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APRIL 2015

The

Price 50p

The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

Hilda Astbury of Strathyre who was awarded a Certificate for ‘Outstanding Service’ at this years Stirling Community Newspapers Award Ceremony 2015. After 22 years with The Villagers.


Editor’s Bit Our front page “girl” is obviously well known to many particularly in Strathyre and she has been involved with The Villagers since its inception over twenty years ago. Originally Hilda was the reporter for Strathyre and then took over the subscriptions and her “diligent service over the years” was recognised at the Community Newspaper awards with a long service certificate. I am also very pleased to report that The Villagers was one of only two papers given a special mention by the judges for the “outstanding quality of their journalism” a theme continued in the specific comments of “Excellent regular columns give this paper a fine framework which it fills out with community news, excellent photography of local events and lots of practical information”. I would add my personal thanks to all who answer the call for copy by the 21st please even if we do have to build in a degree of latitude for some! For the 70 subscribers our thanks go for your continued support and the messages you often enclose with your renewals, the bad news is that our rates will have to go up this year as the postage costs continue on an ever upward trend. Hopefully this edition will be in all the usual places in time for the Easter weekend and the sun will shine wherever in the world you are.

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The Poulter’s in Balquhidder How fortunate it is that Balquhidder is roughly halfway between Dunblane and Glen Orchy where their daughters live and its bonus is that it is in the Highlands where Andrea lived forty years ago. They have lived in Balquhidder for just over a year now but have spent almost half their time farm/grandson-sitting or helping with their younger daughter’s business in Glen Orchy. The views here are stunning; ever changing and the seasons work their magic too and as life settles down somewhat they hope to be more involved in the local community. Rural life is suiting both them and their two springers, Max and Midge; there are plenty of forestry walks for them and being springers they can walk forever and that is getting their owners fitter too! Max has been a regular beater with Andrew at Murthly in the past but they have both retired now. They have both lived in Scotland for most of their adult lives and met at Loch Eil where Andrea worked for seven years. Sadly they had to move to Darlington when they married but ten years later had their wish and were moved back to Scotland and spent twenty six years in Dollar. For most of their time in Dollar Andrea ran the Former Pupil register at Dollar Academy which meant lots of detective work and contacting people all over the world. It is amazing where FP’s crop up! She is looking forward to getting to grips with the garden in Balquhidder. Andrew was ‘a spinner of fine yarns and

fancy twister’ with Patons & Baldwins when they first met but ended up as their IT manager. He is poised to do his last Munro this year and otherwise enjoys a little gentle sea kayaking. They have done several Alpine treks together and also enjoy an annual stint at the lambing back home at Andrew’s roots in the Yorkshire Dales every year.


The St Fillans Bit Sadly, once again I open up this column with the recording of the passing of a villager. I often mention in my ‘bit’ the differences between city life and village life and a death in the village well demonstrates another aspect. In a place like St Fillans most people know each other – there are a minority who do not want to be involved in the community but in the main folk get involved in village life in some form or another. That means that we all know each other, not necessarily as ‘friends’ but more than just acquaintancies. The knock on effect is that when a villager passes on it is much like losing a relative. So it is with Bob Livermore. Bob was born in London in November 1933. During his school years he much preferred the outdoors to the classroom and was active in scouting, camping and fishing. After his schooling he went into training as an accountant – and hated it. So in 1950 he joined the army as a cadet in the Royal Fusiliers. He was posted to Korea and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was then elevated to Captain in the King’s African Rifles and moved on to Nyasaland (now Malawi) followed by Hong Kong, Egypt and Germany. åWhilst in Germany he was confirmed into the Christian Faith. Bob met wife Eileen at his 21st birthday party to which she had been invited by Bob’s sister Gwen. Their first date was to see the musical Oklahoma in London. They married in 1957. By that time Bob had moved on to the Metropolitan Police in London where he was to complete 30 years service. The first addition to the family was Winston, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, followed over the years by three daughters and more Staffies. They had moved to Welling in Kent and their home boasted a garden 280 feet long which is where Bob’s love of gardening was cultivated. He joined the local horticultural society and won many cups, shields and trophies including the very prestigious Banks Medal. Whilst undergoing his police training Bob met Lovat Fraser and they became life long friends – a factor in the Livermore move to St Fillans on Bob’s retirement from the Met. They built their own home and Bob set about landscaping the lovely gardens (designed, I’m told, by Eileen). Bob became very involved in village life, including St Fillans in Bloom, The St Fillans Players and The Jolly Boys. He became a J.P. for the area (he signed my first shot gun licence application) and every year he undertook the collection for the Poppy Appeal – who could refuse Bob a donation! I remember Bob as a very loyal patron of Achray House when under

by John Murray

my ownership and without fail he would buy me a drink on every visit. I don’t think that anyone who met Bob with his gentle, polite and courteous demeanour would have guessed at his military and metropolitan police careers, unless they experienced his forthright expression of his firmly held opinions and views, very military. In recent years it was almost impossible to travel towards Lochearnhead without seeing Bob working on his garden or strimming the grass at the loch side. I would also invariably meet him in the early morning when we exercised our dogs along the old railway – one of his Staffies had a penchant for trying to eat my spaniels so we agreed on routes so that we were always going in different directions but could pause for a blether and to compare aches and pains. In recent years Bob combined his love of plants with fund raising and his plant sale fund Bob Livermore

Continued overleaf

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The St Fillans Bit

(Continued from p3) it far easier to nip out for supper without

raisers in The Sandison were a sight to see – literally hundreds of plants reared by Bob and as he used to say “someone has to buy every one because I’m not taking them home!” He never took any home. Bob’s death was sudden, and a shock for the family and friends but, as daughter Ruth says, it was right for him, a man who hated being dependant and hated losing the ability to be active as he had been all his life. He was a man who made the most of village life and many will miss him. Moving on. My mention last month of the revised St Fillans Golf Club rules that dogs can only be on the course on a short leash and that mobility scooters were verboten caused a bit of a stooshie at the club. It now seems that mobility scooters and dogs ‘under control’ might be allowed.

The next meeting of the committee will result in a statement which I will duly report. The new owners of The Achray are settling in well and are quickly becoming part of the community. A good number of villagers are already visiting for drinkies or meals and the reports on their experiences are very positive. In response to locals’ comments about the food pricing structure (which was inherited and applicable more to visiting residents rather than locals looking for a quick supper) a new bar meal menu has been introduced which makes 4

checking with the building society in advance. Well worth a visit. Not forgetting of course The Four Seasons which will be fully open in The Tarken & Restaurant for the season by the time you read this. The menus have been well revised for 2015. The new Tarken Lunch Menu is supplemented by weekly specials whilst the a la carte menu will now be available in both restaurants. The new Rosette menu available in the main restaurant looks very tempting and decent value. E-mail or phone and I’m sure they will send you sample menus. I added a wee PS last month regarding Elvis in August. I can now flesh out details. The annual Festive Weekend will take place over 15th & 16th August and, years after retiring from it’s organisation, I am giving a bit of input this year on the music

side and in obtaining sponsorship to pay for more ‘dramatic’ music. Many will remember the Elvis BBQ we held a few years back which was a cracking day with villagers in 60’s dress and bopping away. So The King is back (or he looks and sounds like The King) to entertain with music from his early years on the Saturday. Then on Sunday we have the 3R Tenors – 3 professional singers who replicate the work of the famed 3 Tenors with operatic songs, songs from the shows and popular Scots songs – all alongside the sit down buffet lunch which was so enjoyable last year. I have seen the tenors live in Perth and they put on a terrific show. You will not be disappointed. Full details of the weekend’s programme will be available soon and I will report next month. Meantime this will be the best musical weekend ever in St Fillans and audience numbers will be restricted by the size of the marquee. Tickets will be offered first to St Fillans villagers only and then offered to other local villages – so it will be important to buy tickets early not wait till a few days before the event when there will be no spare tickets. Regarding sponsors I am delighted that I approached 9 potential sponsors and 8 agreed instantly. To be able to afford 2 professional acts needs financial support and sponsors make it all possible. I will list our sponsors next month. It is good to hear that the Police Operation Ironworks will be active again this summer, controlling loch side visitors at the weekends. Instead of the mobile HQ caravan used in the past 2 years they will be based in the Sandison Hall, which means that I’ll need to observe speed limits on my mobility buggy. There is no doubt that the increased police visibility during the season has reduced much of the nuisance we used to experience so it is good to be able to provide the facilities of the Hall to the boys (and girls) in blue. Finally my continuous plea – to keep this column going I need input. Let me know what’s happening, what concerns you have and so on, then I can write about them. Otherwise the column dies. John Murray


Strathyre Primary School News.... World Book Day – Amelia Dennehy For world book day the author from Dunblane, Alex Nye, was able to come to our school to explain how to write an amazing ghost story. In this visit she showed us the two ghost stories she has had published they were called ‘Chill’ and ‘Shiver’. Alex read parts from her books that she thought would give us good inspiration and would set the scene for her ghost story. The most important part of writing a ghost story is the back story for how that ghost became as they are. At the end of her visit she gave us a chance to buy her books which she also signed. Everyone was fascinated by what she had to say and we all got inspired and wanted to learn more and more. We also dressed up as our favourite character from a book that we liked. The M.S.P.s’ visit us at Strathyre primary school - Ethan Thomson On Friday 6th March, Murdo Fraser and Bruce Crawford came to visit us at Strathyre Primary school. When they came in to our class they introduced themselves, they were both from different parties, Murdo is in the Conservative party and Bruce is in the S.N.P. [Scottish National Party]. They came because we are doing democracy as our class 2 topic, so the teacher invited them to our school. They talked about would they did in their jobs, we asked them questions and they answered them. Talking to them helped us understand their jobs and gave us an insight into their life as politicians . Scottish Parliament Outreach Team Visit – Rosie Cooper On Wednesday 3rd March, Muriel Miller from the Scottish parliament outreach team came to visit our school bringing lots more facts and fun games. First she showed us a power point of the different parliaments and the political parties, as well as little power vote hand boxes so we could answer questions by pressing the numbers.

