Page 1

MAY 2014


Price 50p

The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

‘A quick scratch before I devour all your prize flowers’... Old Nyati captures some fauna in his flora! Read his piece on page 13.

I am a Year

Hamish celebrates his first birthday

E d i t o r ’s B i t I hope I will be excused a very personal approach to this ‘bit’ with this photo and poem (right) about our youngest grandson in Australia. So many people have continued to ask over the year about Hamish after he appeared last year as a very tiny baby in his incubator. He is still very small but full of life; he has an amazing commando crawl! Being with him for his first birthday on Easter Saturday was a lovely occasion for us all. Back to work now - and it would be nice to be able to take the credit for the way themes seem to flow through the different articles this month: the different aspects of village life; the challenges of gardening in a country setting, and dogs in rural areas - are all discussed, but it is just coincidence that they are discussed by more than one contributor. Please feel free to submit your own views and responses to any of our articles, as we wish to reflect all opinions. Finally I hope we’ll soon be enjoying some great weather - particularly for the holiday weekend, when so much entertainment seems on offer (as you will see in this month’s pages). If you would like to publicise future events, we will be pleased to JJ include as many as we can.


9.1 ºC 14.0 2.0 -3.8

48.3 ºF 57.0 35.6 25.0

Rainfall 16.2cms 6.5ins Strongest wind gust: 44mph on 20 March 2


This is to let you know that there will be no more concerts in the Summer Music series for the foreseeable future. Full details (and a final video-clip from last year) are on the website Thank you for playing, organising, supporting, helping! Kind regards, Wouter van Doorn Balquhidder Summer Music (former chairman)


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

33 weeks you let out your first cry Our son, our world, our sky I am here, I am here So perfect, so small, so meek Afraid almost, to take a first peek You are here, son, you are here A head lies asleep on my chest A hand, like a spider, it rests You are here, son, you are here The warmth of glass, your first home We long to touch, to hold you alone You are here, son, you are here Your strength, it grows and it grows You hands, your feet, your tiny toes You are here, son, you are here The day comes, we’re granted a reprieve A doctor’s nod, at last, we can leave You are home, son, you are home A cot, a warm room and a teddy A baby boy, are we ready? I am here, mummy, I am here Sleepless nights, and newborn cries Not so bad, when there are no goodbyes I am here, daddy, I am here An older sibling, who taunts you alive A love that binds, through all you thrive I am here, brother, I am here On a birthday cake rests a single flame A toothy grin, forever shall I reign I am a year, I am a year

organised by the Lochearnhead Ballroom Dancing Class

Dancing to the Ian

Milligan Band 7.30 for 8.00pm

Buffet • Raffle (in aid of Breast Cancer) Ballroom and Ceilidh Dancing • BYOB

Tickets - £8.00 (including the Buffet) available from Mary Barclay 01567 830453

Balquhidder Free Pilates taster sessions running in Balquhidder on: Wednesday 23rd & 27th April Times to suit attendees. To try a class call 07766 407 578 or email You do not need to be fit, strong, young or stretchy but you will gain core strength, improved flexibility & posture, reduced neck/back/ shoulder stiffness.

The St Fillans Bit It was interesting to receive the village circular from Richard Graham regarding the revival of Boules playing at The Drummond this summer. A group of villagers over refreshments decided that it would be a good idea to gather on fine Thursday evenings (or any other time) at The Drummond to partake of Boules, otherwise known as Petanque, on the existing but overgrown ‘Boulodrome’ in front of the hotel on the foreshore. Thus Richard took it unto himself to revive the boule area and promote the pastime. He is pictured right, using his rake to good effect. I gather that the first boules evening last week (17th April) was well attended and well enjoyed with a late night in the back bar ensuing. That got me into philosophical mode and I pondered on the way that village life in a place like St Fillans is constantly regenerated. I came to the village 24 years ago and was a relative youngster by St Fillans standards still with loads of energy and a wish to be involved in village life. The older village stalwarts like Bob Watson & Nisbett Cunningham were still active and The Drummond was the focal point of village life. And on a summer evening we would sit on the grass on the foreshore, kids and dogs swimming and adults ….. playing Boules. We youthful 50+ year olds began taking over organising things like bonfire night, Christmas carols and such like, which eventually led to the founding of the Festive Weekend, the Hogmanay Party etc. Happy days. But we all get older and

by John Murray lose enthusiasm and energy and that is when our village needs the rejuvenating effect of new blood, younger incomers to the community who are keen to be a part of village life. I was in a minority in being supportive of the Genesis Dundurn Walk development a few years back because I saw this as a great opportunity to bring new blood into the village. And so it did. At a recent Hall / Trust AGM a villager said to me ‘I had no idea how much Johnston Brown does for the village’. Trish is a brilliant CC secretary. Don worked tirelessly to get us our defibrillator. Dave is the best Rab C we ever had (and the only one). Sorry to mention but a few because there are many, but I think that the point about newcomers is demonstrated. Now big Richard, only here for a few months but seems to be involved in everything – his excuse is that he gets bored easily! Of course there are plenty of long term villagers who graft away keeping the community working (I hope I’m one) and nothing above is meant to denigrate those efforts – let’s just be glad that support is incoming and that St Fillans keeps regenerating. Which is all a handy link into the proposed final phases of Dundurn Walk. The developer’s new web site which I mentioned last month has received about 160 ‘hits’ in the past few weeks but, I gather, very little feedback. As we know the developer is now required to submit plans for the whole of the rest of the site and these will be completed shortly

Richard raking with vigour!

and be shown on the website and in the Village Store. PKC have requested an additional access off Station Road to the North of Sunset (Kiloran) to feed the remaining development and tight bends in the development itself to slow traffic. Two existing villagers have already indicated an interest in buying a property once detailed Planning is granted. My personal feelings on the development are that sooner or later the whole scheme will be built so sooner rather than later. There have been problems with the first phase, which hopefully will be resolved by the newly created development company. The web site gives easy opportunity to give input and it is in the best interests of Marcus & Co to listen to that input and try to accommodate it. Completion of a part built scheme and the arrival of more ‘new blood’ can, I think, only be good for St Fillans. Continued overleaf


The St Fillans Bit (Continued from Page 3)

Last month I reported the intended opening of The Drummond main bar by the end of March. Obviously the Arran plans were somewhat optimistic as it still is not open as I write (24th April) and manager Jeremy is sensibly not now committing himself to an opening date but hopes that it will be by the start of May. It comes as no great surprise to hear from Jeremy of continuing problems with the structure and services of the building – the old main boiler (originally recovered from The Titanic I understand) has had to be removed, revealing asbestos and its cost horrors, and a new boiler arrives next week. Parts of the roof which were thought to be ‘sorted’ have now shown structural rot which requires remedy. But on the plus side much of the equipment required to construct the micro brewery has now been delivered and the outbuildings are being stripped to allow assembly of the plant which will be carried out by two experienced brewers from Arran before local staff are employed to operate it. An existing timber outbuilding will be utilised for cider brewing. Work on the coffee shop at the front of the hotel is progressing with a view to being operational by the first of May. Villager Kay Naitby, pictured with the coffee machine, will be running the coffee shop which

