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

What a scorcher! Sun shines for The 2017 Stuc A’ Chroìn Hill Race See pages 16/17 for more



Editor’s Bit Let us start on a cheery note. Having just returned from a stroll in this wonderful sunshine, I thought, who needs to go to Chelsea to see displays of flowers? We have amazing blue carpets of flowers here; bluebells contrasting with the vibrant yellow of the gorse, and (love them or not) the deep reds and purples of the rhododendrons; the scent wafting from the multi coloured azaleas; the delicate white flowers on the blackthorn with the promise of sloes for the gin to follow later in the year! The good news, at least at the time of typing, is that the weather experts are promising us another dry, sunny and even hot weekend - particularly good news for people intending to visit the festivals at Strathyre and Balquhidder. I’ve just come back from an afternoon walk in Strathyre (two Labradors mean that your 10,000 steps on the Fit Bit are usually achieved each day) and I want to say a big CONGRATULATIONS to all the children who ran the Mini Stuc Race. We were marshalling on the homeward leg and I had not seen how steep the first part of the course was so well done to all. Could I thank two of our readers for getting in touch about my query in last month’s edition as to why Baille A Chnoic in Balquhidder is referred to as the ‘Red House’. Richard sent a copy of the watercolour painting of the cottage (above, right) clearly showing the two red roofs and George Bennett called to say it was the Carnegie family who had re-roofed the cottage using the grey slates now seen in the photo of the cottage today (right). With this local query solved, I throw open a more general question I heard on Radio 4. Hopefully, with such an erudite readership, someone will provide at least one answer. It is topical, as it arose from a poem being read on air about going to vote at the polls. The poem mentioned several times the word Thursday; the poet wondered: why do we always vote on this particular day of the week? He also debated whether it was true that the piece of string used to tie the pencil in the booth really did have to be a certain length - or was this a myth? He ended by urging us all to use our vote, for which others had struggled so hard in the past. I wish I had caught the poet’s name! Two elections do at least put a smile on our Hall Treasurers’ faces. Sorry to end on a rather negative note but we really do need some new contributors either to take over or supplement our existing team or to add fresh columns and viewpoints. These do not need to be every month so please consider if you could write about gardening, farming, books, photography or favourite walks etc. Your paper really does need you! JJ 2

Strathyre News For those that have not yet spotted him, we have a new creature resident in Strathyre. Drover’s Bho is a baby Heiland coo designed and created by artist Kev Paxton. Drover’s Bho is gifted to the LETi #BLiSSTrail/Strathyre Village through a kind donation from Sustrans Scotland. The title of this latest addition to the #BLiSSTrail reflects the closeness to the old “drovers” trail that ran through Strathyre behind the Munro Inn during the late 17th century and “Bho’ “ is Gaelic for “coo” or “small cow”. ‘Wee Bho’ as he is becoming affectionately known, stands on a pedestal. This is a temporary arrangement until a small landscaped hillock emerges underneath to make him feel more at home. The hillock will contain boulders around the base for support and will feature a selection of heathers in a floral landscape - eyecatching for people on bikes or hiking as they enter the village from the north. We expect Bho to become a popular and much photographed attraction at the start of the cycle path. We hope to start the landscaping work within the next week and complete before the Music Festival starts. If anyone has any spare heather clumps they feel willing to

contribute, Bho would be very grateful! Also anyone willing to pop along during landscaping work to lend a hand in the placement of rocks and soil would also be most welcome. If you have any old soil or old rotted/composted grass cuttings this may be an opportunity to contribute to Bho’s hillock. Please let me know. If popping out to visit Bho, watch out for a jaggy thistle he is chewing and see if you can spot a wee mouse that’s climbed on board. Mums and Dads - Please note Bho is not designed for children to climb or sit on, due to the nature of his natural jaggy coat - but he is a real work of art to be admired. Hope you like him!

Above: Artist Kev Paxton (L) and team from ArtFe and below: Drover’s Bho!

Good grief! It’s a ptarmigan! Well spotted, Dougie Aitchison! He managed to snap this chap whilst on marshal duty near the top of the Stuc A” Chroín Hill Race. 3

Lochearnhead Latest

Hats at the Races!

Lochearnhead Village Hall Race Night The annual race night was held in the Lochearnhead village hall on Saturday 13 May. In recent years the evening has developed a reputation for being a ‘good night out’ and draws a crowd from far and wide (well Balquhidder and Strathyre!). This proved to be the case again this year with a vocal crowd assembling to risk their money on the tote, enjoy the banter and cheer on their chosen horses – some people even won money I’ve heard! The entries for the jockey outfit were limited this year (just one!) so Ollie won unanimously or is that ‘unopposed’? The ladies hat was again hotly contested and for the second year running was won by Teresa but it was a close contest with Sheridan taking the second prize and the child’s hat very charmingly modelled by Brook. As always the success of such events depend on the good humour and generosity of the ‘punters’ who come along on the night and this year was no exception. The village hall committee would like to thank everyone for making the evening such a lot of fun and a big thank you to all the individuals and local businesses that provided generous sponsorship for each race. The race night raised in the region of £1000, which will be spent on the upkeep of the hall over the next year; so thanks again to everyone who supported the event.

