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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

bls Highland Games and Gathering


When the committee finally set foot on the Games Field, Lochearnhead, on the Wednesday evening prior to Saturday 24 July, ‘the going was bottomless’ in places (to use a horse racing term). However, we were promised fine drying weather through our build-up and we could all look forward to ‘good to firm going’ by noon on Saturday. It was a close run thing! See the report on page 12.

Balquhidder Station

... remembered

This photo was taken in 1909/10 at Balquhidder Station. The man in the station master’s office doorway is James Walker, a clerk. A short history, provided by Cameron Walker, came with the picture. This says that James W joined the railway in 1905 at Killin as a 15 year old “learner.” He was appointed as a clerk at Tyndrum the next year, then moved to Taynuilt. He moved again to Balquhidder in October 1908, where the station master was called MacDiarmid. He stayed there until he transferred to Loch Tay in May 1910. In December the same year he resigned from railway service. We know nothing about the other two people, although the other man standing has a similar uniform to Walker, while the sitting man looks to be a porter. Does anyone recognise these two people? Mike Williams

EDITOR’S NOTE Good news! Cinderella has claimed the red shoes left behind at a recent party. She said not to worry about a Prince Charming as she had found hers long ago. Aah - well done Charlie H. Bad news! Some reports of last month’s local events did not reach us in time (some not at all). Please remember that Deadline Day is always the 24th of the month. We want your newspaper to be in the shops on the first Friday of the following month and we do our best to achieve this but we do need your co-operation. Marguerite Kobs



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

17.7 ºC 21.1 11.0 8.1

63.8 ºF 69.9 51.8 46.5

Rainfall: 17.7 cms 7.0 ins Strongest wind gust: 37mph on 4th July 2

Come to our ‘Truly Scottish’ Theme Night on 15 September Part of the ‘Scottish Food Fortnight’

The St Fillans Bit It’s always fascinating to discover the backgrounds of villagers in a place like St Fillans. I have alluded before to the remarkable past athletic achievements of David Birkmyre (full story yet to be told when we have space), but those are surely eclipsed by the early life of our much loved Dowager Duchess* Cathie Moncrieff. Most of us have witnessed Cathie’s prowess as a thespian in the various productions by the St Fillans Players, but how many of us knew that Cathie’s art was honed during her years as a Pole Dancer (No. 1 attraction, I’m told, in Eddie’s Bar in Leith some years back).

Which is a convoluted way of getting around to the annual Festive Weekend. Blessed this year by good weather the three days were much enjoyed by all who turned out and a credit to the hard work of T’Committee and the many volunteers who helped out. Previous events have funded the purchase of two marquees and a third was kindly lent by Steve and Isobel to provide a food and bar servery area. The usual Friday cricket match was replaced this year by ‘Softie Ball’, a fast moving and fun version of six-a-side cricket which, though very light hearted, soon became very competitive with tactics playing a big part at the conclusion. The Billy Ferguson Band from Grangemouth provided good music for the evening’s Ceilidh which saw serious and welcome enthusiasm and involvement from the younger folk as well the oldies. An excellent modern jazz band, ‘Midnight Blue’, entertained on the Saturday during the BBQ as a prequel to frantic games and activities on the field,

Cathie at the Pole

On the opening night of this year’s 3-day Festive Weekend held on 13/15 August, Cathie enthralled us with a demo of her skills - unfortunately she had forgotten to bring her wee tassly outfit but that detracted little from the demo which was exciting enough even to rouse Cecil from his slumbers. I was lucky enough to grab a quick photo to record the moment.

The Royal Box

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

the bouncy slide and on the bungee run - all devised and superbly run by Harry. The bungee run provided a wonderful spectacle when Ulla and sister challenged each other on parallel bungees. The resultant sight of two Swedes who are old enough to know better, dressed in skirts, flying backwards, legs in the air was captured digitally but I’m too much of a gentleman to publish it. It was, however, a good advert for M&S undies, though not to the full approval of The Royal Box (see pic). The ‘Rear of the Year’ competition attracted much interest and the winner is pictured here.

‘Rear of The Year’

(A bottle of wine to the first reader correctly identifying the winner - phone 685487). The Weekend wouldn’t be the same without the Allander Jazz Band on the Sunday afternoon and they didn’t disappoint. They claim, and I think genuinely, that this is their favourite ‘gig’ each year - lovely location and an appreciative and involved crowd. Kurt Kynhoff laid on the now traditional Hog Roast for folk to make pigs of themselves (sorry, only pun this month). Ivan and Sue once again did magnificently in sourcing auction lots and the bidding was fierce and generous. I’m happy, on behalf of the Village, to thank Strathyre’s Sula Furnishing, Monachyle Mhor, Yann’s in Crieff, The Deil’s Cauldron, Tullybannocher Nursery, Thomson’s Deli in Crieff, Kingsbarns, Royal (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 This month: ‘Truly Scottish’ - 15 September

The Four Seasons Hotel, St Fillans

01764 685 333


Continued from page 3

Serious business at the Hog

Burgess, Crail & St Fillans Golf courses, Oscar & Fitch Opticians in Edinburgh, Face & Body Beauty Clinic in Edinburgh, outside caterers Glasshouse Hospitality and 5 Star Smart City Hostel. More locally, David Kerr donated a lovely oil study of Loch Earn, Jim Brierley and Brian Neale a day of their labours and the much missed Chadwicks a short break in their self catering cottage in St Andrews. The proceeds from the Sunday auction and raffle totalled some £2,500 - which I’d call a result, and meant that overall the weekend realised a surplus of over £2,000 for The Community Trust. Thanks also go to The Drummond for providing ladies loo facilities; Andrew Scott for catering; The National Park; Mozolowski & Murray; the three village hotels and various villagers who made donations to the event, not forgetting the villagers who helped out over the weekend and before. With such a superb weekend laid on as a big part of our village community life and all the effort which goes into it, it begs the question as to why turnout this year was lower than usual? The Committee accept that the pre-publicity this year wasn’t good and, of course, cash is tight - but surely those who labour so hard to promote village life deserve support? I’d be interested to hear feedback from folk who chose not to turn out, as I will be involved in the event again next year in a small way and it pays to listen. It’s worth remembering that these events, as well as being good fun, raise much needed cash for maintaining our village.

The weekend was completed with an unrelated event, the excellent concert by Nigel Ogden on the new organ in Dundurn Church on the Sunday evening. The clash of this with the Festive Sunday was unfortunate but unavoidable due to Nigel’s schedules. With a mix of light classical, show numbers, and good banter, Nigel more than demonstrated the joys of a wellplayed organ to a very receptive audience and the innovation of a camera focused on the keyboard and transmitting to a central screen in front of the audience showed the real skills of keyboard playing. The Rev Graham dedicated the organ at the close and the full blooded rendition of The Day Thou Gavest by the happy throng made the hairs tingle on the neck. Back to earth (sorry, second pun), The Garden Group have been hard at it clearing along the river bank at the East of the village and thus opening up the view to the river. The result is very effective and reward for hard graft. It has been mentioned here previously that the Group have taken over the task of trying to eradicate the dreaded knotweed since the Cooncil decided that funds were not available to tackle the problem. Simply clearing the river bank of the weed is not allowed by SEPA as it might just relocate the problem downstream, so chemical treatment is being used with SEPA approval. The eradication is not a ‘one shot’ cure but a 5 year programme with the cost of the first phase borne by the Community Council, phase 2 by the Garden Group and the Community Trust adding funds for area clearance etc. This is all going to be a costly, but essential, long term solution and extra funding will be sought as required. To that end the Garden Group plan a major fundraiser in the early part of 2011 (remember the last one - Has St Fillans Got Talent?). The format is being agreed right now and it will be quite unlike anything ever previously done in the village. My lips are sealed - but all will be revealed in this column next month. Still on fund raising, the members of St Fillans Golf Club took part in the nationally organised golf weekend in



