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

Editor’s Bit The Hills Are Alive to the Sound of Music... ... seems an appropriate comment on our main features this month (the position of Guest Editor is still free if you groaned too much!) but I feel we really are lucky at the moment to have such great local events we can relax and enjoy in fantastic peaceful settings. Well done to all the organisers who put in so much work and were rewarded with (mainly) sunshine to enhance the experiences. Our front cover hints at the varied talents of the youngsters of the area and we hope they are all about to enjoy their summer holidays. On the topic of School holidays, I would love to have a column featuring your suggestions for the best places to go over the next few weeks - obviously mainly at this time for children, but happy for all your ideas. You can email or send a real postcard! We do try to provide some more serious articles and this month Old Nyati is in a very ruminative frame of mind and, I believe, is hoping others might come up with opposing ideas. Paddy and Russell on our Church page also give us food for thought for which we thank them knowing how busy they are. JJ

BALQUHIDDER ROAD VERGES It has been some years since a concerted effort was made to cut back the trees and vertical verges alongside the roads in Balquhidder and the Community Council has received complaints that they are once again encroaching on the roads, restricting sight lines and making it difficult in various places for two cars to pass each other. All landowners are reminded that it is their responsibility to cut back the vertical verges or they will find that Stirling Council will do it with a flail and send the land owner a bill. In many cases the verges will need to be cut back more than folk realise and it is important that the debris from the cutting work is cleared away. 2


Scotland’s “most loved” wee festival was back for its sixth year with a packed line-up of artisan food and drink producers, sell-out recording artists, theatre and entertainment, all safely ensconced somehow at the end of the four-mile single track road! The line-up included the traditional raft race, aerial trapeze performances, bread making workshops and baking competitions, circus skills workshop, the omelette challenge, disco yoga, and much more. And, for the first year ever, an all-star female chef line-up for the coveted Mhor Feast which was the highlight of Friday evening this year. Raft Race This year’s raft race attracted a record number of entries. It was a closely contested race with the crowds on dry land shouting encouragement and various dogs splashing in the water and generally getting in the way. Local boy Albert was the first across the line. Our local constabulary were heard to question what the legal definition of a “raft” should be but were happy they were not called in to adjudicate.

Tom congratulating Marysia, Head Chef at Monachyle with 4 more top female chefs Lorna, Carina, Rosie and Maxine after serving a fantastic fivecourse banquet to 100 lucky diners.

There was something for everyone at the MHOR Fest ... clockwise from top left: Children’s fun on the green; live music in the big tent; refreshments in the shade; Jus cocktails; night time ceilidh; fish’n’chips; more MHOR entertainment; chilling out at the food stalls


A Grand - for a Grand Service! by Karen Methven

Last December, the Christmas Tree Festival in Balquhidder (organised by a group of enthusiastic locals and supported admirably by the community) raised an amazing £1000 for the air ambulance.

This invaluable service, which provides life-saving treatment to people living in remote areas such as ours, relies totally on public donations. Donating the total amount was therefore a ‘no brainer’ and they were appreciative recipients! Having recently secured all the money, Fiona Wilbert and I visited the air ambulance depot in Perth. We were introduced to the pilot and paramedics and then treated to a ‘look see’ around the helicopter. It was a really interesting and informative visit which left us in no doubt why we chose this as our charity; as they say: ‘You may need us tomorrow but we need you today’. The following (provided by the air ambulance) explains better what they do: Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) is the People’s Helicopter - saving and improving lives in every corner of Scotland as it responds to time-critical emergencies 12 hours a day, 365 days a year. The country’s only charity-funded air ambulance relies entirely on public donations to fuel its mercy flights, bringing help and hope to those suffering serious injury or illness wherever and whenever required. Road traffic collisions; industrial accidents; equestrian, sporting and leisure accidents; strokes and heart attacks; falls and agricultural injuries all feature on SCAA’s busy workload as it flies expert paramedic care to the scene and provides speedy onward transport to hospital. Emergency call outs have seen the charity helicopter fly the equivalent of more than four times round the earth taking its airborne service right to the heart of communities across the whole country. SCAA is a proven life-saving service; yet while it operates as an integral part of Scotland’s frontline emergency response network, it relies totally on charitable donations to keep it in the air. Support from your organisation will help save and improve lives - we don’t know who and we don’t know where - but every pound we receive helps keep us in the air and able to respond rapidly to those most in need. SCAA is extremely grateful for this support - a donation that could mean the difference between life and death for someone in desperate need of an air ambulance when speed and urgent medical attention are critical factors in their chance of survival.


Karen and Fiona present the cheque for £1000 to paramedics of SCAA SCAA PROFILE Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA) launched its life-saving helicopter operation in 2013, flying expert paramedics straight to the scene of an emergency and airlifting those seriously ill or injured quickly to hospital. Based centrally at Perth Airport, the distinctive fully-equipped EC135 T2i helicopter is ideally located to respond to time-critical emergencies all over Scotland – a country which accounts for a third of the UK landmass, over 100 islands and some of the most remote communities in Europe. Scotland’s first and only charity-funded air ambulance helicopter flies as and when tasked through the 999 service. Scotland’s busy and dangerous trunk and rural road network, agricultural and other high-risk industries and rural, leisure and sporting pursuits, all offer the potential for timecritical emergencies. Add to that the number of cardiac and stroke patients for whom rapid intervention is essential and you have the day-to-day workload profile of the frontline airborne team which responds effectively and efficiently, flying charity-funded vital emergency frontline clinical care straight to the heart of communities. SCAA’s speed - especially when called to remote and rural areas - can literally make the difference between life and death. SCAA has proved a vital part of the national emergency response framework and a valuable cog in the 999 machine. In the past four years, SCAA’s service has saved many lives and impacted on hundreds more. To date, SCAA has responded to more than 1,400 emergency call outs. But this vital resource for Scotland comes at a price. Every day there are communities, businesses, clubs, organisations and individuals working tirelessly to raise the £2 million needed annually to keep the life-saving service in the air. The people of Scotland have proved a fabulous fundraising ally, quickly recognising the value of SCAA to their community. They are helping Balvaig ensure these vital funds are raised, enabling

SCAA to respond where and when they are most needed. SCAA is the People’s Helicopter - funded by the people of Scotland for the people of Scotland. The reason they can fly fast, save lives and tend those most in need is down to their nationwide network of supporters. To donate or register your support - visit scaa.org.uk Sign up to help in whatever way you can - become a regular donor, take part in a sponsored event, organise a charity fundraiser or become a volunteer. You might need their help tomorrow - but they need your help today.

In the last two years the Tree Fest has been successful in terms of fun and as a fund raiser and would not have happened without the enthusiastic support of you all. However, events need to change and evolve to keep them fresh. Therefore the tree fest will be shelved for this year whilst we consider what else can be done to make it even better. Perhaps an artisan Christmas market would make a welcome addition. Presently we are a small group looking for others to join our motley crew. If you fancy taking part in next year’s event please contact Karen Methven (07584 991394).