Before writing our manifestos, we selected our groups and chose a leader who then chose their groups party such as the animal welfare or save our earth etc. After finishing our manifestos we read them out and secretly voted for our best team. Then we chose a topic to argue about as if we were in parliament. First we wrote down our points and read them out, then we chose our side and voted on our power vote. Finally Muriel told us who won the first vote. It was the save the earth group. We all had a great time learning more about the parliament and how it works. Parliament and the Palace of Holyrood house Visit – Adam Harvey On Wednesday 18th March Strathyre Primary School went to visit Holyroodhouse Palace and the Scottish Parliament we boarded the coach at 9 o’clock. At the Parliament we had to take off our bags and coats to be checked at security before we could enter parliament. Bruce Crawford came to meet us when we arrived, we had a few photos taken with him but then he had to run off to a meeting with a head of committee. We were then split into two groups class two was with one guide and class one was with another we went to see the exhibition there was lots of things to do and see like gifts from other parliaments around the world, there was a small white marble lion holding a jade locket. After we saw the exhibition we were taken to see some of the parliament’s artwork like a large tapestry. The final highlight of the parliament visit was the debating chamber, we got to look around and look at the Mace. We went for lunch at Holyrood House and then we were shown around the magnificent Palace. The Palace is beautiful inside and out and it was interesting hearing about the Royals of the past and present.

The Palace of Holyrood

Music by the Loch for C&WP members Picture, if you will, an early evening in May looking out on the waters of Loch Venachar with afternoon tea before you and music for your pleasure! Musical groups from Perth, Forth Valley and the singers from our own U3A will come together to entertain you at this beautiful venue on 18th May. Further details will be published in our next members’ newsletter. Safer driving The Third Age Trust has secured an arrangement with the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM) to offer free driving assessments to U3A members. Our local IAM, based in Stirling, has been contactedå with a view to holding a meeting in the summer when a representative will give a talk followed by free half-hour driving assessments to members who have pre-booked. Further details can be obtained from the C&WP Secretary. ‘Imperfect Pitch’ A new musical group has just been formed, called ‘Imperfect Pitch’, whose members are already enjoying their fortnightly meetings when they endeavour to find music suitable for the great variety of instruments which they bring along. Reduced subs We welcome new members at any time; the membership fee for the remaining few months of our year (April to August inc) is only £6.00, so if you are interested to find out more about us please have a look at our website. Just Google ‘Callander and West Perthshire U3A’. 5


TRIBUTE TO TOMMY McGREGOR 1930 - 2015 Born in Ardnamurchan on 10th April 1930, Tommy was the fifth child of ten and the third son. The family moved to Ullapool and it was there that he began, at the age of 18, as an apprentice mechanic. He signed up for the RAF Regiment and it was with the RAF that he completed his training. In 1950, Tommy was demobbed and got a job in Lochearnhead as a mechanic; but he also bought a lorry and secured a contract with Perth and Kinross Council to maintain the roads over a wide area. When water-skiing came to Loch Earn, his mechanical knowledge was also in demand with the boat owners. He married Betty Inglis in 1952 and shortly thereafter, Ewan, his only son was born. Maintaining roads in a country area is a varied task and while trying to clear away a tree that had been brought down in a storm, Tommy severely injured his leg – this injury led to the loss of his contract with the council. Tommy was

not to be stuck, however, and he became the postman. Tommy was dogged by much misfortune and during the eighties, a driver going much too fast crashed into Tommy’s vehicle and again he was severely injured – this time his neck was broken and he spent months in Stirling and Bridge of Earn Hospitals recuperating on a pioneering bed that was so new that it appeared on Tomorrow’s World Today. Disabled by his accidents, Tommy still kept on working as a mechanic and practically everybody in the area had had their car seen to by Tommy. He took on the school runs to Strathyre Primary and drove the high school kids back and forth up the glen. His health problems were not over, however, and he was eventually diagnosed with bowel cancer, which he fought and beat, but it was one of his routine cancer scans that revealed the aneurism that would lie in wait and eventually take him from those who loved him on Sunday 15th February. It was not only misfortune in health that stalked Tommy: his wife, Betty, died some ten years ago and then three years ago almost exactly, he had to bear the worst of tragedies – the loss of his only child, his son, Ewan, in a most horrific forestry accident. Yes, Tommy had a lot to bear during his eighty-four years but he met every difficulty with patience, courage, imagination and the deployment of his many talents – his talent for engines, for singing and for making friends. For a shy and reserved man of few words, Tommy won the hearts of all he met – he was well-known and well-liked throughout the district – nobody has a bad word to say about Tommy MacGregor, muchloved and missed grandfather, brother and friend – a gentleman and a gentle man – a man who liked good company, the occasional dram with friends and a good song well-sung. One of Tommy’s sisters and family also sent this tribute:-

Real Ale - Real Music

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“On behalf of the Geddes family, Margaret Geddes( sister to Tommy), Janette & Robert Czerek and family, Alison& Derek Kerr and family, Celia & Kim Pritchard and family, Saus & Charlie Law, Sandra & Greg Reed and family ,we are deeply saddened by Tommy’s passing and would like to extend our sympathy to Katie and the family at this time. Tommy was a generous Uncle and brother, he had a very kind nature, he was calm and relaxed with great patience which came in handy when fixing boat engines and cars, he also had a wonderful voice and sang at family weddings and events, and he worked hard raising money for cancer research. Margaret and Tommy enjoyed their regular phone catch ups every couple of weeks when they would update each other on the family and local news, Tommy will never be forgotten.” During the service, local Malcolm McNaughton enriched the Minister’s tribute by telling us that Tommy’s nickname of ‘Spanners’ was well founded. He repaired most of the local’s cars and looked after many of the outboards for the water-skiing club down at Loch Earn. If you wanted anything repaired Tommy could do it. If you needed him he used to say “You’ll find me in the ‘office’ ” meaning the Rob Roy Bar at Kinghouse where he took a dram after a hard day’s work. Malcolm told of the great work Tommy did collecting and organising events for Cancer Research for some 47 years. There were dances and ceilidhs in the village hall, the Married men v Unmarried men’s charity football matches, collecting bottles in most of the hotels. In all Tommy raised over £50,000. Remembering the great voice Tommy had, Jim Crumley with guitar, gave us a rendition of ‘Come by the Hills’ and ‘The Braes of Balquhidder’ - singing an extra verse which Tommy had composed. For those of us who knew Tommy there are many, many happy memories. One, I particularly remember was a day when a golfing tournament was held in the fields below the church and along to Auchleskine. Tommy came up with the bright Idea of supplying refreshments for the players, so he borrowed my jeep and drove a mobile bar all round the course. It was hilarious and the players were very grateful. Tommy was a great neighbour and when I used to leave his house he would always say “If you fall through the bed I’ll see you in the Spring!” He was full of fun and tales to tell. I, like a lot of folk, will miss him terribly. It is the end of an era. I’m sure I speak for everyone in sending our deepest condolences to his family. Tommy shall not be forgotten. Rev. June Johnston & P. Perkins


Referee WINS pool contest

No. Not a misprint!!

The annual Gary Smith memorial pool competion was held recently at the Inn& Bistro and as usual it was a wonderful evening of pool and banter and very well supported by local players. A big thank you to all who took part in what in reality is a fun evening and only becoming a tad serious when the final is reached which is to be expected, and what a final it turned out to be. The reason for the headline was the fact that the event was presided over by Donald McGregor and Art Crammond who both took part and refereed each others games. But it was Donald who made it to the final facing none other than “our Dougie”, a very formidable opponent who took the first frame and we, the “losers” knew we had a game on!!! However, Donald is not a man to trifle with on the pool table and he showed his worth with a come back which led on to victory. There was some entertaining and tricky shots played by both players and it could have gone in either direction but a welldeserved victory was Donald’s and our congratulations go to him and sincere commiserations to Dougie. Dougie is one of the original competitors in this competition and attends every year and has his name on the trophy from other years and it says a lot for the players who turn up each year to keep this competition going and I hope it continues for many years to come. Our thanks go to Steve and staff at the Inn and to Donald and Art for keeping order at the table and a special thanks to Dougie who organised the event. I hope to see you all again next year. Wullie D

New Stuc a’Croin Race Route

I said in the last Issue that we hoped work would be completed on the new route by the time we went to print but I was underestimating just how much work we had taken on. However, progress is being made and, if things go to plan, we will have the new route completed in good time for the race. Myself, Davy and Graeme were working on two severely flooded parts high in the forest, and as can be seen from the photos, it was a day of hard graft on the hill but we managed to dig drainage trenches which should clear the excess water that was trapped causing flooding where the runners will be passing through. Some work has still to be done at the start area, which will require a digger and some more elbow grease, and we will be working there and at the top of the forest this weekend. The photos show Davy and Graeme and one of the ditches. Wullie D

