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T he Vo i c e o f B a l q u h i d d e r, Loch earn h ead , S t rat h yre & S t F illans

Well done, Lochearnhead!


he Friday evening before the Annual Show we, the committee, were getting very despondent because so few entries had been delivered. I really thought that we were going to have a dismal turnout. How wrong I was! Come Saturday morning when there was

only one hour to place all exhibits on the tables, there was a steady rush and, I’m delighted to say, mainly from the locals of Lochearnhead; so a huge Thank You to all exhibitors who made this year’s Show a good and worthwhile one. There is still room for improvement and I know there are a lot of folk out there who could do better and take a little time to join in. Please try harder next year so that we can keep going. I was delighted for Rosanne McWilliams (Strathyre) who, with the narrowest of margins, became 2010’s Show Winner. Also Jimmy McSkimming (Lochearnhead) who was Runnerup to Rosanne. It’s great to see a man who can bake as well as growing lovely vegetables, even if his marrow did beat my cabbage for Best Veg in that section! Many, many thanks to our hard working committee - there’s still room if anyone would like to join the team. Just phone 01877 384228 and you can speak to a real person! See lots of you at next year’s show.

Now you can read all the results overleaf.

Polly Perkins President

Left: President Polly Perkins keeps everyone organised! Right, above: Jim Hannah takes the Art prize. Right: Jim’s painting in oils.

Rosanne McWilliams, (above) Show Winner, and left, Jimmy McSkimming receives his Runner Up award. Below: Jimmy’s award winning marrow!


First off, apologies for last month’s errors - there were several and despite my successful cataract ops my proofreader’s eyes really let me down. So, sorry to The Inn & Bistro who found they were hosting a Truly Scottish Night when they hadn’t planned it and to the Stained Glass Workshop for getting the month wrong (at least I chose a month too soon!) I hope those who go on the 16th and 17th of THIS month will enjoy themselves. The editor is contrite. I shall content myself with the thought that even Julie Andrews is getting older and celebrated a recent birthday by singing a new version of one of her signature songs: My Favourite Things Botox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a few of my favourite things. Cadillacs, cataracts, hearing aids, glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, These are a few of my favourite things When the pipes leak, when the bones creak, when the knees go bad, I simply remember my favourite things, And then I don’t feel so bad. Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heat pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favourite things. Back pain, confused brains and no need for sinnin’, Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin’, And we won’t mention our short shrunken frames, When we remember our favourite things. When the joints ache, when the hips break, when the eyes grow dim, Then I remember the great life I’ve had, And then I don’t feel so bad.

Thanks to Edward Chadfield, with whom I share a birthday, for sending me this text. Marguerite Kobs 2

‘Best in Show’



Show Winner: Rosanne McWilliams (36pts) Runner up: Jimmy McSkimming (35pts) Best Exhibit in Show: Felt Toy ‘Jimbo the Jumbo’ made by Wilhelmina Stewart Section 1 - Secretary’s Cup for Pot Plants Best in Section: W. Stewart - Fuchsia 1. F. Phillips 2. W. Stewart 3. M. Scott Best Begonia: W Stewart William McConnachy Trophy Section 2 - Matyjasek Cup for Cut Flowers Best in Section: W. Stewart - Phlox 1. L. Anderson 2. W. Stewart 3. B. Jamieson Section 3 - The Bowers Cup for Vegetables & Fruit Best in Section: J. McSkimming - Superb Marrow 1. R. McWilliams/P.Perkins tied. (President declared R. McWilliams should have trophy)

2. J. McSkimming 3. A. Brown The Strathyre Cleansing Cup for Best Collection of 5 Vegetables: R. McWilliams

Section 4 - Club Cup for Floral Art Best in Section: Paula Moor - Hedgerow Arrangement 1. P.Moor / J. Campbell tied 2. M. Kobs /M. Bourne / E.Jamieson tied 3. M. Scott / A. Brown tied Section 5 - Macdonald Cup for Kindred Activities Best in Section: M. Kobs – Jam Tarts 1. H. Astbury 2. J. MacNaughton 3. J. McSkimming Section 6 - Stuart-Love Cup for Handicrafts Best in Section: W. Stewart for Felt Toy – ‘Jimbo the Jumbo’ 1. W. Stewart 2. A. Brown / J. MacNaughton tied 3. E. Chadfield / L. Anderson tied Section 7 - Gibson Cup for Art Best in Section: Jim Hannah for Oil Painting ‘Landscape’ 1. J. Hannah 2. E. Chadfield 3. T. McGuffie The Bobby Bennett Cup for Photography: E. Chadfield for the Greenfinch ‘I’m going Green’.



The following readings were taken at ‘Bramblings’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder for the month of August. Average max. temp. Actual max. temp. Average min. temp. Actual min. temp.

18.1 ºC 20.6 8.9 2.8

64.0 ºF 69.0 48.0 37.0

Rainfall: 10.6 cms 4.3 ins Strongest wind gust: 39mph on 29th Aug

The St Fillans Bit Over four years ago I was approached by Jeannie Fox to see if I would take over her role of St Fillans contributor to The Villagers newspaper. Jeannie had submitted the odd paragraph on St F matters and I had to admit to her that I didn’t even buy The Villagers. I got hold of a couple of back issues and decided that the role was not particularly onerous so agreed to become our contributor. I then, of course, decided to make the role more onerous by increasing the amount submitted and, with the Editor’s agreement, calling the contribution The St Fillans Bit. Initially I managed a page of input, but gradually that grew to two pages with photos and our regular spot on page 3. Community papers like The Villagers are, to my mind, an excellent way of keeping up with what’s going on in our small area of the world and, in time to come, will form a superb record of the people and happenings in that area. That is why I’ve continued to help in its production. But, as I’ve said on these pages before, it is very difficult to fill my established two pages on a tiny place like St Fillans without input. I have regular input from only two villagers, which simply can’t fill my space. So, if you feel that The St Fillans Bit serves any purpose then please give me some input on events, people, grievances or whatever - otherwise our space will slowly decrease and probably go back to a couple of paragraphs. A phone call, a

scribbled note or an email will give me stuff to work on. Please. On 18 September St Fillans Golf Club held their Club Championship Finals, two of the best finals seen for many a year. The Gents Championship was played between 2009 champion Scott Williams and Johnston Brown and produced golf of almost professional standards with nothing between the players over 18 holes and an extra hole was played to

Scott and Ailsa

decide the Championship - fittingly Scott needed a birdie at the 19th to clinch the win. The Ladies Championship involved five times former champion Ena Bennie and new St Fillans resident Ailsa Cackett, who were level after 9 holes and again after 18 - needing 3 extra holes to finally see Ailsa triumph. During post match

Two AA Red Rosettes for Fine Dining Winner of Good for the Soul Award

drinks no member could recall any matches on finals day ever going to extra holes - congratulations to two very worthy winners. Her win also made Ailsa a two times champion in St Fillans within a month. Sadly there were only two entries last month in the ‘Identify The Rear Of The Year Winner’ competition and the winner was John Stanyon who correctly identified Ailsa’s rear view and won the bottle of wine. Which says something about Mr Stanyon’s interests in life! The success of the Festive Weekend means that once again funds are available for the not inconsiderable costs of a Bonfire Night Party on Saturday 6 November at 7.00 pm in the field behind The Drummond. The format is as before; a decent fire, a spectacular firework display and burgers or sausages with hot drinks. Entry is free but donations via the buckets will be very welcome. Whilst mentioning the Festive Weekend I should apologise to the Chadburns whom I mixed up with their neighbours the Borthwicks last month to produce the Chadwicks. Also on the subject of the Weekend, my plea last month for constructive comments from those who decided not to turn out as to the reasons (and how we could attract them next year) produced no reponse. Comment is still very welcome. I’ve been asked a few times already if The Sandison Hall will be open on Hogmanay as a gathering point to see in 2011. Last year it was close to not happening because very few folk had indicated that they would be there - then the turnout was such that we ran out of chairs! I can’t remember how many people said “Well, you knew we’d be here”. So the answer is Yes. The Hall will be open from 10.00 pm, bring your own drinks and nibbles, music laid on - including a few Beatles tracks for the lady who was devastated last year by their absence. Free entry but a collection at the door (continued overleaf)

Open Daily for Bar Lunch 12-2.30pm Two courses from £9.99 Supper 6-9pm in the Tarken Bistro Dinner 7-9pm in the Meall Reamhar Restaurant Friday Night is Fish Night in the Tarken Bistro ‘Make Sunday Special’ Traditional Sunday Roast lunch 12-2.30pm Monthly Theme Night in the Tarken Bar 6-9pm 13 October Theme Night - Greek ‘Cooking For The Terrified’ tutored by Carlotta on 17 & 18 October