Lochearnhead Latest Highland Games 2017

Strathyre News

Midtown Riot

Our Highland Games will take place this year at Lochearnhead on Saturday 22nd July. We particularly need more assistance on the day of the Games from volunteers to help with parking of cars in the neighbouring fields. Getting our visitors parked and directed safely to our gates is a necessary and important part of our plans. It would be so appreciated if you could help us. If you want to volunteer your support give your contact details to our President Angus Cameron or myself and we will explain what is needed. Alex Gargolinski Secretary  Angus 07711 368649 Alex 07860 644709’

John Hinshelwood


Strathyre Music Festival


...was a big success again this year! Thanks to everyone who took part - from organisers to volunteers, artists to watchers. Turn to the back page for the report and more images. Dancin’

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre

Horticultural Group

Annual Show Call for Entries!

This year the Show will be held at Lochearnhead Village Hall on Saturday 26 August. Now is the time to pick up your schedule and choose as many of the 100 classes as you wish to enter! As well as the usual opportunities to show your skill in growing flowers, fruit and veg, why not have a go at painting or making? Write a poem, take a photograph, make a montage, bake a cake, make some chutney or jam... there are classes to suit everyone of any age. Schedules are now available at Lochearnhead Village Shop and Strathyre Village Shop, or by email from gill@mercatdesign.com. Good luck everyone!

Stirling Ceilidh Band

Adriana Spina



Darts Presentation We recently held our annul darts presentation in the White Stag Inn (formerly The Inn & Bistro), and as always it was a most enjoyable evening.

As ever it was a very close-run competition with there being only one point between first and second place; but the league is not about who wins or loses, it’s about having an enjoyable evening playing darts and having a laugh, with the advantage of indulging in the wonderful food that Steve produces each week. You can join us any Thursday evenings from 7.00pm onwards if you fancy a game and a wee night out, with the league starting in November and running throughout the winter. Names for the league will expire at the end of September to give the organisers time to set up games for the season, so if you are interested let me or Steve know. Unfortunately, not all the players could make it on the night so Davy Allan, Ron Milne and Steven Higgins are missing.

Above: all the players and staff; left: Wullie with Emma Richards who kindly presented the prizes; right, First Lady Barbara Higgins receives her prize

Here is the official list of prize winners: First Place - W Dalziel Second Place - G McWilliams Third Place - Davy Allan First Lady - Barbara Higgins The last photograph below is of me (again) and Steve with the Pool and Darts trophies as the first person to win both in the same season! Wullie D

Killin Music Festival 2017 Manran, Skerryvore and Dougie MacLean were among the fantastic acts who performed at the sell-out Killin music Festival last weekend (16th-18th of June). The crowd were in fine form at the McLaren Hall where they were treated to performances from Heron Valley, Tide Lines and Rura amongst many other fantastic artists. In addition to the evening concerts, there was a lively session tent with a great atmosphere and delicious Gin Bar. The McLaren High School Pipe Band led people through the village on Sunday finishing up at the McLaren Hall with a concert by the local choir and primary school choir with tea and cakes provided by the local Cancer Research Committee. Tickets for the 2018 are on sale now at www.killinmusicfestival.com. Blazin’ Fiddles, Peatbog Faeries and Phil Cunningham and Ali Bain have been announced as the 2018 Headline acts. 6


St Fillans Bit

by Isobel Howell

Thanks to David Kerr for this news item for which I’m sorry didn’t get a mention in June. On 25th April Councillor Rhona Brock presented two cheques on behalf of the Kerr family – one to the St Fillans Community Trust (received and represented by Carol Graham) and another to the left to right, Richard Graham, Chairman St. Fillans Community Council, Sandison Hall (received and represented by Sally Watson). Carol Graham of St. Fillans Community Trust, Councillor Rhona Brock, The donations (each of £100) were made by the Kerr family Sally Watson, Sandison Hall committee. as their appreciation and thanks for the assistance that Photo provided courtesy of Graeme Ritchie, Loch Earn Brewery. the two organisations provided to the tribute ceremony of David’s late father, Alexander Kerr, of news. If there’s something strange of Wester Dundurn, which was held to fruition (especially in a close knit in your neighbourhood – who ya last year. In making the presentation, village where we all have our own gonna call? Well, the answer around at the Loch Earn Brewery & Hotel, opinions and motivations) is another, these parts, is CSI. CSI, which stands Councillor Brock said, ‘It is with and that can make it challenging to for Citizen Science Initiative, is the pleasure that David Kerr asked me to see things through, or get started in brainchild of Andrea Hudspeth, and present these donations on behalf of the first place. I admire anybody who has been set up to obtain funding and his family. David and I go way back to conceives ideas and gets them done get volunteers to survey and identify the days when we both served for years and I wish the plan great success. In wildlife with the goal of adding on Crieff Community Council. I am case anybody would like a hard copy their findings to national biological delighted to be able to present these of the plan, it is available on the databases, as well as raise awareness donations to St. Fillans’ organisations village website, http://www.stfillanscc. and share experiences of wildlife that work tirelessly on behalf of the org.uk/, or contact Carol Graham at sightings in the village. Wildlife is also local community.’ David Kerr and his Lochearnside for a hard/electronic good for the local economy. Andrea family express their thanks to both copy. launched CSI on Saturday 24th June organisations. with a full day’s programme of various Now, there were strange goings on at wildlife spotting events, starting with The 2017 – 2022 St Fillans Community the golf club on 31st May (the date of an introduction to CSI, after which we Action Plan (CAP) was launched the last ladies supper club). One golfer had a bee identification exercise in a on 5th June at the Achray House was taken to wearing a disguise to few volunteers’ gardens. I managed to Hotel. Thanks to Carol Graham who avoid paying the green fees, I suspect. find the one bee that is not really a bee presented the plan, along with Kelly He was spotted darting past the club (no, not a wasp) – it is a cuckoo bee. Clapperton-Bates from the National house several times, dressed as an Did you know that cuckoo bees don’t Park Community Partnership and otter. I’ve also heard reports of pine have the little pollen sacs on their legs, Hayley Rivers-Hambach, Trish marten sightings along by the weir unlike “real” bees? Also, their wings are Forrester and Bradley Sol from the and in a neighbour’s garden, which more fly-like in appearance, and just Action Plan Group. There was a good leads me nicely into my next snippet representation of villagers (possibly Continued overleaf lured along with the promise of free drinks and nibbles, thanks to the hotel). Action plans of various projects, groups and activities were displayed on boards and villagers were encouraged to “sign up” and put Light Lunch and ‘Specials’ Menu their names against anything which in the Bistro they thought they could contribute • to, or would be interested in joining or Afternoon and Cream Tea doing. One suggestion was a “fitness • group” and so I suggested a hoola Evening A La Carte hooping club in the hall once a week. and Rosette Menu I’m bringing along salt and vinegar • flavour to the first one (somehow, I Sunday Roasts from £15.95 don’t think that’s what they had in • mind, however…) On a serious note, Lunches, Afternoon Tea, Suppers reading the attractive CAP brochure, and Dinner served daily which has been published to promote the launch, it really made me take stock and I felt very proud of what the village can achieve when we pull together. It is one thing to have an idea in the first place, but getting it 7