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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

early August designed to aid the ‘Help For Heroes’ charity. Over 50,000 golfers took part across the UK. In St Fillans the funds were raised by way of entry fees and fines for things like using a bunker or losing a ball. Well over ÂŁ500 was raised with contributions still coming in. The members played Individual Stableford (which, I gather, was legalised in 1972) and the competition was won by Brian Spratt with 44 points. There was also a winning team prize collected by Fraser B, Ronnie Shaw, Brian Spratt and Keith Stewart, whilst Craig Haldane won the putting competition. Late News from Mary at the Four Seasons who reports a very busy August, especially weekends and Sunday Lunch, so book if you can. Their next Theme Night is on 15 September and is ‘Truly Scottish’ to fit in with the Scottish Food Fortnight in which they always participate. Finally, the ongoing Tuesday Coffee Mornings in the Village Store are proving to be an enduring success with, it seems, half the ladies of the village showing up every week to blether. The other half are assured of good company if they fancy joining in. It’s a real joy to have a thriving shop in the village again and I hope that support holds up over the long winter months. The guys deserve it. John Murray (* - my dictionary says ‘a dignified mature lady’. Very apt.)

Scottish Country Dancing - Final Year? On Tuesday 28 September at 8.00 pm in Strathyre Village Hall the Scottish Country Dance classes begin - but like so many clubs we are struggling . The group has been going for over sixty years and it would be a shame if it closed because of lack of support. Ironically, if all the members turn up in an evening then the class looks very healthy, but sadly things rarely work out that way. Last winter we lost two members after they slipped and broke their wrists. Another long-standing member is no longer able to participate. So with holidays and other commitments sometimes we barely make a set of eight. One evening, if it hadn’t been for the Aberfoyle club coming to our rescue, come from 8.00 – 9.00 pm leaving the rest we would have had only four people at the a chance to perform more complicated class and that included the teacher! dances in the second half. Three of our members aren’t even local, You don’t need a partner, in fact at the two come from Callander and another from moment we have no couples; all you need Thornhill, which also poses a problem in is a pair of soft shoes - proper dancing the bad weather. So where are the people? shoes can wait and we will offer you the Several have said they are interested, so first evening free. please, this year make the effort to come If you are new to Scottish Country and join us. We don’t expect you to come Dancing then we suggest you try to make every week but please put 28 September the first few weeks when the teacher for in your diary. the past 20 years, Daphne Gompertz, will So, what is involved - the classes are show you the steps and movements with from 8.00 – 10.00 pm every Tuesday night, simple dances. In the second half of the with a break for Christmas and New Year session, January to end of March, we when people are busy with other events. are looking towards the Aberfoyle Dance The total cost from the end of September and therefore are committed to practising to the end of March is just £10 as we don’t the dances for that event, so if any of the plan to make a profit, just cover the cost of members wish they can go and enjoy an the hall. There are optional refreshments evening of dances to a live band, together halfway through the evening, usually tea or with an excellent supper, all for less than coffee with a biscuit and this costs 30p per £6. night. So together with the subscription we We therefore look forward to seeing are talking about less than £1 an evening - you, men as well as women, at a fun, keepwhere else can you go for that? fit class which also taxes the brain - see Students are welcome, no charge, and you there! younger ones (Primary 7 upwards) can

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01877 332000

Lochearnhead Ballroom Dancing Classes

start again on Friday 24 September in the Village Hall. Some changes for this session sees the introduction of a Beginners Class at 7.00pm, followed by the more established members at 7.30pm. The whole idea of this is to allow those with no experience to come along and get some basic steps each evening before the experienced arrive in the hope that they will benefit more in time from the experienced ones too. We are making no charge for the first month of lessons for all Beginners. So whatever your age or sex, come along and enjoy a fun evening, get some exercise and learn to dance. We do not take ourselves too seriously. Contact Mary Barclay on 01567 830453 for more details.

Handy Hints & Fun Tips H




Cheer loudly at 8.00pm each Saturday to fool the neighbours into thinking you have won the Lottery.

HELP WANTED Some personal care together with cooking and housework 4 days a week (days are negotiable) No previous experience necessary

9.00am -12.30pm £110 per week Please phone 01877 384 715 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 sketches a scene from his childhood on the farm. Now that September is here and the harvest is almost safely gathered in, those words spring to mind with me and the thought that wheat is more than twice the price it was last year. Russia has had a bad drought over its cereal growing areas, so has little to put onto the world market. Shortages are inevitable; perhaps a sign of things to come. But let us go back to another time of shortages, my early school days. The word was going round the village playground, “It’s thrashing day tomorrow”, causing great excitement. Not because we needed to put a thick book down the back of our pants, (yes, the cane was not outdated then), but it all depends on how you spell thrashing, this time it was THRESHING, and tomorrow was the day it all happened at our farm. About 5.30am the steam traction engine, as in the picture, came puffing into the farmyard, pulling the threshing “Drum”, straw binder and chopper; the whole combination expertly manoeuvered by a small team of men under the guidance of one Mr Harrison, affectionately known as “Chuffer”. Well remembered in awe was the way the sheer weight of the machine tilted all the huge flagstones in its path up on end, and the cattle water trough, wherein we boys had nurtured a colony of sticklebacks, was sucked dry through a long pipe to the steam engine boiler, fish and all! The drum was placed alongside the corn stack and the steam engine moved into line so that the long heavy drive belt from its flywheel connected with the main driving pulley on the drum five or six yards away - the reason being that the thick, heavy, sagging belt maintained a good grip on the pulley to prevent it slipping.


To avoid a long walk round the steam engine it was usual to duck underneath the moving, flapping belt to get to the other side of the drum. “Elf ‘n Safety” would jump on that idea today, but everyone knew the danger; well almost everyone! We schoolboys also dived under the belt on the way round, but one of us did not bend down low enough and the flapping belt virtually scalped him while we others watched in terror as he ran screaming down the road to his home, leaving a trail of blood along the way. He soon seemed to recover, albeit with a bald patch to show for his carelessness. Another story to intrigue us young folk was of a farm workman who had inhaled a grain of corn which germinated in his sinuses and started to grow. The main anticipation of the day came as the corn stack was almost down to the ground since this was when the rats and mice started to bolt. A chicken wire fence had been placed round the stack to reduce the line of escape and numerous farm dogs, (sheepdogs and terriers), were ready, even the farm cat. Most of the men had a stick or fork and the cry would go up, “Eh up thiz a rot”. Dogs would rush in, sticks would fly, more hitting men and dogs than the rats. All the dogs had scarred and bleeding noses from rat bites and I well remember our cat with a mouse under each paw and one in its mouth, looking bewildered at the others running all round it. The men had binder twine tied round their trousers just below the knee to prevent rats running up their legs, and after a good day it was no surprise to see a wheelbarrow full of dead rats. I do recall one of the team with the steam engine, something of a schoolboy curiosity, he had cut off his trigger finger

‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.’ (Lines 1-11 of ‘To Autumn’ by John Keats)

with an axe in order to avoid conscription into the armed forces, preferring to stay in agriculture. Another man, we called him “Pincher”, would creep up behind us children and pinch our bottoms and it did hurt! No doubt today he would be locked up. We were always warned to keep well away from him, that was the way of things then, and the other men made sure we were looked after. Another amusement with the men at lunchtime was who would dare to drink a pint of beer with a tadpole in it. It was all jolly hard and dangerous work, but of vital importance at that time of war and food rationing, schools were even closed for a week so that the children could help with potato picking in the fields. A good meal of eggs and bacon (from the farm pig) together with an enormous apple pie, was dished out to all the team before they moved on to the next place and we were left to re-introduce the sticklebacks.