The Four Seasons Hotel, St Fillans

01764 685 333


Continued from page 3

will be made for donations to the Sandison Committee to help with the Hall overheads. Last month I mentioned the forthcoming Garden Group Fund Raiser being held to raise cash for the knotweed eradication programme and for village maintenance generally. Plans are well advanced and the date set for Friday 25 February 2011 in The Sandison at 7.30 pm. I guarantee that there has not been an evening like this in St Fillans before - the ‘audience’ will be very much a part of the proceedings and fun, laughter and a bit of music are the order of the night. I dare say no more just now - but put the date in your diary. Tickets will be available in late December. With winter fast approaching, news of the plans of the three hotels for the colder months. From 1 November until Christmas The Four Seasons go down to long weekend only opening (and I assume will close after Hogmanay until March) and this year The Achray will be closed after Hogmanay for the two months of January and February. The good news is that Bob and Sue will be keeping The Drummond open right through the winter. Mary from The Four Seasons reports a very busy October coming up which include a cookery course - ‘Cooking For The Terrified’ - tutored by Carlotta on 17 & 18 October and a similar ‘Men Only’ course at the start of November. Contact them for more details. The October 13 Theme Night is Greek - get there early to be sure of getting a plate. Nice to see Sophie back - her piece arrived verbatim this month: H H H Sophie’s Bit H H H


Sorry I have not wrote for a while. It’s good to be back at school now. I am really enjoying it. When I travel to school on the bus I see a lot of little red squirrels and a lot of toads on the road, and it is really good to see the red squirrels about. My dad went on a walk up the railway and sees some buzzards in the sky and he saw these other birds but my dad does not know what kind of birds they are. They’re black and white and they make a very loud noise. Do you know what kind of birds they are? (Penguins?- JM)

There has been a mention of new families moving into our estate and we are really looking forward to meeting them. I think there is going to be some more children moving into the village too. (*)



(Sophie’s dad, Craig, has asked me to record his thanks to Alex from Lochearnhead for sponsoring his son Daniel’s football travelling costs and says that he is honoured to have the support of Alex and his Group. I gave mention some time ago in The Villagers of Daniel, who is a real rising star in the junior football game and has already attracted the attention of major Scottish clubs. But pursuit of his goals (oh dear) is an expensive process so sponsors are very welcome.)

The Village Store St Fillans

Newsagent • Off-licence • Top-ups Tobacco • Groceries • Gifts Hot Pies to take away Hardware • Oil • Fishing Tackle & Permits CafÊ • Dunfillan Coffee Soup • Toasties • Baking • Packed Lunches OPENING HOURS:

7.00am - 5.30pm every day Late opening (Fri/Sat/Sun) till 7.00pm

01764 685309


Finally, re my reference last week to Ulla’s display of M&S’s finest on the Bungee Run, I’ve managed to find a picture of said lady just before her upending. Her expression is priceless. John Murray (*) I understand that two of the properties in the Steading type part of the development are now at last sold which is a good omen and no doubt a relief to Marcus and to the existing residents of Dundurn Walk. In my own previous experience as a builder I learned that once the first couple of properties sell the rest follow quickly.




# % 


   ! "$ %  

!   !!     !!



Baroque Concert at St Angus’s, Lochearnhead Was it the offer of free wine BEFORE the concert that lured forty nine souls plus four musicians (who waived their fees) to St. Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead on Sunday 19 September to a Baroque Concert, or the concert itself? No matter - any effort made to attend the concert was well worth it. Cars were parked with military precision and concertgoers came from as far afield as Dunblane and Falkirk. The musicians were Trudie Ford and Joan Clarke, violins, Ilse Macfarlane, ‘cello and Alan Clarke, organ. We were treated to three Church Sonatas by Mozart which were written for services in Salzburg Cathedral and are bright, concise and elegant. They were composed for organ and strings and playable on a single manual organ with no pedals and therefore ideally suited to the St. Angus’s organ. These Church Sonatas were interspersed with a Sonata by Jean Marie Leclair played by Trudie Ford and Joan Clarke.

J. S. Bach was represented by Clavierübung 111 played by Alan Clarke, which consists of chorales based on Lutheran ‘catechism hymns’. According to the programme notes, the smaller chorales are of ‘bewitching simplicity’ and for a single manual organ without pedals. They may be ‘bewitchingly simple’ to listen to but as with all J. S. Bach’s compositions, for singers and players alike, there the simplicity ends! Ilse Macfarlane, ‘cello, played the first and last movements of Bach’s Suite No 2 for solo ‘cello. This is glorious music and was well received by the audience. The final piece was a Sonata in G minor for two violins and continuo by Handel. This was a typical jolly Handel piece which sent everyone home in good spirits. The concert raised £448.00 which was sufficient to cover the restoration work on the front door of the church. The three ladies of the Quartet play with the Dunblane Chamber Orchestra whose next concert is on 21 November. It is believed that this is the first time an Event Concert has taken place in St. Angus’s Lochearnhead. Many congratulations to all concerned. Vera Stewart

From top: Messrs Mozart, Bach, and Handel

An Appreciation

Most readers will know that Lochearnhead village shop has reverted once again to the ownership and operation of our very good friend Owen McKee. Prior to his ‘retirement’ Owen had been carrying out this service on a daily basis over the years from 7.00am - preparing for the 8.00am opening - dispensing excellent craic, newspapers, magazines and groceries and a really helpful service by holding prescriptions from the Doctors’ surgeries in Killin and Callander for those of us unable to collect them in person. What would we do without this caring service to the community? Owen is loyal to us so let us repay that loyalty by supporting the village shop; there are some villages without such an amenity, all due to lack of support. He also has his new lady assistants for the gentlemen to chat up!!!!!! Thank you Owen McKee for all your hard work over the years ... and you really must try this ‘retirement’ thing sometime, but from our selfish viewpoint not too soon! A devoted customer

Friday 1st October - The Pontiax Blues Band Saturday 2nd October - The Jenne McClure Quartet play - a local Callander girl with a range of styles showcasing classics and modern tunes backed by a virtuoso band 5


by Old Nyati

*Once in demand by Victorian miniaturists, the tiny pin-feather comes from the leading edge of a woodcock’s wing and only two such feathers occur on each bird (one on each wing). This month Old Nyati remembers an incident during WW2. Last month it was rats, sticklebacks and steam engines; but there was a war going on as well. Early one night I recall being awakened by a lot of conversation on my side of the farmhouse. It was my parents and older sister who were looking through a bedroom window where, in the far distance, the night sky and low cloud were illuminated with light and this was quite alarming as the “Blackout” dictated that no light must show outside under any circumstance whatsoever. Even a small light could be seen by an enemy bomber and give a clue as to navigation or the whereabouts of a target. We learned the next day that what we had seen was the city of Coventry on fire after an intensive night time bombing raid. London was being hit every night and one of my aunts was matron of a hospital in Beckenham and wrote to my mother quite often, but these letters from London during the Blitz were always censored by the Post Office, an official stamp showing that they had been opened. Any reference as to what was going on in London meant that they would not be delivered, and my aunt would, of course, have been in the worst of it. It was not long before our turn came, if only by default, as our farm was about twelve miles from Derby and the Rolls Royce engine factory, a prime target of course, but so far untouched. The night time raids on Coventry and other cities where terribly accurate because of a system developed by the Luftwaffe which was called Knickebein (Crooked Leg). It was a radio navigation system that involved narrow radio beams sent out from two widely separated locations. The two beams would intersect over a target city, marking it for bombing. An aircraft would follow the first and then drop its bomb load as it picked up the intercepting signal, all fiendishly successful and accurate as our cities found to their cost.* Luckily one of the bombers carrying this radio device crash landed on the English channel beach and despite being soaked in sea water gave our boffins a chance to find out

how this clever system worked. A few days after the Coventry raid a radio reconnaissance aircraft was able to locate these radio beams and work out how to jam one of them. I found out recently that this period of the Blitz was called the Battle of the Beams and our boffins codenamed their investigations “Headache” and the eventual solution “Aspirin”. So now back to our turn. One night soon after all this a stick of bombs fell across our fields only missing the village by a few hundred yards, killing several of our cows and making huge craters where they exploded - all except one. Next morning everyone stood round this small hole discussing what a puny bomb it was, eventually deciding to go back and have a cup of tea, only to be shocked by an almighty bang which shook all the houses and brought a hail of stones and debris down on the roofs. That small hole had in fact been made by a delayed-action time bomb and had now produced the biggest crater of all. What a lucky cup of tea that was! It was after this that for many weeks we all slept down in the farmhouse cellar for safety. But then, why bomb a few cows? Hardly a strategic target. During my recent research into Headache and Aspirin it occurred to me that perhaps those bombs were intended for Rolls-Royce twelve miles away; the factory never did get bombed. To my surprise a line projected along the line of craters passed over the RR factory and on to the area in France of the Knickebein transmitter. So was that aircraft a pathfinder to the target? Had the intercepting beam just been jammed? My imagination suggests it was, the dates do coincide. The cows paid the price and the cup of tea proved to be a salvation for us - you could call it fate I suppose.