The St Fillans Bit continued from previous page

like the birds, they lay their eggs in other bees’ nests. I also learned during the day, that as toads are unable to climb out of drains (or “gully pots” as they are known in professional wildlife circles) somebody has come up with the clever idea of making toad ladders which you pop into the hole which little amphibians can then climb up and out into safety. Apparently, during the breeding season, toads and frogs getting stuck in gully pots is a big problem and many hundreds die. Hopefully, through CSI, we can tackle the problem. Later in the day, as dusk fell, we learned all about bats and a group of us spent several hours by the side of the A85, watching out for and detecting bats on monitors from which we could tell what type of bat they were by the frequency at which their voices were transmitted. Quite a few bemused motorists stared at us as we stood by the road, with little black monitor box in hand – I think they thought we were doing speed checks which had the unintended effect of slowing traffic considerably. The bus driver slowed right down at one point to ask what we were doing – we must have looked very odd, staring into the sky. We told him we were UFO spotting. At the end of a few hours, we had counted over fifty bats, just by the houses opposite the weir. I fully recommend anybody to spend a few hours getting involved in CSI and in Andrea’s company as you can learn so much about the wildlife on your doorstep. I am looking forward to replaying the video and camera footage from the wildlife camera that was set up in our garden to record the red squirrels – the camera, by the way, is available to anybody who’d like to use it to record wildlife round and about them. Just contact Andrea if you’d like to borrow it or if you’d like to get involved in CSI. The Festive Committee are busy making final preparations for the August Festive Weekend which, this year, is a three day event, running from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th August. This year we are very proud


CSI - Catching bees. Photo courtesy of S Howell

CSI - Identifying bees. Photo by I Howell

to be celebrating the bicentenary of the renaming of our village to St Fillans; older documentation ascribes the names of Port Mhor, Port of Loch Erne or Meikleport to the village and its environs. The Committee is very pleased to announce that it won a grant for funding which means that the cost of a weekend adult ticket can be kept at £25 – for this you can attend all events over the weekend, receive four meals and catch all of

the entertainment throughout the festive period. As the Committee says: “As deals go, this one is not to be missed!” More details on the content of the weekend will be announced next month but I can reveal that the theme will be a reflection of the past two hundred years with the Friday evening containing links to the first hundred years, Saturday  from the period of the First World War to the mid 1950s and Sunday from late 1950s to the present day. We hope that all our residents, locals, friends and families will join us to make this a celebration to remember. Keep the date in your diaries! Finally, news from our local hotels: Zelda informs me that the Achray House Hotel is celebrating  the midpoint of the year, which is 2nd July  at 1:00 pm  when 182 days will have passed and 182 days are remaining. They are inviting guests for a special lunch because this day rarely falls on a Sunday – contact the hotel to book and for anyone keen to join a global club out of this world, the  2nd  of July  is also World UFO Day! Zelda kindly pointed out to me that staff are receiving on the job learning as part of their apprenticeship programme and remain at the hotel whilst studying and are not going off to college to study, as I’d incorrectly mentioned last month – my apologies. The Four Seasons reports that the May Ball charity evening was a successful evening – by the way, I can confirm that the village raised £850 for the Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance. On 22nd July they are hosting the Annual MacLaren Dinner (same date as the Lochearnhead highland games) and they strongly advise booking for meals to avoid disappointment as they are very busy with bookings and remind folks that cream teas are available every day. A reminder that the St Fillans Golf Club is open for evening meals on Saturdays (as they often get forgotten about) – it’s worth booking ahead and contacting chef, Richard Mountain, beforehand, to give him time to prepare in advance. He puts in a lot of effort, his meals are very generous and good value too. You might also spot an otter!

A Note from

St Angus’s Some of you might remember a very open and kindly discussion we held at the end of May as part of our Food for Thought programme, looking at the question of human sexuality and the church’s response to new developments in social practice prior to the Episcopal Church’s General Synod where a decision was to be reached about the church’s position on marriage. That Synod has come and gone with a fanfare of sensational headlines and I thought it might be helpful if I explained the church’s actual position which is quite a bit more nuanced and thoughtful than the headlines would have suggested.   As you are aware, under the law people in a same sex relationship can now marry if they wish, a step further perhaps than a civil partnership. There has been some controversy about this because of people’s perceptions of what marriage actually is, with the traditional view of it being between a man and a woman, with the potential for children – the basis for the traditional family. With the views of secular society having changed considerably in recent years, there has been a shift in the feelings of many Christians, as they wonder about the best interpretation of the scriptures which are of course the basis for Christian belief and practice. The deepest difficulty has been how you balance love and the truth that God’s love includes all his creation, against our interpretation of the scriptures and the experience of millennia of human life and relations with God, and the orthodoxy that has grown out of that.   The church now admits in its canons that there are divergent views on marriage. It acknowledges that the State now insists that marriage officers marry anyone who asks, of whatever gender, but chooses to keep the legal provision for church ministers to be exempt from this requirement, so that they will continue routinely to marry a man and a woman. However, it now does make provision for a minister to ask for nomination as a marriage officer for people of the same sex provided that their church communities are in full agreement. The reason for this is to allow in love for those people who hold differing views on marriage to remain within the church community, accepting that it is possible to hold differing views without being forced out of one another’s company in worship and at communion. It is a humble acceptance of the reality that we are struggling to discern the truth in all the conflicting opinions that swirl around us, and we continue to pray for the guidance of the Spirit in reaching truth.   We are open to the reality that in the end truth has always prevailed, and that what is false will inevitably wither away, and in the process of searching for truth we wish to maintain love and Paddy compassion for our fellow seekers.

Church News

Balquhidder BLS

Musings from the Manse Hi Folks Last month’s musical theme appeared to go down well (with ageing rockers that is!) so I thought I would continue along that road. There are lines from two songs which seem contradictory when placed side by side but which, I believe, need to be viewed together. The first is from the Band Coldplay: “We live in a beautiful world” and next from the more radical outfit Radiohead: “Everything is broken!” Paradoxically, and frustratingly, both these sentiments are true. Beauty exists all around us in a variety of forms whether within the world of nature or in the human realm. Unfortunately, there is also brokenness in both realms too. Our TV screens in recent days, weeks, and months have been filled with mainly the latter, simply because it is usually deemed to be more newsworthy. Now if we only concentrate on one of these opposite poles we will have a distorted view of reality. Our world is a complex place where joy exists alongside sorrow; peace alongside conflict; happiness alongside misery; laughter alongside tears; good alongside evil; purpose alongside emptiness; hopes and dreams alongside bitter and shattering disappointments. It is too easy be pessimistic, especially influenced by our 24/7 media which covers every tragedy, ad nauseam. So, what should our response be to this? Well, most of us feel helpless at the “big picture” level of our world. Many issues that are the subject matter of our news-headlines are complex and difficult - and outside of our direct influence. Yes, we can respond to appeals for money and support NGOs and Charities at the “sharp end” but often we are left feeling this is wholly inadequate. However, we cannot save the world and we are not responsible for the world. On a day to day basis we can only respond positively and generously to the situations of life we ourselves encounter. Nonetheless, this is no small thing! There is a line from a Santana song “Make somebody happy - make somebody strong”. That is a powerful mantra for daily living. What if all of us vowed to do that for at least one person every day? The analogy here is the “lightbulb” illustration re climate change. One person reducing energy consumption seems small-fry indeed but if enough people do it there is a real and meaningful result. Changing the metaphor and being Biblical, we can all “shine our light” on a daily basis. It may not save the world tomorrow but it is no small thing - and a perfect antidote to cynicism and pessimism. So go ahead…..”Make somebody happy/make somebody strong”. Sometimes a simple phone call can do that!




