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The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

Lochearnhead Village Hall - 25 Years!

With an ever-decreasing Stirling Council maintenance grant, it is essential for the hall at Lochearnhead to regularly hold fundraising events, which in the past years have included New Year dances, fun race-nights, the Village Fête and, most recently, its 25th Anniversary celebration. The Anniversary event was extremely well attended and brought many people together - either from the village or further afield - visitors with a connection to our village. All enjoyed the ‘craic’ over a cup of tea and delicious home-baked cakes. A photographic display prompted many happy memories of events such as weddings, parties and school shows. It included photos of events and places within our community which have helped to shape and influence the village: the railway, water-skiing, the Highland Games, Sheep Shearing and touristrelated businesses. History of the Hall The Findlater sisters, born in the 1860s, were daughters of the Minister of the Free Church and lived at Mansewood until 1886. At that time their mother, Mrs Findlater, concerned herself to a great extent with the welfare in body, mind and spirit of the people of Lochearnhead. She inaugurated a coffee house and library in the village hall and did much to eliminate drinking habits from the neighbourhood! On the departure of the Findlater sisters, the hall was left in the charge of Charlotte Stewart and everything was done possible to make possible the continuance of Mrs Findlater’s good works in various directions, continuing we hope to this day. On researching the history of the hall, other interesting snippets from the 1940s Committee minutes include the hall being occupied by troops and the Home Guard for

twenty-four hours in April 194. For this they were charged the grand total of £1! Actor David McCallum (famous for his role as Illya Kuryakin, a Russian-born secret agent in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) was evacuated to the Hall during the war. In March 1950, the Committee appointed Mr and Mrs R Mitchell as caretakers, and they then lived in accommodation adjoining the hall for three years, with a weekly coal allowance. Skimming through the minutes over the years revealed several problems like flooding and repairs; various items of equipment were bought ranging from a record player in 1955 costing £55 to an overhead projector in 2013, costing £293.47. Sadly, in the 1980s, the old hall fell into such disrepair that it was decided to raise the funds for a new one, and this was completed in 1988. With a hard-working and entirely voluntary Committee plus numerous helpers, the hall continues today as a venue for many groups including the School, Keep Fit, Community and Stirling Councils, Youth Club, Upholstery, Playgroup, Horticultural Society, Ballroom Dancing, Scottish Slimmers, The Gathering, Duke of Edinburgh groups, Mountain Rescue, a Swedish Brass Band and the Scouts. May I take this opportunity to thank all those who helped in any way to make the Anniversary such an active and social event and for contributing towards the tremendous total of £718. It was also fabulous to have such a great attendance in the evening for the return of Shakie and The Buick 55s. The hall was positively rocking (and it was lovely to see ‘Ernie’ find such a good home)!

At the risk of sounding like a stuck gramophone record, our village hall’s future depends on willing and innovative individuals who can devote their time and energies to its running and maintenance. At the moment, we do have a very good working group, but somewhat worrying is the fact that we have only one Committee member under the age of half a century. We need younger voices with new ideas - and the energy to come along and help us carry them out. Don’t be shy, come forward and volunteer.

Editor’s Bit I do like it when something a little more controversial appears in the inbox and Pin Feathers has certainly supplied that this month! Old Nyati has dared me to print it - so find his piece and see if you agree/disagree with his points of view. Feel free to send in your comments for next month’s edition! I also would welcome more feedback on what people enjoy and, perhaps more importantly, feel we need to change, have more of, or less of, each month. One idea I had was to have a ‘book corner’ where anyone could recommend something they had enjoyed or felt was particularly worth reading. I’ve just finished The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared and thought it was a really quirky and enjoyable read, which made me laugh out loud at times - but also was thought provoking; very well written and constructed. Visiting our library van (a great asset that we need to use and keep) I was pleased to find someone else who had just finished the same book and shared my enthusiasm for it - so, for what it is worth, that is our ‘Book of the Month’. Over to you for next month’s suggestion! JJ

Killin Community Choir We are holding a

‘Harvest Concert and Supper’

on Friday 25th October at 7.30pm in the Parish Church of Killin and Ardeonaig. This will be followed at 8.45pm with a supper in the Lesser Hall. Tickets are available from choir members and from ‘The Studio’. Adults - £15.00 for the concert & supper Concert only £7.00 Children - Concert is free and £6.00 for supper (Please bring your own drinks)

Christmas Workshop

with Clare

Saturday November 16th 10 – 4pm, at Balquhidder Hall Come and make something special! Festive Bunting and/or an Advent Calendar/Wall-hanging

Abbey’s Pilates tasters 7th 21st and 23rd October

If you’d like to try Pilates before committing to a 6 week block I will be running taster sessions in Balquhidder Village Hall at the following times: Monday 7th October (6.30 – 7.30pm) Monday 21st October (6.30pm – 7.30pm) Wednesday 23rd October (11.15am – 12.15pm) Cost will be £6 and booking in advance is essential as class sizes will be limited to 8. You will need to bring an exercise mat with you.

New Metafit & Circuit Class has started in Strathyre Village Hall on Thursay nights! Circuit Class is from 7.15-8pm & Metafit Class is from 8-8.45pm £20 (for a 4-week block) or for both classes, £30 (for a 4-week block)

Everyone can do Pilates – you do not need to be fit, strong, flexible or agile. All age groups are encouraged. Men and women in my current practice groups are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 70s and are already feeling the benefit of improved posture and core strengthening after just a few classes.

For more information or to book a place on a taster session call me on 07766 640 7578 or email





7 Programmes and adjustable incline

£360.00 when new accept £75.00 ONO MATTHEW DUNCAN

01567 830380

Dundurn’s Tearoom & Restaurant at St Fillans Golf Club. Open 7 days, from 9am to 5pm April to October inclusive

g You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy lunch or afternoon tea in the delightful surroundings of Dundurn’s Tearoom and Restaurant at St Fillans Golf Club. g  Choose from a wide selection of hot and cold dishes - and our home-baked cakes, pastries and biscuits... followed by a choice of select teas or coffees. g  We are on the south Loch Earn Road, 300 metres past the road bridge in St Fillans.

13 BER 20 O T C O 4 28TH FROM OF 201 D G E N S I R O CL EN SP RE OP

The St Fillans Bit A few months ago I reported on the probable demise of the St Fillans Carpet Bowling Club due to falling membership. So I’m very pleased to be able to confirm that, following the recent Open Day at The Sandison Hall where various clubs or groups promoted their activities, that considerable interest was shown in the bowling and that bowling nights will recommence at The Sandison Hall on Monday 14th October at 7 p.m. and every Monday thereafter over the winter – all welcome. At the same open day there was renewed interest in the drama group – The St Fillans Players – which has been inactive for a couple of years, again due to falling membership, and is sadly missed. Cathy Moncrieff is now hopeful that the group will be resurrected and is working to that end. Worth mentioning that the Country Dancing group restart their jigging on Tuesday 15th October at The Sandison and all are welcome. There will be a ‘beginners’ session at 6.30pm followed by the serious ‘loupers and hollerers’ at 7 pm – all welcome. My best update on The Drummond Hotel saga, at the time of writing, follows a chance meeting with a manager from Arran Brewers outside the hotel a week ago. He was able to confirm that, following the closing date of offers for the hotel they, Arran Brewers were the ‘preferred bidder’ and that they are continuing negotiations with the Clydesdale Bank with a view to hopefully taking possession of the building on 30th October. The intent is to press ahead with external repairs straight away and the refurbishment of the bar/restaurant with a view to being open for business next Spring. Thereafter the rooms would be refurbished to allow the hotel to reopen for full business. They further intend to open a microbrewery on the site which must be a big positive for the village. I gather that planning permission for said brewery is not a rubber stamp job due to various water supply/effluent considerations but I think that most of us will hope that any problems can be overcome and we can welcome the rebirth of The Drummond. But if you can’t wait for that, Mary at The Four Seasons tells me of a busy autumn with new menus with a more ‘gamey’ theme (partridge, venison, pheasant and pigeon) which sounds enticing. Add in Chocolate week from 14th October, the first Wine Tasting event on 15th November with French Head Chef Didier designing a menu to match each of five chosen wine regions, then the St Andrews Wine & Whisky weekend on 29/30 November hosted by Richard Meadows from Great Grog in Edinburgh. Hats off to Andrew and Mary for offering such varied attractions. Many folk will know of my dire proclivity for buying gadgets which it seems from the advertising that I can’t live without but which go into a cupboard after a week then onto eBay 6 months later. Some, very few, of these thingies have actually worked and I have passed on positive feedback about them through this column and I’ve been rewarded by folk ringing me for more information. So, this month, my tip for senior citizens – go buy a cordless Dyson Digital Slim vacuum cleaner! Some weeks ago, whilst my good lady was off on one of her many jaunts to London, I had cause to use our vacuum cleaner (not a common recreational activity for me) and was astonished at just how heavy it

Mr Murray ‘putting the freshness back’

was. It’s a fact that as we age everything gets heavier and distances get further and if there are any ways of making life easier I’m all for them. I saw this vacuum device on TV and assumed that I was getting sucked in again (sorry for the Richard Steventon type pun)) but, despite Daisy Mae’s protestations that I was throwing money away I bought one. Brilliant. Just hangs on the wall, lift it off, weighs very little, sucks like a ‘real’ vacuum cleaner, no cords, no hassle. Daisy Mae now loves it and agrees that it’s our best buy for years. It’s expensive but it makes life so much easier for us ‘old Yuns’. No – I’m not a Dyson rep and there are other lightweight vacs out there but this thing just works. Continued overleaf