Kay the Coffee!

intends to offer a wide variety of high calorie but very tempting tasties to go with the coffee (or tea). Kay’s role fits in well with her continued running of the present boat hire business at The Drummond operated with husband Dave. Kay is presently in America researching the very latest developments in the US coffee market to adapt those to the St Fillans market (well she is in America anyway). Jeremy is keen to employ as many local staff as possible as the hotel comes on stream and whilst experience is an advantage he would like to hear from anyone locally who wants part or full time employment and is keen and enthusiastic to be involved in what he calls a ‘happy environment’. I understand that some 20% of villagers took up the ‘crowd funding’ share offer which ended on 4th April. I now own shares in Arran Brewers worth 20 pence, 4

and a certificate to prove it! At least I’ll get 20% off a burger & chips when the place opens. Happy to report from Lynda & Dave Pryde that their latest Quiz Night fund raiser for Cancer Research held in Crieff raised £906 – up on last year despite fewer teams competing. Lynda would like thanks noted to Johnston, Frances and Andrea for their hard work. Back to my earlier comments on newcomers to our village. My monthly update from Mary at The Four Seasons reminds all diners in the Bistro or Restaurant to fill in a comments card for the annual draw to win 2 Nights DBB in A Superior Room. This year’s winner was Kay Naitby (who obviously won it before Andrew knew she was going to work in The Drummond). From now till the end of August the Tarken will be open all day on Friday & Saturday serving the full Bistro menu – with the option of cream teas any afternoon proving very popular. As an exhotelier I still watch with interest how busy the local hotels are and the brilliant Easter Weekend weather had The Four Seasons heaving all day for 4 days. I met chef Didier on the Tuesday after the weekend and he was happy but tired. Scotland’s best Pot Wash, Roddie, was equally chuffed by the busy weekend and was delighted to have worked back to back shifts to keep pace. I think that Roddie is as proud of the hotel as Andrew & Mary are. On 9th May at noon the new Glentarken Bridge will be officially opened and a great credit to all involved. I’ve said before that my cynical view was that it would never happen. Glad to be proved wrong. At the recent Community Trust AGM a superb video was shown of the construction of the bridge, with starring roles for Geoff HC and Johnston – but, more poignant, a cameo appearance of the late Ron Wellens. I understand that the video was filmed the day before Ron died but it’s showing was sanctioned by the family. A very good decision as the film will be a lasting memory of a great guy. With the bridge open our lady villagers have become very conscious of the danger of marauding throngs surging East from Lochearnhead hell bent on rape and pillage. Indeed I met two such dangerous folk a couple of days ago on the railway track, dodgy looking people wearing pseudo hiking gear, funny hats, dark glasses and carrying big sticks. Interrogation of the couple revealed them to be Pam & Lawrie Hopkins in disguise – but I must admit to being scared at first sight and reassured by having my King Charles Spaniel for protection. With the threat in mind classes in unarmed combat are being held for the ladies in The Hall run by the Egyptian Martial Arts Master Omar Gouliss. Our

“It’s worse than that - he’s dead, Jim!”

picture above shows one of the village ladies having felled a giant of a man with one kick, and checking for signs of life. We can all sleep safely knowing that our women can protect us. You will all know that The Great Loch Earn Boat Race trailled last month was cancelled due to the high winds and serious waves on the loch. A sound plan – these events are fun fund raisers by amateur ‘idiots’ – and should not involve real risk. I hear from Richard Steventon that the race might be rescheduled for later in the year. Hopefully all those who pledged or donated sponsorship funds will let those funds go to Cancer Research even if the race is not rerun. John Murray (2014 Award Winning Journalist – aye... right, Jimmy!) STOP PRESS... Regarding the above report on progress at The Drummond - I have been advised today (28th April) by manager Jeremy that he and his wife will be leaving the hotel this week. I’m not sure how that affects the overall plans but it is not very positive news.  Those interested will know that it was Jeremy’s interpretation of the share issue prospectus that the 20% discount on food and drink for shareholders would apply at the Drummond although not stated in the prospectus.  We have to hope that his replacement interprets the prospectus the same way.

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


Real Ale - Real Music


See centrespread, page 14/15

24/25 May 2014

24/25 May 2014

Strathyre News

BLS – Where Business Does the Talking

by Iona Mchedliani

Having moved back to Scotland and into Leitters Farmhouse at Balquhidder Station, Neil Law is a local computer expert and repairs professional with a wealth of experience from working in the industry for many years. Here he talks in detail about his business, the services he provides, and what he enjoys most about living in the area. How long have you been based in the area? We moved here a year ago last February from Dorset in the South West of England. What made you decide to start your computer repairs business? The company where I used to work for twelve years had the main contract with PC World, so anything that was bought from PC World and needed fixing would be sent down to the south coast where we would repair it, and with a five day turnaround, send it back. When we decided to move up here I thought to myself that this would be something that I could do from home that I could offer people an alternative to taking their computers to Stirling and Perth for repair, and so I decided to give it a go and see if I could make it work. What kind of services do you offer? It is mostly laptops, though I do deal with PCs as well. Anything from broken screen and power port replacement, through to physical damage, software problems and anti-virus issues. I have also received calls where perhaps the WiFi connection has stopped, or their printer is not responding, and I have resolved these over the phone when I can. So you deal with both hardware and software issues? Yes, I can do both. Do you use a send-in service or do you visit customers’ individual locations? At the moment I reckon that seventy percent of the work that I’ve been doing has been travelling to people’s homes, the remainder has been customers dropping things off with me here at Leitters Farm. There have been occasions where I’ve gone to somebody’s house and I have not been able to do the job there, because maybe something needs re-soldering for example, so I’ve had to take the unit away, repair it and then deliver it back later. Does your work cover all types of technical equipment, including mobile phones, or is it more specific? It’s just computers at the moment. I am contemplating tablets, but because there’s such a range of tablets out there, they’re

almost made not to be fixed, so if they break, they break. You can repair them but it is tricky to do. As I’m contemplating branching out in that direction, I have bought myself one for the sole purpose of taking it apart and putting it back together again just to get used to it. Do you provide a warranty with your services? I work on a no-fix, no-fee basis; if I can’t fix the issue then I don’t charge. People just tend to give me some money for fuel in cases like that, which I really appreciate. What is the extent of the area that you cover? From Crianlarich and Killin, as well as down Loch Tay, then down as far as Doune, so that includes Lochearnhead, Balquhidder, Callander and Thornhill. Overall, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Callander and Killin seem to be the main bases, but there are a few outlying ones. How would you say that living in a rural area affects your kind of business? I think finding a way to let the local communities know you are here and what you can offer is a major challenge, especially in the beginning. The other major challenge is the time it can take to get from job to job and the cost of the fuel to do it. On the plus side, once people know your work, they are happy to recommend you and appear really encouraging of a local business starting up. So how do you advertise your business? I have adverts in The Villagers, the Killin News, and in the Ben Ledi View. I also have a Google advert, am on Facebook and use business cards, flyers and word of mouth. What are the difficulties, if any, that you face in this specific line of work, and on the plus side – what would you say are the advantages? One of the challenges is sourcing parts from my suppliers, at a reasonable price, and with a quick delivery time. This can delay a repair, which is frustrating but there is no alternative as there are so many different makes and models and parts, that holding stock here is not a viable option. Another challenge can be when I cannot find the fault, this might be an issue, but I am lucky that I have good contacts who also work in the business, and we bounce ideas off each other and eventually work out the problem. I remember on one occasion I picked up a laptop at ten in the morning, there were numerous faults with it, not just the one, and I eventually delivered it back to the customer the same night at eleven o’clock. Do you mainly encounter things like

