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MAY 2011



The Voi c e of B a l qu h i d d er, L o ch e arn h e ad, Str at hy re & St Fi l l ans

Local Fundraising Champion Honoured

Balloons both inside and outside the Rob Roy Bar at the Kings House Hotel on Saturday 9 April signalled that a party was in progress. Tommy MacGregor and his friend Sheena Thorpe were celebrating their birthdays but even more important was the fact that Dorothy Rodger, representative for the charity Cancer Research UK, had come to honour Tommy’s achievements as a fundraiser for 47 years. Now 81, Tommy has managed to raise around £60,000 over the years and his family, friends and neighbours were there to see him receive his certificate and a gift. Dorothy Rodger explained how much the charity relies on people like Tommy to organise Dorothy Rodger, Tommy MacGregor and Rhoda Keenan. local events which raise money for research and how pleased she was to meet his co-helper Rhoda Keenan who also received a certificate. Tommy has lived in Auchtubh, Balquhidder for many a year and had many a job locally. Those of us who are his neighbours have been lucky to have had his services as a mechanic for our cars and mowers and other gadgets, always finding a smiling face and a willing hand to keep things in good running order. A very modest man, Tommy comes into his own at ceilidhs when he adds his fine singing voice to the entertainment. It was a great pleasure for us all to be present and congratulate him on his marvellous achievement. From Tommy’s speech... “I originally helped Davy and Molly McDiarmid (Tulloch Farm) starting in 1964 and have now been collecting for some 47 years. There has been a variety of ways in which we have raised funds from ‘The Office’ in the Rob Roy Bar, including ceilidhs in the village hall, wonderful auctions at Monachyle Mhor, Sunday afternoon football matches, collecting bottles in hotels and the famous games of ‘Win a Dram’ and ‘Nearest the Bottle’ here in the Rob Roy Bar. I must thank all those who have helped me over the years: Firstly thanks to Rhoda for counting all the money; then to Bill, Rena and Graeme Courtney for their continued help and support; Donald McLane who was Master of Ceremonies at all the dances; Roger Sharp who provided the music at Balquhidder village hall; Charlie Methven our great Auctioneer; Ian and Joyce Sutherland the auction helpers, sadly no longer with us; Moira and Dougie Welsh for running the Sunday charity football matches (remembering The Horse Box Bar!) who have now handed over the reins to Alex Gargolinski and his team. A special mention goes to Chris and Sheena Thorpe who save all their 20p pieces and arrive here twice a year for their holidays, donating it all in trying to ‘Win a Dram’. They must surely hold the world record for the number of wins. And lastly I must thank all the folk of the three villages for their continued support and generosity. Thank you all once again.”

The Auction

Tommy wished Sheena Thorpe a very Happy Birthday as that Saturday was her big day and Tommy in his turn was wished the same for the next day. The assembled throng sang lustily and then it was down to the business of a small auction, proceeds of which were added to the Cancer Research fund, followed by refreshments, courtesy of George Weir at the Kings House. A ceilidh, with entertainment by Roger Sharp and Jim Crumley rounded off the festivities later in the evening. M.K. Photos courtesy of Alex Gargolinski

EDITOR’S NOTE After a splendid Easter we will all be hoping that Summer lives up to its name this year. Weekly activities are winding down and the villages are gearing up for local events which attract the tourists and we will keep the Diary going for a couple of months ahead from now on. Now for some useful information… Do you use herbal remedies? Many of us swear by them but did you know that there is new legislation in place? The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has categorised certain herbal remedies as medicinal and this means that the maufacturers will have to register these products before they can be supplied to retailers. They will also be required to state clearly what the remedies can be used for and give any safety data necessary (i.e. when not to mix herbal and prescription drugs). The user can now be sure that the product has been manufactured to certain specific standards and unlicensed remedies will no longer be sold. However, in order to qualify for registration a herbal product must have been in use for a minimum of 30 years, 15 of which have to be within Europe. This means that many existing Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs will not easily be registered and products being developed now will be delayed. It is anticipated that the new legislation will limit consumer choice and the less popular herbs will be difficult to obtain unless they have been categorised as food (i.e. the culinary herbs such as coriander, thyme and sage or spices such as turmeric). Cosmetic preparations containing herbs are not affected by the new rules and as for herbal teas it is expected that most of them will be sold as usual. You can still grow your own herbs at home, of course – er, well, that depends on what you call a herb – never let it be said that The Villagers encourages readers to break the law, Andy! Marguerite Kobs


Wullie’s Party Wullie Dalziel would like to thank everyone who attended his recent 60th birthday party held in Strathyre Village Hall on16 April. It was a fantastic night and I was completely overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up to join me in the celebrations. I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all and to say thank you to everyone for the unbelievable amount of gifts and cards I was fortunate enough to receive; their kindness brought a lump to my throat and a wee tear to my eye. I would like to say a special thank you to my wife Jan who coordinated the event; to Lee and Jill for all their help with the hall; to Jacs and Ray (Airlie house), for the use of their kitchen; to my daughter Wendy for arranging cakes, both for me and Jan as it was her birthday after midnight; to our three grandchildren for presenting Jan with flowers and birthday cake; to my sister-in-law Beth and her friend Karen who worked so hard to make every thing go to plan; to all family and friends who travelled to be with us on what turned out to be a very special occasion; to Iain Ramsay Clapham for providing the all important music for the evening; to Steve and Jill and Kirstyann (The Inn & Bistro) for looking after us later in the evening. I hope I have not missed anyone out but if I have then my apologies.

The Village Store St Fillans


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

9.0 ºC 15.4 0.6 -4.5

48.2 ºF 59.7 33.0 23.9

Rainfall: 11.7 cms 4.6 ins Wind speed - highest 44mph on 10 March 2

Illustration by Jim Hannah

Just had to include this card which I received from Jan’s friend Kath, who has a wicked sense of humour; thanks Kath - it made my day! Thank you all from a very humble

Wullie D

Newsagent • Off-licence • Top-ups Tobacco • Groceries • Gifts Hot Pies to take away Hardware • Oil • Fishing Tackle & Permits Café • 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

The St Fillans Bit As we enjoy rare April sunshine it’s good to see The Drummond back up and operating under new ownership. It has been sad to see the steady decline of a place which was, for years, the centre of the village. The other two hotels have their market niches and cater well for them, but a good few locals and many visitors enjoy having a ‘pub’ on tap (good pun, eh?) and seeing loads of folk enjoying the sun and a drink on the Drummond foreshore has really seemed to bring the village to life again. New owner Andy Wilson comes from the same background as myself – but please don’t hold that against him. We share experience of direct sales to the consumer (Andy has another constructionrelated business in Stirling) and he full knows the basics of selling and of client satisfaction. It’s a simple fact that you cannot please everyone, but if you set out your stall with a particular client profile in mind and give them what they want and what you promise, then you’ll be successful. Andy’s immediate aims, apart from getting the place busy again, are to freshen up and revamp the public areas and some of the rooms, provide a friendly atmosphere and good basic bar food and to get ‘the locals’ on his side. The new manager, who lives on site, is Jan and she’s backed up by a core staff comprising Andy’s daughter Stacy in the bar and her fiancé Alan who does bar and general maintenance. Andy hopes to recruit Scots to augment that team so that a real Scottish tone is set for the Hotel. Very much as a knock-on of the rebirth of The Drummond is the creation of two new tourist based services in St Fillans. Kay Naitby has launched (oh dear) her new venture of boat hire on Loch Earn with two boats based on the

