content as in some months. Keep it coming! John Murray

Rose Cottage

The Village Store St Fillans

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

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

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BALQUHIDDER SUMMER MUSIC ow in its 25th year, this concert N series promotes the enjoyment of

classical music in this rural community and provides a platform for young musicians starting out on their careers. The concerts are performed in the historic Balquhidder Parish Church designed by David Bryce, in a beautiful venue set among the stunning scenery of the Braes o’ Balquhidder. All concerts take place at 7pm, giving

A date for your diary:


Highland Games and Gathering

Saturday 24 July

BLS? Although the games are held in Lochearnhead now, it is the case that these are officially the Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Highland Games and Gathering - and that’s just the point; this is an event for the whole area covered by the Villagers, held in traditional form. Not only are there Open Heavyweight Championship competitors, solo pipers and fine highland dancers on show but also we always enjoy our track and field events, open to all. Our guest pipe band leading the procession and playing during the day will be The Badenoch and Strathspey Pipe Band who have kindly given up a competition day to entertain us. We will be supported once again by trade stands, meals and refreshment outlets and there is plenty of fun to be had in our own bar tent where the popular local group ‘Pure Malt’ will play from 4.00pm till close of day. We really encourage our spectators to join in our fun races for the kids and the ladies; cash prizes too! Our Local Games It costs around £9000 to stage The Games every year. We do not have any commercial sponsors; instead, over thirty patrons and local businesses generously donate to The Games and the balance of our income comes from gate receipts,

time to return to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, and all parts of Central Scotland. There is adequate parking around the church. Ticket prices: standard £8, concessions £6, under 15s free. The church has more than 200 seats, and average audience size is about 100, so there should be no need to pre-book individual seats. Season tickets are available at £30 for all 6 concerts or £20 for any 4 concerts. We rely on the generosity of local individuals and organisations. If you are interested in supporting us, please have a look at our sponsorship page - you can join our mailing list or contact us.

trade stands and bar profits. This makes it a genuinely local effort which includes the hard work of all the villagers and friends who help to set up the field and work behind the scenes on the day; more than seventy in all. Our thanks go to Dr Kinloch of Edenchip for donating the field for our use. A Gathering Although generally referred to as The Games, the event is equally important as the Gathering of the Clans MacLaren and Macgregor who come from all over Scotland and indeed the world, to participate in the opening march and to greet their chief and fellow clansmen. The event is a gathering of friends from far and wide who come to meet up, enjoy the atmosphere, music and spectacle. Why not come along this year? The Ceilidh A few years ago we decided to run our own bar tent. This has proved to be popular (better prices and more variety) and financially successful. Our band ‘Pure Malt’ promise that the same fun is to be had again this year. Catch them in the Ceilidh atmosphere from 4.00pm till closing. A Fun Day That’s what the organisers set out to

f 2010 Concert Summary --- 4 July ---

Trio Burnsteeg

(soprano, flute, piano) --- 11 July ---

“Blue Remembered Hills” (soprano, tenor, string quartet) --- 18 July ---

Ursula Smith (cello) and Jordi Bitloch (piano) --- 25 July ---

“She loves me... not!”

(RSAMD vocal trio with piano) --- 1 August ---

Northern Lights (wind quintet)

More concert details can be found at

f provide. A fun day out for family and friends in the beautiful and traditional setting of the Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Highland Games. Saturday 24 July at Lochearnhead Games Field from 12noon onwards with the opening March and Procession led by Badenoch and Srathspey Pipe Band and this year’s Chieftain Robert Gibbon, at 1.00pm. Why not come along? Entry is just £5.00 for adults. (£3.00 for pensioners and those under 16). Car parking is free. We hope to see you there. Alex Gargolinski Secretary/Treasurer


Pin-Feathers* by Old Nyati

*Once in demand by Victorian miniaturists, the tiny pin-feather comes from the leading edge of a woodcock’s wing and only two such feathers occur on each bird (one on each wing). This month Old Nyati describes the point where, as in the poem by Robert Frost, ‘two roads diverge’.


ust a stroll from Balquhidder there is a place where, if you have a ‘wee’ call of nature, half will go to Glasgow and half will go to Edinburgh! Let me show you the way; we call it the meeting of the waters, or should it be separation of the waters? Take the road from Balquhidder up through that delightful clachan of Ballinluig to Ballimore, parallel with the old drover’s road on the right, until at Ballimore you see the footpath sign to Brig o’Turk. Then take the path as it follows the Calair Burn to its source on the watershed, climb a little way up to the left on Bealach a’Chonnaidh and you will see why it is called by that name; my nearest translation from the Gaelic is, “The high place with two views”. Well it really is if you look to left and right. Now look straight down, with Ben More in the far distance and you will see where the moss spills its water both ways, left

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveller, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost 6

towards Brig o’Turk and right as the source of our own Calair Burn. So if you do answer that ‘wee’ call around here, half will go to Glasgow via Loch Katrine and half will go to Edinburgh via the Calair, Balvaig,Teith and so to the Forth; it is worth a try. If you have done that, let us now wobble our way back with the Calair on the left below us. Notice the different levels of erosion and false shore lines as it winds along the foot of the Glen, a smaller version of the ‘Parallel Roads’ in Glen Roy, above Spean Bridge and certainly caused by prehistoric falls in the water level as an ice dam somewhere near Ballimore slowly collapsed in stages and melted away, leaving an outwash plain beyond. Have a look at at the burn just above and behind the Black Isle cottage, under the remains of the bridge to the Mill from Stronvar as it crashes over the rocks, those pots worn into the boulders by gravel and swirling water. How long did it take for

Top: Meeting of the waters from Bealach a’Chonnaidh; above: false shore lines and drumlins above the Calair Burn, near its source

them to form? There are more of them just upstream of the Calair bridge on the back road to Strathyre. During the last Ice Age the ice cap around here was up to 4,000ft high, so only the Munros would have been showing through the top and then the glaciers would have carved out our glens, followed by the water from the meltdown. We can still see plenty of evidence of that huge event in time. Oh! and if you do go... beware the ticks in the long heather, my own catch was FOUR, and SEVEN on the dog!

Bealach a’Chonnaidh (on the left) - source of the Calair Burn

Balquhidder: The Thin Place v

Launch of a Magical and Spiritual Trail


Visitors to the Glen can now enjoy some great magical and spiritual highlights as a result of the launch of this exciting new trail. The trail was formally launched by Clan Chief Donald MacLaren on Sunday 6 June 2010 at Balquhidder Village Hall. Commending the work of local people in researching and producing a guide to the trail, Donald commented on how it contributed to ‘tasteful tourism’ and would give those visiting the Glen a real sense of its folklore, history, culture and ambience. The trail is the brainchild of four local businesses and was produced with National Park ScottsLand funding. Many thanks go to the support and hard work of the following individuals without whom it would not have been possible:

• Charlie Hunter for researching and designing the trail • Harriet Methven for the wonderful illustrations • Alasdair Nimmo for the stunning photography and help with images • Christine Cooper for distribution and launch organisation • Alison Inglis for desktop publishing and project management Copies of the trail can be obtained from any of the above individuals, local village shops, accommodation/service providers and from the leaflet dispenser attached to the Village Hall noticeboard. You will also soon be able to download a copy from the Scottsland website: and the LETI website:

The guide cover. Photography by Alasdair Nimmo.