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Community Council The Community Council met on 11 August in Strathyre with a strong contingent of residents from the area and representation from various local bodies and authorities, including Bruce Crawford, MSP. Once again, we spent a great deal of time talking rubbish! However, the discussion was anything but a waste of time. Following our previous meeting, Gill Allan of Balquhidder had produced some excellent signs for putting up in areas that are particularly prone to problems of litter and other nuisance. It was agreed that we should put these to good use straight away. We were also reminded that other, positive initiatives were in place, such as the collection of litter in certain places by those undertaking Community Service. Several National Park Rangers are also Special Constables and this allows them to be considerably more proactive in their approach to dealing with all kinds of nuisance as they patrol the Park area. However, the point was also made that the differing policies and approaches of the various authorities working in our area were tending to cause great confusion amongst ordinary members of the public. For example, some were under the impression that the Council would collect rubbish that had been bagged and left beside a public road; others believed that there was a ban in force against drinking in public places within the area of the National Park. Many of these perceptions were actually wrong (although Stirling Council has agreed to support the Park Plan by collecting bagged rubbish left at the road side) and this undermined the efforts of the police to enforce the legislation that does exist. Various options were suggested but Bruce Crawford advised that the most effective option might be to approach the Environment Minister with the request that she should draw together the various parties concerned with the aim of forming

a joint strategy to get everyone working together on clear, practical solutions to this problem. This won’t happen overnight but offers the best chance of tackling the anti-social tendencies of the Few in order to provide an attractive and inspiring environment for the benefit of the Many. We then looked at some other ideas for improving local facilities. Bruce Crawford is hoping to persuade Stirling Council to expand its project of “Demand Responsive Transport” (the local diala-bus scheme) to cover the route from Lochearnhead to St Fillans. This will enable the many people who need to travel to see a doctor or dentist in that direction to do so by public transport, even in the winter months. Mr Crawford is also pursuing the need for traffic calming measures on the A84 at Balquhidder Station. Concern was expressed about several places where trees and other foliage are obscuring lines of sight and vision on some of the major roads in our area. It was agreed that we would write to Stirling Council, asking the relevant department to write to local landowners and property holders to remind them of their responsibilities in this regard. Having spent so much time talking

about litter, it then seemed only appropriate to talk about other problems with waste and so the discussion turned to local toilet facilities! Stirling Council has been conducting a review of these “assets” and looking for ways to involve local communities in their care and upkeep. The result is a proposed “Comfort Partnership Scheme” which sounds suitably twee but should help us get to the bottom of things. It could involve giving community councils greater responsibility and control over local buildings, ensuring that they remain well looked after and enhance our area’s appeal to visitors. It was agreed that we should invite someone from Stirling Council to explain more about the scheme at our next meeting. And so, flushed with success, we adjourned until our next meeting on Wednesday 22 September at Balquhidder Village Hall. Paul Hicks Lochearnhead


BLS Lunch & Leisure Club The BLS Lunch and Leisure Club resumes in Balquhidder Hall on Monday 4 October. Make a note in your diary that Monday lunchtimes are good for a meal, a blether and a game. The club is open to all residents in the area - of any age. On Monday school holidays children are welcome. 12.30 - 2.30pm A choice of two soups, puddings, tea or coffee - all for £2.00 followed by whist, dominoes or scrabble. For transport to and fro please contact Maurice Baker on 01567 830353 as it helps to know the numbers beforehand.

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

Church News Balquhidder

The Kirk Session is holding a Start-Up Sunday service on Sunday 19 September. The idea behind this is to encourage folk, by invitation, to come back to Church after the summer holidays and at the start of the new The Christmas Card school term. There will be a drop-in barbeque as a gettogether before the service at the usual time of 12.00 noon. The Session is grateful to Maida MacLaren for her offer of the barn at Kirkton Farm as the venue for the barbeque. Afterwards it will be an easy stroll up to the church for the service. Please accept the invitation if you can. You will be made most welcome. The Church will be selling its own Christmas cards this year. They are available now from me or from Rosemary Whittemore ( The cards cost 50p each or £2.50 for a pack of six, which means you get one card free if you buy a pack. They show a lovely photograph of the church in deep snow, taken by Richard Harris of Stronvar Farm, on Boxing Day last Christmas. Jean Edwards Reg. Charity No. SCO12316

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: Handy Hints & Fun Tips H




Old telephone directories make ideal personal address books. Simply cross out the names and addresses of people you don’t know. A teaspoon placed in a glass on the back seat of your car makes a handy audible gauge for road bump severity. SAVE petrol by pushing your car to your destination. Invariably passers-by will think you’ve broken down and help.

Curried Parsnip and Apple Soup...... here’s a nice warming recipe, now that the evenings are getting a little chilly! Ingredients 50 g butter 1 onion, roughly chopped 1 garlic, crushed 2 parsnips, roughly chopped 1 apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped 1 tbsp plain flour 1 tbsp curry powder 1 litres vegetable stock 100 ml double cream 2 tbsp crème fraîche


Method 1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat and add the onion, garlic, parsnips and apple. Season with salt and pepper, then cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the parsnips and apple are tender. 2. Mix in the flour and curry powder, stirring constantly to coat all the ingredients evenly and making sure that no lumps form. 3. Pour in the hot stock, stirring well, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for another 5 minutes. 4. Pour the soup into a blender and blend to a smooth consistency. Stir in the cream. 5. To serve, pour the soup into bowls and spoon over a dollop of crème fraîche.


medical matters................. Bracklinn Practice Flu Vaccine Clinic 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 Stroke Diabetes Liver Disease Multiple Sclerosis 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

Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses are taking part in a training programme. 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: Tuesday 14 September Wednesday 27October Tuesday 30 November Both practices and community nurse clinics will close at 12 noon. Emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 08454 242424. On that afternoon, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING THE LENY AND BRACKLINN PRACTICES As part of an NHS Forth Valley wide IT system change, both practices will be transferring to a new patient record system in October. LENY PRACTICE WILL TRANSFER TO THE NEW SYSTEM ON MONDAY 18 OCTOBER BRACKLINN PRACTICE WILL TRANSFER ON MONDAY 25 OCTOBER In the week prior to our “go live” dates there will be long periods where no computers will be accessible. We ask that you bear with us during this time and we would be grateful if all medication could be ordered well in advance and appointments kept to a minimum. On our “go live” days there may be emergency surgeries only. If you have any concerns about this, please contact Yvonne (Leny Practice) and Margaret (Bracklinn Practice). This new system will enhance the service to patients and will not affect the care of our patients in any way. Thank you for your co-operation.