The crash-landed Heinkel 111 bomber

It is interesting to note that the first wartime bomber to be shot down was in Scotland, a Heinkel 111, crash landed just NW of Glasgow and one of its engines was detached and taken to RR Derby for evaluation. There was a story of a dogfight over the docks near Edinburgh when another Heinkel 111 was shot down by a rather outdated Gloster Gladiator. The German pilot upon crashlanding and interrogation refused to confirm that it was a Gladiator and insisted HE could only have been shot down by a SPITFIRE - but there were none in the area at that time. *those of you interested in the full and fascinating story should go to HIGH FLIGHT

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there, I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . . Up, up the long, delirious burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace Where never lark, or ever eagle flew — And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God. John Gillespie Magee Jr


Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Community Council At the meeting held on 22 September there were two main points of discussion.

The Comfort Partnership Scheme

Ian Anderson, who works for Stirling Council in charge of Assets, Property, Facilities and Management attended the meeting to present details of a Comfort Partnership Scheme which will encourage local communities to participate in Public/ Private Ownership of public toilets in their area. His presentation formed part of the ongoing consultation process with local businesses and community councils. He is seeking businesses which may be interested in the scheme and will shortly be writing to them with further information. Rural communities in particular require public toilets which are well cared for, open at convenient hours and with easy access. Many public toilet buildings are in dire need of renovation and Stirling Council admits to being unable to maintain their upkeep as the cost last year was ÂŁ312,000. However, there will be NO closure of public toilets until suitable alternative arrangements have been put into place. It is hoped that owners of hotels, shops, village halls etc will look favourably at the offers of help which Stirling Council can give, viz: ÂŁ2000 per annum for running costs, paid quarterly; regular inspections; financial assistance with refurbishment, extension of premises, new access etc. Any business signing up to the scheme will be listed on the Stirling Council website and further information can be found at Ian Anderson stressed that no comfort partners have yet signed up and final decisions will be made by a management committee but he hoped to have some in place by mid October and he is available on e-mail for any proposals which local businesses or committees might wish to make. Community council members suggested a number of local businesses

which might be interested and discussed the possibility of adapting village halls for public access. The question of increased insurance was raised together with the problems involved in modifying the buildings and assessing the running costs. The matter will be put to the three village hall committees.

Litter around the lochs

Graeme Archibald gave a presentation on behalf of the National Park. He works as a Rangers Service Manager and his territory covers Callander, Killin,Tyndrum, Arrochar, Dunoon and Tarbert. He is also a Special Constable and is especially concerned with the litter problem in the Park. He proposes to organise a meeting with the community councils and landowners around five local lochs in order to bring a concerted approach to the problem. The discussion which followed raised several points: 1. That all fishermen buying permits should be issued with a leaflet stating the rules at lochsides and also be given bin bags for their rubbish. The bags could be coloured according to the permit outlets thus making it easy to see who had been tidy and who not. This would involve agreement between the landowners and

those who issue permits. 2. That bin bags should be marked with car registration numbers. 3. That the cost of the bin bags should be met by an increase in permit charges and that costings should be worked out before the meeting of landowners and councils. 4. That senior executives from both Stirling and Perth & Kinross Councils be invited to the meeting with landowners, community councils and the National Park so that the vexed question of lochside rubbish collection could be coordinated once and for all. This last point has been under discussion by the community council for months and it is hoped that Graeme Archibald’s proposed meeting will lead to some positive results. Full minutes of the meeting can be seen on the Stirling Council website and the next meeting will be held in Lochearnhead on 3 November at 7.30pm. Marguerite Kobs


Church News Balquhidder


Christmas Market Sunday 5 December

Balquhidder Village Hall 11.00am till 4.00pm. Interested in a table? Contact Janet 07817 948908 or Catriona 01877 384 259

The Harvest Thanksgiving service will be on Sunday 10 October at the usual time of 12.00 noon. There will be a collection for Christian Aid instead of the traditional offerings of produce, but the Church will be suitably decorated, of course. So much help is needed in so many parts of the world, it can seem like a drop in the ocean when we send our contributions to Christian Aid. Yet, rest assured, every little does help. The Christmas card image in last month’s Villagers was rather tiny! Here it is again - and you can see the real thing on display in the Church. Lastly, this month, a wee statistic for you to consider: In 2009, it cost £43.00 a day to keep Balquhidder Church going and our regular income was only £18.00 a day!

Jean Edwards

Lochearnhead Village Hall Committee invites you to a


Hogmanay Dance on 31 December starting at 9.00pm


There will be a licensed bar and ‘The Session’ will be playing, as in previous years. Please come along and support this fundraising event. Information will be on posters or you can call


for more information.

07900 576 320

Enjoying wonderful views over Loch Earn and the surrounding countryside

The hotel is family run with ten en-suite bedrooms, lounge bar, restaurant and residents’ lounge. Relax in our bar, soak in the stunning views from our terrace and enjoy your drink or bar meal. For something that little bit more special, try our menu in the Lochview Restaurant.

Reservations - Tel: 01567 830229 Fax: 01567 830364

email: 8

FOR SALE 29 sq.m. of Beech Junkers Hardwood Flooring (reclaimed planed T & G) £20 per sq.m. Contact 01877 384 260 Tipper Trailer £200 (in need of some renovation)

Balquhidder Hall Whist, Wine and Savoury Supper Autumn is upon us and that means that the series of whists and good food is about to begin! Unfortunately last year’s session was cut short owing to water damage in the hall - let’s hope nothing like that happens again. However, no doubt this forced lay-off will have given you all more time to practise and hone your skills for the coming season! Phone a friend, ask any newcomers to the area, let’s have a full house this year. I look forward to seeing you all. John McNaughton The dates for this session are as follows: Friday 22 October 2010 Friday 19 November 2010 Friday 4 February 2011 Friday 4 March 2011 As usual each evening willcommence at 7.30 pm and there will be a raffle. The cost will be the same as last season - £3.50.

medical matters................. Bracklinn Practice Flu Vaccine Clinic

Leny and Bracklinn Practices

New Computer System

As part of an NHS Forth Valley wide IT system change, both practices will be transferring to a new patient record system in October. The transfer for Leny Practice will begin on Monday 11th October for 2 weeks. Bracklinn Practice will begin the transfer on Monday 18th October for 2 weeks. During the 2 week period there may be long periods where no computers will be accessible. We ask that during this time, you bear with us, and we would be grateful if all medication could be ordered in advance and appointments kept to a minimum, where possible. If you have any concerns about this, please contact Yvonne (Leny Practice) and Margaret (Bracklinn Practice). Thank you for your co-operation during this time.

Our open day for vaccinations will be on Friday 8 October. Doors are open from 9.00am - 5.00pm. Please note that we will be operating emergency clinics only on that day and no prescriptions will be processed. The flu vaccine is available to everyone over 65. If you are under 65 the vaccine is available if you have one of the following conditions: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma, Chronic Heart Disease, Hypertension with cardiac complications, Renal Disease, Liver Disease, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes. If you have had a stent inserted, if you have no spleen, or are receiving chemotherapy or steroids, and if you are a carer, you are also eliglible. The Swine Flu vaccine is also still available to all pregnant women, immunosuppressed patients and children under the age of 5 who have health problems. If you are not sure if you are entitled to be vaccinated, or cannot come to the surgery on 8 October, please contact us, and we will confirm if you are eligible and/ or arrange an alternative appointment. Thank you and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the 8th. Margaret Davis - Practice Manager

Leny Practice Flu Vaccine Clinic

There will be an OPEN DAY for vaccinations on 29 October from 8.30am – 5.30pm

Please note that we will be operating emergency only appointments on that day. The Flu vaccine is available to you if you are over 65 years or if you are under 65 and have any of the following conditions: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Asthma; Chronic Heart Disease; Hypertension with Cardiac complications; Renal Disease; Liver Disease; Stroke; Multiple Sclerosis; Diabetes; if you have a stent inserted; have no spleen; are receiving Chemotherapy or Steroids. You are also eligible if you are a Carer. The Swine Flu vaccine is also still available to all pregnant women, immunosuppressed patients and children under the age of 5 years who have health problems. If you are unsure if you are entitled to the vaccination, or cannot attend the surgery on 29 October, please contact us on 01877 331000.