Steve, Donald and Dougie

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Church News BalquhiĐĐer •bls Reg. Charity No. SC012316

A Note from

St Angus’s

Well! After a damp and driech, when not downright cold, Lent (how appropriate) we now look forward to celebrating new life in the ever-changing, ever- reliable coming of spring, and Easter. We have been very aware in our communities, of the mystery of wilderness, barrenness, dying, and the new life that suddenly springs up at the core of all that. It was perhaps encapsulated in an experience I once had while walking in the woods on Easter Sunday, and I have taken the liberty of simply giving you the copy of the diary entry, which says it all really. You are warmly invited to join us at our celebrations over Easter – and a tip: if you come to the lochside service, you can order your bacon butties before the service starts, then they will be all ready for you afterwards! May you be blessed! 8

The church annual accounts were approved by the Congregational Board on 25th February 2015, and were received by the congregation at he Annual Stated Meeting after the Sunday service on 15th March. The effects of the vacancy and the fact that our locum minister did not start work with us until the very end of November gave a false impression of a large excess of income over expenditure for 2014. Things will be very different this year with work on the manse due to start before too long. After the initial work to make it feasible for our locum to stay at the manse, there has been a lull as we wait for quotes for the work to be done, and that does take time. It makes life easier for our locum but it is a slow process at this stage waiting for work to begin. Meanwhile, we are pleased to hear that Pauline Perkins has donated hymn music to the church which will help our dear pianist bring down the tune and so spare us some of the effort of reaching difficult high notes! Hooray! I may not have to resort to being a baritone quite so often! Now that Lent is fairly speeding by, Easter will be upon us before we know it. We look forward to these days, remembering the heart of the Christian message that God gave his Son to die on the cross for our sakes followed by the rejoicing on Easter Sunday at the Resurrection. Enjoy all that Easter means, and not forgetting the Easter eggs of course! Jean Edwards EASTER WITH THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN STRATHEARN 2015 FRIDAY 3 APRIL GOOD FRIDAY: THE WAY OF THE CROSS 12 – 3pm A Pilgrimage through Strathearn: do join us for any or all 3 services 12 noon St Columba’s Crieff 1pm St Serf ’s Comrie 2.15pm St Angus’s Lochearnhead SUNDAY 5 APRIL EASTER DAY 7am Sunrise on the Knock, Crieff with all the churches Breakfast afterwards at St Andrew’s Hall, Crieff 8am Easter Communion b y the Lochside: Lochearnheadnover the road from Lochearnhead Hotel, with bacon butties available afterwards at the hotel 10.30 am Easter Communion at St Columba’s Crieff, St Serf ’s Comrie, St Angus’s Lochearnhead and St Fillan’s Killin


DOCTORS 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 afternoon will be on: Wednesday 24th June 2015 On this 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.

Bracklinn Practice

If you require urgent medical attention when the surgery is closed please contact NHS24 on 111. Make sure you have enough medication to last you over the holiday period, and if you think you will run out, order your medication early or ask for 2 months supply.

Bracklinn Practice News

The practice is aware of an increased pressure on our appointments. An audit undertaken last year showed that overall, we have enough routine and too many urgent appointments available. The results also showed that we were unable to accommodate people wanting to be seen within the next few days. We have therefore created some semi-urgent appointments within each clinic for this purpose. All our GP appointments are 10 minutes, and we do advise that if you want to discuss more than 1 thing it is better to make a 20 minute appointment, however, you may need to give more notice for these appointments. Clinic times vary to accommodate as many patients as possible, however, we appreciate the times are not always suitable. Please do not however, request an urgent appointment around your work schedule as these appointments are available for patients who have become acutely unwell. If the receptionist asks questions regarding symptoms etc it is to accommodate your request as efficiently as possible. The practice would also like

patients to be aware that an empty waiting room does not mean the doctors are not busy. A 10 minute face-to-face consultation can equate to at least 30 minutes of the GP’s time. The doctors see on average 20 patients per day. They also deal with over 100 prescription requests daily, some of these requests can take up to 30 minutes to action. The doctors also have approximately 10 requests each day for telephone calls which can take as long as a consultation. The practice cannot guarantee when a doctor will ring patients due to other circumstances, and unfortunately phone calls can be made in the evening. It is important that if you think you need to be seen by a doctor that you request an appointment from the receptionist and not a telephone call. Requests for house visits are always accommodated, however it is advisable to give the practice as much notice as possible for the doctor to assess the urgency and work it into his/her day. As the doctors perform other duties for the Health Service, they are not in the practice every day, you may experience that you cannot see a specific doctor on certain days and unfortunately this is unavoidable. Finally, we appreciate all our patients who are understanding when the clinics do not run to time, or the doctor is called away in an emergency. We would also like to thank all our patients for being courteous, kind and accommodating to the staff.

Spring Dance Balquhidder Hall Saturday 25th April

7:30 to Midnight - Buffet Ian Milligan Band Tickets ÂŁ10 from Mary Barclay Phone 01567 830453

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Off the Page Book Festival celebrates 10-year anniversary Off the Page book festival will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this spring with a fresh new look and an exciting line-up featuring some of the biggest names in Scottish writing. The festival, which is organised by Stirling Libraries, will take place from the 8th to the 19th of May. Falkirk-born novelist and playwright Alan Bissett is one of Scotland’s bestknown writers. His fast-pace, energetic style made his first novel, Boyracers – set in Falkirk – a cult classic. His larger-thanlife characters and unique performance style will make his appearance at St Ninians Library on the 12th of May an evening toremember. Well-loved Scottish actors Tony Roper (Jamesy in Rab C. Nesbitt) and Alex Norton (DCI Burke in Taggart) both made a lasting mark on British TV and are sure to be a big draw. Tony will appear at Bridge of AllanLibrary on Thursday, 14th May, while Alex will be at Drymen Church Hall on Monday, 11th May. On Tuesday 19th May, awardwinning journalist and broadcaster Sally Magnusson and Professor June Andrews, Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling, will host an evening at the Albert Hall. Entry to this event will be free to people with dementia and carers. Professor Andrews will be discussing her book, Dementia; the One-Stop Guide. Sally Magnusson will be talking about her bestselling memoir about her mother, Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything, which has been credited with improving knowledge and understanding of this widespread brain condition. Cllr Corrie McChord said: “As always, our libraries service has programmed a festival that everyone, no matter what their taste in reading, can enjoy. “The reputation we have built up over the years means we attract some really big names. We’re delighted that this year the Bloody Scotland crime-writing festival will be hosting a crime night at the Tolbooth, with an incredible lineup of talent including Bloody Scotland founders Alex Gray and Lin Anderson with Gordon Brown, Craig Robertson and Alexandra Sokoloff, and we expect this to be a major draw. “Cultural events like Off the Page are part of what makes Stirling unique and this spring, to mark the festival’s 1010

year anniversary, Stirling Libraries is relaunching the festival with a strong focus on community events held at locations throughout the area, which gives everybody the opportunity to hear great authors first hand. The excellent programme is also sure to attract many visitors from further afield, which will give added benefit to the local economy, and we look forward to welcoming them and enjoying great Scottish writing together. “We are very fortunate that in Stirling we have great local libraries, with knowledgeable, friendly staff who are make learning fun, and an unbeatable stock of great reads which are there for everyone to enjoy every day. Off the Page is a real celebration of this.”

Erudite Muse “There’s nothing simpler than avoiding people you don’t like. Avoiding one’s friends, that’s the real test.” Lady Violet in Downton Abbey, quoted in The Sunday Times “People don’t believe in ideas, they believe in people who believe in ideas.” Scholar Zeev Mankowitz, quoted in The Guardian “If I see ‘upcoming’ in the paper one more time, I will be downcoming and someone will be outgoing.” Unnamed editor of The Wall Street Journal, quoted in The Times

Young Reporter Hannah Inglis Stirling Community Newspaper Awards 2015 Hannah Inglis received her certificate as one of the Young Reporters for her stories about life at Stronvar House. The judges commended Hannah for her very clever idea to literally step back into History and her well executed writing. Hannah did a lot of research for her stories so congratulations and thanks are due to her. As Stronvar House is currently covered in scaffolding perhaps we will see if Hannah can go and find out what the future now holds for the old house, as always rumours abound as to what will happen when all the renovations are finally completed.

“Oh, gee, I can’t talk right now. Why don’t you give me your number and I’ll call you later.” Jerry Seinfeld responds to a cold caller, quoted in The Guardian “Patriotism. Your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.” George Bernard Shaw, quoted in The Guardian “If everything seems under control, you’re jus not going fast enough.” Race car driver Mario Andretti, quoted in The Huffington Post “Trying is the first step towards failure.” Homer Simpson, quoted in The Daily Telegraph


29th to 31st of May 2015

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My favourite recipes... by Katarzyna Sujanova ‘Babka’ and ‘Mazurek’ are traditional cakes made for Easter in many regions of Poland. The shape of ‘babka’ very often reminds the Italian panettone. It is very tasty and delicate. Sometimes special forms are used to bake it and many people make ‘babka’ in a shape of lamb.