Jan and Andy at The Drummond

Drummond jetties. Most know that husband Dave runs the very busy Arran boat sales operation in the village – believe it or not he sells some 70 boats a year! – and it has long been an aim to expand that into local boat hire. With the Drummond now stable and mooring facilities secure, Kay decided to take on the boat hire side of the business as her personal enterprise. The boats are outboard powered and can be hired for periods of 2–8 hours with full tanks, lifebelts etc provided. Although the bulk of the market will probably come from visitors, the boats provide us local ex-boat owners with a

Kay’s new launch!

very cost effective way of enjoying a day on the Loch without the hassle of owning the boat. Kay can be found on 685376 or and the boats can also be booked direct from The Drummond. Augmenting that is a new canoe hire service from The Village Store, using very sturdy Canadian canoes which are wide bottomed and very stable. Our photo shows a canoe undergoing buoyancy trials where the two heaviest guys ever likely to hire one prove that it won’t sink with 36 stone on board (thanks to Frank and Colin for acting as crash dummies). Continued overleaf

Loch Earn’s Finest View... and Food Glorious Food

Bistro Lunch from £9.99 Afternoon Teas, Bistro Suppers, Fine Dining or just come along and enjoy our view! The Four Seasons Hotel, St Fillans

01764 685 333 Frank and Colin test the Canadian canoe 3

Continued from page 3

Canoes can be hired for periods from two hours to a day and, again, life jackets are provided. Booking can be done at The Store or at The Drummond. Great to see the shop building on its now firmly established base and becoming even more a part of our community. Users of the shop will have seen the impressively renovated gift shop area which is being stocked with quality stuff, not tack, and can only improve visitor appreciation of St Fillans. I gather that mountain bike hire will soon be offered by the shop which, from my own experience of providing that service years ago at the Achray, should be popular and keep vistors in the village. One of the problems for visitors to our village has been that ‘there is nothing to do’ if you discount walking, golf and sightseeing. That’s all changing rapidly. I know that some folk would sooner there be no visitors (and when it comes to riotous fisher folk I agree) but without the income derived from visitors we wouldn’t have a shop or hotels. Remiss of me in previous issues of The Villagers to always refer to Liam’s shop, when, of course, the business is very much a partnership of Frank & Liam, with Liam being the visible front of operations, and the good looking one! Whilst on matters nautical, the Annual Great Loch Earn Boat Race was held on 17 April on a perfect day for rowing. Proving that fitness and dedication mean nothing, our geriatric (sorry, veteran) entrants, The Village Idiots, achieved not only the Veterans Award but also 5th place overall – which is quite an achievement given that most of them have to get the wife to help put their socks on. Our second village team of young bucks, The Scheme Team, recorded the same time as The Idiots but were classified a place

The ‘Village Idiots’ 4

lower because Russell knows the scorer. Importantly the event raise some £5,500 for charities which is an excellent result for a fun day. Achray House, as usual, provided revitalising food for crews and officials and were rewarded with a very busy bar. Across at St Fillans Golf Club, past Captain Gordon Strong, after waiting for forty years, achieved his first holein-one on the 170yd 8th Hole in April. To inspire youngsters to such heights Gordon Hibbert has reintroduced a series of lessons for junior boys and girls aged 8–17 on Friday evenings in June and July and asks any interested to contact him at the club or on 685312. These lessons were very successful in previous years but suspended last year due to fall in demand – let’s hope this year attracts plenty of yougsters. Gordon, as well as being a mighty fine club manager (is that OK Gordon?) has serious thespian abilities and is a very active member of Killin Drama Club. This year the club has entered the national Scottish Communities Drama competition for one-act plays with The Man Of Letters by Tim Firth, the cast of which comprises just two players. The play is considered very demanding and reveals changes in the relationship between the two characters. Gordon, of course, plays the older character. The duo have seen off 160 initial entrants to reach the last eight and will perform in the final in Inverness in May and hope to present the play during the Comrie Fortnight. The AGM of the Community Council was held on 13 April, at which Russell Cunningham duly retired from his post of member and Chairman, having served his allotted sentence, and coopted member Hayley also retired. New members are Frances Brown, Nicé Muir, and Don Forrester who will elect a new Chair before the next meeting on Wednesday 1st June. I’m known for my sarcastic humour, directed often at Russell, but in serious vein I think that he has been an excellent Chairman, keeping meetings controlled and, vitally, reasonably short. His retirement from the CC now leaves him free to pursue further athletic and political aims in his life. Wee Eckie Salmond look out! At The Four Seasons the Afternoon Teas are proving very popular – fresh baked scones, clotted cream, sandwiches, shortbread and tea or coffee for £7.75 seems too good to be true, and you’ll get 10% off just for mentioning The Villagers or taking a copy with you. For the mathematically challenged, a copy of The Villagers is 40p, and 10% off twoTeas

Drs Strang & Scott 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 afternoon will be on: Thursday 12th May Tuesday 14th June Both practices and community nurse clinic 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.

is £1.55 – net profit £1.15. What are you waiting for? Interesting too is that their Sunday Lunches are proving increasingly popular which shows the way that habits/tastes go in cycles; three years ago Afternoon Tea and Sunday Lunch were becoming a rarity. Finally, Ron Wellens asked me last month to thank the many villagers who gave generously to make the village Life Boat collection a great success. I forgot! Sorry Ron, it’s me age. John Murray Photo at The Drummond Hotel courtesy of Fraser Ballantyne Photography All other photos by John Murray

Thank you!

to everyone who supported the


(Children’s Hospice Association Scotland) on the 24th APRIL at the ROB ROY WORKSHOP. e...’ ‘Knock, knock... it’s time for my programm

‘Countdown! My favourite!!’

We made £116!

TV Licence dodger...

a regular visitor to residents of ‘Woodlands’, Balquhidder.

WOODLANDS Good Food - and a warm welcome awaits all. Our exciting new kitchen team will be cooking the best locally sourced produce to ensure our winter menu has something for everyone. 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:



the unusual woodland plant nursery wide range of trees, shrubs and perennials. ...also interesting indoor and outdoor gifts and ornaments, fairtrade wooden craft, range of birdcare, tools and garden sundries. open 10.30-5.30 except Tuesday

01764 670038

We’re just west of Comrie on the A85 5

More Rugby News

Under 13s Team

Stirling County’s U13 team had a very successful weekend on 16/17 April in the Borders at the Hawick 7s. They won their pool convincingly against traditionally strong Borders teams such as Melrose, Kelso and Jed Forest and ended up playing Jed Forest again in the final on the 1st pitch, in front of a big crowd at the Hawick 7s, which was very exciting and they won the S1 7s tournament. The team headed back home in very good spirits and smiles all round in the knowledge that the cup for the next year would be placed in County’s trophy cabinet. From the ten players selected for the 7s, five attend McLaren High School (all in first year) and two players are our from our BLS villages- Gregor Nixon, Strathyre and Duncan Hendry (sporting a big bump from a collision during the match) Balquhidder. Also, Andrew Howells from Strathyre is currently away with the U15 rugby team on tour to Ortez. Their team won the Madrid tournament which is quite an achievement. Played 5 - Won 4 - Drawn 1. CHAMPIONS of Madrid.

