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

Three Sisters Make History Perth College Art Students’ BLiSS Sculpture Depicts Loch Earn’s Heritage Three Perth College UHI art students have collaborated on the design and implementation of The Three Sisters, a 3.5m steel fishing rod and clan tartan fish sculpture commissioned for Lochearnhead to complement the award winning BLiSS trail of art installations. The work of art is the brainchild of BA Contemporary Art and Contextualised Practice students, Miami Mohsin and Shayna Mclean, and HND Contemporary Art Practice student, Amy Butler. The sculpture concept was singled out following a business project set by BLiSS trail creators, Loch Earn Tourism Information (LETi). “The name of the sculpture came easily - Three fish species, three clans and three female artists,” said Amy Butler. The theme for the installation, at Lochside Cottages’ jetty on Loch Earn, was based on Visit Scotland’s tourism “Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017”. Continued on Page 6

Editor’s Bit We start this month with the official business of inviting you all to the AGM for The Villagers on Tuesday 13th of February at 7.30 at Mhor 84 (TBC). Unfortunately, we will need at least one new member of our small but friendly team as Isobel tells us in this month’s St Fillans report that she is “retiring” at the end of the year. I am sure we have all enjoyed her accounts of life in the metropolis of St Fillans and hopefully we might persuade her to come back in a different role at some point. I do not wish to intrude too much on others’ troubles but, if any of you have seen the recent edition of Callander’s Ben Ledi View newspaper, you’ll have read the warning about the potential demise of the paper if help is not forthcoming. I hope you will give serious consideration as to whether you can help The Villagers maintain its monthly updates, reports and range of articles. I would really like to ensure that each of our four villages can continue to have its own page, spreading the load as much as possible. Come along to the AGM, have a drink and a chat and help us find a way to keep The Villagers going boldly on! Thanks to this month’s contributors who, in a variety of ways, have reminded us of what we owe to previous generations. Hopefully some of you will be able to attend the remembrance services in the villages. On a different note I hope we have included all the planned dances etc. especially the ones urging you to buy your tickets before they are all snapped up. More events to come next month, I’m sure! JJ

Balquhidder Village Hall SC007120

BLS Trust

Balquhidder Village Hall



Tuesday 28 November 2017 7:30 PM At the Village Hall All Welcome!

is having an

on Monday 27th November at 8pm in Strathyre Village Hall

All Welcome!

Strathyre News A bit of fun... You may have read a recent article that I wrote about Davy Allan - and the incredible season he has had fishing for trout. He finished the season with a 24 pounder to reach an amazing 50 fish in double figures. What I did not mention was that he and his fishing mate Billy Beckensdale (AK Billy Becks) have an annual competition between themselves for the heaviest fish of the season and, it goes without saying, Davy has won it hands down this season (again)! Billy is always a gentleman in defeat and as the photo above shows, he graciously hands Davy his prize. In case you did not see the winning fish I have attached a wee reminder - not that Billy will need it - of the fantastic 33lb Brownie, which Davy landed and returned. I have also attached a photo of Billy’s best ‘catch’ of the season! Never mind Billy, there’s always next year!! Tight Lines. Wullie D

Kingshouse Travel is looking to recruit a

new bus driver Ideally the candidate will have a PSV driving licence, but consideration would be given to training the right candidate. It would be desirable due to the nature of the work if they lived in the parish of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre. If interested contact: Graeme: 01877 384768 2

Thank you, Hilda! Lovely Hilda Astbury has stepped down from her duties for The Villagers and we will miss her very much. We’d like to say a very big thank you to her - she has been on the team since the very first edition of The Villagers - first as a reporter, and then seeing to all the postal distibution. She is pictured here having coffee at The Broch in Strathyre with (amongst others) Andrea Poulter, whom we welcome as our new Mail Order Distibution manager. We wish Hilda a very happy birthday on the 3rd November!

Lochearnhead Latest LETi Attracts BLiSS Trail Award Nominations and Two New Sculptures   More good news from Loch Earn Tourism Information!  The tourism group’s entry has been selected for the Central, Fife and Tayside regional finals of the Scottish Thistle Awards this time for “Innovation in Tourism” - after securing BLiSS trail as a permanent visitor attraction. LETi added Drover’s Bho to BLiSS trail 2017 to mark Visit Scotland’s tourism year of History Heritage and Archaeology. Permanent artists signs were also added following generous sponsorship from Friends of The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.  LETi and Kim have also been nominated LETi Chair Kim Proven is also a finalist at in the Scottish Rural Awards 2018 - an event this year’s awards ceremony taking place at partnered by Scottish Field Magazine and the Prestonfield House Edinburgh, on November Scottish Countryside Alliance - hailed as the 23rd, 2017.  Kim was nominated by Gordon ultimate benchmark of excellence in rural Watson, CEO of the Loch Lomond and Scotland. The awards will be held at Dynamic The Trossachs National Park, for “Regional Earth in Edinburgh on 22nd March 2018. Ambassador”, recognising her voluntary   Two additional BLiSS trail sculptures are contributions to tourism over and above her in the pipeline.  The first -  a collaboration of work by three female art students from Perth day job.  College UHI -  will be erected at Lochside Cottages garden on Loch Earn in October.  “The project has been a big challenge for the students over and above their college work” explained Kim. “The artists have done well negotiating and collaborating with businesses to acquire components and sponsorship. I’ve enjoyed helping with some of the problem solving and sponsorship alongside generous contributions from Christine Cooper of Cooper Cottages, Roslen Evans of Balquhidder Mhor luxury lodge and Angus and Ollie Cameron of Lochside Cottages” she said.  Perthshire based component suppliers include Meddicks Blacksmiths and The Isle Mill ( Macnaughton Holdings Ltd).

Drover’s Bho

A second sculpture will be placed on St Angus Church grounds, at the entrance to National Cycle Route 7 Lochearnhead, by kind permission of the trustees and Rev Paddy Allen. The sculpture will be funded by a second Art Roots grant awarded to LETi by Sustrans Scotland. LETi plans to erect the sculpture in December 2017. Details of the new art works will be announced later. While LETi aims to attract visitors to the area to help boost the local economy, it recognises the part that many villagers play in assisting tourists and making them feel very welcome.   Loch Earn Tourism Information 3


St Fillans Bit

by Isobel Howell

A working group of villagers (or was it the fairy stone folk) have completed the commemorative cairn, which was unveiled, with villagers being invited to lay additional stones, during the renaming of the village bicentenary celebrations in August. Thank you to Bruce Montgomery for this contribution. The “working party” (they work very hard, but they play hard too – full wine glasses are very heavy to lift, you know) - managed to complete the task in one afternoon in October. Very impressive stuff – they should get a job with the people who do roadworks August and September (featuring articles – we’d never have any traffic jams or on the planning and events of the 2017 diversions. I wonder if they had the Festive Weekend), a letter from villager, obligatory one man leaning on a shovel, Professor John Forty, outlining life in the looking pensively down a hole... Anyway, village, a commemorative wine label thanks go to the following for all their commissioned for the Festive Weekend, efforts: Eric and Lorna Kennelly, Ruth a blank St Fillans Golf Club score card Graham, Dan and Gabe Bean, Russell (“names in the frames” to be added in Cunningham, Norman Butter and Bruce 200 years’ time) an original letter from Montgomery. Jean Hunter describing her memories of Apparently, a time capsule has been Queen Wilhelmina’s visit to the village in buried inside the cairn. It contains (now the 1930s and finally, a memory stick with hum the theme tune from The Generation pictures and articles downloaded from the Game and picture a conveyor belt); St Fillans website – the latter, I predict, will the current Village Guide and phone cause much confusion by the people who directory, copies of The Villagers from fly in on their jet packs to open it in another