The St Fillans Bit (Continued from Page 3) I’m happy now to hand over the rest of this column to Eric Kennelly who writes:There cannot be too many of us in this village who have not had a family member or friend suffer from cancer and Lorna and Frances are no exceptions. About a year ago and late one evening with ‘drink taken’ the two intrepid ladies (hereinafter known as Lorna/Eagle 1 and Frances/Eagle 2) decided they would do a skydive and raise money for the fight against cancer. After speaking with local guru and Allan Milne it was decided that the venue would be Langar Airfield, home of the British Parachute School and the biggest commercial parachute operation in the country. With a permanent staff of ten instructors, another twenty part timers, their own aircraft and pilots, this highly professional organisation log around forty thousand jumps per year.     Eagles 1 and 2 put their heads together and, after much thought, decided that money raised would go to the Maggie Centre at Ninewells Hospital Dundee. Johnston Brown set up the sponsorship arrangements. The Eagles chose 4th September as D-Day as this was their wedding anniversary date.    Our heroines and spouses set off from St Fillans and met up at Langar at 10am on the Big Day. Eagle 1 admits to having  a very restless night and wakening with  mixed emotions.  Langar was buzzing with activity. The Red Devils, the Para Regt Display team were in attendance doing sponsored skydives for Help the Heroes and other charities. The Fledglings  were kept busy watching the jumpers moving off to the aircraft, a Caravan able to lift sixteen jumpers, and noting carefully the landings taking place not more than thirty metres away. After viewing a training DVD and attending formal briefings it was time to kit up.   The Big moment was drawing near. After posing for photographs, and with cheers and shouts of encouragement ringing out, Eagle 1 with instructor, local lad Alister Milne and Eagle 2 with her instructor Milko walked out to the aircraft. Allan Milne had very kindly agreed to make his time available to perform the role of official photographer, motivator and mentor. We were all surprised at just how calm the two Eagles looked.   Final instructions, final checks and away. Some twenty minutes later the aircraft ran in over the drop zone at 13,500 feet and the jumpers exited. Both Eagles later admitted that leaving the aircraft was without doubt the most frightening thing they have ever done in their lives. Allan was tucked in close and opposite the Ali/Eagle 1 combination filming them 4

Above: Teams ‘Eagle 1’ and ‘Eagle 2’ before the off; right: Frances with Milko; bottom: Lorna and Alister

during the 50 second freefall and again after the canopy had deployed during the approach to landing.    Now you may be wondering why our two heroines were named the Eagles. The US Army has an airborne division known as the Screaming Eagles. This fine body of men would be hard pressed to compete with the screams of excitement and joy that could be heard coming from especially Eagle 1 as they approached the ground. When at 2000 feet above the ground we could clearly hear  the yells of delight (at the fact that the parachute has opened??).    The Eagles had landed, faultlessly executed by the twoinstructors. The joy and sense of achievement was there to be seen. The family and friends who had gathered to support our magnificent ladies escorted them to an awaiting feast, a sumptuous picnic laid on by Allan’s  wife Jean and what a spread it was. Jean pulled out all the stops feeding at least twenty hungry souls.   Our thanks for the massive support. To date we have raised £1380 and the books are still open . If you wish to contribute please do so by  clicking on: I’m not sure how the ladies plucked up courage to carry out these jumps, I couldn’t. I get dizzy on a step ladder. In passing I should say that a couple of villagers who do not donate to the various charity fund raisers held in St F and promoted through this column have mentioned that many folk make regular fixed donations to their chosen charities and prefer to do this as opposed to one off fund raisers so their names don’t appear on donor sheets but they support charities just the same. John Murray

Strathyre News

Just a follow up to Kenny Higgins article in last months edition where he explained what had been happening to the exterior of the Ben Shean. I think we can all agree at the disgust we felt with what happened here even though the legal route was being followed. It showed a total disregard for the people of Strathyre who would have to live with this monstrosity on the main street and bang in the middle to boot! I took a picture of the pavement in front of the entrance and you can see, though not very clearly, how

unprofessional and untidy these workers were and I make NO apology for that statement. In fact, if it had not been for the intervention of one local they would have probably have caused more damage than they were trying to avoid as they were using large nails to secure the boards to the window instead of screws, and it had to be pointed out that there was a strong possibility that the glass would shatter! However what’s done is done, but once again the people of Strathyre rally to the aid of this village that they love so dearly and, after a few inquiries as to the legality of what could be done to improve the

situation, they very quickly got themselves organised and a group set out to improve the front and side of the building which basically consisted of painting the awful looking boards to blend in with the rest of the buildings paint work. That in itself made a huge difference but then some very bright spark thought that it would look even better if the boards could look like old style shutters. Enter our very own local artist Bob Tindal, and without as much as a quibble off he went

and created the perfect effect that was required to complete the makeover. It tickled me to see him working away with his wee hat on and spending many hours in the process but well done Bob, you have done a wonderful job and the people of Strathyre thank you very much as indeed they thank all who gave their time and had the presence of mind to redress the balance and make the Ben presentable again. Here`s hoping that a new owner will be Wullie D found soon.

Real Ale - Real Music

Ever fancied a day out on the bike??,then don’t go with Ewen Todd or Chris Shrimpling unless you are up for some VERY serious cycling. These two local lads have completed what must be one of the most difficult challenges in Scotland in the name of good causes. The challenge in question being Bealach Beag which is a route that goes from Sheildaig to Tornapress (Applecross) and covers a distance of 43 miles and a climb of 6441ft. If you know this route, and I do (but by car) then you will know that the ascent of the mountain is so steep that the loose change fall out of your pocket and I just can`t imagine what it would be like to tackle such a climb after already cycling from Shieldaig. I interviewed Ewen and he gave me some insight as to what went on and the pain that was endured, no doubt by Chris as well, but it is to their credit that they completed this awesome task. It would seem that the riders are followed by what is known as “the broom bus” which is a vehicle which will pick up and disqualify any rider who cannot keep up a speed of over 10.90mph at all times, something which both lads managed with ease. The weather (as always) was not on their side and most of the course meant cycling into very strong headwinds but all said and done they returned very respectable times with Chris recorded at 3-57-01 and Ewen at 4-20.27.out of some 250 - 300 riders. This is a race that attracts all age groups with the youngest being a mere 16 year old and the oldest at, would you believe, 73 years young!!!!! As I said this was for good causes and any money  raised will go to The Saturday Cafe and our local Play Group. I am not sure yet the total amounts raised by both lads but Ewen expects his sponsors to have contributed somewhere in the region £700+ but only if all pay up, so if you have sponsored any of the lads please get your money to them ASAP as they most definitely deserve it. (Continued overleaf)


Continued from page 5

Ewen has asked me to pass on some thank-yous and his first port of call is to the people of Applecross and surrounding district for their support and the vital food supplies that were distributed throughout the race, to all the local people who generously gave their support, and a special thanks to the bar tender who poured the much need and well deserved pint at the finish. If anyone would still like to donate to the above charities or find out more about what they do please feel free to contact Ewen at any time.   If all that was not enough, two weeks later they were off again on a 51mile Five Ferry Challenge on Scotland’s West Coast!   As I said, don’t go near these guys for a day on the bike!

The Railway

New Railway Opens!

I was intrigued when Jan and I were invited to the opening ceremony of “STRATHYRE RAILWAY”     given how long it has been closed but nevertheless delighted to take up the invitation from Kenny Higgins (of Balvaig fame) and his family. It turns out that Kenny has been constructing a working model railway at the back of his house and what a fantastic set up he has created. I say  Kenny but what I really mean is Kenny and a small army of helpers consisting mostly of his family and also that of his nearby neighbour Martin Trainer. Martin built a replica of the old station in its heyday and incorporated it into the railway setting. It all looks fantastic and an awful lot of thought and hard work has gone into this wonderful piece of art and history of a lost era in Strathyre Nothing has been spared and although the engines are of the old style, modern technology has intervened to make this something special, with lights, sound effects, bridges waterfalls, chairlifts, fireboat that squirts water  [especially when you are not expecting it] and is moored in its own loch, signals, goods carriages and passenger carriages, in fact everything you would expect to see at a real station. There is even a CCTV camera set up so you can watch it all happen in the comfort of the lounge. Check the photo and ask yourself if you ever thought you would see a train passing a sign saying STRATHYRE. Congratulations to Kenny, Martin and all concerned in the making of this and I’m sure a wee mention of Barbara would 6

Martin performing the Opening Ceremony

Martin and Kenny

not go a miss as I know she would be very much involved in this ‘boy’s toy’. Thank you for a wonderful day and night at the railway from Jan and myself. I will have a report for the next edition of what must be the most unusual invitation Jan and I have had to date in Strathyre… and that is saying something! But you will need to purchase The Villagers to find out what it is. I was delighted to receive a letter a couple of weeks ago from Rural Stirling to inform me that the gardens in the court had one FIRST PRIZE in their annual competition and we would be presented with a £50 voucher which will help to kick start the garden next spring. I need to say a few special thank yous to some of the residents who work so hard to keep these beautiful gardens in shape. So a big thank you to Liz, Hanna, Angela and Irene for all the hard work that was put in throughout the growing season. We hope they are looking forward to whatever challenges await us next year and that they’ll try and hold on to the wellearned title. WD

As you can see from the above photo the access path at the back of Old Station Court is in a dreadful state through lack of maintenance. I have spent the last three months and more trying to establish who would be responsible for this path but to no avail. It would appear that as soon as you mention that dreaded word ‘maintenance’ no one wants to know - and that is certainly the case here. I have contacted The National Park.  Reply:  ‘Nothing to do with us.’ ...Sustrans...                              Reply:  ‘Nothing to do with us.’ ...The Forestry...                         Reply:  ‘Nothing to do with us.’ ...Stirling Council...                      Reply:  ‘Nothing to do with us.’ ...Rural Stirling...                         Reply:  ‘Nothing to do with us.’ ...Man in the moon...                    Reply:  ‘Speak to God.’ ...God...                                     Reply:  ‘Nothing to do with me.’   Given that Sustrans and The NP  incorporated this into the national corepath system  you would assume they would be interested in its welfare but as I am often reminded, “Never assume”.   I spent some time this year to have information signs erected  for the benefit of cyclists which was instrumented through Sustrans and the NP but  I have been informed that does not make them responsible for the upkeep which I find strange to say the least I also pointed out that I had investigated the legality of these paths and found on SUSTRANS web site that a cycle path should be no less than 1.5mtrs wide to be considered safe for pedestrians and cyclists to use safely. So I measured the width and it was just under the limit with the weeds still in full growth and advised the NP of this but to no avail. In fairness I do have a contact at Stirling Council who is investigating the ownership of this land through their legal department and will keep me advised. In the meantime I think I will clear some space and build a nice new shed on this “waste” ground and see if someone will come and tell me to take it of THEIR land.   But I hae ma douts!!!!

Welcome to the start of our new session 2013/14.

Pick up a PARK!