Team Villagers... O spare a thought for those who work Behind the scenes of our fair mag! Whatever trials and tensions lurk Be sure those minions will not lag. Though time be short, and nights be long And spelling grim, and grammar wrong, Though copy date may come e’er fast There’s dedication unsurpassed. Mayhap the grey hairs grow apace And wrinkles deepen on the brow; Our job is done. The monthly race Is over. We may sleep well now. And what remains? No need to ask: To count the spoils. An easy task. Anon

The Editor The Production Manager

The “Collector”


Church News Balquhidder Now that summer is well and truly here, the Church and Balquhidder Village Hall will be holding their regular Strawberry Cream Teas fundraising event in Reg. Charity No. SCO12316 the hall on the afternoon of Sunday 18 July. Last year a fire in Callander and severe travel disruption marred the event, so we are hoping for a successful afternoon this time! We are now on course to produce a Church Christmas card this year, which, we hope, will appeal to folk generally and raise funds to meet last winter’s fuel bills. Raising funds to keep the Church going is a sensitive subject, but it is by no means the be-all and end-all of Church activities. The Church is there for the local community as well as its members and this is obvious at times of both celebration and sadness. Visitors to the Church frequently ask if we have services and express surprise when told that they are held every Sunday. The timing at 12.00 noon may be awkward for some, especially those with young children. However, we emphasise that the services are very child friendly. There is a Sunday school in the Friendship Room during the service and, of course, parents can accompany their children if they wish. Tea and biscuits afterwards help to keep everyone going. Jean Edwards

Enjoying wonderful views over Loch Earn and the surrounding countryside

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

Reservations - Tel: 01567 830229 Fax: 01567 830364

email: 8

Active Scotland Outdoor Activities We provide instruction for water skiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding as well as towable rides and speed boat blasts. On land we provide bike hire and a quad bike trek experience. Visit us next to the Clachan Cottage Hotel on Crieff Road , Lochearnhead. WakeScot 14th August 2010 WakeScot and The Jamie MacGregor Cup will be up for grabs again on August 14. WakeScot is recognised by both governing bodies as Loch Earn’s only official wakeboarding event. New line up and great prizes on the day! Active Scotland Crieff Road, Lochearnhead 01567 830321

A New Roof For St Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead As I write this article, the slaters are busy with the final push on the roof of St Angus’s Church, which will soon be returned to us fully restored. The work has had its moments with more rot discovered than expected and a last minute decision to pay more and get a fully insulated roof, both of which have additional costs written all over them. Stitts of Killin worked hard to achieve a very high standard of work. The slates are a timely reminder of how generous not only our congregation has been in raising money but also the congregations of St Columbas’s, Crieff and St Serf’s in Comrie, our linked churches. Huge thanks to them and also to the local people who have been so generous to us. Since the turn of the year, we have had “Coffee and Pancakes” on

Slaters at work

Shrove Tuesday, the “Silent Auction”, the “Open Gardens” event and a “Buy a Slate” appeal and these four events have raised about £6,000 and, with grants, we are just about there. A fantastic effort by everybody involved. The church was taken out of commission once work started and we thought a couple of weeks would do it but we soon decided that we would not return until all the scaffolding was removed and we could give the church a “real good blitz”. We have been able to hire Lochearnhead Village Hall and worshipping outwith our traditional home has been an interesting experience. It was akin to being landed into a different place and making of it what we could. Everybody turned up trumps and I suppose the best way to describe it was like wartime when you made the best of what you had. We had an altar, candles, prayer books, hymnbooks and sometimes CD’s and at other times Alan Clarke’s very commanding voice led us on our way. Most people have enjoyed these services and our thanks go to our stoic sacristans for seeing us through. For Pam and me these services have been very uplifting and I sincerely hope we can carry the camaraderie experienced in the Hall back to St Angus’s when we resume “normal service”.

Alan and Joan Clarke with Fiona Martin and Bruce Allen

I was interested to read Jean Edward’s article in lasts month’s edition when she said that fundraising was needed to pay for heating the church during next winter. It’s a great shame that our churches can’t be better supported during the year and they are mighty useful places to visit when on holiday and for weddings and funerals. We just expect them to be there when we need them. It’s a dilemma facing all churches. Lawrie Hopkins - Secretary

For Sale ONLY £375.00


Callander Rambling Club

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 in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New Members and guests are always welcome.

JULY • Sat 3rd 8.30am LDP, SWSW (6) Melrose to Lauder (10 miles) Paul Prescott 01877-330032 • Wed 7th 9.30am Stroll - Argaty and Kilbryde (5 miles) Norma Thornton 01877-331588 • Sat 10th 8.30am Hill - An Caisteal & Beinn a’ Chroin (995m) Richard Cooper 01877-331067 • Wed 14th 9.30am Ramble - Balquhidder to Brig O’Turk (10 miles) Bob Rennie 01877-330930 • Sat 17th 8.30am LDP, SWSW (7) Lauder to Watch Water Reservoir (12 miles) Paul Prescott 01877-330032 AUGUST • Wed 11th 9:30am Stroll - Bochastle 4 miles Carol Cruickshank 07970-509911


Professor Sheila Bird


• Sat 14th 8:30am Hill - Ben Challum 1025m Mike Hawkins 01877-339080 • Sat 21st 8:30am LDP SWSW (8) Watch Water to Abbey St Bathans 9 miles Paul Prescott 01877-330032 • Sat 28th 8:30am Ramble Around Glen Finglas Reservoir 8 miles Keith Niven 01877-376200

Professor Sheila Bird, Auchtubh, of the MRC Biostatistics Unit in Cambridge, is awarded the Chambers Medal 2010* for outstanding services to the Royal Statistical Society. In particular, as the Society’s Theme Director for External Affairs, she has engaged very effectively with the media and with parliamentarians and government bodies to promote both understanding of statistics and best practice in using statistics. In 2007, she established the society’s Statistical Excellence in Journalism Awards, past winners of which include The Guardian’s Ben Goldacre and the BBC’s Mark Easton. She also put in place the society’s statistical seminars for journalists, which are held in high esteem. * Named after Sir Paul Chambers, a former president of the Society and chairman of ICI, this gold medal is awarded once every three years to a fellow of the Society for outstanding services to it. Sheila was also recently one of the judges of the ‘Debating Matters’ competition, sponsored by the MRC and open to school and college students throughout the country aged 16–19. Six schools went head to head in the East Region Final, held in Cambridge and the subjects debated included: ‘The rights and wrongs of research efforts to radically extend the human lifespan’ and ‘Clinical trials in developing countries’. Queens’ School in Bushey, Hertfordshire was the winner. Sheila commented “The judges have to be as quick-witted as the students in this fastpaced contest - quite a challenge for us too.”


What Am I? 1. I was so abundant in India in the 1980s that I was probably the most common large bird of prey in the world. Only one in a thousand of my kind now survives. Can you name my family? 2. I dwell in trees and although suitable habitat exists, my numbers have declined drastically in the UK, partly due to the increase of my American cousin. What am I?