two hundred years’ time. A plaque is to be affixed to the cairn, to acknowledge that it was raised by villagers to celebrate two hundred years since the village was renamed, which will be done next year, incase the stones decide to move over winter. Finally, special thanks are given to Kenny Logan and Sam Morshead for clearing the ground in the first place, Jim Richardson who constructed the base and Norman Butter who “sacrificed” his garden wall to provide the stone. No fairies were harmed in the process. Next month will be my last epistle for The Villagers. I’ve decided that this “Bit” really deserves being written by

somebody who can give more time to it than I’m currently able to; I blame the dog – I worked out, whilst walking her recently, that two, or sometimes three walks per day equals about two hours walking a day, which equates to 14 hours a week, which equates to a whole lot of time I could be spending researching, drinking coffee in the shop whilst catching up on village news – it’s a hard life. Dogs don’t really offer many gripping stories, other than “there was this really interesting smell here the other day” or “I ate the dead mouse which the cat left on the front doorstep this morning and now my tummy really aches”. I would encourage anybody to give it a try (writing The St Fillans Bit, not eating dead mice) it’d be a shame to see this space disappear as, for a small village, there’s so much that goes on – we just need a bloodhound to sniff out the stories. Anybody interested, please contact myself or Jill The Editor. The latest new section of the LERP railway path, west of Station Road, has been completed and an official opening ceremony will take place on 3rd November at 2:30 pm by the tunnel. After the cutting of the ribbon, attendees are invited to walk a section of the path and retreat to the Four Seasons Hotel for refreshments. The village bonfire and fireworks will be held on the same day, in the field behind the Arran Brewery Hotel – going by previous years, kick off is usually around 7pm. Once we have got Halloween and Bonfire Night under our belts, that should allow us to officially start the countdown to the next seasonal event of the year - Christmas. This year The Achray House hotel are open for Christmas lunch – details available on their new website. Zelda advises they are closed in December from the 4th until the 20th and are hosting a curry evening on the Sunday night before closing. The hotel reopens from the 21st December until 3rd January, after which they are closed until 14th February. Meanwhile, Susan at the Four Seasons Hotel would like to mention that on Friday 1st December they will be hosting a wine pairing dinner with a five course menu created by their new Head Chef, Carlos Ragone. Their five course dinner with matching wines is £62 per person and bed and breakfast accommodation on the Friday evening is from £28 per person sharing a twin. Discounted second night rates from £68 per person including breakfast. Finally, an acknowledgment from Susan Stuart to Mary from The Four Seasons Hotel, who, after 18 years, is leaving the hotel on 5th November: “Whilst I have only been at The Four Seasons Hotel for a short time, I can safely say that Mary McDiarmid has become part of the furniture. The hotel will not be the same without her and I must thank her publicly for all her support, kindness and good

natured banter during her days here. She will be missed but all here also wish her every good wish in the future”. Mary has asked me to include the following message she has written to readers: “Dear St Fillans villagers, by the time this edition of The Villagers comes out (or indeed you get a chance to read it) I will no longer be working at the Four Seasons Hotel. After almost 19 years here – mostly great, a few just good and the odd one best forgotten,  I feel as if I have become part of the bricks and for many years I have been defined as ‘Mary from the Four Seasons’, but I have decided the time is right to move on to pastures new. Having worked in hospitality for over 40 years, I will NOT miss the long hours, split

shifts and staff issues that come with the job, but I WILL miss all of the guests who have become friends over the years, and the excitement and pleasure of being part of so many celebrations (weddings, christenings, birthdays, anniversaries etc). I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been part of my working day over the past two decades here and will look forward to coming back through the front door as a guest and not in a uniform. I will be taking up a new role managing the Cancer Research shop in Callander, if you want to pop in and say hello”. I wish Mary all the very best in her new venture and thank her for her contribution over the years.

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


Three Sisters Make History Continued from front page

Course lecturers Yunior Pedromo and Simon Reekie encouraged students to work with businesses to solve problems from design to delivery. The winning concept and structure was based on the student team’s research of clans, history, heritage and the habitat of Loch Earn. “Miami, Shayna and Amy presented a concept to us in favour of their plastic bottle bench and cork floating Loch Earn water spirit ideas. Participating students worked well, however, The Three Sisters stood out as a strong concept, relevant to the theme, well researched and professionally pitched,” explained Yunior Pedromo. Suspended from the large rod are a native brown trout (source of food in the area for generations) a rainbow trout and a rare pike, crafted with professionally turned wooden heads, fins Student artists, Shayna McLean and Miami and tails and incorporating Celtic carvings. Mohsin (shown above with Ollie Cameron) Middle sections sport local clan tartans have progressed to Perth College UHI’s new BA of MacLaren and MacGregor - who still degree course where they are encouraged to battle, albeit in the annual BLS Highland collaborate with businesses. Games tug-o-war in Lochearnhead - and Cameron of Lochiel, representing the of the future. A fantastic contribution to BLS Highland Games’ president and land our award winning BLISS trail of art and owners Angus and his wife Ollie Cameron architectural installations created for the pleasure of walkers, cyclists, and other (née McLaren). Artist Shayna Mclean, who led the people touring the area, as well as the research, explained “The rod symbolises locals.” fish as a source of food, hobby and sport Whether you are into the great outdoors, keenly practiced today. Wood represents art or clan heritage, Miami, Shayna and the ancient and new forests around Loch Amy hope that The Three Sisters will reel Earn. We learned that beech and cherry visitors in to Lochearnhead to photograph were best for ease of carving, strength their historic work of art, the latest and their ability to survive Scottish addition to the BLiSS trail, all year round. lochside temperatures. Steel, often found in fishing rods was galvanised to enable a strong stable structure. Tartans represent clans and sheep, a source of food and yarn for decades. The Celtic symbols are based on historic inhabitants and their environment”. The artists combined their strengths and skills to complete the project tasks, overcoming hurdles to bring their sketches and mock ups to life. Skilled experts and materials were sourced including Perthshire based: Meddicks Blacksmiths, wood turner David Gray, wood carver Andrew Moore and Isle Mill fabric manufacturers. LETi collaborated on funding with additional sponsorship from Cooper Cottages, Balquhidder Mhor Lodge, Briar Cottages and Lochside Cottages. The signpost was sponsored by Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs. Miami Mohsin helped to pull the project together co-ordinating components, working with suppliers and building the fish structures. “I enjoyed visiting Isle Mill tartan fabrics, she said. “We are grateful for the company’s support and the time that sales director, Bill Wheelan, spent showing me around.” LETi Chair Kim Proven said “We are so proud! It was a pleasure to work with Perth College UHI and three inspiring artists 6