*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 writes with the recent vote in mind... An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism ‘worked... that no one would be poor and no one would be rich... a great equalizer’. The professor then said, “OK - you will all write some experimental essays in this class on “Socialism’s ideological plan”. All grades will be averaged, and everyone will receive the same grade, so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.” After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who before studied little, had studied even less - and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too, so they also studied little. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the third test rolled around, the average was an F. As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings, and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. To their great surprise, all failed - and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. It could not be any simpler than that.

Thought for today:

“We must remember that it is very unnerving to be proven wrong, particularly when you are really right and the person who is really wrong is proving you wrong and proving themselves wrongly right”. Old Nyati


There are five morals to this story: 1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. 2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. 3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. 4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it! 5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation. Accredited to Billy Guy. And finally let us consider...


SOCIALISM: You have two cows, and give one to your neighbour. COMMUNISM:  You have two cows; the government takes both and gives you milk. FASCISM:  You have two cows;  the government takes both and sells you milk. BUREAUCRACY:  You have two cows, the government takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and pours the milk down the drain. CAPITALISM:   You have two cows, you sell   one and buy a bull. All food for thought, isn’t it?

‘Sacred Cow’

Summer is here and our U3A is mostly on holiday until the new session in September. However, language students prefer not to have a break and continue to practise at informal meetings in members’ homes or, as the French Group, in The Old Bank Café. Many other groups have had end-of-term lunches and the photo shows the Wine Tasting group gathering for a splendid dinner at Benview Café. Spot The Villagers ex-editor Marguerite Kobs enjoying herself! Keep in touch with events via our website ‘Callander and West Perthshire U3A’ and make a note of our AGM and Enrolment Day which takes place on Thursday 24 August at Callander Kirk Hall from 2.00-4.00pm.


McLaren High School McLaren High School Sports Awards 2017 On Tuesday 13 June, the PE department held our inaugural Sports Award Ceremony. Over 130 pupils attended this event which was a fantastic turnout for the first year. The aim of these awards was to celebrate the sporting success of our young people both in and out of school as well as recognise the contribution that our club coaches make to sports at McLaren High School. We were thrilled to be joined by Scott Riddell, captain of the Scotland national Sevens rugby team,  who was our guest speaker. He opened the Awards with an inspiring story about the success he has achieved in his career as well as the hard work it took to get there. This was an excellent message to our pupils and one they can carry with Scott Riddell - Guest Speaker at the School Sports Awards them in the future.   Overall this was a fantastic night of celebrating sport in the McLaren community and recognising the achievement and success of our young people. As a school, we are very proud of our pupils’ sporting achievements outside of the classroom and it was fantastic to host an evening where both staff and pupils could come together and celebrate sport.  We can’t wait until the 2018 Sports Awards - more sport, more awards!   Pipe Band Workshop McLaren High School hosted its first ever McLaren High School Pipes and Drums Workshop on 4 June.   The School’s pipe band, which has gone from strength to strength since it was set up by pupil Callum Hall two years ago, wanted to ensure a lasting legacy for the pipe band, and it was agreed that the best way to do that was to ensure that children start playing Students enjoy tuition in drumming and piping pipes and drums at Primary School. Over 50 children from all 11 local feeder primary schools came to take part in what turned out to be a fantastically productive and enjoyable day. Led by piping tutor Andrew Wallace, drum tutors Sandy Bayne and Vikki Paul and helped by current members of the High School’s Pipe Band, participants were given an introduction to the chanter and side and tenor drumming. They will continue with lessons after the summer holidays. The enthusiasm from the Primary pupils was palpable and, after a wonderful demonstration of playing from the pipe band, they all agreed it was a great first step on the way to becoming fully fledged pipe band members when they move to High School.   All in all, a thoroughly great way to ensure the future of the McLaren High School Pipe Band.


School Show, Les Misérables (School Edition) Images from the school’s summer show ‘Les Miserables. Congratulations on a fantastic night! And below: Sports Day

visit our website:

www.mclarenhigh.co.uk School Eco Group We are in the process of developing our school garden with the Gardening Group, part of the school Eco Group, which meets on Wednesday and Friday at lunchtimes to progress this. The recent good weather has encouraged the group to spend lots of time planting new flowers and vegetables and we are looking forward to harvesting the fruits of their labours later in the year! Using a grant from Ground for Learning, the Science department, assisted by several groups of pupils  reared 2 pots of painted lady caterpillars, monitoring their growth and watching their amazing metamorphosis into painted lady butterflies. They were released into the school garden to help pollinate the flowers growing there. Pupils said: “It was an amazing experience to see the chrysalises opening up to reveal the beautiful wings of a butterfly inside and definitely an experience we will repeat.” 13

