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JUNE 2014


Price 50p

The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

Stuc a’ Chroin Race 2014

Participants in the 2014 Stuc A’ Chroin Race get off to a flying start. Right, Elke Prasad romps home in first place.

Happy house of Prasad Thankfully, this year’s Stuc a’ Chroin Hill Race was void of all weather related dramas and a couple of locals took advantage and grabbed the first places of both male & female races. Callander boy Prasad Prasad (Squadra Porcini) was the winner for the second time in three years with a time of 2:13:03, Dan Gay was 2nd (Hunters Bog Trotters) on 2:20:11 and Paul Faulkner (Carnethy) on 2:20:11 was 3rd - and 1st Male Vet 40+. Completing the Prasad double act was Callander girl Elke (Squadra Porcini) who took first place (right) with a time of 2:45:28, 2nd was Diane Baume 2:47:56 (Lochaber) and Morag McClelland (Hunters Bog Trotters) 2:49:31. Continued on page 16

Editor’s Bit Hope many of you managed to support and enjoy some of the events at two very successful festivals held at the end of May. Both were great fun for all ages and tastes and were lucky to be blessed with weather that encouraged people to get out and enjoy something different. However I have been asked by several people to urge the two parties involved to try and avoid a clash of dates next year so that more local people can enjoy both and local business can also benefit from two weekends of extra tourist trade. Supporting and joining in local events is a continuing theme this month, as you’ll see on page 8. Personally I am not sure it is only a village issue; in a previous life, trying to get volunteers to help and support a local rugby team was always a struggle. I recall organising different fund raising activities to send the boys on tours and we soon realised it was the same parents supporting and paying at fundraisers - who could be relied on to turn up on a cold wet Sunday morning to cook the pies for the boys. Please keep your own thoughts and opinions on these topics (and any others you wish to share/get off your chests) coming in to us. Off to see the Ryder Cup now! More on that next month. JJ



The following readings were taken at ‘Bramblings’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder for the month of MARCH 2014. Average max temp Actual max temp Average min temp Actual min temp

12.9 ºC 19.9 5.07 -1.5

55.2 ºF 67.0 41.1 29.3

Rainfall 11.5cms 4.6ins Strongest wind gust: 35mph on 12 April 2

Ikea Loft bed for Sale £75 Desk, mattress, chair and shelf all included. Buyer must collect 07824446024


Our community choir is having a well-earned rest over the summer. Come and join us when we start up again in September! All very welcome. Gill Allan 01877 384203

The St Fillans Bit

by John Murray

Long term readers of this column will know that whenever I can, I try to promote local businesses and give positive PR. For the last few years I have done that with The Drummond under its various operators, reporting faithfully the optimistic aims and intents of said operators. Sadly much of that publicity has proved ill fated, often before The Villagers is even printed. Last month’s words about the Drummond were just that. Whilst I was typing it seems that others already knew that manager Jeremy, who had briefed me for the article, was on his way out the following week. I noted this in a ‘stop press’. Jeremy’s hopes that the place would be open properly by early May did not come to pass. Neither did Kay Naitby, who I was told would run the coffee shop and whose rather lovely picture I included, finish up in that role. It is pretty The Drummond Hotel in more prosperous times pointless my reporting on the plans of The Drummond when I know as I’m writing This was made clear in the very honest The Drummond and open it as a viable that it probably won’t happen and I’ll be left share prospectus. They were bought to business. On progress to date I’m not show local support in some small way for holding my breath. I did reply to their latest egg faced. Last October when Arran Brewers took Arran and The Drummond and certainly Press Release in the same mode as these possession of The Drummond there was weren’t an investment – indeed my two comments – but received no reply. great relief in the village that at last it seemed £80 shares have a total printed face value Regarding my bit about Kay Naitby last that the eyesore and white elephant that of 20p! There was of course the possibility month I’m told by Kay that on her return graced (?) the centre of our well-kept village of recouping some of the cost by the 20% from America she heard that the Coffee would be properly restored and operating discount on food offered to shareholders at Shop was opening the following Saturday again soon. The early Arran press releases The Drummond, but since the place isn’t but she had not been contacted to run it as were very positive. Sadly 7 months later the open that is no current benefit. The worst, already agreed with Jeremy. She sought a place looks just as dilapidated and is not to me, aspect of the 8th May Press Release meeting with Mr Michaluk (the MD) who open. At the time of writing the grounds is that based on the sale to well-wishers of told her that he could not honour the terms are a mess – before Jeremy left he was asked £160,000 of shares at £80 a share , the value given to her by Jeremy because he could why he didn’t cut the grass – his answer was of the company on paper is now a claimed not afford it (roughly national minimum that they didn’t have a lawn mower! Filthy £80M. This is simple fantasy and totally wage) but that he would write up a new Job old curtains hang behind filthy windows misleading and takes advantage of the well- Description and offer for her consideration. whose paint is flaking off and a rusty old meant support of villagers. Press Releases Ten days later she has heard nothing. I do scaffold adorns the East wing and has are cheap publicity, few newspapers check have many years’ experience in running done for months. This is a business which the veracity and are grateful to fill half a a business and one of the principles of was planning to open in April with one page with minimal editorial input (I used business is that if you delegate management restaurant and have 3 more open in quick them myself in years gone by) but they and empower a manager to make decisions should at least be reasonably factual. then those decisions are binding on you and time. But what has really irked me is the latest Obviously as a villager I hope that your business. A poor show. Continued overleaf Press Release from Arran dated 8th May Arran will eventually properly refurbish which states that Arran is now bidding for another defunct distillery in Bladnoch – despite having the Drummond project seemingly floundering along. The release claims that phase one of the Loch Earn Development (The Drummond) is “fully funded”. That, of course, could mean anything but must surely mean at least the refurbishment of the exterior elevations and the tidying of the grounds to make the place attractive to customers? Not the ‘sticking plaster’ approach apparent over the past 7 months. Shortly after Jeremy & wife departed I gather the maintenance man left, stating that he could not maintain or improve the building with a severely restricted budget. Many of us locals bought the £80 shares in Arran which were part of a £4M ‘crowd funding’ share offer from Arran (the offer raised a mere £160,000). We bought them knowing that they were of little realistic value since the cost bore no relationship to the present value of the company and the shares were non-voting and not tradeable. 3

The St Fillans Bit

(Continued from Page 3)

It is obviously up to Arran how they run their business, I comment from the outside as a villager who is disappointed and as a ‘reporter’ who has been given and printed useless information two months running, and I know that I reflect other local opinion. It is a pity that the first part of the Drummond to properly open is the coffee shop – in direct competition with our existing coffee shop in the Village Store. Hard grafting Liam in the Store has worked very hard and very long to sustain the shop over a good few years, no easy task for a village shop nowadays, and the extra income from his coffee shop is what makes the whole shop viable. If that income is lost we could well lose our shop. A thought to ponder. Remember the year without our shop? I do. I stress that the above comments are my opinion as Arran have been copied them prior to publication and claim that they are ‘wholly inaccurate’ and threaten legal action. I stand by the accuracy and by my opinion. On to happier matters. On 9th May the new Glentarken Bridge over the gorge on the old railway line was formally opened. A good number of folk from St Fillans, Lochearnhead and Comrie trudged up the hill to watch, in lovely weather, the cutting of the tape by Cameron Mc Neish, renowned writer and broadcaster on the outdoors. Cameron gave an entertaining wee speech before cutting the tape whereupon school kids from communities both sides of the bridge met in the middle. Great theatre. The throng then descended to the Sailing Club where ladies from St Fillans had prepared an excellent buffet lunch, aided by donations of grub from local hotels. A bit sad that some of the kids could not partake of the buffet for – you know what’s coming – Health & Safety rules. Where will it end? If our good lady wives were going to poison someone I’m sure that St Fillans would by now be a village of widows. I have covered here before the background to the planning and construction of the bridge and given thanks to the locals who drove the project through to completion this day in and day out is Roddy at The Four Seasons, and I’ve despite the scepticism of folk like me so no point repeating that. But never seen him less than happy. Roddy was born in Edinburgh the bridge is an amazing achievement and a long term asset for locals but now lives in Comrie. At the tender age of 16 he joined the and visitors alike. Thanks to Alistair Barclay for the picture you’ll see merchant navy and spent 6 years sailing the globe until, as he puts it, he jumped ship in Australia and lived there for 23 years (he here of the opening (assuming he took the lens cap off). I have been asked by Sally Watson, Chair of the Sandison Hall told his Mom he’d gone for a pint). On his return to the UK he Committee, to float the idea of a regular village film club in the Hall joined the Fishery Protection Agency before taking up the role of and gauge interest. These clubs appear to be successful in other small General Hand at Culty Braggan in Comrie. When Culty closed he communities so maybe in St F? I did, years ago, try to start such a became Pot Wash at the Four Seasons for a few years then moved club but could not find sufficient interest to justify the cost. But times to Achray House for 3 years, leaving there when Andrew Scott move on and now we have our projector, screen etc. so if anyone sold up and returning to The Four Seasons where he has happily washed the pots for the last 4 years. I meet Roddy most days as thinks it’s a good idea please contact me. You know where I am. On Saturday 28th June there will be a Coffee Morning in The I head for the hills on my buggy along the back lane and Roddy Sandison with the attraction of Bob Livermore and his splendid plant is enjoying a quick roll up. Always a cheery welcome, a pat for displays/sales which are always well attended. The purpose is to the dogs and a few minutes putting the world to rights. A real raise funds for the ongoing maintenance of the Hall. Two years ago I character and a vital cog. reported on the last one and Bob’s assurance that it was definitely his I have already exceeded my allotted space but must include Mary’s update from The Four Seasons (she last. My comment then was ‘we’ll see’. Was never misses a month’s input). Father’s Day I right Bob? is 15th June – take the old man for lunch When you go out for a meal you will and he’ll get a free pint or nip. The Tarken is meet the waiting staff, the bar staff, maybe now open all day on Friday & Saturday and the chef or owner – but the one guy you when the menfolk are glued to the TV for won’t meet is the one without whom the the footie World Cup she reminds the ladies whole process grinds to a halt. The kitchen that a TV free refuge is waiting for them at porter, better known round around here as The Four Seasons. Pot Wash. If you have never been in busy Finally, stretching the Editors patience, I hotel kitchen you’ll have no idea of the vast was involved in the Euro Elections in St F, number of plates, dishes, cutlery and chef ’s merely setting up the Hall as a Polling Place pots which need to be rapidly recycled. and dismantling afterwards, and I gleaned When I sold the Achray I was on call to new the info that our village turnout was about owner Andrew Scott to help out if needed. 50%! This seems to compare with a national One busy Sunday he asked me to Pot Wash UK average of about half that. I doubt that as his regular was ill. Worst 3 hours of my St Fillans has vastly influenced the EU but life. Stuff came to me from all directions, we tried. JM I was exhausted after the shift and told Roddy Andrew ‘never again’. But a guy who does 4