Neil Law

broken screens and problems with the hardware of a unit more than the software? It is a mixture, but yes, it is mostly physical damage. Software issues can be where people have downloaded something or unwanted things have appeared, having piggybacked on the back of the download and caused issues which I’ve then had to clear up. I do a lot of clean-ups, people say “why is it running slow?” and I say “because there are twenty different programmes that shouldn’t be here!” So is it from working at your previous company that you have all this knowledge and experience, or are you self-taught too? I learnt mostly through the company I worked for, I was lucky that they had the main contracts for a number of well known companies, which offered me a great learning experience. When you’re working in a company with 170 guys, if you don’t have the knowledge about something, somebody will and they can point you in the right direction. There is also an element of picking things up as you go; as soon as you’ve done it once, you know for the next time. Finally, what would say is your favourite thing about living in the area? The view! We live at Leitters Farmhouse, which is behind Balquhidder Braes Holiday Park, and from my garden I can see Balquhidder, I can see the tip of Loch Voil, and if I look to the right I can see Lochearnhead. Two days are never the same. One day there could be fog down on the A84, and beautiful sunshine above. The next minute you might see the wind and rain coming from the Loch, spreading right across. It’s fantastic! It’s wonderful. The only downside is the midges! I think we can all agree with that! For computer repairs and services please contact Neil at Leitters Farmhouse on 01567 830314 or at 7

d a e



es rnh n Li ea ch o L

Calling Lochearnhead! It’s Soap-Box Time... If you’re a resident of Lochearnhead, then may I suggest that before you read further, you might want to find the nearest mirror - look in it, and ask yourself - what was I doing on Saturday evening, 12th April?

(If you live elsewhere in the local area then please read on.) So, Lochearnhead people - worked it out yet? Apart from the twenty people from the Village who were supporting the fund raising quiz in the Village Hall, the remaining 580 (or so) of you must have had a really busy schedule to deal with. My apologies if this is a somewhat hard hitting opener. Isn’t that what soapboxes are supposed to do? But on this particular evening some locals were helping raise money for the purchase of a defibrillator and ancillary equipment, which, to be blunt, could well help save your life! Let me explain. The quiz was an opportunity for the village community to come together. Yes, every single one of us - and boy - is that opportunity needed just now. After recent events - what with break-ins and just the week before, some moron setting fire to the Watersports Centre, we need the whole village to look at where we’re at, and to come out from behind the closed curtains; to consider how best we can help each other. And what of the defibrillator? The BLS Community Trust has been raising funds so that each of our villages - Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre - can benefit. 8

These bits of kit could be ready and available in case you, a family member or indeed your neighbour take a real turn for the worst. It could take quite a long time for the paramedics to get to you. In that interval of time the ‘first responders’ with their kit could well be the life savers. In the end we had seven teams for the quiz and two of them came from Strathyre, for which we should say a very big ‘thank you’. A great and fun evening ensued with the winning team ‘SAJ’ scrapping home as the winners. Not that that really mattered, because at the end of the evening (and thanks also to a very generous donation from one participant) we raised something around £370. A fantastic effort, from such a small number of people. My wife and I had simply been asked to put the quiz together, which we gladly did, and of course it enabled us to join in the fun too. But, people of Lochearnhead, there is the serious matter of where this village is at just now. I’ve been in this area for over twenty-two years now, the last eleven of them living just outside the village. I’ve always taken a very keen and active interest in events taking place in the area, but one thing I’ve always been aware of is the lack of community spirit in the village. Why is this? People put on events in the Village Hall - and the Hall Committee members themselves have tried a number of different events to involve the locals. I’ve been specifically involved with Mary

A sad sight...

in running the Ballroom Dancing classes in the Village Hall for nine years, and how many locals attend? Not one. All our attendees come from Comrie, Killin and Strathyre/Balquhidder. I’m trying to get you all to metaphorically look in that mirror and ask yourselves: “what could I do to help and support my local community?” The recent fire in the Watersports Centre won’t help the village. It’s yet another (hopefully, temporary) nail in the coffin for the village, because any passing tourists are going to simply pass on by. We need tourism – desperately. That’s what helps keep local people employed and living locally so that we can all enjoy this fabulous environment that we have. You know and I know that this is a great area, so let’s just put the icing on the cake and take it a couple of notches upwards. This article isn’t aimed at anyone in particular. Far from it; I’d like to think it’s something of a wake-up call before the village plunges even further on to that downward spiral. I hope it will provoke some thoughts, even discussion and by all means make contact with me. But talk to your neighbours - find out who runs the Village Hall. Ask what you can do to get involved. Oh, and by the way, you can wipe the steam off that mirror now, Thanks. Alistair Barclay

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held at Strathyre Village Hall on 9 April 2014