Bowls Club

Once again we hope to start an autumn session of the bowls in Balquhidder Hall on Monday evenings from 8.00pm. Our first night will be

Monday 1 November

so please come along for some fun! If you need any more information please contact John Cooper on 01877 384 331 9

Old Station Court Tenants & Residents Association The association recently held the village street party and once again were blessed with good weather and a good turnout from the residents. This event is becoming very popular and we look forward to next year’s. Can I thank everyone who attended and especially those who put in the hard work to make it a success. We raised £35.00 through a donation box, which will go to the S.V.A. to help with village funds. There was also a small unveiling ceremony which revealed a now-restored bench situated in the new patio area of the garden, in memory of Peggy Dougan, a dear friend to many people in Strathyre. As it turns out, this bench has some history attached to it…. It would appear that it began life in the old railway station, which was I believe, closed down in 1966 during the infamous Beeching cuts, which I’m sure many will remember. The bench was then taken over by Howard and Rosemary Lyons who ran the Post Office in the village (now the home of the lovely Todd family) until they retired. After they passed on, the bench became the property of Peggy and I am sure many a glass of wine and story was shared on it and knowing Peggy and the people she would share it with, laughter would be the order of the day (along with the wine!!!!) It was whilst working on the renovation that I had a conversation with a local lad and discovered that this “LAD” had been responsible for the upkeep of this bench for many years and he thought that it had been disposed of and was delighted to find that it was nearly finished and was going to be a feature in the gardens that all could enjoy. This Lad is none other than “Oor Lennie” known and loved by everyone in the village and beyond, so it was only fitting that he should be the one to unveil the bench, which he did with great dignity and emotion, an emotion shared by many in attendance who had known Peggy. Lennie even gave a wee tribute to the times he had shared on that very bench with her. A wonderful moment in time and a proud one for me personally as a lot of work went into the restoration but was very much worth it. So it appears if all the above is accurate, that this bench has been in Strathyre for around fifty years. I have no idea how long it was in the station before closure but it feels wonderful that it has embarked on such a journey and is now back in its place of origin where it will hopefully remain for a long time to come. 10

Active Scotland Outdoor Activities

‘Winter Boat Storage’ Take the hassle out of towing your boat away at the end of the season. Let Active Scotland take care of your winter storage needs by arranging for your boat to be stored inside from October to March. Towed from and returned to Clachan Cottage Hotel ready to start the 2011 season. Call 01567 830321 for details. Active Scotland Crieff Road, Lochearnhead 01567 830321 From top: Wullie and Lennie; Catherine and Lennie; Dougie and Lennie; the Street Party in action; and top right, the man himself “Oor Lennie”.

PS A wee private joke here. Dougie, you can join me any time for a dram on the bench as we have had it reinforced!!!!!!!! Wullie D, Chairman I am delighted to announce that Old Station Court Gardens took second place in the recent Rural Stirling Garden Competition and a number of residents were awarded a £10 voucher for their individual efforts,so well done to one and all.

Lochearnhead Watersports Café Under new management • Licensed

Open every day from 9.00am - 6.00pm Open later for dinners Fri/Sat/Sun Take away and phone orders possible Parties and group bookings catered for

07979 902810

Home baking, home made PIZZAS And much more…

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Dear Editor May I be permitted to make an alternative assessment of Sir Walter Scott, whom the National Park is celebrating this year? I came to Scotland to work in IT in the 1970s, when there was fond talk of a booming “Silicon Glen”. At that time Prestwick Airport was a major international airport, and the first pictures that visitors saw in the Arrivals Hall were large posters of famous Scots - “James Watt, inventor of the steam engine, born 30 miles from here” “John Logie Baird, inventor of the television, born 50 miles from here” - “Alexander Fleming, discoverer of penicillin, born 10 miles from here” - “David Livingstone, explorer of Central Africa, born 25 miles from here” - and so on (this is from memory, and the mileages are approximate). It was a very impressive advertisement for Scotland. I don’t know whether the posters are still there. Those Scots were forward-looking. Sir Walter Scott’s legacy encourages a backward-looking 19th-century romantic (and not very accurate) view of Scotland as a land of swirling mists and bagpipes. A modern forward-looking Scotland should celebrate those other Scots and try to come to terms with the difficult burden left by the famous writer. Don’t get me wrong: I love Scotland, and feel more at home here than in my native home of England. But I’d like Scotland to be a modern nation and not just a tourist destination! Alan Clarke

Overhanging Foliage The Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Community Council is appealing to anyone who is responsible for land bordering single track roads in the area, to cut back any trees or bushes which are encroaching on the road. The roads in question are the Balquhidder to Ballimore, Kingshouse to Inverlochlarig, Balquhidder to Strathyre back road and the South Loch Earn road. Many thanks to those of you who have already done this. Malcolm McNaughton, Chairman, Community Council

Callander Rambling Club 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. OCTOBER • Sat 2nd 8:30am Hill - Beinn Bhreac (Loch Lubnaig) 703m John Snodin 01877 331621 • Wed 6th 9:30am Stroll - Cambusmore 4 miles Margaret Robertson 01786 842021 • Sat 9th 8:30am LDP SWSW - spare day Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Wed 13th 9:30am Ramble Through the Menteith Hills 8 miles Roger Bradley 01877 331124 • Sat 16th 8:30am LDP SWSW - spare day Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Sat 23rd 8:30am LDP SWSW - spare day Paul Prescott 01877 330032 NOVEMBER • Sat 6th 8:30am Hill - Cruachan (Inversnaid) 536m James Kennedy 01877 387201 • Wed 10th 9:30am Ramble - The Strathblane pipeline 10 miles Helen Campbell 01877 382522 • Wed 24th 9:30am Stroll - Beecraigs Country Park (Linlithgow) 4 miles Jean Hammerton 01877 330105

Forth Valley U3A October Open Meeting will be held on Thursday 7 October at 2.00pm in Cambusbarron Community Centre There will be a talk on

‘Street Pastors’

by James McKenzie Non-members will be made welcome. 11

visit our website:

McLaren High School News

Lake Garda Orchestra Tour 2010 On 25 June seventy-six pupils and nine staff set off on the bus journey for a concert tour to Lake Garda. The pupils were able to enjoy fabulous day trips to Venice and Verona. We went on a boat trip from Bardolino to Sirmione where we enjoyed some of the biggest and best ice cream anywhere in the world. Our knuckles went white on the rollercoasters at Gardaland theme park, and we all got completely soaked at Canevaworld aquapark. The pupils played four outstanding concerts in Mori, Peschiera, Garda and Cavaion, with performances from the orchestra, choir, strings and wind band, swing band and highland dancers. Each concert was rounded off with an orchestral performance of Highland Catherdral with bagpipes. We were entertained in royal style by the mayor of Mori, who gave us all ice cream, and the people of Cavaion laid on a beautiful buffet. There were so many unforgettable memories for us all, and the atmosphere was extremely happy. The behaviour of the pupils was exemplary. On our return, everyone hugged each other as they said goodbye, knowing that they had had an experience which will stay with them forever. It was a wonderful way for Mrs Buchanan to round off her time at McLaren High School.

Music - the international language! 12

Senior Awards Ceremony Thursday 9 September saw 180 young people’s successes and achievements being celebrated. Joshua McInnes piped the platform party onto the stage and after the Rector’s report by Peter Martin, Belinda Greer – Head of Education, Stirling Council – gave the keynote speech. A marathon runner, she spoke of how through applied effort you can achieve your goals - completion of the race is its own reward. With musical interludes by Robbie Oman (vocal) and Stephanie Irvine (clarsach) the main event of recognising individual and group success took place - from playing for Scotland (Andrew Hunter and Bethany Ross) and obtaining Silver Duke of Edinburgh Awards (Chiara Fingland and Ailsa Woodley), to caring for others (War Memorial Prize – Morvyn Menzies and James Gardner) and outstanding academic excellence (Dux – Ruth Salter). The evening was rounded off by the installation of Head and Deputy Head Boys and Girls as well as the House Captains and Vice House Captains. The outgoing team pass their badges on to the new team – a symbol of continuity through change. The range of pupil achievements and the support by parents, grandparents and friends, demonstrates the success of the community that is McLaren High School.

Clockwise from top left: Harry Cordner and Bethany Ross; Ruth Salter; James Gardner and Morvyn Menzies.

Jack Barrett’s Cycling Summer Stirling Bike Club’s Jack Barrett, S6, has reached the next level after being selected for the Scottish Junior Team, contesting the tough racing scene in Belgium and training with Scotland’s senior team in Holland. The Club gave Jack some financial support and are proud of his achievements as he continues to progress as a rider.