The latest edition of the National Park magazine is now available. The Park is full of news and projects from the National Park including where to spot five of Scotland’s iconic species, and how you can help monitor some of the more elusive members of the animal population. In this edition local businessman Sandy Fraser gives his take on East Loch Lomond byelaws and there’s a fascinating interview with TV presenter Paul Murton. Read about John Muir who devoted his life to safeguarding the world’s landscapes and find out how you can complete your very own John Muir Award. You’ll also find interesting updates on planning and community projects as well as what’s on in the Park over the next few months. The Park is available for download from and from all National Park offices or by contacting National Park HQ on 01389 722600.

The University of the Third Age (U3A) is a nationwide movement of self-help, self-managed co-operatives for older people no longer in full time work, providing opportunities for their members to share learning experiences in a wide range of interest groups. The U3A approach to learning is - learning for pleasure. No qualifications are required and none are given. If you missed our AGM and Enrolment Day and would still like to join, here is a list of the courses on offer: Current Affairs, Scottish Country Dancing, German, Gods or Monsters? (Early Roman Empire) Bridge, Maths in Art & Literature, History of Art, Family History, Book Group, Poetry, Photography, Line Dancing, Singing for Pleasure, Rock Music Appreciation, French, Painting For Pleasure, Yoga, Quintessentials, Geology, iPad Users Group, European History, Wine Tasting, Astronomy, Pub Suppers, Scottish History, Music Appreciation, Gardening, Travellers’ Tales, Sunday Lunch Group. We endeavour not to disappoint anyone and when courses are full we run a second on an alternative week or repeat the course later in the year. For more details of times and venues please contact the Secretary Tel: 01360 850722 or email The enrolment fee for this year is £12 and any member of another U3A wishing to join us can do so at a reduced rate of £7. Extra expenses, such as hire of halls, printing of handouts etc, are shared by the participants of each course, most of which are run in the leaders’ homes in Callander and the surrounding villages. Two of our venues for larger groups are The Old Bank and The Callander Youth Project, both of which are kindly lent us free of charge and in return we ask that students buy tea or coffee there as required. Have a look at our website - Callander and West Perthshire U3A – where there is also a contact list for emails to members of the committee who will be pleased to answer any queries.

Balquhidder Cards by Juan

If you call in to Sula Furnishings at Kingshouse you’ll see some beautiful works of art on sale! Juan Arkotxa’s paintings of Balquhidder have been turned into greetings cards and are available to buy now.

Above: Loch Voil to The West of Balquhidder and right: Balquhidder Glen


Church News BalquhiĐĐer Reg. Charity No. SC012316

Crianlarich in 1938 from The West Highland Railway by John Thomas (1965 edition, published by David & Charles) by A J S Paterson.

Celebrating Park People and Stories 22 September 2013

Are you interested in local history and telling stories about the people who once lived and worked here? Then an inspiring conference on 26th October in Gartocharn is a must for you. The culmination of a summer programme of Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs’ events and visits, this oneday conference is aimed everyone who is interested in sharing our local heritage with others. Presentations and practical workshops include sessions on the power of stories, community archaeology, traditional storytelling, using drama and video, organising a large heritage or an oral history project and finding stories in the landscape; all using examples from in and around Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The programme also includes a screening of videos and podcasts recorded this year celebrating what’s still special about the people working in the National Park today. Organised by the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs Community Partnership, the day will end with a discussion on working together to share the area’s cultural heritage. The conference is free of charge thanks to funding from Heritage Lottery Fund’s All our Stories, the National Park Authority and Scottish Enterprise. Booking is essential and forms and full detail are available from: or 01436 677733. Further information from Sheila Winstone 07852 106605. 8

Summer is over and the swallows have left their nests in the Church porch. I apologise for the absence of any Church news last month. I blame my holiday and a senior moment or two! Church life continued nonetheless, and we thank the very loyal core of members who support us week by week together with friends both from way back and more recently. The belfry repairs were very successful and we are truly grateful for all the wonderful financial help received. In the coming months we shall be visited by representatives of Stirling Presbytery to check on the church. This happens roughly every five years when we have to report on general financial matters and details of fabric expenditure. We also report on this year’s activities to date as well as giving a summary of all that has happened in the previous five years. With winter fast approaching, thoughts inevitably turn towards Christmas and we hope to have a stall at the Christmas Market in December this year, as always weather permitting. We have a Christmas greetings card for sale with a stunning photograph of the Llan Dubh in snow, costing only 45p each or £2.50 for a pack of 6. Let`s hope for an Indian Summer before then! Jean Edwards

Funding Fair

Important date for your diary - Don’t miss it!! COMMUNITY Council elections are coming soon with more than 400 seats up for grabs in 43 community councils across the Stirling Council area. “We cherish our community councils and recognise their expertise. A healthy local democracy needs robust, active community councils who are not afraid to speak up for their neighbourhoods. The more effective they are, the greater the difference they make to community life,” said Chair of the Community Planning & Regeneration Committee, Corrie McChord. Anyone over the age of 16 can be nominated for the community council elections so long as they’re living in the area for which they’re standing and on the current Electoral Register. Alternative proof of residency is required for those under the age of 17 and not able to be on the Register. Election nomination forms need to be submitted to Stirling Council’s Returning Officer by 4.00pm on Friday, 25 October 2013.. Where more nominations are received than there are places on any community council, ballots will be by postal vote. Ballot papers will be issued from Monday 4 November 2013 and must be returned to the Council by Friday 22 November after which results will be announced. Nomination forms will be available from the Returning Officer, Stirling Council, Room 53, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET, phone 01786 233099. Countdown to the Polls: Nominations close: Friday, 25 October at 4.00pm Ballot papers issued: Week beginning Monday, 4 November Last day for returning ballot papers: Friday, 22 November at 5.00pm

If you are involved in a community or voluntary group and are likely to be looking for funding at any time, then this is an important event for you: The Community Engagement Team at Stirling Council together with Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise are organising a Meet the Funders event in the Albert Halls on Monday 21 October from 1.30 pm - 5.00 pm. A wide range of funders will be present on the day for you to meet with and discuss your projects and identify which funders may be likely to support your projects. Funders including the Big Lottery, Sport Scotland, Voluntary Action Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, Robertson Trust, Lloyds TSB Foundation form Scotland and more will be present on the day. Appointments not required - just drop in throughout the afternoon, whenever it suits, to talk one-to-one to the funders, hear about the types of projects they fund and see if they are a likely funder for your organisation. If you have any queries please give Jean Cowie a call on 01786 233143 or email The Cattanach Trust The Cattanach Trust will be at the funding fair and, unlike the other funders, will only be available to meet by prior appointment. They have a specific target group and type of project which they can fund and therefore it is better use of their time to see people by appointment. If you are hoping to deliver work that may meet the criteria of the Cattanach Trust (see below) and wish an appointment with them please contact Jean Cowie, Funding Officer at Stirling Council on 01786 233143, email

More about the Cattanch Trust: The Cattanach Trust makes grants to registered charitable organisations in Scotland for work with young children from pre-birth to 3 and their families. The aim is for children to develop more fully, and outcomes may also include improved family relationships and parenting skills. Priority is given to families in deprived areas on low incomes and in difficult circumstances. Projects should be working from a strengths based model and must actively involve the parent(s)/main carers of the children. Applicants must register on the website in order to access the online application form. The Trust makes grants totalling around £400,000 a year, and meets 4 times a year to consider applications. There is no deadline but applicants should allow 10 weeks for their application to be assessed. Grants are usually between £4,000 and £20,000 p.a. and may be for up to 3 years. The Trust attempts to visit most organisations in the course of assessment, and all organisations which receive more than 1 year’s funding are visited, by the assessor and/or a Trustee. All information is on the Cattanach website, including guidelines (in the form of Frequently Asked Questions), recent awards and dates of Trust meetings. The assessor is happy to be contacted by telephone or email. Alison Campbell Assessor

For more information contact: Email



View from the Park

Rambling Club

by Owen McKee When things don’t go exactly to plan it is only too easy to become discouraged so I was not surprised recently to be asked whether the frustrating delays in opening the Loch Lubnaig site would mean that the Five Loch project would take a back seat for the time being. The answer to that question is a simple NO.  Yes we are disappointed that a summer season has passed so we will not have a certain level of ammunition when we are  petitioning the Scottish Government for funding for the next stage but we will still be pressing hard to keep that scheme on track. Whilst we are seeking funding for extras the Scottish Government is looking for economies throughout all its agencies and we have been told that we will have a reduction in our funding in each of the next three years. With the success of the East Loch Lomond Management Plan to give us focus we are anxious to keep the momentum going to raise the standards throughout the Park. We are in being to conserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage of that special area which is the National Park. Primarily it is people who degrade those special qualities so in the task of protection we have to manage people. Visitor management and conservation go hand in hand. And both need money. So where does the money come from? Some of you may have seen a rather inaccurate headline in one of our National Sunday Newspapers which screamed “NATIONAL PARK TO BE PRIVATISED”  What had prompted the headline was an item on the agenda of a Park Board meeting which was looking at ways of raising funds out with government grant.   We discussed a number of options and agreed that we should introduce charges at our car parks and fees for launching boats at piers we owned. The question was asked whether it was fair to private business that we were providing free launching facilities from piers funded by the taxpayer in competition with private businesses whose taxes had helped fund those facilities. In other instances we decided to lease assets to private concerns. 10

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

There is another interesting discussion going on and that concerns the delicate subject of sponsorship. Clearly care has to be taken to ensure that there is no conflict. Our Park is a member of the UK Association of National Park Authorities (ANPA). ANPA is in discussion with Airwick about sponsorship which would see Airwick Fragrances named after National Parks. eg An Airwick Apple Blossom fragrance may be named South Downs. Because of the length of our Park’s name it is not in the running to have a fragrance. However as a member of ANPA we would receive a share of the sponsorship monies. Hardly a question of privatising the Park! Work with the new Police setup  is working  well with  Operation Ironworks proving yet again that a Police presence is extremely important in the task of managing the behaviour of visitors. Even though we have had a reasonable summer (don’t we all remember that was what summers used to be like) and there were a good many sunny days at peak holiday time we have had relatively few  incidents to deal with. Is the message getting through that anti-social behaviour will not  be tolerated in the Park? I certainly hope so.

