Page 1

MAY 2015


Price 50p

The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans A moment from the Eclipse on 20 March 2015 taken from Balquhidder Church Yard Photo courtesy of Richard Harris

Editor’s Bit Hopefully we will have managed to get the May edition out to you before the all-important 7th so that the comments of at least three of our features are still relevant and, however jaded you might feel about elections, I do urge you to read a very unusual and highly entertaining Gardening column on the Garden Party Manifesto. We missed most of the build- up by being on our annual trip to Australia to do our “babysitting duties� but were struck by how curious and interested people were about what is happening to politics in Britain and Scotland in particular. Many also suggested we should consider adopting their system of fining people who could not be bothered to vote, I wonder if any party would be brave enough to include this in a future manifesto. We came back just in time to enjoy some of the Scottish heatwave even if we were finding a 10degree drop a little chilly but realised again how lovely our longer summer evenings are, hopefully plenty more to come. We have included a feature on the new Maggie Centre going to be built on a beautiful site at Larbert Hospital. I had done the Edinburgh Moon Walk last summer and several of us were invited to see the start of the building and were assured we could go back in a year to the official opening. Having had friends who found the Maggie centres in Inverness and Glasgow very supportive when they were having treatments for cancer it will, I am sure, prove an invaluable support to people here at a difficult time for so many. Finally thanks to Fiona Martin in her Church news for coming up with a great idea to try and increase our readership, as always we are always extremely grateful for new ideas and features.

Spring Lambs have arrived


THE BIKE FEST RETURNS Its summertime and the Bike Fest will return on Saturday 5th September so get your bike out and get peddaling!!!

The St Fillans Bit Sunday 19th April saw the 14th rowing of the Great Loch Earn Boat Race. A clear bright day but with a head wind half way down the loch which made for heavy going by the crews. Unfortunately this year’s race was a pale shadow of previous years with a mere 8 boats taking part – down from 24 a few years ago – that means 32 competitors where there used to be 96! Promotion of the race was minimal, few of us even knew that it was on until a few days before the event. I hear that either St Fillans CC or other St Fillans folk are hoping to get involved in the organisation with Crieff Round Table next year to try to restore what is an important event on the village calendar to its former glory. Achray House did a splendid job of hosting the finish with the grounds in superb condition and even a wee marquee erected – just a pity there were so few customers. A measure of the lack of organisation by the RT is that despite promising to email me the results they have not bothered, so all I know is that our village team Talking Rowlocks skippered by Steve Howell came in first to retain the Trophy. Steve thanks villagers and friends whose sponsorship raised over £500 for PSP – Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, a Parkinson’s like disease. Sadly Steve’s dad Jim died of the disease 3 days after the boat race – our sympathy to Steve. Following up on my Red Card from the Golf Club for venturing forth on the course on my mobility scooter with scruffy cocker spaniel running alongside I have no written confirmation from the club confirming that the no scooters and dogs rule is changed but a source close to the top of the management assures me that I, my scooter and my scruffy cocker spaniel are welcome to use the course for exercise (obviously avoiding the greens and any matches in progress). It might not have been a factor in the decision that a few weeks ago non less than Sandy Lyle played a round at the club accompanied by, wait for it, his cocker spaniel off the lead. To celebrate this good news I can announce the first Scottish Mobility Scooter & Cocker Spaniel Gathering to be held on the golf course in July. At present we anticipate about 100 geriatric scooter riders will be attending to do 10 laps of the course. Club manager Gordon Hibbert has been very enthusiastic about the event and has made available 30 cocker spaniels for hire for those scooter riders without dogs. He has also laid on bacon butties for the geriatric riders and Bonios for the spaniels. Special poo bag dispensers will be installed around the

by John Murray

course for emergency use by spaniels (or the geriatrics if needs be). A One Day Law will be in force in that at all times scooter riders and cocker spaniels take precedence over golfers, and that any golfer hitting a rider or dog with his ball or his club will receive a 2 shot penalty. Watch this space for further updates. I was sorry to hear that the couple running the catering operation at the Golf Club have departed under a bit of a cloud after reports in The Sun of alleged benefits problems (get the subtle pun there?). So if you fancy taking over the roles contact Gordon. Now for the news you never thought you would hear. Sally Watson, refreshed from her recent hospital stay, is getting broadband and a computer! So no longer will I need to print off the minutes and so

on of The Hall to hand deliver. The only possible downside is that John Bennett will train her up on his wonderful knowledge of Excel and I dread to think what next year’s Ladies Lunch Club will look like. But good news Sally. Mary at the Four Seasons tells me that Visit Scotland have named 2015 a Year of Food and Drink. Which makes me wonder what the past 73 years of my life have been. However, May is Whisky Month – can’t be bad – and chef has designed a six course tasting menu, every course incorporating different whisky to complement the dish. To enjoy this experience you need to pre-book and have a party of at least 4. Complimentary soft drinks are given to a designated driver for all menus and the £20 a night Continued overleaf


The St Fillans Bit

(Continued from p3) ago, I and many of us, thought that 5 year

room offer for local diners still stands. I had hoped to be able to give more details of the Festive Weekend this month but plans have not been finalised so more news next month. I can give thanks to our sponsors who have made possible the booking of the two great musical acts. David Cunningham – Spring Grove Clinic in Comrie. Marcus Salter developer of the new Dundurn walk. George & Milly Borthwick who have a holiday home here. Gordon Motors of Crieff – excellent local Suzuki dealers. Louise McGregor (Whisper Lingerie in Auchterarder). Steve & Isobell Howel – stalwarts of our Community Council. Achray Hose Hotel – already under new owners becoming a real part of our village community. And, of course, ever dependable Andrew at The Four Seasons. Some years ago I approached Andrew for a donation towards a new village sound system – he bought the system outright for us! Finally my daughter Virginia who now runs our business Mozolowski & Murray (Scotland’s finest hardwood conservatories – but I might be a bit biased). Despite my pleas for input to this column there is precious little. No-one even bothered to tell me about the Boat Race. The column exists to promote village events and community life and to report on them as a lasting record. Plenty of folk tell me that they enjoy reading The St Fillans Bit – but it gets harder each month to write with no input. This month I’m suffering with the old arthritis and I almost didn’t bother submitting copy. Which probably reflects in the column. So, to cheer myself up I’ll have a wee rant. I’m bound by rules not to be politically biased in my writings. But I can comment generally on politics. 5 years

fixed parliaments were a great idea. How wrong we were. In the past a government could call an election whenever with a short sharp campaign. Now everyone knows when the next election is and for 6 months all parties go into election mode. And what a joke it all is. All parties throwing out promises that even an idiot knows they can’t keep. “We will build 100,000 new homes!” Party B “We will build 300,000 new homes” etc. Last time I checked the government does not have a house building division. House building, like any wealth creation, depends on that now despised creature the capitalist entrepreneur who risks his/her money, home or whatever to finance a business employing the very people who despise him/her for being a capitalist. “Increase everyone’s wages” cry the politicians who have never worked in the real sense. The dumbbells can’t even understand that increasing wages in still difficult times increases costs – which employers have to pass on to their consumers which in many cases include their employees so no-one is better off. I could, as you will gather, fill this whole issue with my thoughts on politics and the economy but instead I will go and shout at the countless party representatives on TV who daily churn out the party dogma like programmed dogs. One day a politician will actually answer a simple question with yes or no rather than with a long diatribe which has nothing to do with the question. It really is no wonder that young folk just can’t be bothered with it all. By the way, Roseanna Cunningham and Ruth Davidson took time to write to me promoting their vision of a wondrous world. I took time to reply to both (I’m retired so what the hell). Neither answered my comments. QED John Murray

Nrew Owners at the Achray ready to welcome the rowers


Guardian writer Andrew Brown saw fit to include the U3A in the newspaper’s regular column entitled “In Praise of……..” by comparing U3A with other universities and he recognises the fact that Third Agers come together “for the delight of learning alongside other people driven by the same need”. He notes, “It (the U3A) neither gives nor recognises any qualifications. No one has to pretend that it adds anything at all to Britain’s economic competitiveness. There is no campus. It has no place in league tables. The price of attendance is time and commitment. No wonder it is growing: the U3A is, in some senses, the only real university left in Britain”. This is praise indeed and I would like to add that the social side of U3A is as important to older people as the learning side in that new friendships are forged very quickly when shared interests are pursued and we all know that medical research points to a happier and a longer life if you can find

a circle of acquaintances with whom you enjoy spending time. Our new instrumental group ‘Imperfect Pitch’ is having great fun and members who are hoping to play ‘Mahjong’ have just been told that a leader has come forward. Details have been circulated in our members’ newsletter but for anyone interested in finding out more about our group please Google ‘Callander and West Perthshire U3A’. Marguerite Kobs