Ranger’s Review by Gareth Kett

The end of September marked the end of the first camping bye-law enforcement season for the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Ranger Service. Looking back over the season there have been challenges and successes. By-and-large the season has gone well, with most campers recognizing that lochshores across the National Park have been subject to considerable pressure from anti-social behavior associated with camping in the past, and so being happy to comply with camping restrictions and the minimal camping fees associated with the bye-laws. Many Trossachs and Breadalbane Teams campers felt that the bye-laws were a positive thing, commenting on the safer, the Trossachs Water Vole Project this summer, ground nesting birds in upland areas. Given cleaner feel of the lochshores – some but there has been some consolation in the opportunity there is no doubt that all going as far as to send letters praising that the project has been short-listed for a three would happily feed on the eggs and the changes, particularly on Loch Earn Nature of Scotland award in recognition of young of ground-nesting birds (although where restricted camping has led to the success of the project since it began in there is no evidence of badgers systematically increased vegetation cover, less litter 2006 when around sixty water voles were searching for nests), but a closer look at the and more wildlife on and near the found on a proposed development site issue reveals that the real problem is a lack near Glasgow. As a protected species they of available cover for birds due to sustained lochshore. Coverage in the press has generally been needed to be relocated and Loch Ard Forest over-grazing by deer and sheep and in some positive and we have been very grateful was identified as the nearest suitable site, areas muirburn. Foxes belong to a group of for the support of local communities. Of but due to the scope of available habitat animals known as mesopredators that sit in course there have been some problems. the decision was taken to breed the water the middle of the food-chain. They tend to The appropriateness of the level of bye- voles at a breeding centre in Devon to boost be very successful. In balanced ecosystems law related signage will be looked at over the numbers available for release. Four their numbers are controlled by predation the winter season and there are concerns water vole generations later in 2009 around by and competition from top predators over the impact of the bye-laws on the local a thousand water voles were released at such as wolves and lynxes. Here in the UK economy, but overall it’s been a good first suitable sites across Loch Ard Forest with a we’ve driven our top mammalian predators further thousand being released over the to extinction allowing our mesopredators season. Much of the season’s success has been next four summers. I joined the project in to become more numerous, increasing the down to the work of a great team of seasonal 2009 coordinating and leading volunteers likelihood of conflict with humans. Studies rangers who have helped us out no end. We in monitoring the water voles until the from Switzerland have shown areas recently were sorry to see them go and hope that end of the 2016 season. Assisted by mink occupied by lynxes experience a decline many or all of them will return next season. control a strong water vole population has in fox numbers and losses of lambs due to Many thanks Cameron, Colin, Jill, Josh, become established in Loch Ard Forest with fox predation. By contrast control of fox Kevin, Laura, Marie Rob, Stuart ,Tom and water voles now becoming established in numbers by man is seldom successful as fox Gavin. We’ve also been backed up by very areas outside the forest. This was Scotland’s populations are self-regulating depending first water vole reintroduction project and on available resources; numbers simply competent bank-staff. increase following culls to pre-control levels. Regrettably, due to bye-law enforcement provides a model for future reintroductions. commitments, I’ve been unable to work on Water voles find themselves at the bottom With the bye-law enforcement season now of the food-chain – sitting somewhere just over the Ranger Service will be focusing on above grass. While it’s a bit tough on them, education (incorporating climate change), together with mice, bank voles and field voles, wildlife surveys, site and trail maintenance they support a suite of predators including and training over the coming months. otters, pine martens, polecats, stoats, weasels, Weekend patrols will continue as usual but buzzards, owls and foxes. Foxes seem to have without bye-law enforcement. had a successful breeding season this year As usual if you have anything you wish as field vole numbers have been very high, to discuss or report wildlife sightings to which has also favoured barn and tawny owls. report you are welcome to drop into the A number of young foxes have been sighted Lochearnhead office or you can e-mail me in gardens recently as demonstrated by the at or image caught on Duncan Cameron’s camera call me on 01389 722044 (please note the change of telephone number). If I’m not in trap in Strathyre. Thanks Duncan! Foxes are often vilified and together with the office please leave a message and I’ll get crows and badgers, blamed for declines in back to you as soon as possible.

Water Vole

Spot the fox!


Book Review I Am Pilgrim

CLACHAN COTTTAGE HOTEL ONE OF SCOTLAND’S ICONIC SETTINGS ON THE SHORE OF LOCH EARN The clachan has been here for a long time, tending to travellers and residents alike - and is now the largest hotel in the area, boasting deluxe bedrooms and amazing loch view rooms. Our Autumn menu is now on the go - it’s definitely time for snuggling up in front of our blazing log burner on a chilly night. Try our “smoked venison with grilled wild mushrooms” accompanied by one of our 20 trendy gins. Sample our fresh scallops from Loch Broome - and finish off with an old favourite: home made sticky toffee pudding, smothered with butterscotch sauce. The summer has been fantastic from a customer point of view as we have launched our activities for hotel residents where they can take advantage of our free bikes or canoes to really explore the surrounding countryside. This gives our overseas visitors the chance to see Cycle Route 7 without the hassle of travelling with bikes. Weddings and small functions are now hosted by the Clachan. Our stunning setting provides the perfect backdrop for those all important videos or photos. Weddings or functions catered for • deluxe bedrooms • Clachan bar • Rowan restaurant Canoes/boat trips or bikes available • now showing all SKY sports in the bar

Gordon Ferries in Concert

Lute and guitar music St Mary’s, Aberfoyle 19th November 2017 at 3pm 8

by Terry Hayes

Whereas the books which have been reviewed here previously might have appealed predominantly to female readers, I believe the book in this review would appeal to both men and women. Astonishingly brilliant, this book was written as a first novel in 2012 and first published in the UK in 2013. its message is as pertinent now as it was back in 2012. On release it was hailed as “the only thriller you need to read this year”. Terry Hayes is a screenwriter of some renown: Dead Calm and Mad Max 2 being two of his best known hits. It is clear that Hayes has an eye for the visual as places and events are described with chilling clarity. He has crafted a novel crammed with a plot which twists and turns and keeps the reader in suspense right up to the end. As one might expect from a novel about the unseen murky depths of international terrorism and espionage at its most scary, it is not without its fair share of gruesome descriptions of murder victims. The novel moves from New York to the middle east to the mountains of Afghanistan - to the eastern mediterranean. The thread which binds all the vile events and places together is the titular hero, Pilgrim - solid and believable and ruthless in his hunt for... what? Will he succeed in his task? Will the terrorists win through? There are moments when one believes all is lost and the future of the world is at stake. The world of spies and politics has never been described in such shadowy, scary terms. Yet we are carried along with Pilgrim on this frightening and pulse pounding journey, willing him to succeed to the bitter end. This is a fantastic read on every level, smart, compelling, ambitious and terrifying. Christmas present anyone?

Musings from the Manse by Russel Moffat

A Note from

St Angus’s

Last month I made the provocative suggestion that Jesus might have been a tad racist. In case those in dog collars fail to rise to the bait I’m about to contradict that suggestion myself.  There are several passages in the New Testament that prove the very opposite.  The most obvious one is the parable of the Good Samaritan.  The Samaritans were despised by the Jews (and Jesus was a Jew) but it doesn’t take a genius to spot that the hero of that story was a Samaritan.  Not only did he rescue the poor man who “fell among thieves” but he went the extra mile by paying for his accommodation in a nearby inn until he recovered.  Another story in St John’s gospel tells how the testimony of a Samaritan woman after speaking with Jesus at a well brought about the conversion of thousands.  Of course, Jesus wasn’t racist but I’m still puzzled by his saying “is it right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs” when a Samaritan woman asks for his help with her sick child.  So, come on you academics please explain! On a completely different tack, the Sale of nearly new cashmere made £200 in a donation to St Angus’s.  Those of you who missed out may get a second chance next year.  About 30 beautiful cashmere sweaters were sold at about the third of the price of a new one.  Many thanks too to the  donor who so kindly gave us more than £600 in “loose change.”  Both donations are very much appreciated by the congregation.