The Scots have an infallible cure for seasickness. They lean over the side of the ship with a ten pence coin in their teeth. 6

Under 15s Team

recipes from our local hotels Salmon and Crab PithivierRoulade by Andrew Low

at the Four Seasons Hotel

Ingredients - Pithivier 1 block of ready made puff pastry 375g fresh salmon fillet (skinned & pin boned) 2 medium eggs ½ teaspoon fresh chopped dill 125ml double cream 200g white crabmeat Zest of ½ lemon Salt & pepper to taste

Method Roll out pastry & cut into 8 x 12cm circles Place salmon, eggs, dill & lemon zest into food processor and blend for 1-2 minutes Add seasoning & cream and blend for 1 more minute Divide into four and place onto pastry discs (4), top with crabmeat Egg wash the edges and top with second pastry disc. Glaze with egg wash. Bake in hot oven (190) for 12 – 14 minutes. Ingredients - Butter sauce 250ml double cream 50g butter Zest of 1.2 lemon 2 teaspoons fresh chopped dill (dried ½ teaspoon) Method Using a deep saucepan, bring the cream to the boil and add the butter in small cubes (cold). Keep on a fast simmer for 3 – 4 minutes Add lemon zest & dill. Can be served as is as a luxurious starter or as an accompaniment for new season asparagus and jersey royals for a main meal.

Thank You I would like to thank all relatives, friends and neighbours for their support, telephone calls, visits, gifts and cards during my stay in hospital and on my return home. I am now on the road to recovery and hope to see you all out and about soon when the summer sun shines. Cathy Kennedy, Lochearnhead 7

Strathyre* Village * Fête *

Saturday 14 May Forestry Commission Ground 12noon - 4.30pm

Fun and games for all the family! Stalls selling plants, baking, toys etc. Bar-B-Q, tea and cakes Children’s Games, Dog Show, Raffle, Bouncy Castle and plenty more to see and do! Come along and join in the games or sit and have a cup of tea with friends in the refreshment tent

Tables cost £5.00 Please contact Nyree Watson on 384611 or Rosanne McWilliams 384726

Summer Dance The ‘Summer Dance’ is again being held in Balquhidder Hall on Saturday 4 June 7.30 for 8.00pm. Dancing as always will be to the Ian Milligan Trio who provide excellent music for all the Ballroom Dancing. Tickets, which include a superb Buffet Supper are priced at £12.00 per person. If you’re a dancer come and join us. If you’re not but you fancy trying it out then come and see what it’s all about. A fun time is guaranteed. Dress is informal – but we do, for the benefit of the ladies, try to make a bit of an effort!! Tickets and further information can be obtained from Mary Barclay on 01567 830453. 8

Church News Balquhidder Reg. Charity No. SC012316

We were saddened by the news of the death of the Revd Jim Benson, Minister here from 1982 to 1997. His funeral was held on 18 April in Auchtermuchty. Our condolences go to his wife Maureen, and all his family and friends. He will be sorely missed, especially by all those who benefited from his passion and wide knowledge of classical music and poetry. It was largely due to his enthusiasm that the series of Summer Music concerts were started here and have continued so successfully. A full obituary is to be found on p19. Please note that Christian Aid Week is from 15 - 22 May. Envelopes will be available in church on both Sundays of that week or directly from me. This year, the Christian Aid Week theme is “Help To Escape Poverty”, an enormous task, but one which Christian Aid tries to do by helping poor communities to help themselves. Despite our own economic problems, the Church tries to think of those suffering so much worldwide. Jean Edwards

Pin-Feathers* 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 touches upon a subject dear to us all!

If you have seen the Andrew Lloyd Webber show Whistle Down The Wind you may remember the song Tyre Tracks And Broken Hearts sung by Bonnie Tyler - well it sprang to my mind when I was photographing these skid marks along the Glen road to the Kingshouse. Maybe change “Hearts” to “Parts” if you where driving the other way, eh! But how fast are people going in order to make skid marks 40m long? The Highway Code will tell us ...60 mph. Glad I wasn’t coming the other way!!! It is not uncommon on our nice new tarmacadammed road - well, until you get to the last bit at the Kingshouse end. I notice a new name for holes in the road - ‘Uneven Road Surface’ - you can bet that the Compensation Dept thought that one up! I well remember a self-drive holiday in New Zealand, down at the bottom of South Island and a series of road signs that captured the imagination. The first one announced “You are now entering JAFA country”. No not oranges, as we thought! About a mile farther on another colour coded sign said JUST ANOTHER FOOLISH ACCIDENT so now we were getting the idea. Another mile and we saw JUST ANOTHER FALLEN ASLEEP ACCIDENT. There was hardly any other traffic so this was a possibility. Another mile and JUST ANOTHER FATAL ACCIDENT. Certainly makes one think! And finally, the name of the village and then NO DOCTOR, NO HOSPITAL, ONE GRAVEYARD. Food for thought, isn’t it? Maybe we could think up something similar. Me? I’m strapping one of those big straw bales to the front of my car!!!!

An elderly Scotsman had become a bit hard of hearing but he didn’t want to pay for a hearing aid. So bought a piece of flex, put one end in his top pocket and the other end in his ear. It didn’t help his hearing but he found that people spoke to him more loudly.

Exhibit A...

Exhibit B...

... and Exhibit C, m’lud... 9

Tree planting in the Trossachs...

McLaren High School News by Yvonne King

Tree Planting at the Great Trossachs Forest On 2 March thirty pupils and two members of staff took part in tree planting on the side of Loch Katrine. The trees, once established, will become part of the largest forest in the country. There were also two workshops based on the local environment which fitted in well with the school’s aims within Curriculum for Excellence and a great day was had by all! McLaren High School’s Orchard As part of their on-going Curriculum Challenge, twenty S1 pupils were responsible for planting 12 fruit trees within the school grounds. It has been a long term plan to extend the facilities within the school grounds and we were fortunate to receive a grant from Central Scotland’s Green Network (CSGN). The trees: plum, three varieties of apples and a cherry should provide educational ... and fruit trees... opportunities in future years….and hopefully FRUIT. Thanks go to all the staff who supported this venture, CSGN for the generous grant, Alastair Seaman of Grounds for Learning and mainly to S1 pupils for their efforts. Mufti Day – Comic Relief/DebRA A very successful event in aid of Comic Relief and DebRA was held in March. DebRA is the national charity working on behalf of people in the UK with the genetic skin blistering condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). The day itself was a Mufti Day where pupils paid £1 to wear casual clothes to school, and the Charities Committee held a raffle with prizes ranging from a box of chocolates to a date with the Head Girl! During the day we raised £809.76 in total and this was divided equally between the two worthy charities. Receiving the cheque from the Charities Committee on behalf of DebRA are Jaye Hamilton, Regional Fundraising Manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland (far right). Also pictured far left is teacher Mrs Cleary who works with and assists the Charities Committee. the school orchard!