3. I am a male with a red wattle over my eye. Habitat loss and overgrazing have resulted in severe population declines which make me a Red List species. However, whisky sales at Sainsbury’s may help increase my numbers. What am I? 4. I have declined by 63% in 25 years in the UK, but my closest relative has declined by 93% in the same period. What am I? 5. I weigh up to 25lbs. I’m the largest of my kind, with a wingspan of 11 feet and can live over 50 years. Many of my kind have died as a direct result of poorly-managed longline fishing. Name my family. 6. Even the smallest of my kind will eat as many as 3,000 insects during the night. My family has 17 resident species in the UK that’s more than a quarter of all UK mammal species. I can live up to 30 years. What am I? 7. I have a dark grey-brown back and flanks, my belly is yellow or orange and I’m covered with dark spots. I have gills which grow into lungs. What am I? 8. I once lived over all of the UK (except

Northern Ireland), as well as Europe. Thousands of my kind were killed in the 19th and early 20th centuries by gamekeepers protecting the high populations of grouse, partridges and pheasant that were bred on shooting estates. Fortunately, attitudes to my kind have changed. Many now regard me as an attractive animal rather than vermin. Since the 1920s we have been spreading slowly again, although interbreeding with a feral population has probably artificially increased our numbers. What am I? 9. I am the only raptor to hunt by persistent hovering and have total mastery of stationary flight. I have a tan back and black flight feathers. I see outside the visible spectrum of light to hunt by reflected UV. What am I? 10. There were 2.3 million of my kind in 1990 and 220,000 in 2004. Unsympathetic farming and watercourse management as well as introduced and aggressive predators are thought to have been the causes of my decline. I often get confused with rats - what am I? (Answers on Page 16)

Tullybannocher Craft Fayre & Scone Eating Competition.... Could You Be A Winner?

Well, already we are halfway through our 2010 season and it doesn’t seem two minutes since we were re-opening for the year. Not long after we opened I was back into the routine of milk frothing, pot washing and scone serving and realised that I was hearing yet again those same comments, “I’ll have that one please with jam”. Now for all of you who have seen our everything from handbags and jewellery amazingly humungous scones (and those to preserves and Plumage from Perthshire. of you who haven’t really should come We still have a couple of stalls available and try one) you will realise that this is for anyone who would like to join in and we are also licensed, so you can enjoy a said in fun, but as I have heard it so many if this is you then give us a call on 01764 glass of wine or a chilled beer with your times over the last couple of years I got to 670333 lunch. wondering... just how much scone could As usual the cafe will be serving its Remember July 17th, come and say someone eat? And so this year on July range of homemade soups, sandwiches, hello and have a nice day! 17th - get that date in your diary now - mezzalunas, cakes etc, and of course See you all then, Jo & Liz we are having the first (hopefully of giant scones, best washed down with many) annual scone eating competitions. a cup of our wonderful Italian Aroma So if you fancy your chances then come Coffee, be it Latte, Cappuccino or Iced on down and enter. with Amaretto. Don’t forget that we have As well as the scone eating, which an indoor play area for kids, a couple of will be at approx 2.00pm, we have acres of grass for them to stretch their a wonderful variety of around thirty wee legs on and a boat to play in to stretch craft stalls booked, with a selection of their imaginations. Oh, and remember


McLaren High School News Yvonne King Sponsored Walk On May 20 all pupils in S1 – S3 were involved in our annual Sponsored Walk. The route took them across from the school into Coilhallan Wood, through the forested area to join the Invertrossachs Road. The course was well stewarded by members of staff, with help from Stewart Kerr, the Community Police Officer and our local Traffic Warden, Jonny McCulloch. The purpose of the walk was to raise funding for our wide range of additional pupil activities. As we go to press the total raised so far is £4,453.44 and still rising. Congratulations go to Rhiannon Stevenson S1 (pictured below centre) who raised the most in sponsor money. Many thanks to all the parents, family and neighbours who sponsored the pupils!

visit our website:

Sponsored Walk

National Park Debate On May 26 eight pupils from McLaren High attended the National Park Headquarters in Balloch to participate in a debating event – part of the ScottsLand programme. Six schools took part in three debates with two pupils from each school discussing the motion: ‘Sir Walter Scott was the greatest Scot’. All three debates were fiercely competitive making the judge’s decision very difficult. Fiona Fingland and Ruaridh Maxwell represented McLaren and argued their case outstandingly well. A new debating team has been formed in McLaren and we hope to compete again in the near future. Catherine Allan and India MacLean S3 Rugby News The U-14s travelled to Wallace High recently for the last tournament of the season. McLaren dominated the one sided game scoring a huge number of tries and conceding none. Eventually the teams were mixed up and we had a good training game to finish the night. Eight McLaren boys have been nominated for next year’s U-15 Central Crusaders team. Best of luck to them all. Congratulations to Ruairidh Leishman and Will Vernon (both S5) who have been chosen for U-17 and U-16 Caledonian/ Glasgow district selects to travel to Italy in June. Congratulations also to former pupil Colin Hutton who is included in the Scotland U-17 squad touring Spain this summer. 12

National Park Debate 2010 winners with Mike Russell

Lendrick Muir On June 2 all of S1 went to Lendrick Muir near Kinross, an old country house converted to provide great accommodation. McLaren pupils participated in all of the challenging activities and were particularly enthusiastic about the new High Ropes Course. Staff were amazed by the level of support pupils offered each other as they communicated well and encouraged their groups. Confidence was developed and team work improved... well done S1!

Activities Week 2010 Another very successful Activities Week which included: S1 residential visit to Lendrick Muir; Disneyland Paris; Kayaking through The Great Glen; Cakes and Cookies, Watersports, Model Making and Skiing.

Kayaking through The Great Glen Skiing fun!

Disneyland, Paris Disneyland Excursion was back! Forty pupils accompanied by five members of staff set off on May 31. For some this was a first trip abroad; for many it was their first experience of Eurotunnel. A quick but fantastic four days with lots of brilliant memories and photos! Roll on next year! Skiing Twelve pupils took to the slopes at Bearsden Ski School Club and the SNO!zone at Xscape Braehead. For the majority of the pupils this was their first time trying the sport, but they all impressed the instructor at Bearsden and by the end of the first day they were able to ski from the top station. Hockey and Rowing Achievements Congratulations to Sabine Lang S3 who was selected to attend the Central Development Squad for Hockey, and also to represent the Central Region of Scotland in the Scottish Rowing InterRegional Competition competing in the Quadruple Sculls event. 13

Top of the Scots - Lomond School Sails to Glory

Family Trail follows in the footsteps of a great Queen of Scotland

Handicap fleet heading East

A light Easterly breeze blew across an idyllic Loch Earn providing ideal conditions for the Scottish Schools Brown Cup on Monday June 14. The event, in its 51st year, attracted 74 competitors from across the country from Fortrose to Lockerbie and from Largs to St Andrews. Hosted by Loch Earn Sailing Club at St Fillans, the Brown Cup regatta created nail-biting competition among the sailors aged between 9 and 18. Going into the last race any one of six Toppers could have taken home the individual title. Trophy winners were: Handicap fleet Anna Burnet, Lomond School & Moray Clark, Lomond School Topper fleet Kae Clark, Lomond School 1st Primary School Competitor Rory Harper, Killearn Primary School Immediately preceding the event was a unique two-day intensive training camp at the Club for children of all sailing abilities during which top RYA (Royal Yachting Association) coaches shared their expertise giving valuable race instruction prior to the main event. Commenting on the regatta Commodore, Cammy Murray commented, “The event is growing every year and the standard of sailing improves year on year too. The training weekend before racing provides new sailors with an insight into Squad training and will hopefully inspire them to chase their dreams.