Lochearnhead Highland Games 2017 Dear Games Supporter Once again, I’ve been waiting for a “dreich” day to justify staying indoors and writing our annual letter to let you know how things are with the Highland Games. Last year we were blessed yet again with the weather; a day later would have been a very different story as the heavens opened in a big way. Our improvements to the field have been a great success and are ongoing; the bar tent area has proved to work well both for drinking and the putting up and taking down of the tent as it is now a fairly dry area even on a wet day. The new entrance and drive in, opposite the village hall, has proved a great saviour as it is easier to get cars and trade stands in and out of the field and saves the field from getting cut up badly by us when preparing the park. Our new system at the gate gets the crowds off the road quicker, therefore making it safer and a smoother experience for people arriving, and also for Liz’s crew who do a great job manning the gates. Sadly, we lost our air display last year which was a great wee attraction. The pilot had problems getting a public performance licence from the CAA because of the Shoreham crash; hopefully we will see him back sometime in the future. All the various licences we now need are in hand, but we now must apply not only to the council but also Transport Scotland for our right to march on a trunk road! The gentleman I spoke to at Transport Scotland seemed a bit baffled. Our numbers on the committee continue to dwindle. If you, or anyone you know, would be prepared to help - even if it is for a couple of hours - could you please let us know. Paul and his parking team need a little propping up! As usual all our prices are going up: toilets, tents, prize monies and judges’ expenses...you can imagine this all costs money, and time too, from our very small army of volunteers. So once again we are asking if you would be generous enough to help us with some form of patronage or sponsorship for this important event in the local calendar. Should you wish to sponsor an event, please contact me, Alex Gargolinski, on 07860 644709 or Ken McCallum on 01786 825 270/07554 297211 and we can discuss what and how. We will, as usual, put a list of our patrons in the programme. If you sponsor an event, this can be done by adding your name or business name. The sum donated will not be listed. Patrons and sponsors will be sent tickets for entry into the park and you will be invited to join the convenors in some “light” refreshments. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future and seeing you at the Games. Yours Aye

A jockey, perhaps?




St Fillans Bit

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 (pictured above) 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!

The Reluctant Cook Many thanks to everyone who bought my book The Reluctant Cook as I have been able to donate over £150 to two charities: Maggie’s Dundee and Marie Curie. The second edition has a better cover showing my son Robert cooking at the old Watersports centre in Lochearnhead. Copies are still available and the price includes a donation to Marie Curie. Libby Ransom

by Isobel Howell

The village held its first party of the year on Saturday 20th May to celebrate 200 years since the renaming of our village. It was an opportunity to let our hair down (or put it up in some cases, as this was a “black tie” do) and partake in some “sophisticated fun”, thanks to Harry Burnett who organised the whole event and The Four Seasons Hotel who provided the venue and catering.  The evening started at 7 pm with drinks and a chance to try and recognise each other in our finest suits and dresses.  It was lovely to see that everyone had made the effort to dress up as we don’t often get the chance in our village to do so (myself being one who lives in dog walking clothes and fleece) it certainly helped to create the right atmosphere.  We sat down to enjoy a delicious three course meal and then the fun and head scratching began - no, there hadn’t been an infestation - we were simply trying to work out the answers to clues about the village that had been given to us, along with a map of the village.  We tried to work out place names to clues such as “OMG not here” - this turned out to be the church (groan).  Then we had to play a Spot the Ball type of game and guess where the treasure had been buried on the map, for which the lucky winner received a prize.  Thanks to Mhor 84 for their prize contribution of a meal for two and to Comrie Butchers and the Greengrocers, The Handy Shop, for prize donations which were awarded for various competitions throughout the event.   During the evening, there was the chance to win a bottle of Champagne simply by making a paper aeroplane (British Aerospace, your jobs are all safe) and flying it across the room to hit a target, with the nearest one winning.  I hate to boast, but my plane won!  All those years spent having paper aeroplane fights with my brother and sister as a child finally paid off.   As the night went on, and the wine flowed, everybody at some stage got up and danced to the band, Mystery Train, who performed a wide set which seemed to appeal to everyone.  During the dancing and games (which included “Irish Bingo”) it was easy to forget the other purpose for getting together, which was to raise funds for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance.   Profits from ticket sales, money donations to table games and sales of raffle tickets, all amounted to a figure in the region of six to seven hundred pounds (the total will be confirmed in next month’s issue), all of which has been donated to the Air Ambulance. A big thank you to everyone who bought tickets, contributed to the bottle raffle and made donations (one generous person donated £100 and couldn’t attend).  Despite disappointing ticket sales (there Continued overleaf


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was an auspicious 39 of us) and over a quarter of folks pulling out a week before the event, the evening was a tremendous success. I just wonder how the village will be celebrating in another 200 years’ time.

One thing we shouldn’t have to wait 200 years for, one hopes, is the completion of phase 3 of the Loch Earn railway path (above) which runs from east to west, starting at Station Road, past the A frame houses adjacent Dundurn Walk, and ending just past the back of the Four Seasons hotel. The planned completion date is 22nd June.   Clearly, somebody has given this project some thought, from the walker’s perspective, as a clearing has been made in the trees to give a view of Neish Island and beyond, as you approach the tunnel from the east.   Having become very familiar with how the old path looked, this new one, in comparison, is like a landing strip – infact, I’m told it has an “equine grass strip” – and makes you very aware of how overgrown the old path had become, being reduced in places to a few feet wide. You could drive a tank, or, should I say, a steam train, down the new path.   With the enormous stone

Men at work

cuttings looming up on one side, it certainly gives you a feeling of what it must have been like, before the 1950’s when the railway was open, to trundle along past the splendid scenery by train. I wonder if anybody can remember travelling along that line by train or has any photos?  It would be interesting to hear. Something to be aware of if you’re around Shoemaker’s Lane is that work will be taking place to create a whin dust track from the top end of the lane to the playing field and another whin footpath is going in which will zig zag up the embankment onto the railway path which eventually will provide access to the play park. A note for your diaries (although it may be a little too late for this issue) on Monday 5th June at the Achray House hotel, the new Community Action Place will be launched from 7 pm to 9 pm. All are invited to attend and the hotel has kindly offered to provide cheese and wine – booking is essential. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring you up to date on the Action Plan in next month’s epistle.