Fiona Logan receives her award

I am particularly pleased that at the UK Women in Business Awards in September our Chief Executive, Fiona Logan, was named as Public Servant of The Year. Owen McKee Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead 01567 830214

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. a m b l e r s . h t m in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: OCTOBER • Sat 5th 8:30am Hill: Meall an t’Seallaidh (852m) contact 01877 339080 • Sat 12th 8:30am LDP: CtoC(18) Ceres to St Andrews (9.5miles) contact 01877 330032 • Wed 30th 9:30am Stroll: Polmont to The Wheel (5 miles) contact 01877 339548 NOVEMBER • Sat 2nd 8:30am Hill: Uamh Beag (665m) contact 01877 330930 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!

Do you have a business in the National Park?

One of the National Park’s aims is to promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities. In order to do this, we need to identify the right amount of land across the entire Park which should be used for business use. This is an important part of the preparation of what is known as the National Park Local Development Plan. In order to help identify the needs of businesses in the Park we have produced a survey which includes questions about what type of business you have, whether you have future requirements for business space and whether there are barriers to your business expanding. It should only take five minutes to complete and is free to post. Please look out for the survey in The Park magazine when it comes through your door this month or visit to complete it online. If you would like to find out further information about the business survey or the Local Development Plan please contact us on 01389 722108 or email:

Scottish Wildlife Trust Our programme of wildlife talks got off to an excellent start with ‘Bat Conservation in Central Scotland’, given by John Haddow of the Central Scotland Bat Group and Anne Youngman of the Bat Conservation Trust. Bats are the only true flying mammals with 1000+ species worldwide (only surpassed by the rodent group in the mammal world) and 17/18 resident UK species. In Scotland numbers reduce from SW to NE, from 9 species in Dumfries & Galloway to one in Orkney and none in the windswept Shetlands. Worldwide, bats come in may shapes, sizes and colours; orange, Mohican fur styles and a white fluffy one that lives in a rolled leaf tent. Our more conservative UK bats come in subtle shades of brown. Fruit-eating bats belong to the macrobat group with wingspans up to 6ft while pipistrelles at 15cm and Noctules at 40cm are microbats. Autumn is a time of resting, feeding and courtship. After mating, females store sperm and only ovulate when warmth and food are available. A communal maternity roost helps to conserve energy and each female has only one baby, not surprising at 1/3 to ½ of the mother’s weight! At four weeks the young start to eat insects, being fully weaned at six. In cold spells males can revert to a torpid state but females don’t and may abort or abandon a baby so human disturbance and sudden mild spells in winter can be bad news. If a bat survives its first year it can live up to twelve years. There are many myths; bats don’t get tangled in your hair and very few are vampires! Nor are they blind, having better eyesight than humans in low light levels, using echolocation to navigate in the dark. Conversely, they offer many benefits to mankind; the saliva of vampire bats contains an anaesthetic and anticoagulant, both of medical importance, and their echolocation method has been employed in distance detectors for the blind. They are important pollinators, essential for bananas, and eat insects: they can eat 3000 midges in one night providing they do not include juicy moths! They have simple needs; insects, a selection of roosts, other bats of the same species to keep warm and human friends. Numbers have fallen by 100% between 1890 and 1990 so all bats and roosts are legally protected. Loss of landscape, renovation of old buildings and roof timber treatments have contributed while now wind turbines attract insects and

Scottish Wildlife Trust Diary September 2013

therefore bats may be killed by the blades or associated pressure drops. However, the highest number of rescue calls is due to domestic cats. The talk was followed by a very successful ‘bat stand’ on the footbridge over the river, an ideal site with water, trees, flowers and insects. Detectors helped picked up the (not so) common pipistrelle at 45Hz and the soprano pipistrelle at 55Hz and a ‘whispering’ brown long-eared bat was thought to pass by. Daubenton’s bats were picked out in torch beams as they caught insects just above the surface of the river.

The new season of talks will start in September. Held in the Waverley Hotel, 7:30pm

So, now you know that bats won’t transform you into a vampire while you sleep, you might like to help them. Gardens with night-scented flowers and ponds will attract insects and roosting sites can be created in buildings (longeared bats like big roof spaces while pipistrelles roost in tiny spaces under tiles or soffit boards) or site bat boxes facing in several directions - and, keep your cat away from roost exits! You could also join

Admission £2 members £2.50 non-members free to full-time students including tea/coffee & biscuits.

8 October The Status of Badgers in Central Scotland by Eddie Palmer, Chairman SDCT 12 November The Plight of the Bumblebee by Anthony McClusky, Outreach Officer BBCT

a local group and/or take part in surveys to improve information on Scotland’s bats – see the excellent Bat Conservation Trust website Lesley Hawkins


The Wee Show at Lochearnhead

This year our Show Winner was Annette Brown of Strathyre and the Runner-up was Jimmy McSkimming of Lochearnhead. Congratulations to both of them; it must have been very hard work to have put in so many entries. Unfortunately there are no photos of the Show Winner as Annette was not available at the prize giving. Many thanks to all the other people who took the trouble to put in other exhibits and to the committee who helped in so many ways. I must also say an enormous ‘Thank you’ to Jimmy McSkimming and Suzanne La Piazza who helped ‘above the call of duty’ to clear the hall at the end. They were tremendous. Entries were slightly up in some sections and down in others. At least we had some cut flowers to show which did not materialise last year due to the rotten summer. This year the weather has been kinder to us but I’m afraid it is, more or less, the same few people who put in the most entries. Apart from children and exhibitors only 47 people came through the door to view. I am afraid that enthusiasm for making anything to put in a show of this type is waning and who knows whether there will be another show next year? The committee will shortly hold a meeting to discuss this and I will keep you posted. It would be a great shame to lose this event which has now been running annually for the last 30 years. Pauline Perkins (President) Below are all the results:BLS HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY ANNUAL SHOW 31st AUGUST 2013 COMPETITORS’ RESULTS Show Winner: Annette Brown (52points) Runner up: Jimmy McSkimming (48 pts.) Best Exhibit in Show: Cushion in Patchwork by Janet Richards Section 1 Secretary’s Cup for Pot Plants Best in Section F. Phillips 1. F. Phillips 2. A. Brown 3. M. Bourne Best Begonia: William McConnachy Trophy: M. Bourne Section 2 Matyjasek Cup for Cut Flowers Best in Section: B. Jamieson - Roses 1. A. Brown 2. M. Galloway 3. R. McWilliams Section 3 The Bowers Cup for Vegetables & Fruit Best in Section: Leeks – P. Perkins 1. R. McWilliams 2. J. McSkimming 3. P. Perkins The Strathyre Cleansing Cup for Best collection of 5 Vegetables: R. McWilliams Section 4 Club Cup for Floral Art Best in Section: M. Galloway 1. M. Galloway 2. E. Jamieson 3. A. Brown Section 5 Macdonald Cup for Kindred Activities Best in Section: Cup cakes by M. Galloway 1. S. La Piazza 2. J. McSkimming 3. S. Crammon Section 6 Stuart-Love Cup for Handicrafts Best in Section: Cushion in Patchwork by J. Richards 1. J. Richards 2. A. Semeonoff 3. S. La Piazza Section 7 Gibson Cup for Art Best in Section: Painting in watercolour by A. Harvey 1. E. Chadfield 2. G. McGuffy 3. T. Woodward The Bobby Bennett Cup for Photography: Dragonfly by E. Chadfield Children’s section 5-7 yrs Painting of a tree - E. Harvey - HIGHLY COMMENDED 8-11yrs Painting of a deer - A. Harvey - HIGHLY COMMENDED


Gardening Groans... A garden is a thing of beauty and a job forever. A small boy is helping his grandfather dig up potatoes. ‘What I want to know,’ he says, ‘is why you buried the damn things in the first place.’ A wise man will never plant more vegetables than his wife can take care of. Did you hear about the successful bonsai tree grower? He got so good he ended up looking for a house with a smaller garden. Gardens need a lot of water – most of it sweat. How do you stop moles digging in your garden? Hide their shovels. Man to neighbour: ‘Can I borrow your lawnmower?’ Neighbour: ‘No, she’s not home yet.’ The good thing about snow is that it makes my garden look as good as my neighbour’s. The seeds I planted didn’t look nearly as good as the ones on the packet. It turned out those pictures had been posed by professional vegetables.

Rusty McD is back with another 5-minute interview on the subject of those beloved pets - furry, feathered or scaly - in the community!

5 minutes with...

Catriona McGeoch

... and ‘Wilma’

This month I made myself comfortable amongst the beautiful cushions and footstools in Sula Furnishings to talk to Catriona and was entertained by Wilma, a very friendly golden Labrador who plods over to greet every customer that crosses the threshold.

So tell me about Wilma! I’ve had Wilma for 5 years. She was a breeding lab who needed re-homing following two c-sections. I had been told about her not long after my previous Labrador died. He collapsed on Christmas Day and we had him put to sleep on Boxing Day. My sons Joe and Andrew were 13 and 12 at the time and we were all incredibly upset. My Mum then died in January. It was an awful time and we hated not having a dog. Wilma came along at just the right time – she has a lovely nature and is always cheerful. She lifted our spirits just when we needed it so we regard her as a very special dog. Wilma had never been in a house before but adapted really well – I have only heard her bark 3 times in 5 years. She comes to work with me every day and has a very important role in the shop - she does the meet and greet service followed by a floor show which usually involves her sitting on customers’ feet then lying on her back to show her tummy. So would you say she is good for business? Oh yes, the shop wouldn’t be the same without her. Wilma is a real ice breaker and when tourists come into the shop who are missing their own dogs it is a good talking point. Are you enjoying running the shop? Yes, I’ve been going for just over year now. I used to work from the shed at my home in Strathyre before that. Since opening the volume of work has increased and the majority of my orders are local which has been fantastic. It has been wonderful to meet more people from the area and I really enjoy showcasing other people’s work in the shop – there are so many local talented artists and craftsmen/women. Have you always worked with tweed? No, before I had my children I had a career in scientific research. We were involved in the genetics of breast cancer and melanomas. Wow! Did you wear a white coat? Oh yes, and safety glasses! I was in the Human Genetics Dept and was responsible for identifying whether patients had the breast cancer gene . Sometimes I can’t quite believe I did it – I feel like a completely different person now. How did you get into creating beautiful things from tweed? My mother was from the Isle of Lewis and there was always weaving going on near my