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre

Highland Games

Dear Games Supporter, Another winter comes to an end and our new drains in the Games field have been well and truly tested, one or two wee bits needing attention but on the hole coped very well. Hopefully the rashes will not be making a return as they were sprayed at the back end of last year and are looking pretty sick and not much growth. What a difference good weather makes. For the first time in many years we arrived on the field on the Wednesday dry and left on Sunday still dry. While putting the Dance platform together Mike was underneath bolting it together and was heard to comment, “Something is wrong here, I’m not lying in an inch of water.” What a great week for the Games and what a difference it makes. Of course the Games would not manage without our great bunch of volunteers on the committee nor our wonderful patrons, yourselves, who help in a big way finance the Games. The committee members help set the field up on the days before and then put in a very long day on Games day, without these Lad and Lassies the Games would not happen. Anyone wishing to help should get in touch with myself, Alex Gargolinski or any of the Convenors. Also with our Patrons without whom we could not run this great event for the Villages, for this the Games committee owe you all a huge thank you and look forward to your continued support. The Games this year are on the 26th July and will be held in the same field. Last year it was felt that the change of field helped make it a friendlier feeling day as everyone was kept together and the lack of cars help. I hope you all saw the Visit Scotland advert on STV earlier this year with our games getting first mention, mind you you had to record it as it was over in a flash but never-the-less a good plug for the Villages. Also Jim McTaggart and his stunt

Are you a sole trader... a partnership... a small limited company a or charity? I can offer help with your: a VAT returns • Tax returns Book keeping • Credit control a Payroll • General office/paperwork a Helen Clark a 07971 648743 01567 830459 a

flying was absolutely wonderful and a very welcome break in the proceedings. As always we are struggling for committed younger committee members. Those prepared to help before, during and after the event. A good number of us on the committee have been doing it for a long time and sadly do not see relief coming over the horizon. So if you know of anyone interested in joining us please point them in our direction. The alternative is the games running out of committee. Once again we are asking if you would like to become a Patron or again support your Games with some form of Sponsorship or Patronage. Cheques should be made out to BLS Highland Games. We can put your name to an event or a group of events providing your sponsorship pays for a large amount of the monies required, although most events have been taken up during the years. We will, as usual put a list of our Patrons in the programme, even if you have taken on an event, this can be done by adding your business name or your name. The sum donated will not be listed. With this we will send you tickets for entry into the park and we will have some form of hospitality to which you will be invited to join the convenors for some refreshments. I look forward to hearing from you sometime in the near future. As always time is of essence as we have print deadlines to meet for our programme. Yours as always Angus Cameron, President

Let’s get the big TOP Festival spinning Stirling’s first-ever TOP Arts and Heritage Festival will take place in the historic heart of Stirling on Saturday 14th June. Hosted by comedian Phil Kay, the TOP Festival brings together Stirling Council and Stirling’s arts and heritage organisations to offer a programme of exciting and inspiring activities for children and young people. Phil Kay said: “I can’t wait to get this big TOP spinning! I’m really up for this – I can’t wait to get the Festival off to a great start. Join me in Stirling on 14th June.” There’s plenty to keep the whole family amused, from music to dance, drumming to medieval warfare, coding workshops to comedy, and visual arts to heritage trails. Look out also for street performances throughout the afternoon from young people supported by Conflux, as well as from the Kakatsitsi Drummers who will be offering a drumming workshop and performing at the Tolbooth in the evening. All the daytime activities are completely free, thanks to funding from Stirling Council and support from each of the organisations involved.  For information about which sessions are drop-in and which need to be booked, as well as booking details, please visit www.topfestival. org. For more information please contact: Deborah Kilpatrick Senior Communications Advisor Stirling Council 01786 233036 5

Strathyre News

Tennis for Strathyre Hello everyone!

My name is Ruth Henderson and I work for Active Stirling, heading up tennis development. Since coming into post in October, I heard through various grapevines that Strathyre had a tennis court. And indeed – there absolutely is one! As you will probably be aware, the tennis court has definitely seen better days. However, I am determined that this tennis court should not go to waste, and that Active Stirling can provide an opportunity for people in Strathyre and the surrounding areas to have a go at tennis! I have been working closely with Sara Hesp, as well as Tennis Scotland to create a tennis engagement programme for Strathyre – and I am delighted to let you know we have a brilliant opportunity for you to get involved in TENNIS! Firstly, the court will be having a massive makeover/clean up! We have planned this for Saturday 31st May, at 10am. All the weeds, moss, leaves, trees (you name it!) that has been growing from/into the tennis court will be removed. The broken fencing will be covered with mesh netting & the lines will be re-painted. Tennis Scotland has also very kindly donated to us a new tennis net – to replace the

tattered one on the court at the moment. If we have any volunteers that would like to help us in the clean-up of the court – it would be greatly appreciated! Please get in touch with Sara Hesp (01877 384799) Secondly, Active Stirling will be hosting an ‘Open Day’ at the court! This will be on Saturday 21st June, at 1pm-3pm. This open day will be a drop in session for anyone to come along to, try their hand at a bit of mini tennis, with some of Active Stirling’s tennis coaches leading the activity. The Open Day is completely free of charge – so please come along, and it will give you a little taster of what will be on offer during summer! Thirdly, Active Stirling will be putting on tennis classes in Strathyre Tennis Court this summer! These classes will be on every Thursday throughout the school summer holiday, for children aged 5 -16. More details will follow soon, so please watch this space and get in touch with me if you have any questions (hendersonr@ Thanks for reading the information here, and please make sure you keep the Open Day in your diary and come along to see what we have on offer! Hopefully these tennis classes can put Strathyre on the map and will be thriving with lots of people playing tennis! Ruth Henderson (Club Development Officer & Tennis)

Well, the Festival came and went and was a big success. Balvaig, the organisers, are still getting their breath back! Read the report on pages 14 and 15.

Above: The Deadly Winters rock out in the big tent; left: Strumelele strut their stuff; below, Glasgow’s Fifty Shades of Blue play to a sun-kissed crowd!

Real Ale - Real Music


‘Help Me.....’

The secrets of using 112 on a mobile phone in an emergency/ accident

The Strathyre Primary School Primary Sevens will be serving

Afternoon Tea in Balquhidder Village Hall

on the afternoons of Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th June to raise funds for their residential activity trip. We hope as many of you as possible are able to support this school fundraiser. Adults £5 Primary aged children and under £2.50 A small number of local craft/gift stalls will also be there. Booking in advance is not absolutely essential - but would really help the children with the organisation! If you would like to book a table, please phone one of the numbers below with the following information: Name Party size (stating how many adults/children) Day (Sat or Sun) Preferred Time (between 1pm and 4.30pm) Phone Number and Email address

Your support would be greatly appreciated. SEE YOU THERE! Reserve a table by calling:

Gillian Laura Fiona

01877 384 648 01877 384 345 01877 384 293

The telephone number 112 has been programmed into every mobile phone SIM card and allows you to make an emergency call, using your mobile phone, anywhere in the European Union. When using this number the phone initiates the call in a different way which gets around the problem of having no signal from your service provider. If you find yourself in an area with no signal from your service provider you will be unable to make a call in the normal way but by dialling 112 the phone will search for a signal from any service provider and allow the connection to the emergency services to be made. The use of 112 will also prioritise your call if the network is busy. Dialling 112 also overrides any security or PIN number set on a mobile phone. This allows you to simply dial 112 to make the call. This could be particularly useful if you need to use someone else’s phone. It will also work with a ‘pay as you go phone’ which has run out of credit. As well as the European Union 112 also works in 70 countries around the world including America, Canada, Australia and India. In making a call it is suggested that you first try with your back to the wind so that once connected you will be clearly heard by the emergency services operator. You should allow at least 1 minute for the phone to attempt a connection. If this does not work try turning 180 degrees, or swop the phone to your other ear, and try the same process again. This allows the phone to search for an available mast in the opposite direction. If none of this works, and you are in the United Kingdom, you can still attempt to contact the emergency services by sending a text to 112. Text uses a tiny packet of data and has a better chance of getting through than a voice message

particularly if the signal is intermittent. Your message should contain the service you require – ‘Police’, ‘Fire’, ‘Ambulance’, ‘Coast Guard’, - the location, type of emergency and number and type of injuries, if any. Once sent you should wait for 3 minutes to get a text back from the emergency services. You have to be pre-registered for this text service to work. To register you phone simply text the one word ‘Register’ to 112. You will receive an automatic response and you should read all of the response sent. You then send a text, as instructed, with the single word ‘YES’ and your phone is registered. There is a useful video by Lyle Brotherton of outlining all of this information which can be found from the following link. watch?v=XPZv_8dABfU Further information on the text service described can be found at:


d a e



es rnh n Li ea ch o L

May 10th was the scene of much excitement in the village hall in Lochearnhead as several local and visiting punters headed for the races to try their luck (no chance!) at beating the bookies. It was an entertaining and, as the night went on, increasingly noisy party as horses missed their footing, ran out of puff or just failed to start.

