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

The Great Loch Earn Boat Race and Teams Sunday 23 April 2017

The Ed’s Bit Lots to look forward to over the next few weeks, another two thrilling visits to the Polling Stations being the highlights of course! After the first date if you are in need of some light relief Wullie will welcome you with open arms if you can help running up the hill to marshall at the Stuc Race. If you are not quite so energetic come and help me serve soup and juice to the very grateful runners when they finish their incredible runs. Then, before the “main” event in June we can all have fun at the end of May (no prediction intended!) as both Strathyre and Balquhidder party the Bank holiday weekend away hoping for good weather for the fifth year in a row particularly for the hardy campers. Good luck to all the organisers of these great events. We were very lucky at Easter to have 4 of our grandchildren staying with us, plus assorted parents, and I would like to share one birthday photo of Hamish celebrating his fourth birthday. His very traumatic start to life and birth where he weighed less than the proverbial “bag of sugar’ has meant that several kind people often ask about his progress as he undergoes three operations so far. It is lovely to be able to report how well he is doing. He might be very small still but totally rules everyone and his cheeky grin ensures he gets away with far too much. A big thank you to Richard Cousens who has sent us an account of his family’s life during the War in Balquhidder at Baille A Chnoic. (I would still love to know why it is referred to as the Red House by most people in Balquhidder). He has also sent us some fascinating documents about the Stronvar Estate which we hope to share with you over the next months. Andrea has been asking our subscribers to share such stories so we are grateful, to Richard for starting the ball rolling.

Hamish at four eyeing up his mum’s champaign


Strathyre News THE FUTURE OF STRATHYRE VILLAGE HALL AND THE SVA Due to the lack of support for the SVA over the last few years it was decided to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting on the 28th February 2017 regarding its future. A draft of the minutes of that meeting are as follows: STRATHYRE VILLAGE ASSOCIATION Minutes of Extraordinary General Meeting held in the village hall on Tuesday 28th February 2017 Present: 24 members as per attached list (not attached) The meeting opened at 7:30 and was chaired by David Richards along with Linda Anderson who are the two remaining directors of the SVA. David thanked everyone for coming and showing an interest, and explained that the purpose of the meeting was to agree a way forward for the SVA. He explained that as there were no longer any officers in the SVA it could no longer The Gary Smith Memorial pool night was held in The White Stag Inn on Fri 10th March and as always it was well attended by the cream of the pool players in the area. This is always a hard-fought contest with each player firmly setting their sights on the magnificent trophy that is up for grabs. I have been involved in this tournament for many years without much success but as you can see from the photos the “Pool Gods” were smiling on me that night. I emerged as the eventual winner but not after a scary start to the Final when I went one down to my rival who JUST happens to be one of the best players in Strathyre in the shape of Adrian Wilburt so I knew it was never going to be easy. My condolences to Adrian who must feel that he was robbed by a lesser player like me but sometimes luck can be on your side and on this occasion it was for me, but I have no doubt that Adrian’s name is destined to be on the trophy soon. Pictured are Adrian, myself and Steve at the presentation. Wullie D

continue in its present form. The proposal therefore is that we join with the BLS Trust. The question - ‘Was anyone willing to continue with the SVA and arrange a new committee?’ – was put to the members. There was no response. As no one volunteered it was suggested that the only way forward was to become a branch of the BLS Trust. Members were asked for a show of hands if they wished to join with the BLS Trust. The vote was 23 yes and 1 abstention. The proposal therefore is we join with the BLS Trust as an umbrella group. The financial position at the present is as follows: Savings account approximately £6,000.00 Current account approximately £1,500.00 The savings account of £6,000.00 is only to be used for the upgrade of the hall. David Richards, Linda Anderson, Ron Milne and Wullie Dalziel agreed to continue as representatives of the village hall meantime. The meeting closed at 8:20pm. As the result was in favour of joining with the BLS Trust steps are being taken to inform OSCR and eventually Companies House. David Richards Acting Chairman



Tyler Gibson (8) & Euan Wilbert (12)

Tyler Gibson, aged 8, and Euan Wilbert aged 12, took part in the ‘MacTuff Kids Challenge’ at Knockhill on Sunday 16th April. This is a 5K Obstacle and Mud challenge for children. The boys did this partly for fun but also to help raise funds for the Strathyre Village Christmas Party. The boys certainly had fun and rose to the challenge completing the course in 35 minutes. They also raised the grand total of £260. Well done!

The annual Fund raising Race Nite was held in The White Stag Inn on Sat` 1st April and as usual this ever popular evening was well attend by locals and visitors alike. On behalf of the Committee can I take this opportunity to give a huge thank you to ALL who became involved and especially the following that are so important to the success of the evening? To Steve Nixon, proprietor of The White Stag Inn for hosting this event and serving the much appreciated “Nibbles” Not forgetting his staff who work so tirelessly to keep us all suitably refreshed! To the “Girls” who give up their evening to be our “Bookies.” To the technical staff who help keep things running smoothly [most of the time ??] The biggest thanks, as always, are to the local Businesses who sponsor the races and all the people who were kind enough to donate auction prizes and buy all the horses. Without their support this event would never happen. Through their generosity the fantastic sum of £1443 was raised and this will go a long way towards the renovations taking place at the village recreation grounds which, when completed, will not only be the ideal starting point for the Hill race but will also be a wonderful area for the village to enjoy. One last appeal, if this goes to print in time we can still do with any help you can offer on the day, especially after the last runner is in and the dismantling process begins and all the “gear” has to be put away and we can ALL go to the pub! Wullie D

Stirling Mobile Library Service If you don’t already use this service you should give it a try. It calls every second week at the following locations in Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre and is particularly welcome at the primary school where the children can pick up a book or a DVD. There is even the Housebound Library Service where they will come to you. The locations and dates for May are as follows, why not make a point of visiting you will be made welcome: Balquhidder Auchtubh – May 4 & 18 between 1.25 & 2.00 Balquhidder Village Hall - May 4 & 18 between 2.05 & 2.35 Balquhidder Station - May 2, 16, & 29 between 12.25 & 12.40 Lochearnhead Kendrum Road - May 2, 16, & 29 between 10.30 & 10.50 Lochearnhead Village Shop - May 2, 16, & 29 between 11.00 & 11.30 Lochearnhead Vorlich Road - May 2, 16, & 29 between 11.35 & 11.55 Lochearnhead Village Hall - May 2, 16, & 29 between 12.00 & 12.20 Strathyre School - May 2, 16, & 29 between 1.50 & 2.20 Strathyre Car Park - May 2, 16, & 29 between 2.35 & 3.05