Please note that these minutes have not yet received formal approval and should be considered as a draft version only. Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Alastair Barclay (AB), Paul Hicks (PH), Susie Crammon (SC), (AS), Angus Cameron (AC), Ruth McLusky (RM) and Karen Methven (KM). Apologies: David Johnston, Adrian Squires, Roseanne McWilliams and PC Will Diamond, Police Scotland. In attendance: Cllr Fergus Wood (FW) and Suzanne Player (SP), Stirling Council (S-C), PC Paul Barr (PB), Police Scotland, Gordon Watson (GW) and Owen McKee (OM), National Park, and Helen Cunningham (HC), Lochearnhead DRT. 1) Approval of Minutes It was proposed by AB and seconded by SC, that the minutes of the meeting on 26 February 2014 should be accepted, and this was approved unanimously. MM welcomed RM to her first meeting as a newly elected councillor. 2) Declarations of Interest No declarations were made. 3) Police Report PB gave a brief report on recent incidents in our area. Between 27th February and 6th April 2014, there were twenty-eight (28) crimes recorded. These included an incident on 5th April when the water-sports centre at Lochearnhead was damaged by fire. Scrap metal was stolen from Immervoulin during the middle of March (17-21) and a fire extinguisher was stolen on 25th March from the National Park patrol boat whilst it was moored at the Lochearnhead water-sports centre. To date, none of these offences has been detected and the police would appreciate any information regarding any or all of them. Twenty-four (24) road traffic offences were detected and reported, and one offence relating to drugs. The “Police And Community Together” initiatives continue, and road safety projects have been stepped up in our area. The new “Community Relay” - an occasional circulation by email of suspicious activity in the area - has been used a couple of times and is yielding some good feedback of information. 4) Matters Arising 4.1) Co-opted member for BLS CC. PH reported having contacted Richard Eastland who is willing to join the CC again. It was agreed to co-opt him until the time of the next elections. Discussion then ensued regarding the possibility of allowing Loraine Telfer to join but, according to the constitution, only four members are allowed to represent the Lochearnhead ward and Loraine is not resident in the Strathyre ward (where a vacancy exists). It was agreed to seek further advice on this from Stirling Council. Action: PH to seek advice from S-C on how to proceed. 4.2) Footpath from Immervoulin to Strathyre. A site meeting took place on Thursday 20th March between Sarah Gibson and other local residents, Cllr Martin Earl, MM and PH (BLS CC), OM and Linda Winskill (National Park), and Sean Clemie (Transport Scotland). It was raining heavily and very apparent that many vehicles were still travelling through this stretch of road in excess of the speed limit, causing considerable danger to pedestrians. It was decided that a proper feasibility study would need to be undertaken by professional surveyors to assess how best to provide safe passage for pedestrians. It was also decided that it would be helpful to involve SusTrans, since Transport Scotland only has authority to provide a footpath beside the road, whereas SusTrans might be willing to provide a cycleway using an alternative route away from the road itself. (This would depend, of course, on the outcome of the feasibility study.) Cllr Martin Earl has since arranged further liaison between these groups and set up a circulation list to keep everyone informed of developments. The National Park has offered to provide up to £3K towards a feasibility study, whilst SusTrans has agreed to make up any shortfall. This project has made good progress and special thanks are due to ME and to OM (and the Park). 4.3) Local Government Electoral Arrangements. With reference to item 7(e) in the minutes of 26 Feb 2014, FW reported that, as a result of the review of electoral arrangements, an additional councillor would be appointed, but for a ward in the city rather than a rural area. 5) Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) The DRT is an initiative that is partly funded at national level, and partly by Stirling Council (S-C). The continuing cutbacks have prompted various suggestions as to how services might be ‘tailored’ to reduce costs whilst maintaining the essential nature of the service. S-C has distributed a paper on this and asked for our considered comments. HC spoke on behalf of the DRT service based in Lochearnhead. She commented on the proposal to reduce the time when the service was available and pointed out that people travelling to work would not be able to catch conventional service buses in time if the DRT only started at 8am in the morning. She said that 36% of people who use the service during winter are working people. In the summer, with the influx of temporary staff at hotels and other businesses, this rises to 50%. In all, over the previous year, 3,948 people used the service. HC went on to point out that, on Sundays, there are several (mostly elderly) people who want to travel to church services locally. If DRT services were withdrawn over weekends, this might prevent them going altogether. Furthermore, the post office in Lochearnhead is now closed, and people may need to travel further afield on days when the replacement, mobile service is not available. At present, the distance covered by the service is unlimited but one proposal is to exclude all journeys that are under two miles. So far as Lochearnhead is concerned, this could render the service unworkable. A further proposal has been made to use voluntary drivers, but HC pointed out that any payments made to volunteers in this way would be illegal under the current legislation. In response to further questions from members, HC admitted that the payments to which she is entitled from central government are now over a year in arrears. It was agreed that the CC should submit a formal response to the proposals, drawing attention to these points, and making it clear that they would be seriously detrimental to our community. It was also proposed and agreed that the Public Transport Project Officer for S-C (David Brown) should be invited to the next meeting in order to discuss the proposals more fully and to explore any more appropriate means of adjusting the service to maximise its efficiency without compromising its basic benefits to the community. Action: Formal response to be submitted, and David Brown to be invited to next meeting. 6) Visitor Management in the National Park MM welcomed Gordon Watson, Director of Operations for the National Park, to give a presentation on proposals for visitor management in the Park. GW began with a review of the approach that had been tried in the area known as East Loch Lomond Side (ELLS). A full report has been submitted to the Scottish Government and has been received very positively. Camping bye-law and management procedures have had a very significant impact in terms of incident reporting and litter problems being drastically reduced. Businesses have seen benefits from more visitors coming to the area (or, in some cases, returning). The Park has been able to cut back on its own patrols, allowing more time to be spent elsewhere. The focus is now shifting to other visitor ìhot-spotsî: areas where problems such as littering and disorder are, unfortunately, commonplace. A primary consideration is how best the Park can invest in infrastructure (such as camping and parking sites) to ensure that proper facilities are available. The next step is to institute effective management of those who are causing problems. The Park has access to good data regarding numbers of visitors and reported offences, but is interested to know what other issues affect the community. KM said that much had been said before, but she expressed concern that nothing ever seems to happen. She cited clearways as an example. GW replied that the Park is pursuing this with Transport Scotland as regards the trunk roads, and will then look at smaller roads by consulting with S-C. Litter was also mentioned, especially along Loch Lubnaig. GW responded that, next season, the Park will be able to empower rangers to issue spot fines for litter offences. This will need to be worked out in detail but is a positive measure for the future. SC raised the thorny issue of ìwild campingî. GW stated that the Park does not want to restrict true ìwild campingî (well away from roads) but has tested a camping bye-law in ELLS and now has good experience of how it can work well. Under this bye-law, people cannot stop beside the roads, unless it is within a designated area. SC agreed that this would be good in our area. AB added that, from his own experience, he had seen the application of this approach at ELLS and fully endorsed it for our own area. He went on, however, to emphasize that the major problem in our area is litter. We are a tourist area, and littering is a major problem when it comes to attracting tourists. GW replied that he had met with Les Goodfellow (from S-C) with a view to working out a coordinated approach to littering. S-C provides facilities for communities whilst the Park provides for rural sites, but he agreed that there needs to be some way of synchronizing the work being undertaken. FW heartily concurred and stated that co-operation between the different agencies is long overdue. PB then mentioned that park rangers now work with ìCommunity Paybackî schemes to deploy offenders as additional resources in cleaning up litter. These services can be requested through the park rangers at Callander. AB then queried what the Park is doing to source finance for the bigger projects. GW replied that “core capital” is already available, but there is some concern over managing problems of “displacement” - whereby action taken in one area simply results in the problems being displaced elsewhere. As an example, he quoted Loch Lubnaig where the Park has “accelerated” the development of facilities with capital funding, but there is a risk that problems will simply be moved further away to places like Loch Earn. The Park, therefore, needs to be circumspect and cannot simply “throw money” at a problem. He went on to say that dealing with North Loch Earn should be relatively straight-forward as there are clearly identified areas where improvements can be made. On the other hand, South Loch Earn is far more diverse. The positive impact of the measures taken at ELLS has been recognized and this should open the door to further funding. The Park is talking to landowners and the Forestry Commission but other measures (such as the use of clearways and alcohol bye-laws) will be vital. PB commented that management by people on the ground is the expensive part. He also confirmed the importance of having alcohol bye-laws. AB stated that the CC is willing to pursue this. GW emphasized that what achieved momentum in ELLS was the strength of community agreement. It is local voices that have by far the greatest impact. MM then commented on the public perception that the facilities at Loch Lubnaig were very expensive. GW replied that the biggest challenge was that there had been no existing facilities there at all. The Park wanted to provide high standard, low-maintenance facilities and these cost money. MM accepted this, but suggested that it would be helpful to try and communicate something of this to the public at large. OM responded that, in his experience, it was better to say little, but to allow people to see the long-term benefits as they developed. This tended to be more powerful a message than a few published articles. GW concluded by reiterating that the Park is very happy to receive any further ideas or comments whilst the process of ìlisteningî continues. A full consultation will take place later this year with some clear proposals. MM thanked GW for all his comments. 7) Correspondence No relevant correspondence had been received. 8) Planning Matters AS reported that the application for an extension to the National Cycle Path between Balquhidder and Strathyre had been approved. 9) Matters From Local Councillors 9.1) FW reported that a third rural pharmacy has just been closed with a commercial chemist taking its place. He highlighted the detrimental effects of this on the local community. 9.2) Part of the National Angling Festival will take place in our area, from 7th-10th August, with all the disciplines coming together. In particular, game fishing will be in our area, based at Lake of Menteith. There will be a hub event taking place at the Stirling Auction Mart on 9-10th August. 10) Any Other Competent Business 10.1) AB reported that a caravan (bearing the registered number plate, Y356SRD) has been sited in the public car park at Lochearnhead since the start of the fishing season. This happened the previous year as well, with the caravan remaining there throughout the season. A local resident has complained about this to the CC, asking whether this eyesore can be removed. PB noted this and stated that he would follow it up. AB also undertook to contact the Travellers Officer for S-C to see what action could be taken. 10.2) SP gave a brief update on the implications of the recent welfare reforms, stating that a lot of people are quite worried at the moment and are looking for information. She asked if shops in Lochearnhead and Strathyre could provide information. OM said this would be no problem. Citizens Advice Bureau is looking at doing some outreach at Killin in the future, and SP has been given some training on the implementation of the new legislation. 10.3) The Community Engagement Team is looking at how S-C engages with communities through community councils and forums. A survey is being prepared and will be sent to individual community councillors. There will also be a meeting in Stirling and two representatives from each CC will be asked to attend. The aim is to see how effectively CCs are able to gather views in their area and represent them to the local authority. 10.4) FW enquired about credit unions and SP replied that Breadalbane Forum has looked at this already. A suggestion has been made that the mobile library could be used. This was welcomed by members. There was no other business and, at 9 p.m., MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting will be the Annual General Meeting and is due to take place at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 21st May 2014 at Balquhidder Village Hall.