There was a prize for the best ladies hat, and a couple of ladies had made the effort to put together original designs on the theme of a race night, while the rest of us dragged out that old wedding hat again. Ellen Lawson won with her home made ‘cheese plate’ hat (above), complete with biscuits, cheese and a bottle of wine and wine glass all stuck on top of a boater. She even managed (after words) to ‘eat her hat’! Many thanks to all who organised the event as an amazing sum of £12512.44 was raised for the village hall fund. A really good time was had by all who attended. May 14th was the second supper club date of the year held in the Lochearnhead Hotel, and as always, it was a huge success. Robert and Amanda did us proud with delicious food, wonderful service and a very congenial atmosphere. 24 ladies attended. Once again Jeanette persuaded us all to play musical chairs between courses and actually we must be getting used to this as this time it seemed to work without a hitch - in the past there has been a lot of confusion - perhaps due to the drink... who knows? Anyway a great time was had by everyone and we are looking forward to the next one in August. 8

Soapbox... Have Your Say I felt compelled to write in response to Alistair Barclay’s Soap Box article in last month’s villagers. Firstly, I can remember exactly where I was on the evening of Saturday the 12th of April.  I was at home, enjoying a nice hot bath, a late dinner and a relaxing evening as I had just returned from a very busy day working in a very busy local hotel.  Sad to say, that socialising was not high on my agenda, sorry.  And yes, I DID miss a fundraising event for a very worthwhile cause, which could well save my life in the future.  However, I resent the fact that I should feel in any way  pressured into going to support every campaign that is run in our community.  While it is true to say that I  do not attend many functions, (mainly due to work commitments)  I DO support many worthy causes both locally and nationally, mainly breast cancer and heart related  charities as these are the two that are relevant to me and my family.  While I do not want to ‘beat the drum’ for the charities I do support, it is merely meant to illustrate, that like most people, we all have priorities, both in relation to our time and also what we donate to. Can I also take this opportunity to say that ‘community’ to me is not about how many events are organised or how many people attend?  Coming from a city, the sense of ‘community’ in Lochearnhead is what brought me back to the area week after week while I was growing up.   The friendliness of everyone and  being made to  feel ‘I belong’ was amazing.  A Community is the people who live, work, embrace and encourage the area that we live in to be a better place.  Far from their being no community spirit, I would say  that our community is in good spirits-  we look out for our neighbours.    We keep an eye on each other (this can be a curse or a blessing depending on your age :-),   we notice when someone has not been seen, we run errands for each other and most importantly,   I would like to think that most of us are ‘there’ for each other when needed, that has certainly been my experience.  This to me, is what a community is about and while I would suggest that losing the school and post office were both major blows to the village, both of these closures were decided regardless of what the village people thought about them.  Sadly, although a large group of us argued against these closures, we were not successful and the loss of these services is more harmful to our village community than whether we attend a fundraising event or not.  The school, as all parents who had children at the school will agree, was a central parts

of village life. A lot of what went on in the village was discussed, agreed and organised at the school gates.  Similarly, the post office was a vital link for all which has now been lost.  Let’s hope we all support Owen and his Three Musketeers in the shop as it would be a total disaster if anything should happen to this. Thank you. Mary McDiarmid (Mrs)

Dear Editor

I would like to respond to the article in May’s edition written by Alistair Barclay. Alistair makes many good points within his  piece but personally I was very upset that it’s perceived if you are not physically at an event you are not supporting it. Due to evenings being my busiest time at work I cannot attend events but, as many others, help in preparations, sponsor and donate to them.  Alistair mentions the Village Hall Committee, which since the AGM has  set up a Facebook page and I am currently building a website which is almost ready to go live (it might even be by the time this goes to print) so people can see what is happening there and how to contact us.  As for community spirit, there is generally a lot of support for each other within the community. I found people to be very thoughtful especially when I was nursing my mum, a kind word, even a smile help to make people feel included. Everyone is so different, thank goodness, we all have different interests so why would we all go to every event. I personally think the people who don’t attend or support anything probably haven’t read the article either. I hope any visitors reading the article did not go away with the impression that this is a village where no one cares as this is not the case. In my view better communication is the key. Helen Cunningham (Hall committee member and local business owner)

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held at Balquhidder Village Hall on 21 May

Please note that these minutes have not yet received formal approval and should be considered as a draft version only. Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Alastair Barclay (AB), Paul Hicks (PH), Ruth McLusky (RM), David Johnston (DJ), Richard Eastland (RE) and Loraine Telfer (LT). Apologies: Angus Cameron, Karen Methven, Susie Crammon, Adrian Squires, Roseanne McWilliams, Owen McKee, National Park, Suzanne Player, Stirling Council (S-C). In attendance: Cllr Fergus Wood (FW) and David Brown (DB), S-C. PC Will Diamond, Police Scotland, and Helen Cunningham (HC), DRT Lochearnhead. 1) Approval of Minutes It was proposed by AB and seconded by RM, that the minutes of the meeting on 9th April 2014 should be accepted, and this was approved unanimously. 2) Declarations of Interest No declarations were made. 3) Police Report Between 27 Feb 2014 and 20 May 2014, there were 133 offence reports raised. There were two crimes of dishonesty, neither of which has been detected. (One was the previously reported theft of a fire extinguisher and the other concerned scrap metal taken from the camp site at Immervoulin.) One offence of disorder was reported but later recorded as “no crime”. One offence relating to misuse of drugs was detected; there were five “other” crimes reported, three of which have been detected. The remaining 125 offences all related to road traffic legislation. On 5 Apr 2014, there was a “wilful fire-raising” at Lochearnhead Water Sports Centre. The police are still asking for any information about this from those in the community. Operation Ironworks continues with patrols every weekend. There have also been visits to the local playgroup and primary school, and to licensed premises. PC Diamond was present for the Stuc-a-Chroin Hill Race and the opening ceremony of the bridge at Glen Tarken. Several questions were then asked regarding various traffic problems and PC Diamond responded to each of them with relevant information. 4) Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) MM welcomed DB the Public Transport Project Officer for S-C and invited him to address the meeting. DB referred to the five year budget plan and stated that subsidies to the value of £312K for regular ‘bus services had been removed under that plan, but the five DRT services had been left as they were. However, since then, there has been a further reduction in the transport budget and DRT services are now being considered for savings as well. The cost (£190K per annum) of DRT services is currently over budget and this is driving the need to find savings. The local DRT was the first service to be established and has been active for fifteen years. It accounts for only 6.4% of the total expenditure. Six aspects of the DRT service overall are under scrutiny. The following ideas have been put forward as possibilities: abolishing short notice journeys; abolishing journeys of less than two miles in length; reducing the times of availability; withdrawing services at weekends; replacing DRT services with fixed bus services; and the use of community-based transport. If possible, the Council wants to avoid having different sets of rules in each area. DJ pointed out that the scale of the provision in rural areas was already far smaller than that for urban areas. If the same is going to be provided for everyone, then rural areas should get more, rather than having elements of the service withdrawn. HC made the point that many of the people using the local DRT were doing so in order to travel to and from work. MM concurred and said that this service is really vital to the local economy. DB agreed that one of the aims of the service is to support people getting to work ñ especially in rural areas. PH pointed out that the local DRT appeared to be running very efficiently and meeting a genuine need in the communities. It was concluded that there was very little scope for making significant savings locally. The DRT is a valuable and important part of the local economy. DB agreed that this was the case but stated that it was important for full consultation to take place, and for these things to be examined carefully. It was agreed that BLS CC would submit a formal response to DB by 30th May. Action: PH to draft a formal response to Stirling Council as requested. 5) Matters Arising 5a) Co-opted member for BLS CC. PH proposed that Loraine Telfer be co-opted as a ìnon-wardedî member of the CC until the current term expired and new elections were called. This was seconded by MM and the motion was carried unanimously. MM then welcomed LT as a full member of the community council for the remainder of the meeting. 5b) Footpath from Immervoulin to Strathyre. The National Park has made a grant of £3,000 to BLS Trust towards the cost of a professional feasibility study and is liaising with SusTrans to provide a suitable consultant. Linda Winskill (NP) is working closely with the Trust on this, and MM sits there as our representative. 5c) Caravan at Lochearnhead. This has now been removed, following an investigation by S-C. There are additional caravans further along the A85, but many of them are sited in the area maintained by Perth & Kinross Council and their attitude is less rigorous towards the parking of caravans beside the road. Nonetheless, S-C is seeking to work with them to reduce the dangers of indiscriminate parking. 5d) Community Engagement Team. S-C is carrying out a review of the rÙle of community councils, entitled: ìThe Strategic Engagement Processî. Individual councillors from BLS have already been invited to complete an online survey. (This was circulated on 10th May.) The next stage is to invite two representatives from each CC to attend a ìconversationî on Saturday 14th June at the Council Chambers, Old Viewforth, Stirling. This will take place between 10am and 2pm with lunch and refreshments provided. 6) Presentation of Accounts and Appointment of Officers AB presented the accounts that had been duly audited. MM proposed that they should be accepted formally. This was seconded by RE and carried unanimously. DJ then proposed that the current office holders should continue in post and this was seconded by RM. The motion was carried unanimously and the following officers were appointed for the next twelve months: Chair: MM; Deputy Chair: AB; Secretary: PH; Treasurer: AB. 7) Queen’s Baton Relay The local area will be host to the Queen’s Baton Relay, on Sunday 6th or Monday 7th July, when it is due to pass through en route from Callander to Crianlarich and Tyndrum. There is an opportunity to arrange some event in order to welcome the baton and to cheer on the runners. It was suggested that the school at Strathyre might wish to take part in this event and it was agreed that PH would write to the head teacher accordingly. Action: PH to write to head teacher. 8) Broadband Update PH attended a meeting of the Broadband Advisory Group, chaired by Cllr Neil Benny, on 23rd April at McClaren High School in Callander. An update on progress was given by Duncan Nisbet (from the Step Change Delivery Team) and Liz Mallinson of BT Scotland. Digital Scotland has a website where it’s possible to view the progress of its roll-out of “Next Generation Broadband” (NGB) across Scotland. Users can can enter their postcode and see what might happen in their area. The overall programme will last until 2017 and is being built up, step by step, according to where the main infrastructure is based. (This is largely in the urban areas.) As new equipment is installed in the existing hubs, upgrades become possible further afield. For the time being, the local area is just marked as being “under consideration”. BT is developing new technology all the time and the expectation is that it may be possible, eventually, to upgrade the network in areas where, currently, the service is poor. The options for BLS will be considered in detail between June and December next year (2015). In areas where it is not possible to provide NGB, a minimum of 2 Mbps will be sought, using whatever is deemed to be the best technology at that time. The rural areas are being left to last, partly because they are at the limits of the existing networks, and partly because it is hoped that better technology will “save the day” by providing the means to get at least 2 Mbps to every part of Scotland - even the far end of Balquhidder Glen! One of the “last resort” options will be to use satellite installations to provide the minimum of 2 Mbps. To that end, Digital Scotland is asking for local help in providing feedback as to how satellite systems are working (or not - as the case may be) at present. MM reported that he had recently moved to a different company that uses a new satellite, and now had a vastly improved service. However, many properties on the Southern side of Loch Voil and Loch Doine are unable at present to obtain satellite services. 9) Correspondence 9a) War Memorials. AB stated that a resident of Lochearnhead had contacted him about the state of the war memorial there. He was able to report that the CC’s ìpre-applicationî for a grant to refurbish the memorial at Lochearnhead had now been accepted. This will not include the memorials at Balquhidder or Strathyre but they are believed to be in a reasonable condition. RM offered to check the condition of the memorial in Strathyre. AB further stated that the condition of the Lochearnhead memorial is not bad, but some improvements have been proposed and the matter is progressing. Action: RM to check condition of war memorial in Strathyre. 10) Planning Matters There were no matters for attention. 11) Matters From Local Councillors 11a) FW reported that the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings will be celebrated on 6th June at Dunblane. There will be a display in the local museum and tours arranged of 100 metres of concrete bunkers that were built on the hill above Dunblane to train soldiers during the war. He encouraged members to make this known in the local communities. 11b) The main business that is being considered by S-C at present is the Local Development Plan. The main proposal that affects the rural areas is the recommendation that Thornhill should become an area of conservation. 12) Any Other Competent Business 12a) Stroneslaney Road (Strathyre to Balquhidder). RMC advised the meeting of reports from delivery drivers, using heavy goods vehicles along this road, that there are insufficient passing places available. Many drivers of small vehicles seem unable or unwilling to reverse any distance in order to accommodate larger vehicles, and many cars are travelling far too fast. There is concern that this may lead to a serious accident. It was agreed that PH should write to S-C, asking if more signs could be installed to mark the existing passing places. MM suggested that the Community Action Plan should also be consulted. Action: PH to write to S-C regarding road signs. 12b) Community Payback. PH advised that the Community Payback team can provide unpaid labour for projects which benefit the local community. Requests can be taken from individuals, local community groups and charities. The service will provide labour and tools, with the community group or charity organisation providing the materials such as paint, plants or building materials. Projects can involve: building maintenance and landscaping; gardening and landscaping; ground clearance work; improvements to park and community facilities; leaflet delivery; painting and decorating in community centres and empty homes; recycling projects. The service can be requested using an online form on the Stirling Council website. FW warmly recommended this scheme, stating that is is run extremely well and has done some excellent work in other areas. 12c) Community Action Plan. This is now available and MM commented on the amount of work that had gone into it. He particularly highlighted the excellent contribution made by Erica Mackenzie from Balquhidder, and the support from Tom Wallace of the National Park. 12d) The BLS Trust. MM suggested that there should be closer links between the trust and the community council. He proposed that greater sharing of information might be achieved through forwarding information to members of the trust by email, when members of the community council were being circulated with various notices. This was agreed. Action: PH to include members of BLS Trust in email circulations. 12e) Defibrillator at Balquhidder. MM commented that Sara Hesp had helped enormously in mobilizing the BLS Trust, and the provision of a defibrillator at Balquhidder Village Hall was a good example of what was being achieved. The Village Hall committee is supporting this initiative and the equipment is now installed and ready for use. 12f) Dangerous Metal Hazard. RE reported that a local resident of Balquhidder had expressed concern regarding a large sign that had been situated at the edge of a field, beside the road just opposite the village hall. It had been placed there by Rettie’s to advertise new houses for sale. The sign had now been removed by the simple expedient of lopping off the metal posts with an angle grinder, leaving two dangerous pieces of metal in situ. It was agreed that the CC should write to Rettie’s concerning this, drawing attention to the hazard that it caused. Action: PH to write to Rettie’s regarding the hazard caused by this sign. There was no other business and, at 9:15 p.m., MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is due to take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 2nd July 2014 at Lochearnhead Village Hall.