School Show Following the huge success of McLaren High School’s recent productions of Grease in June 2009 and ‘West Side Story’ last June we are delighted to announce that preparation has begun for our production of Guys and Dolls. Already rehearsals show promise for yet another fantastic McLaren production with leading characters being played by talented and experienced S6 pupils. More information on dates and tickets will follow.


Chequeing it out for DebRA

visit our website: 10

Stock Market Challenge A group of S3 Business Management pupils participated in a Stock Market Challenge event in Edinburgh recently. Pupils had to work in teams through a week of simulated trading on the stock market, making decisions under pressure, taking calculated risks and experiencing the excitement of the trading floor. This opportunity gave them an insight into career opportunities within the financial services sector and developed skills such as communication, problemsolving and working with others. On the day they competed against 25 other schools.

Forth Valley Schools Dance Competition On 14 and 15 March many talented pupils from across the school took part in an annual dance competition which was held at the MacRobert Arts Centre in Stirling. Each year McLaren High School competes against other schools in the Forth Valley district. This year we were once again very successful when FTW, a group of eight S6 pupils, took 3rd place in the large senior dance category. The dance was choreographed by Mairi McLellan S6 and was highly regarded. The school entered six dances and all dances were commended. A massive thank you to all those who participated in the event. Rebecca Davis S6 Rugby The Senior XV travelled away to Larbert High in the Central Cup Semi-Final. McLaren dominated the match but Larbert never gave up and had to put in some good tackles to stop a possible rout. Alistair Sewell got our first followed by Andy Orr and Luke Melia to give us a 17-0 lead at half-time. We again dominated the second half with further tries from Ryan Williamson, Ruairidh Leishman (2) and Andy Orr to make the final score 430. We now meet Alva in the final. On 23 March our U-16 rugby team took on a very big Wallace High/Dunblane High side in the semi-final of the Central Cup. Within 10 minutes Wallace/ Dunblane were 12-0 up but a quickly taken penalty by Hamish Innes gave us our first score and not long afterwards full back Rory Wilson added a second to put us 14-12 ahead. After that McLaren started to dominate and fitness made a big difference with some great running from the backs. Harry Milligan scored just before half time putting us 19-12 ahead. From the start of the second half Angus Perrie caught the ball and scythed through the opposition avoiding 6 tackles to score in the corner. Winger Jamie Patterson too had a great run to make it 29-12 and finally Adam Wood got our 6th making the final score 36-12. It was a great team performance and a deserved win. We now go on to play Stirling High in the final.

FTW - looking good!


Callander Rambling Club

CAOS in Balquhidder Hall! Callander Amateur Operatic Society and friends are again paying their annual visit to the Village Hall on Friday 20th May. As well as singing a few songs from their recent production of Hello Dolly there will be solos and duets as usual. However, there are two special guests all the way from Glasgow who we hope will delight (or possibly disgust) you depending on what mood they are in. So come along on the 20th at 7.30pm for a great night’s entertainment. Great value at just £5! Tickets are available from Strathyre Village Store and Matt Duncan at Loch Earn House, Lochearnhead. Ian Inglis

Poetry Corner

Scottish writer and poet Alastair Reid discovered Spain and Spanish as a young man and has spent much of his life there - ‘as an antidote to Calvinism’. Walking back from the West Sands beach in St Andrews into town one day, he encounters ‘the woman from the fish shop’ - and this poem ‘happens’ to him. It’s simply called Scotland and beautifully captures the ‘determined pessimism’ of we Scots. It was a day peculiar to this piece of the planet, when larks rose on long thin strings of singing and the air shifted with the shimmer of actual angels. Greenness entered the body. The grasses shivered with presences, and sunlight stayed like a halo on hair and heather and hills. Walking into town, I saw, in a radiant raincoat, the woman from the fish-shop. ‘What a day it is!’ cried I, like a sunstruck madman. And what did she have to say for it? Her brow grew bleak, her ancestors raged in their graves as she spoke with their ancient misery: ‘We’ll pay for it, we’ll pay for it, We’ll pay for it!’ 12

Caller to BT Directory Enquiries: “I want a knitwear company in Woven.” Operator: “Woven? Are you sure? Caller: “Yes, That’s what it says on the label. Woven in Scotland.”

“If a pylon gets a cold……..” Pity the pylon, especially in snow, His arms outstretched, nowhere to go, His legs apart, his toes are weighted, Even his cough is insulated. Pity the pylon, his cables so tight, He carries the power for cookers and light, Always erect and never at ease, Imagine the fankle if a pylon could sneeze! Jim Hannah

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www. 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. MAY • Wed 4th 9:30am Ramble - Quarry Path & Tinker’s Loan (8 miles) Alma Cadzow 01877 331864 • Sat 7th 8:30am Hill - Beinn an Lochain 901m Mike Hawkins 01877 339080 • Sat 14th 8:30am LDP - C to C (2) Ormidale Lodge to Dunans (11 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Sat 21st 8:30am Ramble - Queen Elizabeth Forest (10 miles) Frank Nicolson 01877 382803 • Sat 28th 8:30am LDP - C to C (3) Dunans to Strachur (12 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 JUNE • Sat 4th Rotary Sponsored Walk - Ben Ledi (879m) Richard Cooper 01877 331067 • Wed 15th 9:30am Stroll - Mugdock Moor and Country Park (5 miles) Jen Shearer 01877 330446 • Sat 18th 8:30am LDP - C to C (4) Strachur to Lochgoilhead (9 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Sat 25th 8:30am Hill - Stuchd an Lochain (960m) Richard Cooper 01877 331067

Continuing Rusty McD’s monthly feature - a 5-minute interview with someone in our community - and their chosen furry, feathered or scaly friends!

5 minutes with...