“This year’s event was a light wind affair that really tested the young sailors. Lomond School again proved the strongest team winning the overall Brown Cup trophy. Loch Earn Sailing Club’s own junior sailors did well too, posting four top 10 finishes out of 74 competitors. “Each competitor took home a Musto rash vest, kindly sponsored by Brooks MacDonald Asset Management, which has become one of the additional highlights of the event. The competitors all have an absolute ball on and off the water – this is possibly also to do with the fact that they get a day off school to compete so they’ll be glad to hear that planning for next year’s event is already underway!” For further information contact: Cammy Murray, Commodore Loch Earn Sailing Club Telephone 0773 060 5664 cameron.murray@xtremesolutionsltd.

Ready, steady, go for the Topper dinghies!

MARY OF GUISE: a widowed single mum who rose to rule Scotland; beautiful, witty, clever and a superb political operator, Mary of Guise was among Renaissance Scotland’s most remarkable figures.

In December 1542 she was left widowed with a week-old baby girl following the unexpected death of her 30 year old husband, James V, yet this charismatic Frenchwoman outwitted her opponents to become ruler of the war-torn Scottish kingdom. However, her memory is often eclipsed by that of her ill-starred daughter Mary, Queen of Scots. Historic Scotland has produced a free downloadable Family Trail, plus dedicated website pages, highlighting Mary of Guise’ links to three of its most popular attractions – Stirling Castle, Linlithgow Palace and Edinburgh Castle. maryofguisetrail. The trail coincides with the 450th anniversary of her death at Edinburgh Castle in June 1560, during her final struggle against Scots Protestants and their English allies. Historic Scotland is carrying out a £12 million project to return Stirling Castle’s royal palace to how it might have looked when it was the main residence of Mary of Guise and her young daughter.

Strathyre Old Station Court Residents Association - News!

It’s that time of year again and some upgrading of the gardens in Old Station Court in Strathyre are now about to take place. The photographs show the areas targeted this year. If all goes to plan the area with the tree will become a patio with a commemorative bench dedicated to our sadly missed friend Peggy Dugan.There will be a planter constructed around the base of the existing tree which will be filled with climbers in the hope that they will attach themselves to the tree and add a profusion of colours in the summer months.

We will also construct a brick BBQ which will be available for the residents’ use. The other area will be transformed into a small shrub garden with a view to increasing the local bio-diversity i.e. attracting more bird and insect life into the area, (which will allow me to apply for a grant to help finance this project). I will keep you posted on the result of the application. By the time this project is completed the Residents Association will have invested

around £3000 towards the reconstruction of these gardens, including grants already received. It has been worth every penny as the end result will prove. This garden is not just for the benefit of Old Station Court but for all to enjoy, so please feel free to have a walk around and enjoy a wee seat on the bench (when it is erected) and just take it all in.

Watch this space for photographs of the completed project (for this year anyway). Wullie Dalziel Chairman

BLS Community Trust AGM

Almost one half of the BLS Community Trust membership turned up at the AGM at the Kings House Hotel on June 22. Of course, the draw was Vicky Jack in conversation with her biographer Anna Magnusson, which took place immediately after the AGM. Vicky had some hair-raising stories to tell about falling off Mount McKinley, almost getting lost in a storm in Antarctica, and turning back at the Hilary Step just a few hundred yards from the summit of Everest, when her Sherpa said “You die - I die - I go back”. There were many questions from the audience, including some from the children who asked questions like “Did you ever get frost-bite?” and “How did you go to the toilet in a one-piece down suit in the cold?” The answer to the first was “Never”, and Vicky didn’t answer the second in any detail (but the answer to the first was a partial answer to the second). At the AGM the existing directors were re-elected, and one co-opted. There is no officially appointed chairman, but the directors are: Alan Clarke, Alice Eastland, Ian Inglis, Catriona Oldham, Owen McKee, and Malcolm McNaughton. Two projects are in the planning stages: to renovate the tennis court in Strathyre, and to renovate the limekiln by the footbridge in the Kirkton Glen. New Trust members are always welcome - there is only an initial joining fee of £1 - that’s all! Please contact me for more information. Alan Clarke Signed copies of the book The Sky’s the Limit are available at Lochearnhead Post Office.

Live Music - Coming Soon!

3rd July - The Buick 55s



Good Food served all day every day

01877 384 333 15

School’s Out...

Ladies Keep Fit Class set for the Big Screen

EXAMS FORGOTTEN... except by those who have to mark the papers and maybe these imaginative answers provided more laughter than tears! Q. Name six animals which are specific to the Arctic. A. Two polar bears and four seals. Q. State three drawbacks of hedgerow removal. A. 1. All the cows would escape. 2. The cars drive into fields. 3. There is nowhere to hide. Q. What is the meaning of the word ‘varicose’? A. Close by. Q. Explain the phrase ‘free press’. A. When your mum irons your trousers for you. Q. Why might living close to a mobile phone mast cause ill health? A. You might walk into it.

Sheep Dog Trials

Does anyone know where the Lochearnhead village ladies keep fit class can acquire a decent TV? We follow exercise videos and CDs from a 14” TV screen and it is becoming increasingly difficult to see and hear. Our ambition is to have a portable, slimline, 32in LCD screen, with or without inbuilt CD/Video capability, bringing us into the modern world. If you have any suggestions or offers please get in touch with Janette Curl email: or Tel: 01567 830 490. If you are interested in joining the keep fit classes, we meet every Tuesday during term time at 10.30am for 1 hour. Holiday visitors and guests are welcome to join in too at £2.50 per session.

Q. Joanna’s office computer is a stand- alone model. What is a stand-alone computer system? A. It doesn’t come with a chair. Q. Steve is driving his car at 60ft/sec and the speed limit is 40mph. Is Steve speeding? A. He could find out by checking his speedometer. Q. Where was Hadrian’s Wall built? A. Around Hadrian’s garden. Q. Find out what is wrong with this sentence and correct it: ‘We was late for school.’ A. We was not late for school. RSPB QUIZ (Page 11) Answers 1. Asian (oriental white-backed) vultures 2. Red squirrel 3. Black grouse 4. House sparrow 5. Albatross 6. Pipistrelle 7. Great crested newt 8. (Scottish) wildcat 9. Kestrel 10. Water vole 16

Inverlochlarig Sheep Dog Trials are being held on Saturday 24 July starting at 9.00am. Various classes ranging from the most junior of handlers right up to the most expert will be testing their skills on a difficult hilly course. The trials will last pretty well all day and viewing from the glen is spectacular, given the surrounding scenery. Plenty of parking is available, as are toilets and food. Everyone is invited to come along and enjoy a day out in such a beautiful spot. Further information is available from Kevin Howlett on 01877 384269.