Jack cycling in Belgium

In July he went to France for The Tour Valromey, a four-day stage race for juniors in the Rhone-Alps. Jack said: ‘It was hot! 39°C! The roads are beautiful, very hilly but not quite the massive passes of the Tour. 1100m is the highest we raced over.’ (Ben Nevis is 1,344m) Jack played his part in the race amongst some of the best junior cyclists in Europe. Next he went to Flanders in Western

Belgium to race with other young Scots. There are several races a week there and it is a great place for young cyclists to learn tactics and test themselves in the tough races, full of cobbles and hills that are Belgium’s national passion. Then it was on to Alkmaar in Holland

for a track training camp with the Scottish Commonwealth Games team. From this training camp, Jack now built up to the junior track national championships, in Newport Velodrome, at the end of August, where he rode the scratch race and the individual pursuit (4000m). 13



Golden Lions

Scottish Infantry

Parachute Display Team

Sky Diving Event at Midday (weather permitting) on 17 October at Monachyle Mhor Hotel

Organic Burgers • Fish and chips • Bar with soft drinks

01877 384622

The Golden Lions Scottish Infantry Parachute Display Team members are volunteers from the 5 regular Battalions and the 2 TA Battalions of The Royal Regiment of Scotland. The team is made up of 12 soldiers with 2 to 5 man display jump teams. From their base at Redford Barracks in Edinburgh the team jump all over Scotland to promote the Royal Regiment of Scotland. During a display, providing the cloud base is high enough and the wind speeds are favourable, the jump team will exit the aircraft at 7,000 feet. At least one member of the team will freefall at speeds of up to 120 mph (Terminal Velocity) and deploy his parachute at 3,000 feet. The rest of the team will deploy their parachutes immediately on exiting the aircraft and will carry out Canopy Relative Work, which requires a high degree of skill. This is where it looks like the Golden Lions are joining their parachutes together in different configurations. They will then deploy a large Scottish flag, which is attached to the waist of a team member and provides a spectacular show. The team members will then descend while carrying out various manoeuvres and land in the designated area - hopefully to rapturous applause! Each Golden Lion leaves the aircraft


at up to 7,000 feet above ground level with approximately £3,000 worth of parachute equipment strapped to his back. The parachutes used by the team are “Triathlons” which are American designed advanced technology ram-air canopies which when controlled by an experienced jumper provides forward speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. They can also brake, drop vertically and even travel backwards when flown by these experienced parachutists. In addition to their large, golden, square-shaped main parachutes, all team members jump with reserve parachutes, which in the unlikely event of a malfunction will still enable a safe landing in the arena. Since their formation, in 1969, the Golden Lions have made notable achievements within the parachuting world. They are the former Army champions in Canopy Formation, former overall Army champions and current Scottish National champions. The team is also well known for their team accuracy. They still hold the United Kingdom Altitude Landing Record by dropping onto the top of the Cairngorms (4,084ft). It takes a great deal of skill and experience to exit an aircraft at two miles high and then land in a confined space but The Golden Lions Scottish Infantry Parachute Display Team make it look easy!



The other night I was watching a very enjoyable film on one of the major channels. As it finished I leaned forward to peer at the closing credits to find out the names of those who appeared. But no amount of leaning or peering could satisfy my curiosity as suddenly the credits were shrunk down to the size of a postage stamp. The only reason I could see for this was to show the channel’s logo as big as possible, no doubt in order to remind me who had brought me the film in the first place. To make matters worse, a loud lady came on to tell me about the next programme, obscuring the wonderful music. Incensed, I emailed the TV channel to complain - and while I was in the mood I sent a similar message to a second channel, having had a similar experience the evening before. They both came back a few days later with the same response: “The end credits on some programmes are squeezed to allow us to use space for other on-screen information, such as what is coming up next or information relating to the programme that has just finished. We do regret any inconvenience caused by this; however we feel it is important to prioritise other onscreen information.” A shame, because apart from not being able to read the credits, we’re being denied our chance for reflection (or to check emotions) after a good televisual experience. Grr. I’m off to the cinema.

The Rev Paddy Allen and the Bishop

St Angus’s Church... A Celebration

On a fine evening on Sunday 29 August a celebration took place at St Angus’s Episcopal Church in Lochearnhead to mark the completion of a major building project which included a new roof, new exterior woodwork, insulation, some repointing, replacement guttering and new ground drainage. The state of the roof has been giving concerns over recent years and it became much more urgent when slates were regularly slipping off the roof and the whole fabric threatened. Being a listed building, the only option was to carry out a like-for-like repair and while specifications were being prepared, a serious fundraising campaign was launched. Together with an amount generated from the sale of some land the congregation organised many and original fundraising events and slowly the target

was reached. Tenders went out and Stitt Bros. Ltd from Killin were appointed to carry out the refurbishment. Work started in April this year and whilst more rot than expected was uncovered, progress was steady and completed in time for the celebration but also, more importantly, in time for Barry and Mairi’s wedding on 17 September. Many local people, members of St Angus’s sister congregations from Comrie and Crieff, together with the builders, were welcomed by the Rev Paddy Allen to a service of prayers and hymns to dedicate the refurbished building. Bishop David Chillingworth, the Primus and Bishop of Dunblane and St Andrews preached a most thought provoking sermon and afterwards a reception took place. The congregation of St Angus’s church would again take this opportunity to thank all the local people for their generosity in supporting their fundraising events but a special thanks go to the management and staff of Stitt Bros Ltd for doing such an excellent job. Local skills are very much alive. Lawrie Hopkins Secretary After the service at St Angus’s




Rangers’ Review By Gareth Kett

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Bird survey summary Many of you will probably be aware of two bird surveys that have been ongoing throughout Britain over the past few years. Some of you may even be taking part. The Bird Atlas Survey (2007-2011) is beginning its final survey year while the British Breeding Bird Survey has been ongoing since 1994. The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is the lead partner in both surveys and both focus on bird distribution around Britain using tetrads to divide Britain into survey areas. Countrywide results from the Bird Atlas Surveys will be compared with results from the previous Atlas surveys carried out from 1968-1972, 1981-1984 and 1985-1991 while results from the ongoing British Breeding Bird survey provide a continuous view of changing bird activity trends. Graeme and I have been carrying out Bird Atlas surveys in remote tetrads north of Callander and in Glen Dochart. In Glen Lochay we have done both Bird Atlas and Breeding Bird surveys. There is added benefit to us in that we are allowed access to some of the remoter areas where our usual duties do not permit us to go. This in turn allows us to meet some of the people involved in the management of these remote areas and to increase our understanding of local issues and wildlife, which in turn we hope will help us to provide a better service. As for the birds, the populations across the area seem healthy, although we were disappointed not to see any eagles! It was good though to see a black throated diver up at Loch Essan, above Crianlarich. Neil Bielby is the BTO BBS and Bird Atlas Regional Coordinator for our area. Neil and the National Park rangers are looking for more people to become involved in the surveys, particularly for one final push in the Atlas survey, so if you are interested and have the time to take part please get in touch with Neil through the BTO website on the following link www. or alternatively you can contact me for more information (see details at the end). With the onset of autumn, the departure of the swallows, martins, ospreys and many of the warblers, to the south, and the imminent return of large numbers of ducks and geese from breeding grounds 16

in the north, we’re just beginning another programme of bird surveys. The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) monitors nonbreeding waterbirds in the UK. The principal aims of WeBS are to monitor population trends and distribution over time and to identify important sites for wetland birds. Neil Bielby is also the BTO WeBS Regional Co-ordinator. He surveys Lochs Voil, Doine, Earn, Dochart and Iubhair while the Trossachs and Breadalbane rangers will be surveying Lochs Lubnaig, Venachar, Achray, Ard and Chon over the next six months. We’ll keep you updated with sightings. Information on WeBS is available at . Neil is again the Regional Co-ordinator. Path improvements at Killin A team of rangers toogether with a voluntary ranger recently cleared the vegetation back along the stretch of old railway line next to Killin, running from the Falls of Dochart pub to the iron bridge over the River Lochay. The vegetation clearance marks the first stage in a project to upgrade the section of line over the coming months thus improving access to Loch Tay and a beautiful circular walk around the head of the loch. Watch out for the Reds Once again it’s the time of year when most squirrels are killed on the roads as the young disperse and they are all attracted to new crops of hazel near the loch shores, all too often on the opposite side of a busy road. The A85 along Loch Earn and the A84 past Loch Lubnaig have been particularly bad over the past few weeks. Squirrels have very little road sense so please drive carefully and watch

Red Squirrel by Neil MacIntyre

out for red squirrels about to dash out in front of you. Not so Great Newts! Finally I must apologise for writing that great crested newts had been found at Balloch in the July issue of The Villagers. It was a case of mis-identification of palmate newts. I was over enthusiastic in reporting this before checking that the identification had been confirmed. Many apologies! So we’re still looking for a first current record of great crested newts within the National Park. As usual, please feel free to drop into the Lochearnhead Office, or to call Graeme or myself if you have any queries, wildlife sightings, or just want to catch up. I can be contacted on 01389 722040 and Graeme’s contact number is 01389 722115. Alternatively you can contact us by e-mail: or


A Musical Invitation

The Shepherd family are the new tenants in Auchtubhmore House. They have a Celtic Folk Rock Band called Remnant and wish to arrange a concert later in the year. If any other band would like to join them to play at Balquhidder Village Hall, or if anyone would be keen on ‘back stage’ work, please contact Steve Shepherd on 01877 384 632 to arrange involvement. H H H H H Indoor Storage Required for Trailer Tent Please call Steve Shepherd 01877 384 632

Babysitting Services reasonable rates offered for BLS area.