Stuc Race Night I had the privilege of overseeing the race night on Saturday 11th April at the Inn & Bistro and what a smashing night it turned out to be. Can we thank all who gave their support on the evening, all the local businesses that gave very generous donation to each of the races, to all who bought horses and congratulations to “The Mob” who owned the winning horse in the “Auction race” and pocketed a handsome £210 purse To all who donated to the end of evening auction, especially to Catronia [[Sula] who donated her very popular cottage in Lewis, to Peter and Lindsay Millar who donated their Villa in Portugal’s Algarve and to St.Fillans golf club for the round of golf for four. Well done to the lucky bidders who now have these holidays and game of golf to look forward to. A big thank you to Steve and staff for looking after everyone, to the “Girls” for giving their time to be Bookies and a special mention to the Lochearn “Heiders” for their fantastic support [as always] they were wonderful company and the laughs were many. It was a night of generosity by all and the fantastic sum of £1830 was raised which will secure the hill race for the next year and I`m sure some support will go to good causes within the village Wullie D on behalf of The Stuc Committee

The Stuc Race Night Action

As my oncologist has told me she never wants to see me again and my hair is beginning to grow back I wanted to pass on my thanks for all the support I received from everyone. The good luck enquiries, cards, texts, flowers, food parcels and hats were overwhelming and gratefully received. I’d like to pass on a special thanks to Amanda, Fiona, Marianne, Paula, Sara and especially Alistair who put up with me when I was really horrid and saved my life. Thanks Tracey Cartwright


My favourite recipes...

by Katarzyna Sujanova Chocolate raspberry cake with fresh cream filing This is definitely our favourite chocolate cake with a layer of whipped cream inside and fresh raspberries. Could make a lovely birthday cake as it presents beautifully with a glossy dark chocolate ganache on a top and red raspberries. Delicious combination of flavours! Worth trying. The sponge: 150 ml of milk 1 tablespoon of butter 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract 3 large eggs 200 g caster sugar 175 g of plain flour 3 tablespoons of cocoa 1 teaspoon of baking soda All ingredients should be at room temperature. Sift and mix the flour, cocoa and baking soda. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter until butter is dissolved. Add vanilla extract and mix. Place the eggs with sugar and whip until the mixture is very fluffy and light. Add hot milk and keep whipping. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix gently with a spatula. Divide the dough into two parts. Prepare a form - the heart or round one with diameter of 23 cm, use baking parchment paper. Put to the first part of the dough. Bake at 170째C for about 20 minutes. Remove and cool. Bake the remaining dough the same way. Raspberry cream: 125 ml whipping cream 36%, chilled 125 g raspberries (fresh or frozen) Whip cream, add raspberries, stir with a fork. Chocolate ganache: 150 ml whipping cream 36% 150 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), broken into small pieces 1 tbsp golden syrup (or liquid honey) Place all ingredients in a small pot and gently heat up stirring continuously until smooth chocolate sauce is made. Cool slightly. For decoration: 125 g fresh raspberries Final stage: Put one sponge on a plate, spread the cream (you can put some raspberry jam before), cover with the second sponge. Pour the chocolate ganache. Garnish with raspberries. Enjoy!

Real Ale - Real Music



Church News BalquhiĐĐer •bls Reg. Charity No. SC012316

A Note from

St Angus’s

What a glorious morning we had again for our early Easter service, we were blest indeed. A big thank you to Robert and Amanda for producing bacon rolls so efficiently and kindly -about 30 mouths to feed over and above the guests in the dining room was no minor achievement and one greatly appreciated. NOW HERE’S ONE FOR THE CHILDREN- can you answer these questions and, if you can, can you be bothered to send the answers to me by e-mail? to: You need to be twelve or younger and find the answers by yourself (no cheating allowed, parents!) There’s a prize for the first correct answers received: 1) Who betrayed Jesus to the authorities? 2) What was his reward? 3) What did he do with the reward? 4) What happened to him in the end? The first person to send me all the correct answers will get a prize and he/ she MIGHT even get a photo in The Villagers (I can’t promise on that one). I know that this isn’t altogether fair as a lot depends on when an adult buys a copy of The Villagers so next time there’s a competition I’ll give you more warning. HINT: Look in St Matthew’s Gospel chapters 26 and 27 and don’t forget to give me your full name and telephone number please. Good luck And back to the adults - a wee reminder that our Sunday morning service times have reverted to 11.15am during British Summer Time and you will be welcome there any time.


We enjoyed Easter, of course, but sometimes the joy of Easter Sunday tends to obscure the essence of Good Friday. This year, on the evening before Good Friday we enjoyed a special service in Killin Parish Church arranged by Revd June Johnston. The service of prayers, readings and hymns was very moving and made all the more poignant by readings by the young folk of the Ardeonaig Centre. How I wished that more folk from our own tiny congregation could have been there. In May, we shall say farewell to Cathie and Fred Menzies who are moving from Strathyre to Callander – another case of older folk having to move closer to medical services and more convenient housing. We shall miss them but they go with our love and good wishes for a happy life in Callander. Christian Aid Week will be upon us in May and envelopes will be available in Church and at the Sunday services on 11th and 18th May. This year the emphasis is on Ethiopia where Christian Aid has been working for more than 30 years. The work started with severe emergencies and continues with long term development programmes which help people in deprived areas to help themselves. You may also like to know about the World Mission Stamp Appeal for 2015 which is now under way. Used stamps are collected and sold to enable the church to respond with support for people affected by H.I.V. Stamps can be handed to me or sent directly to the World Mission Stamp Project, PO 9191, Wishaw,Lanarkshire, ML2 0YB. Meanwhile, please do not forget that we have regular Sunday services at 11.30 am in the church here in Balquhidder. Many folk are missing out on simple but significant services which really do set us up for the week ahead. Jean Edwards

DOCTORS Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses take part in various training programmes throughout the year. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoon will be on: Wednesday 24th June 2015 On this afternoon, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments. Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12.30pm. Emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 111.

Bracklinn Practice

If you require urgent medical attention when the surgery is closed please contact NHS24 on 111. Make sure you have enough medication to last you over the holiday period, and if you think you will run out, order your medication early or ask for 2 months supply.

Bracklinn Practice News

The practice is aware of an increased pressure on our appointments. An audit undertaken last year showed that overall, we have enough routine and too many urgent appointments available. The results also showed that we were unable to accommodate people wanting to be seen within the next few days. We have therefore created some semi-urgent appointments within each clinic for this purpose. All our GP appointments are 10 minutes, and we do advise that if you want to discuss more than 1 thing it is better to make a 20 minute appointment, however, you may need to give more notice for these appointments. Clinic times vary to accommodate as many patients as possible, however, we appreciate the times are not always suitable. Please do not however, request an urgent appointment around your work schedule as these appointments are available for patients who have become acutely unwell. If the receptionist asks questions regarding symptoms etc it is to accommodate your request as efficiently as possible. The practice would also like 9

BLS - Where Business Does the Talking

by Iona Mchedliani This Spring I spoke to Kay and Dave Naitby from St. Fillans who told me about their boat-building business. They own the ‘Arran 16’ boat which they make and sell to a wide range of customers across the UK as well as further afield. Here they explain what is involved in making their boats, the benefits of using them and why they are so popular.

How do you make your boats – what goes into the process? Dave: A Massive Glass Fibre factory in Fife so the Glass Fibre (GRP) work – the first process is covering the inside of our boat mould with layers upon layers of GRP. Then when the GRP has set, the workforce take it out of the mould – it takes about 12 people to physically lift it! It is then brought back to my unit in Comrie where it is fitted out. Kay: It’s a very basic boat when we pick it up. We very rarely carry stock of new boats as every customer wants a boat built to a different spec. What we do is very much Bespoke.

certified to go to sea (Inshore), so lochs and rivers are no problem at all. In June last year, an Arran 16 went missing with 2 men onboard, they went to pull in lobster pots in fog. They went the wrong way and just kept going. They had done about 150 miles (in total) when they were found – by chance by another fishing vessel. RNLI told both families that they had been lost at sea. Kay: We’d been watching it on the news because we recognised the boat. It wasn’t one that we’d made; the boats had been made for many years already when we took it over in 2002. We watched it unfold on the news and when the search was called off on the third day, we were devastated. Later that afternoon I saw by chance on Facebook that a lad on a fishing vessel had spotted the boat. And the guys were absolutely fine! With any accident that happens at sea, there’s a marine investigation. It’s a government agency that really goes in depth into what happened, what went wrong and what can be learned from it. The Arran 16 wasn’t mentioned once in the investigation. The guys’ pots were within the 2 mile limit – so the RNLI boat and helicopter didn’t travel far enough to find them – 47 miles offshore! Dave: They’re perfectly safe to use but every boat user should have the correct safety gear with them when going out and pay close attention to weather.