This isa special Easter cake with

with a fork to give the cake a nice whitebrown pattern. 8. Bake for about 50min. in 160C. Any square or rectangular form can be used. To decorate simply sprinkle the cake with icing sugar or make the icing with 150g of icing sugar, 2-3 tbsp of lemon juice and 1-2 tbsp of hot water. Mix all together to make smooth paste. Enjoy!

Bake for another 20-30min. Cool down. Melt the chocolate with the butter, decorate ‘Mazurek’, sprinkle with nuts. Enjoy! One of the favourite Polish Easter traditions is the blessing of the baskets. On Easter Saturday people take to churches decorated baskets called ‘Święconka’ containing traditional food to be blessed. Lamb shaped ‘Babka’ cake is usually put into the basket as well as dyed eggs, bread, sausage, horseradish and ham. The food blessed in the church remains untouched until Sunday morning.

Images of ‘Babka’

beautiful decorations like white ‘fluffy’

icing all over the lamb representing the wool or coconut dyed in green representing the grass. ‘Mazurek’ is a flat cake made with a sweet shortcrust pastry and lots of different toppings made with dates, nuts and fruit with rich creamy icing on the top. It is nicely decorated and truly delicious. To make ‘Babka’ you will need: 125ml of oil 125ml of water 250g icing sugar 5 eggs 1tsp of lemon extract or lemon zest from 1/2 lemon 300g plain flour 2 and 1/4 tsp of baking powder 1-2 heaped tbsp of cocoa powder The is how to make it: 1. Mix together oil, water and sugar. 2. Add egg yolks and lemon extract. 3. In a separate bowl mix the flour with 2 tsp of baking powder, add to the egg mixture. 4. Whip the egg whites and add to the flour mixture. Mix very gently. 5. Put 1/4 of a dough into a separate bowl, add cocoa and 1/4 tsp of baking powder, mix. 6. The rest of the dough can be placed into a prepared form (oiled and sprinkled with flour) 7. Add the cocoa dough, very gently stir 12

‘Mazurek’

‘Mazurek’ Ingredients: 340g plain flour 85g icing sugar 250 g butter Mix the flour with sugar, add butter. Knead well. Transfer to the form 33x22cm lined with baking paper. Make sure it is flat and even, use a fork to prick the dough. Bake until golden in 180 C. To make the topping you will need: 400g condensed sweetened milk 125ml double cream 1 tsp vanilla extract 200g walnuts 100 g dark chocolate 1 tsp butter Almond flakes and hazelnuts to sprinkle on the top Boil milk, cream and the extract, reduce the heat and cook for 8-10 min until thick stirring continuously (A cast iron pan is the best for this purpose as the mixture can burn easily). Add walnuts and transfer onto the base of the cake.

Easter Monday is a bank holiday in Poland and is called ‘Smingus-dyngus’Wet Monday. This is a great day of fun. This day is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm by sprinkling each other with water. Especially kids have fun this day. Being splashed with water on Easter Monday will bring you good luck throughout the year.


Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held at the Inn at Strathyre on 25th February 2015.

Please note that these minutes have not yet received formal approval and should be considered as a draft version only. Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Alistair Barclay (AB), Paul Hicks (PH), David Johnston (DJ), Angus Cameron (AC), Richard Eastland (RE), Roseanne McWilliams (RM), Ruth McLusky (RMC). Apologies: Adrian Squires, Susie Crammon, Loraine Telfer, Karen Methven. In attendance: Cllr Alycia Hayes (AH), Stirling Council (S-C), PC Will Diamond (WD), Police Scotland, Owen McKee (OM) National Park, Karlene Docherty and Peter Leslie (PL), TP & E Consulting. 1) Approval of Minutes It was proposed by DJ and seconded by RE, that the minutes of the meeting on 14th January 2015 should be accepted, and this was approved unanimously. 2) Declarations of Interest AC declared an interest in item 4 as a land owner adjoining the proposed route. 3) Police Report Between 14th January and 24th February, sixteen offences were reported. These were all road traffic offences, including one drunk driver and a report of careless driving. There were no reported thefts during this period. Routine patrols were continued throughout this time, and preparations are now under way for the beginning of Operation Ironworks. 4) Cycle Track, St Fillans to Lochearnhead Peter Leslie and Karlene Docherty of TP & E Consulting gave a presentation on this project. The company was engaged in 2012 to establish this route and the first step was to contact all those who own land that is needed for the cycle path. This was followed by the building of Glen Tarken bridge which has now been completed. Peter explained that funding is drawn from several sources, based on ìmatched fundingî between the government body behind the scheme, SusTrans, and various other organizations. The overall cost will be around £1M. Some funding is still being sought, but most grants are time-limited so projects such as this tend to be developed in stages, as the funding allows. Most of the land owners have now been seen and all but two are in favour of the route. This allows some stages of the project to go ahead. A ìPath Groupî, including local representatives, has been formed as a management body for the project, and AB is a member of this group, representing Lochearnhead and the community council. Questions were then invited. One issue at Lochearnhead is the route by which the cycle path (following the track of the old railway line) will connect with the main road. One option would be to construct a route in the vicinity of Earnknowe, but this would require some sort of path beside the main trunk road. When proposals for a footpath were put forward some years ago, several land owners were against the idea. The original ìPhase Oneî (from Auchraw Brae to the bend just before the car park) may still be possible, but the former ìPhase Twoî (from Auchraw Brae, eastwards to the speed restriction signs) is unlikely to be resurrected. Whether or not the cycle path route could utilize the main road is, therefore, questionable. OM mentioned that all relevant land owners in Strathyre have given full permission for their land to be used for a similar path in that village, so there are grounds for hope that the same may be true in Lochearnhead. OM asked who is responsible for drawing up contracts for the work to be done. PL replied that it will fall to either the National Park or the ìPath Groupî that is overseeing the project. PL then concluded by advising that the CC would be kept informed at every stage, and that the next update for land owners and other interested parties would be in March this year. 5) Matters Arising 5a) Stroneslaney Road. DJ reported that Angela McGibbon, Traffic Management Officer for S-C, has advised that the only signs that are permitted to be erected on the public road network have to conform to the specifications contained within ìThe Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions, 2002î. The designs submitted by the CC could not be used, but some approved alternatives have been circulated. An assessment of the passing places will need to be carried out to ascertain if they are actually formal passing places, as opposed to areas of verge that have been worn away. If they can be classified as formal passing places, but are a significant distance apart, we may wish to erect a sign detailing the general distance between each passing place. (The distance can be varied according to the situation.) Each formal passing place will also need to be designated with signs. If the outcome of the assessment is that there are no formal passing places, the sign could be changed to say simply that it is a single track road. DJ concluded that we can now expect the roads authority (S-C) to take over this project. OM warmly applauded this initiative. 5b) Flooding at Auchraw Terrace, Lochearnhead. AC said that a similar problem with a blocked drain exists at the far end of Auchraw Terrace. Action: PH to report this officially. Action: PH to report additional blocked drain. 5c) Community Empowerment Project. Cllr Martin Earl had met with Nicole Patterson, Senior Manager at Environment for S-C, to discuss possible projects where S-C might be able to work with greater involvement from the local community. Nicole Patterson would like to arrange a meeting with the CC to discuss this further, but no formal request has been received as yet. 5d) Suzanne Player. Following the gift of flowers, Suzanne has sent a note expressing her gratitude and wishing the CC every good wish for the future. 6) Tackling Poverty in Rural Stirling OM spoke to this. Stirling Council is looking at ways of tackling poverty in its area. The Rural Stirling Housing Association (RSHA) has volunteered to lead on this in the rural districts. Tony Teasdale, director of RSHA, has written to the CC asking if it would be prepared, in principle, to endorse the commissioning of a study into the problems and issues facing those in remote, rural Stirling on low incomes, or otherwise disadvantaged in some way. He also said that his organization would be looking for people with direct personal experience, or an active interest, in the issues that are to be explored, and asked if the CC could recommend any appropriate people in this area. Members indicated that they were willing to support this project. 7) Notice Boards and Communications Pam Hopkins, a past member of the CC and resident in Lochearnhead, had written concerning the public notice boards at Lochearnhead, Balquhidder Station, Kingshouse and Balquhidder (Auchtubh). She drew particular attention to the board that had been sited outside the post office in Lochearnhead; commenting that it had suffered storm damage and been removed. A second notice board, provided by the Loch Earn Tourist Initiative (LETI), is situated in the car park at Lochearnhead. This has space on each side and could be used by the CC for publicizing events and other information. However, the board is obscured by a large tree and really needs to be re-sited. Would the CC be prepared to underwrite the cost of having the board moved professionally to a better location in the car park? PH noted that the matter of notice boards had been raised at the CC meeting in April 2013, but no firm conclusion had been reached. A further discussion ensued in which questions were raised as to how many people actually looked at these notice boards, and whether they were worth the cost of maintaining and servicing them. The point was made that most people looked to The Villagers magazine for their local news and information. CC minutes are still published on some notice boards, but they also appear in the magazine. PH then introduced a second suggestion made by Pam Hopkins. She had proposed that it might be useful to develop email circulation lists in Strathyre and Lochearnhead. (Balquhidder already has one.) WD said that he had started an informal list for the purpose of sending out occasional warnings of criminal activity in the area. This had begun with members of LETI, but the list had now grown to include a large number of people. He was always willing to add the email addresses of any local people who wanted to subscribe to this list. The point was Continued on Page 14....