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

Meanwhile, the Achray reports that they’re sending three of their staff off to Fife College on Modern Apprenticeship Programmes, with Gemma doing Hospitality Management, James on General Management and Tamas attending their Junior Chef Programme – well done and good luck to everyone. At the Four Seasons Hotel, Mary has kindly reminded me that Father’s Day is 18th June and they’re offering a free pint to all dads who have Sunday lunch there. Apparently, the 30th June is National Cream Tea Day (whatever next!?) and so to honour it, the hotel is hosting a Strawberry Cream Tea Weekend from 30th June to 2nd July. On that note, I’ll be back next month, two stone heavier – I’ll also have an item from David Kerr - which, I’m sorry - I couldn’t fit into this month’s.



Congratulations to our ‘Knit & Natter’ group who presented a wide selection of their work at a recent craft fair organised by the Rotary  Club of Callander.  They sold many of their items and collected a grand total of £76.46. Our photo, left, shows the group leader Liz Reece-Heal attending the stall with her grandson helper.  The Ancient History group, led by Peter Ireland, went to Naples for a week to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum. This is the second such tour as the subject proved so popular and next year Peter will be taking his group to Rome.  By the end of June almost all our groups will  have completed their courses but members often feel that they would like to meet up again before the new U3A year begins in September. Informal meetings are easily arranged and can be very beneficial especially for the language students of French, Spanish and German.  The next Enrolment Day will take place on Thursday 24 August from 2.00-4.00pm in conjunction with the AGM. We will meet as before in Callander Kirk Hall and refreshments will be served during the afternoon. We hope to see both new and returning members in good numbers on the day.  Meantime keep up to date with our news by visiting our website ‘Callander and West Perthshire U3A’. 


Church News Balquhidder BLS

A Note from

St Angus’s

My mother used to say, “if you’ve nothing worthwhile to say, don’t say anything!” Well, it’s not that I believe I’ve nothing worthwhile to say - it’s just that it’s all been said before by many people much better qualified than I to say it! So instead of waffling on, I’m hoping to make you smile instead. After all - humour is a Godgiven gift.  So, at the risk of being sacked by Paddy, here goes (if you have heard it before I apologise): A Scottish minister was on an exchange visit to a church in America and decided to use a sermon which he had preached once before in his own church at home.  His text was “Naaman was a commander of the Syrian army - BUT he was a leper.”  He then continued to make his points based on the word ‘but’ not realising that for Americans the word ‘butt’ has a meaning all of its own.  His first point was, “everyone has a but” then “it is easy to see other peoples’ buts” and, finally, ”it can be difficult to see your own but.” You can imagine the suppressed amusement of the American congregation. If that made you smile - keep smiling, it’s infectious.

Hi Folks, I am learning that music is an important feature in this area. As well as special events/festivals there seems to be a keen interest amongst the communities here in learning instruments and playing together in both small and larger groups, and, across the age ranges too. Very impressive! Not so long ago, I was on a panel at Dundee University along with a Roman Catholic Bishop to debate with two members of the Humanist Society on the “God Question” . We all had a meal together beforehand and it was a friendly and relaxed evening with a lot of mutual respect shown. Near the end of the session, the chairman of the debate asked all the panellists to give our best one-line answer for either God’s existence or non-existence. When my turn came I said “The opening cords of Brown Sugar by the Stones!” Everyone laughed and it was a little tongue in cheek. However, I was only half-joking! When Keith Richards plays that opening riff and the rest of the band-kick in I know there has to be a God! Awesome or what? But then old “Keef” has played some superb chordal riffs in his time. In fact, I just thought of a second reason why there must be a God…Keith Richards is still with us despite having spent most of his life “nicely wasted” to use his own cheeky phrase. It’s a miracle! When I was younger, he was one of my guitar heroes and I wanted nothing more than to play the guitar as good as him. It didn’t work out so I kept the day job! A few years ago I heard about a scientific experiment where developing plants were exposed every day to the sound of classical music and others to the sound of the Stones. The former group thrived and the latter apparently died! This only goes to show that plants don’t know how to rock! Incidentally, I do love Rachmaninov’s 2nd Piano Concerto and Albinoni’s Adagio in G so I’m not a complete Philistine. I’m a great believer that in the modern world we don’t spend enough time pondering and reflecting on all the special elements that make up the mystery and wonder of life. Music is one example. The human ability to create, perform and appreciate music is truly marvellous. Music influences our moods and feelings can have an inspiring and uplifting effect on us. It can be cathartic and therapeutic as well as just great fun. Our world would be so much poorer without it. Next time you are impacted by a piece of music or by a musical performance have a wee think about how wonderful this experience really is and how words cannot begin to capture or express what it all means. But then, music is to be enjoyed - not analysed. The Psalmist exhorts us to “Sing to the Lord a new song” (Psalm 96:1). Worship is a natural response to the sheer “giveness” of things… to the miracle of life and the wonder of self-conscious existence. Singing is a natural way of expressing that gratitude and indeed joy. Furthermore, those who have heard and engaged with the vibrant Christian narrative certainly have something to sing about. Come and join us some Sunday morning…you might get a pleasant surprise.


Photo of the Month Jean Hicks’ lovely shot shows a very impressive display of bluebells (and pink ones too!) in her garden. The Villagers looks forward every month to receiving your photographs keep them coming! 8

This year, it is 60 years since Christian Aid Week started, after the end of the Second World War, in order to support the work of churches in helping refugees in Europe. Today, its work is worldwide as literally millions of people have to flee their homes because of war, internal conflict or natural disasters. Many have fled to Europe and have stayed to help others as they arrive looking for safety. This year, we shall have retiral collections after the services in May and hope that we can contribute in a small way to the work of Christian Aid. Looking back to Christmas Eve, you may remember the retiral collection for Borderline which helps Scottish folk who need help when they are looking for work or accommodation in London. Their latest Newsletter is on the Church Notice Board if you would like to see it. Our contributions are much appreciated. It is a relief and joy to see the church repaired and looking itself again. Do come and see it for yourselves. Sunday service starts at 11.30 am. It is not long and we all can get home for Sunday lunch – nae problem! Jean Edwards