You make the Arran 16 boat – please could you give a description of what sort of a boat it is? Dave: It’s a Displacement Hulled boat which means it physically sits in the water unlike a speedboat which travels on top of the water. It has very deep keels which means it is incredibly stable. Originally the boats were used for lobster potting and Inshore fishing (2 miles offshore) by small commercial businesses. That’s still alive and well right around the coast of Scotland. When you manufacture a boat it has to be certified by the Government for use – A, B, C, or D – The Arran 16 is

Are most of the customers who buy boats from you fishermen? Kay: Not really. Lots of retired people buy them because they’ve got disposable income and more leisure time too. Two or three people might also club together and buy one – a group of young plumbers from Loch Lomond all saved up to buy one between them. We have sold them to lots of women believe it or not. Some of them are done up like gin palaces – literally! We’ve just sold one to the British Brown Trout Record Holder, which is very important because everyone wants to catch a beauty – and his counterparts

Kay and Dave Naitby

How long have you been making your boats for? Dave: We bought the boat moulds and started production in 2002. Was that always here in St. Fillans? Dave: No, We used to live in the North of England. I left my job down there, came up here and brought the boat business with us.


will all watch what he does, how he does it and what in. The British Brown Trout Record is 32 pounds 12 ounces and he caught it from an Arran 16. Dave: Trolling (towing a lure/dead bait behind the boat) is a special form of fishing really. Boat fishermen/women spend hundreds of hours trolling up and down lochs. I was kindly invited to fish opening day on the 15th of March, with the Record Holder who bought his new boat from us. We travelled around the loch all day, from 8 o’clock in the morning till 5 o’clock at night, and I never got a bite. It’s just the type of fishing. Two fish were caught elsewhere, one eleven pounder and one seventeen pounder. That’s why it’s called fishing and not catching. How long does it take to build one boat? Dave: GRP Moulds take about 1 week then my part of the business can take two days to a week to fit out on top of that. It just depends what people want. It depends how busy the fibreglass factory is, because they make all sorts of things: fire engines, sports cars, all sorts. Roughly how many boats do you make in a year? Dave: It varies massively. Not all of our work is making new boats – we do a lot of refits too which can take up a lot of our time. It started up as a hobby and it’s grown. Kay: We trade in second-hand boats too, but not any boats, because there’s a lot of junk out there. We know what we’re looking for and we know what sells well. It’s generally displacement hold boats that we buy and sell. Which side of your business is more popular do you think – the second-hand buying and selling, or your own boats which you make? Dave: My own boats which we make are also the same ones that we buy and sell second-hand. I’ve bought one boat seven times. Kay: They’re a bit like caravans. People think it’s a great idea, they say: “we’re going to buy one and we’re going to use it all the time” – and then sometimes they end up not really using it. They will lose money on it. We’re VAT registered so they’ll lose VAT as soon as it goes out of the door. But we buy them back. We always explain to people that they will always be able to sell them for more than we will buy them for, but they know that if they sell them to us then if, for example, a wheel falls off, we’re not going to ring them up and complain, or if the engine doesn’t work, we can deal with that. We buy and sell all the secondhand parts; the covers, the windows etc, so people can do their own work on their boat if they want.

Dave: We are Authorised Dealers for Tohatsu and Mariner Outboards and SBS Trailers. I suppose our only downside is getting things from the likes of Birmingham. The things that we deal in are that big that, generally speaking, I have to go and get them. You can trail them along behind the family car once they’re made, but people are very nervous about towing 250-400 miles. I’ve been down to Plymouth and bought one before. So, at the moment where do you work on your boats? Dave: In Comrie. Kay: Until last year we did everything from the house. We built a big workshop at the top of the garden. Then we rented the unit in Comrie, and this year we’ve sold more boats than we have ever sold. We need bigger premises. The new premises will be 75% bigger than the old one. We’re due to move in there in June, and that’s to store boats. I can then get my garden back! Where do you currently store your boats? Kay: They can stay here in St. Fillans or over in Comrie. Dave: Up until two weeks ago we had fourteen. At the start of the trout season, the phone rings and everybody wants one. Kay: We’re four boats down at the moment because we’ve had four new enquiries and these are people who have done their homework, know what they want and are ready to buy. How do you refurbish your boats? Dave: People come to me if there’s a job that needs doing that they’re not confident doing themselves. Of course, I’ve also got all the parts and pieces that you need. We are exceptionally helpful I would say. I wake up in the morning very early and go through my emails. We’ve also had phone calls as late as at ten o’clock in the evening, people calling who just want to talk about boats. Is it just yourselves or do you employ anyone else? Dave: It’s just the two of us at the moment. We are trying to expand though. We have been speaking to Business Gateway about help with updating our website. We’ve just come back from Holland. We went over to the boat show there with a view to exporting but we need to concentrate on the UK first – especially Scotland. Kay: We’re trying to bring it up into the 21st century, or at least I am – Dave’s a dinosaur! We’re going to be getting a new website, an interactive website so that we can add and remove boats for sale. It will be controlled by us. Hopefully we’ll get a grant to help us do that. We also took a

boat to Glasgow Angling Centres Open Weekend, where we met a lot of people. Lots of people who fish, know the boat and know its reputation. It was nice for them to see it up close. At the moment, how do you advertise? Dave: We have our own site – arranboats. – we also use boatsandoutboards. com Kay: We use Facebook and Twitter too, and a lot of it is word of mouth as well. Are any of your customers people who are just passing through, visiting the area? Kay: We’ve had people turn up on New Year’s Day who bought a boat while I was tidying up the cupboard under the stairs! We didn’t even know they were coming. Because we work from home, we do like people to ring before they come. Most people have done their research beforehand though, so they’ve looked at other options, and decided what they want in advance. Dave: We recently had a call from a gentleman on a rig off Angola, there was another Scotsman there who he got talking to about boats, who said: “I know a man who sells them in St. Fillans”. It’s amazing – it’s a very small world. Kay: Another person we spoke to recently was a lovely man just calling for advice (our advice is free), who was off the Falklands. He was on the Shackleton, which is an Arctic research ship, and he was ringing us from there. What would you say is the advantage of being based in St. Fillans for your type of business? Dave: Being central. The Scots as a nation are fantastic and are not afraid to travel huge distances to get what they want. When we were down in N. E. England they wouldn’t drive twenty miles to see us. There’s so much water here, maybe that’s it. I think that the ratio of people with boats is far higher in Scotland than it is anywhere else in the UK. Kay: It’s a completely different culture, and everyone’s got a towbar. And then at the opposite end of the spectrum, what are the main challenges that you find in your line of work? Specifically – being based here in Scotland. Dave: I don’t think there are any. If anything, it’s an advantage, because we’re equidistance between Glasgow and Edinburgh and we’ve got Dundee and Perth on one side, and then Oban on the other. Kay: We’re not far away from Inverness either. Dave: And they’re not spur-of-the-

moment buys. People have put a lot of thought into it. We say that generally, by the time people come to visit us, it’s about a 95 percent hit rate. By the time they’re coming they’ve already made their minds up. What is your plan for the future – do you think you might start exporting? Where do you picture yourselves in five or ten years’ time? Kay: A lot busier! Dave: With regard to exporting, basically, boats last a very long time. One of ours found its way to Africa. We’ve had Circus Circus skills! skills! enquiries from America and Australia – which I’ve just put in the ‘too hard’ box for the moment – until we get up and running and get the export market sorted. We’ve sold two to people in Holland, one each to Germany, Denmark and Norway. So customers do come over to us, but they come over in dribs and drabs of their own volition. They decide they want a boat and they come over to pick it up. Kay: One man drove all the way from Germany, bringing his dog with him on the trip. He drove to Dover, drove up here, literally had a bacon sandwich, picked the boat up and left. That was it – it was that quick a turnaround! Dave: We’re going to make a couple of different colours this year, we’ll pick a marine blue and grey, and probably a signal red as well. Kay: We’re also going to develop the diesel inboard Arran 16. It adds a lot to the cost of the boat but they are very popular with the inshore fishermen. What is the advantage of having a diesel boat as opposed to one that has an outboard engine? Dave: Two things. The boat handles better because the weight of the engine is in the middle of the boat, not the rear and I’ve never known an inboard engine to get stolen! The disadvantages are that the propeller is underneath. So if you get tangled with an outboard you can just lift it up and cut yourself free but that’s not possible with a diesel. The diesel has great fuel economy, you can go at least 46 miles off the coast! Whether it’s licenced to or not! Interview by Iona Mchedliani To make enquiries or to buy a boat, Kay and Dave can be contacted on 01764 685376, or at: Interested parties can also visit the Arran Boats website: http://www.arranboats.