13


Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held at the Inn at Strathyre on 25th February 2015.

Continued from Page 13... made that many people did not want to be inundated with information. The Villagers provided a means whereby people could opt for local news and information if they wished to have it. This could be supplemented with the current email lists when any urgent information came to light. It was decided that the existing notice boards would not be removed, but it was not thought necessary to spend further money maintaining them. 8) Bye-laws and Clearways PH reported that the maps, marked up with our proposed boundaries for the alcohol bye-law had been submitted to Peter Dow at Stirling Council and duly received. PH was not aware of any further developments on this at present. The Drummond Estate is writing to people with season tickets, advising them that vehicles may not park continuously throughout the summer in designated parking areas, and that further tickets will not be issued to people who ignore these conditions. 9) Balquhidder Broadband DJ stated that he had attended the Broadband Advisory Group in February. British Telecom has indicated that there will be no development or provision for Balquhidder. Unfortunately, there was no support from the Advisory Group for pursuing what is actually in the commercial contract with BT. However, DJ and Richard Harris (RH) would like to contest the matter, and were seeking further details of the contract through a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The significant condition for broadband development appears to hinge on the number of households located in a given area, and there are insufficient households in most rural areas. The Scottish Government seems to have adopted the same conditions as the British Government ñ based on the number of households in any given area. Community Broadband Scotland has been set up to try and fill the gaps, specifically in rural areas. However, it has been unsuccessful because BT treats all information as ìcommercially sensitiveî. Meanwhile, DJ and RH, on behalf of the CC, would like to contact local residents and encourage them to solicit support and help from local MPs and others. This was approved. 10) Correspondence No other correspondence had been received. 11) Planning Matters Forest Office Plot, Main Street, Strathyre. This site has been ear-marked for development for some time, and planning permission was granted for two houses back in 2002. The community council was consulted on a new application for three detached houses in November 2013. No objections were raised, but a recommendation was made that a condition of development should be the provision of a footpath adjacent to the road along the front of the site. The application from 2013 has now been withdrawn and superseded by this latest one. The only significant difference is that the southern-most house has changed from being a single, detached property to a pair of semi-detached properties. There is one comment from a neighbour, Mrs Bridget MacCaskill, and Transport Scotland has asked for conditions to be imposed regarding the height of fences or hedges on the approaches to the proposed entrance to the property, and that no drainage from the site should feed into the system of drains on the highway itself. RM supported the comments from the neighbour and raised a query about some old sheds on the property. These are now being used by bats as roosts, and cannot be disturbed, but what will happen to the sheds in future? Will anyone be responsible for removing the sheds if they become derelict at some point after the bats have moved on? Action: BLS CC to comment on the question of dealing with the sheds. 12) Matters From Local Councillors 12a) AH commented on the current budgetary pressures. The local authorities are going to challenge the Government over the matter of teacher numbers. Also, the provision for roads has decreased enormously, but S-C believes that it can cope with this. 12b) The future also looks bleak for the Demand Responsive Transport service. PH commented that, since the last CC meeting, a request for feedback on the Council’s proposals for extensive changes to the scheme had been received, circulated amongst members, and a response had been submitted, but he regretted that there had been no time for the CC to discuss the proposals fully. He was of the opinion that the proposed changes would effectively kill off the service altogether, and strongly criticized the lack of proper consultation. 13) Any Other Competent Business 13a) OM asked for a nominee for directorship of the Community Trust from the BLS CC. DJ volunteered and this was approved unanimously. 13b) OM also drew attention to the current LEADER programme, organized by the Scotland Rural Development Programme. Its aim is to increase the capacity of local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills, and to encourage innovation and cooperation at local level. PH added that an email regarding the programme had been distributed to all members for information. There was no other business and, at 8:55 p.m., MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is due to take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 8th April 2015 at the Village Hall, Lochearnhead.

14


Pin-Feathers* by Old Nyati

*Once in demand by Victorian miniaturists, the tiny pin-feather comes from the

leading edge of a woodcock’s wing and only two such feathers occur on each bird (one on each wing). This month, Old Nyati dedicates his offering to the husbands of the BRA (Balquhidder Riding Association). It is reproduced from the World Horse Welfare News and written by Christina Ayres.

“My Husband Said” by Christina Ayers

My Husband said “Come in for some tea, There`s wafer thin sandwiches, cupcakes and me”. “Can`t”, say I “the horses aren’t fed, I doubt I`ll be in, much before bed. There`s Bonnie and Silver and now Monty too, There`s haynets to fill and water to do And that`s just a start, before picking up poo. So do be a dear, and turn on the tap. Did I tell you that Sue`s selling Whizz to some chap.?”

Old Nyati ‘Passing the Buck’

My Husband said, ”Do you remember, when we spent Sundays in bed, With papers and wine and lashings of toast, And you said it was me, that you loved the most.?” “No”, say I “no, I really can`t recall---Perhaps it has something to do with that fall. Now, I`m off riding and may be back late, There`s a mouse in the hay and the barn`s in a state. So be a love, and give us a hand Did I tell you Lord DoDo`s selling some land?” My husband said, “Have you seen these bills? There`s farmers and farriers and saddle with fitters. Just seeing the postman gives me the jitters” “Money,” say I, “money is purely relative. Now the vet`s on his way, And straw`s being delivered. I`ve got to check Silver. I`m sure he just shivered. So do be a darling and open the gate. I just hope that no-one is going to run late”. My husband said, ”let`s go into town. Let`s dress up, go wild for a change. I`m bored and I`m lonely; the internet’s down.” “Town,” say I, “town, when the moonlight’s right here. We can watch stars twinkling and perhaps find some beer. Go into town. We can`t afford that. You know that I need a new riding hat. So buck up and change into jumper and jeans, We can mend that old fence by the ditch where it leans.” My husband said. Nothing. The house is quite still. There`s a note on the freezer, says he`s living with Jill. “We-ll,”I say,”We-ll”, giving Monty a hug. “I`ll cheer myself up and buy you a rug. There`s a tack sale tomorrow and I really must go, And catch up with Sandy, Alice and Jo” It`s warm in the stable, I can hear Bonnie snore. So I`ll just put my feet up and nod off in the straw. Perhaps I could add, “Only those who know”!!!!!

Old Nyati 15


View from the Park by Owen McKee “I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more.......” so sing The Proclaimers and it is a theme that the Scottish Government is promoting with its intention to invest in another 500 miles of paths to encourage more of us to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors and improve the health of the nation. We are fortunate in that not only do we have the established Route 7 wending its way through our villages but we have two local groups progressing another two path. The St. Fillans to Lochearnhead track along the old railway line was the subject of an information session delivered by the consultants to the latest meetings of the community councils at both ends of the track and the Immervoulin to Strathyre Path Group are going through the tortuous task of fund raising applications. When both these routes are in place we will have an exceptionally good path network locally particularly when both of the new paths link into Route 7. With the fishing season started Operation Ironworks is again underway and with the applicants for Seasonal Permits being informed that there are restrictions on where and for how long they can position caravans it is hoped that we will see a marked improvement on the north side of Loch Earn. Work is underway to improve the facilities at Loch Venachar with car parking and visitor areas on the south shore receiving attention and some low key landscaping work being done at the north shore car parks. At long last the final Scenic Routes project at Inveruglas is well underway and should be completed in April with an official opening in the early summer. With our sister Park Authority at Cairngorm we have been progressing a funding application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for ‘The Mountains and People Project’. The main aim here is to tackle the erosion on mountain paths. The funding will allow us to press ahead with a five year restoration plan. With the new pontoon at Lomond Shores now operational discussions are underway with operators to see how best to progress the waterbus service on Loch Lomond. Marketing for the letting of The Gateway Centre at Loch Lomond Shore is now underway but in the meantime it is planned to make use of the building for a number of events and activities during 16

the summer season. Craft Fairs, Ceilidhs and a variety of other activities will be promoted with the management being undertaken by Loch Lomond Shores Management Company. One particular event, which proved immensely popular last year, was ‘The Great Scottish Swim’. This open water event will take place this year on 29th August in Loch Lomond and already there are around 1000 entries. Obviously it is essential that there is continuous monitoring of the various initiatives to ensure that any benefits are promoted and where there are failings these are addressed as early as possible. With that in mind the 2015 visitor survey will begin April. The target is for a sampling of some 3000 completed survey cards and 800 email responses. Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows: Post: Tigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead. Phone: 01567 830214 email: owen@thevillageshop.fgsbusiness.co.uk

Race Night in The Lochearnhead Village Hall on 16th May 2015

Mark your diary for a night of fun and hilarity. Proceeds will maintain your village hall. Will you pick the winners? Casual dress. Best ladies hat and men’s jockey prizes. Cash for winning punters. Horse auction! Free entry * Visitors welcome * Licensed Bar * Doors Open 7.00pm