Ranger’s Review by Gareth Kett

If the oak before the ash, then we’ll only have a splash. If the ash before the oak, then we’ll surely have a soak! …or so the old country adage goes. There was undoubtedly some truth to this back in the 18th century when there was a good chance that the ash would come into leaf before the oak, but the ash is no longer a serious contender having leafed before the oak just six times in the past 53 years (1)(2). So what has swung the balance so far in the favour of the oak? The oak is very sensitive to temperature change leafing six days earlier for each degree temperature rise. Ash responds too but to a lesser degree, giving oak a four day advantage for every degree Celsius temperature rise. While unconfirmed, ash appears to be more influenced by day-length (1)(3). The average springtime temperature has increased by about 2.5ºC since the mid-1700s due to anthropogenic (caused by compared to the same time in previous man) climate change (2). This could years. Disturbance to wildlife also be bad news for some wildlife which appears to have been reduced. While is interdependent on leaf-burst, such there is no baseline data, anecdotally as great-tits and blue-tits that depend more aquatic birds such as common on winter moth caterpillars to feed sandpipers, goosanders, mergansers, their chicks, the caterpillars being dippers and oystercatchers can be dependent on the oak leaf-burst for seen around our lochs-shores than at food. While the moths seem to be this time in previous years. We even able to adapt to the advancing oak had a pair of goldeneye on Loch Earn leaf-burst, the tits appear to be less in mid-May. adaptable and so could be lagging This season the Trossachs & behind an important food source (3). Breadalbane Ranger Team has been In mixed woodland, the gap in leaf- joined by seven Seasonal Rangers to burst between the oak and the ash is assist us with the bye-law enforcement. also likely to give the oak a competitive Adrian Walters returns for his second season while Colin Bradley, Marie advantage over the ash (1). Each summer visitor management Davis, Josh Leckie, Laura Millar, Rob is a significant part of Ranger Service Travis-Smith and Gill Walker are new work as together with Police Scotland to the team. We also have a team of we try to control the all-too-familiar bank staff who will step into fill any anti-social behavior problems gaps that appear in the patrol rota. We associated with some visitors. This will be implementing normal and late year visitor management duties patrols until the end of September so have been further augmented with hopefully we will see some of you out the rolling out of camping byelaws on patrol as the season progresses. around the busiest loch-shores Bye-law enforcement is dominating in the National Park. Within the the work of the Ranger Service, but Breadalbane area lochs Lubnaig, we remain committed to conservation Voil, Doine and Earn fall within the and supporting local schools. In recent camping management zone. The aim weeks we have worked with Strathyre of the bye-laws is to reduce littering, Primary explaining bird migration, damage to the environment and leading a bug safari and carrying out other anti-social behaviour around path repairs with parents and pupils, our loch-shores. For full details please and at Crianlarich Primary we have visit the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs taken pupils electro-fishing with National Park website following ecologist from the Tay Foundation as this link http://www.lochlomond- the final part of their Salmon in the trossachs.org/things-to-do/camping/ Classroom project. The Glen Dochart Wader Project campingbyelaws/ While there have been challenges began back in 2009 with the aim associated with implementing the of reversing the decline in curlew, bye-laws, at this stage littering and lapwing, oystercatcher, redshank and damage to trees appear to be down snipe numbers along the eastern Glen 14

Electro fishing

Dochart floodplain. Baseline surveys were carried out by National Park staff during the breeding seasons of 2009, 2010 and 2011 to establish population levels, before sluices and scrapes were put in to manage water levels promoting habitat recovery. The area was then left for a couple of years to allow the groundwork to take effect and for the vegetation to reestablish while land managers reduced grazing pressure from livestock. A biannual spring surveying programme has been implemented since 2013 to monitor the status of the waders. Survey results to 2015 indicated a recovery in numbers of all species except for redshank. Unfortunately this year’s results were down on previous years, but we’re hopeful that this is a blip in an increasing population trend rather than the start of a decline. As usual if you have anything you wish to discuss concerning bye-laws, wildlife, or anything else, you are welcome to drop into the Lochearnhead office, or to contact me by e-mail at gareth.kett@lochlomondtrossachs.org, or by phone on the Lochearnhead office number, 01389 722040. If I’m not in the office please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. References: 1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ear th/ earthnews/3343188/Ash-no-longer-a-contenderto-leaf-before-oak.html 2. http://www.field-studies-council.org/news/ashbefore-oak-we%E2%80%99re-in-for-a-soak,-oakbefore-ash-we%E2%80%99re-in-for-a-splash.aspx 3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/natureuk/2011/05/ oak-before-ash-in-for-a-splash.shtml

SEEING STARS by Keith Wilson 

JULY 2017 The giant planet Jupiter is bright in the west after sunset and sets around midnight this month. In January 1610, Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei discovered four of Jupiter’s moons — now called Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. The closest of the Galilean moons to Jupiter is Io, the first moon to be discovered by Galileo. This satellite’s distinctive feature is its volcanoes, making it the only celestial body in the solar system besides Earth to have volcanic activity. Moving outward from Jupiter is Europa. Cracks and streaks crisscross the entire icy surface, which is marked with very few craters. The surface is fairly young and it is likely that an extensive ocean lies beneath its surface Ganymede is the largest of the four. The satellite’s core is topped off by a thick crust that is mostly ice. The surface of Ganymede is covered by highly cratered dark regions and areas of intricate patterns. Callisto, the fourth and farthest of the Galilean moons from Jupiter, is the most heavily cratered object in the solar system. If you use binoculars and are able to keep them steady then you should be able to make out these four moons orbiting Jupiter - however one or more may be hidden behind the planet when you look.


With more and more of our patients going abroad on holiday, or as an aid for a charity, we find that the demands on our service have increased. Bracklinn Practice is not a travel clinic, therefore, often, we cannot provide patients with all the vaccines they need. In future, you will be asked to collect a travel questionnaire and offered a 20-minute appointment with the practice nurse to discuss what you require. We can only give you appointments for the following vaccines – Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Cholera. If you are going away and we cannot offer you a suitable appointment within your timeframe, or you are advised you need vaccines other than the ones stated above, or anti-malarial medication you will be advised to go to a private travel clinic. CALLANDER MEDICAL CENTRE Please note that all training afternoons have been cancelled until September. This is because NHS24 are unable to provide cover.

Glenorchy Farm

Free range rare breed pork for sale

We sell fresh pork as 1/2 pigs (20kg) and 1/4 pigs (10kg) Available in Greedy Pig Box £180 Small Family Box £80 Joints and cuts can be changed to suit etc

Can arrange drop off in local area Available July, October, November

Contact: Fiona MacLennan 07783 116399 e: fiona.glenorchyfarm@gmail.com facebook: Glenorchy Farm


Drover’s Bho Sculpture Unveiled

on BLiSS trail at Sustrans Cycle RT7 Strathyre A sculpture of a highland drover’s cow, has been set on Sustrans cycle RT7 in Strathyre by the Loch Earn Tourism Information (LETi) group to celebrate Scotland’s Year of History Heritage and Archaeology on the award winning BLiSS trail. Drover’s Bho by Kev Paxton of ArtFe blacksmiths is the latest addition to the regional Scottish Thistle Award winning BLiSS trail that links Balquhidder. Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans villages with eye catching art installations. LETi commissioned the work using a grant awarded through Sustrans ArtRoots fund. Sustrans is the charity making it easier for people to walk and cycle. They connect people and places, create liveable neighbourhoods, transform the school run and deliver a happier, healthier commute. Sustrans Scotland’s National Director John Lauder said “Art is an essential part of enjoyment of public spaces and placemaking, encouraging more to travel actively. Our new ArtRoots programme enables communities to make improvements to the National Cycle Network across Scotland. Drover’s Bho is the first completed project from the fund and we think it is a fantastic addition to route 7” Drover’s Bho can be seen from the road and Sustrans path, between the A84 and old Strathyre. The wee coo sits on a heather clad hillock encased by a stone dyke - constructed by community volunteers, on route 7 near Strathyre’s Balvaig Bridge. Chair of LETi Kim Proven said “Bhó means cow in Gaelic, the language used in Strathyre at the time of the drovers, who would often drive cattle up to 20km per day. This was before the mid nineteenth century revolution in agriculture replaced open common grazing with enclosed fields. We placed the wee Bho on Sustrans cycle RT7 exit near the Balvaig Bridge. This marks an area between the old drove road and old Strathyre, where drovers used to rest up and enjoy local ale and whisky.” Children from nearby Strathyre Primary School joined LETi to celebrate the launch. Drover’s Bho’s location is 16