St Fillans Bit

THE GREAT LOCHEARN BOAT RACE “Crieff Round Table were delighted to organise another successful boat race which this year was helped by a strong following wind resulting in fast times and an exciting close finish! As usual all the teams entered into the spirit of the race with an array of colourful costumes and helped raised hundreds of pounds for various good causes. 1st: Austrian Downhill Squad (1hour 42mins) - Winners of the Loch Earn Quaich! [raising money for Cornhill Macmillan Centre] 2nd: Myles To Go (1hour 55 mins) [raising money for Crieff Juniors FC] 3rd: Bay City Rowers (2hours 1min) First Ladies Team Trophy [raising money for CLIC Sergeant] 4th: Sea Legs (2hours 3mins) - First Mixed Team [raising money for Jeanfield Swifts Girls U13s] 5th: Architype 45 (2hours 4mins) [raising money for Shelter] 6th: The Pink Ladies (2hour 15mins) Spirit of the Race Joint Winners [raising money for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland] 7th: Usain Boat (2hours 16mins) [raising money for Buy1Give1(B1G1)]

by Isobel Howell 8th: Dragons’ Flame (2hours 17mins) Spirit of the Race Joint Winners [raising money for Kids’ Week in Crieff ] The Round Table would like to thank the Drummond Fisheries for providing the boats and to The Clachan Cottage in Lochearnhead and the Achray House Hotel in St Fillans for providing hospitality at the start and finish line respectively. Race prizes were also generously donated from local businesses including The Four Seasons and Loch Earn Brewery in St Fillans, the Murray Park Hotel in Crieff and the Hot Box at Taymouth Marina. Finally, huge thanks also to all the volunteers who gave up their own time to make the event possible including Comrie First Response and the Safety Boat Captains and all the other Round Table volunteers for their help and assistance in the run up to the event. We look forward to receiving team entries for next year’s race!” (Anyone wishing to contact us about the event can do so at our Facebook page: crieffroundtable ) Many thanks!! Jamie Crieff Round Table

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


There was great excitement in the village on Saturday 1st April (and this was no April Fool’s joke) when the start of a new “request bus” service came into operation. The new 10:06 pm bus service – which is currently being operated on a four month trial from Comrie to St Fillans on a Saturday evening - has provided the opportunity to be able to go out and return the same evening using public transport, without the added expense and hassle of having to organise a taxi or the inconvenience of somebody having to play designated driver. This new trial service came about after the bus company were reevaluating their bus timetable. The Community Council canvassed villagers’ opinions last year, to find out which service/s, if any, people would like to see, with the result that a late evening service on a weekend was given the majority vote. Everyone is encouraged to use it, otherwise, like everything else, we’ll lose it. At £2.90 for a return ticket (that’s the full rate – not your pensioner’s special) you can’t complain. Singing on the return journey is optional.

THE PINK LADIES L to R: Louise McGregor, Lorraine Dovey, Carol Graham & Katy Light

MEN’S ST FILLANS WINNING TEAM L to R: Bruce Leckie, Richard Graham, Steve Howell & Jonathan Dovey

Congratulations to everybody who took part in the Great Loch Earn Boat Race on Sunday 23rd April. Eight teams (comprising of four crew per boat) competed for the coveted title. I must say, it was quite a surreal moment, walking to the start line at Lochearnhead, following a crab, a shark, four dragons and four grown men sporting lederhosen - just another normal morning in the village. The winners, by quite a considerable distance, were the St Fillans men’s team

(once again), captained by local builder, Jonathan Dovey and his able team mates Richard Graham, Bruce Leckie and Steve Howell. They completed the distance in a very respectable time of one hour and forty two minutes. The other local (to St Fillans) team, made up of four very glamorous Pink Ladies, rowed the Loch in two hours and fifteen minutes. Well done to them - Louise McGregor, Lorraine Dovey, Carol Graham and Katy Light. Many thanks to Bradley Sol and team at The Achray Hotel for hosting the competitors and supporters of the race, and for providing a much needed (free) meal for the rowers. Various prizes were awarded to all who took part - thanks too must go to Andrew Low of the Four Seasons who donated the winners with a meal each at the hotel. It was great to see the sun make an appearance on the day and lovely to celebrate with the teams and locals on the deck outside The Achray. The winner of last month’s photo’ caption competition was Emma Gillett – thanks for all five of your suggestions, Emma – this is the safest one I could use. The photo’ of Richard Graham and Steve Howell at the St Fillans Festive Weekend last year with the caption “With these shirts, I felt we needed pinacolada!”

With these shirts, I felt we needed pinacolada!

Work started last month on the latest phase of the Loch Earn Railway Path, running from east to west from Station Road. Within a couple of days, diggers had widened the path running along the backs of the A-framed houses and trees had been cut from the railway path itself. The work is due to run until 22nd June and walkers and locals have been advised to keep away from the path until everything has been finished. News from the hotels … The Four Seasons are holding another K9 fun run/walk on Saturday 20th May in aid of the Dogs Trust charity. This one is 5K and will take you along the railway path towards Lochearnhead. Participants will meet in the Tarken Bar at 11 am and finish up with refreshments for the humans and their canine companions back at the hotel. Anyone interested should contact fourseasonsrun@gmail. com to register or phone Andrew, Mary or Lynne on 01764 685333 for more information.

Finally, a reminder that there are still a few tickets available for some “sophisticated fun” at the St Fillans May Ball on Saturday 20th May at the Four Seasons Hotel. The event is to “kick start” the festivities of this year’s bicentennial celebrations of the renaming of the village. Tickets are £45 each, and monies raised on the evening are all going to the Scottish Air Ambulance charity. You are invited to dress up in your finest (this is a “black tie” event). After an indulgent three course meal, you can try your luck at winning a prize on the bottle stall (for which donations are appreciated) and dance the night away to live band, Mystery Train. To buy tickets, please contact any of the following on 01764 685 followed by their 3 digit number: Harry Burnett: 248, Mike McGregor: 322, Isobel Howell: 210 or Carol Graham: 367. Please send me any news stories, photos, etc. etc. to Foxknowe@ Thanks, Isobel.

The Boat race Crews with a welcome drink!

Your suggestions, please, for a suitable caption for this month’s photo’ featuring Ali Gowans (photo below) of Lochearnhead driving his Land Rover, whilst sporting a wetsuit – what else!


Lochearnhead Latest Dear Editor - Can You Help? In the 80’s my ex-wife and I were friends with Charlie and Libby McKenna of Lochearmhead. Unfortunately, I have lost track of those friends. When we visited them in 1983, Charlie was working for the Forestry Commission and Libby kept a B&B. They had 3 lovely daughters: Geraldine, Frances & Charlotte. It would be great to have news from them and I would be very grateful to you if you could help me locate them. I thank you in anticipation. Yours sincerely, Daniel J.M. SCHOOLS 3 Rue de Bellaire 4120 Neupré Belgium

A delightful picture of the Rosie Ransom on her ‘graduation’ from nursery school. Well done.



13th MAY 2017 MARK YOUR DIARY for a night of fun and hilarity. Proceeds will maintain your village hall. Will you pick the winners? Casual dress. Best ladies hat and men’s jockey costume prizes. Cash for winning punters. Horse auction! Free entry - Visitors welcome - Licensed Bar - Doors Open 7.00pm

SEEING STARS by Keith Wilson 


Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses take part in various training programmes throughout the year. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoons will provisionally be on: Thursday 25th May 2017 and Tuesday 20th June 2017 On these afternoons, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments. Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12.30pm. We hope that emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs, however, this will not be confirmed to the practices until nearer the time. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 111.