Off the Page Book Festival celebrates 10 th anniversary

8th to 19th May 2015 Off the Page book festival will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this spring with a fresh new look and an exciting line-up featuring some of the biggest names in Scottish writing. The festival, which is organised by Stirling Libraries, will take place from the 8th to the 19th of May. Falkirk-born novelist and playwright Alan Bissett is one of Scotland’s bestknown writers. His fast-pace, energetic style made his first novel, Boyracers – set in Falkirk – a cult classic. His larger-thanlife characters and unique performance style will make his appearance at St Ninians Library on the 12th of May an evening toremember. Well-loved Scottish actors Tony Roper (Jamesy in Rab C. Nesbitt) and Alex Norton (DCI Burke in Taggart) both made a lasting mark on British TV and are sure to be a big draw. Tony will appear at Bridge of AllanLibrary on Thursday, 14th May, while Alex will be at Drymen Church Hall on Monday, 11th May. On Tuesday 19th May, awardwinning journalist and broadcaster Sally Magnusson and Professor June Andrews, Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, will host an evening at the Albert Hall. Entry to this event will be free to people with dementia and carers. Professor Andrews will be discussing her book, Dementia; the One-Stop Guide. Sally Magnusson will be talking about her bestselling memoir about her mother, Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything, which has been credited with improving knowledge and understanding of this widespread brain condition. Cllr Corrie McChord said: “As always, our libraries service has programmed a festival that everyone, no matter what their taste in reading, can enjoy. “The reputation we have built up over the years means we attract some really big names. We’re delighted that this year the Bloody Scotland crime-writing festival will be hosting a crime night at the Tolbooth, with an incredible lineup of talent including Bloody Scotland founders Alex Gray and Lin Anderson with Gordon Brown, Craig Robertson 12

and Alexandra Sokoloff, and we expect this to be a major draw. “Cultural events like Off the Page are part of what makes Stirling unique and this spring, to mark the festival’s 10year anniversary, Stirling Libraries is relaunching the festival with a strong focus on community events held at locations throughout the area, which gives everybody the opportunity to hear great authors first hand. The excellent programme is also sure to attract many visitors from further afield, which will give added benefit to the local economy, and we look forward to welcoming them and enjoying great Scottish writing together. “We are very fortunate that in Stirling we have great local libraries, with knowledgeable, friendly staff who are make learning fun, and an unbeatable stock of great reads which are there for everyone to enjoy every day. Off the Page is a real celebration of this.”

Holiday Reading His and Hers? A couple of different authors enjoyed recently, one focusing on trouble spots throughout the world that Gerald Seymour covered in his career as a war correspondent and an Australian writer focusing on family relationships and the impact of actions and decisions on different generations.

The Journeyman Tailor by Gerald Seymour Gerald Seymour was a reporter at ITN for fifteen years. He covered events in Vietnam, Borneo, Aden, the Munich Olympics, Israel and Northern Ireland. He has been a full-time writer since 1978 In the villages and on the mountains of County Tyrone, in the heartland of the Provisional IRA's most active Brigade, the golden rule is 'Hear nothing, see

nothing, know nothing'. To collaborate with British Intelligence is to invite an inescapable death sentence. But there is word on the mountain that inside the Brigade there is a 'tout', an informer. He will be identified, interrogated, tortured, then hooded and shot. Gary Brennard, the MI5 field agent, and Parker, who runs the informer, have to protect their man at all costs: he is the critical asset to h old on to until the stakes are high enough...and if the innocent step into the crossfire, that's just bad luck.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, including Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist's Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies. The Husband's Secret has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and is set to be translated into over 35 languages. At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read - My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died... Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . . Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held atThe Inn and Bistro, Strathyre on 8th April 2015

Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Alistair Barclay (AB), Paul Hicks (PH), Ruth McLusky (RMC), Susie Crammon (SC), Loraine Telfer (LT). Apologies: David Johnston, Angus Cameron, Rosanne McWilliams, Karen Methven, Richard Eastland, Adrian Squires, PC Will Diamond, Police Scotland. In attendance: Cllr Fergus Wood (FW), Stirling Council (S-C), Owen McKee (OM) National Park. 1) Approval of Minutes It was proposed by AB and seconded by RMC, that the minutes of the meeting on 25th February 2015 should be accepted, and this was approved unanimously. 2) Declarations of Interest No declarations were made. 3) Police Report Between 25th February and 7th April, twenty-one (21) offences were reported. Nineteen of these were road traffic offences, and they included an incident of driving without due care and attention, and one driver exceeding the speed limit in Lochearnhead by over 20 mph. Between 1st ñ 4th April, an attempt was made to break into a caravan in Lochearnhead, and several other thefts (or attempted thefts) were reported outwith our area, near St Fillans and in Killin. One person was reported for an offence concerning a firearm, and there were several reports of deer poaching around Balquhidder. Operation Ironworks has recommenced and, on 27th March, there was a day of action (Operation Bionic), designed to combat bogus workmen, in which PC Diamond took an active part locally. 4) Matters Arising 4a) Stroneslaney Road and Future Projects. PH reported that a meeting to discuss road signs for Stroneslaney Road, and other joint working with Stirling Council, will take place on 21st April, when S-C will be represented by Jim McGregor, Team Leader for Road Services. It was decided that other matters for discussion should include the maintenance of unclassified and ìCî class roads in our area, especially with regard to the maintenance of gullies and ditches, and the disposition of council resources. It was also agreed that lines of communication should be enhanced if possible. 4b) Balquhidder Broadband Community Broadband Scotland (CBS) has advised the CC that it will be working with S-C to provide a ìfixed wirelessî broadband solution for Balquhidder. CBS will work with the local broadband group to support members in preparing a business plan, and a tender for their preferred supplier. The hope is that a suitable system will be in place and working before the end of 2015. However, the chair of the local broadband group, Richard Harris, has advised that a wireless solution will not be ìfuture proofî in the same way as a fibre connection. He believes that we need to hold out for a fibre link to the village. We could then provide varying solutions for the outlying areas, even if those solutions were to change over time. 5) State of Local Roads 5a) A84, South of Strathyre. RMC expressed concerned about the state of this road at the Southern end of the village. The surface has broken up considerably, and continued heavy traffic is making it worse all the time. RMC also mentioned the problem of flooding at ìAnnie’s Straightî. It was acknowledged that this lies outwith our area, but many of our residents are adversely affected when the road has to be closed. Can nothing be done to prevent the constant flooding? Action: PH to write to BEAR to express concern at the state of the road here. 5b) A85, Lochearnhead to Glenbeich. AB had already reported similar concerns about this stretch of road on A85 to BEAR, Scotland. The surface from Glenbeich to Dalkenneth has been resurfaced recently and is now good, but the stretch from Glenbeich to Lochearnhead needs urgent attention. He was advised that this section will be re-surfaced very shortly. Further work is due to commence on 19th April and, again, the road will be closed overnight for about ten days. CC members made the point that the underlying problem is a failure to clean gullies and ditches. 6) Representative for Five Lochs Meeting. AB reported that he would be unable to attend the next meeting on 29th April and asked if any member would be willing to go in his place. MM offered to do so, subject to having no prior commitments. PH offered to go if MM was unable to attend. 7) Bye-laws and Clearways. PH reported that the maps, marked up with our proposed boundaries for the alcohol bye-law had been submitted to Peter Dow at Stirling Council and duly received. PH was not aware of any further developments on this at present. The Drummond Estate is writing to people with season tickets, advising them that vehicles may not park continuously throughout the summer in designated parking areas, and that further tickets will not be issued to people who ignore these conditions.PH reported that there had been no news recently of progress with the legal aspects. AB added that there are no signs in the lay-bys beside Loch Earn as yet, but OM stated that those with season tickets have been notified specifically of the new conditions, and advised that failure to comply will result in the withdrawal of all privileges and permissions. Elsewhere, the police have been moving people on successfully, and no problems have been encountered ñ although it is still early in the season. 8) Correspondence 8a) Community Engagement Team. The CC had been invited by Stirling Council to participate in the formation of a working group to develop a communications plan. Members were united in their belief that the present system was working well, and nobody was willing to devote further time to discussions about it. Appreciation was expressed for the effective liaison provided by each of our local councillors, and members believed that local communication (through the existing notice boards and the Villagers magazine) worked well. People came forward regularly with matters of concern and these were dealt with at CC meetings. Members saw no benefit in holding further meetings. Action: PH to decline the invitation on behalf of the CC. 9) Planning Matters No new matters had been notified. 10) Matters From Local Councillors Continued on Page 14


Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held atThe Inn and Bistro, Strathyre on 8th April 2015

Continued from Page 13

10a) Rural poverty. FW expressed his support for the action being taken locally on this matter, and raised the question of support for credit unions in this area. He had advocated action by Stirling Council, but this had been rejected by the current administration. FW suggested that the CC might consider raising this matter as a local initiative and there was broad support for taking this further. Action: PH to table item for discussion at a future meeting. 10b) Roads. FW expressed concern about the recent reduction in the roads budget and this led to similar concerns about the future of Demand Responsive Transport. It was acknowledged that the proposed changes to DRT are still under consideration, and the CC had already expressed its concern at some of the detailed proposals, but had been advised that Stirling Council did not share these concerns. Members expressed their belief that the needs of rural areas were not being sufficiently distinguished from those of urban areas, and decried the application of ìone-size-fits-allî policies, but could see no likelihood of their concerns and objections effecting policy change in these areas. 11) Any Other Competent Business 11a) Deer. Jane Cameron (Lochearnhead) had expressed concern over the increasing presence of deer in and around the village. The authority responsible for managing deer in Scotland is now Scottish Natural Heritage, and the person covering our area is Jamie Hammond, based at Stirling. He has stated to Mrs Cameron that there is little that can be done about local problems. LT stated that there was also increasing concern about the area of Mansewood to the South of the village, where there had been a number of traffic incidents involving deer just recently. AB mentioned the ongoing project to construct a cycle path along the route of the old railway line between Lochearnhead and St Fillans. Although, a final route has not yet been decided, it has been suggested that one aspect of the new path could be the inclusion of deer fences on the hill-ward side. This would have the effect of preventing deer from gaining easy access to the village in this location. MM stated that he is a member of the local Deer Management Group, which covers a wide area from South of Loch Lubnaig up to Glen Dochart, and taking in Glen Falloch and Loch Katrine. He offered to raise these problems at the next meeting of the group, with a view to seeking proposals from Scottish Natural Heritage on how it intends to manage the problems. 11b) Annual General Meeting. This had previously been designated as 20th May 2015. AB stated that, for technical reasons, he would not be in a position to provide fully audited accounts on this date. It was agreed to vary the date this year and to designate the meeting on 1st July as the AGM instead. 11c) LT stated that there has been an increase in the amount of fly-tipping taking place at Balquhidder Station ñ mostly of builder’s material. FW advised that the best course of action would be to report this to the police in the first instance. There was no other business and, at 8:35 p.m., MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is due to take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 20th May 2015 at the Village Hall, Strathyre.