Mike and Karen Holliday - and ‘Corrie’ The track to Edinample Cottage, home of Mike and Karen Holliday, is a highway of wildlife, Glen Ample is basking in sunshine – magic! How different this place will have looked during the flash floods of few years ago – signs of this event are still visible, proving the power of nature. I am beginning to realise that interviewing all these interesting Villagers is a real privilege. Karen has made some coffee and so we start with the questions. Mike and Karen, how long have you lived at Glen Ample? M: I was working for the Lake District National Park and in 1989 a friend bought the estate and asked if I wanted to manage it. I started on the 1st of June 1989 and my wife Karen came up in July. K: When I arrived in July, I realised this was an interesting place. The house was “basic” and exactly like it was in 1960. No electrics, just gas lamps. The bed was an old metal bed with a mattress, strategically placed in the room, as were all the various dishes on the floor, positioned to catch the drips off the ceiling. M: After we first moved in, the house obviously needed renovating. We temporarily moved to Edinample yard house. The steading there was open to old Lachie McGregor’s sheep who more or less went where they pleased and often stuck their heads into feeding bags looking for food or just being nosy - as sheep do. One day, our insurance rep for the area turned up with his area manager. It was already getting dark when he knocked on our door and announced straight away that he had just spotted a sheep walking around in our yard with a bag over its head. I said jokingly: “Oh, that must be the ugly one!!” Not sure the man got the joke… (by the way, no sheep were harmed in the process!!!) Tell me about life at Edinample Cottage, once you were able to move back in. K: We had our daughter Katie in 1991. In 2004 we got mains electricity!! The system we had before was our “hittie missie” Hydro system and a diesel generator. In the corner of the room we are in now, was a control box for this. We would always have to check the

Mike and Karen with Corrie

control box first to see if we had enough electricity left to put the kettle on! Sometimes, the Spanish owner’s secretary would phone us to send a fax to which we usually replied: “OK, we’ll start the generator.” We found out afterwards that all those years the secretary was convinced we had a diesel powered fax machine! What do you like and not like about living in our area? K&M: We like everything about living here, the area, the people, everything! We don’t like the rubbish which some people and fishermen leave behind. Tell me about Corrie. K: Corrie was one of a litter of 9 and is the granddaughter of the terrier we came with. The mother had to be rushed to the vets for a caesarean and when she came round she would not accept any of the pups. In the end it was decided that the pups were going to be hand-reared and 6 were looked after by the two veterinary nurses (sadly only one of those pups survived) and we took 3 pups and the mum home with us. The first three days were pretty hopeless with mum refusing to take them and us bottle feeding the pups but on Day 3 the mum wanted out and we let her. On her return she decided the pups were hers after all and she took to them very well. From this litter we kept Corrie.

Thank you so much for your hospitality, it’s been great. Thanks but no thanks for the offer to take home a few of your peacocks - but they are lovely! And...who are you nominating to be interviewed for the next ‘5 Minutes with...’ ? K&M: Joe Seymour from Strathyre. Champion budgie breeder whom we also know from being with Mountain Rescue. Our apologies for an error in last month’s article in the series ‘5 minutes with….’ The Lochearnhead teacher mentioned in the interview with Colin McGregor was called Mrs McLellan and not McLennan. Thanks to another former pupil for the phone call to the editor pointing this out.


B ALQUHIDDER S UMMER M USIC h e r e w i l l b e f i v e Su n d ay Tconcerts this season, the first on

10 July and the fifth on 7 August, all at 7.00pm in Balquhidder Kirk. A good lineup of musicians has been arranged. More details in next month’s Villagers, or visit for the most recent information and pictures of some of the participants.

f 2011 Concert Dates --- 10 July ---

Djordje Gajic

(virtuoso accordion) --- 17 July ---

Camerata Ritmata

(guitar, piano, bass, percussion) --- 24 July ---

Tim Dean and Singers from the RSAMD --- 31 July ---

Alba Quartet (string quartet)

--- 7 August ---

Bella Tromba (trumpet quartet)

McLaren Community Leisure Centre

Tight Timescale for Funding Campaign


We would like to take this opportunity to up-date the Trossachs Community on our proposal for a full-size outdoor Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) based at McLaren Leisure Centre. The Multi Use Games Area Project is a partnership between McLaren Community Leisure Centre, McLaren High School Parent Council and Stirling Council. We would like to clarify that contrary to previous press information we have not secured funding for this project. A working group (McLaren MUGA Working Group – MMWG) has been established by the partners stated above and is charged with progressing the project. We are making a concerted effort working within a tight timescale to secure sufficient funds to bring this much needed and desired facility to Callander. The total projected costs are approximately £450,000 and whilst we have secured £70,000 from Stirling Council the Working Group is embarking on a major fundraising campaign and would welcome any support or sponsorships with match-funding businesses to realise this aspiration which will be beneficial to all in the wider community. For more information, please contact Janet Al-Asadi at:


Rangers’ Review By Graeme Auty

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Spring into action Some of the National Park volunteers and I have been out in the area helping to collect some of the lochside litter which has accumulated over the winter months. On 1 April seven volunteers collected 40 full bin bags of litter from the shores of Loch Lubnaig and on 16 April a second group of volunteers managed to collect 22 bags of litter from the foreshore area at St Fillans. In addition to these two Spring Clean events another litter pick is being organised by Jennie Wills of the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, on Thursday 12 May and will again focus on the lochside sites in the area. If you would like to get involved please get in touch on the phone number below, or you can contact Jennie directly on 01389 727709. We will be meeting at the Lochearnhead office at 10:00am and heading out to various locations from there. Reptile report Whilst out on the Spring Clean event in St Fillans one of the volunteers found what at first glance was a long thin snake lying beside a gate post at the entrance to a large garden, but on closer inspection three small heads appeared which turned out to belong to a group of three slow

Found legless in St Fillans

worms curled up together enjoying the warmth of the spring sunshine. These unusual creatures are often mistaken for snakes, but are in fact a legless lizard and like lizards they have the ability to lose their tails to escape predators. This was certainly true of the unlucky one that my cat brought into our kitchen last year! They are also known as the blind worm, but they do have eyes and eyelids that blink (another way to tell they are not snakes which don’t have eyelids). They are often found in gardens and are the gardener’s friends, eating lots of slugs and snails among other things. Adults grow to about 50cm in length and are long lived; the oldest recorded slow worm was at a zoo in Denmark where a male lived to the age of 54. The females give birth to live young in late summer and they take three years to mature. They hibernate between November and March but during the summer months they spend most of their life underground buried in the soil or hidden away under rocks, logs and compost heaps. They are completely harmless and like all our other native reptiles they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. As usual, if we are around at the

Lochearnhead Office, please feel free to drop in, or to call Gareth or me if you have any queries, wildlife sightings or just for a catch up. Gareth is in most days but I am only part-time and am on duty Thursdays and Fridays. You can call me on 01389 722115 or on my mobile 07764371700 or alternatively you can email me on or Gareth at gareth.kett@

Letter from a Loving Son A mother passing her son’s bedroom was astonished to see the bed made up and the room tidy. There was an envelope on the pillow addressed to ‘Mum’. She opened it with trembling hands and read the following: Dear Mum, It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing to you. I had to elope with my girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with you and Dad. I’ve found real passion with Stacy and she is so nice but I knew you wouldn’t approve of her because of her piercings, tattoos and motor cycle clothes. She is also much older but it isn’t just passion, Mum - she is pregnant. Stacy says that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn’t really hurt anyone and we’ll be growing it and trading with others in the commune here for cocaine and Ecstasy. In the meantime we are praying that science can find a cure for AIDS so that Stacy can get better. She certainly deserves it. Don’t worry about me Mum, I’m 15 now and can take care of myself. Someday we’ll be back to visit so that you can get to know your grandchildren. Love, Your son , Nicholas PS Mum, none of this is true. I’m over at Ben’s. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than my school report, which is on my desk. I love you. Call when it’s safe to come home.