MAY The appearance of one star more than any other is a sign of summer approaching - it can be found in the constellation of Bootes (the Herdsman) and is known as Arcturus. You’ll find this star, the fourth brightest in our night sky, glowing an orange-red colour high in the southern sky. Arcturus was an important guide to Polynesian sailors in the Pacific as it passed directly over Hawaii and the ancient Greeks used its rising and setting as a guide to the changing seasons. Like Orion’s Betelgeuse, Arcturus is a red giant, some twenty seven times the size of our Sun. Whereas our star is middle aged, Arcturus is coming to the end of its life. One day, our Sun will become a red giant and when it does Earth will become a cinder and life on our planet will no longer be possible. That day however is billions of years away! While you are searching for Arcturus don’t forget to take a look at another bright object in the sky - the planet Jupiter, which you will find below and to the right of Arcturus.

Bracklinn Practice Bracklinn Practice recently completed a patient questionnaire on behalf of the clinicians. The results were very positive with lots of lovely comments for the individual clinicians. We would like to thank everyone for their co-operation. However, there were a few comments about the “Doctors running late”. This has been commented on previously, and we ask you to think of the following when making an appointment: • Each appointment is 10 minutes long which is the Government guideline. • A 10-minute appointment can create extra time for the clinician to complete the consultation e.g. referrals/blood tests/follow-ups etc. • There are “catch up” slots within the clinics in case a patient takes longer than 10 minutes. • Every clinic includes semi-urgent and urgent slots at the end. • Our clinics run for approximately 2.5 hours. • Sometimes the patient will take longer than their allocated 10 minutes. • The clinics always start on time unless the doctor has been called away to an emergency. • Think about how many problems you want to discuss. • Inform the receptionists you may need longer than 10 minutes. • Appointments always take longer than “a couple of minutes”. The receptionists may ask what your symptoms are to prioritise the urgent appointments. Please also note: Urgent appointments are for people who have become acutely unwell. Not turning up for an appointment creates a backlog for people needing to be seen. The clinicians will always try to accommodate anyone running late for an appointment if they inform the receptionist as soon as possible. You may however, be asked to wait until the end of the clinic to be seen.

Bracklinn Practice Bank holiday opening hours

open as usual The practice will be ng. We will orni on Good Friday m d re-open on an e im ht nc lu at close . 18 Tuesday th April actice pr e th ay M t 1s y On Monda ning or m e in th will open as usual n oo rn te af e and close in th for staff training. ical attention If you require med is closed, please when the practice on 111. contact NHS24

UNUSED MEDICINES Wasted medicines cost the NHS £1.2m each year

Amnesty Friday

Every Friday from March - May Please bring your unwanted medication to Callander Medical Centre or Pharmacy • Specify what medication you need when ordering • Tell us if you are not taking a medication on your repeat list • Each one of us has a responsibility to reduce wastage, improve safety and save money!


Church News Balquhidder • BLS

Reg. Charity No. SC012316

A Note from

St Angus’s

Intimations of Immortality (apologies to Wordsworth) A few mornings back I was standing on the edge of the Earn, seeing the beginnings of leaves on the trees, enjoying a touch of a WARM breeze which hardly ruffled the water’s surface. What with spring and a mind full of our Resurrection celebrations from Easter, I was moved by the sight of the broad surface of the water, the perfect reflection all cupped, it felt, in the circle of the April sky: our life reflected in the reality of eternity – the one a perfect reflection of the other, all held in love.

Reflections on Loch Earn

And I felt thankful for the wonderful holding that we experience in community. Most of tend not to see God face to face right here, but Jesus lived among us so that we could see him in the faces of our friends, neighbours, family. So, a huge thank you from all of us at St Angus’s to all of you, the community which cups us, and best wishes to you all for a marvellous summer. As ever you are welcome to join us at any of the things we do – there is a group who meet for arts and crafts in St Fillan’s Church in Killin on (usually) the second Wednesday of each month – check with Paddy at 01764 655389 to confirm). Then, whenever there is a fifth Sunday of the month, we gather from 5.30 – 7 in the evening in a hotel (so far it has been the Lochearnhead Hotel or the Killin Hotel) to discuss matters of the spirit over a sandwich and a drink. Tom and Isobel Gallagher spoke movingly last time about their experiences volunteering across the world. We’ll keep you posted about future events. Blessings Paddy Allen (Rector St Angus’s – and a few other churches) 8

MUSINGS FROM THE MANSE Hi Folks, The following is a true story - would a Minister tell lies!! Two Policemen, (a young rookie and an older experienced officer) were out and about in their Patrol car one morning when they spotted some boys playing on a grass embankment. The older officer said “watch this!” and proceeded to drive off the road and up the embankment and stopped beside the startled boys. Rolling down his window he barked at one of the boys “Hi son why are you not at school today?” The bemused boy replied “Because it’s Saturday Mister!” Saving face, the officer replied “Just testing, now don’t get up to mischief you hear? The Patrol car reversed back on to the road and the Policemen carried on their way. Yes I was one of them….not the driver I hasten to add! Different days of the week can mark different things with Saturday of course being the first day of the weekend when the schools are closed. Holy week which we have just celebrated recently narrates many different events associated with Jesus in Jerusalem. Friday was the day of darkness, horror and tragedy. Sunday was the day of triumph, hope and victory. But what of Saturday? So often, it is the one day of Holy week that seems to get overlooked. Yet I believe it is one of the most important. It can be many things, but a day of numbness and emptiness is certainly true in relation to the Easter story. But it is also a day of waiting, of hoping, of anticipation and expectation. Above all it is a day of “silence” for there are no words to express what has happened and is happening. Perhaps the symbolism of that Easter Saturday is something we can relate to. How often do we feel numb or empty or disappointed or deflated? Or worse, broken, bruised, and hurting; smiling on the outside but screaming within. Perhaps it is only in the “silence” that help can be sought and healing begin. But true silence is hard to find. I read recently about a wildlife filmmaker who needed to record hundreds of hours of film to get one minute of genuine natural silence free from human noise of some kind. Many years ago our family holidayed in the cabins on the western side of

Loch Lubnaig. It was a wonderful holiday (I fished the loch as a teenager so it brought back special memories) but I was acutely aware of the near constant hum of traffic on the A 84 both day and night. A place where I have found silence recently has been the Church at Balquhidder. It truly is a special building here on our doorstep. Yes, there can be many visitors especially as the weather gets warmer but those special moments when time seems to stand still can be experienced now and then. The Church is open to the public most days. So try it out if you have some time to spare. Sitting in that Old Church brings together a place, a presence and a power beyond words. Perhaps it is only in silence that true healing and renewal can take place. God Bless you all RM Church News At long last, I am starting our Church News item again. The main news of course is that we now have a new full time Minister, the Revd Russel Moffat. He is based at the Manse in Killin and we are pleased that he and Mrs Moffat (Brenda) are happily settled there. As always, our main Sunday service in Balquhidder Church is at 11.30 am. We serve tea and coffee after the service, have a blether and still get home in time for lunch! With spring well under way, summer will be on us before we know it and we look forward to meeting the many visitors who make it to Balquhidder. Our thanks go to all who help with the cleaning and general Church maintenance here. After a long time with problems caused by a leaking roof, all is now repaired and seems to be ok. Fingers crossed that the fine sunny weather continues and that we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief and hope that we shall keep the rain out when it does come. All good wishes to you all and here`s hoping for a fine summer when it comes! Jean Edwards




*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 muses on keeping his ‘man cave’ safe. It must seem to the visiting reader that from the reports of burglaries and thefts in Strathyre and Lochearnhead that these places are becoming something like Dodge City (Of Wyatt Earp fame) Perhaps it is time to suggest a few deterrents. Let us look at my photograph of a delightful Garden Man Cave, tempting no doubt to a devious nightime traveller. But what do we see in the close up shot by the door handle? How many people even know what it is, would the intending intruder know what it is? Of course, some would say that this could be classed as a booby trap and may cause bodily harm, but we would not wish to do that, would we? In order to be mindful of this the spring of this device has been carefully down rated to merely give a gentle squeeze or “Welcome Hand Shake”. Man traps and Pit Falls are no longer allowed, so this may be a useful and harmless DIY alternative. Old Nyati.