Do you need an affordable home ?

Race Night in The Lochearnhead Village Hall on 16th May 2015

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 in renting one of our properties when they become available please contact us: Rural Stirling Housing Association Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AA Telephone: 01786 841101 Email: Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SC037849


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 prizes. Cash for winning punters. Horse auction! Free entry * Visitors welcome * Licensed Bar * Doors Open 7.00pm




Old Nyati

Being a wee bit deaf also precludes the use of drum messages, as I cannot hear the incoming replies.

*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 discusses his third rate broadband connection and the letters he has written to the pwoers at be....

Third rate broadband is a big topic at the moment so it may be of interest to let our readers see my desperate cry for help to the powers that be. (Letter reproduced below) It is interesting to note that there was an almost immediate response from BT and a visit from an engineer to do something !!!! He indicated that he would swop things round at the Strathyre exchange so that this connection would not be shared by too many others, I suspect that now some other unfortunate person will be looking towards trying smoke signals. The pleas to our politicians were answered in the following order, Martin Earl, personal mail, Bruce Crawford, personal mail, Anne McGuire, auto response, from John Swinney, auto response from secretary. BT answered with a personal mail and to their credit followed up with other mails and phone calls. No one replied in the humorous vein of the complaint, perhaps government departments are not allowed such freedom of speech, though it must have brought a smile to someone’s face. With the frenzy of the approaching election it is interesting to see the response of our government representatives. The time it would take to get planning consent for the pigeon loft and the associated QUANAGO`S which all take so much time and cost a lot of money. There was a rumour that a Russian Nuclear Submarine had appeared in the Holy Loch and the Navy was asking for help to throw stones at it whilst the politicians were spending so much time being rude to each other. So the election cometh. Be afraid, and learn Mandarin and Russian!!!!!! Dear Bruce, I am moved to contact you regarding the above. My position is this:- The broadband connection here in Balquhidder is so bad that in the evenings and at the weekend peak times I, along with many others hereabouts, have no useable connection for emails or the internet. We are paying the same fees as everyone else for a third rate service that is not fit for purpose, the word consumer rights springs to mind.

Stone Age Drum Messages

As an alternative it is also extremely frustrating to find that in order to send smoke signals I need a licence to light a fire and `elf n safety need to do a risk assessment. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority refuse to give me planning consent for a Pigeon Loft so that I could keep carrier pigeons. The time scale with this is about eight months, to get architect drawings, planning approval and building warrant and of course to pay the relevant fees despite refusal! Planning conditions dictate that the loft has to be positioned outwith the curtilage of my house so that the cooing does not disturb the neighbourhood!

There were a lot of customers knocking on my door but when I had finished dealing with site meetings and form filling in order to improve things they had all gone to another country! So “Come on Scotland” “Removal of the finger” and let`s get something done about it to help small enterprises. Yours in anticipation, Old Nyati. PS. I am copying this mail to all local newspapers.

Glenorchy Farm

Free range rare breed pork for sale

We sell fresh pork as 1/2 pigs (20kg) and 1/4 pigs (10kg) every 3 months, next available at the start of April. We also sell frozen pork individually andcan arrange drop off points in the local area

Proposed Pigeon Loft

Contact: Fiona MacLennan t: 07783116399 e: facebook: Glenorchy Farm 15

Swedish Nightingales Bring Harmony to Balquhidder Anyone who was at Kongero’s concert at Balquhidder Kirk in October 2013 will remember it as a mesmerising and beautiful musical experience. The four girls’ voices blended together in a unique way as they performed their programme of extraordinary songs from their native Sweden, leaving those present feeling uplifted and privileged to have been there. So when they contacted Choir Occasional last autumn to ask if we would like them to come to perform in Balquhidder again, as part of their 2105 European tour - and to give us a workshop at the same time - we leapt at the chance! We had about thirty people at the worshop - just a nice number. It was great to welcome members of Callander’s Bracklinn Singers along too. Kongero’s Anna and Emma made the two hours fly by with their gentle but very effective teaching methods, as we learned two songs - one Swedish (with lots of words!) and a hauntingly lovely song from Estonia. Then at the kirk concert on the following Saturday, the girls were kind enough to include singers from the workshop as they performed those two songs. What a thrill it was to sing with them. Again we were treated to a selection of breathtaking melodies in a very varied programme, all delivered in Kongero’s typically jubilant and infectious style. A pity there weren’t more people there! But Kongero have promised to return - there will be plenty of notice next time. In the meantime you can see them on YouTube or buy music from their website - Thank you, Emma, Anna, Lotta and Malin - looking forward to meeting again! With their voices moving together in tight harmony or intertwining in a whirling tempo, Kongero draws traditional Swedish music out of the past and into the present. Kongero performs music with dignity, warmth and humour. Kongero was formed in 2005 at Ingesund University College of Music. Between teaching and concerts, the Kongeros also conduct workshops, mostly in traditional Swedish vocal music. 16

The Kongero girls like to set the scene for each song!

Putting singers through their paces at the Kongero workshop

“This group is a revelation. The beauty of the four voices is equalled only by the pristine, flawless arrangements. They provide a stunning example of a marriage between the traditional and the innovative. This magical Swedish music very much deserves to be heard far and wide.” Jeff Meshel, Music journalist

Photo of The Month - Curtesy of Alistair Barclay


Ground-breaking at Maggie’s Forth Valley Team that built award-winning Glasgow Centre bring high quality support to the Forth Valley Maggie’s, the charity that provides free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends, today celebrated the start of construction work for a new Centre built in the grounds of Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

To mark the occasion Laura Lee, Maggie’s Chief Executive, was joined in a ground-breaking ceremony at the site by Nina Barough, founder of Walk the Walk which is the principal funder for the Centre, Gordon Dunne of contractor Dunne Building & Engineering, Brian McGinlay of NORD Architecture, Jane Grant, Chief Executive of NHS Forth Valley and Jim King, Vice Chair of NHS Forth Valley. Maggie’s Forth Valley will be the second Maggie’s Centre built with funding from Walk the Walk, the organisers of The MoonWalk Scotland, as Maggie’s Glasgow, which opened in 2011 in the grounds of Gartnavel Hospital, was funded the same way. Every year, 1,900 people across the Forth Valley area are diagnosed with cancer, and face exhausting treatment and difficult emotions that can range from anxiety to loneliness and isolation. These challenges affect not only those with cancer, but their family and friends too. Working in partnership with NHS Forth Valley, the new Maggie’s Centres will significantly enhance the cancer support already offered across the region. Laura Lee, Maggie’s Chief Executive, said: “It is wonderful to be in this beautiful, loch-side setting today to launch the construction of Maggie’s Forth Valley and to be able to look forward to the Centre opening next year and bringing Maggie’s programme of support to the Forth Valley. My sincere thanks go to Walk the Walk and the walkers of The MoonWalk Scotland for their tremendous fundraising and support 18

of Maggie’s Forth Valley. We have been incredibly fortunate too in having the support of many local people who have given their time, money and effort to help fund the running of the Centre in its first weeks and months of opening.” Nina Barough CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of Walk the Walk said: “I am so proud of all our Walkers, Volunteers and supporters, without their energy, enthusiasm and fantastic fundraising we would not be here celebrating the beginning of another new Maggie’s Centre in Forth Valley. The special partnership between both our charities is a wonderful example of how uniting together can really make a difference to improving the lives of people living with cancer. It is so important for all our future health that Walk the Walk are able to continue making such a significant difference throughout Scotland, but we can only do it with the support. We need Walkers to sign up for The MoonWalk Scotland, choose from a quarter marathon to a double marathon and whilst you achieve a personal goal, you will be raising awareness for those with cancers…not to mention an unforgettable night! Built in the grounds of NHS hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are warm and welcoming places, with qualified professionals on hand to offer an evidence-based core programme of support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. Maggie’s Forth Valley has been designed by award-winning NORD Architecture. The Centre will be there for anyone and everyone affected by cancer, offering an enhanced and uniqueevidence based programme of support delivered in an uplifting, non-clinical environment, as well as a comprehensive service of complementary therapies including psychological support, benefits advice, nutrition workshops, relaxation and stress management, art therapy, tai chi and yoga. James King, Vice Chair of Maggie’s Forth Valley, said: “This is an exciting step forward in a development which will make a huge difference to our patients and their families across Forth Valley. A Maggie’s Centre will significantly enhance the cancer care and support already offered at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, giving our patients access to a wider range of therapies and support.” Fiona Barrowman, whose husband has metastatic prostate cancer and who travels to Maggie’s Edinburgh three times a month, added: “I know what Maggie’s offers and what it can give to people. I can’t wait for Maggie’s Forth

Valley to open; it’s going to make such a difference to people here. Cancer changes everything; there are so many fears about the future, so many negative feelings to deal with. Maggie’s has restored my belief that I am not just a carer, that I’m me and I have to look after myself. Friends have commented on the difference it has made in me. It will be amazing to be able to get that support at a Centre just a few minutes away from home.” Maggie’s aims to extend its network of Centres and develop its unique, high quality programme of support to as many people as possible. A significant milestone will be achieved when Maggie’s Forth Valley opens next year. There will then be eight Centres in Scotland, one at every major Scottish NHS cancer hospital. Maggie’s relies on voluntary donations to support and grow its network of Centres and to develop its unique, high quality programme of support. The charity’s aim is to make the biggest difference possible to people living with cancer and their family and friends. To find out more about Maggie’s across the Forth Valley area, the programme of support offered or to get involved with fundraising visit www.maggiescentres. org/our-centres/maggies-forth-valley Follow Maggie’s on Facebook for the latest news and stories and tweet us @ MaggiesCentres.