Church News BalquhiĐĐer

Come to our Service!

The Scottish Episcopal Church in St Serf ’s, Comrie holds short (halfhour) services of singing, fellowship and Holy Communion for people with learning disabilities and their families and friends, monthly at 6.30pm on Fridays. This is a place where everybody is valued and welcomed. Dates for 2014 are as follows: 28th March, 11th April, 2nd May, 20th June, 11th July, 1st August, 12th Sep, 24th Oct, 14th Nov, 5th December The services are led by the Reverend Paddy Allen, Rector, and Kate Sainsbury, Lay Minister, who is mother of Louis, aged 27, a good swimmer and walker who himself has learning difficulties. If anybody is interested, or has any questions, please contact Kate on kating@

Reg. Charity No. SC012316

We shall be supporting Christian Aid Week as usual. It runs from 11th to 17th May and Gift Aid envelopes will be available in the Church at that time. Cheques or cash are welcome; cheques should be made out to Christian Aid. Please hand in envelopes at the Church services unless you prefer to send directly to Christian Aid. The theme this year is peace and reconciliation, very close to our hearts and part of the Christian message. Christian Aid continues to work in many parts of the world including Afghanistan, Syria and Zimbabwe. Conflicts destroy lives and are a major cause of poverty and disease. The latest news from Syria of polio outbreaks is a case in point. Please continue to support Christian Aid in its work. The repair work to the west wall of the church has been completed. All we have to do now is wait and pray that the damp will be halted in its tracks. It will take a good long while to see how effective this work will be, but after more than 150 years of struggling with the damp we can but hope for the best. Lastly, a reminder that Mr Lincoln is retiring at the end of May and his last service here will be on Sunday 25th May. We hope to see as many friends and members as possible in Church on that day. Please note that Mr Lincoln will be attending the General Assembly in Edinburgh, so will not be taking the services on 11th and 18th May. Jean Edwards

New community group – the Rowan A new community group has started to enable mothers with young, pre-school children to meet for an activity, while the children are looked after. The first session met on Tuesday 18th March, in the Games Room at Mhor 84. World-renowned Gaelic musician Margaret Bennett joined us to talk about singing with young children. Before that, we started with a greeting circle where adults and children sang together. While Margaret spoke with the mums, children made pictures, then formed a music circle with simple instruments and a ‘jacobs ladder’, taking turns to hold it while we sent our love to people. Some children chose ‘mummy’, another ‘daddy’, another ‘granny’. We sang ‘twinkle twinkle’ and ‘how much is the doggy’ and ‘giddy up horsy’. The children were great at sharing and being quiet when the Jacob’s ladder was held up and we all had a very enjoyable time, then some were glad to rest. We then all came back together again and sang a final song, then said goodbye to Margaret Bennett and had a quick chat about future plans.   We decided that we wanted to meet every 6-8 weeks and plan


the next time for Tuesday 6th May, at Mhor 84, at 2pm. We can start promptly at 2pm with our greeting circle followed by an art/craft activity for women and activities for children. Plans include some quiet time: putting teddies to bed in shoe boxes, a couple of duvets to lie down on.   This is an initiative of the Scottish Episcopal Church, yet the meetings are for all people, of all faiths and none, because we believe we all share spiritual needs for support and friendship. My own children are now grown-up, but I lived on the south of Loch Earn and am familiar with the challenges of raising children in an isolated setting. Please pass on news of this group to people who may be interested and let us know if there are people who would come if they could get a lift. Above all, please make suggestions so that this is something that can add to the community’s life. Our thanks to Mhor 84 for the hospitality. Kate Sainsbury Lay Minister in the Scottish Episcopal Church

Stronvar g Stories

Hannah Inglis is back again - this time with ‘history news’ on Stronvar Farm...


ello, my dear readers!