Children from Strathyre Primary School welcome the ‘coo’...

close to the school whose children can enjoy spotting the bramble wielding mouse on her head, the brambles in her mouth and the thistle, placed by the artist as a reminder of LETi’s Thistle Award trophy for “Working Together For Tourism” on BLiSS trail art installations 2016/2017. Artist Kev Paxton has also submitted Mirren to the BLiSS trail 2017. Named after William Wallace’s wife; the full sized cow is made of steel flowers, petals and thistles and sits in a visiting artists location at The Lochearnhead Hotel. Perth College UHI art students are working on their contribution - a sculpture that will celebrate the history and heritage of Loch Earn. BLiSS trail links up to 25 sculptures, architectural installations and fun ornamental features in the four villages. For example, STILL by Rob Mulholland in St Fillans, Dragon Bike by June McEwan in Lochearnhead, The Look Out by architects Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tylor near Loch Voil and the red telephone

box book and DVD exchange outside Balquhidder Village Hall. Friends of The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park awarded LETi a grant of £1000 which has funded robust and weatherproof BLiSS trail signs promoting the installations and highlighting a website map of their locations. Be sure to sample real Highland hospitality when visiting the BLiSS trail. Drovers are long gone but local story telling over an ale or dram are still a local tradition in Strathyre and the neighbouring pubs and hotels of LETi villages mapped at www.robroycountry. com/blisstrail For further information, photographs and interviews contact: Kim Proven Chair of LETi (Loch Earn Tourism Information)

07917 416497 / 01567 830443; briarinfo@btinternet.com www.robroycountry.com Twitter @robroycountry

... and all raise a glass (milk, of course)!

Ali Baba

and the Bongo Bandits! Well done Strathyre Primary School for a fantastic show at Balquhidder Hall on 15th June - Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits - a musical comedy in the proper pantomime spirit. There was a packed house for the show (you couldn’t have squeezed a mouse in!) and for two hours the children delighted us all with fabulous songs, hilarious jokes and colourful costumes. They must have worked so hard to get it so right! Congratulations to Head Teacher Bernie McDonald and her team for a truly magical evening.

Some of the characters had great names: Alakazam, Sultan Pepper, Semolina, Tapioca and Figgy, Izzi, Wazzi, Azzi, Mufti, Tufti, Shifti and Gonk, Achoo, Apu, Aleik, Azit... and the Grand Vizier was called... Mustapha Widdle...



Life of Elizabeth Douglas Christie (nee Menzies) fondly known as Betty 1st October 1924 – 4th March 2017

Callander Rambling Club

Betty was born on the 1st October 1924 to John and Catherine Menzies at East Chapel Cottage, Auchterarder. A sister to Margaret (Peg), John (Jeek) & Neil.

Betty led a contented life on the farm, where she was expected from an early age to do housework and farm chores, with little money for recreation and luxuries. Betty attended Tullibardine and Auchterarder Schools before coming home to work on the family farm. She loved the animals, especially the working horses. She wasn’t so keen on the tattie picking which was back breaking work with little reward. Betty worked happily on the farm until war broke out when she left to join the land army and moved to Ballimore at Balquhidder, where she worked hard and made lots of new friends and mixed well with the others also away from home. Due to Betty’s mother being terminally ill, she returned home to look after her at Auchterarder. After Betty’s mother died she remained at Strathallan with her father and when he was no longer able to work, cared for him until he died. Betty moved in with her sister for a short time when the family home was given up, gaining seasonal employment on the local farms. Through her contacts with the land army she learned of a position with the Christie Family of Kirkton Farm, Balquhidder and returned to the area. Betty was a carer, housekeeper, farmer, gardener, baby sitter and soon part of the family. Alexander (Lex) Christie ran the farm and relied on Betty greatly. Life was hard on the farm so they diversified and started doing Bed and Breakfast. It proved to be popular, with many of the guests returning year after year. In 1970 Betty and Lex married. They had a happy life on the farm and were a very popular couple within the area. Enjoying the B & B business and the social aspect of this, the kitchen at Kirkton was rarely empty. Betty’s homemade doughnuts were very popular and selling eggs, butter and milk from the diary just outside the back door made some extra cash. They were very community minded, helping neighbours and being involved in most things in the village. 18

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

Betty and Lex

Both helped at the church and school and when, for a short time there was a caravan site across the road, they ran it for the owners. Betty also looked after a couple of holiday homes in the area. She enjoyed the WRI where she did like the competitions, often winning. Both of them supported most of the events in the village hall, the hub of the community. Sadly, Lex died suddenly in 1986 and Betty had to give up the farm. Betty moved to Callander thirty years ago. Often seen striding along from Lagrannoch into the town and back with her shopping, she adapted to town living in a blink. Letter writing and keeping in contact with friends and relations was very important, as her address book confirmed, and her telephone bill was always high. Thursday Club, Guild, day trips, coffee mornings etc. made her weeks busy and she still found time to make her sandwiches and baking which were always popular no matter the event. She loved browsing the charity shops for a bargain. Three years ago Betty had a fall while out for the day and hurt her leg, this reduced her mobility making her world much smaller. But she adapted, spending more time chatting on the telephone than going out and was often seen at her front door chatting to the local passers-by. Betty read her daily paper from cover to cover and rarely missed the news; she also subscribed to The Villagers. She was very aware what was going on in the world and had strong opinions on most topics. Strictly was a favourite TV programme but she never felt the best dancer won and regularly disagreed with the judge’s opinions. . Betty had a stroke on 14th January 2017 and died 4th March 2017. A very caring, determined lady who will be missed by many.

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.co.uk/ ramblers.htm in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: July • Sat 1 08:30 Ramble: Comrie to Callander (12 miles) Contact 01877 330059 • Wed 5 09:30 Stroll: Glenlednock, Comrie (5miles) Contact 01877 330662 • Sat 8 08:30 LDP: RB4 – Balquhidder to Killin (11miles) Contact 01877 330032 • Sat 15 08:30 Hill: Ben Cruachan (1126m) Contact 01877 339080 • Wed 19 09:30 Ramble: Ben Gullipen (Callander Summerfest) (414m)  Contact 01877 330032 • Sat 22 08:30 Stroll: Dunblane towards Sheriffmuir (4.5 miles)  Contact 01786 825682 • Sat 29 08:30 LDP: RB5 – Killin to Lochearn (11.5miles)  Contact 01877 330032 August • Wed 2 09:30 Stroll: A Culross Circuit (4.5miles) Contact 01786 825249 We meet in Ancaster Square, unless otherwise indicated. Please bring wet weather clothing, appropriate footwear and a packed lunch. And please let the walk leader know if you plan to join the walk via the contact number given! Visitors and non-members welcome.