Church News

Balquhidder BLS

Those of you who read this slot will be aware that I like music (well rock and blues at any rate!) Therefore you won’t be surprised that I was saddened by the recent death of Tom Petty in America. Two things have recently confirmed that I’m getting old. First an invitation from the local doctor’s surgery to get the winter flu jab! Secondly, the loss of some of my favourite rock artists who have passed away in their sixties (Tom Petty was only four years older than me). So much for the Biblical “three score years and ten” - maybe I should take the jab!! A famous quote from Tom Petty was “No-one gets Jesus more wrong than Christians” – ouch! I’m sure we all know what he means by that. A bit like Ghandi’s “Two thousand years of Christian love is enough to frighten everyone” – double ouch! A few years ago, Richard Dawkins was photographed wearing a T shirt with the slogan “Atheists for Jesus”. Once again the same theme is being played out that there is a vast difference between the Founder and his Followers with the latter compromising, misrepresenting or undermining the original message. However, things are never that simple! There is a story about the Baptism of Frankish warriors in the Middle-Ages. Each soldier raised his right hand above the water indicating that Jesus could have their hearts but not their sword arm. Whether apocryphal or not, this account certainly highlights that it is always easier to baptise a person, a church, or even, a culture, than it is to convert it. It also helps us to understand subsequent European history. November brings us Remembrance Sunday, always a poignant time. My Grandfather fought in the First World War and lost his three brothers at the battle of the Somme in 1916. He himself was severely wounded and invalided home - shades of the film Saving Private Ryan. My question has always been where was the Christian Church in all this? Given the influence (at least potential if not actual) of Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism in the nations of Europe at that time why was war not avoided? Well the Churches weren’t speaking to each other and nationalism and imperialism trumped the universal claims of the Gospel. So sad! Yet it would have taken a very brave clergyman to have raised this from the pulpit in any of the European churches including our own. In a contest between flag and cross the former was always going to win. A number of years ago I read a story about a minister in one of the southern states of America during the civil rights protests. Already warned by the Klu Klux Klan regarding his sermons on this issue, a group of masked men broke into his study one Saturday night and dragged him from the house. His body was found in a nearby river the following day. He left a young wife and children behind. There used to be a wrist band that young Christians liked to wear with the initials WWJD on it. This stands for “What Would Jesus Do?” It was meant to be an aid or a prompt to influence behaviour in the varied settings and situations of life. But even after we have answered that question, however tentatively, we are still faced with the very personal one “What am I going to do?” Following Jesus, truly following, has never been easy. That’s perhaps why we have a cross as our principal symbol. I wonder if Tom Petty would agree.

The Remembrance service will be held at 10.45am on Sunday the 12th November 2017 at the War Memorial in Lochearhead. Please assemble beforehand. The service will be conducted by the Revd Canon Paddy Allen assisted by Lt Col (Retd) Rory Gilchrist late of the Black Watch, Malcolm White St Angus Church, a Piper and wreath layers. Please support the remembrance of the thirtyone who gave their lives in WW1 and WW2 from the parish of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre. Malcolm White, Lochearnhead

Balquhidder Village Hall

New Year’s Day Dance Monday 1st January 2018 9pm - 1am Dance to The Stuart McKeown Ceilidh Band Tickets £12.50 Available at door or to reserve contact Andrew or Fiona Leishman Tel 01877 384752 or 07745198854 or email

Raffle, whisky curling, tea and sandwiches.



*Once in demand by Victorian miniaturists, the tiny pin-feather comes from the leading edge of a woodcock’s wing and only two such feathers occur on each bird (one on each wing). This month, Old Nyati has a poem, a book extract, and some very affecting stories from two world wars. THE PENITENT As I lay in the trenches at Noove Chapelle, Where the big guns barked like the Hounds o’ Hell, Sez I to mysel’, sez I to mysel’:— Billy, me boy, here’s the end o’ you But if, by good luck, ye should chance to slip thro’, Ye maun bid all yer evil companions adieu; Keep the Lord’s ten Commands—and Lord Kitchener’s two— Sez I to mysel’—at Noove Chapelle. No more women, and no more wine, No more hedgin’ to get down the line. No more hoggin’ around like a swine, After Noove Chapelle—sez I to mysel’. But only the good God in Heaven knows The wayward way that a soldier goes, And He must ha’ left me to walk by mysel’— For three times I’ve fell, since Noove Chapelle. Once at Bethune and twice at Estaires. The divil gripped hould o’ me unawares — Yet often and often I’ve prayed me prayers, Since I prayed by mysel’, at Noove Chapelle. Well, the Lord above, who fashioned the French, May bethink how bewitchin’ is wine and a wench To a chap that’s been tied for three weeks to a trench, Around Noove Chapelle—that black bordero’ Hell. And me throat was dry and the night was damp, And the rum was raw — and red was the lamp! — And — Billy, me boy, ye’r a bit o’ a scamp, That’s the truth to tell—tho’ I sez it mysel’. What’s worritin’ me isn’t fear that they’ll miss Me out o’ the ranks in the realms o’ bliss; It ain’t hope o’ Heaven, nor horror o’ Hell, But just breakin’ the promise, ‘twixt God and mysel’. Made at Noove Chapelle. Well, there’s always a way that is open to men When they gets the knock-out—that’s get up again; And, sure now, ould Satan ain’t yet counted ten! I’m game for another good bout wi’ my-sel’— As at Noove Chapelle.


Joseph Lee was a soldier of the Black Watch in the trenches during WW1.He wrote this poem The Penitent about Noove Chapelle and it was published in the Dundee Advertiser. Noove Chapelle may not be as well-known as names like Passchendaele, Ypres and the Somme, but the poem certainly conveys the dire situations the ordinary soldiers had to face. How can we possibly imagine the horrors of those battles: the mud, the bodies, the smell, the despair. We must never forget. I’m also including (right, next page) a touching extract from a favourite book, Amid the High Hills by Hugh Fraser.  Those who love the highland hills will fully understand that. But let us move on to WW11.       My photo above show a row of 22 war graves in a beautiful, well cared for small cemetery near the Solway coast. All of the graves dated from mid-1942 until mid-1943, just twelve months.  These young men came from all over the Empire: 11 from Australia, 8 from Canada, 3 from New Zealand, 1 from Poland and 9 from Great Britain. They were all pilots, all between 21 and 23 years old.  They did not die in battle but in flying accidents all during that twelve-month period. The single headstone photo, left, is of  a young pilot of the Royal Canadian Air force.  But how and why did they die? They were flying from a makeshift grass airfield close to the Solway.  The training was for very low level flying over the sea. The aircraft were battle weary Hurricanes and a few ill-fated Hawker Tempests.  It was during the build up to D-Day that they were required to fly at very low levels over the sea, to a coastal beach target on the Isle of Man - practice for what would be needed for the D-Day invasion. The visibility was always bad throughout the winter of 1942/43 out over the Solway and many of those young pilots with little experience of this type of low level flying  misjudged the horizon and flew into the water at high speed. The same conditions caused many accidents on the landing approach to the airfield too. It was shortly to be abandoned for that reason. An old friend told me a story of the dangers of low flying over the sea. which helps us to understand what might have happened to these brave young men.    He was a Mosquito pilot on an intruder mission into the fjords of occupied Norway.  Out over