BLS Community Council Broadband in the Balquhidder Area

Tourist Attractions at Mhor 84

We now know that BT and the Digital Scotland project will deliver superfast broadband to Strathyre and Lochearnhead in 2015 but they have decided not to deliver the same service into Balquhidder. This obviously means that residents in Balquhidder and Ballimore will not receive any improvement to their broadband service. It is also likely that those residing in Kingshouse, Balquhidder Station and Stronslaney will be in the same boat. Another outcome is that residents who have opted for a fixed 2 Meg service will loose this facility, once the exchanges have been upgraded, and will have to revert to the variable speed service, which the majority of residents rely on. The further you are from the exchange the slower your broadband speed. Although capital grants could be available for the Balquhidder community to pursue a community scheme the ongoing annual rental costs which the community would have to pick up without the aid of a grant are likely to be substantial and once ISP and usage charges are added this will make this option unsustainable. The Community Council has been pursuing this issue on your behalf with BT, The Scottish Government, local Councillors, MSPs and MPs but moving forward pressure from individual residents will be of great benefit. We would therefore urge that as an effected resident you make your feelings known about the above decision, the importance of broadband to your way of life and the importance of superfast broadband for your future. Below we have provided a list of people we would like you to write to or email and to help we have also provided some bullet points which you might like to use to express your feelings. In doing so please interpret the points in your own words to avoid your letters or emails looking the same. • The rollout of superfast broadband and its target of the maximum number of households’ favours urban areas at the expense of rural areas. This will provide it to many urban consumers who, judging by the poor take up rate, do not want it and ignore the needs of many rural consumers who are desperate for it. If the Royal Mail had been introduced in such a way in 1840 rural areas would not receive the post as they do today. • Email and broadband is essential to me to keep in touch with my friends and family and the current slow speeds affect the ease of sending or receiving

attachments such as photographs. • I regularly use Skype and other social media to keep in touch with friends, family and grandchildren but this is often affected by the current slow broadband speeds. • Because of the lack of good public transport links I regularly use the Internet for shopping and supermarket deliveries. Current slow broadband speeds often make this difficult and a slow, time consuming and frustrating process. • I regularly need to upgrade the software on my computer for security reasons and current slow broadband speeds make this important process difficult and connections can often be broken and timed-out without completing. • I rely on the Internet in pursuing my many hobbies and social groups. This is vital to my wellbeing and is limited by the current broadband provision. • I am unable to receive FM, AM or DAB radio and the current broadband provision means that Internet radio is also often unusable. • There is no Freeview service available where I live and like my neighbours I have to rely on satellite services, which can often be effected by the weather leaving me without any service at all. Superfast broadband would provide me with an alternative service similar to those who live in urban areas. •I operate a business that relies heavily on the Internet. Current Internet provision severely limits this business and hampers its development. Superfast broadband is essential for this business to continue and prosper. Please write or email the following people: John Swinney MSP (In overall charge in Scotland) The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP john.swinney. msp@scottish.parliament.uk Bruce Crawford MSP The Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP bruce. crawford.msp@scottish.parliament.uk Anne McGuire MP House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA anne.mcguire.mp@ parliament.uk Gavin Patterson CEO, BT Group, 81 Newgate Street, London, EC1A 7AJ gavin.e.patterson@bt.com Brendan Dick Director, BT Scotland, Pp2D1A, Alexander Graham Bell House, Edinburgh, EH12 9DH brendan.dick@ bt.com When you have written it would be useful if you would let David Johnston know at: davidandjill1950@hotmail. com or 01877 384227, also if you wish to discuss anything to do with this please contact him as above. 17


Scottish Wildlife Trust In February, Mark Rafferty, Head of the SSPCA Special Investigations Unit, gave a sobering talk on their role in prevention of crimes against domestic and wild animals. SSPCA handles ~200 cases per year, the 60 inspectors having the same statutory powers as police to go onto land and seize evidence. Offences are wide-ranging. Old racehorses with false passports may be sold into the food-chain. Unscrupulous trade in exotics often includes inhumane shipment. Fashionable small cross-breeds of dogs are often imported from puppy farms. While there are none in Scotland, if buying a puppy, make sure you see its parents and owner, especially with breeds like labradoodle! Most people are aware of persecution of protected birds of prey. Less well publicised is the potential extinction of mountain hares by culling to prevent spread of virus-carrying tics to grouse. Some traps and snares are legal but, if not used properly, may be cruel and indiscriminate. However, the intimate involvement of the perpetrators of hare coursing or badger baiting takes cruelty to a different level. A major attraction of baiting badgers is their fighting spirit, frequently leading to serious injuries of dogs used to flush them out. If you see anything suspicious do not approach perpetrators or interfere with equipment. Only if it is safe to do so, record evidence like vehicle registration or take photos then report asap to SSPCA or to Mark (mark.rafferty@scottishsspca. org, tel 07825 310633). On a much lighter note, in March A Badger Scott Donaldson described the work of Butterfly Conservation (BC) and described some of the less frequently seen of the 35 species of Butterflies of Scottish Wildlife Trust Scotland. BC is a charity that aims to halt Callander Local Group Diary the decline of butterflies and moths and April 2015 their habitats. It is heavily dependent on volunteers to carry out surveys and record sightings of butterflies, the results giving Talks start at 7:30pm both current distributions and trends Kirk Hall, South Church Street, with time that can steer conservation actions. BC’s website and leaflets provide Callander. excellent identification guides. Apps are now available; for iPhones from iTunes **Note the change of venue** and for Android devices the Google Store. Did you know that butterflies feed on nectar for energy but do not grow as 14 April adults? Habitat management often targets Brief AGM and increasing food for caterpillars that can several short presentations be very picky while butterflies nectar on a wide range of flowers; eg small pearlbordered fritillary caterpillars eat only The new season of talks will marsh violets while the green hairstreak start in September 2015. feed on blaeberries. Caterpillar growth is determined by both feeding and temperature. Gardeners can supplement EVERYONE WELCOME! flowers for bees and butterflies with a Admission £2 members, patch of nettles in a sunny corner for £2.50 non-members, caterpillars of tortoiseshell, peacocks and free to full-time students. Includes tea/coffee & biscuits. red admirals. On www.butterfly-conservation.org/ Please book with Lesley Hawkins scotland you can find a huge amount of 01877 339080 information, including excellent regional or mlhawkins@tiscali.co.uk identification guides, events and how to get involved. Don’t forget the big 2015 Butterfly Count between 17 July & 9 August. Lesley Hawkins 18

Pearl bordered fritillary


Forth Valley Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) Scottish Charity No. SC037928

Who? Why? When? Where? What? The Grand Forth Valley U3A Quiz is to be held on Friday 17th April at 2pm in the Mayfield Centre, St Ninians, Stirling. Note the date in your diary NOW! This is your chance to give the answers to questions and help your team towards a prize (not as valuable as those offered on TV quiz shows, but to be cherished nevertheless). It will stimulate memory and thinking processes, encourage contribution within a team and offer a challenge, some fun, and of course, tea and cake. That’s covering all the reasons for being in the U3A, so, even if you have yet to join, come along to the quiz! Teams will be formed on the day so the more the merrier.

The Scottish Fiddle Journey – 24th April 2015 An evening of wonderful music with Alastair Savage and his friends. Tickets £10 include wine and nibbles at half time Alastair and his friends are all renowned musicians, well kent on the Folk circuit. Not only are they talented musicians, but many are also composers in their own right. The group will include: Alastair Savage (Fiddle), Euan Drysdale (Guitar), Ewan Roberston (Whistle/Flute), Pete Clark (Fiddle) and Iain Crawford (Bass). Their concert at St Mary’s last year was a resounding success. This is a concert not to be missed ! You can book by calling Mark Seymour on 01786 870710 or emailconcerts0310@yahoo.co.uk 19


The last month has given us all four seasons in the matter of months it would seem! At the start of the month we were treated to a good foot of snow which undoubtedly caused us one or two issues. Then when that melted, we found ourselves with floods and more issues; however thankfully as I write this, there isn’t a cloud in the sky and fingers crossed this may be the start of summer! As the weather gets better, my workload generally begins to increase with the influx of visitors to the loch sides. As the National Park continue to progress the consultation on the proposed byelaws, we need to manage the situation as best as we can as me may not see the byelaws in place until next year. Operation Ironworks has already began over the weekend of the 14th and 15th March; however the formal start will be over the Easter weekend. As some of you will be aware, I mentioned in the public meeting last year, for us to effectively deal with issues as they happen, we need the community to call us. In preparation for the meeting last year, I checked our call system and was shocked to find how few calls had been made regarding issues on the loch sides. I know that the real picture from policing the area week and week. If I am not responding to calls I am out in the area tackling the issues proactively; however if calls are received to another area, say Loch Venacher, then that is where police will be sent to. In short, if you see an issue, call us. I’m still more than happy to receive emails regarding the issues if you want to pass on more information; however if I am on days off, it could often be a few days until I pick up the message. As well as Operation Ironworks, you may have noticed a lot more high visibility road checks. This is covering various issues and the operations will be continuing over the coming weeks. Operation Bionic will be run in this area in the coming weeks, led by myself and my Crianlarich colleague, as part of a National campaign tackling Bogus Workmen. This has been used effectively in this area before and I am hoping for good results once again. The other high profile check is part of Operation Quarterlight, which is again a National campaign aimed at tackling vehicle crime. Operation Quarterlight is being implemented throughout Scotland to identify and target those responsible for vehicle break-ins and thefts. Each week, across Scotland, since November 2014 more than 70 vehicles have been stolen. In addition, each week, 20

more than 230 vehicles have either been broken into or had items stolen from them having been left insecure. The advice being issued nationally, is what I have reported in the last two issues:“Don’t make your car a target for crime; remove all your valuables and don’t leave them in sight; always secure your vehicle, never leave it unattended or with the keys still in the ignition. Don’t leave your keys anywhere they can be easily stolen – leaving them by a house door or hallway is a gift to criminals. Take some simple steps to change your habits and together we can better Police Recruitment Poster from 1839 prevent crime.” There have been a few recent thefts of fuel in the area, whether that be siphoning fuel from vehicles fuel tanks, or targeting domestic heating tanks. Again consider the security of any fuel storage and if in doubt, get in touch with me and I am happy to discuss security arrangements with you. As always, I can always be contacted on 101 or for those who prefer email, I can be Photo ‘A Diamond in the snow’ curtesy of contacted directly at william.diamond@ Alistair Barclay scotland.pnn.police.uk. Regards, PC Will Diamond