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

Weekly ScottsLand Events through to the end of the summer Every Saturday through to September

The Scott Homeland Cruise

2.30pm departure from Trossachs Pier, Stronachlachar, Loch Katrine. Travel on this special two-hour cruise on the Lady of the Lake. Discover how the landscapes of Loch Katrine so impressed Sir Walter Scott during a family holiday in The Trossachs that he was inspired to make it the setting of his famous poem Lady of the Lake, published 200 years ago. Times may change due to weather or for operational reasons. Please call for information and reservations: 01877 332000 or book online at www. Advance booking is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment. Adult £10, concessions £9, children £7.50 and under 5s £0.50

Tuesdays & Wednesdays through to 4 August

Callander Youth Project

10.30am McLaren Leisure Centre, Callander. Creative Youth Workshop. Do you like being creative and are you aged 11-25? If so, this project is for you! Callander Youth Project is running a series of banner-making workshops to celebrate Sir Walter Scott. Booking essential as places are limited. Call Jennifer on 01877 330141 or email . Free Every Saturday through to October

Every Sunday to 15 August

Callander Storyteller in the Square

2.00pm Ancaster Square. Rob Roy, alias actor Paul Murray, will bring the literary legacy of Sir Walter Scott to life in an informative, entertaining way through readings of his works. He will also reminisce on his life in the Trossachs. Times may vary. Free

Balquhidder - The Thin Place: Magical & Spiritual Trail

2.30pm from the Village Hall Car Park, Balquhidder. Enjoy the magical and spiritual highlights of this beautiful and tranquil highland glen by following this special trail, featuring drawings and verse from Lady of the Lake. Free Daily July to September

Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays from 2-4pm from the 2nd of July - 31st August Port of Menteith - A View Apart 2.00-4.00pm Church of Scotland, Port of Menteith. An exhibition of the lives and literary heritage of the village of Port of Menteith. Set in one of the oldest earldoms of Scotland, the enigmatic Church also has one of the most atmospheric views of the area. Donation to Kirk Fund Daily from July to September The Great Trossachs Forest Exhibition The Byre Inn, Brig o’Turk. Exhibition of cyanotypes by Alexander Hamilton. The work celebrates John Ruskin’s visit to the Trossachs in 1853 with pre-Raphaelite artist Millais. The cyanotype images are made from plants taken from the site which Ruskin chose for his portrait. More information about Hamilton’s work at www. Contact 01877 376292 or email Free

Words in Windows

Callander Town Centre. Lines and verses from Sir Walter Scott’s epic verse The Lady of the Lake will be displayed artfully in shop windows throughout the town centre. An interactive competition to match the verse to the premises - pick up an entry form from participating premises or the VisitScotland Information Centre in Ancaster Square. Exciting prizes donated by Callander Enterprise and other local businesses. Winners to be announced at the Callander Jazz & Blues Festival in October. Free


Rangers’ Review By Gareth Kett

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Graeme’s away this month enjoying the wildlife and whisky of Islay, so I’ve offered to step in to talk about some of the biodiversity work that the Ranger Service has been involved with in the area over the past few weeks, but first I’d like to welcome Tom Lawrence to the Breadalbane and Cowal Area Ranger team. Tom will be based in Callander and brings a wealth of experience having previously worked with the National Trust for Scotland on Ben Lomond. Fishing line hazard Once again the hazard that loose/discarded fishing line presents for wildlife came to light recently when an osprey was reported on Loch Earn with line wrapped around it and a float on its back. The bird was able to fly but in distress. We were called and together with the SPCA searched for the bird but could not locate it. The hope is that the osprey was able to free itself using its beak to cut the line. The potential impact with birds and animals getting caught in fishing line is greatest at this time of year as adults feeding young need to catch more food and should they perish the young also are likely to die. Search for Great Crested Newts This year Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has organised the Scottish Great Crested Newt Survey with the aim of enhancing our understanding and knowledge of the status and distribution of Great Crested Newts (GCNs) in Scotland. GCNs are a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority species. They are the largest of the native British newts, which also include the palmate and smooth newt, with males reaching up to 15cm in length compared with palmate and smooth newts which reach a maximum of 11cm in length. The male GCN has a distinctive two-part serrated crest, divided between the body and tail, and both sexes are very dark grey/ brown or black in colour with an orange belly with black spots. Male smooth newts also have a crest but they are much smaller and the crest is continuous along the length of the body and tail. Prior to the GCN survey I am not aware of there having been any records of GCNs within the National Park since it came into being in 2002. Rangers and volunteers carried out nocturnal surveys in ponds around Callander between April and midJune, using high powered torches, recording habitat suitability and presence of other amphibians as well as searching for GCNs. 18

The amazing Great Crested Newt

Unfortunately no GCNs were found, probably due to a lack of suitable ponds in the area and distances between suitable ponds being too great. On the bright side, despite the hard winter, frog and toad populations in the Callander area seem healthy and there’s an abundance of palmate newts in the area too. There’s also some good news for the GCNs as I’ve recently heard that (perhaps surprisingly) a group of students have found some GCNs in the Gateway Centre pond in Balloch. It’s ironic that the survey should have taken place in the driest spring for around forty years resulting in some of the ponds having totally dried up! Priority was given to the Callander area because of past records of GCNs there, but to me it seems likely that there could be GCN populations in the BLS area. If anyone has seen or heard of any GCNs in the BLS area, are unsure of the identity of any newts or would like to know more about newts, please get in touch with Graeme or myself on 01389 722040. I am very grateful to the Callander Golf Course team, and landowners Tony Cameron and Stuart Gray for their support in the GCN surveys.

Red squirrels Over March and April National Park volunteers and rangers continued the squirrel monitoring programme using

sightings transects. Perhaps unsurprisingly, following the harsh winter red squirrel numbers were down a bit. Grey squirrels have also been down in number and we’ve been optimistic that the theory of a healthy pine marten population keeping grey squirrel numbers down, is holding true. The theory being that greys provide a larger meal that is easier to catch than the reds. However, disturbingly there have been a number of grey squirrel sightings towards Lochearnhead on the north side of Loch Earn indicating a possible movement of the red/grey front from the St. Fillans area. Once more we really need the eyes of folk living in the BLS area to look out for both red and grey squirrels. Please keep records of your squirrel sightings coming in to us. A champion for the reds is at hand though. Lewis Pate has been employed as the Scottish Wildlife Trust Squirrel Project Officer for the area and is based at the National Park Headquarters in Balloch. He is working with National Park rangers, landowners, land managers and conservation interest groups to conserve the red squirrel and control grey numbers. Lewis can be contacted through the NP Breadalbane Area Office on 01389 722040 or through the NP Headquarters reception on 01389 722600. If at any time you are passing the NP Breadalbane Area Office at Lochearnhead please feel free to drop in. We won’t always be there - but if we are, you’re welcome to come in for a tea or coffee.