Let’s go back into the year of 1825

when John Lorn Stewart built the stables for Glen Buckie house (Before Carnegie bought the house). I had taken a ride out towards the stables on my horse, I came to a stop once I arrived in the courtyard, it was early morning and there didn’t seem to be anyone around. I tied up my horse next to a water trough. I looked around and saw four horses in a tiny stable all huddled together. “Filip! Move over!” shouted one horse. “I can’t, Jeffrey, Scar Face is in my way!” pleaded Filip. “Scar Face, move over!” shouted Jeffrey again. “I can’t, Crazy Pants is in my way! We need a bigger stable,” complained Filip. I then saw that the coachman of the carriage had seen what was happening. I pretended to groom my horse as I watched. He led the horses outside, one by one, tying them up to the carriage. I watched in shock as Crazy Pants reared in panic. “Calm down, old boy!” said the coachman in a soft and gentle voice. Crazy calmed down soon after. A man came running through the courtyard and he said to the coachman, “Mr Stewart is running late for his meeting, you must be quick!” He climbed on the back of the coach once all of the horses were tied up. I saw that the horses kept nudging and shoving each other as they trotted their way out of the courtyard, and then they were galloping down the track towards Glen Buckie house. “Come on girl!” I quickly mounted my grey horse and galloped out of the courtyard. We quickly caught up with the carriage, and I could still see the four horses nudging each other as they came to a halt outside of the house. A man hurriedly climbed inside the carriage. I never got to seen Mr Stewarts face. The coachman was speaking to him. “Yes, the horses were in a very bad mood when we left. I think it’s the stable, Sir,” he said, whipping the horses and they galloped further away.’

g Fact Time

There was evidence of a small stable/

steading on the site of the current Stronvar Farm, pre 1825. The stable block was enlarged in or around 1825.

Top photograph shows the south-east corner of Stronvar Farm as it was in 1982; above, the east wing, 1988

‘Let’s go back into Carnegie’s era (1849). I had heard that Carnegie wanted to build the west wing of the Farm, so I galloped from my home on my chestnut mare Donna and arrived at the house. I saw that Carnegie was already at Bryce the architect’s hut, walking inside. I hurriedly tied Donna to a tree and ran towards the hut, peering in the window. “Bryce, I have been thinking,” Carnegie was saying. “Since you have made such great progress on the house, I was wondering if you would want to be paid a little more cash?” “And how would I earn that?” Bryce asked, in a curious tone. “Design the west wing of the farm - and I shall pay you a great deal of money!” “I guess it’s a deal,” said Bryce, taking Carnegie’s hand and shaking it. I saw the

edge of Carnegie’s mouth turning into a smirk. I trotted towards the Farm on Donna. I sighed. I couldn’t believe Bryce was going to put himself under so much more stress just for money. I jumped off Donna’s back as we halted in the courtyard, where I led her inside one of the stables - and muttered to her. “Oh dear, Donna, what a mess Bryce has made.” ‘

g Fact Time

In 1849 when the Carnegies bought the main house there was extensive work carried out on the farm as well. The west end of the courtyard was entirely rebuilt in the 1850s. Continues next month!


DOCTORS Leny Surgery Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses take part in various training programmes throughout the year. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoons will be on: Wednesday 21st May 2014 Thursday 26th June 2014 On those afternoons, 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.

Riverside Vet Clinic comes to Callander! A small animal vet clinic will open in Callander in June. Local vet, Marslaidh Smith BVM+S MRCVS, will be bringing her team to spacious new purposedesigned premises in Geisher Road, Callander. Marslaidh says: “The opportunity to take a vacant industrial unit and design our own practice layout is a once in a lifetime experience for any vet. I’ve been able to use my experience of working in a number of veterinary practices over the last twenty years to produce a surgery which takes advantage of the skills and equipment that we have available, and will allow us to provide an excellent local veterinary service to the people and pets of Callander and surrounding area.” Riverside Veterinary Clinic has been based in Riverside, Stirling for over twenty years, and Marslaidh has been the principal vet and practice owner since 2011. Practice Director, Wilma Ellis, comments: “We have a loyal clientele in Riverside Stirling who appreciate the skilled and personal level of service that they receive from us, and we will continue to make Riverside Stirling the vet practice of choice for those in the Stirling area. However, as a business we have outgrown the space that we have available in Stirling, and have been looking for an opportunity to develop a clinic where we can offer the full range of veterinary services from our qualified and experienced staff. We already have a number of clients who come to us in Stirling from Callander and the areas to the north and west, and we look forward to welcoming more pets to our new premises. Look out for more details in next month’s Villagers!”

Our services include:

Health Checks • Puppy& Kitten Checks Vaccinations • Dietary Advice Neutering • Dental Hygiene Microchipping General Medicine and surgery Professional Dog and Cat Grooming Nurse Clinics • Lab facilities Full range of pet food and supplies available Looking forward to meeting you and your best friends!


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 has a gloomy message about our environment and the creatures that share it with us...


t this time of year perhaps we

should call these photographs Garden Marauders. We all see their depredations around the garden but often do not know who the culprit is. Let us take them in order. Red deer... they will browse on most things except azaleas, rhododendrons, berberis and anything prickly.   The stags will fray on any thin young trees that are not guarded to sufficient height (which is a lot higher than any that the average garden centre will sell you) and they will also eat the top off anything they can reach over the top of the guard. Roe deer... delightful to see around the house, until you see all your primulas, tulips, daffodils and lilies all beheaded even the ones right by the door! Marsh marigold flowers are a favourite at the moment; the deer will browse on almost anything when times are bad. Rabbits... what can we say?   They will eat almost anything small and green - and the great trouble is, they do what rabbits do! Best deterrent:1oz of No 6. Foxes... love them or hate them... anything ground nesting will be taken

These photos of various offenders were taken by Old Nyati from his home

- bins raided - and the chicken run is always checked for security. There is proof that cats are killed and eaten as well. Observations over the last twenty years have shown the demise of the red grouse and black grouse on the south side of Balquhidder Glen. Is climate change the reason for far fewer butterflies and bees - and the increasingly late arrival of the swallows? House martins are in decline, and hardly any cuckoos are heard these days. The climate is changing. The world is rapidly becoming overpopulated.   Wake up somebody! Old Nyati

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

Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help

The Association’s aim is to support rural communities by providing affordable good quality homes for people in housing need. We currently have 450 rented homes and around 30 of these become available for re-let each year. We also build some new homes each year. For more details and a housing application form contact us at:

Rural Stirling Housing Association Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AA Telephone 01786 841101 Email Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SCO37849 Please note that we encourage all applicants to also apply to Stirling Council’s housing list (Tel 0845 277 7000) Being on both lists is the best way to maximise your chances of being re-housed.




eady r u o y


Don’t miss:

The Deadly Winters

Celtic Connections stars from Edinburgh who were extremely popular last year...




Strathyre’s Music Festival is back.

Come along and show your support for two days of amazing music!

24/25 May 2014


YEAR 2...!



Adriana Spina

who also returns and has played alongside Paulo Nutini, Sheryl Crow and Joan Armatrading...