the North Sea skimming the water to avoid radar (visibility would have been difficult because of salt spray on the windscreen) he felt the aircraft suffer a big bump.Everything seemed to be OK and he continued the mission and returned safely back to his base in northern Scotland. On inspecting his aircraft for flack damage, he noticed that the propeller tips were bent FORWARD. He had in fact just touched the top of a wave. Giving some thought as to why the tips were bent FORWARD and not backwards he realised that of course they would be, because the engines were PULLING the aircraft.  (Watch the DVD of 633 Squadron).    Who has seen that new epic film  Dunkirk? Let us think of that defeat and the miracle evacuation of some 338,000 men for a moment.  As the words of Churchill indicated, “The battle of France is over, the Battle of Britain is about to begin.” The invasion of Great Britain was imminent. The implications of Nazi occupation were closely censored by the Government. There was a farming family in the midlands who had a relative who was the Matron of a Hospital in Kent.  Her letters to the family were always opened and checked for any reference to the London Blitz or  information from soldiers in the hospital back from Dunkirk. She would from time to time telephone instead of writing and tell of the horrors of what was happening and what the Nazi occupation would be like. We now know that this would have entailed the requisition of all farm land and factories. We know that Hitler’s plan was to establish a superior German race and so the menfolk would be sent to work camps and the women into brothels for the SS Officers. Any resulting children would be raised and  radicalised by the Nazis in baby farms. With this knowledge, this farming family made a resolve that if the invasion and occupation came, then they planned to take their own lives.  It was a close-run thing.  What would you have done?  This fact did not come to light until some years after the War. I was a schoolboy in that family!   “Let us never forget”. Old Nyati

Norwegian soldiers at the Manse, Balquhidder, c. 1944. Miss Macpherson, the school teacher at the time, is on the far right.

War and Peace in Balquhidder 1938 - 1946 In the manse and from a child’s point of view

Extract from Amid The High Hills by Hugh Fraser

My brother and I lived for long periods with our grandparents Rev Malcolm and Mrs Macleod as our parents were abroad until we went to boarding school at the age of 7 and 9 years. Although we knew we were in a dangerous war – that grown ups were listening to the “wireless” for news – that we had to observe the blackout and that a policeman came to fit us with gas masks (Papa smiling benevolently) we were little affected in comparison with the not too distant cities. But some families had sons or brothers in the forces and our aunt was in the ATS in the Middle East. Their names are on a brass plaque in the church porch. As electricity came relatively late to Balquhidder, coal and paraffin were the mainstays for heating and lighting. Miss Macpherson, the schoolteacher, organised country dancing on cold mornings to warm up the pupils before lessons. Sweets were in very short supply and food rationing was in force but we were not short of nourishing food having a barrel of Stornoway salted herring in the larder – (Balquhidder station was still open) hens in the outhouses and at one time a hive of bees. An itinerant gardener came to work seasonally and lived in the Manse – this was a good help within the large garden. Clock golf on the lawn was a recreation for some of the men working for the Forestry Commission at the time. Around 1943 – 44 a detachment of Norwegian soldiers were based at an army camp at Strathyre. Our Grandfather and their Padre were in contact resulting in a social occasion for a number of them at the Manse. It was an enjoyable day for everyone. The musician in the group was Cpl Håkon Hammer who gave us music from KAMPSANGER for Den Norske and the Norwegian National Anthem. At other times the Padre came with his two children for us to show around. Of course we went to church every Sunday – were diligent is saying our prayers and learning the parables. The war effort, for myself at any rate was knitting some simple items to be sent with others to the soldiers in Europe. An advantage of petrol rationing and fewer cars on the road was that we were able to roam about the village, visiting the local shop / Post Office, Kirkton Farm or my school friend at Auchtubh or wander into the Fairy Glen at the back of the church. All in all our “wartime” will always be remerbered only as a quiet time despite the relative proximity of the bombing in Glasgow and further south. We were very lucky to be in Balquhidder. So although those years were a time of WAR for much of the world for our family in Balquhidder it was a time of PEACE. Anne Gorrod, Cheshire 11

McLaren High School

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Inter-house Literary Quiz

On Friday 15 September S1-6 pupils and staff were invited to take part in our inter-house literary quiz. We had a fantastic turnout for this second whole school quiz event of the year, accumulating points for all houses simply by participating! Pupils answered questions about authors, famous opening lines of novels, book series, Shakespeare, famous book settings and autobiographies. We were delighted to see how well-read our pupils are!

McLaren Rugby – Central Schools Conference On Wednesday 20 September the S1, S2 and U16 McLaren High School rugby teams played against Wallace High School at home in the Central Schools Conference. All teams played some great rugby despite the weather. The S1 team faced a well organised and experienced Wallace team, and lost a tough game 9-3 but there were plenty of positives to take from the game. The S2 team played out a hard fought 9-9 draw with both teams playing at a high level right to the end. The McLaren under-16 team won their thrilling encounter 36-31. This was a great match that went right to the end, with McLaren taking the lead late in the game with Innes Huckerby sliding in the corner for a try. Both teams played excellent rugby in very wet conditions.   Well done to everyone, it was great to see over 50 boys representing the school. 12

Goodies for a good cause - a great effort for MacMillan!

Charity Event for MacMillan Cancer Care Friday 29 September saw our new S6 Charities Committee host their first event of this session - a bake sale in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care. Thanks to everyone who baked and bought for this great cause and well done to Leny who won at the end of the day by raising the most money. Congratulations to Kimberly Stevenson S4 who won the raffle for the Trainer Cake which was kindly donated by Mrs Norris, ASN staff. There was also face painting at interval with European flags being painted to tie in with European Day of Language. Thanks must also go to Mrs Cleary for helping organise the event and to Mr Clark for arranging a coffee morning for staff in the staff room at interval. The total raised during the day was £911.64. A great effort everyone, well done!

Above: Kimberley Stevenson - MacMillan Cake Raffle Winner; above right: enjoying the bake sale! Right: face painting

Eve at NASA

Ian ‘Budgie’ Martin Award This summer I was really grateful to receive the Ian ‘Budge’ Martin Award which allowed me to spend  2 weeks at  the  Texas  Medical  Centre, Houston, shadowing scientists, medical doctors  and  material scientists  where I saw the  application  of science to  clinical  practice. I stayed with the creator of the award, Dr Stuart Corr, a former pupil of the school, and his family. Spending the majority of my time at the Baylor College of Medicine, I worked in the labs, performing aseptic cell cultures and creating slides of a cancerous tumour. My  most memorable  experience was  shadowing  the  Chief  of Surgical Oncology at  the M.D Anderson Cancer Centre where I joined Dr Steven Curley on ward rounds within the hospital as well as visiting the high dependency cancer unit. While I was in Houston, I shared my experience with Medical Science students from Swansea University, making lifelong friends and memories, visiting NASA, going paddle boating in Hermann Park and seeing the amazing exhibitions at the Houston Natural Science Museum.  My 2 weeks in Houston allowed me to see the forefront of medical science and health care in America, opening my eyes to the makings of new scientific discoveries. I would like to thank Dr Corr for organising this trip as well as the Martin family for inspiring generations in the field of science.     Eve Scott S6 13