Colin bids us Farewell... Colin, our adopted cat, left us in April to go and live in Dunblane. Colin had been visiting the school every day for the last eighteen months. He participated in everything that went on in the classroom including our mock election. He would sit on a chair and listen to everyone round about him, putting his paw out for a ‘Hi Five’. He came every morning and would often be waiting at the door for the school to open, then come in for his saucer of milk and stay around all day going between the two classrooms. When Colin left he was presented with a bag of goodies from everyone in the school. We miss Colin, our lucky cat.

Sign O’ The Times...

GREAT NEWS! - The old Balquhidder village sign is not lost. It is in safe hands with the sign fairies deep in the glen. For legal reasons it cannot be reinstated on the roadside in place of the shiny new one, but once it has been spruced up, (which it badly needs) it is hoped that we can erect it on the lawn in front of the village hall as a piece of memorabilia.

20% DISCOUNT ON YOUR NEXT CRUISE Present this voucher at Loch Katrine to receive 20% discount on all standard cruise fares. Choose from sailings on the steamship Sir Walter Scott or the cruiser Lady of the Lake. VALID UNTIL 31st OCTOBER 2010 NOT VALID IN CONJUNCTION WITH ANY OTHER OFFER Family Cycle Hire Snacks and meals in The Anchor’s Rest Shopping in Katrine Gifts Information and Reservations

01877 332000


View from the Park by Owen McKee The last full meeting of the current Board took place on June 23 and it saw two major propositions pass the point where the National Park Authority has any further direct input. The first of these is the Local Plan which now passes up to the Reporter with a schedule of all the objections which were received during the consultation and details as to how the Park Authority proposes to deal with them. The Reporter is the final arbiter on what happens next. He may decide that the objections should be subjected to further scrutiny and can do this by correspondence, a hearing or an enquiry. After he has taken any necessary action he makes his recommendation to the Minister who then instructs the Park Authority to implement the Plan subject to any suggested amendments. The only choice the Park Authority then has is to implement it or scrap it entirely and start again from scratch. All being well we should have our own new Local Plan early in 2011. The other item moving forward is the East Loch Lomond Camping Byelaw.

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

~ ~ ~

POST OFFICE & SHOP HOURS (March - October 2010)

Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri Wednesday Saturday Sunday

0900 - 1730 0900 - 1300 0900 - 1600 1200 - 1600

St Fillans Service - Tuesdays 10am-12 noon Post Box Collection Times: Morning - 12 noon Afternoon - 1600 (Except Saturday) Sunday - No Collection Telephone: 01567 830 201 20

Following representations we decided to make a few minor amendments and consequently the Byelaw will go out for a further one month consultation. Any objections go direct to the Minister . Quite naturally communities around the Park who have suffered from antisocial behaviour are following the East Lomond proposals with interest. We have to bear in mind that it is a requirement that the Byelaw is monitored over a period of time to test its effectiveness. And if it does not perform as intended it can be rescinded. Elsewhere in this issue you will see in a letter from some local traders the counter argument to byelaws and bans. There is always more than one point of view and it is incumbent on the Park Authority to bear that in mind whenever any action is proposed. Codes of conduct were introduced for a number of the lochs and Operation Ironworks is again in force this year with additional support from Tayside Police around Loch Earn. Nonetheless there are still ongoing problems particularly on litter and vandalism. These are not being ignored and discussions are ongoing to get on top of the problem. Contact has been made with The Criminal Justice Section at Stirling - they administer the Community Service Sentence scheme - and agreement has been reached that through this summer season clean-up squads will be provided to clear the rubbish around our lochs etc. As we are all only too well aware public finances are not in the best of states and cutbacks are inevitable. The Park Authority does not fall into any of the categories for whom protection is promised and consequently we are already planning for the inevitable. Certain grant schemes will no doubt suffer but we are trying to counteract this and we will be guiding communities towards the National Park Community Partnership where there is expertise to trawl for grants. Assistance is also being

provided in the form of seed corn funds to maximise the success rate. By the time you read this the count for the Local Member elections will have taken place with the successful candidates taking up their posts on 1st July. I was unopposed and consequently will again be the member for Ward 2 (Breadalbane and Trossachs). As always I can be contacted as follows: Owen McKee Post: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead. Phone: 01567 830214 email: owen@thevillageshop

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

Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help

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

Strathyre Primary School Strathyre is the Word There isn’t one word to describe the children of Strathyre Primary School in their recent show Strathyre is the Word - fantastic, brilliant, energetic, talented, enthusiastic, superb, marvellous, amazing, incredible, stupendous - are just a few. They all performed to a very high standard. Callum and Tara portrayed Danny and Sandy to perfection.The Mini Cheerleaders and Mini T Birds thoroughly enjoyed dancing and singing and they all threw themselves into their parts with such energy and enthusiasm that it was a delight to watch them learn and perform on the night. Well done children. Wonder what we’ll do next?





Clockwise from top left: T-Birds; Cheerleaders; Eugene and Rizzo; Sandy, Jan and Cha-Cha; Sandy and Danny.



Prizegiving On June 24 the pupils celebrated their achievements in Balquhidder Hall. Mrs Astbury presented books, medals and certificates to the children. Too many to mention by name here but they have all had Rhoda Keenan a very successful year. Lauren

H H Georgina

HH H Rebecca



H Gregor

Gardenshare Stirling

Do you have an unused corner in your garden that you would be happy to share with someone who would love to grow some fruit and vegetables but has no garden of their own? Or perhaps you are keen to grow some of your own food but have no land. Gardenshare Stirling is a new scheme that aims to match budding gardeners with people who have a garden that they cannot manage themselves, perhaps due to lack of time or ill-health. The benefits to garden owners include having a keen gardener keeping the weeds under control, seeing things growing in the garden again, meeting new people and sharing some of the delicious produce. There are now so many people who want to grow fruit and vegetables that it is a major problem finding enough land for them all. There are often long waiting lists for allotments and many modern homes have very small gardens or no garden at all. Schemes such as this are now running successfully in other parts of the UK. If you have some spare land or would like to grow your own veggies please contact Philippa Cochrane on 07577816262 or email There is also a website that has information about the scheme: http://

Strawberry Teas

& Fine Arts Come and enjoy a summer afternoon at

Balquhidder Village Hall on

18 July

from 1.30 - 5.00pm Strawberry teas in aid of Church and Hall funds.

a Members of the

Three Villages

Fine Arts Society will have a stall where there will be a selection of small paintings and original handicrafts for sale. Your support will give you some lovely items to keep for yourself or give to others, as well as helping to raise some funds for this local group. 21


Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

What are your community concerns? I’m planning to re-assess my PACT Priorities at the start of August and would like to know what your community concerns are and what issues you would like to me to address in the coming months. I’ll be doing my best to tackle these along with other specific issues, so please don’t think that because it doesn’t appear instantly on the website, I’m not dealing with it. Many of my priorities are what you would expect me to do; tackling speeding, stopping vehicles, searching for drugs and weapons, gathering intelligence and targeting offenders. However, I am looking at other areas of concern which have been brought to my attention and which I’ll be tackling over the next few weeks. These include: - People suspected of being under the influence of alcohol travelling by boat on the loch after the pubs have closed. - People water skiing late at night. - Ensuring licensing laws are adhered to. You can contact me through my web page, by phoning me, dropping a note through the office door or by passing on your suggestions through the Community Council or Strathyre Village Association.