Letter to the editor: “Sir, if you print any more jokes about Scotsmen I shall cease borrowing your newspaper.” 15

BLS Community Council The Community Council met on 20 April in the balmy environs of Strathyre Village Hall. What a contrast! At our previous meeting, we were sheltering from the “cauld blast” but now we found ourselves in the “desert paradise” of Strathyre. That’s what the afternoon sun can do to a building with no windows left open! Consequently, the customary helping of cold, hard reality in the form of our regular police report was sadly missed when PC Ward had to tender his apologies. There was nothing for it but to press on with the hot winds of matters arising, planning applications and other correspondence. In addition to our own regular meetings throughout the year, many community councillors find themselves attending a wide range of other, diverse and entertaining gatherings. One such is the Community Health Partnership and Karen Methven reported to us something of what she had learned about how differently men regard their health problems as compared to women, and how this can affect the type of medical services that are provided. In the next meeting, she hopes to address some of the more practical concerns that we have regarding the difficulty that so many experience in simply getting themselves to our “local” hospital. Perhaps it’s no wonder that so many people ignore medical symptoms until they become so serious that an attempt simply has to be made to visit the doctor or get to hospital! We then looked at the matter of widening the A85 trunk road along the Crieff Road in Lochearnhead. I was having a “wee blether” the other morning with a long established resident of this fair village and the conversation turned to the march of progress hereabouts. Naturally, for those who have lived here many years, change is not always welcome, nor regarded as a Good Thing. It’s no easy matter to balance the wild and natural charm of a landscape that has changed little in hundreds of years with the demands of modern society and the little touches of civilisation that we now regard as indispensable. So, when Transport Scotland offers us the shiny promise of roads on which two lanes of vehicles may safely pass each other without pulling over to the side, pavements on which small children and casual sightseers may venture without harm, and street lighting to guide us home after a quiet drink at night, whose heart does not beat faster with the eager anticipation of such luxuries? Well, quite a few of us, actually! One of the major attractions for visitors (and not a few residents) is the prospect of spending time in a quiet backwater where the air remains relatively unpolluted and the stars can be seen at night. Yes, it would be nice to have the roads resurfaced after a harsh winter, but we’re not asking for anything more. So, when letters arrived recently, for residents and landowners with property beside the road, to advise of the imminent execution of compulsory purchase orders, many people were less than chuffed. Angus Cameron reported, from conversations with representatives of Transport Scotland, that these orders have only been issued with a view to gaining access to land for the purpose of providing a new drainage system in this area. He was further assured that there was insufficient funding to carry out any more work than this, and that this situation was unlikely to change for many years to come. It was decided that we should write officially to Transport Scotland to seek a firm reassurance of this position and clarification of what the agency is proposing to do. No meeting of the Community Council is complete without some input from the National Park Authority and this meeting was no exception. The “Five Lochs Visitor Management Project” is now underway. Its intention is to assess what facilities are currently on offer for visitors and to 16

One of the ‘issues closest to our hearts...’

see how these might be improved. The aim is to liaise closely with local landowners, community councils and other statutory bodies and, in our area, work has now begun around Loch Lubnaig. It will come as no surprise to the loyal and dedicated readers of this column that the issues closest to our own hearts are litter and toilets! They’re driving us round the bend... but we will not prevail upon your patience any further in this current issue. The Project continues and we will report further updates in due course. We had expected an invasion of disgruntled, local residents to bend our ears over the matter of caravans appearing in the car park of the Munro Hotel at Strathyre. However, the good weather must have distracted people as nobody appeared to comment on the situation. As a result, we concluded that, apart from highlighting one or two pertinent questions about the apparent lack of space, we should leave the formal planning application to take its course and raise no objection from the community at large. We finished with some late news from TranServ that the A84 trunk road between Kilmahog and Strathyre would be closed overnight between 12th and 17th June for resurfacing work to take place. This would have been good news but for the fact that they are proposing to close the road between 7.00pm and 6.00am. We are writing to point out that the usual hours for road closures are from 10.00pm to 6.00am and that the additional three hours is likely to cause significant problems for residents and visitors alike. (I trust that you will not be reading this to while away the time on a thirty mile diversion that takes in the delights of Braco, Muthill, Crieff, Comrie and St Fillans on a warm summer’s evening!) Our next meeting, new floor permitting, will take place at 7:30pm on Wednesday 1st June in Balquhidder Village Hall. Paul Hicks, Lochearnhead


electric fence corral of 900 square feet. Bought for donkeys but we made a permanent enclosure instead for limiting grazing!! Pristine condition as never used - and is contained in a canvas holdall. New price is over £200. For sale at £100

contact Pamela Hopkins – 01567 830238

A Scotsman won a toilet brush as the booby prize in a raffle. He had never won anything before, though, so he was delighted. A few weeks later a friend asked if he was getting much use from the toilet brush. “Well,” came the reply, “I don’t think much of it. I think I’ll go back to using toilet paper.”

Letter to the Editor THANK YOU We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the very generous gift voucher and flowers presented to us on leaving the Post Office last month. It was a really lovely surprise and we used it to buy a piece of lounge furniture that we’d always wanted. Thank you all very much. The memories of our time in Lochearnhead will be with us forever and particularly of the many wonderfully kind and friendly people we got to know so well over the years. We wish you all good health and happiness for the future. We know you will all give Cathy McLean as warm and friendly a welcome as you did us when we arrived in Lochearnhead and continue to show loyal support for the Post Office. With all our best wishes Cathie and Richard Photo courtesy of Alistair Barclay

WATCH THIS SPACE! Transerv has advised our Community Council that there will be overnight closures of the A84 trunk road between Kilmahog and Strathyre from 7.00pm - 6.00am from 12-17 June inclusive. The BLS Community Council has registered concern that this will seriously inconvenience local people and also holiday travellers and that the normal times for overnight closures are 10.00pm 6.00am. We await a reply and further consultation on this matter.