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of a meeting held at The Village Hall, Balquhidder on 17 May 2017 Please note that these minutes have not yet received formal approval and should be considered as a draft version only. Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Paul Hicks (PH), Loraine Telfer (LT), Adrian Squires (AS), David Johnston (DJ), Karen Methven (KM), Ruth McLusky (RM), Margaret Alexander (MA). Apologies: Angus Cameron (AC), Richard Eastland (RE). Cllr Martin Earl, Stirling Council; Billy Ronald (BR), National Park. In attendance: Cllr Jeremy McDonald (JM), Michelle Flynn (MF), Theresa Elliot (TE), Stirling Council; PC Will Diamond (WD), Police Scotland. 1) Approval of Minutes It was proposed by DJ, and seconded by AS, that the minutes of the meeting on 5th April 2017 should be accepted, and this was approved unanimously. 2) Declarations of Interest No declarations were made. MA was welcomed formally as a newly co-opted member of the community council. 3) Police Report Overnight between 24-25th March, an Ifor Williams trailer was stolen from a property on Kendrum Road, Lochearnhead. The police are still looking for further information about this theft. On 24th March, an incident of sheep worrying occurred off Keip Road, Strathyre, when a dog was seen to be at large within a field of sheep. The following day, one of the ewes was found dead with injuries consistent with it having been attacked by a dog. Again, police are looking for information regarding the dog and its owner. On 7th April, a male was charged and reported to the Procurator Fiscal after breaching the new National Park bye-laws by setting up a tent. On 30th April, two males were charged and reported for a number of offences, including two charges under the new bye-laws, being in possession of controlled drugs, and illegal fishing. A number of conditional offers were issued to motorists for driving offences, including a number of speeding motorists. Seven motorists were reported for driving at excessive speed within the villages of Lochearnhead and Strathyre. Two motorists were also reported for driving with no insurance. On 27th April, a hit-and-run road incident occurred when a lorry struck a vehicle on the A84, North of Strathyre, and failed to stop. High visibility patrols and static road checks continued through April and May to deter and detect travelling criminals. PC Diamond was on leave for four weeks during this period. WD also mentioned a new poster initiative, designed specifically for wheelie-bins. Small posters reminding people of the speed limit are to be placed on each bin at houses along the roads where speed limits apply. 4) Economic development in rural areas Steven MacDonald, Team Leader for Economic Development at Stirling Council, gave a presentation on this subject, particularly in relation to rural areas. He described the various forms of assistance available for projects, emphasising the importance of a partnership approach. Stirling Council is developing a ‘Rural Economic Action Plan’ to replace the previous plan from the Forth Valley Leader Team. This should be ready by the end of June. A ‘Rural Economic Development Forum’ will be established and will hold public meetings in different areas, alongside colleagues from Planning and Roads. The plan will aim to complement the ‘Tourism and Events Strategy’ arising out of the finance made available through the ‘City Deal’. It is hoped that this will attract an increase of 25% in the numbers of people coming to Stirling and the surrounding area. Mr MacDonald then gave examples of a number of projects that might be deemed suitable for assistance. These included rural broadband; the provision of ‘rural business hubs’ (small cabins providing space for meetings to those normally based in their own homes); production facilities for food and drink; ‘Smart Screens’ (to complement existing digital or interactive signs); and ‘Market Pods’ (for events such as farmers’ markets and festivals). The Council is planning to provide a crowd-funding platform to publicise projects and promote them, and a database of external funding opportunities. They will work with the existing ‘Leader Programme’ (a rural development programme jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the European Union). They will advise on inward investment in marketing (to provide for job creation and job safeguarding), and branding. The Council has gone through a re-branding exercise itself recently, and the Economic Development Team will have a marketing officer to work in the rural areas, to help coordinate all such strategies. DJ asked if Mr MacDonald would be available to speak to the BLS Trust, and he indicated that he would. MM then mentioned the impending re-evaluation of non-domestic rates, pointing out that the Scottish Government has capped increases to 12.5% initially, but nobody knows what will happen next year. SM responded that one of his team is already putting together a paper on this subject to provide help and advice for small businesses that will be affected. MM then thanked Mr MacDonald for his presentation and contact details were exchanged. 5) Trustees’ Liability Insurance MM referred to an item from Stirling Council that had been circulated to members on 19th April. It invited community councils to consider obtaining ‘Trustees’ Liability Insurance’ and was provoked by a recent incident where a community council had been faced with the threat of legal action, and a question had arisen over whether or not the current ‘public liability’ insurance negotiated by Stirling Council would cover such circumstances. PH had sought clarification on several points from the Council but, so far, had not received any reply. MM stated that this uncertainty needed to be resolved as quickly as possible. Failure to do so could lead to the community council being suspended until such time as the matter had been resolved. JM commented that this matter had been raised by other community councils, and he had already asked for further information on this to be circulated. MF added that she would feed this back to the community engagement team. TE confirmed that Strathfillan Council had also raised similar questions. DJ asked about the position for the BLS Trust. TE responded that she thought the Trust would be covered as a limited company by guarantee, but MF suggested that individual trustees could still be open to liability. It was agreed that we would continue to function as a community council for the time being, but particular care would be exercised when it came to matters such as planning applications. If necessary, these would be set aside until such time as further clarification about insurance was available. Action: Stirling Council to provide clarification. 6) Matters arising 6a) Trunk road issues. PH reported having received a reply from Amy Phillips, Road Safety Manager for Transport Scotland. Firstly, the warning sign for Lechine Cottage had been erected on 27th March. WD suggested that the sign might have been placed on the wrong approach (Westbound instead of Eastbound). He would seek to confirm this. Secondly, the A84 trunk road between Kilmahog and Lochearnhead will be assessed for safety during the current, financial year. This will include a review of existing safety barriers, and stretches that may require one to be built. Finally, as regards the cutting back of wild flowers: this is required for safety purposes to ensure forward visibility for drivers. Every effort is made to take account of flowering and seeding times, but operations have to be spread out over time, so it is not always possible to pick the ideal time for cutting. MF mentioned that there had been a national initiative to plant wild flowers but, where this happened, Transport Scotland needed to be informed. 6b) Access to fields in Lochearnhead. PH reported having sent a reply to Mr & Mrs McDiarmid regarding this matter. He had since received a second letter from them, asking if the community council could pursue this further. They were particularly concerned about the former water sports centre, and suggested that the gate should be unlocked and a sign saying ‘Enter at your own risk’ should be displayed instead of ‘Do not enter’. They also proposed asking LETI and the National Park for their comments. MF mentioned the question of legal liability in relation to the site where the former building had been demolished after an arson attack, and suggested that this might be the reason for it being kept locked. It was agreed that the McDiarmids should be encouraged to contact the National Park for advice on access to such properties. Action: PH to reply to the McDiarmids. 7) Presentation of Accounts LT had prepared a statement of accounts for the past financial year, and had them reviewed by an independent auditor. These were presented for scrutiny and PH proposed that they should be accepted. This was seconded by DJ and approved unanimously. LT suggested sending a small mark of appreciation to the auditor and this was agreed. Action: LT to send a small gift or card to the auditor. 8) Appointment of Officers TE took the chair for this item. The following members stated their willingness to continue in office, and no other offers or proposals were made. Those listed below were proposed and seconded for specific rôles as follows: MM: Chair; (RM and KM) DJ: Deputy Chair; (MM and PH) LT: Treasurer; (PH and KM) PH: Secretary; (DJ and LT) AS: Planning Officer. (RM and MM) 9) Rural and Neighbourhood Watch PH reported that an initiative called ‘Rural Watch Scotland’ had been launched recently in conjunction with the National Farmers Union. It is linked to the long-established ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ scheme, but is a separate organisation, designed particularly to counter crime in rural areas. The organisation sends out regular updates, and council members will be circulated when these arrive. PH queried whether the establishment of local Neighbourhood Watch schemes should also be considered, and asked members for comments. The consensus was that neighbourhood watch schemes wouldn’t really work in our area, and that the ‘Rural Watch’ would be more appropriate. MF expanded on how Rural Watch works, and everyone agreed that this should be recommended to local residents who could sign up as individuals for regular information. 10) One Scotland Mapping Agreement DJ explained that there is a national agreement whereby community councils are able to access and use Ordnance Survey data and maps, free of charge. The licence lasts for ten years, and requires the appointment of a ‘Geographic Liaison Officer’ who is the registered contact for the community council. This was approved and DJ agreed to become the nominated representative for our council. Action: DJ to sign up on behalf of BLS CC. 11) Bye-laws and clear-ways PH reported that no new information had been received about when the Alcohol bye-law might take effect. WD said that his information was that this should take effect in June. RM had recently attended the National Park Stakeholder Forum and notes of this meeting, plus slides of a presentation given with figures on the numbers of people using the new facilities, are both available if desired from the Secretary. WD mentioned that six people have been reported so far for offences under the new bye-laws. 12) Correspondence Letter from McDiarmids - Lochearnhead. See item 6b above. 13) Planning Matters No new applications had been submitted. 14) Matters From Councillors Following the recent local elections, the new Council was still being established. MM welcomed JM to his first meeting with us as a new councillor. JM explained that he had already done some canvassing in our area, and was making it his first priority to listen to people and discover the needs and aspirations of the local community. 15) Any Other Competent Business 15a) PH reported a suggestion from a local resident that the community council should produce some local maps with suggested routes or areas for walking and other activities. These could be prepared in conjunction with LETI and the O/S maps would prove extremely useful. This might also prove to be a good candidate for support from the Economic Development Team. It was agreed to pursue this. Action: PH to contact LETI for comments. 15b) DJ reported that an engineer from Stirling Council had been to examine the bridge over the Balvaig River, with a view to effecting repairs. These should be progressed shortly. There was no other business and, at 9:20 p.m., DJ declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is due to take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 28th June 2017 at the Village Hall, Lochearnhead.