Handy Hints & Fun Tips H




DON’T waste money on expensive iPods. Simply think of your favourite tune and hum it. If you want to switch tracks, simply think of another song you like and hum that instead. SAVE a fortune on laundry bills. Give your dirty shirts to a second-hand shop. They will wash and iron them, and then you can buy them back for 50p. 9

Lochearnhead Village Fete

This year’s Annual Lochearnhead Village Fete was opened by Owen McKee and from the very start the sun shone brightly on all the fun of the fete. As always a big Thank You to all those who supported the day in any way. The stalls this year included Bric-a-Brac, Tombola, Coconut Shy, Books, Face-painting, Pitch and Putt, Teas, BBQ, Bar and Countryside Rangers. There was a welcome return of the Callander Pipe Band, who played a fine selection of tunes and accompanied Highland Dancers from the Liz Campbell School of Dancing in Callander. Races were held, the most popular being the Grown-up Lads! Margaret Galloway had a busy time judging the fun dog show and local sheep-shearer, Johnny Ferguson, skilfully demonstrated his shearing skills. Many thanks to all the hard-working individuals who helped further the success of the fete, both before and on the day and to all those who came along on the day to enjoy the “craic”. May I take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to anyone who wishes to help out next year in any way, whether with an offer of help or new ideas. This is our main money-raising event, in order to supplement the Stirling Council Maintenance Grant for the hall, which has been substantially reduced over the last few years. Our village hall is actively used over the year and depends almost entirely on voluntary help, so again any offers of helping out in any way are always appreciated. Don’t wait to be asked – just volunteer! Finally, the total funds raised on the day were a fantastic £1282.82. Ollie Cameron 10

Hong Kong Taste for

Callander Rambling Club

Trossachs Mushroom Festival Hong Kong has been chosen as the international partner of the 2010 Trossachs Mushroom Festival which takes place in and around the Trossachs area with events held in Aberfoyle, Kinlochard, Gartmore and the surrounding countryside. This annual long weekend of fun, fungi & festivities takes place in 2010 from October 21 - 24. Traditional Scottish activities include ceilidhs, with dance classes daily for newcomers, mixing with Chinese events featuring dragons, boat racing, tai chi classes and wok cookery; special guests include the 12-strong Glasgow Hong Lok Dragon and Lion Dancing Troupe

providing entertainment at many events and street theatre... they tell us Gorillas will also be out and about in Aberfoyle. The humble mushroom remains the star of the show however with more fungi forays into the stunning countryside than ever before. This year mushroom specialist Liz Holden and WalkWild expert Arthur Jones will host a series of special guided walks and offer expert advice on the different fungi available in the local area. Walk to Wok events will link the selection of wild and cultivated mushrooms with the most colourful aspect of Chinese cookery.

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. SEPTEMBER • Wed 1st 9:30am Stroll - Culross to New Mills, 5 miles Evelyn Dick • Sat 11th 8:30am Hill - Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’ Chroin, 986m Richard Cooper 01877 331067 • Sat 18th 8:30am LDP SWSW (9) - Abbey St Bathans to Cockburnspath, 10 miles Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Wed 29th 9:30am Ramble - Across Rannoch Moor (inc train), 12 miles Rob Smallman 01786 825877 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

Handy Hints & Fun Tips H




A next door neighbour’s car aerial, carefully folded, makes an ideal coat hanger in an emergency. Drill a one inch diameter hole in your refrigerator door. This will allow you to check that the light goes off when the door is closed. SAVE electricity by turning off all the lights in your house and walking around wearing a miner’s hat. 11

bls Highland Games and Gathering Continued from front page



t 1.00pm, as our Chieftain, Robert Gibbons, led the parade in behind our guest pipe band, the Badenoch & Strathspey, the Heavy Events were well underway and we were about to have a day of great entertainment. By the time the last 56lb weight sailed over the high bar at 6.50 pm we had witnessed three ground records in Heavy Events and another in Track and Field. There were many fewer distractions and competing events in 2010 compared with last year and our car parking plans were tested to the limit at times by our largest crowds in years. Side shows and trade stands flanked three sides of the field and made for a fun day for our friends and visitors. Every Heavy Event was keenly contested and Stuart Anderson was again our local champion, closely followed by the Colthart clan and Pete Hart. Back in 1954 Lochearnhead’s Ewen Cameron achieved his record putt of 43ft 4ins. So many congratulations to Stuart who broke that ground record after 56 years, and also to Lucas and Sebastian Wenta, brothers from Poland, who created two new Open records in ‘weight over bar’ and ‘weight for distance’. Strathardle took a great Tug o’ War from Bankfoot. In Track we had many close races cheered on by happy crowds, their day crowned by yet another Games record in the gruelling Hill Race. Climbing almost 600m up Meall Reamhar our local iron man, Prasad Prasad, took a minute off last year’s time, finishing in an astonishing 27mins 2secs. Special mention must be made of a visiting party of schoolchildren from Spain who took to the kids’ events with great enthusiasm and mixed so well with our own families. Smiles and laughter were everywhere - just as it should be! The Solo Piping winner this year was William Geddes. An excellent display merited the award of the Bronze Star, reserved for outstanding playing. Rab Wallace, Director of the College of Piping, Glasgow, will be proud of his star pupil. A large entry in Highland Dancing added much to the spectacle and enjoyment of the day, led so capably by Jean Swanston. Overall winner in the adult class was Rachel McLagan from Blairgowrie. Rachel Walker of Fettercairn won the Watson Cup for the under 17s and the Fisher Bowl went to Bethan Forrest from Forfar. When days go well it can look easy. Huge thanks go to Fiona and Davy Elston and their marshals who managed all the headaches of parking and seeing folks through the gate, and also to the judges in Track and Field. Our beer tent certainly had a fair share of the fun, the singing led by Pure Malt, who yet again excelled in true ceilidh fashion. Mike Holliday and his team ran a busy bar all day. Our Games Chieftain and the Chieftains of MacLaren and MacGregor reported that their many guests enjoyed both the spectacle and the traditions of the Games in such a lovely setting. As Secretary I thank our generous patrons, our conveners and many volunteers who give so willingly of their time and energy to help us create such a day. Acknowledgement here to Dr Kinloch at Edinchip for the use of Games Field. Should anyone who enjoyed the Games want to help or contribute in any way in future we will be pleased to welcome you to the organising team. Alex Gargolinski Secretary and Treasurer 12

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Horticultural Society


Annual Show 2010



One thing that is REALLY REALLY making me grumpy this month is the lack of consideration by dog owners to clean up their dogs’ mess!!! Walking around the village I see that we have numerous ‘doggy’ bins, in fact I think there are more bins for the dogs than for rubbish. I know some people are very good at cleaning up after their pets, but the amount of dog dirt on pavements and grass verges is appalling. Do people not realise how disgusting this is?? I do appreciate that a good percentage is left by visitors; I have seen them and commented, but they just shrug and walk away.

The President and her cabbage...

... beaten by Jimmy McSkimming’s marrow, for ‘Best of the Veg’!

Thanks to everyone who took part. See next month’s The Villagers for the full report! Jimbo the Jumbo - ‘Best in Show’!

Does anyone know if REAL people work for Sky or BT?? I have been trying to get through to them for days and the automated system is just so frustrating and long winded that I generally run out of time or patience and give up. Does anyone know of a way to speak to a PERSON?


Trossachs Film Festival Thanks to ScottsLand, Callander Film Society and Gartmore Community Cinema present the first Trossachs Film Festival with free screenings on 10 and 11 September. Even before Sir Walter Scott based his epic poem Lady of the Lake at Loch Katrine 200 years ago, artists and poets were inspired by our local landscapes. And this has continued, with many films and TV programmes using the Trossachs as a stunning location. This short festival features films shot in or close to the Trossachs and Walter Scott stories, with something for all age groups and interests. We will also be showing an educational film on Scott to pupils at Callander Primary School. Friday 10 September

Rob Roy the Highland Rogue (1953) Rob Roy Centre, Callander 7.30pm Saturday 11 September

Ivanhoe (1952)

Rob Roy Centre Matinee 10.00am

Trossachs Shorts

Selection of short films and TV clips from Scottish Screen Archive Callander Primary School Drop in between 12.30 and 4.00pm

The 39 Steps (1959)

Rob Roy Centre, Callander 2.15pm

Kirk (2009)

Scottish Premiere with Producer Joan McPherson in conversation with BBC Radio Scotland’s Janice Forsyth Rob Roy Centre, Callander 7.00pm (Booking essential for this screening – tickets from National Park Office, Main St, Callander 01877 331209

Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)

Gartmore Village Hall 8.00pm Full details at or telephone 01877 330519


The ScottsLand grants Programme is part financed by the Scottish Government, European Community Forth Valley & Lomond Leader 2007-2013 programme and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority.