Keith McLellan

Five Wee Hills with Big Views

Loch Katrine from Ben A’an

You don’t have to be an experienced hill walker to enjoy Scotland’s most spectacular views. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park boasts a range of ‘Wee Hills with Big Views’ that can be enjoyed by people of all levels of fitness and experience. Ben A’an: In the Trossachs, the 4km walk up this lovely peak offers a surprisingly big experience with many of the ingredients of a mountain hike such as an atmospheric forest, open moorlands, views of crags and a superb vista of the surrounding landscape at the top. Ben Gullipen: Starting from the popular town of Callander, this is a 414m hike up a well-established path. The reward for this wee challenge is breathtaking views of the Wallace Monument near Stirling, Loch Venachar, Ben Venue and Ben Ledi, as well as the Munros Stuc a’Chroin and Ben Vorlich, and the rolling Menteith Hills. Callander Crags: If you’re looking for something a little less challenging, these crags offer a very pleasant walk through beautiful woodlands, over the crag tops and to a cairn at 343m. Many people also take in a visit to the stunning Bracklinn Falls, a short walk up the road from the car park start point. Dundurn: In the north of the National Park, Dundurn is a rocky knoll only 112m high where a Pictish Fort once sat. Filled with local history, en-route to the top you can visit a burial ground and the remains of St. Fillan’s Chapel, dating back to the 1300s. Conic Hill: A short but fairly stiff 361m climb beginning in Balmaha, Conic Hill offers magnificent views of Loch Lomond and its islands starting from about a third of the way up a well-trodden path. It comes with the added bragging bonus of being able to say you’ve walked part of the West Highland Way, one of Scotland’s most famous trails.

capabilities, and experience. Whether it’s your first time walking in the hills, or your fiftieth, there is something for everyone. Walking is a wonderful way to connect with nature, to exercise, and to spend time with family and friends, and as always, our Park Rangers can offer you help and advice when it comes to choosing the right walk for you.” Brendan Paddy, director of Ramblers Scotland, said: “We want everyone to feel confident and inspired to enjoy Scotland’s amazing landscapes on foot, so it’s fantastic to see the Loch Lomond

& The Trossachs National Park promoting the wonders of its Wee Hills with Big Views. It’s a great reminder that you don’t have to be a hardened hillwalker to experience some of the Park’s most iconic views, and enjoy all the health and social benefits of walking.” To find out more about these ‘Wee Hills with Big Views’ go to www.lochlomondtrossachs.org/wee-hills You can also share your suggestions for Wee Hills with Big Views on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #weehillsbigviews


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. The medical centre will be open all day on Tuesday 20th June.

Gordon Watson, chief executive of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said: “The Park offers a stunning array of walks suited to people of all ages, 9


*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 has some interesting things to say on the subject of string. Someone told me that readers of community journals like The Villagers like to read about old country ways and stories of days gone by. Well, what could be more curious than my photos this month?   A ball of string, the frayed end of a piece of string and a picture of some old chap with dog and gun watching an ancient machine in a corn field.   But this is no ordinary ball of string. It is over seventy years old and was in fact called “Binder Twine” . Have a close look at the frayed-out end - it is in fact made from Sisal hemp fibres.  It is very strong and has a distinct smell of creosote. It did not rot and the mice would not nibble through it in the corn stack because of the smell. It is very difficult to cut in the normal way with a knife and must be sheared with something like a pair of scissors. This ball would have been in a pack of six in a hessian bag tied up with a light sisal rope, probably bearing the trade mark name ‘Red Star (Rot Proof) Binder Twine’ on a thin cardboard insert.  There are still a few to be found on eBay at £80 or so. But what was it used for?  Well those people who are prepared to pay that much for a ball of old string probable have a restored “Binder” and a vintage Tractor to pull it, as in my other photo.  The machine would be an “Albion”  a  “Massey”  or perhaps a “New Holland”.    There are annual demonstrations of these machines at places like the Vintage Farming Event at Scone. The machine had a ‘finger’ type reciprocating cutter bar and above this a rotating sort of reel contraption called “the sails”,  the height of which was controlled by a man on a high seat. This had the effect of laying the cut corn head first and flat onto a canvas conveyor which delivered it to another canvas conveyor - which lifted it to an ingenious pair of paddles - which packed the cut corn into sheaves.    Now this is where our ball of string comes into play.    In a metal bin on the machine there would be two balls of twine one above the other and with the twine threaded to an amazing device called the “knotter”.   This was close by the packers and would, in a few seconds, tie the twine tightly round the sheaf of corn and snip it off, just before the sheaf was ejected ready to be set up into “stooks” to dry when the cutting operation was over.   There was always a huge frustration 10

when the shearing device in the knotter became blunt and failed to cut the twine. If our friend seated on the binder was too busy watching the height of the “sails” and did not notice the trouble behind him, there would be a hundred or so untied sheaves and several hundred yards of twine strung out behind the binder, and what would the tractor driver say to him?!!   But that is not all of my story. What of the man with dog and gun?  In those days, just after the war, there was still severe food rationing. Inner city folk and particularly children were suffering from malnutrition.  The man in our cornfield was waiting for rabbits to run out of the ever-decreasing area of standing corn. He would have only a few wartime issue pest control shotgun cartridges so would have to make every shot count.  I well remember myself at a very early age being given only five cartridges - and if I got something edible, a rabbit, pigeon or a duck, I would be given five more. If I used all five to no avail, then there would be no

more for two weeks!! One soon learnt not to take difficult shots!   In those days, a full-grown rabbit would be worth as much as 2/6d (15p) (at a time when the farm workers wage was about £6 per week.   It was always a thrill for schoolboys then to race out from school to see the binder in action going around the cornfield and sometimes to find a rabbit down a shallow hole revealed in the stubble.   It was always a very wary hand that was extended down the hole for the great prize of a rabbit and the 2/6d.      Sometimes the hole did not shelter a rabbit but a large rat instead, which would bite onto the finger of an eager schoolboy.   So, there is a small glimpse into the bygone ways of the countryside.    There was more concern in the papers then of food shortages and unexploded bombs than cyber-attacks on the NHS.   All wrapped up in a Ball of String.   Old Nyati