Memories... My great grandfather, William Dow, was the road cleaner for the area of Loch Earn and he did this job for thirty two years until his retirement  in approximately 1935. This wasn’t his first choice as a career as he had started work at Lochearnhead railway station. After working his way up the ladder and completing many menial duties along the way he finally was proudly promoted to a position in the booking office. One very hot summer’s day to ease his thirst William drank half a pint of beer at the village  pub but he was back at his desk when the station manager walked in, much to his relief! Unfortunately, the relief was short lived as the station manager smelled his breath and he was sacked immediately. To add to his considerable woes, and as if that wasn’t bad enough, an engagement to a bank manager’s daughter was instantly terminated. He was an educated man but found it impossible to find work that befitted him and we can only guess why this was but the demotion in social status was never forgotten or recovered from. Years later when he was in conversation with my grandmother he recalled the entire painful story again and she passed the tale on to me and the family, keeping William’s memory alive.     When he retired as the road cleaner the local paper praised his hard work and described the road along Loch Earn as being like a pristine avenue. He was presented with a pocket watch and it was in this year the pension trustees decided to reduce his pension by a shilling a week. Poor Willie Dow always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was often bad tempered but my gran said he had much to be bad tempered about.   William wrote for five newspapers: The Stirling Observer, Courier, Callander Advertiser, Oban Times and the Stornoway Gazette. The Gazette was the only paper to pay him and The Oban Times gave him five pounds at Christmas. Many of the articles  began “from our Lochearnhead  Correspondent“ which always made my grandparents smile as it would have done in the private bar of Mr Cameron’s at the Lochearnhead Hotel on a Friday night where Willie would call and have a dram.   My family has kept many of the old clippings and most are concerned with amateur dramatics - which all receive glowing reviews, with no criticism of any of the actors, who put in Oscar winning performances in every production staged in the area! My grandfather always had a part in them and I cannot believe they ran as smoothly as we are led to believe in his reviews. I have passed some of the articles over to The Villagers and people 14

may recognise local names from the past. These articles provide a very interesting insight into village life back then. One case was particularly interesting and involved the local policeman being kidnapped and tied up in1932 (see panel, right). Years later we would still talk about Constable Inglis to my grandfather, Andrew Dow, and he maintained that no one in the village knew who the culprit or culprits were - which we always found hard to believe. People in a close-knit community like Lochearnhead might have known but no one came forward with any names. The next policeman the village was allocated, according to my mother Marion, was a jolly, easy- going fiddle player. He probably turned a blind eye to bicycles without lamp lights and other minor misdemeanours so life could return to the normal humdrum routine.   Shortly after his retirement  when William was  taking a shortcut from the railway station he slipped and broke his leg. The doctor was called and he told William the leg would be strong enough to walk on after it had mended which it obviously wasn’t. Some months later he was taken to hospital where he never regained full use of the leg as the bone had not healed properly. For ten years, sadly, he was housebound at Lechine cottage until his death in1950 and he is buried  in Balquhidder  graveyard. The lowly road cleaner had recorded the village  life for a number of years  in a very eloquent, erudite way. I hope Lochearnhead  residents will enjoy reading them, finding some informative treasures, including the mass brawl after the tug of war competition.   If anyone knows anything more about Constable Inglis - or the mystery surrounding his kidnap - it would be good to hear from you. (Ed: Hope people enjoy reading the extract from the paper which we have included here; we’d be happy to include any further tales.)

Revelations in Balquhidder Outrage Vengeance Theory Of Attack On Constable Fancied wrongs and a thirst for vengeance are believed to have inspired an outrage on Constable William Inglis, Lochearnhead. In the dead of night, he was thrown from his bicycle, knocked unconscious, gagged, bound and handcuffed to a telegraph pole, and left to his fate on the road between Balquhidder and Lochearnhead. Perthshire police have been conducting an exhaustive investigation and have now narrowed their inquiries and are following certain definite clues. There can be no doubt that the attack was committed by men from the neighbourhood. The constable had previously been threatened in anonymous letters. These were not taken seriously for anonymous letters are not an unknown form of vendetta in this scattered district. Besides the constable had made himself very popular with most of the people in the district. A fine athlete he had entered enthusiastically into the sporting life of the village. He has played in the football team and has been ready to participate in any events which were going forward. His assailants, however, had made it clear that the hands which struck him down, then bound his helpless body to the pole were the same as penned the letters. They completed their dastardly work by hanging round his neck with a piece of string a message which read: “Mind your own business, and hell mend you if you never get over this”.

Leave the Lanterns at Home this Bonfire Night! Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park appeals to the public and local businesses to avoid using sky lanterns as bonfire night approaches. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs

National Park Authority and National Farmers Union, Scotland (NFU Scotland) have joined forces to ask members of the public and local businesses to avoid using sky lanterns, sometimes known as Chinese lanterns, during bonfire celebrations and at any other event throughout the year. The lanterns, which are constructed from paper with a wire or wooden frame and contain a lit candle, are a proven fire risk and can be a danger to wildlife, forests and livestock. The lanterns are a considerable health risk to animals as if the frame is ingested it can cause serious harm or even death. In recent years there have also been reports of the lanterns starting fires and damaging property across the UK. Simon Jones, Director of Conservation and Visitor Operations at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said: “Bonfire night is a much loved tradition and whilst we want everyone to have a fun and safe time; we would ask the public, local businesses and event organisers to consider the detrimental impact lanterns can have to the environment. Sky lanterns can seem like an innocent way to celebrate special occasions but unfortunately they can cause unintentional damage as there is no control over where they land. We want everyone to enjoy the celebrations but it is important to highlight the dangers surrounding these items as many people

Paper lanterns - a potential fire risk

may not be aware of the potential harm lanterns can cause to local wildlife and the environment.” Penny Middleton, NFU Scotland Animal Health and Welfare Manager said: “Across the UK, there have been many reports now of fires started by lanterns and harm to the health of livestock when lanterns have landed in farmers’ fields and have been eaten. There is a further risk to stock when grass is cut and used for winter feed, and the wire is chopped up and subsequently contained in hay or silage. We applaud Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority, along with the fifteen local authorities in Scotland that have taken action against sky lanterns, and we would look to other local authorities to follow their lead and take their responsibilities as seriously.” The Park Authority has also written to local businesses in the area, asking them to avoid using lanterns at events held on their land.

We are well into our new year since our AGM in August and to date have recruited 50 new members who have been offered over 30 interesting groups to attend, two of which are new for this year; ‘Appreciation of Antiques’ and ‘Armchair Astronomy’. A party has been organised to celebrate 5 years of C&WP U3A and this will take place on 30th November at Callander Golf Club – an evening of fun and dancing with the Riverside Ceilidh Band, supper and a quiz. Tickets are still available from committee members. An open meeting will be held on Saturday 4th November from 10.00am till 12noon at the Fire Station in Geisher Road, Callander, when a member of Stirling Citizens Advice Bureau will speak about the organisation and how to train as an adviser. Interested in joining us? Please Google our website ‘Callander and West Perthshire U3A’ where you will find details of all our courses, timetables and enrolment forms. 15

The Twenty-Seventh Parish Golf Thrash 2017 Thirty one golfers from the Three Villages set off on the 16th October, for the Twenty-Seventh Parish Golf competition. This year was a new venue for the Tournament - Alloa’s Shawpark Golf Club - which proved to be a stunning course, and in good nick considering the weather and time of year.