One More Step Along the Road in Company!

The Scottish Episcopal congregations of Strathearn are excited to be embarking on a new phase of their journey as they welcome the congregation of St Fillan’s of Killin into their partnership. People are welcome to join us at the service to be held at St Fillan’s, in Main Street, Killin, led by the Most Reverend David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church and Bishop of the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane to celebrate this new linkage, with the affirmation of a new ministry team, on Pentecost Sunday, 8 June 2014 at 2pm, followed by tea at the Church of Scotland Hall.

Church News BalquhiĐĐer Reg. Charity No. SC012316

The reality of Revd. John Lincoln`s retirement is well under way. On 8th May at the monthly Presbytery meeting, representatives from Balquhidder and Killin parishes formally thanked Mr Lincoln for all his work these past 17 years, and he replied in kind. We wish him and Julie many years of happy, healthy retirement. From all we hear about the Church, he will not be short of opportunities to keep his hand in. Here, on 1st June, our Interim Moderator Revd. Stuart Fulton will take the regular monthly communion which will be a white cloth communion with the Common Cup. Following the service, we shall elect the 3 nomination committee members to represent Balquhidder. They together with 6 members from Killin, will select a new minister from applicants who, we hope, will reply to the notice advertising the vacancy. If you wish to take part in the election but are in doubt about your eligibility, you can check this by contacting Mrs Eleanor Bell or Mrs Jean Edwards (details on the notice boards). The two Sessions will produce a parish profile each and the Nomination Committee will advertise for a new minister. Meanwhile, the Presbytery and church Property Convenors will inspect the manse and decide on what needs to be done by way of refurbishment in readiness for the new occupant(s). There is a lot to do and we pray that God will guide us in these endeavours. We shall keep you posted – so, watch this space! I shall report on what happens at Mr Lincoln`s last service on 25th May in the next issue of The Villagers. Jean Edwards

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Wedding packages available 10

Stronvar Stories

Hannah Inglis returns with part three of

Do you need a new home in Lochearnhead, Strathyre, Killin or Callander? If so, Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help

her ‘history news’ on Stronvar...

H ello, my dear readers!

‘We are now in 1850 after the west wing of the stables has been built, and I must say it was beautiful. It was New Year’s Eve today and the maids and butlers were whizzing past me every five minutes trying to get all of the decorations up. There was a party tonight at the west wing of the farm, which was now a laundry room for Stronvar house. Nobody was allowed to let Mr and Mrs Carnegie know about the secret New Year’s Eve party. I decided to take a visit to Stronvar House which was now the grandest house in all of Balquhidder. I knocked on the door, and of course the butler let me in - I was the news journalist, after all. I followed the butler towards the living area. Mr Carnegie looked over at us. The butler stood in front of me, and I imagined that his puppy dog tail was wagging happily as he was waiting for his master to give an order. I asked Mr Carnegie some questions and wrote his answers down in notes; he lied about Bryce, saying he was in great shape and condition. Pfft, I thought. I thanked him afterwards and as the butler showed me to the front door, I passed Mrs Carnegie who was whining about some jewels that were kept in a safe beside Stronvar Farm. I raised my eyebrow when I heard that. Why on earth would you keep jewels outside of a farm, I asked myself, as I walked outside of the majestic house. It was reaching 8pm and I rode my way up towards the farm, then inside the courtyard. I dismounted. I was wearing a long blue silk dress with laced black boots. I led my horse inside a free stable and scattered some hay over the floor for him, then I walked up the steps into the laundry room. The party was in full swing - the decorations and colours were mesmerising; the music flooded the whole room and it felt like being in a carnival. I walked to a table where the maids were and sat down beside them. I told them how great the party was and they smiled and said, “We know!” I danced with them until the bells chimed out in the courtyard, sending the message that a new year was beginning. Suddenly the door burst open, sending a chilling breeze through the room. The music stopped and so did the people. There stood a man and a woman in the doorway - their faces looked like they were about to explode. It was Mr and Mrs Carnegie. Mr Carnegie had an overheated red face and you could see the steam coming out of his ears! Mrs Carnegie on the other hand had a frown and a pout... I guessed she still wanted her jewels. Everybody was staring at the couple. Mr Carnegie spoke, “Well, I hope you are all having a good time. Thank you for inviting us, by the way.” He and his wife strode towards a free table, they both sat down.

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:

David Carnegie

“Now, can we continue this party?” Mr Carnegie smirked as the music started again and people suspiciously watched him. The party continued as if the two bullies in the playground weren’t even there. Once the party had finished, at 5am in the morning to be exact, people started to leave. Mrs Carnegie had sent a butler to gather her jewels, and she was holding them like precious children, a huge grin on her face. She slid a ring onto her finger and she had a diamond hanging from her silver necklace. I rolled my eyes at her, she was such a drama queen. Mr Carnegie however was as drunk as a skunk, he wandered outside and told the stable boy to tie the horses up to the carriage. “I’m sorry sir, but the horses have been put into their stables for the night,” the small stable boy let out a muffled sigh. “Well, my wife and I would like to go home, and we don’t want to walk.” Carnegie slurred his words. The stable boy ran to a group of older men, obviously farmers by the dirt and grime on their bodies. The boy chatted to them very quickly, and one of the farmers walked over to Mr Carnegie and spoke. “We will just need to pull the carriage to the house.” Mr Carnegie nodded and called on his wife, they both climbed into the carriage, Mrs Carnegie dropped one of her precious jewels. I picked it up quickly, placing it in my pocket. I watched in laughter as the farmers lifted the carriage and dragged it down the track towards Stronvar House. I giggled as I went to fetch my gelding, Dasher. I mounted and rode him out of the courtyard, waving goodbye to the maids, I then galloped home.’