Award-winning BLiSS Art Trail secures signing funding support Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, have awarded a £1,000 grant to provide signing for the award-winning BLiSS Art Trail. The trail links a series of impressive art installations between the villages of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans (BLiSS - with the “i” standing for tourist information and innovation). The Loch Earn Tourism Information group (LETI), who successfully launched the trail last year to wide acclaim, is seeking to install signage in order to recognise artists who have contributed to the exhibits on the BLiSS trail. Twenty-four artworks will be highlighted as part of the signing scheme and a promotional drive led by LETI to provide a further boost to the local tourist industry. The trail has already won a prestigious Thistle award for its ‘Working together for Tourism’ project that involved businesses across a geographically dispersed area collaborating to deliver an appealing tourist trail that successfully combines art features and stunning landscapes. The grant for the latest phase of works has come from the Friends of OUR Park visitor-giving scheme and will cover the cost of purchasing and installing robust signs to ensure appropriate interpretation is situated alongside each artwork. The Friends of OUR Park visitor giving project has raised tens of thousands of pounds for projects all over Scotland’s first National Park in recent years and is supported by 100 local tourism businesses. James Fraser, Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, said: “The BLiSS trail has already been very well recognised with its award, but to the credit of Loch Earn Tourism Information, they want to build on this success with further improvements to ensure visitors get more out of their visit to what is a very special scenic area in the National Park. We are very pleased to support this great local initiative which is going from strength to strength.’’

Kim Proven, Chair of Loch Earn Tourism Information, said: “It is vital for us to have funding available in order to take on projects like this and we are extremely grateful to the Friends for their support. We are delighted that the BLiSS trail has already been recognised with a regional Scottish Thistle Award but we must keep working to ensure it remains an iconic attraction in this beautiful part of Scotland. Work on the evolving trail – including two new installations planned for 2017 – will continue to promote the area in a positive manner and boost the local economy.” Tom Lewis, owner of Monachyle Mhor hotel in Balquhidder Glen, has been one of the major supporters of the Friends of OUR Park visitor giving scheme and his guests have contributed over £3,000 to local projects from donations collected at the hotel through a mechanism on their bills. He added: “It is a pleasure to see our guests’ generosity contributing to worthwhile and practical projects like this. We are delighted to support this sort of scheme and we applaud Loch Earn Tourism Information for their efforts in creating a popular and quirky tourist trail. I would encourage other local businesses to join the

Friends of OUR Park scheme and to get in touch with the Friends – you can see just what a difference your support makes.” For more information on the Friends of OUR Park project, call 01389 727761, email info@ lochlomondtrossachs.org.uk or visit www.lochlomondtrossachs.org.uk


McLaren High School


Sponsored walk

Sponsored Walk Monday 8 May saw our annual sponsored walk take place in weather that was ideal for walking, some sun and a bit of a breeze. The walk followed the welltrodden route from the school through Coilhallan Wood toward the fish farm, returning along the Invertrossachs Road. Most classes completed the 5km route in just over an hour and the next important stage of collecting the money is now in full swing. Any parents, friends or relatives who sponsored someone should pass money on as soon as possible. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated. All the money raised from the sponsored walk will stay in the school to the benefit of McLaren High pupils. Current total raised stands at £1,647.40. S1 Central Schools 7s Tournament On Wednesday 3 May, the S1 boys’ McLaren Rugby team travelled to Falkirk RFC to take part in the annual 7s tournament. The boys have had an excellent debut season of High School rugby and were hoping to finish the season on a high. The final was a close encounter and McLaren surged into a 3-0 lead at half time. Scorers were Joe Lazell x2 and Ben Isgrove. Balfron came back strongly in the second half to make the score 3-2, but the McLaren boys held out to win the final. The boys have had a great season and have remained unbeaten within the Central School Conference. Well done boys!

visit our website:

www.mclarenhigh.co.uk 12

Goodbye to our S6 Pupils and Good Luck Friday 28 April was the last day of school for our S6 pupils and they left school on a high with 1,000 balloons, a parade round the school led by S6 pipe band members and the now annual water slide and barbecue to end the day. We wish them all well in whatever paths their futures take. The S1 Team

Farewell parade

CPR Training On Monday 8 May The Sandpiper Trust came to the McLaren Leisure Centre to teach every McLaren High School pupil from S1 to S3 the lifesaving skill of CPR. Paramedics from The Sandpiper Trust were accompanied by the Trossachs Search and Rescue team, Callander Fire and Rescue and a local GP BASICS Responder in this combined effort to empower pupils to help others in emergency situations. Over three hundred pupils, staff and parents learned together as they attended sessions lead by emergency first responders – an excellent opportunity for a small, rural community. The Sandpiper Trust works to help save lives in Scotland both through the incredible work they do in fundraising to provide emergency equipment to rural Scottish locations and through educating people in preparation for emergencies. Keri Fickling from Sandpiper told us on the day “CPR is really important because if someone suffers a cardiac arrest, and their heart stops, for every minute that nothing happens their chance of survival decreases by ten percent, so if we can start early CPR then we can increase peoples’ chance of survival really easily – everybody’s got the tools to do CPR: their own hands”; highlighting exactly why learning CPR is so valuable. In fact, the drive in emergency response education and provision of equipment like defibrillators and Sandpiper bags by charities like The Sandpiper Trust and Trossachs Search and Rescue is having an outstanding impact on the lives of people living in our area; Stuart Ballantyne from Trossachs Search and Rescue shared, “There are now 105 defibrillators out across the area from Stirling to Loch Lomond, ten have been used by members of the public with a 60% success rate which is quite incredible!” McLaren High School is delighted to have offered this opportunity to pupils and is extremely grateful to The Sandpiper Trust, Trossachs Search and Rescue, Callander Fire and Rescue and Dr Wilson

The wonderful Sandpiper Trust shows students how to save lives

for volunteering their time and expertise. The teams encourage everyone to learn CPR and offer free training. Both charities can be followed and supported through their websites and social media pages, www.sandpipertrust.org and www. trossachs-sar.com 13

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre your villages need you!