Jazz up the Trossachs Callander Jazz and Blues Festival 2010 The stage is almost set for, would you believe, our fifth annual Jazz and Blues Festival. Friday 1st October will herald the arrival of the many visitors to the Festival, a great number of them ardent fans returning for their fourth or, in some cases, their fifth visit to the Callander Festival – all of them intent on enjoying a weekend of great music. Ticket sales and Festival enquiries have already reached a new high, promising a very lively weekend with a lot of Festival-goers ready to Jazz up the Trossachs. This long weekend of non-stop live music with over 60 live gigs staged in some 28 venues in Callander and nearby rural locations features a festival cast of over 300 musicians sourced from all over the UK and from Europe. With Jazz Cruising, Jazz Parades, Jazz Workshops, Open Mic and Jam Sessions, Duo’s to 21-piece Big Bands and every style of Jazz and Blues, even a touch of Soul - there is something for everyone. This Year’s Headline Performers From the Netherlands, JAZZ CONNECTION, Holland’s most popular Jump Jive Band. Get in dancing mode - you won’t be able to keep off the floor! The legendary SNAKE DAVIS BAND from the East Midlands, is one of our ‘must see’ headliners. Whether you are an aspiring or long term Horn player, you can’t miss their saxophone workshop. We promised a hint of Soul this year, so welcome to SOUL TRUTH. Headlining our Sunday night Finale, Scotland’s finest BRASS IMPACT will wow you with their vibrant performance of Big Band music - a line up with a difference, not to be missed. Special Guests for 2010 - great bands, great sounds From Ireland, back again this year by popular demand, are the incredibly talented B’ and the Honey Boys, with two performances. From North East England we have the return of great bands, the fantastic Revolutionaires, joined by the Lyndon Anderson Band and, for their first appearance, the impressive 10-piece Jazz/Funk Band, MAMACOCA. Add in DB Toots from Manchester, Four on the Floor from Birmingham, Crow Dog from Cumbria and The Pontiax from Northern Ireland and you have an unforgettable mix of good Jazz and Blues music. Finally, some great musicians from the London area, playing some really smooth jazz - The Linley Weir Quartet and the irrepressible live wire sound of The Larry Miller Band. Sunday Jazz Parade and Outside Activity A growing highlight of our annual festival is the JAZZ PARADE in which everyone is invited to participate. All you need is a sense of fun and a ‘brollie’ which you can decorate if you really want to enter into the spirit of things. All age groups welcome. The scene will be set for the day’s events at 11.00am on Sunday in Ancaster Square where we have a Street Carnival Band PUFF UPROAR starting the proceedings. For those who prefer a more traditional start to Sunday, there is an interdenominational Jazz Church Service in Callander Kirk, South Church Street This is the setting-off point for the JAZZ PARADE once the church service has ended. Everyone interested in joining the parade should meet outside the church at 12.15pm ready for the 12.30pm parade via Main Street to Ancaster Square, led by another of our star guests, WINSTON’S PENNINE JAZZ, to be joined by Carla Duggan’s Dance Connection and all of our ‘brollie’ paraders. At the Square, the band will play a selection of Trad/Dixie tunes and Dance Connection will perform one of their superb dance routines to the music. There will also be a best turned out young jazzer competition with prizes for the winners. At 2.00pm Winston’s Pennine Jazz make their way to Loch Katrine to provide more Trad Jazz music aboard The SS Sir Walter Scott for the afternoon Jazz Cruise. Ticket Prices for the Loch Katrine Jazz Cruise are £14 per person if you hold a valid weekend or day Festival Rover ticket; otherwise you will be charged an additional £5, making the on-board ticket price £19. Sailing time is 3.00pm. Programmes, Festival tickets and information will be available throughout the event from the Festival Office located in the National Park Office in Main Street, Callander, adjacent to Ancaster Square. It is open from 3.00pm on Friday, 1 October and daily until Sunday 3 October at 4.00pm. Tickets can of course be pre-purchased on line from or directly via the Visit Scotland Tourist Information Centre in Callander, telephone 01877 330342 or email; debit/credit cards accepted. Ticket prices are held at last year’s levels. Free transport will be provided to all the Festival venues located out of Callander; there will also be a free minibus to Callander Golf Club and to the Gart Caravan Park after midnight. These transport links will coincide with the various performance times programmed for this year’s event. All services will leave from and return to Ancaster Square. A timetable will be sited in the Square and also at the Tourist Office and the Festival Ticket and Information Office over the Festival weekend.

For further information, please visit our web site: or alternatively contact our Festival help lines on 01877 339399 / 339455.

Handy Hints & Fun Tips H




Don’t waste money buying expensive binoculars. Simply stand closer to the object you wish to view.

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… 15

Rangers’ Review By Graeme Auty

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Empty Nesters The end of September will once again see the southern migration of the several families of Osprey which have been a regular sight around the lochs in the area during the past summer months. There have been a couple of reports of seeing nine birds in flight together over Loch Earn which must have been quite an amazing sight. Four was the most I managed to see, all diving for fish in the shallow waters of the western end of the Loch. September, however, also heralds the arrival of migrating birds to the area as they begin to return here once again for the winter. Look out for Redwings. Many will arrive here in September followed by larger numbers in October and November. The Redwing is the UK’s smallest true thrush and its creamy stripe above the eye and orange-red flank patches make it distinctive. Look out for them around open grassy fields and hedges where there are plenty of berries, especially rowan and hawthorn.

Trees laden with berries provide a great food source for many birds

Berry Bounty The rowan is a member of the Rosacea or rose - family and it is thought that the name may derive from the Celtic word ‘ruidh’ meaning ‘red’. The rowan’s old Gaelic name in the ancient Ogham script was Luis, meaning flame or blaze and appears in various place names, such as Ardlui on west Loch Lomondside. The more common Scots Gaelic name for the rowan is caorunn which also crops up in Highland place names. Historically the strong, supple wood of the rowan had many uses such as making cart wheels and spinning wheels. This distinctive tree has a rich folklore history in the highlands and is mostly associated with protection from bad luck, especially for cows it seems!

Noticing more Grey? Over the last few months there have been more regular sightings of Grey squirrels, in particular along the northern side of Loch Earn. In previous years there was the occasional sighting of individual males as they ventured into the area in search of a mate but now small family groups are becoming a regular sight in people’s gardens, where they are attracted to food left out for garden birds. This new influx of grey is certainly not good news for our resident population of Red squirrels. If the greys become well established here they will almost certainly out-compete the reds for food and shelter. If you do see one please let us know and we will pass this vital information on to Lewis Pate, the new Red Squirrel Project Officer for this area. As always, if you have any queries or wildlife sightings to share, please call in to the office in Lochearnhead or you can contact me on 01389 722115 or email

Handy Hints & Fun Tips H




Banging two pistachio nut shells together gives the impression that a very small horse is approaching. Avoid jet lag by simply taking an earlier flight, thus arriving fully refreshed and on time. A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep.

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 16

Furnishing News from


Open Studios an Artists’ Network in the Trossachs A group of local artists have recently joined forces to create an Artists’ Trail throughout the Trossachs which will be launched in October. From painters to photographers, textile makers and other crafts, some opening their studio doors for the first time, others setting up exhibitions in local hotels and cafés. This is a great opportunity for artists and crafts people to meet the public, show and sell their work. This event will promote local arts and crafts with a trail lasting all year for visitors to the area from both near and far. Many buyers really like to meet the creators of arts and crafts as this adds value to their work and in meeting the buyers the creators can establish long term selling relationships. The initiative is supported by The National Park and the trail will be launched with a Studio Open Weekend from 1-3 October with over twenty venues throughout the region. Further details will be published on the website so please get in touch if you wish to participate!