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.

g Fact Time

The upper west wing was used as a laundry room for Stronvar house. The hillside came right down to the south of the building. A tunnel went from the courtyard underneath the hillside. Inside the tunnel there was a safe. The farmers and others really did have to pull the carriage, with Mr and Mrs Carnegie on board along the track from the farm to the main house.


DOCTORS Leny Surgery Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses take part in various training programmes throughout the year. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoons will be on Thursday 26th June 2014. On that afternoon, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments. Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12.30pm. Emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 111.

Glentarken Bridge opening. Above: Schools meet in the middle, and below - cutting the tape!

Bracklinn Practice New Way of Sending out Recall Letters Bracklinn Practice have agreed for an external company called “Docmail� to send out our disease management recall letters. Docmail print the letters and post them direct to our patients. This is a very secure system already used by many practices and by Forth Valley Royal Infirmary. The information we send to them is encrypted, and is a completely electronic procedure. You will notice a slight change to how the letters are addressed to you, and in particular you will see a barcode at the bottom of each address. This barcode bypasses some of the Royal Mail sorting procedure making the cost to the practice cheaper. This system has been in the planning for a long time now and this month is the first time we have actually used it. There are a few changes to be made, and you may find that for this month you get more than one letter sent out to you separately. We have also noticed that the bottom part of our letterhead is missing due to the way the address goes on each letters. However, these are all small problems which will easily be rectified in the future. We hope you appreciate that there is a high cost involved in printing out the letters and posting them, and the practice will be making a considerable saving by using this new system. We would like to thank you for your co-operation. 12

Moving on to High School...P7s with the McLaren Commonwealth baton.

Strathyre Primary School News Glentarken Bridge  On the 9th  of May 2014 Scott, Kay, Mathew, Adam, Tegan and Ellie went to the opening of the Glentarken Bridge at St Fillans with Mrs Keenan. We all had to walk up the big path to get to the bridge. The bridge spanned 100feet and it was over a huge gorge. As well as us there were lots of other people there too. When we got there all of us got wrist bands from SUSTRANS who made the bridge. Callum McNeish, a famous walker, officially opened the bridge. Children from Comrie children were there as well and they walked from one end of the bridge to the middle and we walked from the other end and we met in the middle, we shook hands and we handed over a certificate and they gave us one and they also gave us a cd of them singing. Mathew and Kay presented the certificate to Comrie Primary. After that we all got our photos taken (see left) and walked off the bridge to the bus to have lunch. Everyone enjoyed the day. Ellie McBain P7 Transition Recently the P7s from the Mclaren cluster have been doing different activities to help build up their confidence on moving up to Mclaren high school. We had a team building day at the Mclaren leisure centre on Tuesday the 29th of April; we did lots of group building activities and worked together. On Monday the 19th  of May, there was a parent and child information evening where the head master, Mr Fleming told us all about the lockers, lunch and blazers. After that everyone got a tour around the classrooms. The next day was the induction day. The P7s travelled on the high school buses and we received our timetable. Some of the S3 children were taking us to our different classes so that we could get used to the way round. Everyone’s favourite class was Science. Going to the classes gave us an insight into what High school will be like when we go. On Wednesday we went back to the High school but this time to the leisure centre for the commonwealth games. We had previously been put into groups which were commonwealth countries. We did lots of activities, hockey, football, athletics, team building, rounders, basketball, end ball and capture the flag. It was a very busy day and we were all exhausted (it shows - see picture, left!) by the time it came to go home on the buses. We are all looking forward to moving on now. Rebecca Ramsay Clapham Sports Day We had our Sports Day on the first day of our Health Week. We had a Sack race,

Think Dance On April the 30th  Class 2 went to the McRobert to perform Think dance to all the parents of schools around Stirling. It started off as a calm environment that was until the parents came flooding into the lobby, all waiting for the show. All of the schools were rushing around getting their hair done and their costumes all nice and neat. After all of the practicing over the last few months it was all coming down to that night. Everyone was waiting for their turn to perform getting scared and nervous. As we were waiting for our turn in the side we had to be really quiet. As soon as our music started everyone got butterflies in their stomachs but they were soon gone when we danced onto the stage. The music we danced to was Tutti Frutti, Walking on Sunshine and the Cha Cha Cha.     We got big cheers from the audience so we could tell that everyone loved it. We all loved it and all of us can’t wait to do it again. Amelia Dennehy

Battling for forst place in the Egg and Spoon!

the Egg and Spoon race, house relay race, an obstacle course skipping race and to finish we had a marathon. We also had an egg and spoon race for the mums and a flat race for the dads. There were 7 under school age children as well who took part in some races. The rain managed to stay off and the midges kept away for us. All the pupils enjoyed the morning, and by the end everyone was gasping for air. We had to wait patiently for the results at the end but not for long. The winner of the house relay was Vorlich, the junior marathon was Skye Hatton and the senior was Ethan Thompson. The Junior Girl and Boy were Grace Harley and Tyler Gibson and the senior Girl and boy were Ellie McBain and Euan Wilbert. Ellie was the top sports person and get the McLaurin Trophy and this year the winning house was Sheann. Amelia Dennehy

Summer Show Strathyre P.S will be performing Hansel and Gretel for their summer show. There will be a range of animals, trees, goblins, bandits and people. The play is about Hansel and Gretel’s evil mother who wants to get rid of them. Hansel and Gretel get lost in the woods and meets goblins and bandits and an old house that lures them into it. We are busy learning our lines and all the songs at the moment, the weeks and days are getting shorter it will soon be performance time.  We will be performing this on Thursday 19th of June in Balquhidder hall at 7pm. Tickets are available from the school at a cost of £3.00 for adults and children over 12. Children under 12 are free but they still require a ticket. All proceeds are for school funds.    Please contact the school for your ticket. Michael Greer 13

Strathyre Music Festival Report Well it’s over for another year... Phew! What a festival – It’s been admittedly hard work for the Balvaig band comprising the Strathyre Music Festival Committee plus a small band of dedicated volunteer helpers who all pulled off an even better festival than last year, attracting over 1500 visitors to Strathyre. The warmup to the Festival included a variety of choral performances delivered by Killin Community Choir, and Voicebeat with Choir Occasional also supporting later. The Forth Bridges Marching Band and Callander Pipe Band heralded the opening ceremony. The whole event kicked off with Kenny Higgins doing a customary thank you to all who made the Festival possible. Kenny stressed the importance of the Festival to the Strathyre Community and the economy of the surrounding communities of Balquhidder and Lochearnhead. He then invited local guest of honour Mal Dingle to raise a flag and declare the festival open. Mal has been a long term supporter of both Balvaig and the Music Festival idea and the band presented her with an ornamental floral display in the Victorian gardens as a big thank you for her personal support.

Above, left to right: The Callander Pipers helped get things started; Kenny Higgins of Balvaig led the singing at the opening; Wullie Dalziel Adrian and Jane Walters (aka Jane Booth); Jock the Box

The opening ceremony continued with Kenny starting and Balvaig joining to sing the local popular song Bonnie Strathyre being closely joined by no less than 60 choir members from Voicebeat, Killin Community choirs and many others. This immediately led into a reel performed by Stevie Black and local girls dancing as heather was handed out to ladies in the audience. At the end of the reel Callander Pipe band performed Flower of Scotland to get the whole event off to a great start. The opening was well attended by an estimated 200 onlookers. There were no less than 250 Musicians performing at the Festival, the furthest travelled being Stefan Troubadour (Stefan van de Sande from Holland). Stefan stayed on a few days to enjoy the ambience of Strathyre and recorded a new song with Callander Pipers, providing superb backing during an exhaustive recording session. There were several headline acts performing Saturday and Sunday with Market Stall

The Riverside Ceilidh Band


Deadly Winters, Adriana Spina, Jimmy Lee and the Edge of Chaos Orchestra, Stefan van de Sande, Kenny Herbert and the Applebeggars, Jock the Box, Ted Christopher, Mudslide, Mikey Higgins, Jane Booth, KT O’Neil... all enjoying big applause. This continued with some fantastic performances from Muckle Flugga, Strumelele, Dwight and Jo-Ann Pereira, Kim Seymour, Scott McWatt, Sophie Milne, Black Water and Scottish Ferals, 50 shades of Blue, Southern Strings, all proving very popular. No less popular were many other acts including several local artists: Riverside Ceilidh Band, The Wanted Men, Caol Dean, Dudach

Balquhidder’s own - Magi McGlynn, Caol Deàn, and Dudàch

and Jenne Mclure Jazz, Jazz Main, Phil Ragsdell and Big Band Rhythm section all being very well received. Then Shiltron (the Politicians) from West Lothian, Rick Potter and Friends and the Hurdy Gurdy Men. Several young artists impressed with KT O’Neil, Sophie Milne, Houston Woods, Seth Landsmen Kieran Manioc all outstanding! Several guests also added some great dimensions to the Festival with Phil Ragsdell’s Drumming Workshop, Chief Chebe’s African drums, Caoihminn Murphy, and our own legend Magi McGlynn from Balquhidder. A Popular feature of the Festival was an open-air market place with 16 stalls featuring local produce goods and crafts with jewellery and drum equipment on show. Harley Davidson Motorcycles were on display whilst Chief Chebe did drumming and African Arts and Crafts. A hoola hooper and juggler and face painters added to the fun as did Nyree’s

Carribean Cove - with kids’ attractions based on a pirate theme - and even a genuine troll turned up to enhance the spirit of the Festival. The Festival was supported by many local businesses who gave generous donations and significant funding came from The Lottery Celebrate funding to help carry off the Festival’s Commonwealth theme, as was seen through flags and bunting of the Commonwealth nations and attendance from performers and visitors from Ghana, Malaysia, Canada and Australia. The whole event went according to plan with only one small glitch as a consequence of a heavy downpour. The sound Engineers Pro-Sound were again outstanding and further local support came from Neil and others who gave a helping hand with many other volunteers. Special mention goes to Bill Lindsay for Coire Buidhe B&B who worked

tirelessly to capture over 280 photographs and many of these can be seen on the Balvaig / Strathyre Music Festival Face Book and Web sites as they are currently being uploaded. strathyremusicfestival/photos or www. The Festival Committee has been very pleased with the literally hundreds of thanks and positive comments received. We are grateful for feedback and suggestions on the plans for next year’s festival which were very much in keeping with the Festival Committee’s own plans. Next year’s Strathyre Music Festival will take place from Friday Evening 29th May to Sunday 31st may 2015. This is the weekend after the Bank Holiday and the Traditional Monachyle Mhor Festival Weekend. The July edition of The Villagers will contain more photographs from the festival.