Granny’s croft. The looms never stopped clacking. Also I had an uncle who worked at a tweed mill and he was always coming home with bolts of tweed. The smell is so evocative of my childhood. Once my sons were at school I started making a few cushions for the Balquhidder Christmas market and from that I got enough interest to start to grow a business. Making cushions, throws and curtains fit in well around childcare and looking after my mother who had developed Alzheimers. If had my time again would have been a textile designer - I have always loved fabrics and making things. What does ‘Sula’ mean? Sula is gaelic for ‘gannet’ – the birds who live in large colonies on the island of Sulasgeir which is 40 miles off the top of Lewis. My Father was the first to take photos of the men who gathered the gannets from the cliff faces. They are prized piece of protein! His records are a piece of social history and later featured in a book about the island. What do you like about living in Strathyre? It’s a great little village and feels very safe and friendly. It has a brilliant primary

school and my children really feel part of the community and the village. I grew up in the small village of Aviemore and wanted the same for the boys – with kayaking, dens and freedom on the doorstep. What do you do to relax? I love to garden but don’t get a chance very often. If the textiles business doesn’t work out then I think I would start selling plants. People often pick up my plants and bring them in to buy them. Sometimes I don’t have the courage to tell them that they are mine and not for sale! I still have granny’s croft and like to get there as often as I can. I also go on a boat trip every year around the Scottish islands and get away skiing if I can. The shop takes up so much of my time at the moment though that there’s not a lot of time for other things. Wilma helps me to relax though. She is such an endearing dog, especially with her routines which she is fixated upon. Every morning she crosses her paws, rolls onto her back to get her tummy tickled before the day can start. At night-time she has to have her head rubbed and her paws patted before she’ll retire to her bed. Rusty’s back next month with more animal ‘tails’!


Travellers’ Tales Ian with trusty velocipede

One of the many architectural gems in Cienfuegos

Cigars and Bike Rides a tale of Cyling through Cuba After my 900km trip last year in northern Spain, cycling on the Camino, I knew that I had at least one more lengthy bike trip in my legs. Although as the years go by, it’s never certain when the legs will desert you! Visiting Cuba has been a long-held dream, stretching back over decades. However, I never thought that the dream could become a reality! I had a sense that very soon things on the island would change I had a sense that very soon things on the island would change - but I also had a sense that I wanted to go before too many changes took place. Also, from my research, I knew that it was one of the safest and most traffic-free environments in the world. The big bonus on this trip was that my youngest son, Brian, now living and working in Australia, would be joining me. Brian is the real cyclist - he rode from Rome to Edinburgh in 2011.

Rocky but beautiful - on the way to La Mula


with Ian Inglis

Capitolio Nacional in Havana (styled on US Capitol building in Washington DC)

We set off on 1st July - me from Balquhidder, Brian from Brisbane. My trip was a piece of cake - Brian’s not so! He left Brisbane and flew to Sydney for his connection to Vancouver, where he picked up a connection to Toronto, and from there, onwards to Havana. Thank you, President Obama, for continuing the half century embargo! After a few nights recovering in Havana (especially Brian), we set off on a 16-hour bus journey to Bayamo. Bayamo is one of the larger cities at the east end of the island and is just north of the Oriente, where the revolution took hold in 1958. We booked our casa particular in Bayamo, with our host for Havana, Julio (a paediatrician earning 25 dollars per month!). The main part of Bayamo is stunningly beautiful but not far from the centre there is deep poverty. We arrived in Bayamo in the late evening, not knowing where to go. We wandered round the bus station looking for our contact and stumbled into a guy on a bike taxi holding up a mobile phone with our names on it! We followed him for about 15 minutes and arrived at our casa. This was the first of many instances of organisation and kindness that we encountered on our trip. With much excitement, anticipation and on my part, nervousness, we set off heading for our overnight destination, Manzanillo, a 75km journey. The first thing to hit was the humidity - it’s almost possible to feel the energy draining from the body. Cycling in Spain last year in temperatures of a similar range was

relatively straightforward and of course the Pyrenees and the Galician mountains offered a much bigger challenge than the hills of Cuba. Give me the Pyrenees any day, rather than this kind of humidity! Fortunately the early part of our trip through the Oriente was relatively flat and day one was ok. As with our previous casa booking, we organised the next with our last host who told us that the casa owner would be waiting for us at the roadside. As we approached Manzanillo (a desperately impoverished town, but one with a real sense of pride) we wondered if our contact would be there but sure enough as we approached the town he was standing at the side of the road with our names on a sheet of paper - how long he had been standing there, God only knows! The Cuban economy is rather unique; it has two currencies - the Cuban peso and the Cuban tourist dollar (which is tied to the USA dollar). However, the Cuban peso is 25 times lower in value than the tourist dollar. This means that there are two different types of shops, the tourist ones and the locals. I tried to change 100 euros into pesos at the airport and the clerk refused - because she knew I couldn’t carry the amount away with me! I exchanged just 20 euros and even then it was a huge bundle. All quite confusing! I was glad that I had exchanged some euros for Cuban pesos. I was able to buy myself some cheap snacks on route. Brian and I lunched regularly on pizza queso - 5 pesos each, the equivalent of a halfpenny! On Day 2 we headed for Niquero - and

our first hotel. Again it was pretty flat going, and Brian was bombing along at 30km - with me 5 cm from his rear wheel. We covered the 75 km in pretty good time. Day 3 was a lot tougher. Niquero to Marea del Portillo was only 55km but it felt much longer! For about half of the journey we were relentlessly climbing - I think I almost died on those hills. My body just gave up - no energy left; the pedals were simply moving through muscle memory. Brian took my heaviest pannier and I started to walk but became aware that walking was much harder and suddenly became shocked at the weight of my body as I trudged uphill! But soon we were going downhill, to another hotel, this time an ‘all inclusive’ filled with Canadians. The 72 dollars for the two of us was money well spent. Our back door was 10 meters from the beach - what a dream. My confidence was a bit bent due to the speed at which my energy disappeared. The east coast was always going to be the biggest challenge, but I was completely unsure of how big it was to be. The road was almost non existent in parts. Mother Nature has done her worst here - large parts of the road had been captured by the sea! So, on Day 4 we headed for La Mula and a pretty downtrodden campismo 60 km away. Another very difficult day - the humidity was killing me. However, only three cars passed us on our 5-hour ride. Campismos are the places where the Cubans go on holiday. The accommodation was vary basic. Four concrete walls and roof, toilet and a nonworking shower. When we asked about bathing we were told el rio was only a few metres away! So the following day Brian and I took our shower gel and headed for the river. Very nice it was! Our room didn’t have windows, just shutters. However, if they were left open we tended to get visitors - which I did on night 2! I awoke at 2am and had a sense that I was sharing my bed and mosquito net with a friend. It was a creepy-crawly - and it fled to the high part of the net. I managed to get it out, with no help from Brian, who was in fits of laughter. Getting back to sleep was a challenge. By 3.30am I had made it, only to be awakened by a strange sound next to my head. My head torch illuminated a crab snuggling into the warm part that my head had just left. Sleep eluded me for the rest of the night. The following day we headed off into torrential rain - 60 km to our next ‘all inclusive’ - Brisas Los Galeones. Apparently the weather was the edge of a hurricane. The last 10km of the journey we were cycling through what can only be described as pig swill. No tarmac just mud and holes. Of course it was impossible to establish how deep the

Thinks: Need to go faster to shake that old geezer off! Hmmm... must get a haircut...

Broken bridge at Maria del Portillo. The locals still use it - madness!

holes were; it was always a risk. It seemed to take forever to reach the hotel. As we approached we weren’t sure if it was open! To our sheer delight, it was - it was like an oasis. Having cycled through mud and rain, what a treat to reach this haven of a place. As we looked out through our patio window the rain was horizontal memories of home! The morning arrived in a much more tranquil state and we were a bit reluctant to leave our lovely hotel and head off to the mud roads again. However, another 10 km - and we hit tarmac! What a relief! Only 65 km and we would be in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba’s second city, and the end of the first phase of our trip. But this was to be my worst day yet. Within sight of Santiago I collapsed at the side of the road, completely exhausted. Over the next 8km it was complete torture; having to stop, it seemed, every few metres. Fortunately Brian had a grip of the directions to our casa and we went straight there, with no shilly-shallying. My legs couldn’t shilly-shally that day...!

One of the numerous random shrines to Che.

“ more spurt and I think I can shake him off...” Brian snaps his dad in the distance!

Read the next part of Ian’s story in November’s issue of The Villagers.



Bracklinn Surgery will be closed from 12.30pm on Monday 14th October 2013. This is a public holiday, and we are taking the opportunity to hold a staff training afternoon.  NHS24 will be providing emergency cover.   Margaret A Davis Practice Manager Bracklinn Practice Callander Medical Centre Geisher Road Callander FK17  8LX T: 01877 33100


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

Do you need a new home in Lochearnhead, Strathyre, Killin or Callander? If so,

Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help

The Association’s aim is to support rural communities by providing affordable good quality homes for people in housing need. We currently have 450 rented homes and around 30 of these become available for re-let each year. We also build some new homes each year. For more details and a housing application form contact us at: Rural Stirling Housing Association Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AA Telephone 01786 841101 Email Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SCO37849 Please note that we encourage all applicants to also apply to Stirling Council’s housing list (Tel 0845 277 7000) Being on both lists is the best way to maximise your chances of being re-housed.


Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses take part in various training programmes throughout the year. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoons will be on: Thursday 31st October 2013 Thursday 21st November 2013 Thursday 20th February 2014 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 08454 242424.

Strathyre Primary School News Book Festival Trip

So far this year we have had one school trip - to the Edinburgh Book Festival. It was excellent! The teachers thought so too because it really was great.

We got to the Festival in a coach - it was a long trip, but a fun one. The whole school enjoyed it very much! When we got there we were all so exited that we all rushed in, wanting to get started as soon as possible. Class 2 listened to an author called Liz Pichon who wrote Tom Gates. Then we had our lunch - during that we got a little surprise as we got invited to go and watch and listen to a Japanese story about space.

Kay meets James Carter the Author!