Dad’s Eulogy Gordon- husband to Maureen; Father to Ian, Michelle and Becky; Grandad to Michael, Chloe and Harris; Great grandad to Cleo and a friend to many. Dad, being the organised person that he was, did offer to pre-record his own eulogy - we declined saying that we didn’t have all day and it wasn’t the done thing to have toilet breaks. He then suggested making it like a lady’s skirt – long enough to cover the vital parts but short enough to hold people’s interest. When did he ever do that! Dad was born in Liverpool and the eldest of three brothers. He claimed that he took the rap for the antics of his younger brothers, Ray and Allan, but they say that dad was just as bad as they were. Throughout his life dad was a staunch Liverpool FC supporter albeit he found it challenging at times. He was very proud of his roots and although he wasn’t a Liverpool ‘scally’, he said he found it useful to play the part at times. Dad was bright and able, and could read before going to school. At school he found learning easy and preferred to entertain classmates instead. He passed the 11+ and attended the Holt grammar school where academically he did wel, however university was never an option for him. Instead he attended college before joining ICI (Imperial Chemical Industry) as a trainee chemist at the age of 18 years. It was there that he met mum – it was love in the labs. Growing up in Liverpool during the sixties was very exciting – the music scene was alive with visits to the Cavern club to see the Beatles and Mersey Beats. Dad used to think he was fashionable but his attempt at being a teddy boy was short lived when his father cut the ends off his winkle-pickers, however this didn’t 10

discourage him. When dad went to meet his future in-laws he arrived on his moped, wearing mirrored sunglasses and drainpipe jeans. Dad thought he looked cool but the in-laws wondered what their daughter had brought home. Unfortunately his moped leaked oil on to the driveway and the atmosphere thereafter was frosty to say the least. However love won through and aged 20 mum and dad married in January 1965, with Ian arriving later that year. Dad always claimed that when he got married he was 6ft tall, had a full head of hair and weighed 7 stone. He reckoned mum ground him down over the years. Dad enjoyed a great career with ICI and had various roles in commissioning and production, but eventually found his niche as a salesman – perfect for someone who loved talking and golf! But the story goes he got the job because he was the only one who turned up in a suit. Dad spent his whole career with ICI and finished as a senior manager within the organisation. The various promotions meant relocating the family from Runcorn to Cheshire to Worcestershire and then Scotland. Along the way mum and dad made some great friendships and dad spoke fondly of his time in Kingsley, Astley Burf and Balquhidder. In 1990, after being made Sales manager for Scotland and Ireland mum was tasked with finding a new home in Scotland - there were two conditions; to be close to an airport and with some land for Becky’s horse. Mum explored Scotland for a week, found Balquhidder, and could not look beyond it. It was agreed that an hour and a half was close enough to Edinburgh airport and 133 acres was sufficient. At the time a rumour circulated ICI that Gordie had bought a castle in Scotland – guess who started that one! In 1998, ICI offered another promotion which would involve a move back to Cheshire. Dad decided at the age of 54 to take early retirement as he knew leaving Gart, and the many friends, would break the family’s heart. Although the family were concerned that he may be bored after such a high powered job, they soon realised that golf four times a week would keep him busy, as well as a plethora of holidays. Golf has been a prominent feature throughout dad’s life. A chance encounter during adolescence demonstrated a talent for the game and a lifetime commitment then followed. Although dad enjoyed the challenge of improving his handicap and played many bucket-list courses, he enjoyed meeting people and the banter much

more. He made the game look easy and retained his single-figure handicap right up until the end. Despite his talent and successes he had the dirtiest clubs but perhaps that was his secret. Dad wasn’t perfect - occassionally he would lose his cool especially when his short-game wasn’t going well - we have an array of snapped putters to show for this. But, no matter what the score, there was always banter back in the clubhouse and dad would be in the thick of it. Not only did dad spend a lot of time playing golf he also dedicated a lot of time to supporting the club both on committees, work-parties and of course socials. Those that knew dad well knew that he had a sunny disposition and also loved the sunshine. He loved holidays for the warmth, the cheap wine and spending quality time with family or friends. He could never understand ski holidays – why pay to be pigging freezing – you could stay in Balquhidder for that! No matter where he went on holiday he ended up telling stories. Although, after retirement, mum and dad travelled far and wide, Portugal remained a favourite beautiful beaches, wine for less than 3 euros a bottle and great golf courses. No one was more delighted when Becky & Webster decided to marry in Portugal in 2009 – a week a partying with friends and family and a fresh audience to tell stories to. His laughter, and that of others, could be heard around the resort for the duration. Dad was often referred to as a Legend, or was it a leg end? He had a great sense of humour and at times sailed close to the wind in terms of appropriateness but always seemed to get away with it. He was famous for telling stories – some of which were true - others were made up but all took a long time to tell and were wildly exaggerated with lots of animation. Whether at sales conferences, dinner parties, garden BBQs or golf club socials he held court and people loved him for it. He often had a glass of something in his hand whilst telling his tales and the laughter and naughtiness increased with the quantity consumed. His discovery of rehydration sachets not only saved him but many others from a thousand hangovers over the years. Even in illness dad remained positive and humorous. When undergoing treatment in hospital, he almost killed someone when telling jokes in the ward and resulted in one person needing oxygen from laughing so much. The gentleman was permanently removed from the ward as they couldn’t take the

risk. Another day when the breakfasts for his ward went missing, dad asked the nurse if anyone had died in the night and if so could he have their sausage roll. He never felt sorry for himself and often told mum that the nurses fancied him! Two years ago mum and dad celebrated their Golden wedding anniversary. Not surprisingly dad said a few words at the celebration dinner. When asked what the secret was to 50 years marriage, he explained that the third of time sleeping, third working, third on golf course, remainder cutting grass and logs, shopping and admin, reading and cooking. He said in reality they had spent less than 12 months together and therefore were still in the honeymoon period. Dad was brave and this was very evident during his final two months as he spent time ensuring that everything was in place for his family. However he never lost his sense of humour and we enjoyed a great Christmas together. One night, concerned about how the brain cancer could change him, he asked the family to let him know when he started to talk rubbish. We all looked at each, laughed and said he’d been doing that for years. He also laughed. Throughout his life dad worked hard and played hard, and always treated others with respect and compassion. He was very generous and would help anyone. He instilled these values into his children and was very proud of their achievements. He encouraged his family to be ambitious and supported them financially, practically and emotionally to achieve even when he didn’t always agree with their plans – like bringing an injured cat back from Portugal. Ironically one of dad’s favourite films was The Bucket List about two people with cancer and fulfilling their final wishes. We asked dad about his bucket list but he didn’t have one; he lived each day to the full and had no regrets. Dad’s motivation was his family and getting the family unit right. If that was ok, then so was he. His moto for life was live life, laugh often. Reading the many sympathy cards and messages of condolence indicate just how much dad meant to so many people. Our lives will be quieter without him but richer for having known him. We thank him for all that he did for us and for always making us smile. Thank you Gordie, rest in peace. Michelle Strong (daughter)