Rhiannon Shepherd 01877 384 632

Village Dance Strathyre Hall Elvis McCartney and friend entertain. Tickets £5.00 to 15s and over with Raffle and Buffet included. Proceeds to charity. 26 October 7.00pm


of Strathyre Village Association to be held in the village hall. Drinks and nibbles served. 2 November

Fireworks Display at Strathyre Primary School

Quiz Nite for the Killin Care Home This year we are breaking with tradition and holding the Quiz Nite in the Lochearnhead Scout Centre, on Thursday 21 October at 7.30pm. Light refreshments will be provided, but BYOB. Entrance £7.00 per head, all going to a deserving cause - the Killin Care Home, which we also supported last year. If you’d like to participate in this popular event, then form a team of 4, give your team a name, and book with Joan Clarke, 01877 384338 from 10 October, or email at any time.

NOW IN NEW GROUND FLOOR PREMISES AT: 6 Cross Street, Callander Tel: 01877 331417 Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Stone Therapy, Facials, Indian Head Massage, Spray Tan, Waxing, Nail Extensions, Manicures, Electrolysis, Tanning Booth, Make-up, Permalase. Monday-Saturday OAP Special on Wednesdays GIFT VOUCHERS 17


Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

Policing the Local Area I have no doubt that many of you will be watching and waiting for the announcements on the public sector budget cuts and how it will affect you. Like every other organisation Central Scotland Police are expecting a reduction in the government money available to them in the coming years. At the moment it is believed that a minimum saving/cut of £6 million pounds must be made in the next 3 years. As a result of this every aspect of the police budget is being looked at; stores, provision of food for prisoners, overtime payments, pension contributions and the cost of running police stations. At the moment CSP has eighteen offices across the force. It has been suggested that in order to make savings ten stations should close. Whilst there are many rumours as to which are on the “hit” list and what is going to happen to the various stations identified the Chief Constable and the Police Board have not made any decisions at this time, although it has been strongly suggested that both Killin and Crianlarich have along with a number of other stations been ring fenced to remain in service. As for the remainder we will have to wait and see if we are surplus to requirements. Although a station maybe mothballed it does not mean that the particular area or community will no longer have a police presence. Police Boat on Loch Earn On 3 September colleagues from the underwater Search Unit assisted me in patrolling Loch Earn. Whilst I carried out checks from the roadside they monitored activity on the loch from the water. They were also training other officers who will be able to accompany me when I patrol the local lochs in the National Park boat. One of these was PC Ross Buchan from Tayside Police who has responsibility for the east end of the loch. He will now be able to join me, or the rangers, or work independently, on loch patrols. On 4 September a joint Ironworks operation was carried out in the area with local officers, the specialist dog unit and the National Park rangers. A number of offences were detected which included possession of illegal drugs. Five people were charged with vandalism following information from the rangers that trees were being cut and burned at Loch Iubhair. Three males arrested for Metal Theft As regular readers will be fully aware I am continually reminding people about 18

those persons who not only steal scrap metal from farms but also copper cabling from the road sides and sub stations. I am very pleased to report that three males were apprehended by colleagues from Balfron Police Office on the afternoon of 16 August following the theft of a large amount of copper cabling from a Scottish and Southern Energy electrical station located on the A809 Stockiemuir Road between Blanefield and Killearn. These men were charged with theft and appeared at Stirling Sheriff Court from custody the following day. Given the current high value of metals these thefts continue to be a problem throughout the area. Why should you bother to call us? Simple, how would you manage without a telephone line or internet connection for a few days whilst a stolen or damaged one is being replaced? What would you do if you had a power cut for several days whilst the sub station is made safe and operational again? If you see any suspicious activity or spot vehicles loaded with cabling please contact the police immediately. These thefts occur at various times of day, not always at night, and remember that persons committing theft at sub stations will often give the appearance of being on site legitimately. Call us - if they are there legitimately then there is no harm done. Standing up against Drink Drivers Recently I posed the question how many times have we witnessed something or were suspicious about an incident or person and thought: “I’ll phone the police - I’ll do it in a minute once I’ve finished what I am doing.” For whatever reason we never make that call. Once again members of the public did make that all

important call to the police. Following information received from both members of the community and visitors to the area we were able to act in relation to two drivers strongly suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. The first call was made by a fisherman who had seen a male drinking heavily for 24 hours on the side of Loch Earn. In the afternoon the man was seen getting into a car with a young child and driving away. The fisherman, having previously been visited by the police on operation Ironworks, used the leaflet provided and called PC Frickleton. The male driver was stopped a short time later. As a result of failing the breath test he was searched and found to be in possession of a large knife tucked into his trousers. As a consequence he was remanded in custody for both drink driving and being in possession of an offensive weapon. The second call concerned an erratic driver in Balquhidder Glen. I carried out a search and found the car and its occupants. The male driver failed the roadside breath test, was arrested, taken to Stirling and reported to the Procurator Fiscal. There is no doubt that the prompt actions of the concerned members of the public resulted in the swift arrest of these individuals. Drink drivers are a danger not only to themselves but to other road users including pedestrians. Thankfully the vast majority of people DO make the call. So remember don’t be shy, embarassed or think that your call won’t make a difference. By lifting the telephone, your call can count. PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000

Callander Strings Concert in Aid of Leukaemia Research

Callander Strings (affectionately known as ‘Rusty Strings’) will be giving their first solo concert on Saturday 6 November at 7.30pm in the Kirk Hall. This group was formed three years ago to encourage lapsed string players and late starters to enjoy ensemble playing. It began tentatively, but has burgeoned both in numbers and confidence. For this concert, which is in aid of Leukaemia Research, we are extremely lucky to have as our compere, Mary Sandeman. Although Mary has retired from her singing career, she has agreed to help us by linking our musical items and providing a little insight into the life of a professional singer. We also have a guest flautist, Shona Gidney, with her accompanist, Heather Smith and there will be solos, duets and quartets from within the group. These will incude songs from one of our members, Janet Shimizu and a solo from our resident pianist, Ron Thewlis. A small group of young violinists will also take part. The musical content will be highly diverse, ranging from baroque and light classical to romantic, nostalgic and downright slushy! It will also include Scottish, Irish and even some 21st century music. All the pieces will be short. Perfection will be striven for, but may not always be achieved! However, it will be an entertaining and fun concert; so come along, listen to Mary and watch your friends enjoying their instruments and having fun, all for a very good cause. So please put Saturday 6 November in your diaries. Tickets will be available from the National Park Office, members of Callander Strings and also at the door on the evening. Jean Thewlis

Stirling Castle Exhibition Celebrates Five Years of Outreach with Reachout

An art exhibition will celebrate five years of creative collaboration between Stirling Castle and a community group for people with mental health problems. Alloa-based Reachout is a self-help organisation which uses the arts to help members build their confidence and skills. Kirsten Wood, Historic Scotland education officer, said: “The exhibition is a celebration of the close working relationship that has developed between us over the years. We hold frequent sessions where Reachout members can use the castle as the inspiration for their own artwork, whether that’s photography, painting, poetry or story-writing. There’s so much talent in the group and this will be a chance for the public to enjoy some of the fantastic artwork they have created.” The Historic Scotland education

unit makes Stirling Castle available for a wide range of projects and activities involving schools, community and other educational groups. Its setting, buildings, statues and other architectural details make superb subjects for drawing, painting, photography and other visual arts. The history of the castle and the stories of those who have lived and worked there over the centuries are an excellent source of inspiration for written work. The exhibition is entitled Retrospect and takes place in the Nether Bailey. It runs from 1 October for the entire month and is included in the standard entry price to the castle. It will include 30 pieces of photography, paintings, print and other art forms and is part of Historic Scotland’s contribution to the annual Big Draw campaign which promotes drawing and art throughout the country.


Strathyre Primary School News New Starts

Mrs Mochan welcomed eight new Primary 1 children to her class at the start of term.

Book Festival

At the end of August we visited the Edinburgh Book Festival. The P5 - P7 pupils went to Lucy Coates’ workshop where she discussed her books and writing; then on to Kjartan Poskit who writes ‘Murderous Maths’. He made Maths fun and easy. The P1 - P4 children went to see Catherine Rayner and Mara Bergman. The school has been going to the Festival for several years now and the children come away with some terrific ideas for stories and how to write them.

Rugby Taster

P3 -4 children had three sessions of Rugby coaching from Active Stirling Coach Mark. These took place in the playground and they learned the basic skills of Rugby. Some of the children were so good that the coach said he could see them playing for their country in years to come.

Grounds Day

We held a Grounds Day at the start of term to tidy up after the summer holidays. There was weeding, sweeping, planting, willow hide work and much more, to be done. The school just needed a general tidy up. The children all enjoy being outside working and they certainly had to work hard. They love and enjoy their school grounds so to them it isn’t hard work to keep it neat and tidy - it is a pleasure. Our next step for the school grounds is to apply for our third Green Flag.