turn in a group of four, and that players score is put on the card. If the ball is lost that’s the end, as it cannot be replaced. The team with the highest score after the 18 holes is the winner. This year the prize went to Team 1: Jamie Smith, Scott Smith, Andy Cousins and Adrian Wilbert - with a score of 26 points. Other prizes include the ‘Glorious Twos’, this being for a player who sinks a ball in two shots. This year there were three: husband and wife team Mike and Once again the weather gods were Ali Calder both had twos, and Kenny smiling on us, as the day before and Smith had the third. the day after were shockers. We were The Over Sixties, which is now blessed with some sun and some watery becoming quite a large group, was won clouds; it was fortunately dry, but windy, by Tony Barnard, who would have won making for some tricky play. Play was of the over Seventies if there was such a a reasonably high standard. It was good group. to see two or three younger players The winner this year was Jamie Smith coming through the ranks and taking on 37 points, who wins the Gary Smith good positions in the results. memorial trophy, and the booby prize The first of these results is probably on a score of 15 was picked up by Roger the least wanted - and a very nervous Sharp, who wins the coveted loo seat, one to play for as it is the ‘Worst Drive’ on with a few others nipping his heels. the first hole. This was won by Neil Ross Our most important prize is the man in who had both the worst and the second the middle - it’s on this score that the worst drive! computer works out all the scores for On the same hole (which Neil was the following year and this year it was obviously not going to win), ‘Nearest the won by Mike Calder on 26 points. Pin’ in two, it took me four shots to get All prizes were as follows: as close as Scott Smith did in two. Well Nearest the Pin in Two Scott Smith done Scott - approximately 18 inches Most Fives Kenny Smith (5) from the pin. Needless to say, he scored Worst Drive Neil Ross a birdie on the first. Hamish Cameron Longest Drive The next trophy is the ‘Longest Drive’ Nearest the Pin in One Ali Calder for the big hitters: the ball must land on Glorious Two Mike Calder the correct fairway and not the rough. Ali Calder This was made particularly hard as we Kenny Smith were driving into the eye of the wind. Midway Man Mike Calder The winner with a fairly impressive drive Best Front Nine Jamie Smith without the hindrance of wind was Best over 60 Tony Barnard Hamish Cameron. Lowest Gross Graham Courtney On the seventh hole we have the Booby Prize Roger Sharp ‘Nearest the Pin in One’, a lovely but tricky 162-yard hole surrounded by 5th Scott Smith 29 points trouble. This was won by our first lady 4th Dave Fairbairn 30 points 3rd Martin Sanders 33 points competitor Ali Calder. Unusually for golf we have a team 2nd Hamish Cameron 36 points ball. The ball is played by each player in 1st Jamie Smith 37 points Finally, a major thank you to all those who turn up and make the day such a success: Alloa Golf Club for allowing us to play on their course and for feeding us; Graham Courtney for the use of one of his buses and Davie Allan for kindly driving it for us - and allowing us a wee beer stop on the way home; Graham and Kenny who are a massive help in calculating the scores and working out the results. And lastly to Graham Galloway for not being too outrageous after his big night the night before! Hopefully see you all again next year. Golf well!

A. Hacker


Roger Sharp and his coveted award!

Do you need an affordable home? Rural Stirling Housing Association aims to support local communities by providing quality homes at affordable rents for families, couples and single people in housing need. We currently have over 560 rented houses and flats. Around 40 of these become available for rent each year. We are in the process of building a further 23 flats in Callander and currently have properties in the following communities: Aberfoyle Deanston Gartmore Lochearnhead Balfron Doune Killin Strathblane Buchlyvie Drymen Kinlochard Strathyre Callander Gargunnock Kippen Stronachlachar Tyndrum We may be able to build in other communities in the future – please let us know 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:

SEEING STARS by Keith Wilson 

NOVEMBER 2017 A delight in the eastern night sky for you to observe this month is the very distinctive cluster of stars known as the Pleiades, more popularly known as the ‘Seven Sisters’. Historically, the Pleiades have served as a calendar for many civilisations. The Greek name “Pleiades” probably means “to sail.” In the ancient Mediterranean world, the day that the Pleaides cluster first appeared in the morning sky before sunrise announced the opening of the navigation season. What at first sight appears as a misty patch is revealed to be a group of six or seven individual stars and if your eyesight is excellent you might make out even more stars. You need your eyes to be darkadapted for at least thirty minutes for the best chance of spotting more than seven Pleaides stars. With binoculars this star cluster is probably the finest object to look at in the night sky. You will find this tiny star cluster above and to the right of the constellation Orion not far from the bright star Aldebaran which in Arabic means ‘follower’ and is thought to be in reference to this star forever chasing the Pleiades across the sky. The Pleiades look like a squashed version of the Plough or Big Dipper which can been seen in the north part of the sky. The stars of this cluster are young and blue-white in colour and are surrounded by gas and dust.




Th u o Y See


I would like to start by thanking the communities for their increased vigilance in response to thefts reported in last month’s Villagers. We have had no further reports of thefts in the local areas, but we have had a number of calls and emails from local residents advising us of people and vehicles that rose their suspicion. We are currently investigating a report of an assault which occurred in the early hours of the 13th October in Balquhidder. Enquiries are still ongoing, but there are positive lines of enquiry be followed.  A male has been charged with Careless Driving following an incident in Balquhidder on the 13th October. A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal outlining the circumstances.  A male was charged with Careless Driving as a result of a collision on Main Street, Strathyre, which took place on the 21st October.   Road Safety Now that Autumn is upon us, and Winter is fast approaching, can I ask everyone to check their vehicles to ensure roadworthiness and take care whilst out and about on the roads? There has been a number of minor collisions as a result of not driving to the conditions of the road, and given the volume of traffic and vehicle speeds, there is always a chance of serious injury or worse. Leaf litter and debris, and surface water all increase the braking distances required, so slow down and think ahead.  Check your vehicle to ensure that there are no obvious defects, and if there are have them rectified as soon as possible. The main things to check include lights, tyres, wipers and washers. If you are unsure how to check yourself, many garages offer vehicle health checks, and some of them are free of charge! Most of the defects that we find will be dealt with by means of a 21-day rectification slip; however, there is every chance that depending on what is defective and whether you have been caught before, there could be a fine and penalty points issued. Considering that the minimum fine amount for a fixed penalty is now £100, it could be rather costly if you are found with defective lights or tyres.   It can also be rather costly if you were to find yourself involved in a collision. If we were to find that your vehicle was suffering a defect, you could be put to blame for the collision which would have an impact on your insurance.   Public Events  This month, we have been notified about a change to the way some public events will now be managed in Scotland. Given the different processes that were in operation across the legacy forces prior to the inception of Police Scotland, we have


now been given one set of instructions that will now operate across the whole country. In short, for any event that requires an element of traffic control or restriction, no matter for how short a time, the organiser(s) now have an obligation to contact the relevant roads authority. In this area, that will either be Stirling Council Roads Department if it is local roads; or if it relates to the A84 or A85 then it will be Bear Scotland.   When contacting the roads authority, the organisers simply need to advise them of the event and what sort of traffic control or restriction is required. The roads authority will then issue a TTRO (Temporary Traffic Regulation Order) which will permit the event organisers to control traffic. Anyone attempting to stop or restrict traffic without this being in place may be committing an offence.  Once contact has been made with the roads authority, they will make contact with the Police to discuss the event and the requirements for traffic control. Given the work required and the number of events that take place, I would strongly suggest making early contact with the roads authorities in plenty of time to allow the matter to be considered. Failure to give enough notice may lead to permission being denied to host the events. If there are any queries, please get in touch.   As always, I can always be contacted on 101 or for those who prefer email, I can be contacted directly at  william.diamond@     Finally, as this will be the last issue before the festive period, I would like to thank you all for your continued support and assistance over the past few years. It has been invaluable and makes my job that little bit easier. I hope you all have time to enjoy the festive period with family and friends and I wish you all the best for 2018. Stay safe!   Regards,

PC Will Diamond

Callander Rambling Club Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on ramblers.htm in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: November • Wed 1 Nov 09:30 Hill: Norman’s Law (from Luthrie) (285m) Contact 01786 825877 • Wed 8 Nov 09:30 Ramble: A Birnam Loop (11miles) Contact 07785 703124 • Sat 25 Nov 09:30 Stroll: a Brackland Circuit (5miles) Contact 01877 339024 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.