Refurbishment for War Memorial

Dear Editor A couple of years ago I approached Alistair Barclay who was at that time on the Community Council to ask if they could take forward the task of bidding for funding to enable our War Memorial at Lochearnhead to be refurbished as the names were very difficult to make out.  I felt that the Community Council would be likely to have more success in bidding for funding than an individual.  The photographs show the War Memorial taken firstly (right) after our Remembrance Day Service last year and secondly (top) this month following the successful completion of the refurbishment.  The work has fully achieved my original request and I wish to thank the Community Council, and particularly Alice Duncan and Loraine Telfer, for bidding successfully for funding from Government funds as well as from Stirling Council, and then for organising for a stonemason to complete the work.    With gratitude,   Rory Gilchrist


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

Callander Rambling Club Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on 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: June • Sat 3 08:30 Hill: Mystery Hill Contact 01877 382924 • Wed 7 09:30 Stroll: Bandeath old munitions depot (4.5miles) Contact 01786 825682 • Sat 10 08:30 Hill: Beinn an t-Sithein, Strathyre (572m)  Contact 01877 384227 • Wed 14 09:30 Stroll: Balloch Country Park (with Walk in the Park) (4miles) Contact 07747 038008 • Sat 17 08:30 LDP: RB3 – St Fillan’s to Balquhidder (12 miles)  Contact 01877 330032 • Wed 21 08:30 Ramble: Gylen Castle Circuit, Isle of Kerrera (7miles)  Contact 01877 331834

Plan sets out five year vision for widening benefits of National Park Local residents are being invited to have their say on a five year plan to widen the social, environmental, cultural and economic benefits of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The draft National Park Partnership Plan 2018-2023 sets out a broad-ranging vision for how the Park Authority along with its partners propose to tackle priorities including youth employment, climate change, outdoor recreation, health and wellbeing and investment in towns and villages. A 12-week consultation on the draft plan will run until Monday 3 July. The plan outlines a set of priorities covering conservation, visitor experience and rural development, including: - Attracting and retaining more skilled working age and young people - Encouraging people of all abilities and backgrounds to enjoy the outdoors - Supporting a thriving visitor economy - Addressing the impacts of climate change - Investing in towns and villages’ built and historic environment, public spaces and infrastructure - Getting more people to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of connecting with nature and the outdoors. - Empowering communities - Protecting natural resources for future generations - Conserving and enhancing the area’s special landscape - Facilitating integrated management of land and water to provide wider benefits for people and nature. To read the draft National Park Partnership Plan 2018-2023 and respond to the consultation go to www.lochlomond-trossachs.org/consultations

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.


The 2017 Stuc A’ Chroìn Hill Race Photos by David Johnston


In the 29th Stuc a’ Chroin 5000 race, a UK Championship Race for the first time on the new course, 359 runners set off on the 6th May at 13:00 in our largest turnout ever. Conditions were the driest in years and everything pointed to a cracking day. The Recreation Ground, which has seen many hours of work by so many people, looked splendid in the early May sunshine and many of the UK’s finest hill runners were amongst the record turnout for the race on a fantastic day to showcase the area. The new course has proved tremendously popular with the runners, with many finding it a much better course (and more gruelling!) than the old route. It is still a work-in-progress, but certainly the new start/ finish area allows much more flexibility in the number of runners who can be accommodated. Being away from the road also allows much more of an ‘event’ feel to the race for the runner’s supporters, as well as the locals, youngsters and four-legged friends who can now safely come along to spectate. It has been 8 years since the race was last run as a UK Championship, and we’d been warned to expect record numbers as well as record temperatures for the year so far. We were not disappointed, and fortunately the race went smoothly with no dramas on the day. Some of the runners expressed concern that there would not be enough water to quench the thirst of 359 runners on one of the warmest days of the year. 1000 litres of water was distributed on the route, and we were commended on the sheer quantity of water that did not run out. Finlay Wild of Lochaber came in first with an excellent time of 2:08:44, 3½ minutes ahead of Andrew Fallas of Carnethy (02:12:16) who in turn was 9 seconds ahead of Carl Bell from Keswick (02:12:25). Findlay’s time was an excruciating 11 seconds outside of the course record of 2:08:33. For the Females, Georgia Tindley from Hunters Bog Trotters came in at 02:37:48, (a fantastic new course record, congratulations Georgia), a tight 4 seconds ahead of Lou Roberts of Ambleside AC (02:37:42) and in third place was Kelli Roberts of Ambleside AC (02:43:10). We always have a local prize, which is presented to the first resident from West Perthshire who finishes. But this year, we decided to award the Ronie Hamilton Quaich prize for the first runner from Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre. Ronie was always such a big part of the race, helping to promote it and his prize-giving speeches were legendary. The local prize and the winner of the Ronie Hamilton Quaich was Craig Harvey with an excellent time of 2:32: 00, beating his previous time in 2015 of 2:32:16. We have had thank-yous from many runners for the excellent support that they get from the marshals – they simply don’t get