Doesn’t everybody want to buy an elephant? Why not? OK, so they take up a lot of room; our Beijing apartment really is too small and we might create a few problems trying to bring one back to Balquhidder - keeping it warm, for one! However, only minor glitches. The main issue would be that actually it would be very happy staying in its home country of Laos, but living in the jungle rather than working in the logging camps. We headed South on another backpacking expedition. A three-day trek into the jungle in SW Yunnan Province, gazing across into the misty mountains of Burma (where we can’t go - but never say never!) and staying in rural ethnic minority Bulang and Aini villages. Then over the border into relatively unknown, unspoilt, beautiful Laos. Another three days trekking in the Nam Ha National Park, through primary and secondary jungle, staying out in log camps and catching our own fish dinner (well the local Guide proved a successful fisherman!) Wanting to explore further into Laos, we took a day-long boat trip down the Mekong River, into the stunning town of Luang Prabang - a French Colonial timewarp. From there we undertook our final jungle trek (cos we hadn’t seen enough!) but this time with a gentle, half-blind giant as companion. ‘Mai Bounam’ was one of the elephants rescued from an appalling logging life and who now lives in and around the jungle, lovingly cared for by her Mahout. The Elephant Park can’t afford the initial price for the elephants, but can promise to keep them in the Park for life with the buyer having free access, hence our intention to buy an elephant! The international Attaché Group we have here are coming around to the idea - so who knows, if we can raise enough for the rescue, we might own an elephant when we return to Balquhidder (an interesting addition to the Auchtubh menagerie). Rather depends on whether Tania can complete a 10k Great Wall run, whilst Duncan runs 50k! P.S. The Ayi had to resort to bleach to clean our clothes this time!! Aaaaaah! 17


Lenny Aitchison

Last of a kind…

A service was held on Wednesday 20 April to celebrate the life of Lenny Aitchison. He was born in 1937 and lived in the village of Strathyre all his life. Lenny had been unwell for several months but he died peacefully at home on 11 April. He worked in the woods until his retirement around 2001 – in the days before harvesters and skylines and even chain saws. In those early days the job required an axe, brute strength and an uncanny sense for survival. When he left the woods he was never idle, doing odd jobs, gardening, shopping and even housework, for friends and neighbours. He asked little in return but never refused a wee Black Bottle and always managed to find his way home! He was a quiet and private man and never spoke out of turn but Lenny was not without his eccentricities….he was an obsessive collector and hoarder…much to the horror of his family…at the last count seven TVs, nine beside cabinets and enough wood to build another house. Lenny and his wife Dot had been married for thirty years before she moved to Callander ten years ago. Since then Madeleine visited every Wednesday and even when the children came along this ritual continued. This was shopping day. She always made sure that the fridge was well stocked. Over the last few weeks she was there most days and took night shift at work to accommodate Lenny’s needs, which latterly were many. Douglas moved back home in July, the fire set and stocked for the day before he left for work. He became quite an

accomplished cook thanks to the slow cooker and the George Foreman! And of course always made sure that there was a stock of logs…but that’s another story… David played his part visiting and doing odd jobs around the house and garden, ensuring an endless supply of kindling…and regular visits to take care of Lenny’s plumbing! It was a hard winter and the visits were many. The family went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that Lenny could remain at home throughout his illness, ever conscious of the need to preserve his comfort and dignity. There is no doubt that their efforts extended his life by several months. Indeed, when Lenny slipped peacefully away he was surrounded by photographs of his children and grandchildren (and clutter) knowing that his family cared. Lenny was laid to rest in Balquhidder, a bottle of Black Bottle in one hand, a glass in the other and his tin of tobacco. He will be missed. The family has asked me to express their sincere appreciation to the doctors and nurses at Bracklinn Practice in Callander, who did everything possible to ensure Lenny’s comfort. They would also like to say a big thank you to family and friends for all their kind wishes and support during a very difficult time. The sum of £616.64 was raised from donations after the service and will be given to the Bracklinn Practice. Thanks to all who contributed. ‘A family friend’

Enjoying wonderful views over Loch Earn and the surrounding countryside

Hans Kauster A follow-up

I first became aware of Hans Kauster on his death in 1983. I became village bobby in 1979 so it shows the extent to which he kept himself to himself. Charlie McKenna, a former forestry worker and a friend of Hans, informed me that Hans’ job during the war was to sit on the rear of a petrol tanker with a machine gun to ward off allied aircraft. That was not the case! Constable John MacLeod, then based at Killin, dealt with the sudden death due to the fact that Hans lived alone and the doctor would not certify the cause of death. The body was taken possession of for a post mortem. John located Hans’ release papers from Cultybraggan POW camp which showed that he had served with the 27th SS Panzer Regiment, a regiment not known for the niceties of war and one which you were not forced to join. John also confirmed that the SS tattoo was present under one of his arms. Had Hans returned to East Berlin his next port of call would have been the salt mines of eastern Russia. Tom Gibbon Retired Police Officer

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

Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help

The hotel is family run with ten en suite bedrooms, lounge bar, restaurant and residents’ lounge. Relax in the bar, take 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: 18

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 Reverend Jim Benson 21.03.1932 – 8.04.2011 Born to Robert and Edna Benson in Preston, Lancashire, Jim and sister Elizabeth soon moved with them to Morecambe. During his teens Jim excelled at cricket and singing also played an important part in his life. He became a member of the Methodist church and here he signed the pledge to be teetotal and remained so throughout his life. Study at Bristol University followed, from 195053 and Jim gained his BA in English. During this time he was vice-president of the Students Union, secretary to the Overseas Drama Group and enjoyed playing cricket and badminton. After graduating he joined the RAF Education Branch, teaching mainly English, and was stationed in Singapore. Jim and his first wife Ruth were married in 1956 by which time Jim was at Exeter University studying for his Diploma in Education. He re-joined the RAF in 1959 and had many postings abroad. They had three daughters, Julia, Rachel and Grace. By 1962 Jim was stationed in Aden – here music became even more important to him and he produced performances of The Messiah and Iolanthe. After training as a reader in the Church Jim attended Aberdeen University where he gained his BD New Testament Honours degree. His first ministry was at Rothiemurchas and then in 1982 he moved to Balquhidder. Jim was Parish Minister here and Hospital Chaplain in Stirling until his retiral in 1996 during which time he set up The Friends of Balquhidder Church Association together with Nisbet Cunningham (sadly now deceased) and also started the now famous Summer Music concert series which still continues. Friday nights were music nights at the Manse and very enjoyable they were too. Jim’s first marriage had failed and he and Ruth divorced in 1986; in March 1988 he married Maureen. Following his retirement they moved to Dunblane and he was often called upon to carry out locum duties at Dunblane Cathedral, Cambusbarron and other churches. Gradually Jim’s health deteriorated and in 2009 Jim and Maureen moved to a single storey property at Auchtermuchty. When health permitted Jim still took some services and in June 2010 he took his last service at Gateside village. Although he lived there such a short time he managed to set up and run a local music appreciation group and also worked for U3A (the University of the Third Age) running both music and poetry sessions. Jim certainly brightened up a lot of people’s lives being a generally very jolly chap. He helped a lot of people along the way and will be greatly missed by many. Our sincere condolences go to Maureen and all the family. Pauline Perkins Balquhidder Parish Church (Beadle)