Rhoda Keenan

Spirit of Elgar Concert

Popular local choir, The Rosenethe Singers, will give their next concert, “The Spirit of Elgar”, in Dunblane Cathedral on Saturday 13 November at 7.30pm. They will be joined by narrator Crawford Logan, a regular on BBC Radio 4, who will tell Elgar’s story against the background of Edwardian England. The Singers will illustrate this narration with the music of Elgar and his contemporaries, including an excerpt from the Dream of Gerontius. For ticket information, go to the Rosenethe website: or phone Chris Kelt on 01786 463639.

Picures from Strathyre Primary, from top: New Primary Ones; the Seniors with Lucy Coates; Rugby Taster; The Willow Hide; Mrs Ferguson and children in the veg plot! 20

Celebrate Christmas with a Festive Feast at one of Scotland’s finest castles This festive season, choose one of Scotland’s most splendid historic venues for a truly special and unforgettable celebration lunch with family or friends. The stunning strongholds of Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle both offer tempting Christmas dining experiences for lovers of superb food and great surroundings. From 1-24 December, Edinburgh Castle’s elegant Queen Anne Building has a wonderful three-course Christmas Lunch for only £35.00 per person and with free entry to the castle included, you can make the most of your visit by exploring all of the historic highlights of Scotland’s leading heritage attraction at no extra cost. There’s also a chance to experience two exclusive Wine and Dine Lunches at Edinburgh Castle on 12 and 19 December. In the imposing Queen Anne Room, these events offer the finest Scottish cuisine in a carefully-designed four-course menu featuring the very best locallysourced ingredients, with specially selected wines to complement each dish. The cost is £52.00 per person and again, free entry to the castle is included in the price. To book Christmas Lunch (from 1.00pm) or a special Wine and Dine Lunch (from 12.30pm) at Edinburgh Castle, call 0131 220 4833 or email At Stirling Castle, Christmas Lunch is available in the lovely surroundings of the Unicorn Café from 11 to 23 December. Again, this offers a superb festive treat as well as excellent value, with a tempting three-course meal followed by coffee and mince pies, all for £29.00 per person. The price also includes free entry to Stirling Castle to enable diners to turn their lunch visit into a great day out by exploring the attraction and doing some Christmas shopping in the castle’s gift shops. To book Christmas lunch at Stirling Castle, call 01786 449208 or email

ANAGRAMS WITH ATTITUDE! The teary young woman who was relating the details of her accident to the police assured them that she was not speeding. Becomes: ‘What gear were you in then?’ said the state cops. ‘Chartreuse hat, faded lemon two-piece, mint shoes, tights and a yellow thong’.


Volunteer Rangers

wanted for Loch Lomond and Trossachs Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority has launched a recruitment drive to find Volunteer Rangers to help look after the National Park and to ensure visitors have a great experience when they arrive. They will have the opportunity to work on a number of activities including helping out at Visitor Centres, delivering events, helping visitors at popular sites including village centres and working on environmental projects, such as wildlife monitoring. With a minimum commitment of two days a month, Volunteer Rangers will be involved throughout the whole year. There are no specific qualifications needed to get involved but we are looking for confident volunteers who are able to meet a wide variety of people and share with others what they know and love about the National Park. If you have a passion for interacting with people, being outdoors and want to demonstrate or improve your existing skills, we want to hear from you. An open evening will be held on Thursday 14 October from 6-8pm for anyone interested in becoming a Volunteer Ranger. This will be an opportunity to meet some of the Rangers and find out more about the role. For more information and an application pack visit or contact or phone 01389 722600. The minimum age for applying is 18.


The Gaelic Playgroup On Thursday 9 September Balquhidder village hall hosted the first Gaelic Playgroup. Over the past three weeks we have introduced local children of varying ages (5 months - 11 yrs), to the Gaelic language. Through singing songs, conversation and playtime, they are learning basic Gaelic phrases, such as ‘How are you? I am fine’ and ‘My name is…’ They have also been concentrating on the colour red. It has been great fun and some of our attempts at pronunciation have certainly provided much amusement! We really hope that the group will be a chance for the children to get together and play, for Mums to meet and for the Gaelic language to be heard and experienced. We hope that this will encourage an interest in the language as the children grow up. We are very grateful to Joan Mann and Cathy Boreland for giving their time and energy to leading the Gaelic learning. Thanks to funding from Bord na Gaidhlig we have been able to purchase play equipment to support the group and last week we enjoyed playing games with a parachute. We hope to add to the equipment as we see what is popular and what else might enhance their play. After some free playtime the children sit down together and enjoy a healthy snack provided by the playgroup; this is also an opportunity to learn some Gaelic words for food, although we weren’t sure if there was a word for ‘Pop corn’ in Gaelic! The Playgroup is held every Thursday in Balquhidder village from 10.30am to 12.30pm and costs £1.00 per family. It’s never too late to come and join us, we would love to see you (no Gaelic knowledge required). If you would like more information please email Abbey at

Study on Rural Business Space Stirling Council, in partnership with the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, is carrying out a study to understand demand for business space in rural Stirling. The Council would like to hear from businessmen and women from across the rural area, from Crianlarich and Tyndrum in the north, to Strathblane in the west and Plean to the east. A questionnaire has been sent out to rural businesses; however, there are many home-based businesses and people working self-employed in the rural area who will not have received a copy. If you have a business in the rural area, or work from home, and would like to take part, please access the survey online at www.stirling. or contact Joelle Russell (Economic Support & Tourism, Stirling Council) on 01786 442778 to ask for a copy to be sent to you. Susan Harvey MBE, Convenor of the Kilmadock Community Development Trust and owner of Doune-based business Harvey Maps, said: “It is important that business space is provided in rural Stirling, particularly where new housing is being built. Small local businesses want workspace close to where they live. This is particularly important in rural areas where there is little or no local business space available and where the only option is to travel to the town, which is expensive, time consuming, and not environmentally friendly.” Further details on the study are available by visiting uk/ruralsurvey or by contacting Joelle Russell (Economic Support & Tourism, Stirling Council) on 01786 442778 or by email at

Farm Forum: Cap and Tags! Last month I wrote a bit about rising food prices and the importance of “food security” for our country and indeed the rest of the world. There can be nothing more likely to start conflict - either internal or between countries than the shortage of food or indeed fuel. It is coincidental that all the concern has arisen just as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is being revamped. It is also coincidental that the discussions are occurring when many countries throughout the world are trying to recover from financial crisis. This makes it all the more important that politicians, who are in the main urban based, are made very aware of the situation. They must understand that their food does not come initially from a supermarket shelf but that the food chain is slightly more complex than that! I mentioned the wheat crisis in Russia and that they had banned all exports until December. Well, a week or so ago the global food situation took a turn for the worse and Russia announced that its ban on exports would require to continue for another 12 months. This has left African and Middle Eastern countries struggling to keep order as bread prices have leapt by 30%. Apparently this triggered riots in Mozambique with some people reportedly killed. Against this background it is reported by Gordon Davidson in the “Scottish Farmer” that European Parliament Agri-committee member, Alyn Smith said that Europe must act to protect its own food security and that meant putting production at the top of CAP reform priorities. “I have said time and again that the primary purpose of the CAP has to be the production of food and the maintenance of a food production infrastructure. All else - the agri environmental schemes, the birds, the

wetlands, the hedges etc are secondary.” The anti-snaring lobby are making their voices heard again! Everyone is entitled to their views but the problem is they simply cannot properly understand the situation. They imply that farmers are ogres of some sort that enjoy killing things - nothing could be further from the truth but we have no alternatives and provided the job is done properly collateral damage is kept to an absolute minimum. Wouldn’t it be great if, for once, these people would back us, for example, in our opposition to excessive ear tagging of sheep on welfare grounds. Despite disinfecting tools and tags, sheep have festering and suppurating ears and tags get torn out in grass and heather causing more misery (and require by law to be replaced). Apparently research has been carried out by the Glasgow Vet School which shows that painful ear infections have significantly increased since double tagging of sheep began. Sorry, I have to stop now as there is not enough room in this issue to say all I could. On reflection it is probably just as well! Agricola