Above: Nyree’s Caribbean Cove, and left: one for the animals!


Stuc a’ Chroin Race 2014 Continued from front page

As usual, there was much gratitude from the runners for our fantastic marshals who starred as usual by dispensing the water they’d lugged up the mountain, and handing out jelly babies and other goodies... as well as shouts of encouragement which helps the runners on this particularly arduous race. When they’ve finished the race, many of the runners tell us what a difference our marshals make to this race. When they’re at their lowest ebb still with a lot of the race to go, they hear shouts of encouragement and see the cheery faces dishing out water and jelly babies, it really helps them fight through that pain barrier. Added to that having Mike and Eoin, two of the most experienced guys on the hill, roaring around on the quads dropping off water and being ready to evacuate if anyone gets injured or conditions close in again, giving a massive boost to peace of mind during the race. The organisation at the bottom for start and finish also went like clockwork, with some new procedures regarding runners safety and equipment checks making a first appearance. Runners were more than happy to comply with these new procedures. Soup supplied by the Inn at race end also got grateful mentions by runners on the day and on their respective websites.

Prasad Prasad (Squadra Porcini), the winner for the second time in 3 years

The threatened rain also held off and conditions were good, even for the prizegiving which is always a popular end to the race. Much needed refreshments were partaken in the Inn after the race, and later on that evening there was music’n’dancin in the Inn and a wellearned good time for all. Many thanks to Glen Ample Estate, all our famous marshals and all our sponsors and supporters, Tiso, Green Welly Stop, Kingshouse Travel, Thomas Allan, Sula Furnishings, Pete Bland, The Inn & Bistro

Ryder Cup Heritage Exhibition Perth Museum and Art Gallery have just started hosting a fascinating exhibition of the story of the Ryder Cup from its early beginnings in 1927 through to the present day. More photos and stories to follow in next month’s Villagers. 16

Strathyre, Stirling Stoves, Immervoulin Caravan Park, Strathyre Cleansing, Village Shop Strathyre, Airlie House B&B, Crystal Tea Room Crieff, M&M Timber, Aitchison Enterprises, The Braes Farming Co, KPs DIY, Lochside Cottages, Ian Brydie Building Services, Heroncraft Scotland, for providing prizes and contributing in all their different ways. Our next race is 11th June 2014 when the Ben Sheann race is being run starting at 7:30pm. Details at www.stucachroin5000.

Stirling C astle Events Summer 2014

30 July 2014 The Scottish Chamber Orchestra returns to Stirling Castle for their annual summer concert with the truly talented, young, French conductor Alexandre Bloch.

The programme is sure to sparkle with energy, enthusiasm and summer warmth. Joining the SCO is Scottish guitarist Sean Shibe. He has been described as “a prodigious technician and supremely expressive player”. A recent first class honours graduate from Scotland’s Conservatoire, Sean is a trailblazer for classical guitar: he is the first guitarist to be admitted to the prestigious BBC New Generation Artists Scheme, and the only solo guitarist to have received a Borletti-Buitoni Fellowship. Sean Shibe - Guitar, Alexandre Bloch - Conductor

Time: 8.00pm Tickets on sale soon

For more information on the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, visit

A Homecoming Scotland 2014 event.

Tickets available from The Albert Halls Box Office, Albert Place, Dumbarton Road, Stirling FK8 2QL. Telephone 01786 473 544 or Email

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

Join Chapterhouse Theatre Company this summer for an evening of Regency wonderment as Elinor and Marianne Dashwood make their first forays into the exquisite world of eighteenth-century society.

7 August 2014

Bring a picnic along with family and friends and follow the sisters as they find their path and lose their hearts under a beautiful summer sky in their quest to find the perfect balance of sense and sensibility. Time: Doors 6.45pm for 7.30pm start Tickets available - buy online now! Adults: £14 Concessions: £12 Children (under 16): £10 Families (2 Adults & 2 Children): £42 Historic Scotland members 10% Discount HS members: 10% discount (Adults: £12.60 / Concessions: £10.80 / Children: £9.00 Family ticket: £37.80 (2 adults & 2 children)) Historic Scotland members should buy their tickets direct from Stirling Castle for a 10% discount.

A Homecoming Scotland 2014 event. For further information, contact Stirling Castle 01786 450 000 or visit

Paradise Lost? Dear Editor

My wife and I come to the area (Crieff and Comrie) for a week’s holiday 7 times every year. We don’t go anywhere else. We love the drive from St Fillans up to Lochearnhead, however it has become harder and harder to find a spot to stop for a picnic due to travelling people/fishermen camping at all the lay-bys along Loch Earn either in caravans or tents or motorhomes. It really is spoiling it for tourists. Goodness knows what people from abroad must think. This is really getting out of hand, can anything be done to make it illegal to camp at these beauty spots? There are plenty of fee paying camp sites nearby after all. We also had a drive up by Loch Voil, imagine our horror to find people camping on the beach with loud music, camp fires and cans scattered all over the place. A hammock was tied between two trees, and right beside this a dartboard was attached to another tree. This behaviour needs nipped in the bud by all accounts. Thanks for listening. Alan and Hazel Richards


‘Sumer is icumen in, Lhude sing, cuccu’ Well, we hope that summer will have arrived by the time you read this and most of our U3A groups will hold their last meetings before the recess. July and August are the holiday CALLANDER months but the committee will be busy preparing the AND WEST timetable for the new session in September together with the PERTHSHIRE arrangements for our second AGM which will be held in Callander Kirk Hall on 26th August starting at 2.00pm and U3A followed by enrolment for both new and continuing members. Group leaders will lay out their wares and members can sign up for courses on the day. Arrangements for postal enrolment will be announced on our website nearer the time. Just Google “Callander and West Perthshire U3A”.

visit St Mary’s Church Aberfoyle again

on Friday 25th July 2014  

The Cèilidh Trail project, established by Fèis Rois in 1999, was designed to help teenage musicians develop their performance skills and to create a vibrant traditional music entertainment programme in the  Highlands. Over the years, the project has been replicated in other areas and has proved to be an overwhelming success. Now run every year, the trail runs somewhat like a summer camp, with young musicians playing at venues from Killin to Falkirk over the July period.   Last years concert at St Mary’s was a resounding success!   Tickets are £10 from 01786 870710 or


Gardening “Do behold the King in his glory, King Sequoia! Behold! Behold!” wrote John Muir when seeing Giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) for the first time in California in 1870. I too was recently beholden when measuring a very large specimen in a local garden in Comrie recently - not just for its beauty, but for the effort spent on planting and tending this living giant. It stands 155 feet tall - and although towering (bringing on the dizzy/sore neck effect) it is only half the size of the largest wild specimens. These have names that tease the senses: ‘General Sherman’, ‘The President’, ‘Stagg’, ‘Genesis’ etc. Their girths are so huge you can, without exaggeration, drive a caravan through them - and the Americans, lovers of the absurd, do just that. These trees have been found to be as old as 3,500 years. With this in mind, if you cast about in this area you will find some of the finest examples in Europe. Our climate favours them; with fewer lightening strikes than in the South which can easily destroy the crown. And having a good strong root system, they seem the ideal large tree - if you have the space. Lots of space! Seed from these remnant stands in the Sierra Nevada was brought back by a Perthshire plant hunter, John D Mathew, from Errol. His seeds were distributed throughout 1853, so you can work out for yourself how old the oldest specimen will be. However these seeds were mainly kept for specialist plantings and a wider distribution of seed was not made until 1870, which includes the jaw-dropping Benmore botanic gardens avenue (look at the picture, above) in Argyllshire which is well worth a visit. The specimens found around Crieff and Comrie probably date from the 1870 introduction, with a stand of large specimens being found near Comrie on the woodland drive to West Lodge at Lawers Estate. Up the glen in Balquhidder is another specimen, just past the village hall. That is probably an 1870 tree, and would have been handed out to those estate owners who would move in the great plant hunter’s circles. How ironic it should be that Sequoia is the shortest word in the English language that contains all the vowels, however it is not short in producing seed! With estimates as high as one billion seeds being produced in a lifetime with perhaps only one or two becoming viable, it is surprising that they are endangered in the wild. Their success on these shores, where they have lost no time in trying to emulate their original stands, is proof of


by Jonathan MacDonald

The very impressive avenue of Giant Sequoias at Benmore Botanic Garden, near Dunoon in Argyll. Planted in 1863, these giants soar over 50 metres high.

the trees’ ability to progress with the help of humankind. Altruism of Mr Mathew’s kind, though, has produced some catastrophic disasters in the past. One has only to walk along any stretch of the Earn to see Fallopia japonica, the dreaded and feared Japanese knotweed, to see a good example of good intentions gone horribly wrong. Eradication with glyphosate is the only control method used, but recent work with spraying with sea water has proved successful and may be a useful method for control in difficult areas alongside rivers. Bee keepers may note that the flowers do provide some food and in the US a mono-floral honey is produced mainly on this species. A happier sight is our very own Scotch Broom (or as I prefer, Scots Broom), Cytisus scoparius. You can see large colonies, especially along Lady Mary’s walk, whose large flexing flower-laden yellow branches may well hide sleeping roe deer. This legume has a habit of fixing nitrogen using a symbiotic bacteria called Rhizobium which may account for

its success, as it feeds itself as it grows. It is very easy to strike cuttings from, as a sprig shoved in deep to a foot should sprout away. The nurseryman has worked hard over the years to breed in a range of colours and by far the most wonderful form is the lovely deep purplish red of ‘Boskoop Ruby’. The name derives from Boskoop in the Netherlands which is, or certainly was, the horticultural centre of the universe. Imagine a town the size of Callander surrounded by nearly 800 nurseries interwoven by canals... before the war all plants were transported by boats. It has been the breeding ground for many plants common in the modern garden and is recognized worldwide as a centre of excellence. It actually sits on top of a peat layer, into which I once pushed a ten foot cane which disappeared with the greatest of ease. However, it is sadly in decline as a centre, as more plants are pot grown than the once popular field method, and other problems like sinking roads have resulted in production moving away to larger, more sure footed ground.