it anywhere else! The reps from UK Athletics and the Fell Running Association were also very impressed by the support on the day and the sheer amount of hard-work that has gone into the site. We always get many comments after the race for the marshals and the way the race is run and this year we ran a post-race survey to gauge the views of the runners. Overwhelmingly favourable. There were also many appreciative comments from the runners for their free massage after the race, courtesy of Jim Greer from the Therapy Room. A fantastic effort this year as ever from everyone connected with the race. Thanks as always to Glen Ample Estate for allowing us to run on their land, and Mike Holliday for arranging to run the race as well as dropping off water, enabling access and generally being there when we needed him. The Inn always give us a massive amount of support and this year was no exception. Thanks to Steve & staff. Thanks to the Forestry Commission for giving us permission to run on their land, to our main sponsors Kingshouse Travel, Thomas Allan, R & B Distillers and the many businesses whose continuing support we could not do without, the Green Welly Stop, Sula Furnishings, White Stag (formerly The Inn), Stirling Stoves, The Broch, Watson Flooring Immervoulin Caravan Park. The Munro, Ben Shean, Strathyre Cleansing, Aitchison Enterprises, KPs DIY, Ian Brydie Building Services. Heroncraft Scotland, S Carmichael & Sons (Comrie), Crystal Tea room (Crieff), Strathyre Outdoors, the Denholm Partnership, Pete Bland, N&H MacGuire, Bookers, The Therapy Room and Ping-pm

Many thanks also. Dave Hunt, Archie Scott and David Johnston for their brilliant photos. Thanks for all those who stepped up to the plate and helped with clearing, chipping, felling, burning, digging, building and knocking down. Stevie “Digger” Black put in many a late night. Although there’s more work to be done, hopefully Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre should see the benefits of these improvements for many years to come. One of the better days up top meant that while we had excellent conditions for the stay at the summit, dispensing water and encouragement to 359 runners is still a long day for the marshals marking, dispensing liquids and solids, encouragement and cajoling words and expressions. Without Eoin Campbell, Mike Holiday and Adrian Wilbert helping on the water front, it would have been difficult to get water to those parts where it was needed most. Down at Race HQ, the registration, start and finish went fantastically smoothly as always. Jim and Janette Greer had an endless task in soothing the muscles of the exhausted finishers. Finally, we would like to thank the runners we could not run the race without them and we hope they will continue to run the race next year and many years in the future. We will finish with a quote from a runner “Just to congratulate you on a magnificent event. After over 25 years fell running, this is up there on my list of best events and is probably the best organised I have been to. The marshals and on-hill support were unbelievable.”

Steve Respinger



Scottish Wildlife Trust Caught on camera, wild flowers and elephants Following the brief annual AGM of the Scottish Wildlife Trust Callander Group in April, three members gave illustrated talks. Mike Hawkins has been a volunteer with the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project for 4 years and shared some of the images captured on IR-triggered trail cameras. The annual SSRS surveys include setting up peanut feeder boxes in Coilhallan and Callander Woods. Under the hinged lids are sticky pads that capture hair samples for microscope analysis to differentiate between red & grey squirrels and pine martens. DNA analysis to identify individuals is expensive but cameras can give this information along with frequency and timing of visits. Photos show the very wide variety of squirrel colours from almost black to tan with tails from red to blond and even striped! Some reds, particularly in their thick winter coat, can appear quite grey, making identification difficult but real greys are so much larger and always have a white ‘halo’ of fur around their tail. Pine martens are also seen frequently, predominantly at night and dawn/dusk but sometimes during the day. Videos showed the antics of a female with a youngster that she refused to let in until she had finished feeding. Also seen at night have been tawny owls, interested in the visiting mice, a badger, foxes, red and roe deer. In daylight there is a variety of birds, including the clever jay that worked out how to push up the perspex front of the box to reach the peanuts! Pine martens appear to deter the ingress of greys but these continue to threaten the red population and control is needed. If you have regular grey squirrels in your garden and would be willing to have a trap then please contact Mike on mlhawkins@tiscali.co.uk. A second local topic was covered by Roy Sexton of the Stirling SWT group who described the impressive range of wild flowers that have been found in the meadows beside Braeleny Road beyond the Bracklinn Falls car park. An initial visit noted 8 species of orchids, including hundreds of greater butterfly orchids and trollius, melancholy thistle and grass of Parnassus. Spring flowers included hundreds of early purple orchids, primroses, wood anemone, bluebells, marsh marigold, cuckoo flower, bugle, foxglove and harebells. This variety and 18

Red Squirrel

Pine Marten


so many orchid species rival many SSSI’s but this area is not protected by any designation. Surveys carried out by BSBI recorders every 2-3 years since 2009 show a depressing decline eg greater butterfly orchids had reduced from 426 to 43 by 2016. This is attributed to the changed grazing regime from winter to summer grazing until mid-June under the Black Grouse Project, coinciding exactly with greater butterfly orchid flowering and so preventing seeding. Fencing is impractical but alternative approaches to distract cattle away to under-grazed areas are being discussed. Another concern is the planned re-routing of the eroded footpath from the top of the Crags and discussions are ongoing to protect orchid sites.

Callander SWT group diary: Sunday 2 July Himalayan Balsam Bash

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

Malachite Kingfisher Protected spcies!

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

Mark Brownrigg had travelled further afield for his presentation on an October trip to Liwonde National Park in Southern Malawi that lies alongside the Shire River fed by Lake Malombe. Like other African NPs, conservation and monitoring is ongoing to protect and halt the decline of protected species such as the elephant and black rhino. The punishing schedule of wildlife-watching, including boat trips pre-breakfast and afternoon with truck drives after dark for nocturnal species, certainly paid off with a huge number of birds and animals including; female elephants with 14 babies, impala, water buck that seek safety in water, hippos that kill more people in Africa than any other animal, vervet monkeys, yellow baboon and Nile crocodiles that grow to 20ft/1ton and can live for 100years.