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View from the Park by Owen McKee The last month has been rather hectic with constant calls concerning the decision by the Park Authority to refuse permission for the goldmine at Tyndrum. Not a single call was to say that the Board had made the right decision. Everyone was of the opinion that “Jobs come first” and yet few, if any, were aware of the facts. At this stage all I will say is that the applicant, Scotgold, and the Park’s planning department, are in negotiations with the view to a fresh application which takes into account the reasons for the refusal. Everyone involved believes that a solution can be found which will result in a much better outcome for both the community and the environment. Last week saw our Park hosting the annual conference of the Association of National Park Authorities with delegates coming from all over the UK. It is as well that the main focus of the conference was “The Lochs” for the heavens opened to such an extent that a few extra lochs come into view. My task involved taking a group around Callander and highlighting some of the Local Plan problems being experienced

there. To help balance the session we took them to view the broch at Strathyre before getting them to cycle back along the track to Callander in the rain. They now know what droochit means. In spite of the inclement weather the conference went well with many of the delegates promising to take us up on the invitation to “Haste ye back”. The last week in September was also the last in the season for “Operation Ironworks” which has again proved a success. This year the police introduced a new approach in the anti-litter campaign in that where they found “campers” in the midst of a mess they issued fixed penalty fines which could be replaced by a warning letter if the mess was clear when the campers left. In most cases clear up resulted and fixed penalties were cancelled. The consultation period for the East Loch Lomond Camping bylaws is now over and the proposals are with the Minister. The one major objection is from The Ramblers Association whose fear is that to introduce the bylaws will lead to a gradual erosion of the Access legislation. There is no time limit for the Minister to make a decision but we are hopeful that a positive response will see them in force for the start of the 2011 tourist season. With these objections in mind and in the knowledge that East Loch Lomond is not the only part of the Park that experiences

serious anti social behaviour we will this winter start a series of meetings with the communities and landowners in the areas around Lochs Venachar, Lubnaig, Balquhidder Glen and Loch Earn to see how best to manage the problem. In particular we will have a mind to the threat of displacement of the problem from the area covered by the bylaws. As always I can be contacted as follows: Post:

Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead Phone: 01567830214

LOCHEARNHEAD POST OFFICE AND SHOP POST OFFICE AND PARCELFORCE SERVICES. CASH MACHINE (no fee) Greetings Cards ~ Stationery Films and Batteries Hot & Cold Drinks ~ Confectionery ~ Ice Cream Lochearnhead Souvenirs ~ Children’s Toys Signed books by Local Authors Fishing Tackle ~ Fishing Tackle Hire Live Bait ~ Permits (Until 6 October)

~ ~ ~


Good Food - and a warm welcome awaits all. Award winning local chef. Eddie McAnally will be cooking the best of local produce. To make a reservation and enquire about our free transport service contact George at the Kings House. Reservations Tel: 01877 384 646 Fax: 01877 384716 email: 24

Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri 0900 - 1730 Wednesday 0900 - 1300 Saturday 0900 - 1600* Sunday 1200 - 1600* *Until Sunday 3 October, then Saturday closing at 12.30. Closed all day Sunday. Post Office Post Box Collection Times: Morning - 12 noon Afternoon - 1600 (Except Saturday) Sunday - No Collection Telephone: 01567 830 201

The Thrill of The Chase It may be 200 years since Sir Walter Scott penned his most famous poem, but the spirit of the Lady of the Lake was well and truly alive in the Trossachs on the weekend of 25 September as people came in their hundreds to take part in The Chase duathlon and Wee Chase family challenge. Staged to celebrate the poem’s anniversary, in the heart of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, The Chase and Wee Chase fused sport and culture creating a truly unique experience for the 500 participants. Not exactly your conventional duathlon, The Chase complemented the bike-run-bike formula with a series of physical and mental challenges and a host of scored checkpoints to visit along the way. Participants, spurred on by the sound of a hunting horn and a glimpse of a stag, followed the 40mile route across breathtaking landscape, which took in three lochs - Katrine, Venachar and Achray as well as a number of scenic mountain bike trails. The Chase was won by Brandan Moriarty from Glasgow after he scored a host of bonus points bumping up his finish time of 3hours 10mins. After accepting The Chase trophy he said, “I heard about the event through my work at Event Scotland and thought I would give it a go. My endurance is in good shape at the moment after completing a 194mile race across the German and Italian Alps last week. I enjoyed how different this event was with the

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The Chase

puzzles and archery; it made a nice change. I would love to come back and compete here again, the scenery was absolutely stunning.” The event was blessed with glorious autumnal weather which encouraged many on-the-day entries for the Wee Chase which took participants on a 3mile cycle to Loch Venacher. There they embarked on the Sunday Herald Wee Chase Treasure Hunt; gathering clues to solve a puzzle linked to the poem. The Wischert family from Moodiesburn in Glasgow took part in the Wee Chase. Six year old Louie said, “It was really good. My favourite bit was finding the clues in the treasure hunt. We saw a nice view of a mountain that my uncle said is called Ben Ledi.” Louie’s mum Liz added, “It has been a really nice family event and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. The wee BBQ and entertainment at the end provided a great finish to a wonderful day.” To complete both events all participants

had to take aim in an archery challenge at the finish before they were welcomed in to the evening’s celebratory Gathering by a host of mediaeval entertainers inspired by the time of the poem. Stilt walkers, fire jugglers and minstrels were on hand to entertain and delight whilst everyone tucked in to the authentic hog roast and enjoyed some well deserved refreshments. A sword fighting reenactment troupe played out battle scenes and the winners of The Chase and Wee Chase were crowned. The inspiration behind The Chase began in 1809 when Scott visited the Trossachs and was so taken with the area he wrote this epic poem Lady of the Lake. His depiction of the landscape has helped to establish Scotland as the popular tourist destination it is today. The Lady of the Lake describes how King James V, disguised as a knight, attempts to hunt a stag and eventually seeks shelter on an island on Loch Katrine, summoned by the beautiful Ellen Douglas.

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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.

The Wee Chase 25


We’ll send you or your friends ‘The Villagers’ £10.50 for 11 monthly issues (£19.50 for Europe and £25.00 for the rest of the world). All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, Tom-Na-Dair 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................................ 26


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The Villagers’ Contacts BLS Newspaper Association Tom-na-Dhair, Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB

Weekly & Monthly Activities Monday Tuesday

BLS Lunch Club, Balquhidder Hall - 12.30-2.30pm

Keep Fit, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30-11.30am Art Class, Balquhidder Hall - 10.00am-1.00pm Music Circle, Sandison Hall, St Fillans - 1.00pm. Contact for new members: Ian Pinkerton on 01764 670578 Scottish Country Dancing, Strathyre Hall - 8.00pm

Wednesday Thursday

Yoga, Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am-12noon Carpet Bowls, Lochearnhead Hall - 7.30 for 8.00pm


Gaelic Playgroup, Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am-12.30pm Upholstery, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-1.00pm

Playgroup, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12noon Ballroom Dancing, Lochearnhead Hall – 7.00-9.00pm

OCTOBER 7 8 16/17 17 21 21-24 22 26

Forth Valley U3A Open Meeting - Cambusbarron - 2.00pm see p.11 Strathyre Village Association Dance - Village Hall - 7.30pm see p.17 Stained Glass Workshop - Balquhidder Hall - contact Jean Hicks 01567 830359 Skydiving Event at Monachyle Mhor Hotel - 12 noon see p.14 Quiz Nite - Lochearnhead Scouts Centre - 7.30pm see p.17 Trossachs Mushroom Festival in Aberfoyle and surrounds Series Whist - new session - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm see p.8 Strathyre Village Association AGM in Village Hall - 7.00pm

NOVEMBER 1 2 3 6 6/7 19

Balquhidder Bowls Club - Balquhidder Hall - 8.00pm see p.9 Fireworks at Strathyre Primary School Community Council Meeting - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.30pm Callander Strings - concert in Callander Kirk Hall - 7.30pm see p.19 Cottage Contents Sale see p.8 Series Whist - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm


Balquhidder Christmas Market - 11.00am - 4.00pm see p.8 Hogmanay Dance - Lochearnhead Hall - 9.00pm see p.8

The deadline date for copy each month this year is the

24th. Please help us to get The Villagers to you on time!

All cheques for advertising or mail order subscriptions must be made out to ‘The BLS Newspaper Association’

Email: Editorial Team Editor: Marguerite Kobs 01877 384 215 ‘Kalinka’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8NZ Business Manager: John Stewart 01877 384 664 Production Manager: Gill Allan 01877 384 203 Advertising Co-ordinator and Photographer: Alistair Barclay 01567 830 453 Co-editor and Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Susan Revie 01877 384 306 St Fillans Contact: John Murray 01764 685 487 Mail Order Distribution: Hilda Astbury 01877 384 681

The Villagers’ Photographer

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

CHURCH SERVICES Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St. Fillans CHURCH OF SCOTLAND 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 Killin, at the Episcopalian Church Sunday 2.30pm Father Jim McCruden 2 Ancaster Square, Callander Tel: 01877 330 702

SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH St Angus’s, 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. Vestry Secretary - Lawrie Hopkins Tel: 01567 830 238 Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: Published by The BLS Newspaper Association

The Villagers October 2010  

News about the villages of Lochearnhead, St Fillans, Balquhidder and Strathyre where Perthshire meets the Trossachs in Scotland. Community s...

The Villagers October 2010  

News about the villages of Lochearnhead, St Fillans, Balquhidder and Strathyre where Perthshire meets the Trossachs in Scotland. Community s...