Dangers of drinking We are all aware of the dangers of drink driving and given the past incidents on the loch we should all be very aware of the dangers of travelling late at night whilst under the influence of alcohol and in charge of a boat. It has been brought to my attention that this is becoming more frequent and in some cases people have been waterskiing by moonlight. This is highly dangerous and if an accident occurred those involved could find themselves in court. I would have hoped the recent enquiry into the death of four fishermen would have been a sobering thought. Regrettably, accidents on the lochs don’t always occur at night in bad weather. One such accident occurred on Loch Lubnaig on a sunny, calm evening recently when a group of friends were swimming there. One got into trouble and unfortunately drowned. I would urge everybody to be very careful when in and around the water, no matter how enticing or fun it may be. During the weekend of May 28-30 I, along with several colleagues, carried out a series of high visibility patrols in the area under the ongoing “Ironworks” initiative. I am very pleased to say that members of the public have started to come forward and report incidents of vandalism, theft and anti-social behaviour when they are occurring, to either the National Park Rangers or the Police. The following is a case in point: Tackling City Lumberjacks On May 28 we received a call from a

member of the public informing us that two males and two females were seen cutting down trees on the shore of Loch Lubnaig, using a chainsaw and axe. Once the trees had been felled they were cut up and thrown onto an open fire. My three colleagues and I soon came across the scene. Obviously they denied any knowledge of the complaint stating that they had found the cut logs when they had set up their camp. Even Inspector Clouseau would have been able to solve this crime. A major clue was the fact that when the logs had been cut the sawdust and chippings had hit the tents and fallen down the sides providing a perfect outline of each tent, reminiscent of an old 50’s crime film. The presence of two axes and a chainsaw also helped. National Park Rangers were also present, identified the recently cut tree stumps and confirmed that the two tree trunks at the campsite were of the same species. The four culprits were each issued with a Fixed Penalty notice with regards to vandalism and the axes and chainsaw were confiscated. Some may think this course of action was excessive and a friendly warning would have sufficed. Whichever way you look at it damaging trees or property is VANDALISM and it will not be tolerated, no matter how innocent the action may appear. This type of activity generally leads on to damaging and stealing of fences and gates, fires being lit irresponsibly and large amounts of litter being left behind. Woman Arrested On May 29 a member of the public who had just arrived at Loch Lubnaig with her children was threatened by another woman camper for no other reason than that she didn’t want her there. Fortunately, a National Park Ranger who was off duty, was in the carpark and the lady immediately informed him of what had taken place. He in turn contacted us. As a result the female was arrested and taken to Stirling Police Office where she remained in custody until the following Monday. No more than thirty minutes elapsed from start to finish of this incident. A quick response and decisive action resolved a potentially dangerous situation. Air Rifle Confiscated Again on May 29 I stopped and checked out a group of people who had set up a camp on Loch Earn. Whilst speaking to them I noticed an empty beer can had been placed on a nearby tree branch. My attention was drawn to the numerous small holes in it. On closer examination I saw that they had been caused by air pellets. On speaking to the group and looking around I found a .22 air rifle lying next to a tent. A male admitted ownership of the gun and was subsequently charged with being in possession of a firearm in a public place.


He was adamant that he had not committed any offence and that he thought it was OK to walk round with an air rifle in public. I explained to him that he had indeed committed an offence and that he was not allowed to use an air rifle in a public place. The following maybe of assistance to others: FIREARMS ACT 1968 Section 19 - Carrying Firearms In A Public Place. A person commits an offence if, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse (the proof whereof lies on him) he has with him in a public place (a) a loaded shot gun, (b) an air weapon (whether loaded or not), (c) any other firearm (whether loaded or not) together with ammunition suitable for

use in that firearm, or (d) an imitation firearm.(Section 19 as amended by the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003). Charged for litter offences Around 1.00am on May 30 I approached five campers on the shore of Loch Earn. Finding their “campsite” in a terrible mess I woke them from their sleep and charged each of them with littering before making them begin to clean up the worst of the mess. The following morning I returned to the site to find that not only had they gone but they had taken all their litter with them. False name leads to arrest of woman On June 4 I was carrying out Hand Held Radar duties with PC Frickleton in Strathyre.

I spoke to the driver of a car which I recognised and was aware that she appeared very nervous when I asked for her name, address and driving licence. She said she did not have it with her so I duly noted the details she provided. Unfortunately for her two weeks earlier I had cause to speak to another driver of the same car. The female driver had provided me with a name, date of birth, her address and licence, which were all in order. Surprise, surprise, this female driver provided the very same details as recorded previously. I brought this to her attention and she admitted to providing false details. As a result she was arrested for attempting to pervert the course of justice. PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000

Letter to The Editor... Over the past few weeks we have become increasingly concerned over reports of anglers who park their caravans/motorhomes/ tents on the roadside verges being moved on by the authorities. We understand that this is happening because one or two individual residents in Lochearnhead have objected to their presence. The anglers concerned are regular visitors to the loch and also regular customers of the local shops. They have been coming to Loch Earn for many years now. We suspect that this is happening this year because the individuals who are complaining fear that the ban on camping around parts of Loch Lomond will bring an increased level of anti-social visitors to Loch Earn. Having talked to the bailiffs, the police and the regular anglers they confirm there is absolutely no evidence to support that fear. The majority of these people are not hooligans, nor are they the people who leave rubbish or desecrate the area in any way. (More often than not the area they have been parked in is cleaner and tidier after they leave than when they arrived.) Also, they support the local shops and services (in some cases much more than many of the local residents do) and, as serious anglers help the enforcement agencies by actively reporting any nuisance or anti-social behaviour; These are the very people we should all be encouraging to visit Loch Earn. By moving them on we risk them not returning, consequently leaving the areas they occupy available for the hooligans and anti-social elements to move into! We all agree that a small minority of visitors to the loch, particularly at weekends, do cause problems. This is an issue which the bailiffs, police and National Park are

well aware of and deal with as best as the resources available to them allow. However, harassing the “good guys” will in the long run cause more harm than good. To the complainers we would respectfully ask that they don’t automatically assume all fishermen are here to cause wilful damage and a nuisance. The great majority of them are not; they are here to fish. Their caravans, motorhomes and tents parked on the verge may seem an eyesore to some, but in relation to the benefits these people bring to the local economy, it’s a small, temporary price to pay. After all it only takes 5 seconds or so to drive past them. Perhaps, also, rather than complaining directly to Stirling Council, all the issues should be raised via the Community Council, who can then approach all the interested parties i.e. homeowners, land owners, local businesses, to gather a consensus and then in turn lobby the National Park, the police, Loch Earn Fishings and the council on behalf of the community as a whole. Chasing away anglers from the loch will

seriously damage the viability of the local traders who rely heavily on income from the fishing fraternity to survive. Without them, and it is no exaggeration, nor is it scaremongering, one, if not more of the local shops and Post Office would probably have to cease trading. Frank and Liam The Village Shop St Fillans Stephen The Village Shop Lochearnhead Richard Lochearnhead Post Office


For Sale Renault Clio ‘51 Great car! In very good condition Taxed and MOT £1500 ono Mitsubishi Shogun ‘V’ Reg. Great workhorse LWB 7-seater Taxed and MOT £2,900 ono.