Shuggie’s 50th Birthday party 7 August


Sula Furnishing is launching its new look, re-vamped, website with on-line shopping facility. Products will include new ranges of cushions, throws, footstools etc. using particularly “vintage tweeds” i.e. tweed designs that will no longer be produced - truly one-off pieces! There will also be a ‘gift shop’ with smaller items e.g. cafetière covers, tea cosies, draught excluders, door stops etc. As well as the interior design service the ‘Upholstery Gallery’ section will offer larger pieces of antique furniture for sale e.g. a chaise longue, a 1930s sofa, a prie-dieu (praying chair) and other pieces. However, if anyone is interested in these before they go on-line please contact me and come and have a look at them in the workshop.

Holiday in the Hebrides

Also on the new website are details of my family croft on the Isle of Lewis which is now available for holiday lets. This is a traditional stone croft house built in the late 1890s by my grandfather and situated in a very peaceful location. It has 3 double bedrooms, sleeps 6-8 and offers plenty of freedom for children and dogs!! For any further details or information please contact me on 07824 446024 or email

Book Launch

Still on the Isle of Lewis - every year the Men of Ness go out to the remote island of Sula Sgeir. Here they catch the ‘guga’ or gannet chick as part of a tradition that has existed for centuries. The birds are pickled and salted and now exported all over the world. In the 1950s my father, James MacGeoch, a police photographer, nature warden on North Rona and keen ornithologist, was the first to accompany the men on their expedition. He took photographs, cine film, sound recordings and wrote transcripts etc., realising that he was capturing a piece of social history. My father died in 1970 and this archival material, including hundreds of negatives, glass slides, old recordings and letters, has been lying in attics and trunks all these

years. Over the past year I have, together with John Love (an old family friend) and Dr Finlay MacLeod (a Gaelic historian), put all these together as a photographic book. The book is published by Acair, a Gaelic publishing company, and the launch will take place on 17 September at 7.00pm in the Comann Eachdraidh Nis, Habost, Ness, Isle of Lewis. If anyone happens to be out in Lewis at that time please come along to the launch and try some ‘guga’ washed down with a glass or two of wine!! Finally, just to say... Upholstery classes will start again on Thursday 23 September in Lochearnhead Village Hall 10.00am-1.00pm. All welcome.

I shall be participating in the Trossachs Open Studios event 1-3 October. Please visit me in my workshop. Read all about the event on this page!

Catriona MacGeoch

I would like to thank everyone for a great birthday party and especially for all the very kind gifts. I had a brilliant night with all my friends and family. Thanks should also go to Hamish Reid for providing the music, Tommy Anderson for the fabulous food, the Hall Committee for providing the bar and the team for their great service. Once again, many thanks.




Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

The community takes a stand My colleagues and I have been encouraged recently by the number of calls we are receiving from members of the public who having witnessed incidents taking place and are phoning the police to report it. As a result of this several drink drivers have been identified and apprehended as well as people stealing, urinating in public and causing damage to property. These calls are important. Water patrols On 7 August as part of Operation Ironworks I met up with colleagues from the National Park. Our remit was to patrol the area around the local lochs. We also took to the water when we patrolled Loch Earn in the National Park’s rigid inflatable boat (RIB). This gave us a different perspective on both the loch and those who use it. Whilst the vast majority of people were enjoying themselves there were a few who needed to be advised regarding their conduct. We were not there as a rescue boat we did have to assist two boat owners, one with a flat battery and the other having developed engine trouble. Neither was in any danger but were very grateful for our assistance. We saw a group on the south side of the loch, one of whom was attempting to saw down a tree. They did not realise the police were approaching them and a male from Fife has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal for vandalism. I would like to thank Neil Gregory from Lochearnhead Water Sports Centre for allowing us to use his slipway to launch the rib free of charge. Mrs Oldham from Balquhidder has also offered the use of the facilities at Muirlaggan when we carry out similar patrols on Loch Voil. Friday 13th Most people think Friday 13th is a day when bad luck strikes. Certainly for a

number of motorists who passed through Lochearnhead it was. Along with PC’s Fleming and Frickleton I took part in a joint operation with officers from the Customs and Excise fuel division and VOSA. During a three hour period from 12noon, at a point on the A85 opposite Cameron Court in Lochearnhead, we stopped and checked more than 50 vehicles for illegal fuel, vehicle defects and road traffic offences. Three vehicles and one trailer were issued with immediate prohibition notices because they were seriously unroadworthy. Numerous other offences were detected, including bald tyres, corroded brake pipe fittings, badly cracked windscreens, faulty exhausts, defective lights as well as no MOTs and out of date tax discs. Twenty drivers were dealt with. Recent thefts in the area 17 July - pedal cycle was stolen from outside The Inn & Bistro, Strathyre. 18 July - a male was caught stealing wood from a farm near Strathyre. 19 July - two Recovery Tow trucks parked at Lix Toll garage were targeted by thieves when the contents of the diesel tanks were syphoned out. 22 July, - Stitts builders yard in Station Road, Killin was broken into through a window into an office. A substantial number of builders’ tools were stolen. 24 July - two males were disturbed around midnight stealing two pedal cycles from Auchraw Terrace, Lochearnhead. Only one of the cycles was recovered nearby. 10 August - an adult’s and a child’s motor cycle were stolen from outside a house in Cameron Court, Lochearnhead. 14 August - a metal container in the car park opposite the Clachan Cottage Hotel was broken into and a quantity of water sports equipment was stolen. Whilst the owners in the majority of cases had taken as many steps as possible to secure their property the thieves were not put off. I would urge everybody to double check to make sure their property is as safe as possible and to record serial numbers etc. Take photographs of your possessions too these are always useful.

Safety of child seats Now that the school “summer” holidays are over I would remind motorists to be extra vigilant when travelling through our villages at times when children are going to and from school. I will be out and about with the radar gun targeting speeding motorists and also checking vehicles transporting children, to check the safety of car seats. Remember, it is the driver’s responsibility to make sure that children sit in the correct type of seat. If caught you will receive a minimum of 3points and a £60 fine. Central Scotland Police support the Scottish ‘Good Egg In-Car Child Safety’ campaign and are encouraging local motorists to make sure their child car seats are correctly fitted and are the right size for the occupant. Over the last seven years, almost 7,000 child seats have been tested at special car clinics throughout the country and 51% were either incorrectly fitted or incompatible with the child or make or model of the car. Elaine Smith, our Road Safety Officer, said: “The statistics are extremely worrying because they show that many of the car seats being used by parents are not as safe as one would hope. If sitting in the right type of seat and correctly restrained, a child is 90% less likely to be killed in a collision. However, an unrestrained child can be killed or seriously injured in an impact at speeds as low as 5mph. In a collision at 30mph, an unrestrained child would hit the front seat and anyone sitting in it – with a force of 30 - 60 times their own bodyweight. The Good Egg Guide to In-Car Child Safety provides information on how to choose and fit a child seat, on the law and on your responsibilities. It offers practical advice and highlights areas where improvements could be made to in-car child safety and to help reduce the number of child passenger casualties. To download the Good Egg Guide or for further information visit PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000


Kevin P Horsley MIOC



Bespoke Joinery, Manufacturing and Joinery Supplies • Open to Trade and DIY

01877 384274

mobile 07885 276573

Opening times: Monday 8.30am - 5.30pm Tuesday 3.00 - 7.30pm Wednesday 8.30am - 5.30pm Thursday 8.30am - 5.30pm Friday 8.30am - 7.30pm Or by appointment at other times 18

National Park Paths

Some of Scotland’s most iconic and picturesque pathways have been formally recognised in a new map charting over 455 miles of paths in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The Core Paths map features horse, cycle, dog walking, community, circular and nature lovers’ paths and includes the long distance route The West Highland Way. Core paths are identified as the essential paths for people to get about in the area and enjoy the outdoors. They include water access as well as paths and apply to a variety of activities including walking, canoeing, horse-riding and cycling. Scotland leads the way in access provision as the network joins up over the whole country creating the largest network of paths in the UK. The National Park Core Paths map will help landowners manage access over their land and allow them the resources to help maintain and, in some cases, to upgrade them. Visitors and residents can now download the interactive map with each of the core paths on from the National Park website The map includes 47 miles of West Highland Way and 58 miles of the National Cycling Network.