Summer Bedding Plants - BIG RANGE! Now stocking BBQ Charcoal etc. Open 7 days a week: 9.30am - 4.30pm Huge selection of plants and stock

On the main road A85 going East just before Comrie Contact: Jonathan MacDonald and the Riverside Team

Tel: 01764 670800 Best wee garden centre we’ve ever been to!” Mabel MacKay, Perth


View from the Park by Owen McKee We don’t all look on it as a problem but there are concerns that the population is getting older. More of a concern within the Park is that we are also seeing reduction in the numbers of young people living in the Park. . Is there anything that we can do about it? It is a problem that is not peculiar to our National Park as I found at a seminar conducted by the UK Association of National Parks under the title of Breathing New Life Into Our Park. It is acknowledge that it is not sufficient to have a lovely place to live. We also need to ensure that there is employment and careers to keep our children here and to encourage other young folk to move into the Park. Over the last few years the National Park apprenticeship scheme has helped a number of youngsters train and get employment in the building trades. Work is ongoing with the Community Partnership to widen that scheme to provide apprenticeships in tourism and countryside skills. A number of other initiatives are being trialled in Parks south of the border such as seeking out environmental projects which start out with volunteers but when established will require employees. The Park Authority is keen to support any initiatives which could lead to employment opportunities for our young people. For the last couple of months we have been enjoying ta number of celebrations commemorating the centenary of John Muir. A new long distance path wending over 134 miles from John Muir’s birthplace in Dunbar to Helensburgh was officially opened by the First Minister. And since John Muir is acknowledged as the father of National Parks it was fitting that we, with our sister Park in Cairngorms, should organise a conference in his honour. The conference was opened by the Minister for the Environment, Paul Wheelhouse, MSP. In reply to a request from the Campaign For National Parks to establish a further seven National Parks the minister pointed out that we were still in a period of economic constraint and there were very many demands on the budget. However although he praised the contribution both existing Parks were making to the economy, he felt that the creation of new National Parks could not be a priority. A former Chief Naturalist of the US National Parks, Dr William Speed was full of praise for the Scottish model of National Parks. He was of the view that the current debate on climate change gave us the opportunity to realise that 20

as conservationists we had to adapt to change; that protection of the character of the environment was what was practicable. The US National Parks, contrary to popular opinion, were not free from human intervention. The importance for him was they provided that opportunity envisaged by John Muir that we could experience nature free from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. I was particularly intrigued to find that Jason Leitch, the Clinical Director of the Quality Unit of NHS Scotland, was mute. Whatever was he going to contribute? In a very entertaining and thought provoking presentation he made it quite clear that the Park Authority had control of an asset which was essential to the mental and physical wellbeing of the nation For him of equal importance to our statutory duties of conserving the National Park we should be making sure that it was more readily accessible to all. And that was a theme that was taken up by Louise MacDonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot. And for controversy there is never a better exponent of the art than George Monbiot, Author Conservationist and political activist. George wanted to see the withdrawal of subsidy to land owners whose sheep and deer were denuding the landscape of trees. He wanted to see a large scale project of tree planting to bring the UK more in line with the much more afforested countries of Europe. As always I can be contacted as follows: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead 01567830214


Rambling Club Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www. a m b l e r s . h t m in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: June •Wed 4th 9:30am Ramble: Kincardine to Torryburn (FCP) (6.5miles) – contact 01786 850209 •Wed 11th 9:30am Ramble: Torryburn to N Queensferry (FCP) (10miles) – contact 01786 850209 •Sat 14th 8:30am LDP: CT(1) Blairgowrie to Bridge of Cally (7miles) – contact 01877 330032 •Wed 18th 9:30am Hill: Ben Cleuch the easy way (721m) – contact 01786 825877 •Wed 25th 9:30am Ramble: Ardvorlich to Callander (10miles) – contact 01877330059 July •Sat 5th 8:30am LDP: CT(2) Bridge of Cally to Kirkmichael (8miles) – contact 01877 330032

We meet in Ancaster Square, unless otherwise indicated. Please bring wet weather clothing, appropriate footwear and a packed lunch. And please let the walk leader know if you plan to join the walk via the contact number given!

Rangers’ Review By Gareth Kett

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Imagine that you’re standing in Glen Ogle about a hundred years ago. The rugged landscape would probably have been much the same as it is today, minus the forestry plantations, but instead of the drone of cars and the whine of motorbikes negotiating the A85, the air would have been pierced periodically by the shrill whistle of the Callander and Oban Railway Company steam train as it climbed up or cruised down the glen. This is the effect that environmental artist Steve Messam sought to create when, with the assistance of the Ranger Service and National Park volunteers he set up a series of whistles along the old railway between Lochearnhead and Glenoglehead. Steve spent a few weeks before Christmas in the area researching a number of potential projects aimed at promoting the natural and/or cultural heritage of the Breadalbane area. He was very grateful for the assistance that he received from members of the local community. The staggered whistles on the April morning that the project was the black grouse population in the area. If realised certainly conjured up images anyone locally has any knowledge of lek of a train steaming powerfully through sites we would be very keen to hear from Glen Ogle. Following its success Steve is you, even if it turns out that we’re already seeking funding to extend the project at a aware of the site. Lek counts being carried future date. out on south Loch Tay in conjunction Another evocative sound in the hills of with Environmental Action Killin, where Breadalbane is the bubbling of blackcock black grouse numbers on fixed lek sites on lek sites punctuated by harsh cries as are counted annually, suggest that locally they vie for the attention of spectating numbers have remained stable over the grey hens. The males are competing for past twelve months following declines dominant positions on lek sites which are in recent years. We are grateful to all the divided into a hierarchy of areas. The bird landowners and managers who permit holding the top spot during spring gets early morning grouse surveys on their land to mate with the majority of the females, and assist with information. although he will play no further role in the It is important that children living locally rearing of the young. Perhaps the need to or outside the National Park, or further hold the dominant spot on the lek site when afield have the opportunity to engage spring arrives is the reason why blackcock with wildlife and the environment and as will lek throughout the year, with grey they progress to secondary school learn hens present only in spring. I always find it more about the geology and ecosystems mildly amusing that once they’ve finished within the National Park and wider area. lekking the blackcock often fly off together The Ranger Service dedicates a lot of time and seem to casually relax together until to delivering projects with schools that the next round of lekking. Throughout the support the Curriculum of Excellence such spring months the Ranger Service has been as geography field days covering land use surveying five by five kilometre squares and glaciations, and biodiversity related across the area for lek sites currently projects involving aspects of ecology and unknown to us. While we only recorded related land use issues. It was good to have one new site this season, we are continuing the opportunity to assist the Crianlarich to build up a good picture of the health of and Strathyre communities with the school

Steaming through Glen Ogle

ground projects in May and I look forward to continuing work with the Salmon in the Classroom project with Killin Primary next month. Balquidder Glen is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places in the National Park but each year, like all the popular spots around the Park, it is subjected to varying degrees of littering (a problem that local people are familiar with and frequently clear up). Last week we organised a National Park Volunteer task to try to get on top of the issue before the visitor season gets into full flow, in the hope that visitors are less likely to leave litter if they find the glen tidy. Six volunteers and I collected 32 bags of rubbish, two fishing chairs a broken dustbin and an old wheel from the shore area of Loch Voil. Much of this was rubbish that had washed up during the winter storms. It was a great effort by the volunteers and will hopefully encourage responsible behaviour. As usual if you have any wildlife sightings to report or any queries please contact me on my email address: or on the Lochearnhead Office number 01389 722040. If I’m not in the office please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


Scottish Wildlife Trust What a great time of year! It is easy to become complacent and stop seeing what is on our wonderful doorstep. The local woods are vibrant with new leaves and bird song. The unmistakable cuckoo is back and tiny migrants have flown thousands of miles to spend summer here; willow, wood and garden warblers, chiffchaffs and whitethroats are out-singing many residents although the nuthatch has a surprisingly loud call. Great spotted woodpeckers have stopped drumming but occasional green woodpecker yaffles are still heard, and we seem to have more blackbirds and song thrushes this year. Swallows, house martins and swifts are whizzing past the house while sand martins are back on the Teith. The blue tits in our nest box are finding plenty of insects to feed their brood and it looks like being a good year for owls thanks to a plentiful supply of field voles. One barn owl box had 7 eggs that should now have hatched. A pair of tawny owls hatched 2 of 3 eggs and the young were recently ringed – cute or what! The night-fliers are pretty active with bats feeding on the plentiful supply of insects, including early midges! Moth traps (released unharmed) are revealing the amazing range of weird and wonderful moths that most of us never see. They are far more numerous than butterflies and can be just as beautiful. Up Bracklinn Road by the path to the Crags there were lots of early purple orchids in mid-May along with globeflowers that are also plentiful in Little Leny Meadows. By the time you read this many more flowers will be in bloom, hopefully being visited by lots of bees and butterflies after a mild winter. Red squirrels are being reported over an increasing range with very few greys, probably linked to the increasing numbers of pine martens. Surveys are checking the progress of water voles released 5 years ago that were doing very well last year. The hunt for the pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly by Loch Katrine, where habitat has been improved with highland cattle, is more of a challenge but it would be pretty exciting if found. In May the Stirling SWT group ran a trip to the Falls of Clyde SWT reserve, New Lanark. Not only were the raging falls very impressive but I was lucky enough to see the adult peregrines change over egg duty on the nest. I can thoroughly recommend a visit. They also offer evening badger watching. More locally, we have a ranger-led walk in Glen Finglas on Saturday 21 June, 10:00 at the main car park by the new visitor centre. It is free but booking is essential, see separate diary. Lesley Hawkins 22

Lesser Swallow prominent

Scottish Wildlife Trust Callander Members’ Diary 2014

Tawny Owl chick

21 June Walk:

Trees of Glen Finglas and view of TGTF 10:00 – 13:00. Free

Ermine Moth

Meet at Glen Finglas Car Park by new visitor centre. Led by Woodland Trust Ranger. Walk will be on uneven ground and take in Lendrick Hill. Suitable footwear and waterproofs needed.