Characters form the Japanese ‘space’ play

After the enjoyable play we got to buy a book from the festival shop. We all got different books - and if you got one of the books by the authors you had seen, you got the book signed. After that class 2 went and listened to another author called CJ Busby who wrote The Frog Spell and The Sword Spell. Class 1 went to see James Carter, author of Hey Little Bug! and then they saw Janis Mackay, author of The Accidental Time Traveller. After we had listened to all of the authors we bought a lovely ice cream and when we had finished that off we all went home. On the way back we all sat on the coach almost falling asleep because we had a great day - and all of us, including the teachers, wished that we could start the whole day again - because it was FANTASTIC! Amelia Dennehy

Katie Morag The junior pupils have been researching Katie Morag. They have been drawing her and have been doing art designs of Katie Morag and they have made their own island. They are just loving reading all Katie Morag stories.

The One Planet Picnic Good for the planet, good for you! On Thursday the 19th of September Class 2 had a One Planet Picnic! The One Planet Picnic is a day where some Eco Schools from across Scotland have tastes of Scottish food. All the food has to be from Scotland, all the food had to be local and seasonal. We had Scottish tablet, home grown fruit and vegetables like potatoes from the school vegetable patch, carrots, tomatoes, herbs and strawberries. There was cheese from the Highlands and Orkney cheddar and ham. Also we had jam, rowan jelly, oat cakes, bread, sea salt crisps a variety of biscuits and some duck eggs. To wash everything down we had some Highland Spring sparkling water. We invited Class 1 to share our One Planet Picnic. They came and tasted the food with us. Everybody loved the food and it was a very good day. Almost everything was gone! By Madeleine Thomson and Freya Stewart Earl, P7 Eco Committee 17

McLaren High School News Headteacher’s Introduction It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself as the new Headteacher of McLaren High School.   In meeting all of the students at Assembly on their first day I could see that they are eager to learn, want to succeed and appear happy and proud of their school. I have been particularly impressed by the commitment from staff and the caring and positive ethos shown by all. I strongly believe that achievement and enjoyment go hand in hand and have high expectations. I want all students who attend McLaren High School to leave with the skills, values, attitudes and qualifications they need to be successful in the next stage of their lives. Students need to work collaboratively; show resilience and determination; a ‘can do/will do’ attitude.   I am passionate about equality, fairness and respect and have an unshakeable belief that all students regardless of background have an absolute entitlement to the best possible opportunities. At the heart of an effective school is a clear sense of purpose, a deep understanding of the importance of shared core values and a commitment to building self-esteem, respect and self-confidence through the appropriate balance of challenge and support. By setting the highest expectations, personalising learning, recognising and celebrating success, I believe that all individuals at McLaren can flourish and achieve outstanding futures.   I know how vital working in partnership with parents, carers and the wider school community is, if students are to find school a positive and rewarding experience. There will be many occasions when your views

Harry Wilson with Mr Marc Fleming (left) and Dr Mike Cantley

will be sought, as they are very important in shaping the development of McLaren High School. I look forward to meeting you formally and informally over the coming weeks and months. If you have any concerns or worries, please do not hesitate to contact me at the school. Marc Fleming Headteacher Senior Awards Last Thursday, watched by parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, saw nearly 120 pupils from McLaren High School being recognised for a wide range of successes and achievements. The evening was opened by Kirsty Crawford who piped the platform party onto the stage. This included the ‘Top team’, House Captains, Chair of the Parent Council, Chair of the PTA, all three councillors, local minister, as well the new Headteacher - Mr Marc Fleming and his Senior Management Team. Dr Mike Cantley, chair of VisitScotland

and a former pupil of McLaren High addressed the pupils with a rousing message of ‘be your own champion, believe and invest in your own future’. Two musical interludes were performed by Rhianna McIntyre-McClure and Callum Cronin. Rhianna went on to be presented with a Duke of Edinburgh medal, Senior Music trophy, several subject prizes and, with a standing ovation, Dux of McLaren High School 2013. Rhianna only had a few hours to celebrate before flying to Peru where she is currently volunteering on the ‘Amazon Hope’ – a medical support boat run by the Vine Trust. The Dux Ludorum was won this year by Nicola Allan and Oliver Wesley both of whom have excelled at Scottish Schools level. The War Memorial Prize, awarded for sustained contribution to others, was given to Sophie Liddell, a recognised Youth Volunteer, and Callum Bain for work in developing confidence in others.

Senior Awards


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‘A’ Team wins gold in the experienced racer category

Double Gold for McLaren Ski Teams! Last year was amazing for the McLaren ski team with 3 gold medals and a shield under our belts. This year, we (Regan Dingwall, James Ronald, Craig Fingland and Connor Ramsay-Clapham) were ready to step up to the highest level of schools skiing competition, and compete in the “Experienced Race Team” category, against other top school teams. Friday 13th was the date set for our first event! It was the Schools Dual Slalom at Firpark – a series of head to head team relay races for points. By half way through the racing we were in joint first position with Dunblane High School – it was going to come down to the last few races - we all knew that one mistake could cost us the win. Then in the last 2 minutes, we went ahead… and whilst we weren’t 100% sure, we thought we might just have done it. We waited for prize giving… and it was finally announced that “Gold goes to McLaren High School”. We were so pleased, and even more so because our McLaren C team (Lachie Fingland, Drew Galloway, Dan Hesp and Finn Saunders) had also won their race category. A double gold result!! At the end of October both teams go forward to the finals at Snow Factor in Glasgow. Connor Ramsay-Clapham S3 This double win for McLaren is an outstanding schools sporting achievement. It is the first time ever that one school has won both the “Novice Race Team” and the “Experienced Race Team” categories at the same event. Mention should also be made of the first girl’s team that McLaren has entered – Jenny Holl, Iona Halliday, Sophie Rose and Maria Whyte missed out on the medals but skied very well. Well done to all those involved! Autumn Concert The Autumn Concert will take place in the school on Thursday 10 October at 7.30pm. Tickets available on the door.

‘B’ Team wins gold in the novice racer category

McLaren Under 16’s v Alva Academy Under-16’s In an excellent first outing of the season, the McLaren High School Under 16 squad showed their experience and quality to beat Alva Academy 82-7 in the first round of the Brewin Dolphin Plate competition. The boys scored some excellent tries, demonstrating their fluent skills and support play in the process. McLaren scored early on, and this set the tone for the remainder of the first half. The whole team were aiming to impress in their first run out. By half time the score was 41-0, and this allowed Mr Robertson to rest some tired legs, and give some of the less experienced players some vital game time. Mr Robertson also played some of the more experienced players out of position, which encouraged them to develop all of the key skills. The changes in personnel did not seem to affect the performance and mentality of the boys, and they continued to score a range of well worked tries. Alva managed to cross the McLaren try line once to make the score 53-7, however this only spurred the team, captained by Keir HailBrown, on and McLaren eventually ran out 82-7 winners. Try scorers were Charlie Allardyce (3), Kieran Rennie (3), Connor Clark (3), Cameron Hendry (2), Luke Maher (2) and Alexander Allison. Luke Maher was also on target with 5 successful conversions. The boys are now waiting to see who they face in the next round.


Gardening OC TOBER by Jonathan MacDonald

Flowers and plants have intimate cooperative relationships with the animal kingdom and are as important a relationship as any on earth. For 3 billion years the land remained barren but gradually, and as recently as 290 million years ago, a green mantle would appear in the form of Conifers. These plants were no longer in bondage to water and delicate cells carrying genetic material could be released into the wind and bound in a seed that could survive and be carried afar. These plants were wind pollinated and remnants are still today producing huge clouds of pollen which can be very wasteful and somewhat haphazard. A more efficient way of uniting male and female cells arrived about 120 million years ago with the appearance of flowering plants. This coincided with the arrival of active warm blooded animals which require more oxygen than the slower moving reptiles and lizards. The animal kingdom moved from slow motion to fast forward and things have been changing apace ever since. Gardening, when placed on this scale, literally began yesterday. With this great floral expansion pollination by animals and wee beasties, have made remarkable relationships with the animal kingdom. Genes are the directors of this wonderful play more complex in design than the finest Shakespearian act. Take for example the common fig. This most edible of nature’s fruits is comparable to a mini darkened greenhouse surrounded with fleshy purple glass. Here a relationship has been formed with the fig wasp which enters this darkened cave of small flowers through a microscopic hole to gorge on hundreds of tiny flowers that line its walls. The wasp working as an agent gets to lay its eggs upon a number of the flowers upon which the developing larvae feed (yes we eat them in our fig rolls but they are tiny and I doubt much if you notice the taste). The wasp must act however with the utmost discretion and honour for their progeny themselves to survive. The fig gains pollination by the wasp by pollinating a number of flowers whilst laying their eggs however, if the wasp gets greedy, which nature can dislike, and lays too many eggs then the fig “retaliates” and by way of revenge cuts off the developing fig leaving the wasp larvae to perish. A kind of genetic peace agreement ensues. Within other species of the 200,000 or so flowering plants a wide array of co evolutionary tactics are employed to help pollinators and the pollinated. Bat pollinated plants emit strong musky scents but moths prefer sweeter scents. Runway landing lights swapped for sweet rushes of cactus perfume to guide down these furry acrobats. Fly pollinators 20

Fig wasps doing their stuff

prefer the putrid as we do when reaching for the Stilton or a nice greasy Roquefort and flower shapes have been adapted to trap the unwary into ingenious funnels and saucers. Bees prefer a landing platform and a busy flowerbed can mimic rush hour helicopters zooming between waving nectar rigs buzzing and weaving for home laden with bounties of golden scone oil. Birds prefer funnels and one can simply visualise the humming bird to get the connection, but wait, some species are kind enough to have developed perch supports? Not kind selfish! It’s pollinate me or die. They will do anything but it takes much, much, longer to achieve. The slashing prong of a rutting stag although more animated is trapped in the gene machine alike. And wonder at the black and white ruffled lemur the largest mammalian pollinator which browse high palm tree flowers with great deft and skill. Prizing open the flowers with their nimble hands they gorge using their long snouts and tongues deep inside thereby cladding their fur with pollen soon to be transferred to the next flowers as they move. Closer to home, and less efficient as a pollinator than bees, are butterflies. For here a girls longs legs are less of an advantage to nature as they rise high above

the landing pad for feeding and probing nectar and so collect far less pollen than bees. They tend to favour clustered flowers like Buddleia and Stonecrop using the many flowers as a convenient landing pad which bears an ample late summer reward. Butterflies have a poor sense of smell but superb vision and unlike bees and bulls, can see red. They attract mates by the production of scent and it is known that the butterflies smell like the flowers they visit. It is thought flowers themselves have evolved scents as an adaption to an existing attractiveness therefore tricking the butterfly into both visiting and for mating. A chicken and egg curiosity. Perhaps a new dimension to the flower garden is the sport of butterfly sniffing. Carefully creep up on a resting Red Admiral and just maybe you might get a whiff of something. It could be the stuff of a Sherlock Holmes novel “you see my dear Watson the poor corpse of Lady Smethwick of Glen Froach had entangled in her hair the mummified remains of a field blue, upon smelling these decaying remains I suddenly realised by the simple whiff of Erica carnea she had been moved from her garden to this spot which is many miles from this common highland scrub”. Elementary.