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.


The Inn & Bistro


The Bridge at Gardeners Cottage

Walkers (and their canine companions) will be pleased to know that their passage over the burn at Gardeners Cottage, Balquhidder, is now safe and secure with the installation of a beautiful new foot (and paw) bridge.

... and after, thanks to Rod Blain and team!


We are proud to announce our inclusion - for the third year in a row - into The 2011 Good Beer Guide. To celebrate we will be having a ‘Pie and a Pint Night’ - date to be confirmed - please check at The Inn for details.

Jazz and Blues Festival 2010

This year Strathyre boasts two venues for some special musical entertainment. We host rhythm and blues from The Patriots on Friday 1 October and an early evening of jazz with Jenne McClure on Saturday 2 October, with The Munro Inn hosting Moulin Rouge later that night. Come on folks, it is great to be involved in this fantastic event so bring your boogie shoes along, support these local gigs and next year we could be even bigger. Have fun!

A FRUITY PROBLEM! If 4 bananas and a pear cost 63p, 2 apples and 2 pears cost 68p then 3 grapefruit, 1 banana and 1 lemon cost £1.23. So if 4 bananas and 1 grapefruit .... cost 78p and 2 pears and 1 banana .... cost 42p then how much will it be for a banana, an apple, a grapefruit and a lemon???


Embroiderers Crowns, stitched with semi-precious stones, are being embroidered as part of the project to return Stirling Castle’s royal palace to its Renaissance glory. A select team of top Scottish embroiderers has been chosen to help create two richly decorated cloths of estate, bearing the heraldry of King James V’s French queen, Mary of Guise. The cloths of estate will hang in the Queen’s Bedchamber and the Queen’s Presence Hall as part of a £12 million Historic Scotland project to return the palace to how it might have looked in the 1540s - creating a major new visitor attraction. Liz Boulton, working on the crowns, was invited to join the four-strong team by leading textile artist, Emeritus Professor Malcolm Lochhead of Glasgow Caledonian University department of fashion, marketing and retailing. The professor and his co-embroiderers Mary McCarron and Eileen Rumble, have collaborated in the past, including on the making of two other cloths of estate which hang in the Great Halls of Stirling and Rothesay castles. Eileen Rumble, known as one of the most talented embroiderers in Scotland,

Eileen, Liz, Malcolm and Mary

is working on the lion and unicorn. She takes pride in using traditional materials and techniques including stitching with gold wires rather than synthetic threads and is renowned for her skill in embroidering animals. Mary McCarron has made the shield bearing Mary of Guise’ colourful and complex coat of arms, which will be at

the heart of the first cloth of estate. The shield, made using coloured leathers, metal and silk threads, shows Scotland’s red lion rampant on one side and the Guise heraldry on the other.



Mary 21

Old Station Court The association is delighted to announce that it has been successful in its application for a biodiversity grant for the upgrade of the gardens in the court and has been awarded ÂŁ234 towards our next venture. The upgrade is part of a campaign called CSV.ACTION EARTH and is supported by MORRISONS SUPERMARKETS. They will be supporting 100 projects this year through SNH (Scottish Natural Heritage) aimed at groups that will help support and encourage Scottish Biodiversity through practical environmental projects. The upgrade this year will consist of the reclaiming of grassland and transforming it into a tree, flower and shrub garden, which hopefully will encourage insect life such as butterflies, bees etc, into the gardens. The second area to be worked on will be some barren ground which will have an existing tree as a centre point, with a patio and brick BBQ constructed around it; also a timber planter to house climbing plants and flowers. A memorial bench will be constructed. Everyone can become involved in conserving biodiversity. It is a shared resource and a shared responsibility. From the smallest individual to a national campaign, every contribution helps. The action earth biodiversity awards are designed to help groups of volunteers take practical action to improve and create places for wild life.


Tenants and Residents Association

If anyone would like to register his or her own project or if you think you can come up with a good idea, then please take part in this campaign. If I can be of help to anyone please feel free to contact me (Wullie Dalziel) on 01877 384384 or call the CSV action hotline on 01213 287455

Morrisons Supermarkets and Scottish Natural Heritage support Action Earth

Other contacts are: and for a list of current projects UKwide visit:

I would like to thank everyone who has helped in any way with this project and a special thanks to Alastair Barclay for giving his time to take the necessary photographs. Wullie Dalziel, Chairman

Farm Forum: Up to date with the news... A lot has been written and said over recent months about food security, which in simple terms is the ability of our country to produce most of the food to feed itself in the event of an emergency of some sort. This concept was poo-pooed by that magnificent agricultural minister we had for a (thankfully) short time - Margaret Beckett. She apparently did not see why it would not be just as good to import our food. I wonder what she is thinking now! Food prices are rising owing to the comparative value of the various currencies, quite apart from the increase in the world population and increased affluence in some parts of the world, but one thing that is absolutely certain is that if we had to rely on imports of temperate food, prices would rise considerably higher. Just now it is estimated that we import about 40% of our food. However, one of the most serious events to affect us may well be the heatwave in Russia which has decimated their crops. Last year Russia supplied almost a quarter of all traded wheat to the world market and it has now announced a complete ban on exports of wheat until at least the end of the year. Canada and Hungary are among some other countries which estimate a reduced crop this year. Some farmers may well not benefit from the surge in world wheat prices, having entered into forward contracts for some of this year’s crop at a much lower price. One thing that has been catching the headlines in August is the case of the cloned dairy cows and bulls. It should be pointed out, without getting technical, that there is no question of genetic modification here. The animals in question are the progeny of dairy cows in England, implanted with embryos which themselves were taken from the progeny of cloned animals in America. It is reported that two of the progeny, both bulls, were then mated normally with cows in a dairy herd in Scotland. So we are getting quite a bit down the line! A very small amount of meat has entered the food chain and although the Food Standards Agency says that there is no evidence to indicate that it is unsafe to eat, some rules have been broken, probably inadvertently.

Meanwhile the fate of the young offspring in Scotland hangs in the balance but it is said that there is interest from European farmers and that some could apparently be used for breeding there, the meat then exported back to this country. I hope you can work all this out because no one else seems able to! There is one thing for sure, rules must be simplified and at least be common across the “Common” Market. I must finish with the discussion of the month:

EVENTS 4th - 26th September 2.00 - 3.00pm Trossachs Pier Loch Katrine

ScottsLand Cruise

Join the ScottsLand Cruise on our boat The Lady of The Lake and listen to Sir Walter Scott telling the story of this poem. Booking recommended on 01877 332000 email visit £9.00 - £14.00

H 14th & 21st September 7:30pm The Roman Camp Country House Hotel, Callander

Spreading the Word

“Can I have some free range eggs, please?” “I am very sorry, but we had a problem - a fox killed the hens.” “Oh, do you not shut them in at night?” “Yes, but they were killed during the day.” “Oh!” “We have ordered some more hens and the good news is that we shot two of the foxes.” “Oh dear, you didn’t kill the foxes, did you?” Agricola (speechless again!)