Scottish Wildlife Trust Callander Local Group Diary 2015 Talks start at 7:30pm Kirk Hall, South Church Street, Callander. **Note the change of venue** The new season of talks will start in September 2015. EVERYONE WELCOME! Admission £2 members, £2.50 non-members, free to full-time students. Includes tea/coffee & biscuits.

Please book with Lesley Hawkins 01877 339080 or

Erudite Muse “For the sake of the truth we are not only permitted to make a quarrel, we are obliged to make a quarrel.” 19th centuary Moshe Schick, quoted inJewish Review of Books “The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrolgy look respectable.” John Kenneth Galbraith, quoted in The Independent on Sunday


35 years ago this month the grey gelding, Ballantrae, who ended his days in the tranquility of Balquhidder was the police horse who led the charge during the incident which became known as the Hampdn Riot at the end of the 1980 ‘Old Firm’ Scottish Cup Final. Seen by TV viewers throughout the world Ballantrae ridden by Constable Elaine Mudie scattered the pitch invading fans. The notorious incident led to the countrywid ban on alcohol at sport stadiums. Bought by Strathclyde Police at the age of 5 he was retired from active service

at the age of 21 and the spent 3 years with ‘Riding for the Disabled’ centre in Glasgow where he was very popular and helped many to learn to ride. Ballantrae spent his final 3 years peacfully in Balquhidder.

“IOur excesses are the best clues to our own poverty, and our best way on concealing it from ourselves.” Adam Phillips, quoted in The Times


“The tradgedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of life, but that it bothers him less and less.” Vaclav Havel, quoted in The Wall Street Journal “For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself by the handle.” Winston Churchill, quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald

Ballantrae with Constable Mudie amongst the rioters


Commerative Plaque in Balquhidder with the wording shown right.


“ISome books are undeservedly forgotten, no book is undeservidly remembered.” W. H. Auden, quoted in the Browser “To know how to say what others only know how to think is what makes men poets or sages; to dare to say what others only dare to think makes men martyrs or reformers - or both.” Brisish author Elizabeth Charles, quoted in the Associated Press


There have been a few thefts which have occurred in the area over the last few weeks and although they have been opportunistic, there has also been a degree of preparation involved. Firstly, a trailer was stolen from South Loch Earn Road, between the 19th and 23rd March whereby an Ifor Williams flatbed trailer and contents were stolen. Between the 1st and 4th April, someone thereafter made efforts to steal a caravan which was being stored in the old garage site opposite Cameron Court in Lochearnhead. Overnight from the 3rd to the 4th April, someone made attempts to break into a van which was parked on the Main Street in Killin. There have also been a number of thefts within the Callander area in the past few weeks. I will again remind everyone to be security minded and remain vigilant and report any suspicions to us immediately. On the subject of reporting things immediately, I would like to thank most of the community who are now reporting things at the time. It makes our lives easier as we can nip things in the bud quicker, but it also allows us to obtain an accurate picture of what is happening and where. I have been stopped a few times over the weekend by members of the community highlighting issues that have happened on the loch sides. At the start of every shift, I check the call system which shows all the calls that have been received in the local area and none of 20

these people had called in regarding their particular issues. When I enquired as to why they hadn’t called, they advised that they didn’t think it was important. My advice remains the same; regardless of whether or not you think it is important, if there is an issue, let us know. It means we can speak with the groups prior to them becoming too drunk to understand, or too drunk that we cannot ask them to move on. On Friday 27th March, I took part in a national day of action with regards to bogus workmen and was assisted locally with my colleague from Crianlarich and one of our special constables. The issue with bogus workmen is one which has been evident in this area previously and where we have previously dealt with those responsible, which is why we were asked to assist again. I am pleased to say that everyone we spoke to were legitimate and we found no issues. On that note, I have been given information that over the past few weeks there has been a male attending to addresses looking to uplift scrap metals and trying to get the occupants to pay for the privilege of him doing so. Can I ask that if someone attends in similar circumstances that you contact Police? Scrap metal can hold a lot of monetary value and it should most certainly be the other way around that you should receive the money for the metal. If you have any scrap metals, try to keep them out of sight. If you do decide to allow someone to uplift items, make sure that they do so in your presence and don’t allow them to wander around or through your property.

I have also been made aware of a potential issue of deer poaching occurring in the area, particularly down in Balquhidder. I have spoken to numerous land owners and users in the area and from information that they have provided and from items found, it certainly suggests that persons are taking deer without permission. The information certainly suggests that they are being shot as opposed to being hunted with dogs. Again can I ask that you remain vigilant and report any suspicions to police immediately to allow us the opportunity to trace those responsible? Given the time of year, can I also give a gentle reminder that the local farmers are in the middle of lambing and to give consideration when walking past or through sheep, particularly if you have a dog. Dogs must be kept under proper control at all times around livestock and where possible keep them on a lead. Even walkers can cause upset to sheep and, given that a lot of ewes will be heavy in lamb, if they are made to run around it can cause them unnecessary distress and they may abort their lambs. 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



by Jonathan MacDonald

YOU WANT GROWTH?..VOTE FOR GARDENING! There are only days to polling day and options have widened. Have you ever considered voting for the Gardening Party? This is not some posh soiree to which you might get invited to stand around in white high heels slowly aerating the lawn as you gorge on vol-aux-vents. No, this is a real party with real policies opposing the status quo. But don’t bother looking for this party on the ballot paper. We have decided not to stand for any constituencies as we are too busy in the garden. This is a green covenant that rises above politics. Our manifesto is a rich ossuary of horticultural significance and, if followed closely, will make the nation great once again. It has at its heart a set of small effulgent principles which will raise the meekest to a high state of happiness and political satisfaction. Policy 1: Amend the Allotments Act of 1925. Everyone who pays council tax should be given a plot to grow on, recreate, etc. This is in addition to the present law, specifically Section 23 of the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 in which local authorities have a duty to provide allotments where there is a demand. So, dear voter, at present if you want an allotment all you have to do is ask the local authority and they are legally obliged to provide one. Our soon to be launched bus advert “Get three fancy coloured wheelie bins for your two grand a year and a free allotment” summarises it perfectly. Policy 2: A local authority budget should be allocated for every council ward to employ a full time gardener for every 10,000 per head of population to work in their local community to make it a brighter and more garden-esque environment. Policy 3: All food provided in schools should be sourced and grown locally and healthy nutritious menus provided. All schools should have a small holding to grow their own food and farm animals. Policy 4: Horticultural research institutes in Scotland e.g. the Hutton Institute should have their funding increased to develop new crops and promote Scottish Horticulture. We are world leaders in seed potato and top fruit. Fifty per cent of world raspberry crops were produced by

scientists in Dundee and we are familiar with such potatoes as Lady Balfour, Anya, Vales Sovereign, Vales Emerald and Mayan Gold – all bred at the Hutton Institute. Policy 5: All deer, rabbits and slugs will be prohibited from entering gardens. Policy 6: Create a Secretary of State for Horticulture as in Ireland and Holland, and to end government inefficiency. Presently DEFRA deals with 35 different agencies and government bodies the current Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has a degree in philosophy, politics and economics. Our policy is to employ only qualified people for the top jobs who have an understanding of horticulture. Policy 7: Approval for small scale whisky distillation and an increase in funding for the “Scottish Craft Distillers Association” a new body set up to develop spirits in Scotland. A whole new world exists out there: you only have to try gorse infused gin from Caithness and the hop gin made in St Andrews to see the connections between growing and distilling. Policy 8: Free secateurs and lawn mower sharpening for the over 75’s Policy 9: All garden machinery to carry colour authentication stickers.