McLaren High School Music Festival Competition This took place over Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 March and was adjudicated this year by John Digney. John was Principal Oboist with the SNO for some years and his son, Robert, was a former pupil who left McLaren in 2010. John and his wife, Gail, have been enthusiastic supporters of the musical life of the school for many years, and we were delighted that he could adjudicate the competitions for us. After a closely fought competition the results were as follows: Junior Robotics Team

Music Festival Competition

Junior Competition: 1st—Liam Rennie 2nd—James Douglas 3rd—Robbie Watson Senior Competition: 1st— Max Menzies 2nd— Callum Hall 3rd— Ailish Duthie Intermediate Competition: 1st—Megan Milligan 2nd—Natalie Klaes 3rd—Joe Smith Ensemble Competition: 1st—Eve Scott and Hazel Imrie 2nd—S2 Guitar Ensemble—Rohan Watson, Harris Milne, Thomas Woods, Jamie Warburton and Ryan McGuire 3rd—Vocal Trio—Finn Newton, India Newton and Maria Whyte Well done to everyone who took part and then entertained the audience at the concert in the evening. Junior Robotics Team UK Finalists In the middle of March the McLaren High team travelled to the Birmingham NEC to compete in the National Finals of the Tomorrows Engineers EEP Robotics challenge. Out of over 200 teams who originally applied to take part in the competition 30 teams were competing at the finals. The competition format was exactly 12

the same as the heats, however the ability of the teams taking part had increased significantly. The first run through of the Robotics challenge didn’t quite go to plan and although the team’s individual challenge, project presentation, robot design discussion (with real life engineers) and second run at the robotics challenge were very good they were unable to quite make the top ten in the final stages. They should, however, be very proud of the hard work and the levels of commitment they have shown over the past 6 months that allowed them the opportunity to compete against the best teams in the UK.

Harris Clark & Sandy Blair

eyes of the law?” Mrs Moir (coach and mentor) was delighted with their commitment and their performance. School Garden We are in the process of developing our school garden with a group meeting 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!

STEM Enterprise A massive thank you and congratulations to all in S1 who helped create our STEM space for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Pupils were presented with a room filled with flat-pack purchases, tools, missing instructions… just for the challenge, thanks Mrs Hall!... and a task to build all within the hour. Pupils quickly organised themselves in to groups and got straight on the job. Everyone was really proud of how well they had worked together and how fantastic their creations looked in the completed STEM room. Public Speaking Well done to Harris Clark and Sandy Blair for winning the Forth Valley final of The Procurator Fiscal’s Public Speaking Competition. This is a great achievement as this is an extremely prestigious competition. They spoke against Braes High School and Denny High School on the motion, “Not a child, not yet a grown up - when should young people be seen as adults in the

Hard at wrok in the school garden

Erudite Muse “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Chinese proverb, quoted in the Irish Times “Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority.” Sir Francis Bacon, quoted on

National Park Partnership Plan The plan sets out a five year vision for widening benefits of National Park The public 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 from Monday 10 April to Monday 3 July. They outline are 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. The plan is the first major piece of work led by the new Convener of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, James Stuart. As Managing Director of Entrepreneurial Scotland and former Chief Executive of the Royal Yachting Association, James Stuart, brings a wealth of experience in sport, recreation and tourism to the role at the National Park. He said: “The National Park is a truly special place and this plan proposes how we along with a wide range of other organisations, can work together over the next five years to look after, enhance and make the most of it. By working collaboratively with all of our partners we can achieve a much greater impact. “The focus is on big priorities for action that are most likely to make a lasting difference to the area, its communities, the people who visit and to the Scottish economy. “This is an exciting time for the National Park and we want people to get involved in planning the future of the area by telling us what they think of the vision set out in this draft plan.” The priorities set out in the Partnership Plan have been developed to tackle key issues within the National Park. To read the draft National Park Partnership Plan 2018-2023 and respond to the consultation go to w w w. l o c h l o m o n d -t ro ssac h s. o rg/ consultations.

“I always thought Roger Moore was a New Year’s resolution.” Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, quoted in The Times “Knowing when to blow the whistle is the easy job in refereeing. The secret is knowing when not to blow it.” Nigel Owens, quoted in The Times “The pen is mightier than the sword, but only in retrospect. At the time of combat, those with the swords generally win.” Margaret Atwood, quoted in The New Yorker “It turns out that confirmation bias means exactly what I expected it to mean.” Cartoonist Moose Allain, quoted in The Independent “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it is attached to the rest of the world.” John Muir, quoted on “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” Mohammad Ali, quoted in the New York Post “Happiness is less imprtant than trying to live in the righ way.” Tolstoy, quoted in The Times 13

BALQUHIDDER IN THE WAR ANECDOTES & MUSINGS FROM BAILLE A CHNOIC Baille A Chnoic is an isolated cottage high on the hill above Stronvar and Ballanluig. My mother’s family (BalfourPaul) had rented the property since 1922 and, following the capture of my father (Major John Cousens) on the Dunkirk perimeter in May 1940, my mother and elder brother (Kit) lived there throughout the remainder of the war. Kit attended Balquhidder school. it was a robust and potentially lonely existence but they were very much sustained by the extraordinary sense of community in the Balquhidder glen in which everyone looked after each other. As was the case for almost all Balquhidder properties, there was no mains water, sewage or electricity. A water tank had been installed in a stream above the house and fresh water was piped into the house from there. The system worked well with hot water enabled by a log-fired range. The water was always a peaty brown and, after rain, resembled brown sauce. Twigs and frogs were regularly spotted in the bath. Light was provided by candles, and two paraffin lamps. These were used sparingly due to rationing. There was also a paraffin fridge which survived into the 1950’s. Laundry took place in the Calair burn; weather-permitting, it was dried on the rocks in the sun. All houses were required to have blackout blinds and their brackets still remain in the windows. Shopping was done at the Village shop and in Strathyre although there was a mobile shop from Callander on occasions. Most of the garden was geared to vegetable and fruit production. Plums and blaeberries were bottled for the winter and, to this day, the pantry is awash with many of the old Kilner jars. Chickens were essential; everyone shared their produce and there was great mutual support within the Ballanluig cluster of cottages. The McDonalds kept a cow which grazed on the grazings below Baille A Chnoic so a limited supply of milk and butter was always forthcoming. The war-time recipe books are still at Baille A Chnoic. Communications to and from Balquhidder were dire. Mrs Moir ran 14

the post office and shop, next to Kirkton Farm. She had one of the few phones in the glen and it was she who received and transmitted telegrams which were to become so important during the entire war. She also received the mail so became the fount of all knowledge in the glen. It was she who received the postcard from the Oflag VIIC POW camp in Germany proving that my father was still alive. Mrs Moir eventually developed a system of communications which worked well. When there was an urgent message, she would phone Mrs Stewart in Ballanluig who would then place a tea towel on her hedge. When this was spotted, my brother was duly despatched to collect the message. Who needs broadband? The railway was the only practical physical link with the outside world. Trains would stop, on request, at Kingshouse Halt but most visitors were required to walk with their suitcase from Strathyre station along the back road via Stroneslaney.