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by Old Nyati

In over five years Old Nyati has only ever had TWO people give feedback on his contributions. So here goes with something to start a bit of controversy and to see if there really is anyone out there.   Back in the early fifties TB (tuberculosis) was successfully eradicated from British dairy herds to prevent the disease from spreading to the human population. In order to achieve this cattle were slaughtered after an  extensive and expensive national  eradication scheme. Even humans with TB were put in isolation hospitals in order to prevent tuberculosis spreading to humans. DO WE NOW SHOOT BADGERS OR CATTLE?   A nutter in a high rise flat in Glasgow, high on drugs, dials 999 for the fire service and then shoots at the attending vehicle with an air gun and accidentally hits a tiny baby in a pram. The  media seem to blame the gun and not the man and the call is to license all air guns. ARE THERE NOT ENOUGH LAWS IN PLACE ALREADY PROVIDED THEY ARE ENFORCED?   A drunk driver hits and injures a pedestrian. He takes the blame with no cry to further restrict the ownership of cars.   A and E hospitals have to deal with drunks and addicts and tolerate their abuse to the exclusion of legitimate patients who have to take their turn in the waiting room. SHOULD THE DRUNKS ETC BE LEFT OUT ON THE STREETS AS AN EXAMPLE TO OTHERS AND DID`NT DRUNK AND DISORDERLY USED TO WARRANT BEING PUT IN A PRISON CELL FOR THE NIGHT, NOT A AND E? 

Farm Forum: Badger culls - a necessary evil? You would think it strange, if in the current situation, I did not mention the badger cull in the South of England. This is a trial supposedly involving the cull of around five thousand badgers in a fairly small area. Nobody likes to see the unnecessary culling of wild animals but it is disappointing that so many so called environmentalists are up in arms about the situation and prepared to obstruct the cull when the same people don’t seem concerned about the fact that many thousands of cattle are being compulsorily slaughtered every year having contracted bovine TB, when it is known that it is rampant among the badger population. It has been scientifically proven in many other countries that controlling the population of whatever wild animal is involved leads to a healthier population of that animal and the population of domestic animals. This is only a trial and if it does not have the desired results some other answer will require to be found. There is talk of using an already apparently developed vaccine for badgers but this would involve humanely trapping the badgers first and, to me, that does not seem to be a starter. An oral vaccine which seems to be a more practical solution is said to be some years away. I believe there is a cattle vaccine being developed but am not up to date with the technical details and problems. Farmers tend to be at the sharp end of environmentally linked criticism which in some cases stems from ignorance. How many people have gone out to a lambing park in the morning and found one or two lambs killed by a lovely cuddly fox and probably another couple maimed – believe it or not, to see the behaviour of the mothers in these circumstances is a heart rending experience.

I heard of one case when a poultry farmer who had his flock decimated by foxes was very severely criticised for not caring for his poultry properly (they were shut in at night), and it was implied he should have them enclosed to keep them safe. You can be pretty sure that those that criticised him insisted on buying free range eggs and were equally critical of even the modern battery systems! I see that Britain is not the only country beset by similar problems. In the French Alps wolves used to be prevalent, but with official encouragement herders and farmers hunted the grey wolves to extinction by the 1930s. Within fifty years, though, the animal had been made a protected species throughout Europe; the first wolves re entered French territory in 1992 – a small population, but according to Scott Sayre in Vignols much to the thrill of conservationists and European officials, they have thrived. The trouble is that the success of the wolves is in no small way due to the ample supply of food. They have been slaughtering vast numbers of sheep – at least 20,000 in the last five years according to the latest official count. The Government has spent tens of millions of euros in efforts to reduce attacks but to little avail. I seem to remember, a few years ago, a radio programme about the re introduction of wolves to our hills. I forget who all was on the panel but it probably included environmentalists, farmers, walkers etc. The discussion was going in favour of reintroduction until, I think it was a walker, asked what area would require to be fenced to maintain one pack of wolves. The answer was something along the lines of – oh we would not be putting up fences! You have no idea how the balance of the discussion changed!

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Volunteers rangers needed to share love of National Park Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is now recruiting for Volunteer Rangers to help look after the National Park and ensure visitors have a memorable experience when they arrive. Bridget Jones, Head of Visitor Management at the National Park said, “We’re looking for enthusiastic people who are keen to share what they love and know about the Park with the thousands of visitors we welcome here every year. It’s a great opportunity for volunteers to get out and about and experience the Park’s lochs shores and fantastic scenery and ensures the visitors that come to enjoy Loch Lomond and the Trossachs get a warm welcome. We currently have 41 volunteer rangers who contributed over 3000 hours this year, taking part in various activities from helping out at events such as the Great Scottish Swim to patrolling along certain routes in the National Park. Following on from this success, we’re now looking to increase this to sixty. If you have a passion for being outdoors, know the local area and want to demonstrate or improve your existing skills, we want to hear from you.” With a minimum commitment of two days a month, volunteer rangers will be involved throughout the year. There are no specific qualifications needed to get involved and training will be provided in the New Year with volunteers ready to start in April 2014. Stuart Crawford started as a volunteer ranger in January 2013, Stuart said “I applied to become a volunteer ranger because I really enjoyed the conservation side to volunteering and wanted to get more involved with the work that the National Park carries out. I have been involved with various tasks and events, from patrolling ranger routes on Loch Lomond to helping deliver events in Cowal and Breadalbane. I really enjoy my role, visiting some amazing places within the Park and working with a fantastic group of people. Becoming a volunteer ranger was a great decision for me, giving me the opportunity to combine my love of the outdoors, making new friends and expanding my knowledge of the National Park. I would recommend it to anyone.” If you would like to find out more, please come along to the information evening we are holding at our Balloch headquarters on Thursday 17 October at 7.00pm. You can also find information on the National Park website or if you would like to speak to someone, please contact Avril Nicolson on 01389 722042. 22

2020 Vision for National Park Wild Park 2020 is an ambitious new programme of wildlife projects for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park being launched for public consultation on 23 September. Wild Park 2020 is the second edition of the National Park Biodiversity Action Plan, setting out the long-term vision for biodiversity in the National Park and the conservation projects that over the next six years will work towards delivery of this vision. Led by the National Park Authority in partnership with other public agencies, voluntary organisations and land management groups, Wild Park 2020 provides details of over 80 conservation projects within the Park. Five of these are flagship projects called ‘Wild Challenges’ and will push forward key conservation priorities for mountain bogs, woodlands, invasive non-native species, red squirrels and black grouse. These Wild Challenges will be promoted as examples of best practice, demonstrating a landscapescale approach to conservation. As well as projects focussed on habitats and species, Wild Park 2020 also includes projects on themes such as climate change, geodiversity and how people engage with nature. Fiona Logan, Chief Executive of the National Park Authority said “Loch

Lomond & The Trossachs is blessed with an amazing range of wildlife, habitats and ecosystems. Safeguarding and enhancing this remarkable resource for future generations requires ongoing investment of time and money. In launching this consultation document, we want to confirm the consensus and the commitment of all the partners on whom the future of the National Park’s biodiversity depends”. Delivery of Wild Park 2020 will ensure that Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park is one of the foremost locations for practical nature conservation in Scotland. This will also contribute to delivering the objectives of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy ‘2020 Challenge for Scottish Biodiversity’, launched by the Minister for Environment & Climate Change in June this year, as well as the Scottish Government’s strategic objectives and international obligations for conserving biodiversity. The Wild Park 2020 consultation will run from 23 September to the 6 November. Further details can be found on the National Park website or at the National Park offices in Balloch and Callander. For more information, please contact wildpark2020@

Productive month This month so far has been fairly productive and as we draw closer into winter, you will continue to see our efforts continuing. Each community officer with Police Scotland targets key areas under the Multi Member Ward Plan, which is different for each community team across the length and breadth of Scotland. Each year, the communities across the country will be consulted with and this will set the target areas for next year. At present, the areas which we are focusing on is to tackle Anti-social behaviour, thefts, tackle road safety and increase community engagement. With those goals in mind, we have run several operations in this area of the last few weeks.   We started off with a road safety operation to tackle drink drivers, particularly those who are still under the influence the morning after. It is fairly common to catch drivers under the influence through the night as they make their way home, but not so common to catch them the next morning. Everyone is different and alcohol can last in your system for a lot longer than you expect, which came as a shock to one particular driver we had reason to stop.   My colleague and I chose a Sunday morning and stopped several cars and each driver was breathalysed after detecting alcohol on their breath. One driver subsequently failed and was arrested and taken to Stirling. I have written previously about the consequences of being found driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and they remain the same. Simply put, you will be disqualified from driving, and face a hefty fine, endorsements on your licence and potentially a custodial sentence. I was surprised at the number of drivers whom we smelt alcohol from, and as such this is an area that my colleagues and I will be looking closely at over the coming months. You have been warned and it will be no surprise when you are stopped.   Operation Bionic In addition to tackling road safety through drink drivers, we also ran Operation Bionic the first week in September. This operation is highly effective and is aimed at tackling bogus workmen and travelling criminals who prey on the vulnerable residents in our communities. This Operation was set up last year, and this is the first time it has been run in this area. The operation

sees various organizations working together and each investigating their own areas. My colleagues from Killin and Aberfoyle came to Lochearnhead and we worked alongside two officers from Trading Standards, two Benefit Fraud investigators, and a member of staff from VOSA. Throughout the course of the day we stopped numerous vehicles and VOSA checked them for defects. I was happy to see that only two vehicles required defects corrected and as such they were issued with 21 day rectification notices. One van however; was in such a poor state that VOSA issued an immediate prohibition on it and it could not be driven until numerous serious defects were corrected. This has ultimately reduced the chances of the driver being the cause of a serious collision.   Whilst the vehicles were stopped by police, our colleagues from the other agencies were thereafter able to carry out checks on the occupants and they subsequently have several enquiries as a result of persons they have found working whilst claiming benefits, or investigating bad working practices. We also had a stroke of luck to the effect that a group of three males had been working in the Dunblane area a few months back and were subject of an enquiry by both police and Trading Standards. Whilst carrying out our patrols in Lochearnhead, we came across the same three males and have verified their identities and enquiries are still continuing for the Dunblane incident. This clearly shows how, by working together, different organizations are working to protect our communities.   Whilst carrying out the operation, we also spoke to several tradesmen who were working within the area, and once we explained the reason for the operation, they were happy that their clients had peace of mind that they were bona fide and the operation by its very nature helps to safeguard the reputations of genuine tradesmen.   Given the success that we had over the course of the day, preparations are already underway to run the operation on a regular basis over the coming months.  