13 July & 17 August:

Balsam Bashing 10:30 – 13:00 Meet at Callander Medical Centre, Geisha Road. Easy pulling of Himalayan Balsam by the River Teith. Wellies/boots & gloves needed.

Booking required with Lesley Hawkins 01877 339080 or

Farm Forum: Lost My Tag, Sir... There is much talk nowadays, at least within the agricultural industry, about the reduction of sheep and cattle numbers particularly in the hills. The hills are, in most cases, extensively farmed but within the stratification of the livestock industry in Scotland they come at the very beginning so assume considerable importance. There are many pundits putting forward their reasons for the reduction in numbers, especially in relation to the new CAP discussions which seem to be getting nowhere at breakneck speed! However as is often the case they mostly seem to be missing one of the principle reasons. That is red tape. Farmers in the hills are just becoming sickened by, for example, having to tag all sheep with a tag in both ears, one electronic, and all the additional record keeping involved, not to speak of the cost involved in the operation, including replacing tags lost by careless ewes who have forgotten where they left them. It is my understanding that tagging of stock is a traceability measure

to help with disease control dreamed up by Brussels. As far as I can see it has not made one blind bit of difference in that sphere. Don’t get me wrong, traceability is necessary for lots of reasons but the current situation must be overkill. I read an article in the paper very recently by an eminent professor who is chief agricultural advisor to the Department of the Environment. He maintains that the UK needs better measures to protect farms from infectious diseases such as foot and mouth. It is worth noting that the last outbreak came from the Government research institute at Pirbright. On a slightly different tack we now have fresh water lamprey zones to protect lampreys, believe it or not. This affects taking gravel out of the river which has consequences too numerous to mention. The funny thing is that the lampreys are only there because we must have been doing things right for the last hundred years or so!

Playing tag

The humble lamprey

BOOK CORNER The Son by Jo Nesbo. A new story line from the author who created the best-selling Harry Hole series. A novel of twisting, dark Scandinavian plotting expertly written to keep you engrossed and wondering where exactly the plot is leading with an ending you probably could never guess. Well worth joining the library queue for, although you have to read the 487 pages in the fortnight allotted as demand is so high for the book. 23

Another busy month has been and gone! I was very surprised when reviewing the month’s crime figures, just how busy we have been. Most of the work carried out is in relation to road traffic offences, and the rise in figures is almost certainly down to the increased volume of traffic on the roads over the past few weeks.   Over the last few weekends, whilst my colleagues and I have been carrying out Operation Ironworks patrols, we have encountered several drink drivers. In one weekend alone, I caught two, which is either good local policing, or more people willing to risk it. I’ll leave it up to you to decide!   Regardless, it is down to the assistance of the local community. For the vast number of those caught drink driving, it was after a call had been received from a member of the public. I pass on my sincerest thanks to those who have contacted us, and for anyone else who has knowledge of anyone who drink drives, let us know. You can provide the details to me confidentially either over the phone or via email, or stop me the next time you see me. Alternatively, you can also give Crimestoppers a phone on 0800555111 and we will never know who called us.  


Without the calls from the public, we risk these people being on our roads, creating dangers not only to themselves, but to everyone else around them. One of the drink drivers that we caught recently was down to the fact that he had no control of his vehicle and he was involved in a collision. Luckily, no-one else was involved. Whilst on the subject of Ironworks, it leads me onto the next thing of note, which is over the last weekend, two separate groups of campers were found in possession of air weapons on the loch sides.   Again, both of these incidents were flagged to police by local residents who contacted us regarding concerns about groups of campers. I again would like to pass my thanks on to those who called us. If you do have concerns regarding the behaviour of those using our loch sides, let us know about them. We have a large area to cover and unfortunately cannot be everywhere.

There is more chance or residents observing persons behaving irresponsibly than when we pass in marked police vehicles. If you do observe persons to have firearms with them, or to be chopping down trees etc., let us know and we can act.   I’m sure that the coming month will be just as busy as this last one; however let’s hope it’s for different reasons. This coming month will see a start to both local and national events which can be enjoyed by all.   As always, I can always be contacted on 101 or for those who prefer email, I can be contacted directly at  william.diamond@     Regards, PC Will Diamond

Mhor Festival 2014 The Monachyle Mhor Festival is now in its third year and as the photos (right) show, it is going from strength to strength. It has been lucky enough to benefit from good weather (at least most of the time) for the third year running - not bad for Scotland in summer! A great relief to all the happy campers there - increased numbers this year. The raft race started the weekend with several splashes (sorry!) as rafts very loosely connected to the ‘clan’ theme jostled for position – and that was just the three intrepid sailors in the bath tub. Over the next two days there was something for all ages from Magwitch Monsters enticing the children, to Tom instructing all ages in the art of bread making all with music throughout. The play Fred and Alice, making a debut performance in Scotland, was a great hit with an audience of around 200 (standing room only at the back) cheering loudly at the end - and joining in, in true pantomime fashion, in parts in the middle too. The five course feast in the newlydeveloped-barn-come-function-room showcased the talents of the five chefs: Andrew Fairley, Michael Smith, Neil Forbes, Roy Bett and of course Tom Lewis – and their ‘commis’ who probably did most of the hard graft. The highlight of the weekend was the innovation of the ‘Sunday Papers Review’ presided over by Bill Jamieson, who urged the audience to remember to buy and read the best paper there – The Villagers. Many thanks for the plug, Bill. Jill Johnston



We’ll send you or your friends The


£14.00 for 11 monthly issues (£37.00 for Europe and £47.00 for the rest of the world). We are sorry about the increased costs to our valued overseas readers, due to the new postal rates imposed by the Post Office! All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, GARDENERS COTTAGE BALQUHIDDER FK19 8PB, SCOTLAND Cheques should be made payable to: THE BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION Remittance enclosed £ .........................(do not send cash) Please send copies of The Villagers starting on ................................. for 11 months To: NAME .......................................................................................................................... ADDRESS: ........................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................POSTCODE .............................. SENDER’S NAME & ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM ABOVE Please send copies of The Villagers starting on ............................... for 11 months NAME ................................................................................................................................ ADDRESS .......................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................POSTCODE................................

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All types of tree work undertaken Removal of dangerous trees Crown lifting, Crown reduction, High pruning,Removal of deadwood. All types of fencing erected Mole trapping References can be given. Free estimates

STRATHYRE. TEL 01877384248 07967143910


Laptop Repair Service All types of repairs carried out from physical damage to data recovery

Neil Law

laptop Technician

Tel 01567 830314 Facebook: NHL Laptop Repair

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


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

Gill Allan Production Manager Stronvar Farm Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB 01877 384203

David Johnston Advertising Coordinator Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227

Other Contacts...

Helen Clark Business Manager 07971 648743

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

contac t@the Please help us to get The Villagers to you as soon as possible!

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

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Bowling - St Fillans Pilates - Balquhidder Village Hall - 6.40pm (Contact Abbey Arkotxa 01877 384671) Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 to11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am to 12.30pm Badminton - Balquhidder Hall - 8.00pm Country Dancing - St Fillans LEGS - Lochearnhead Hall - 6.30pm Pilates - Balquhidder Village Hall - 9.50am to 10.50am (Contact Abbey Arkotxa 01877 384671) Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am to 12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00 to 9.00pm Metafit Classes - Strathyre Village Hall - 8.00pm Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon. Mel Brydie 01877 384668 Ballroom Dancing - Lochearnhead Hall

Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Wullie Dalziel 01877 384 384 Mobile 07768 221661 St Fillans Contact: John Murray 01764 685 487 Mail Order Distribution: Hilda Astbury 01877 384 681

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

JUNE 2014 7 Open Day at Dhanakosa, Balquhidder - 11am to 4pm - see p. 18 14/15 19 21 27/28 28

Strathyre Primary School Afternoon Tea - Balquhidder Village Hall - both days 1pm to 4.30pm - see p. 7 Strathyre Primary School Summer Show ‘Hansel and Gretel” - 7pm Balquhidder Village Hall - see p.13 Tennis ‘Open Day’ - Strathyre Tennis Court - 1pm to 3pm - see p.6 Sheep Shearing Championships - 3pm - Lochearnhead - see p.2 Ceilidh Dance 9pm to 1am - Lochearnhead - see p.2

JULY 2014 26

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Highland Games Lochearnhead - see p.5

Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 Councillor Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 924 Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07824 496 019

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

Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316 Sunday 12 noon The Manse, Killin Dundurn Church, St Fillans Sunday11.30am Minister: Rev Graham McWilliams Tel: 01764 671 045

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

SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH St Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead First and third Sundays of the month: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fourth Sundays of the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Fifth Sunday of the month: please see church noticeboard. Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453

Thevillagersjune2014lo res  

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans villages community news in The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park of Scotland.