Primary 7 Summer Ceilidh/ McLaren High School cluster

Call 01877 384632

All Primary 7 pupils starting High School after the summer holidays from the McLaren cluster were invited to a Leavers’ Ceilidh in the McLaren High School Hall on Tuesday 8 June.

Also...Two collapsible metal clothes rails. One circular with adaptable height, the other 3ft long. Great for storage areas. £5.00 each.

Featured on the photo are: Alex Stewart-Earl, Tara Leishman, Hannah Inglis, Jordan Anderson, Duncan Hendry, Gregor Nixon and Ryan Welsh.

for more information

For Sale Electric remote controlled single garage up and over door. Rarely used and in perfect working order. Needs to be replaced by window, hence the sale. Can be seen operating. £250 for quick sale. Tel 01567 830317


Farm Forum: Sustainability - is that sustainable? Sometimes words fail me but I have to admit not often! This time it was a very close thing. So often we hear that the shortage of a species of bird is due to changing farming practices or some other reasons that usually boil down to blaming the farmer. We used to have lots of lapwing and curlew and indeed went to great trouble to protect lapwing nests, when we were working in fields during nesting time, by marking all the nests. Despite that we never see a lapwing or curlew now. Well, recently the findings from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, a leading research charity, were released. Their findings – breeding pairs of curlew, lapwing and golden plover were three times more likely to raise a chick where gamekeepers controlled foxes, crows, stoats and weasel numbers! We really do have some brilliant researchers about – it seems to have taken them a long time to discover the obvious. In the meantime we have the other side of the coin with all sorts of raptors being protected regardless of the damage they do to young chicks and all sorts of bureaucracy being dreamed up to make it more difficult to control predators. No doubt it will take another major research project to discover this. Nature has a way of balancing things out but human intervention, whether this is by protection of a species or culling, can often have unfortunate consequences.

We hear a lot about sustainable energy nowadays, and rightly so, although one has to question some of the efforts being made under the name of sustainability – electric cars for one. Equally one feels that many of us, and that includes governments and oil companies, simply pay lip service to sustainability. However I do not know enough about the Gulf of Mexico disaster to comment except to say that it will focus minds and things will never be quite the same again. That leads me on to wool which is a natural fibre and one that comes from sustainable resources. Currently wool only accounts for 1.5% of the world fibre market which is dominated by man made fibres which provide two-thirds of total demand. The recent rises in the price of oil, the raw material for man made fibres, have resulted in nylon increasing in cost by 35% to 40%. Although the value of wool is increasing slightly it still does not cover the cost of shearing the sheep. Australia is set to produce the lowest clip for the past eighty years and the expected volume of wool from New Zealand is 20% less than a year ago. The total UK clip this year

is estimated to be about half what it was twenty years ago. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more of us practised what we preached? When buying a carpet, jersey or suit do you check on the sustainability of the contents of that product or consider how much oil has been used to produce it, or do you consider you have done your bit if you have separated your bottles and tins from your kitchen waste so that two or three different vehicles can burn more oil coming to pick it up?! Agricola

Good Food - and a warm welcome awaits all. Award winning local chef. Eddie McAnally will be cooking the best of local produce. To make a reservation and enquire about our free transport service contact George at the Kings House. Reservations Tel: 01877 384 646 Fax: 01877 384716 email: 25


We’ll send you or your friends ‘The Villagers’ £10.50 for 11 monthly issues (£19.50 for Europe and £25.00 for the rest of the world). All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, Tom-Na-Dair BALQUHIDDER FK19 8PB, SCOTLAND Cheques should be made payable to: THE BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION Remittance enclosed £ .........................(do not send cash) Please send copies of ‘The Villagers’ starting on ................ for 11 months To: NAME .......................................................................................................................... ADDRESS: ........................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................POSTCODE .............................. SENDER’S NAME & ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM ABOVE Please send copies of ‘The Villagers’ starting on ............................... for 11 months NAME ................................................................................................................................ ADDRESS .......................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................POSTCODE................................ 26


Eco - Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Services Package Deals Now On For 2010 3 Carpets cleaned for the price of 2 3pce suite + carpet £120

Tel: 07827 014328




• DIARY DATES • Weekly & Monthly Activities Regular weekly and monthly activities have mostly wound down for the summer. Lists for the four village halls will resume in August prior to new classes starting in September.

JULY 3/4

Loch Earn Shears - Lochearnhead Sports Field


Summer Music - 7.00pm


Summer Music - 7.00pm


Craft Fayre and Giant Scone eating competition - Tullybannocher Café - see p.11


Strawberry Cream Teas and Fine Arts - Balquhidder Village Hall 1.30-5.00 pm - see p.21


Summer Music - 7.00pm


Inverlochlarig Sheepdog Trials - 9.00am onwards - see p.16


BLS Highland Games and Gathering - 12noon onwards - see p.5


Summer Music - 7.00pm


Last Summer Music Concert - 7.00pm


Folk Night with ‘Tarneybackle’ and Supper at Tullybannocher 7.30pm - see p.11


Immervoulin Caravan Park Fun Day - 11.00am - 3.00pm


Nigel Ogden - Organ Recital - Dundurn Church, St Fillans - 7.30pm - see p 4


Balloch Pier Sweeney Cruises, Balloch. Literature on the Loch Join the Lennox Literary Society for an entertaining literary cruise with Glasgow poet and storyteller John Rice, together with Scottish folk singer Moira Kerr. Part of ScottsLand events. 7.00 - 9.00pm. Booking essential: 01389 604190 Cost: £10

The deadline date for copy each month this year is the

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

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

The Villagers’ Contacts BLS Newspaper Association Tom-na-Dhair, Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB Email: Editorial Team Editor: Marguerite Kobs 01877 384 215 ‘Kalinka’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8NZ Business Manager: John Stewart 01877 384 664 Production Manager: Gill Allan 01877 384 203 Advertising Co-ordinator and Photographer: Alistair Barclay 01567 830 453 Co-editor and Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Susan Revie 01877 384 306 St Fillans Contact: John Murray 01764 685 487 Mail Order Distribution: Hilda Astbury 01877 384 681

The Villagers’ Photographer

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

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

ROMAN CATHOLIC Callander, St Joseph the Worker Sunday 11.30am Saturday Vigil Mass 5.30pm, until September Killin, at the Episcopalian Church Sunday 2.30pm Father Jim McCruden 2 Ancaster Square, Callander Tel: 01877 330 702

SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH St Angus’s, Lochearnhead First and third Sundays of the month: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fourth Sundays of the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Fifth Sunday of the month: please see church noticeboard. Vestry Secretary - Lawrie Hopkins Tel: 01567 830 238 28

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

The Villagers July 2010  

News, Photographs, holiday accommodation, events, food and drink, outdoor sports, village life around St Fillans, Lochearnhead, Balquhidder...

The Villagers July 2010  

News, Photographs, holiday accommodation, events, food and drink, outdoor sports, village life around St Fillans, Lochearnhead, Balquhidder...