throughout the village My mother always reflected that Balquhidder was the perfect spot in which to live while my father was a prisoner. She was sustained not only by her family in Edinburgh but also by close friends in both Balqhuidder and Strathyre, some of whom came to stay for prolonged periods. VE Day was celebrated with relish and the Baille A Chnoic 1945 VE Day menu survives to this day. Sadly my father was injured in the closing stages of the war and lost a leg. He was eventually reunited with my mother and brother in Edinburgh and they all returned to Baille A Chnoic which, not surprisingly, continues to hold a special place in our hearts. These musings are by no means unique and my mother’s experiences merely perhaps constitute a microcosm of the wartime lifestyle throughout the Balquhidder glen, the hallmarks of which were a vibrant community spirit, undiluted kindness and a resolute spirit – characteristics that endure to this day. Richard Cousens

The postcard that Major John Cousens sent from Oflag VIIC POW Camp

Major John Cousens, Mrs Cousens & Kit Cousens

The church remained at the epicentre of the village throughout the war and there were many women in the glen whose husbands were serving either in Europe or Burma and who derived great comfort from the church. Close friendships were forged which endured for the remainder of their lives. During the war, a British bomber crashed in the hills above Muirlaggan which provided much excitement in the glen. Even now, remains of the plane can be spotted in the isolated glen west of Ballimore. Sphagnum moss has antiseptic properties and is prolific on the high ground above Balquhidder. My mother and brother collected huge quantities of the stuff, dried it in the sun and then bagged it for onwards transmission to Glasgow where it was used for field dressings. This was a common task

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 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: MAY • Sat 6 May 08:30 Hill: the Pillars of Ben Ledi (879m) Contact 01877 330059 • Sat 13 May 08:30 Ramble: Glen Dochart to the Kingshouse (7miles) Contact 01877 330169 • Wed 17 May 09:30 Stroll: Fairy Knowe circuit (4.5miles) Contact 01877 382682 • Sat 27 May 08:30 LDP: RB2 – Comrie to St Fillans (10miles) Contact 01877 330032 JUNE • Sat 3 June 08:30 Hill: Mystery Hill   Contact 01877 382924 • Wed 7 June 09:30 Stroll: Bandeath old munitions depot (4.5miles) Contact 01786 825682 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.

Visit to Diageo’s Cooperage

The Out & About Group has been set up to visit places not readily open to the general public. It is hoped that members of the group will come up with their own ideas and use their personal contacts to arrange interesting visits. Our first visit was to Scottish Opera’s purpose built facilities with a tour of the vast rehearsal studio, props department, carpentry and painting workshops and the costume department. In early December, our visit took a group of 14 of us to Diageo’s state-ofthe-art cooperage at Cambus, where we saw American bourbon casks being modified to the larger British equivalent and damaged barrels being repaired for re-use at Daigeo’s whisky distilleries. On 26 January, our group found out what was happening to all our recycled waste at Stirling Council’s recycling centre at Lower Polmaise. Recently, the group had a fascinating and informative tour of Cancer Research’s Beatson Institute in Bearsden. After an introductory talk, we were shown around research laboratories and the histology department. We were astonished to find out that it requires £1m per day to fund Cancer Research UK.

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. 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:

Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SC037849



Kasia’s Cookin’


Rhubarb Cake


Connecting communities through food

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Kasia Sujanova

Seasonal cake, moist, sweet with a lovely sour taste of delicious, soft rhubarb. Rhubarb is a vegetable, but in cooking is treated like a fruit. The stems are very tart and need to be sweetened before eating. Several species of rhubarb came through to Europe in the Middle Ages from China, where the root had been used medicinally for centuries. However its culinary use only really took off in the eighteenth century. The Victorians became very fond of the plant, inventing both the rhubarb crumble and fool. Rhubarb can also be used in savoury dishes. This is how to make this delicious,simple cake. Ingredients: 400g plain or spelt flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 tsp vanilla extract 250 g melted butter 4 eggs 1 cup of sugar 450g rhubarb in pieces Icing sugar for dusting. Instructions: Mix the flour with the baking powder. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, add sugar, flour, melted butter (slightly cooled) and vanilla extract. Mix together. Transfer the dough to a form lined with baking paper, spread pieces of rhubarb on the top. Bake for 40-45 min in 180C. Dust with icing sugar. Enjoy! Kasia

Become a Meal Makers Diner by calling: Tel: 0800 783 7770 Glasgow: 0141 387 6390 Perth & Kinross: 01738 452236

Refer a diner Contact us on: Email: Tel: 0800 783 7770 Glasgow: 0141 387 6390 Perth & Kinross: 01738 452236

Cook delivers tasty homemade meal to Diner and uploads meal share online

Bringing together those who love to cook and are happy to share an extra portion with an older neighbour Brought to you by Food Train

Charity number SC 24843

Meal Makers, is a local neighbourhood food-sharing project that uses an online platform (www.mealmakers. to connect volunteers of any age who have a passion for cooking and want to be active in their communities (Cooks), with older neighbours over the age of 55 (Diners) who would appreciate a home cooked meal and a friendly chat. Once a Cook and Diner have been matched the Cook will prepare an extra meal and deliver it to their Diner at a time agreed by both parties. This can be as often as the cook and diner would like whether that is weekly (most common), fortnightly or just now and again. The project aims to reduce food poverty and malnutrition, improve diets and combat social isolation by breaking down the barriers that lead to loneliness. The project also helps to strengthen connections within communities and provides a flexible way for people to volunteer their time and skills locally in a way which suits them.

Danny & Frank Beef Stew

Florence and Robert


Now that Easter has past, traditionally this is when things start to get busier for us, with more traffic on the roads network, and people using the loch sides as the weather improves. This year we have the National Park’s new Bye-laws in place in an effort to reduce the issues that have occurred over a number of years. There has already been someone charged on Loch Earn for failing to comply with the new measures, and he will now be subject to a report to the Procurator Fiscal. The local community council has also, over the past few years, been working on a local public alcohol bye-law, which has now been approved and a provisional date has been set around June 2017 so it should be in place ahead of the summer. I will give more information nearer the time. On the 14th March, a male was found in possession of controlled drugs on Loch Earn. Overnight, between the 16th and 17th March, a welfare unit was stolen from the A84 to the North of Strathyre. Scottish Water were carrying out works opposite Creagan House and this unit was placed on site by means of a hi-ab given its size and weight. If anyone has any information about the theft, please get in touch. On the 24th March, a sheep was killed by a dog in Strathyre off the Nat7 cycle route. A dog was seen within the field prior to the carcass being found. Can I ask that anyone with any information please get in touch with me? Also, all dog owners please be aware that lambing season is upon us and take care when walking dogs in areas where sheep may be present. If sheep are in a field, don’t take your dog through. Best practice is to keep your dog on a short lead. Although there is no legal requirement to have a dog on a lead, the legal definition is that the dog must be under “proper strict control”. Overnight between the 24th and 25th March, an Ifor Williams trailer was stolen from Kendrum Road in Lochearnhead. If anyone has any information, please get in touch. Rural Watch I have been asked to pass on details of a new scheme which has been launched across Scotland. Within the local communities, no formal Neighbourhood Watch Scheme exists at present. Rural Watch Scotland receives information from a number of sources, including Police Scotland, and thereafter sends out alerts in the form of an email or SMS, depending 18