Do you need an affordable home?

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre your villages need you! The annual charity men’s and ladies’ football matches take place on Sunday 23rd July 2017 at 3pm

Once the volunteers have cleared up the Highland Games field, the married men of the villages will try to regain the trophy from the holders, the single men. At half time the married ladies will try to revenge the last two years defeats at the hands (or should that be the feet?) of the single ladies. Players of any age and standard will be very welcome and are needed to boost the numbers – can you help? Several local good causes benefit from the famous raffle in addition to a national cancer charity and donations to the raffle would be most welcome. Refreshments and burgers will be available at the beer tent. If you can help out in any way contact: George Weir 07855 023360 Martin Sanders 07719 773230

Kasia’s Cookin’... Rose and Pistachio Cake Yum yum...Watch out next month for a really delicious cake recipe from our cooking expert Kasia!

Callander SWT group

DIARY Sunday 2 July Himalayan Balsam Bash

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

Saturday 29 July SWT Fund-raising stalls

in Ancaster Square, Callander 10:00-16:00

Sunday 13 August Himalayan Balsam Bash

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


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

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

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

in renting when they contact us:

Rural Stirling Housing Association Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AA Telephone: 01786 841101 Email: enquiries@rsha.org.uk www.rsha.org.uk

Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SC037849

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: contact@the-villagers.org.uk

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

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


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

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


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

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

Darts League - The Inn & Bistro - 7.00pm


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

JULY 2017

22 23

Highland Games Lochearnhead - see page 5 Annual Football Match Lochearnhead - see page 20

AUGUST 2017 26

BLS Horticultural Society’s Annual Show - Lochearnhead Village Hall 2-4pm - see page 5

The Villagers’ Photographer Jason Allardyce

www.allardycephotography.co.uk facebook.com/allardycephotography 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 earlm@stirling.gov.uk Councillor Evelyn Tweed Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling, FK8 2ET 01786 233101 Councillor Jeremy McDonald Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling, FK8 2ET 01786 233117

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

Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316

Sunday 11.30am Minister: Rev Dr Russel Moffat The Manse, Main Street, Killin FK21 8TN revmoffat@gmail.com Dundurn Church, St Fillans Sunday11.30am Minister: Rev Graham McWilliams Tel: 01764 671 045

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

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

A reflective time to discuss contemporary issues in a spiritual context

(Check with Rector for venue: 01764 655389)

Vestry Secretary - Maureen Lipscomb Tel: 01567 830234



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2017 Well, that was the weekend that was; all over in the blink of an eye but what a weekend! Once again the success of this year’s Festival was down to the huge support and effort during the course of the year and over the Festival weekend by Team Strathyre. The way our village pulled together to make this event a success was truly magnificent. Thank you one and all. The quality of the musicians and their music was once again superb. It was great to welcome some new musicians to our Festival, as well as the return of the veterans who have supported the Festival since it was started; without them we would be unable to continue. The audience was lively and enthusiastic. Their financial support at The Balvaig Bar - and the volume of tickets sold - ensure that we will be staging the Festival again next year. It was wonderful to see so many people drinking well, but at the same time, responsibly. Thanks for your support. The Market Place this year had its own stage - “The Market Stage” - which proved to be a great success with up and coming acts. Needless to say, this will be back again next year, so book your slot early. Thanks to all those who took stalls: your support is greatly appreciated. May I also take this opportunity to thank all our suppliers who provide the products and services which help facilitate our Festival. However... on a more disappointing note, it seems that certain members of the audience thought it was acceptable to bring their own drinks into the Marquee; well, it’s not! The Balvaig Bar is the main source of revenue for financing The Strathyre Music Festival. Without this revenue stream we would struggle to put the Festival on each year. Support your Festival by buying your drinks at The Balvaig Bar! On a more positive note I am happy to announce the date of next year’s Festival: it will be held over the weekend of 25/26/27 May, 2018. See you all there! Please see our website for further information and Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Mike Keeney Chairman Strathyre Music Festival

A rockin’ good time was had by all! A selection of images from the weekend.

Profile for LETI Group

The Villagers july 2017  

News stories and events around St Fillans, Lochearnhead, Balquhidder and Strathyre. Mhor Festival photos, Strathyre music festival report,...

The Villagers july 2017  

News stories and events around St Fillans, Lochearnhead, Balquhidder and Strathyre. Mhor Festival photos, Strathyre music festival report,...