This will be known as the Orange Clause Act 2015, which we aim to introduce in the first week of Parliament. Our party believes the public deserve the right to differentiate between “cheap orange tools” and “quality orange tools”. Only quality orange tools can carry the “Certificate of Orangeness” marker. Tools of a substandard quality disguised by an orange colour must clearly state on the machinery the likelihood of blowing up or breaking down within the guarantee period. Policy 10: All annoying weeds, insects and plants e.g. ground elder to be banned. And a ban on nasty horrible weather that gets on your nerves when you try to do anything in the garden. GARDENERS – USE YOUR VOTE!

Riverside Garden Centre

 Need  Inspiration?   Open  7  days  a  week:  9.30  -­‐  4.30   Tullybannocher,    Comrie,    (A85)    Tel:  01764  670800  


McLaren High School News Central Schools Under-16 Rugby 7s Tournament The under 16 7s squad travelled to Grangemouth RFC to defend the trophy that they had won in the previous draw. The experienced squad were drawn in the same pool as Balfron HS, Larbert HS and Wallace HS ‘2 The first tie was against Wallace ‘2’ and the boys started the tournament in a strong fashion winning their first 10 minute match 54-0. After a short break the boys were up against Larbert. The strong running within the McLaren 7s play was outstanding and the boys won this match by the same result. This win set up a deciding tie against Balfron. McLaren continued to play positive rugby and although Balfron offered more resistance the boys ran out 35-0 winners. This ensured that McLaren progressed to the final of the tournament, where they would face Falkirk HS. After their third match the eight players were beginning to feel the effects of the fast flowing rugby. Falkirk started strongly and looked to capitalise on this. However, the boys continued to work hard and help each other out in defence where their continued commitment and motivation was rewarded with a 33-0 victory to win the tournament. The boys finished the tournament with 4 victories and a 176-0 scoring record. Well done!

The winning squad was Duncan Hendry, Jamie Nixon, Connor Clark, Gregor Nixon, Rory Abernethy, Luke Maher, Logan Trotter and Charlie Allardyce, and try scorers throughout the tournament were Luke x 9, Logan x 7, Connor x 4, Charlie x 4 and Duncan x 1. CBBC Visited McLaren McLaren High School were very lucky to be chosen as one of the schools to take part in the new CBBC Official Chart Show programme and filming took place in school on 19 and 20 March. Former Pupil Mhairi Lloyd was part of the production team and was delighted to return to her 22

old school in her BBC role. A number of pupils were selected to be ‘Lip Dub’ stars with others being the ‘audience/extras’. Filming took place in various locations throughout the school culminating in a lip dub performance in the assembly hall by Kim Russell S3 (pictured). The programme will be shown on the CBBC Channel sometime between 10 May and the end of July (date still to be confirmed) – so keep your eyes peeled for our pupils on national TV! Hockey Tournament Since December last year, McLaren High pupils have been taking part in the Stirling/Clackmannan High Schools Field Hockey Tournament which was organised by parent volunteers and teachers to help promote inclusion and participation in mixed hockey by both junior and senior pupils. Pupils from McLaren have been practicing every Monday evening after school in all weathers and have regularly had in excess of 40 pupils taking part in these sessions. We travelled to Wallace High in December and Stirling High in February and played hosts to Alva Academy and Dunblane High on 18 and 19 March. McLaren have won the majority of their matches so far, a great result for such new players, and are looking forward to matches in Balfron and Dunblane before the end of year tournament in June. The pupils have thoroughly embraced the hockey challenge and have enjoyed every minute – as can be seen from the team photos! The pupils would like to thank Jim Frail (coach) and Susan Gibson (assistant coach/organiser) for all their efforts in helping to get the McLaren Hockey Team off the ground.

U18 Central Schools Rugby 7s Tournament The senior 7s rugby team took part in the Central Schools Rugby 7’s Tournament at Stirling County RFC at the end of March. The squad was packed with experience and went into the tournament hopeful of producing fast flowing, quality rugby. The boys were drawn in Pool 1 alongside Larbert HS 1, Alva HS 2 and Alloa HS. The first tie was against Alloa and the boys started strongly moving into a 21-0 lead. Alloa responded with a score of their own, however in the end McLaren ran out 35-7 winners. After a short rest the team moved on to the 1st XV pitch where they put in their strongest performance of the tournament running out comfortable 52-0 winners. The boys knew a victory against Larbert in their final pool game would ensure that they progressed into the final. McLaren continued to demonstrate their fluent skills and powerful running, and although in periods of the match Larbert made it difficult for the boys, McLaren won the match 35-5. In the final McLaren would be up against a strong St Mungo’s HS team who also won all of their Pool 2 matches. St. Mungo’s started the match strongly and moved into a 0-5 lead. McLaren then responded magnificently scoring three unanswered tries to make the score 215. St. Mungo’s rallied late on to score their second try of the match with the final attack, however after the conversion attempt the final whistle blew and the contest finished 21-10 to McLaren. The boys won all four of their matches to secure the tournament victory, scoring a total of 143 points throughout. Well done!

The winning squad was Duncan Hendry, James Wray, Andrew Nixon, Grant Pringle, Logan Trotter, Connor Clark, Luke Maher, Kieran Rennie and Gregor Nixon, and the try scorers throughout the tournament were Kieran x 5, Luke x 4, Logan x 3, Connor x 3, Andrew x 2, Duncan x 1 and Gregor x 1.

visit our website:

Music Festival and Concert On 31 March and 1 April McLaren High School held its annual Music Festival Competition. Pupils in all years were invited to enter and competition was fierce in all 3 categories. We were delighted to welcome world famous pianist Angela Brownridge as adjudicator for this year’s festival. Ms Brownridge has appeared in recital and concerto performances throughout Britain, Western and Eastern Europe, the United States, Canada and the Far East. She has played in all of the major London concert halls, has appeared at the Edinburgh Festival and broadcasts regularly for the BBC. As well as choosing the top three in each category of the competition Ms Brownridge found time to hold a piano masterclass and pupils were delighted to be in attendance at this unique event. By the end of Wednesday the winners had been decided as follows: Junior Section – 1st – Charlotte Scott S2 (voice and ukulele) 2nd – Cameron McLay S2 (bagpipes) 3rd – Mhairi Stewart S2 (saxophone) Intermediate Section – 1st – Callum Hall S4 (bagpipes) 2nd – Finn Manders S4 (fiddle) 3rd – Ailish Duthie S3 (voice) Senior Section – 1st – Craig Russell S6 (voice) 2nd – Ava Dinwoodie S6 (voice) 3rd – Callum Bain S6 (cornet) On the Wednesday evening family and friends were welcomed to the Music Festival Concert to enjoy not only performances by each of the the winners, but also pieces from the orchestra and various ensembles, and an amazing piano recital from Ms Brownridge. A wonderful evening was had by all and thanks must go to Ms Brownridge for attending both days and helping to make the concert one to remember. Congratulations again to all the prize winners.

Music Festival Winners

McLaren High School Club Day On Thursday 2 April McLaren High School hosted the first ever Club Day. The purpose of the day was to offer a wide variety of different sports to all pupils from S1 – S3 in McLaren High School with the focus being on encouraging pupils to take part a sport that was less familiar to them. With many of the sports and activities being based outside, the weather was on our side as the sun shone for what proved to be the warmest day of the year so far. McLaren Rugby FC, Stirling Knights (Basketball), Callander Cricket Club, Trossachs Tigers (Hockey), Skiddadle (Outdoor Events), Cambusbarron Karate Club, Callander Golf Club and McLaren Leisure (Climbing) were the clubs that came together to make the day a memorable one for pupils. Due to the large numbers of pupils (280) the session was split into 2, with half of pupils participating early morning and the other half having their turn after the interval. The pupils were put through their paces by the club coaches through a number of skills based drills that allowed them to practise the fundamental skills of their sport. After that it was onto small sided games to allow everyone to pit their wits and skills against class mates. Any talented or interested pupils were sign posted to the club training session to allow them to take the sport further. The day was a resounding success due to the dedication and enthusiasm of the club coaches that came in and gave up their time to share their passion with the young people of McLaren High. A special mention must also go to Marc Fleming, Headteacher, who was open to the idea and allowed the day to happen, and Ashley Montgomery, Creative Faculty Leader, who had a massive hand in organising the day. We are hopeful that this day will become a regular fixture in the calendar at McLaren High School. Marco Giudice, Active Schools Coordinator (Stirling & McLaren Hi)

Club Day Activities

The Coming of the Beaver

Whilst English Nature and Scottish Natural Heritage spend large amounts of time and money swithering over the reintroduction of Eurasian Beavers (Castor fiber) to the UK, no-one seems to have bothered to tell the animals themselves that they’re supposed to be a tightly controlled experiment that can be eradicated at any time. The ‘formal’ Scottish reintroduction trial in Knapdale forest has resulted in a small but reasonably stable population with little disruption and some benefit demonstrated to the local habitat and water courses – Eurasian Beavers don’t engineer their environment on anything like the grand scale of their American cousins. That modest trial however has been thoroughly eclipsed by the success of the ‘informal’ reintroductions on Tayside, where the total population is well into the hundreds. Whether this is the result of accidental escapes or the actions of guerilla ‘Beaver Bombers’, the wild population is expanding and spreading. They’ve been well established for some time to the east of Comrie and Killin but there are now reports of beaverish activity on Auchlyne Estate in Glen Dochart. There is also a video on YouTube that shows a beaver, purportedly in Garbh Uisge, south of Loch Lubnaig, as well as notes of gnawed trees as far afield as Kippen. So it’s almost certainly only a matter of time before we start seeing them cruising the waters of Lochs Earn, Voil, Doine and Lubnaig. Which should be fine and welcome: the trial showed that they tend to stick to the loch areas, don’t do much in the way of damming except where the water is slow moving and less than a metre or so deep and rarely block rivers and burns – the Knapdale trial showed little evidence of this although there have been some issues in the River Continued on page 25