Scaffolding Tower for Hire

A Candlelit Evening with Scott and Friends A period candlelit evening of entertainment brought to you by the Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs together with the celebrated Callander Amateur Operatic Society, both established 30 years ago. The society will perform recitals, poetry and songs of Sir Walter Scott and his times and include forgotten treasures and previously unpublished Scott’s writings from the Trossachs. A gem of an evening! Limited to 30 tickets per evening. Advance booking essential 01436 677733 or email Cost: By donation

Handy Hints & Fun Tips H




SAVE TIME when crossing a one-way street by only looking in the direction of oncoming traffic.

5.7m working height Quick erect, folding aluminium trade tower for inside or outside use. Easily transported. Outriggers & locking wheels. Manufactured to latest BSEN 1004 (Class 3) safety standard. Phone 01877 384232 23

View from the Park by Owen McKee During the summer I paid visits to Drymen, Callander and Tyndrum in connection with Planning Applications and in each case there was considerable community interest in the proposed developments but the nature of that interest was quite varied. In Drymen the application concerned a rather difficult to develop site which had seen a number of different developers failing. Local opinion on the latest proposal was split and the hearing lasted about eight hours before a decision granting permission was reached. In a five hour hearing in Callander the speakers were mainly in opposition to the proposed development but permission was granted. The proposal in Tyndrum was somewhat different in that the local community was almost totally in favour of the plan for the Gold Mine but after a four hour hearing permission was refused. In each of these cases the Committee’s decision was in accordance with the recommendation of the Director of Planning. What then, you may ask, is

the value of community involvement or indeed the Planning Committee? The simple answer is that scrutiny by the community and the committee ensures that the application is dealt with fairly and in accordance with the law. Where the law allows discretion then an overwhelming community view can carry the day. Equally, under the new Planning regulations for any major development the applicant has to consult the relevant community before submitting the proposal and at the time of submission the applicant is required to detail any objections received and what steps he proposes to take to satisfy the objectors. It used to be the case that every applicant had to notify those neighbouring their proposed development site but that duty now falls to the Planning Authority. I would suggest, however, that common courtesy demands that the applicant at least has a word with his neighbours about a proposed development before submitting an application. The first of October is the date when the new 17 member board comes into being and all but two of its membership are now known. The last of the Council nominations will be known shortly when West Dumbartonshire finalises its process and then we are left with a replacement for our Convener, Mike Cantlay, who has taken up the post of Chair of VisitScotland.

Why the delay in his replacement? Unusually for Quangos, the Park Authority elects its own Convener and our rules state that when there are a number of new members then they must be given time to bed in and get to know who is who before electing a convener. It is hoped that the election will be in mid November. For the last couple of years the Scottish Government has set an efficiency target of 2% financial savings in our operations. In doing so they allowed us to keep the savings to spend on projects. These targets are to continue and are likely to be accompanied by a request for further sizeable savings without the likelihood of any retention for projects. Like everyone else National Parks will have to share the pain of the economic crisis and will have to find other ways of raising funds for projects. As always I can be contacted as follows : Post: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead Phone: 01567 830214 email:

Handy Hints & Fun Tips H




Climb onto your neighbour’s roof and dangle a fish on a bit of string in front of his windows. He’ll think his house is underwater.

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

~ ~ ~

POST OFFICE & SHOP HOURS (March - October 2010)

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 Wednesday Saturday Sunday

0900 - 1730 0900 - 1300 0900 - 1600 1200 - 1600

St Fillans Service - Tuesdays 10am-12 noon Post Box Collection Times: Morning - 12 noon Afternoon - 1600 (Except Saturday) Sunday - No Collection Telephone: 01567 830 201

• DIARY DATES • Weekly & Monthly Activities Monday

BLS Lunch Club, Balquhidder Hall - 12.30-2.30pm, starts 4 Oct.


Keep Fit, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30-11.30am, starts 7 Sept. Art Class, Balquhidder Hall - 10.00am-1.00pm starts 5 Oct. Scottish Country Dancing, Strathyre Hall - 8.00pm, starts 28 Sept.

Wednesday Thursday

Yoga, Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am-12noon Carpet Bowls, Lochearnhead Hall - 7.30 for 8.00pm, starts 6 Oct.

Gaelic Playgroup, Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am-12.30pm Upholstery, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-1.00pm, starts 23 Sept.


Playgroup, Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12noon Ballroom Dancing, Lochearnhead Hall – 7.00-9.00pm, starts 24 Sept.


Callander Poetry Weekend - Kings Bookshop


Trossachs Film Festival - see p.14


Stained Glass Workshop - Balquhidder Hall - contact Jean Hicks 01567 830359


Start-up Sunday - 12 noon - Balquhidder Church - see p.8


BLS Community Council meeting - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm - see p.7


St Fillans Ladies Supper Club - 7.30pm - (last Wednesday in each month except December) contact Frances Brown on 685268 for venue details


Callander Jazz & Blues Festival - see p.15


Trossachs Open Studios - see p.17


Art Class - Balquhidder Hall - new session starting 10.00am - 1.00pm


St Fillans Ladies Lunch Club - Sandison Hall - meet 12.30pm (second Wednesday each month) new members can contact Sally Watson 685204 or Jan Wellens 685449


Trossachs Mushroom Festival - see p.11

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’

The Villagers’ Contacts BLS Newspaper Association Tom-na-Dhair, Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB 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 Saturday Vigil Mass 5.30pm, until September 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 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


Eco - Dry Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Services Package Deals Now On For 2010 3 Carpets cleaned for the price of 2 3pce suite + carpet £120

Tel: 07827 014328




Grand Opening 20th September 2010 KEVIN P HORSLEY MIOC Est. 1986

now trading as



01877 384274

mobile 07885 276573


evin Horsley has been in business in Balquhidder as Kevin P Horsley, Joiner

...........and Cabinet Maker since 1986. In 1992, after working from a garden shed and

the back of his van for six years, he built the Rob Roy Workshop adjacent to the Kings House Hotel in Balquhidder. From this purpose-built workshop and office Kevin has

been manufacturing almost anything in wood, for example: doors, windows, kitchens,

bookcases and conservatories, using all types of woods. Commissions have come from

banks, hotels, private homes and historic buildings. Local examples of his work include the reading

room cupboards and oak display stand at Balquhidder Church and the large notice board at the entrance to Dunblane Cathedral.

Due to a recent illness Kevin has decided to restructure the business, so from 20 September 2010 he is launching HORSLEY JOINERY & SUPPLIES which will provide the following services: • • • • • • • •

Manufacture of purpose made joinery to your specification and design, for trade and DIY (supply only, not installation). Supply of standard joinery from other leading companies. Supply of joinery materials e.g. hardwoods, softwoods, sheet material etc. Supply of ironmongery and hardware. Supply of sundry items e.g. nails screws, bolts, adhesives, sealants etc. If any item is not in stock it can be ordered. Large quantities can be delivered direct to site. HORSLEY JOINERY & SUPPLIES can also offer a machining service, cutting, planing and moulding.

Whether you need a few odds and ends to save you travelling to Stirling or Perth - or you need a new door or window that needs to match an existing one, give Kevin a call and talk to him about it. Take this article in with you from 20-30 September inclusive and receive a 10% discount (manufactured items excluded from this offer).

Please come along to Kevin’s wine and nibbles evening on 19th September from 6.00 - 9.00pm to have a chat and look around - and get an idea of what’s on offer. Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: Published by The BLS Newspaper Association

The Villagers September 2010  

News and stories from the villages of Balquhidder, Strathyre, Lochearnhead and St Fillans. Holiday accommodation, hospitality,events, retail...

The Villagers September 2010  

News and stories from the villages of Balquhidder, Strathyre, Lochearnhead and St Fillans. Holiday accommodation, hospitality,events, retail...