Scottish Wildlife Trust Talk

  Tuesday 14th November   From Glen to Summit: the Wildlife of Glencoe  by Dan Watson National Trust for Scotland Meet at 7:30pm in Callander Kirk Hall South Church Street Callander FK17 8BN £2 members £2.50 non-members free to students

Dear Resident

Here is the latest information I have available regarding the C60 service. Two people have come forward interested in taking the course to train as drivers. This requires successful completion of the Passenger Carrying vehicle (PCV) course. Should the course be successfully completed they will be awarded with the appropriate licence and be able to drive a bus. It must be stressed that people can decide not to proceed or subsequently decide that this career path is not for them. However, we wish them the very best and it is very encouraging that they have come forward. In addition, an existing driver who was due to retire in December has indicated they are willing to stay on until the end of March 2018. The efforts of Kingshouse Travel to secure additional drivers should be acknowledged and I would add my thanks to them for working to try to secure a future for the C60. Should the existing provision not be viable after the end of March next year I would expect the Local Authority to issue tender documents to secure a replacement provider. This may be a complex process with a number of potential outcomes, but it appears there is now at the very least more time to find a sustainable solution. Of course, Kingshouse may well be able to continue and this may not be necessary. I am still very keen that there are serious efforts made to improve the route and include Crianlarich and Tyndrum. Should any new contract be required this would be an opportunity to include such an enhancement. I am also aware of an exercise to introduce a service on a trial basis that runs on two Saturdays per month from Tyndrum through to Stirling. This would operate for an initial set period and tender documents are being prepared by the Local Authority. In last year’s budget there was some additional budget included for rural transport and I welcome the foresight of that move that is allowing this project to be progressed. I will keep you updated as any further information becomes available. Sincerely, Stephen Kerr Member of Parliament for Stirling


Kasia’s Cookin’ Balquhidder Community Broadband Project are looking for a

Project Officer to help with the delivery by community volunteers of local fibre broadband network in Balquhidder. The post is being funded jointly by Stirling Council and Leader.

The Very Best Apple Dessert Cake This is Mary Berry’s recipe, very easy to make and the cake is moist and full of flavour. Can be served with ice cream or crème fraîche. Enjoy it this Autumn! Ingredients: 225g self-raising flour 1 level tsp baking powder 225g caster sugar 2 large eggs ½ tsp almond extract 150g butter, melted 250g cooking apples, peeled and cored 25g flaked almonds Instructions: 1. Preheat the oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Lightly grease a deep 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. 2. Measure the flour, baking powder, sugar, eggs, almond extract and melted butter into a bowl. Mix well until blended, then beat for a minute. 3. Spread half this mixture in the prepared tin. Thickly slice the apples and lay on top of the mixture in the tin, piling mostly towards the centre. Using two dessert spoons, roughly spoon the remaining mixture over the apples. This is an awkward thing to do, but just make sure that the mixture covers the centre well as it will spread out in the oven. 4. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds. 5. Bake in the preheated oven for 1¼1½ hours or until skewer comes out dry when inserted into the middle of the cake. 6. Best made to serve warm but can be made the day before. And, once cooked and cold, you can wrap and freeze it for a maximum of 3 months. Enjoy! Kasia Sujanova


Post Title: Project Officer – Balquhidder Community Broadband CIC. Services Contract: £30,000. Duration: Funded for a period of approximately 250 days over a 12 month period at a daily rate of £120. Travel or subsistence expenses will not be paid. Reporting to: David Johnston, Director, Balquhidder Community Broadband CIC. Job Share: The contract would be suitable for job share positions. Potential Start Date: Monday 8 January 2018 or earlier by arrangement. For further information contact To apply submit CV by – Friday 24 November 2017.

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

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

David Johnston Production Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Darts League - The Inn & Bistro - 7.00pm Choir Occasional - Balquhidder Village Hall - 7.30 to 9pm - from 21st onwards (Contact Gill Waugh 01877 384203)


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



Crafternoons Strathyre - see p. 17


Whisky Tasting, Strathyre - see p.15


Thornhill Players Balquhidder - see p.17


Strathyre Christmas Market - see p.2


AGM BLS Trust - see p. 2


AGM Balquhidder Village Hall - see p. 2

Stephen Kerr MP 49 Borestone Cres, Stirling FK7 9BQ 01786 475034 Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 Councillor Evelyn Tweed Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling, FK8 2ET 01786 233101 Councillor Jeremy McDonald Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling, FK8 2ET 01786 233117

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

Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316

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

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

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

A reflective time to discuss contemporary issues in a spiritual context

(Check with Rector for venue: 01764 655389)

Vestry Secretary - Maureen Lipscomb Tel: 01567 830234



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



BrainTeaser: 3+3=6 Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: Published by The BLS Newspaper Association


Scottish Aeromodellers return to Lochearnhead

On behalf of all the waterplane fliers I would like to thank Gus and Ollie Cameron for allowing us back onto the loch. To give you a little insight to our hobby, the waterplane fliers you see on the loch are from all over Scotland and the north of England and they belong to different clubs around the country. Each flier has to have a bronze or silver certification and insurance to say he/she is safe to fly. The bronze certificate allows the flier to fly by himself at his own club and other clubs without an instructor. The silver certificate allows the pilot to fly at public paying events and competitions. Loch Earn is a SAA club event and therefore we allow bronze and silver pilots. Learners will have a silver pilot with them to take over if necessary. The wide variety of models you see on the foreshore are mainly built from a mixture of balsa, ply and depron. Some of the models are scale and built from plans, some are own designs and some are almost ready to fly models from china and Vietnam. There is a wide variety of radios but they all operate either on 2.4ghz or 35mhz but most are on 2.4ghz. 7 As soon as Gus phoned me to say that we could come back to Loch Earn, I contacted all the waterplane fliers on my email address and within the hour the replies were coming in fast and furious to say that they would be there for the weekend 7/8th October. I arrived on the Saturday morning with the safety boat and there were ten caravans on site. During the weekend we had 35 fliers and 60 aircraft on the beach. Next year we would like Loch Earn to be our Scottish Waterplane Venue and have 3 events during the year, April, June and October. This will of course be confirmed at a later date due to all the other events that take place in the model flying world. Colin MacLean Contest Director

Above: The aeromodellers proudly display their craft on the banks of Loch Earn. Below: Those magnificent men and their flying machines... and Colin and Caroline Simpson presenting Ollie with a cheque raised by the flyers to go towards the Kids’ Xmas party.

The Villagers November 2017  

Three Sisters Make History on the BLiSS art trail, collaboration with Perth College UHI art students Miami Mohsin, Shayna McLean and Amy But...

The Villagers November 2017  

Three Sisters Make History on the BLiSS art trail, collaboration with Perth College UHI art students Miami Mohsin, Shayna McLean and Amy But...