Farm Forum: Fuel for Thought! Well, this winter did not start off too well with two months of snow and ice but I wonder if it is too much to suggest that this is the compensation we deserve! Growth is ahead of normal for this area but remember the old saying “Ne’er cast a cloot till May is oot”. The problem is that you cannot undo what has happened and if the weather in the autumn has been too bad to allow tups to get to the ewes no amount of sunny weather in the spring is going to make them have lambs. There is a lot happening behind the scenes in the Agro political field, mainly in relation to the CAP negotiations. There has been a development in the “country of origin labelling” saga that has been going on for a long time. I have never understood why we have among the strictest production standards in the world – in many cases over the top - and yet it is not mandatory to label food to inform consumers of its origin. It was reported in the paper this week that a top committee of Euro MPs (The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the European Parliament) has voted for mandatory country of origin labelling for all meat and dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables, and I think more importantly, for meat, poultry and fish when used as an ingredient in processed food. The European Bright Ideas Squad is at it again. Farmers pay slightly less for red diesel used in agricultural machinery on agricultural land (not on roads) and the Ideas Squad want to do away with this reduction. According to Richard Wright in the Scottish Farmer fuel prices are just about the most inflationary thing you can think of, and don’t we all know it! This long standing arrangement was started for no other reason than to keep down the cost of food to the consumer. “The justification for the proposed change is the holy grail of Europe’s self imposed target of a 20% reduction in greenhouse gases – via carbon output - by the year 2020.” He goes on to say “This was never a figure rooted in any science, but two numbers which seemed to fit together well with the mood of the moment about climate change.” One result to date has been the flawed compulsory inclusion target for biofuels (that is the inclusion of a certain amount of biofuel in fuel you buy at the pump). Even green groups have said there is no evidence this can have a positive impact, because it forces farmers to bring new land in to food production to compensate for land lost to energy crops. (In some parts of the world this is leading to the destruction of rain forests which is having disastrous knock-on effects). This is in addition to the economic reality that farming is a very inefficient and costly way to produce energy crops. The World Bank said recently that “The diversion of land from food to fuel production has been one of the drivers of higher food prices and global poverty.” Agricola 19

View from the Park by Owen McKee We open with an apology. In last month’s article I gave the dates for the Callander session of the Public Hearing for The Local Plan as 11 and 13 May . The correct dates are 10 and 12 May and the venue is Callander Kirk Hall with a 10.00am start. The sessions are open to the public and you don’t have to stay the whole day. Just pop in and get a flavour of the nature of the objections that have been raised during the consultation. Recently we have had a number of complaints about apparent breaches of the Planning Regulations so I thought it might just be a good time to update you on the enforcement procedures relative to Planning. When a report is received of a potential breach of planning the officer checks to see if the development/activity has permission or deemed permission. If no permission is in place then the owner of the land and/or the operator of the activity is contacted and advised as to what action he needs to take under the regulations. Every effort is made to progress the matter without the need for legal formalities but if after a reasonable time they do not submit the necessary

application and then a legal enforcement notice is issued detailing what action must be taken to remedy the breach. They can appeal against the notice within an eight week timescale. If they don’t appeal and don’t comply with the terms of the enforcement order the Planning Authority may take the necessary action to remedy the breach and recover the costs for so doing. Penalties can also be incurred. The East Loch Lomond Byelaws now have ministerial blessing and the necessary work is progressing at the Forestry Commission site at Sallochy to ensure that the facilities are in place to enable us to bring the byelaws into operation at the beginning of June. The next focus is the Five Lochs (Venachar, Achray, Lubnaig, Voil/Doine and Earn) programme and meetings have already taken place with the community councils and and a number of land owners. It was agreed at the meeting with the community councils that the problems at Loch Lubnaig should receive immediate attention and anyone passing there over the Easter week will understand why. Discussions are progressing with the owner of the stretch of the lochside which includes the two official carparks with a view to bringing into play some of the ideas that are being introduced for the Sallochy site on East Loch Lomond. Underpinning everything is a watchful eye on any possible displacement from East Loch Lomond. Another area where there has been a little flurry of activity recently is on appeals against refusals of planning applications dealt with by planning officers under delegated authority. Under the new rules these appeals are dealt with as a request for a review of the decision and are examined by the Planning Authority’s Local Review Body. In the first eighteen months of the new system the Park Authority had only one request for a review. In the past six weeks there have been three. Quite a turnaround! While on appeals you may have noticed in the national press that Scotgold have abandoned their appeal against the refusal of their application for Cononish, Tyndrum and are now pressing ahead with a new application and are discussing with Planning Officers how they aim to tackle the issues which resulted in the original refusal. Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows: (by post)Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead. (telephone)01567 830214



Greetings Cards ~ Stationery Films and Batteries Hot & Cold Drinks ~ Confectionery ~ Ice Cream Lochearnhead Souvenirs ~ Children’s Toys Signed books by Local Authors

~ ~ ~

POST OFFICE & SHOP HOURS Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri 0900 - 1730 Wednesday 0900 - 1300 Saturday 0900 - 1230 Sunday Closed Post Office Post Box Collection Times: Morning - 12 noon Afternoon - 1600 (Except Saturday) Sunday - No Collection Telephone: 01567 830 201

cLean ganiser Colin M or d an ry go re G Neil eather discussing the w

Will the Kingfisher start.. .?

Er... what frequency is that on, Fred...?

ts... a o it fl

Scottish Aeromodellers’ Splash-In on Loch Earn 9/10 April... Great weather, great weekend ... the photos and their captions tell the story!

t don’t trip over Good flight - bu ...! that tape

Happiness is... little boys

and their toys...

Due to perfect conditions, this ultra light then off, take weight model did a powered over soared in the warm, rising air to well s. ieve retr ean McL n Coli ft. 1,000 flie s ! All photos courtesy of Edward Chadfield



We’ll send you or your friends

The Villagers

£11.00 for 11 monthly issues (£20.00 for Europe and £27.50 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................................ 22


H All advertising must be paid up before publication can proceed. Discount adverts placed for 6 months must also be renewed on time and any which are in arrears will be removed and a space left until payment is received.



• The Villagers’ Contacts • John Stewart Business Manager BLS Newspaper Association Tom na Dhair Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB 01877 384 664

Marguerite Kobs Editor Kalinka Auchtubh Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8NZ 01877 384 215

Alistair Barclay Photographer & Advertising Coordinator Dalvaich Glenbeich Lochearnhead FK19 8PZ 01567 830 453


MAY 14 20

Strathyre Village Fête - see p.8 CAOS in Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm - see p.12

JUNE 4 24

Annual Summer Dance - Balquhidder Hall - see p.8 Midsummer Concert in Balquhidder Church

Other Contacts... Production Manager: Gill Allan 01877 384 203 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

JULY 2-3 10 17 23 24 31

Loch Earn Shears and Crooks Competition Balquhidder Summer Music - see p.14 Balquhidder Summer Music Highland Games in Lochearnhead Balquhidder Summer Music Balquhidder Summer Music

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



Balquhidder Summer Music Cheques for advertising and mail order subscriptions should be made out to:

The BLS Newspaper Association

Copy Deadline Day is always the 24th of the month. Please help us to get The Villagers to you on time!

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 Vigil Mass Saturday 5.30pm May to 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 Church, Lochearnhead First and third Sundays of the month: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fourth Sundays of the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Fifth Sunday of the month: please see church noticeboard. Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453 Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: Published by The BLS Newspaper Association

The Villagers  

Village newspaper covering Strathyre, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and St Fillans in Central Scotland where Perthshire meets the Trossachs, Sti...