Stefan Van de Sande

from Holland who is visiting Strathyre for two days as part of his significant European Tour...

Kenny Herbert and the Applebeggars great Music from Edinburgh...


Adriana Spina


Jimmy Lee and the Edge of Chaos Orchestra


from West Sussex...

Muckle Flugga

Deadly Winters

from Edinburgh...


Other special guests are:



Stefan Van de Sande

Kenny Herbert





The massed choirs: Killin Community Choir, Voicebeat International Song Choir, Choir Occasional. Also Callander Brass, Callander Pipers, Forth Bridges Accordion band

Muckle Flugga



H Jimmy Lee


Chief Chebe - African drummer from Ghana Kim Seymour - Cumbrian singer/songwriter Blackwater - folk duo from Wakefield Phil Ragsdell and the Big Band Sound Jenny McLure Jazz Band popular singer and band from Callander Nick Gould - top Edinburgh jazz band Strumelele - ukelele phenomenon from Glasgow Minpinns from Edinburgh Scottish Ferals (Stirlingshire) KT from Bishopbriggs


Plus a host of many other great artists from all over Scotland SUNDAY CEILIDH PARTY Free Access included with Weekend Pass or Sunday Ticket. We have a special end of Festival Ceilidh Party from 9pm Sunday with Riverside Ceilidh Band, Jock the Box, Ted Christopher and friends.

Market Square! The Festival will again feature a (much bigger) Market Square with a wide variety of stalls and attractions for all the family. Barefooot Wines will offer WineTasting and the latest fast food sensation from Edinburgh - Ninja Buns. We are expecting a real carnival atmosphere! H Strathyre is going to be a popular and very busy place to visit over the weekend 24 -25th May. To allow the Market Square to be set up the car park next to the shop will close on Thursday night (22nd May). H The Market Square opens from 10am on Saturday 24th May and the official opening takes place in the Festival Garden Area at 11:30 am. H Broch Cafe will open at 10am and offer food and drinks into the evening. The Festival Bar in the main venue opens at 12:30 and runs to 1am both days. H Local Weekend Ticket requests Email quoting the number and type required ie. Adult / U 16 / Child U5s and for security purposes, your address. H VENUE 1&2 Large Tent 120 x 40 ft with 2 stages in Forestry Commission Field (Ticket Access Only) VENUE 3 Strathyre Inn Dinning Lounge (Ticket access only) VENUE 4 Victorian Gardens VENUE 5 Festival Square Tent VENUE 6 Broch Cafe Music Tent H Toilet Facilities are being provided at: the main venue near the large tent, (Ladies, Gents and Wheelchair Access) Broche Cafe (Ladies, Gents and Wheelchair Access) Styrathyre Inn and Inn Dining Lounge (Ladies and Gents) the Festival Market Square (Ladies, Gents and Wheelchair Access) and also at the far corner of car park area. H

Clockwise from top: Festival hosts Balvaig play an outdoor set; Chief Chebe; Kim Seymour; The Wanted Men; ‘Here to Help!’ Jenne McClure; KT; remember to pick up a Programme!

Friday and Saturday 9th /10th May the Village tidy up takes place along with flower planting to make the village look its best for the Fête and the Festival. All welcome to come along and join in!


Come along and support your Local Music Festival and join in the fun. We know you will give the many artists - and our large number of expected tourists - a warm BLS Welcome. Thank You.


McLaren High School News The Point Our new lunch club the “The Point” has been up and running since the pupils returned from their Christmas holidays. It is associated with Scripture Union, a Christian charity, who the young people are familiar with as many have visited on a Thursday lunch time by Callander Kirk’s youth worker Duncan Cullens and his wonderful volunteers from S4 and S6, it is open to pupils from S1 and S2. The young people have greatly enjoyed coming along; grabbing a hot chocolate and going on to participate in team games and challenges, watching movie clips, acting in drama skits and having group discussions. These activities are used to explore the bible and see what it say’s about a host of moral and spiritual issues we encounter in everyday life. Young people of different faiths or no faith are welcome to attend and are encouraged to be confident in expressing their own ideas and opinions. We also highly value the input from other members of staff, and together with the wider chaplaincy team we hope to create fun and engaging educational experiences for the young people. Loch Katrine Running Festival On 23 March 26 staff, pupils and friends of McLaren High School took part in this Festival of Running. With the backdrop of the snow covered hills this race was held on the route between the 2 piers along the shores of Loch Katrine. The weather was glorious and coupled with brilliant organisation by the Race Director (Audrey McIntosh) a great day was had by all. We joined over 300 runners from all over Scotland running to raise money for Alzheimer’s Scotland. McLaren were represented in all 3 races in every class from Male Veteran 50 to Junior Lady. Top pupils were Euan Woodley in the Half Marathon in a time of 1.44.38. In the 10K honours belong to Kristina MacEachern who was also first junior overall in a time of 51.05. Next year the staff will train harder! Whilst not yet finalised the sum raised on the day was around £4,000 – with McLaren High entrance money totalling £480. Well done to all involved!


‘The Point’

Above and below - running students take a well deserved breather at Loch Katrine

McLaren’s Got Talent On Wednesday 26 March McLaren High hosted their first ever McLaren’s Got Talent. The night was a great success with all the acts putting on amazing performances and the audience responding well to them all. We had a wide variety of acts from dancers to singers to full blown bands. The judges (Mr Fleming, Miss Armstrong, Gillian Harvey S6 and our Janitor Billy ’Chilli’ Wood) had a tough decision in deciding the best two acts but in the end they came to a decision. K-POP, which is Korean pop singing, performed by Rowan Campbell S2 and Bethan Rimmer S3 came runner up with singer Charlotte Scott S1 (pictured above) being our overall winner – well done Charlotte! Myself and Daniel Speirs - the hosts for the night - would like to thank Scott Younger, our PE probationer, for organising the whole event as without him there wouldn’t have been a show. We hope that after this successful night there will be many more McLaren’s Got Talent’s in the future. Thanks to all our acts for making the show and to everyone that came to watch for cheering them all on! Samantha Boyle S6