Birds included the beautiful malachite kingfisher (1 of 9 species), fish eagles, grey heron, great white and cattle egrets, saddle-billed stork, spur-winged geese, African skimmer, sparrow weavers, Hadidas ibis and the eye-catching hoopoe. Night safaris added others such as spotted hyena, warthog, and cape porcupine. You just need the stamina! Finally, a quick advert for our fundraising event in Ancaster Square, Callander on Saturday 29 July. We will have the usual ‘bottle’ stall and plant sales along with information on projects supported by SWT. Last year’s event funded donations of £800 to wildlife/ conservation projects and Callander Primary School so please come along and support us on the day. Lesley Hawkins

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 past month has seen a rise in the number of visitors in the local area, which always brings a rise in workload for us. There have been a number of minor collisions which have taken place, thankfully with little or no injuries. Officers from our Roads Policing Department are out in the area each weekend as part of Operation Zenith in an effort to reduce casualties on the A84, A85 and A82. They are adopting a number of strategies and several motorists have been either issued fixed penalties or reported to the Procurator Fiscal for a variety of motoring offences. On the 27th April, a hit and run collision occurred on the A84 about 1 mile North of Strathyre. On this occasion, a large vehicle struck a vehicle passing in the opposite direction, causing damage, and the driver failed to stop. If anyone witnessed this incident, please get in touch. The better weather has also seen a rise in visitor numbers to the loch sides, and I am pleased to say that the majority of them are behaving and conforming to the new National Park Byelaws. That being said, three individuals have now been charged on Loch Earn for breaching the conditions. On the 7th April, a male was charged after he set up a tent within the management zone, but outwith a permit area. He was provided suitable advice on several occasions regarding how he could comply, but he failed to heed the advice and he has now been reported to the Procurator Fiscal. On the 30th  April, 2 males were charged with a number of offences and reported to the Procurator Fiscal as a result. They were found in possession of controlled drugs, were found to be breaching the camping byelaws and they had used a chainsaw to cut themselves firewood from the local woodland. They were also found to be fishing using a highly illegal method. PARKING DECRIMINALISATION From the 3rd May 2017, De-criminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) comes into force. From that date, the responsibility for parking enforcement has been transferred from Police Scotland to Stirling Council. Stirling Council have displayed several notices to inform the public of this change in responsibility.   Any vehicle found to be in breach of a parking restriction will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for £60 by Stirling Council Parking Attendants. Should this be paid within 14 days, it will be reduced by 50% and if ignored, will increase to £90.   Details are contained on the Stirling Council website under the link: http://my.stirling.gov.uk/services/transportand-streets/parking-and-car-parks/parkingfines   Wheelie Bin Poster Initiative The Safety Camera Unit are currently developing an initiative which will be piloted in three local authority areas (Scottish 20

Borders, Stirling & Fife) whereby they hope to affix adhesive posters containing a road safety message to the wheelie bins of residents on roads where they currently carry out speed enforcement. The first pilot is already underway in Stow, within the Scottish Borders and it has been very well received by local residents. In the Forth Valley area, given the route’s history of injury collisions involving speed, the A84, at Strathyre has been chosen for the trial area. They are currently discussing the plan with Stirling Council as it will be their wheelie bins we stick the posters on. It is the intention to attach these posters to each side of wheelie bins, thereby displaying the message to vehicle drivers and occupants passing through Strathyre in either direction on the days on which the different wheelie bins are at the kerbside. The posters are not designed to be a distraction but will hopefully serve as a subtle reminder to drivers. In Stow, the posters were fixed to the bins by staff from the Safety Camera Unit, assisted by the local community officer and local residents as well as some children from the local school. It provided a good press opportunity. Assuming there are no objections from the Transport Scotland or Stirling Council, they hope to commence the initiative around the end of May. Local residents will be contacted by letter prior to any attendance. As always, I can always be contacted on 101 or for those who prefer email, I can be contacted directly at  william.diamond@ scotland.pnn.police.uk.     Regards, PC Will Diamond

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

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

David Johnston Production Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227

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

Copy Deadline Day is the 21st of the month. Send your contributions to: 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 Choir Occasional - Balquhidder Village Hall - 7.30 to 9pm (contact Gill 01877 384203)


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

JUNE 2017


Strathyre Primary School Show - Balquhidder Hall

JULY 2017

1 22 23

Sheep Shearing Lochearnhead - see page 7 Highland Games Lochearnhead - see page 4 Annual Football Match Lochearnhead - see page 14

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 Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 924 hayesa@stirling.gov.uk Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07824 496 019 woodf@stirling.gov.uk

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

Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316

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

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



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



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


Stuc A Chroin’s Mini Stuc! Following some Orienteering coaching provided by Strathyre Outdoors with Strathyre Primary school last year, the idea of the ‘Mini Stuc Fun Run’ was born. Bernie McDonald, head teacher at Strathyre Primary school, was very supportive of the idea and so on the 5th May - ahead of the adult championship race, the first one took place. Local primary schools were invited to submit teams to take part - being good for the profile of the Stuc A Chroin and perhaps encouraging some children to

take an interest in sporting activities; maybe even encouraging some to be runners or marshals of future Stuc A Chroin Hill Races. Through the school, Active Stirling learned about the idea and were supportive, offering to help in the organisation, and supplying the timing process along with four marshals. Strathyre Outdoors donated the Medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for both boys and girls - and also a trophy for the best overall school. We were grateful to many

members of the village, including mums and dads, for volunteering as marshals. Active Stirling offered to liaise with the participating schools - and we were pleased with the result, with well over 50 children taking part. May Rooney from the Munro Inn was very helpful during the event and provided juice, tea, coffee and sandwiches for all attending. It is hoped the children’s run will become an annual event with Active Stirling’s help. It would ideally be held on the Friday prior to each Stuc A’ Chroin Hill Race.

Kenny Higgins

Profile for LETI Group

The villagers june 2017  

News, photographs, events surrounding Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, St Fillans and Strathyre villages. Drover's Bho sculpture by Kev Paxton, j...

The villagers june 2017  

News, photographs, events surrounding Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, St Fillans and Strathyre villages. Drover's Bho sculpture by Kev Paxton, j...