on which option you subscribe to. Although the scheme was originally aimed at landowners and farmers, we are encouraging anyone living within a rural community to sign up. It works in a similar fashion to the emails I send out; the only difference being is there are more sources of information – again depending on which options you select during signup. Please have a look and consider signing up. Brief details of the scheme are as follows: ’Rural Watch Scotland’ is an extension of the Neighbourhood Watch Scotland movement and endorsed by the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime (SPARC) and Forth Valley Rural Crime Group aimed specifically at the rural communities of Scotland and aims to bring all the benefits of Neighbourhood Watch to all rural communities irrespective of location, size or demographics. Rural watch is an online community for any member of the public where appeals, crime prevention tips and safety alerts can be posted by those who subscribe which can be viewed by all members. Subscription is free and the sharing of information on the forum is a great example of real time crime prevention in action. The objectives of Rural Watch Scotland are to: •Reduce crime and the fear of crime by providing the right information, to the right people, at the right time. •Encourage people to think about safety and security for themselves, their neighbours and their community. •Improve community cohesion and well-being by supporting communities to develop ‘their watch, their way’. •Work in partnership with national and local service providers to develop more resilient communities that are better prepared against threats, intentional or unintentional, such as crime or extreme weather. The experience of Neighbourhood Watch throughout Scotland and elsewhere across the world is that members of Rural Watch Scotland will be less likely than non-members in the rural community to be a victim of crime. By joining the Rural Watch Scotland

scheme members can receive alerts and advice by phone, text or email. By keeping members informed about crime and other threats in specific areas, Rural Watch Scotland can help prevent crime, keep communities and residents safe, and members responses to these alerts can help catch criminals or be better prepared to deal with other threats to communities. To join Rural Watch Scotland simply: - Log onto www.ruralwatchscotland. - Click the green JOIN button at the top of the page. - Follow the on-screen instructions.” As always, I can always be contacted on 101 or for those who prefer email, I can be contacted directly at william. Regards, PC Will Diamond

Scottish Wildlife Trust: Dragonflies

Golden Ringed Dragonfly

Common Blue Damsonfky mating

The talk Dragonflies of Scotland was the intriguing topic in March, given by Daniele Muir of BDS. Worldwide, dragonflies prefer warmer climes, but 25 of the UK’s 42 resident or migrant species have been seen in Scotland with five unique damselflies and three 3 dragonflies. In the 10km quadrant including Callander, five species of dragonfly and four damselflies have been recorded, the majority flying between May and August. Incredibly, dragonflies have been around for 300 million years, since before the dinosaurs: thankfully they are now much smaller! They are insects of the order Odonata and divided into two distinct sub-orders.

Dragonflies (including darters, chasers and skimmers) are usually large, colourful, strongly flying insects that often fly well away from water and wings are held out from the body when resting. Their very large eyes usually touch and their larvae have no external gill plates. Damselflies are smaller & thinner, weakly flying insects that stay close to the water surface or margins. At rest their wings are generally held along the length of the abdomen, with the exception of the Emerald Damselflies. The eyes are always separated and the larvae appear to have three tails at the end of the abdomen that act as accessory gills. Dragonflies are being impacted by climate change; four species are known to be moving north and those preferring cooler

climes are moving to higher altitudes. Restoration of lost wetland habitats has to take into account their complex lifecycle with aquatic and land stages. They spend most of their life under water as larvae for up to five years, shedding their skins up to 15 times as they grow. Sadly, the beautiful flying adults only average 2-3 weeks during which they breed but most will quickly discover restored habitats and newly constructed ponds. At all stages they are voracious feeders, eating whatever they can catch. Luckily we don’t have any the size of the one in Canada seen eating a hummingbird! Much more information and identification charts can be found on the BDS website along with links to record sightings or post photos for help with identification. http://www.british-dragonflies. Lesley Hawkins


Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of a meeting held at The Village Hall, Strathyre on 5 April 2017 Please note that these minutes have not yet received formal approval and should be considered as a draft version only. Present: Paul Hicks (PH), Loraine Telfer (LT), Adrian Squires (AS), David Johnston (DJ), Ruth McLusky (RM), and Richard Eastland (RE). Apologies: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Karen Methven (KM), Angus Cameron (AC), PC Will Diamond, Police Scotland. In attendance: Cllr Martin Earl (ME), Michelle Flynn (MF), Theresa Elliot (TE), Stirling Council; Billy Ronald (BR), National Park; Margaret Alexander (MA), Lochearnhead. 1) Approval of Minutes: As MM was unable to attend, DJ chaired the meeting. It was proposed by AS, and seconded by RM, that the minutes of the meeting on 22nd February 2017 should be accepted, and this was approved unanimously. 2) Declarations of Interest: No declarations were made. 3) Police Report: PC Diamond was on leave but had submitted a short report. Between 20th February and 20th March 2017, there had been no burglaries or break-ins in our area but, on the night of 16-17th March, a welfare unit trailer was stolen from the A84 opposite Creagan House, Strathyre. The trailer was valued at approximately £20,000, and was so large and heavy that it had required a Hiab crane truck to put it in place initially. On the 14th March, a male was found in possession of controlled drugs on Loch Earn, whilst a number of conditional offersî had been issued for driving offences, including a number of speeding motorists. 4) Matters Arising - 4a) Community Council Connect Fund. PH reported that Stirling Council had been willing to grant an extension for a couple of months, but there had been no prospect of progress with the joint website within this time so, at the end of March the money was returned to the Council, together with a report as to why the project had not been completed. 4b) Economic Development (Stirling Council). PH reported that Steven MacDonald, the team leader for this new project, had not been able to attend on 5th April, but had accepted an invitation to come along to the AGM on 17th May. 4c) Road sign, Lochearnhead. PH reported that, having looked more closely at the location, there were already two large road signs in place, with directions to the public toilets at the car park off Auchraw Terrace. He had liaised with the person who had reported the problem and the resident had agreed that no further action was necessary. 4d) Bus shelter, Lochearnhead. PH reported having contacted the liaison officer, Dionne Gallacher, asking for various requests to Stirling Council to be sent to the appropriate departments for assistance. To date, no replies had been received from any of them ñ including for this request. 4e) Glen Kendrum Hydro Scheme. PH reported that this project had been completed by Gilkes Energy in December 2016. The matter of dealing with the community benefit aspect had been passed to the BLS Trust. PH had written to the Trust on 24th February requesting further details but, to date, had received no reply. DJ offered to take this up at the next meeting of the Trust. Action: DJ to raise this with the BLS Trust. 4f) Various issues regarding trunk roads. PH reported having written to BEAR Scotland regarding the lack of a crash barrier on the A84, just North of Annie’s Straightî; the destruction of wild flowers when grass verges are cut; and the concern regarding a warning sign for Lechine Cottage on the A85, East of Lochearnhead. He had received an acknowledgement of his letter but, to date, no reply had been received. 4g) Overhanging trees and bins at Balquhidder. PH reported that Cllr Hayes had contacted Waste Services about the problem with the bins, and had been assured that this would be investigated further. PH had sent a separate request about the overhanging trees via Dionne Gallacher, but no reply had been received as yet. DJ reinforced the point about the overhanging foliage on the Balquhidder Road (C22) causing a problem for public safety, and reminded members that ‘restoring the walls’ beside local roads was also part of the Community Plan. ME added that ‘flailing’ would be inappropriate in a tourist area, and that traditional cutting back would be a better solution. 4h) Farewell to Cllr Hayes. PH reported that Alice Duncan had purchased a camellia plant and delivered it to Cllr Hayes as a small gift in recognitionof her support and service to the community council. Cllr Hayes had acknowledged this warmly and expressed her thanks and appreciation. 5) Stirling Council Liaison: Michelle Flynn was introduced as the new Community Link officer for Ward 1 (Trossachs & Teith), covering the area from Doune to Tyndrum and taking over the role previously performed by Dionne Gallacher. She offered to progress the actions from the previous meeting that had received no reply, and this was gratefully accepted. 6) Community Council Members: PH said that, with great regret, he had to inform members that Alice Duncan had been obliged to step down from the community council, owing to her personal circumstances and additional calls on her time. This was reluctantly accepted. PH then introduced MA and explained that she was interested in becoming a member of the community council. He proposed that, although there were already four representatives for Lochearnhead, there was no reason why she could not be co-opted to cover one of the three existing vacancies until such time as further volunteers could be found. This was agreed. 7) Bye-laws and clear-ways: PH reported that, since the extension to the alcohol bye-law had been approved by Stirling Council, no new information had been received about when it might take effect but it was likely to take a month or two to process the legislation, and the hope was that it would be available by the start of the summer season. ME confirmed that he expected to see it come into force around June. Although approval for the clearway legislation had been approved at ministerial level, there was still no word about when this would be introduced. 8) Correspondence - 8a) Letter from Macdiarmids, Lochearnhead. MM had received a letter from Duncan & Mary Macdiarmid in Lochearnhead in which they commented on the number of fields locally where the gates had recently been secured with padlocks. They had enquired whether the community council knew the reason for this. It was now difficult to gain access to the waterside around Loch Earn from anywhere within the village itself. They were also seeking clarification on rights of access to such places under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act, 2003. This was discussed at some length, although nobody had any specific information as to why landowners had started securing their fields - all at the same time. Possible explanations included a concern about increased thefts of sheep and the need to deny vehicle access to fields; a concern about liability for people who entered land and suffered some accident; and a concern about a possible increase in people seeking to camp ‘in the wild’. There was also some discussion about the ìaccess legislationî and ME commented on a recent dispute over access to land at Kinlochard where a court had initially found in favour of the landowner, but this had been overturned following an appeal by the National Park. BR pointed out that landowners could insure against liability claims and this was not necessarily prejudiced by allowing people to enter their land for recreational purposes. It was decided that further information should be sought about the situation at Lochearnhead. If necessary, the community council might offer to fund the creation of ‘dog gates’ or other forms of access for pedestrians only. Action: Further information to be sought. 8b) Carstran Woodlands, Scottish Woodlands. MM had received a letter from Scottish Woodlands regarding a proposal to restructure an area of woodland just to the South of Lochearnhead, immediately to the East of the A84 trunk road. This would involve the felling of some trees, and some re-planting to keep the area in production. Members thought it unlikely that this would have any adverse effect on the local community. It was agreed to notify Scottish Woodlands accordingly. Action: PH to notify Scottish Woodlands of decision. 9) Planning Matters - 9a) Response to consultation on proposed changes to planning legislation. DJ congratulated all those who had contributed to the response to this consultation, and AS endorsed this wholeheartedly. 9b) Standard applications. AS reported that there was one fresh application in Lochearnhead, but it referred to a previously granted permission that had been allowed to lapse. The immediate neighbours had no significant objections to it, and it was not thought that there would be any adverse consequences for the wider community. 9c) Application to construct 4G network mast in Strathyre. PH reported that on 11th March he had received a courtesy notification from WFS Telecom Ltd regarding its intention to seek planning permission for a fifteen metre high radio mast to be erected adjacent to the main street in Strathyre, not far from The Broch Cafe. The company had asked for comments to be submitted by 24th March. PH had circulated the documents to the community council, members of the BLS Trust, and a number of people in Strathyre. Seven replies were received and their views were collated and duly conveyed to the company. The next stage will be for a formal application to be made to the National Park for planning permission. 10) Matters From Councillors - 10a) No current news. ME reported that all committee structures have stopped until the elections have been held, so there was nothing to report at present. 10b) National Park Partnership Plan. Billy Ronald mentioned that a new plan for the period from 2018 up to 2023 had recently been published. A wide range of partner organisations has been asked to review the plan and to submit comments. PH said that he would send a website link to all members. Action: PH to send link to all members. 10c) Camping Management Scheme. BR also commented on the new camping management scheme in our area and said that, so far, everything was working well. Signs had been put up to denote the various zones, and no problems had been reported. 11) Any Other Competent Business -11a) National Park Stakeholder Meeting. RM reported that she had been to the latest meeting last Thursday and the main item of business concerned the new camping management zones. As noted above, all was going well, although there were more camper vans than had been expected. ME commented that the NP had been advised about the large number of vans that could be expected on several occasions. It was unfortunate that they appeared to have ignored this advice. The next camping site to be developed will be on the South Loch Earn Road (in the area covered by St Fillans Community Council). 11b) MA asked about progress with the cycle path that is being developed along the route of the old railway line between St Fillans and Lochearnhead. Members were able to report that this work is progressing well in the vicinity of St Fillans, but SusTrans has yet to develop a proposal for how the cycle track will be joined to the main road (A85) at Lochearnhead. In part, this is due to the way in which the project is funded, with grants having to be sought from year to year, making it impossible to plan far in advance. There was no other business and, at 8:50 p.m., DJ declared the meeting closed. The next meeting, the Annual General Meeting, is due to take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 17th May 2017 at the Village Hall, Balquhidder.


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

Andrew Poulter Advertising Coire A Chroine Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384784 / 07816 042332

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

The lunch club will return at the end of September


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

Other Contacts...

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 The Villagers’ Photographer

Jason Allardyce 01877 384295 / 07508 595211 Wedding, Portrait, Social, Pet Photography

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)

May 2017


Stuc a Chroin 5000 - see page 3


Race Night, Lochearnhead - see page 6


St Fillans May Ball - see page 5

26 - 28 26 - 28

MHOR Festival - see back page Strathyre Music Festival - see page - 16

Council Elections - Thursday 4 May - Until then Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 Councillor Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 924 Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07824 496 019

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


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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The villagers may 2017  

The Great Loch Earn Boat race, National Park Partnership plan, Srathyre Bit, Rhubarb Cake recipe, Pin Feathers column, St Angus Church, Sc...