Gardening

APRIL

by Jonathan MacDonald

The old adage by Thomas Fuller in his work Gnomologia, 1732, “He that plants trees loves others beside himself ” is beautifully phrased as is the old proverb to “plant pears for your heirs” and to add to both these great observations and in print for the first time “Plant Plums for your Chums”. For those who have a good bearing plum tree you will know the saying has some accuracy for a welldeveloped tree will provide perhaps not in every year, as they are often biennial bearers, a plentiful supply of delicious engaging fruit. It is worth observing that plums are particular about their martial arrangements similar to eating apples. Self-fertile varieties are fine and planted singly will give abundant crops but if you are going for some of the more exotic varieties then you need to check that they have others nearby for pollination. Victoria, our most common variety and known to the veriest schoolboy is selffertile and should crop well on its own. If it happens to be nearby czar or opal then you can guarantee good pollination. You could try the trick of tying a rabbits tail to a cane and do the work of the insects and bees yourself if you know you have self-infertile varieties or get from a friend some shoots that are just coming into flower and hang them in the tree in a jar of water to help the process along. Shop bought Victoria plums lack flavour as they are picked when unripe so leave fruit (known as drupes) on the tree until they are fully ripe and deep purple in colour. Flowering on plums happens early in the season and so a hard late frost in Perthshire may explain why you get a barren crop now and then and this should influence positions for planting a tree. Avoid frost pockets which are typically hollows or up against a wall that frost cannot escape from. Frost tends to run down rivers which can be an advantage in this area. Czar is a great variety which is a good eater, is self-fertile and has good frost resistance! Pruning is not that complicated and little is done except removing diseased wood and crossing branches in late Autumn. The fruit develops on short stocky twigs that are a couple of years old and if allowed to develop then fruiting should take place freely. The leader shoots on the end of each branch should be lightly tipped during growth. Do not be tempted to hack away at an old tree, just take out over a two to four year period the most poor looking branches, do not saw out large limbs but take only one or two each year. Feeding with sulphate of potash is a good bet or with manure and

“Plant Plumbs for your Chums”

to help ensure good quality fruit and to assist in what is called “stoning” then the ground should be sweetened up with some ground lime. This is also good for apples as well to prevent bitter pit, small unsightly depressions in the flesh. We are pretty acidic around here and therefore “sour” so in the absence of lime or ground chalk the small developing fruits can fall to the ground wholesale fashion a month or so after setting. Harvesting should be done several times and it is advisable to leave the stocks on the fruit to reduce the likelihood of rotting. Scissors are good for harvesting and I would recommend a wonderful company called Ernest Wright Ltd who make the best scissors in the world the old fashioned way. Plum wood was used in olden days to make bagpipes and is still being

used today. Julian Goodacre turns and produces pipes from old seasoned trees which tend to have strange characters of their own. The wood is full of resinous pockets making turning a challenge but when complete the wood mellows to a rich dark nut brown and although not as hard as African Blackwood is still a great wood that turns and finishes well. Now if you want to go and see lots of plums growing then take a trip to Serbia. They produce more plums than any country outside of China, the drupes having the status of both their national fruit and drink (plum brandy) their equivalent to our whisky in culture. Although they distil 400,000 litres of plum brandy a year we could say they are “onto plums” when you think Islay alone knocks out 25 million litres of malt annually.

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Rangers’ Review

By Gareth Kett Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Something was different I noticed as I scanned the shelves of Owen’s store in Locheanhead for provisions. That was it – at the end of a long winter, whose icy grip still persists, hardy fishermen are once more buying permits heralding the beginning of a new brown trout fishing season. While we look forward to welcoming responsible fishermen and campers, Operation Ironworks will again be in evidence this season as NP Rangers team up with Police Scotland to deter anti-social behavior. The salmon fishermen, of course, have been out braving the elements since midJanuary, but such is the plight of Atlantic salmon that only catch-and-release fishing is permitted until 1st April. A mandatory conservation order was laid in Parliament late last year in order to protect our declining wild salmon stocks. It will run for five years and prohibits the taking of wild salmon in Scotland until 1st April each year. Among the reasons for this are sea-lice infestations from fish farms (1,2), overfishing, pollution of water courses, sedimentation due to erosion from agriculture and forestry, reduced fitness of wild salmon offspring following breeding with fish farm escapees, and climate change induced shifts in ocean prey distribution (2). Within the Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Authority we promote sustainable fishing practices and climate change mitigation. We also encourage people of all ages to get involved in active field conservation through events and education programmes. One such programme is the ‘Salmon in the Classroom’ (SITC) initiative which is funded and coordinated by the Tay Foundation, but implemented by schools within the River Tay catchment and associated ranger services. The NP Ranger Service has now been delivering the SITC programme for five years, alternating between Crianlarich and Killin Primary schools. This year it’s the turn of Crianlarich. The pupils learn about the salmon life-cycle, the contribution of salmon to the local 22

economy, their place in the ecosystem, threats and conservation. They’ve also been made custodians of 100 salmon eggs, (supplied by the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board), which they will monitor until the alevins (hatchling fish) hatch out. We’ll then build an artificial redd (nest) in a suitable spawning ground on the Benmore Burn near Crianlarich, where the children will release the alevins. There will be an opportunity for these young conservationists to visit the fishery at Almondbank, before we return to Benmore Burn in June for a spot of electro-fishing that will allow the pupils to see the fry and parr stages of the salmon life-cycle. In a separate conservation initiative the Ranger Service has continued carrying out winter season Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) surveys across the National Park. WeBS forms part of the UK’s commitment, under the Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (1999), to monitor, assess and protect migratory bird populations. A number of partners and volunteers are involved in WeBS in the Breadalbane area, with our Ranger Service being responsible for the Loch Earn and Loch Lubnaig surveys. Birds of prey are also monitored in WeBS surveys. This year’s species lists were: Loch Earn: Mallard, Goldeneye, Tufted duck, Goosander, Little Grebe, Mute swan, Canada goose, Grey heron, Cormorant, Dipper, Kingfisher, Grey wagtail, Pied wagtail, Reed bunting, Oystercatcher, Great Black-backed gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Black-headed gull, Common Gull, Common buzzard and Red kite. Loch Lubnaig: Mallard, Goldeneye, Tufted duck, Goosander, Little Grebe, Mute swan, Whooper swan, Canada goose, Grey heron, Cormorant, Dipper, Pied wagtail, Oystercatcher, Lesser blackbacked gull, Black-headed gull, Common Gull and Common buzzard. Lubnaig and Earn are reasonable lochs for viewing migratory water fowl, but the best that I’m aware of in

the Breadalbane area is Loch Dochart which, due to its shallow nature, supports healthy freshwater plant and invertebrate communities, providing over winter food for a range of ducks, geese, swans and grebes. It’s been great to see a number of defibrillators installed around the Breadalbane area. I’m pleased to say that one of these has been installed outside the Lochearnhead National Park office. No access to the building is needed and the defibrillator cabinet will always be unlocked, so the defibrillator can be used whether or not the office is manned. Finally an apology. In February’s Ranger Review I wrote that there were no ‘top’ predators in the UK, when I had meant to write that we have no ‘mammalian top predators’. In ecological terms a top, or ‘apex’ predator is a species which, in its adult form and in good health, sits at the top of the food chain. While, to the detriment of our ecosystem and landscape, we have wiped out all our top mammal predators, their avian counterparts (the golden and white-tailed sea eagle), still grace our skies, albeit in low numbers. The eagle owl, debatably a native species, can also be found in low numbers in parts of the UK. As usual if you have anything you wish to discuss or any wildlife sightings to report you are welcome to drop into the Lochearnhead office, or you can contact me by e-mail at gareth.kett@ lochlomond-trossachs.org, or call me 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.

References 1. Salmon and Trout Association website: http://www.salmon-trout.org/news_item. asp?news_id=322 2. Sime, I. 2003. River Runners, Freshwater pearl mussel, Atlantic salmon and Lampreys, SNH Design and Publications, Battleby, Perth 3. The Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) website: http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/webs/ about


New arrival in Balquhidder Erin Freya Kett (left) was born on Wednesday 18 March by cesarian section and along with mother Karen is doing fine. Welcome Erin!

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Rusty McD is back with another 5-minute interview about animal pals in the community - furry, feathered or scaly...