BALQUHIDDER BROADBAND UPDATE After the major, albeit long predicted, disappointments of BT’s failure to include Balquhidder in its rollout of fibre broadband and Digital Scotland’s refusal to recognise the deeply flawed nature of their contract with BT, we are now in the much happier position of being able to report that Community Broadband Scotland has accepted our case for capital funding for broadband provision to the Balquhidder area. There are several ways in which we can do this and we’re now working with CBS to put together an initial invitation to tender. Our position throughout has been that: • Any long-term solution for Balquhidder MUST include provision of a fibre (at least Fibre to the Cabinet, aka FTTC) access point in the Glen, however this was provided. • Local service provision can then be via a combination of existing copper lines (for those properties in range), readily upgradeable wireless connections (for the rest) and any local fibre provision that we may care to make as a community. • That, whatever the solution, we don’t commit to a service whose capital cost is covered by public money but which then leaves us with unsustainable service costs in the future. At the last meeting with Shaun Marley of CBS last Friday, he was able to reassure me that: • Anything we did now that did not provide a full and future-proof solution would not prevent us from being considered for a subsequent rollout of public fibre services by BT, although the knowledge that we had a local solution in place might change priority for rollout (either way). • CBS would be able consider funding the private provision of a BT fibre cabinet and infrastructure to the Glen. We’re now looking into this and at the technological possibilities for the rest of the service. Whatever we end up with, we will need to have it accountable to a communitybased body: typically with representatives from the community being served, the Community Council and (I imagine) the Community Trust. The commitment threshold appears to be about 89% public funding, with the remainder to be accounted either locally or in agreement with the selected service provider (in other areas, the 11% balance has been covered by the chosen service provider). Next steps then are: • To organise some communitylevel planning. • Working with CBS to create an initial tender document, against which 24

potential providers can quote (this is already under way) • To cost (with potential providers) both local access provision and backhaul (the pipe to the outside world). • To update the list of properties and potential users in the Balquhidder area. • To provide CBS with a map of our intended coverage area (already done and is being continuously updated by myself and David Johnston). This currently includes Balquhidder Station and anywhere else we think may be out of range of the Strathyre or Lochearnhead services - this will be amended and refined as we move forwards. I will be updating information on to reflect where we are at any given time, but please call or email any time with queries or suggestions. Richard Harris (

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 http://www. 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 2015 Wed 6 May 09:30 Stroll: Lochan Allt a’ Chip Dhuibh (4miles) Contact 01877 339323 Sat 9 May 08:30 LDP: CT(1) Blairgowrie to Bridge of Cally (7miles) Contact 01877 330032 Wed 13 May 09:30 Ramble: Glen Kendrum & Glen Ogle (11miles) Contact 01877 339080 Wed 20 May 09:30 Hill: Ben Vrackie (841m) Contact 01877 330955 Sat 30 May 08:30 LDP: CT(2) Bridge of Cally to Kirkmichael (8miles) Contact 01877 330032 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.

Continued from page 23

Farm Forum: Title Rural Vote

By the time this edition of the Villagers is in the shops we will still be just under a week away from the Election - as I write there are almost three weeks to go - oh dear! I noticed two letters in the farming press this week with which I cannot help but agree. One questioned in so many words why a lot of taxpayers money is being spent on trials re introducing the beaver, when they seem to be making a pretty good job of it themselves in the Tay area and I suspect other areas too. The other letter referred to the proposed introduction of the Lynx, quoting local shearers returning from Norway telling about deep lacerations and other wounds evident when they sheared sheep. The writer also states that it is well documented in Europe that Lynx will kill wildcats. He then asks how that squares with preserving our Scottish wildcat and the Cairngorms project! Back to the election - it is an interesting fact that over the years the British agricultural industry, by increasing its efficiency and more recently by increased costs, has reduced those employed

in the industry substantially and therefore reduced its voting influence considerably. Recently, for the first time ever, employment in the industry reduced to under 1% of the population. This compares with France at around 3%. This, in terms of influence and votes, is quite significant. I am far from being a “political animal” but some of the Green Party manifesto made me prick up my ears. Apparently they will end grouse shooting and other “sport shooting”. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation believes that these policies will damage existing conservation efforts, damage people’s livelihoods and threaten the viability of some rural communities. The BASC is quoted as suggesting that the party has not thought through these policies. It is ironic that some conservationists are wanting more deer killed and the Green Party seem to want to ban those with deer on their land from letting stalking at the traditional time of year as part of their business. Now I know what is meant by “shooting yourself in the foot”! Agricola

Earn. Where they do dam, other than raised water in the immediate vicinity, their role is largely beneficial, in that they help regulate and mitigate sudden changes in water level – probably not enough to make much of a difference to the regular submergence of the Annie straight or the Meadows car park though, but every little helps. Where they can make a difference is to lochside vegetation – in much of our area, given the lack of active management of the lochside in the last 30-40 years, they may well help clear some of the scrubby young growth trees (their preference is for willows and hazel of around 3.5cm in diameter) and, with a little active collaboration from and protection of the larger trees by the human population, could encourage a better and more diverse succession. And, if SNH were to switch its emphasis from controlled reintroductions to monitoring and supporting the health and genetic diversity of the extant populations, I’m sure the beavers would then happily get on with doing the rest themselves. I for one welcome the arrival of our new Beaver overlords. All we now need is for re-wilding to go the whole hog (them too) with the re-introduction of our formerly native Lynx, Wolves and Bears. Which could solve the problems of the overpopulation of both Red Deer and wild-camping Neds at a stroke. Richard Harris, Two Worlds



We’ll send you or your friends The


£14.00 for 11 monthly issues (£37.00 for Europe and £47.00 for the rest of the world). We are sorry about the increased costs to our valued overseas readers, due to the new postal rates imposed by the Post Office! All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, GARDENERS COTTAGE BALQUHIDDER FK19 8PB, SCOTLAND Cheques should be made payable to: THE BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION Remittance enclosed £ .........................(do not send cash) Please send copies of The Villagers starting on ................................. for 11 months To: NAME .......................................................................................................................... ADDRESS: ........................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................POSTCODE .............................. SENDER’S NAME & ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM ABOVE Please send copies of The Villagers starting on ............................... for 11 months NAME ................................................................................................................................ ADDRESS .......................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................POSTCODE................................

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




All types of tree work undertaken Removal of dangerous trees Crown lifting, Crown reduction, High pruning,Removal of deadwood. All types of fencing erected Mole trapping References can be given. Free estimates

STRATHYRE. TEL 01877384248 07967143910

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


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

Gill Allan Production Manager Stronvar Farm Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB 01877 384203

David Johnston Advertising Coordinator Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227

Other Contacts...

Business Manager

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

contac t@the Please help us to get The Villagers to you as soon as possible!

• DIARY DATES • We e k l y A c t i v i t i e s Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Bowling - St Fillans Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 to11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am to 12.30pm Badminton - Balquhidder Hall - 8.00pm Country Dancing - St Fillans LEGS - Lochearnhead Hall - 6.30pm Pilates - Balquhidder Hall - 9.45am to 10.45am (contact Abbey Arkotxa 0776 6407578) Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am to 12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Pilates - Balquhidder Hall - 6pm to 7pm (contact Abbey Arkotxa 0776 6407578) Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00 to 9.00pm Choir Occasional - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm to 9pm (call Gill Allan 01877 384203) Metafit Classes - Strathyre Village Hall - 8.00pm Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon (Contact Mel Brydie 01877 384668) Ballroom Dancing - Lochearnhead Hall

Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Wullie Dalziel 01877 384 384 Mobile 07768 221661 St Fillans Contact: John Murray 01764 685 487 Mail Order Distribution: Hilda Astbury 01877 384 681

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

MAY 2015 2 - 9 8 13 16 23 - 24 29 - 31

Stuc a Croin Hill Race Off The Page Book Festival Stirling - P12 Funding Fair Stirling - P2 Race Night Lochearnhead - P14 Monachyle Mhor Festival - P9 Strathyre Music Festival - P7

JUNE 2015 13 27 27

Danakosa Open Day - P19 Scottish Blackface Sheep Shearing Championships Ceilidh Dance Lochearnhead

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: Vacancy Enquiries to Interim Moderator: Revd Terry Ann Taylor 01877 382391 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 Every Sunday: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fifth Sundays in the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453

The villagers news may 2015  

Lochearnhead, Strathyre, Balquhidder, St Fillans news and events. Community news and photographs including, gardening, recipes, church, rang...