Not always what it seems The one lesson that I quickly learnt in this job is some things are not always as they seem! On a regular basis, we receive reports of incidents and upon enquiry they turn out to be false alarms, but regardless, I would encourage residents to contact us and let us do the enquiry to be sure of that. One good example was a recent report of fly tipping in the area of Loch Voil. As we made our way towards the area, we were updated about a van that had been reported as being responsible and happened to spot a similar vehicle at Balquhidder Station. As a result, we stopped the vehicle, and it turned out that the occupants had not been those responsible and it had been a case of mistaken identity. What was not so fortunate for the driver was the fact that he had no driver’s licence or insurance, and as such he will now face the courts and we have seized his vehicle! As I said, things are not always as they seem. With regards to the fly tippers though, it was a false alarm, and it was genuine group of campers who had brought their own firewood to save chopping down trees.   That brings me onto my final incident of note, and that is to report that a male is subject to a report to the courts after I found him in the area of Loch Doine in possession of an air weapon without the permission of the landowner. Again, another good bit of partnership working between ourselves and the National Park Rangers, with the Rangers contacting us to report their concerns over a group of campers.   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 


Balquhidder Summer Music - a Plea for HELP! Audience responses seem to tell us that the 2013 series was a very enjoyable one for all the visitors. Gratifying though that is, there is no denying that Balquhidder Summer Music is potentially facing major problems. After several seasons with audience numbers not where they should be, and consequently several seasons that were loss-making, we must seriously consider the future. Please help us come up with ideas. We are toying with a few thoughts of our own but good ideas to ensure a future are not just welcome, they are desperately needed. At the moment, it is entirely unclear whether a 2014 season will happen. One of the practical points that are going to give us grief is the leaflet distribution. Historically this army consists of two people, who together invest over four full working days carting leaflets around in the run up to a season. They do this without recompense, and in their own time. In a sparsely populated part of the world, these will always be a lot of effort or (if posted) a high cost. High additional costs are certain to terminate BSM - no question. This makes it all the more serious that one of the volunteers is no longer able to do leaflet distribution next year. The following areas need new volunteers to take this on: Tyndrum, Crianlarich, Glen Dochart, Kenmore, Aberfeldy, Weem, Fortingal, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, St. Fillans, Comrie, Crieff, Stirling, Kippen, Thornhill, Port of Menteith, Gartmore, Buchlyvie, Balfron, Fintry, Killearn, Strathblane. If no volunteers come forward, we are faced with huge postal charges, and that will reduce our chances of survival even more. There may be some options with the tourist board, if we can get our leaflets incorporated with their distribution, but the problems are that they only reach accommodation and food providers, and not the village shops and noticeboards, plus that we would have no say in the timing of the distribution. The closer to the series the folders go out, the more chance of making people aware at the right moment. Hence: HELP! We are also considering our options for changes that can or need to be made: • Increasing ticket prices (this is certain to happen; they have been at their current low level for far too long, and other venues ask nearly double what we do for the same artists!). • Interval drinks by donation instead of complimentary. • Shifting focus from professional artists to amateur ones (partly or completely) with an emphasis on locals if possible. • New ways of advertising (ideas welcome). • Reducing the number of concerts. • Become an arts society (concerts, lectures, plays instead of just concerts). • Move away from summer (this does not immediately sound logical, but it would reduce costs as artists could more easily be booked in what is for them the regular touring season). • Introduce paid membership (with benefits yet to be thought out) • Team up with tour operators visiting Rob Roy’s grave for a longer visit including a concert (this would almost certainly imply a change of time away from 7pm). • Enclose leaflets in ‘The Villagers’ magazine. • Advertise commercially (Stirling Observer). • Change the repertoire of the concerts away from exclusively classical. • Get local restaurants to make meal-deals including a ticket? • Investigate the Awards for All scheme of the Scottish Big Lottery Fund. And again: please help! Only by speaking out can you nudge us into certain directions, and steer us away from things that would not work for you. We need to know what to expect before we commit to any changes. Then we’d be sunk. Let us know by phone, by email or by letter, anonymous if you prefer, anything that might be useful. For 29 years this concert series has promoted the enjoyment of classical music in this rural community and provided a platform for young musicians starting out on their careers. The concerts are performed in the historic Balquhidder Parish Church designed by David Bryce, in a beautiful venue set among the stunning scenery of the Braes o’ Balquhidder. Have a look at the website video clip, taken during one of the 2010 concerts - showing the interior and exterior of the church and the beautiful surroundings. Please continue to visit our website to get information about Summer Music developments.


Jewellery-making Workshop with Ardell Morton

Saturday October 12th 10 – 4pm at Balquhidder Hall  An opportunity to create your own piece and take home the finished article.

Bring your own lunch tea and coffee provided.

All materials provided. Cost £20 – max 10 places.  Contact Jean Hicks   01567 830359

Callander Film Society

Opening Night CALLANDER FILM Society launches its latest contemporary programme in October, full of great movies from the past year. There is still plenty of time to join for one of the best bargains in town! Opening night on 13th October is Quartet, directed by Dustin Hoffman and starring, amongst others, Billy Connolly. Cecily, Reggie and Wilfred are in a home for retired musicians where they take part in an annual concert celebrating Verdi’s birthday. Their equilibrium is upset by newcomer Jean, who was once married to Reggie, but the show must go on! In contrast, on 27th October we have Untouchable, a French drama about an aristocrat who becomes a quadriplegic after a paragliding accident and hires a young man from the projects to be his carer. Callander Film Society’s classic programme starts on 15th November with Ring of Bright Water (1969), the touching story of a man and his pet otter in the Highlands. Contemporary films will be screened at the Callander Youth Project in Bridgend on Sundays at 7.30pm. Classics are at The Waverley Hotel at 88 Main Street at 7.30pm on Fridays. The full listing and membership form for 2013/14 is online (thanks to Callander Enterprise) at cfs. You can also pick up a programme and form at Callander Library or call Eammon O’Boyle on 01877 339323. The membership fee is £22 for the contemporary films, £10 for the classics or £27 for both. What a bargain! Visitors are always welcome, £4 at the door. See you at the movies!

Highly Acclaimed Swedish Vocal Quartet to play in Balquhidder Church The 12th October will bring a very special international evening of song and music, to the intimate and atmospheric setting of Balquhidder Church. All the way from Sweden and embarking on their second UK tour, Kongero have been picking up great reviews and new enthusiastic fans wherever they go. Kongero (meaning Spider) weave a beautiful web of traditional and self-penned songs, telling tales of life, with moving love songs, dramatic mediǽval ballads, witty ditties, and spirited dances. Their music is characterized by tight harmonies, inciting rhythms and the clarity of their beautiful voices. With confidence, technical skill, irresistible playfulness and brilliant arrangements, they create a unique sound that brings the traditional music from past to present. Their maxim is “Four voices. One vision. Infinite possibilities.” Their music is being heard across the world as far as Brazil, USA and Norway, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain. Here is what Israeli music journalist Jeff Meshel had to say: “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.” The evening’s bill includes Naomi Harvey, a fine singer of Gaelic and Scots song from the Glasgow area. And with an instrumental performance from outstanding Black Isle fiddler Lauren MacColl, a mainstay of the Scottish folk scene the evening looks set to be a high quality event.

Saturday 12th October 7:30 pm. Interval refreshments. Ticket £10 (£8 concessions) For advance booking / more information call: 07766 004 026



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................................

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• 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

Alistair Barclay Photographer & Advertising Coordinator Dalvaich, Glenbeich Lochearnhead FK19 8PZ 01567 830453

Other Contacts... Helen Clark Business Manager 07971 648743

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

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The Villagers’ Photographer

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

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

Bowling - St Fillans Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 to11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am to 12.30pm (Contact Abbey Arkotxa 01877 384671) Badminton - Balquhidder Hall - 8.00pm Country Dancing - St Fillans Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am to 12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00 to 9.00pm Metafit & Circuit Classes - Strathyre Village Hall - 7.15 to 8.45pm Choir Occasional - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm to 9.00pm Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon. Mel Brydie 01877 384668 Ballroom Dancing - Lochearnhead Hall

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

OCTOBER 3 4 8 12

Choir Occasional starts up again - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm - see p.17 Flutes Concert - St. Mary’s, Aberfoyle - see p.23 SWT Badgers Talk - Waverley Hotel, Callander - 7.30pm - see p.11 Jewellery Workshop with Ardell Morton - Balquhidder Hall - 10.00am to 4.00pm

(Contact Jean Hicks 01567 830359 for details) - see p. 7

21 25

Funders Fair, Stirling - see p.9 Harvest Concert and Supper - see p.2

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



Christmas Workshop, Balquhidder - see p.2

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 Mobile 07824 496 019

01786 443497

Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316 Sunday 12 noon Minister: Rev John Lincoln The Manse, Killin Tel: 01567 820 247 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 First and third Sundays of the month: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fourth Sundays of the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Fifth Sunday of the month: please see church noticeboard.

Monday Refuse Collections October 7th Oct: Grey Bins 14th Oct: Brown

21st Oct: Grey

28th Oct: Brown

Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453

The villagers October 2013  

Lochearnhead Village Hall 25 year celebration,The St Fillans Bit, Old Nyati Pin Feathers, Kongero Swedish Quartet, Balquhidder, Strathyre, a...

The villagers October 2013  

Lochearnhead Village Hall 25 year celebration,The St Fillans Bit, Old Nyati Pin Feathers, Kongero Swedish Quartet, Balquhidder, Strathyre, a...