5 minutes with... Ava, Linzi, Mum and Dad

On a chilly March afternoon I went into the warm and cosy home of five year old Ava who lives with her Mum, Linzi, Dad, Robin and her Grandparents in Strathyre. So Ava, what pets do you have? Ava: A cat, a dog, fish and a crested gecko. How many fish are there? (Ava runs off to count them) Ava: 3 fish, a snail and a baby fish. Did you buy the baby fish or did the big fish make the baby fish? Ava: The big fish made the baby Granddad spotted him one day then told me. What does the snail do? Ava: He cleans the tank of algae. He plunges on with his mouth – he’s like a Hoover. He even eats paint off the ornaments because he thinks it is algae. (A huge brown Labrador called Charlie wanders in) Ava: Charlie has a big foot – he has a tumour. He wasn’t ours, he was Auntie Shona’s but he had to come and live with us because he ate the coffee table and the seat belts and shoes and slippers and all Granddad’s stuff. Robin: He even ate a set of full length blinds. Ava: If you pat him on the head it’s a lot softer. How old is Charlie? Ava: 10 this year - we know that because in dog years he is the same as Granddad - and his full name is Charlie Little Jeddie Tindal. What does Charlie like to do? Ava: He always barks at people who to come to the door – he thinks it’s a robber but it isn’t always. Linzi: He likes sleeping with Billy on a couch in the kitchen. We bought the couch for Ava’s room but it got too big so went into kitchen and Charlie claimed it. Tell me about the cat? Robin: Billy is 2. We got him for Ava’s 2nd birthday. He stayed under the bed for a week when he first arrived – he was a feral cat from the Cat’s Protection. I picked the one that hissed at me. His original name was ‘Bowie’ but Ava couldn’t say it so he became ‘Billy’. Do you think the dog and cat can talk to one another? Ava: Maybe in their own voice that we don’t understand. They playfight sometimes and the cat bites the dogs tail and the dog wags her tail. The dog playfights with his mouth but they never hurt one another. 24

Ava with Charlie

I’ve never seen a crested gecko before – can you tell me about him? Linzi: He is called Panilla – we got him for Ava’s 3rd birthday. He’s about 8 inches long and is a weird yellowy, grey, green – he changes colour depending on the light. Ava: He is sometimes is a bit silly and comes out in daylight. He is not supposed to come out during the day. Linzi: He eats live crickets. He doesn’t eat gecko food – we try giving it to him with some apple puree but he just poops in the bowl. What’s it like sleeping whilst he is awake? Ava: It’s a bit weird. He rustles around in the bushes in his house - especially when the cat tries to chase him. Does he come out of his tank much? Linzi: He used to but I think it scares him. A gecko’s defence mechanism is to throw off its tail. The tail continues to move for up to 10 seconds after the gecko has thrown it. Crested geckos can only do it once. Leopard geckos can grow their tails back. Blood vessels slam shut and seal the wound immediately so there’s no blood loss. I tried to pick the tail up after Panilla had thrown it but it wrapped itself around my fingers which freaked me out. If he gets out of the tank he can be anywhere – he can go up walls, hide behind furniture or on the ceiling – he has Velcro-like bits on his toes so he can cling on to anything. Do you think he’d like a friend? Linzi: Geckos like to be solitary – in company they would just fight to the death. Two girl geckos can live together but boy and girl can’t without killing one another. What’s the funniest thing about your pets? Ava: Our old dog had meat flavoured toothpaste – Grandad thought it was his and brushed his teeth with it and he’s a vegetarian.

Ava with Billy

(I managed to glimpse Panilla’s eye and head through the bushes in his tank but he was sleeping so we didn’t disturb him for a photo.)


Farm Forum: A blight on potato consumption... I quote a well known contributor to the Scottish Farmer. “I’d like to share my struggle for an opening line for this week’s column with you.” I am having the same problem without being accused of complaining,and I don’t think I will succeed! I am not an expert on milk but as I have reported before, producers are having a very hard time, in many cases selling below the cost of production. The same is now happening in the potato industry. Potatoes are a big part of Scotland’s agricultural output and to put it into context, in 2013 potatoes represented 9% of our total agricultural output. The share of output coming from potatoes is three times higher in Scotland than it is in England - so potatoes are important to us. The underlying fact is that potato consumption has been falling over the last 70 years and there is no easy formula for reversing that trend. The new Common Agricultural Policy came in to being on 1st Jan . The new Scottish £100m on-line Rural Payments and Services computer has just come on line and dates are being fixed for making applications etc. The trouble is that at time of writing there appear to be substantial teething problems, quite apart from the fact there are still some important details of the scheme to be confirmed by Brussels. It is still early days but I have heard the computer friendliness of the system questioned. More and more important things have to be done on line now, but for farmers this can be a problem. Despite all the announcements regarding increasing broadband speed, those in the country, furthest away from exchanges, in some cases cannot get adequate reception, and others have had to use satellite broadband at considerable cost. Funnily enough this, I would think, affects the majority of farmers! It is an accepted fact that the new CAP, despite earlier indications, is even more complicated than its predecessor. As Richard Wright in his Euro notebook says, “This is no surprise given that the core policy is 55 years old and has an annual budget that tops £30bn. It has grown from covering six countries with similar agriculture industries, to covering 28 very different countries in terms of climate, scale and farm enterprises. Managing to do that has meant years of compromise, and the end product is a policy with Byzantine rules, which with the latest reforms has become even more complex.” Alyn Smith, our MEP for Scotland, has been working on the Agricultural Committee in Brussels for some years now. This committee has just put its proposals for simplification to the new Commissioner Phil Hogan, who I referred to in a recent article and who has said one of his priorities is exactly that, simplification. To go in to all the proposals would bore you so I will just mention two. Firstly “cross compliance penalties”. These are penalties applied when mistakes are discovered during inspections. We are not talking about intentional violations but simply errors. As the rules become more complicated these become more likely and action should be proportional. Secondly the Electronic Identification of sheep (EID). Just now the regulations require all sheep to be double tagged with an individual number as well as the farm number, and one of the tags must be electronic. There are many problems with this scheme including a health problem and advantages in the hill situation are minimal. As a cross compliance requirement, this is relevant for CAP reform, but their proposal suggests a derogation that would allow sheep to be identified by a single, non electronic tag, with a farm number instead of an individual number. The derogation would end when the sheep was moved from the farm of birth, at which point double tagging with the individual number etc., would come back in to play.

More Chips Please

Callander 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. incallander.co.uk/ramblers.htm in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: APRIL 2015 • Wed 1 April 09:30 Stroll: Greystone and Arnhall Wood (5.5 miles) Contact 01786 825682 • Sat 11 April 08:30 Hill: Ben Venue (727m) Contact 01877 382924 • Wed 15 April 09:30 Ramble: Kilmahog to Loch Katrine (GTFP) (11miles) Contact 01877 376340 • Wed 22 April 09:30 Ramble: The Loch Leven Trail (12miles) Contact 01577 862799 • Wed 29 April 09:30 Stroll: Yellowcraig Wood (4miles) Contact 01786 833384 MAY 2015 • Wed 6 May 09:30 Stroll: Lochan Allt a’ Chip Dhuibh (4miles) Contact 01877 339323 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! Visitors and non-members welcome. 25


T H E V I L L A G ERS ’ TRADE DIRECTORY

We’ll send you or your friends The

Villagers

£15.00 for 11 monthly issues (£40.00 for Europe and £50.00 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................................

Cheques for advertising and mail order subscriptions should be made out to: The BLS Newspaper Association

26


S U P P O RT Y O UR LOCAL S UP P LIERS !

EOIN CAMPBELL

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 e.campbell147@btinternet.com

Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: graphicsandprint@stir.ac.uk Published by The BLS Newspaper Association

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

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

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

Andrew Poulter Business Manager Coire a’ Chroine Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384741

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

contac t@the -villagers.org.uk 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 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 Hall - 9.45am to 10.45am (contact Abbey Arkotxa 0776 6407578) Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am to 12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Pilates - Balquhidder Hall - 6pm to 7pm (contact Abbey Arkotxa 0776 6407578) Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00 to 9.00pm Choir Occasional - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm to 9pm (call Gill Allan 01877 384203) Metafit Classes - Strathyre Village Hall - 8.00pm Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon (Contact Mel Brydie 01877 384668) Ballroom Dancing - Lochearnhead Hall

Other Contacts...

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

APRIL 2015 3 - 5 11 11 - 18 16 19 24 25 23 - 24 29 - 31

MAY 2015 2 16 18

Easter Services - see p8 Race Night - The Inn & Bistro The Great Trossachs Funfest - see p11 Kongero Singing Workshop - see p20 Loch Earn Boat Race Scottish Fiddle Workshop - see p19 Srpring Dance - Balquhidder - see p9 Mhor Festival - Balquhidder - see p23 Strathyre Music Festival - see p11 Stuc a’ Chroin Hill Race - New Route - see p7 Race Night - Lochearnhead Villahe Hall - see p16 Music by the Loch - U3A - see p5

Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 earlm@stirling.gov.uk Councillor Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 924 hayesa@stirling.gov.uk Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07824 496 019 woodf@stirling.gov.uk

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

Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316 Sunday 11.30am Minister: Vacancy Enquiries to Interim Moderator: Revd Stuart Fulton 01786 463060 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 Every Sunday: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fifth Sundays in the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453

Tv april 2015 small file  

St Fillans, Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead community news. Strathyre Primary school, Tribute to Tommy McGregor 1930-2015, Hannah I...

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