Under-16 Forth Valley 7’s Tournament On a wet and windy evening at Falkirk RFC, the under-16 7’s rugby team took part in the Forth Valley 7’s Tournament, with schools entering from across the Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire local authorities. McLaren were placed in a pool with Falkirk HS and Alloa HS. First up the boys played Falkirk HS, and played some excellent 7’s rugby winning 28-0. Try scorers were Cameron Hendry x 3 and Charlie Allardyce with Logan Trotter converting all four of these. In the second match McLaren continued to play good rugby and ran in another 3 tries wining 190. Scorers were Luke Maher, Duncan Hendry and Logan, with the later successfully adding two conversions. These two comprehensive victories ensured that the boys progressed into the next round of the cup competition. In the next stage of the competition, McLaren were paired with Denny HS and Wallace HS. First up were Denny, the boys started strongly and moved the ball around the pitch effectively. They moved into a 21-0 lead with scores from Luke x 2 and Charlie, Logan continued with his accurate goal kicking scoring Dancers perform at ‘McLaren’s Got Talent’ all three. Denny replied with a score of their own, which proved to be the only score conceded by the boys over the tournament. A great effort from the McLaren team! In the final match the boys knew a win against Wallace would give them the cup. This motivated the boys and again they took the game to the opposition. Some strong running and slick handling from the boys ensured that a try was on the cards from the start. In the end McLaren won the match 28-0, with the scores coming from Cameron x 2, Duncan and Logan. Logan once again had a 100% success rate from the boot. All of the nine players were involved and helped make the victories possible - well done!! Squad: Kier Hail-Brown (Capt.), Duncan Hendry, James Wray, Grant Pringle, Charlie Allardyce, Cameron Hendry, Logan Trotter, Gregor Nixon, Luke Maher.

visit our website:


A cure for loneliness


The prevalence of loneliness in older age is being seen increasingly by GPs in their surgeries. In many cases The U3A is being prescribed as a solution to this debilitating condition. Meeting other people, some in exactly the same position, plus being presented with stimulating interests, provides many older people with a new lease of life. Weekends in particular can be very difficult for people living on their own and Callander & West Perthshire U3A has addressed this problem by providing a Sunday Lunch group which has proved very popular. Information about the courses we run and how to make contact can be found on our website. Just Google ‘Callander and West Perthshire U3A’.

Village Authors... a story to tell? Do you know anyone locally who has written a book on any subject? The Loch Earn Tourism Initiative has added a “Local Authors and Books” page to its holiday visitor website as part of The Homecoming 2014 celebrations. Anyone living in Strathyre, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead or St Fillans - now or at any time in the past - who has written classic or contemporary books on any subject, will be a welcome addition. Check out our fascinating list including; Elizabeth Beauchamp, Ewen Cameron O.B.E, Catriona MacGeoch, Glenise Borthwick, P J G Ransom, E Bentinck, Jim Crumley, Margaret Bennett, The Findlater Sisters, Don and Bridget MacCaskill, Major John Stewart of Ardvorlich and more.

Try one of the Reluctant Cook’s recipes on page 21!

Read the fascinating biographies and book titles listed here: Please suggest other authors to Kim Proven at or mobile: 07917 416497. Any information including an author’s name/associated village/biography/book titles/publishers/ publication dates, will be helpful. An accompanying photograph of the author or any of their book covers will also be used. Kim Proven, Chair of LETI Apologies from The Loch Earn Tourism Initiative Chair for last month’s error. LETI is a members’ organisation promoting tourism - and not a KP registered charity, as printed.

Book Corner Here’s another book recommendation from Jean Edwards this month - Peter May’s latest, Entry Island.   It is a crime detective novel and a cracking good read, beautifully written. It is set in eastern Canada but has a lot of back history about the clearances in Scotland.  Anyone who enjoyed the Lewis trilogy will surely enjoy this one. It is available from the library. 18

Gardening M AY by Jonathan MacDonald

Growing herbs, not just for show, but for their medicinal properties, expands a herb garden’s joy and use.

Plants grown in ancient times were regarded in some areas as sacred. The first of May was regarded as one of the three great druidic festivals, the others being autumn - and midwinter, having the association with mistletoe which still survives today. Many of today’s synthetic drugs find their origins in the herbal dictionary - even the Radox soak finds root in the popularity of the early Saxon herbal baths. The watery vapours of plants such as bramble, elm and ash were used; even cattle were not uncommonly fumigated with this. Would you consider a nice warm soak in a bath of radishes to ward off nasty spirits and dull the enlightened senses? Or if you were experiencing nocturnal goblin visitors, perhaps an infusion of wormwood boiled up in butter, and a good handful of sheep’s grease with a sprinkling of holy salt might just lift it! The herb garden in ancient times was divided, with one area for the pot and another for the physic. Early writing describes how to store these useful plants and, before our nifty wee rows of Schwartz jars came along, it was noted to keep them fresh after picking to retain moisture. Thomas Hyll, an early writer, condemned the apothecary for exposing herbs to cobwebs and “much other filth”. Nothing it seems has changed since the 16th century, as these books are full of helping people who experience “weakness of the brain” and who live frenzied lives. Our understanding of health has of course changed since - but some of the recipes still hold a curiosity and may even be worth some harmless experimentation. For example - if you want to be really merry, try putting some fresh rosemary in your wine! If you want be become beautiful, try washing your face in distilled cowslip water. If you have a nasty cold - then elder and blackcurrants boiled down to a syrup does the trick. If you ever have experienced a sluggish liver then dandelion tea is the remedy. Lesser celandine is efficacious if you have piles. Asthma sufferers could try collecting young nettles about six inches high, boiling them down after washing them well, and drinking the juice. It is believed to be a good hair tonic as well when boiled up with a drop of vinegar and a bit of eau de cologne! An old neighbour of mine who was as bald as

Keep your herbs safe from marauders!

a coot regularly thrashed his bald head with a handful of nettles till he was quite stung - ‘something to do with histimines’ he would explain, saying it really made him feel alive... (which reminds me... “I’m a gardener, get me outta here!”) And if you don’t trust the dentists in the adverts then simply rub your teeth with some fresh sage. It will bring them up brilliant white. Now all this will have you leaping to find a spot in the garden for your very own herbs. Any pro/am cook will tell you: it is all about fresh herbs. The ideal construction I suggest is a raised bed. This makes for easier cutting and tending. A large fish box or deep window box can be effective as well. Less stooping is always a good thing and generally you are in a bit of a rush to get them whilst the pasta’s boiling... tardiness will improve the freshness, so to speak. Try to locate them fairly near the kitchen so that you can pop out in your slippers whilst preparing dinner - and not at the bottom of the garden beside the rhubarb! If you have a glut then you can chop up and freeze in ice cubes for use later in the year - parsley responds well to this. Try basil -it is the canary in the mineshaft - if you can get that to grow, you can grow

anything. Keep it well watered when it is established (especially from seed). Generally herbs cut early and often make for better bushier plants that will last longer with an increased output. Take leaves from the tops of your herbs, not the bottom ones which hold less flavour and are there to provide energy to the newly emerging leaves. Start with good soil and feed regularly with a balanced feed. Herbs can be grown in semi shade and are less vigorous in that position which can help if you cook infrequently. Try to push the boat out and bring in some exotics: Cilantro and Vietnamese coriander are excellent in Thai curries and worth an experiment. A final word on two perennial herbs often tricky to grow in Scotland. Sweet bay is not fully frost hardy and best grown in a pot that can be bubblewrapped to protect from frost. Keep in a dry place or plant near the house to benefit from the higher temperatures that are radiated. Rosemary, the bee’s favourite, is also tricky and hates having cold feet. Keeping it clipped encourages a more bushy plant and you should consider striking cutting every few years using rooting hormone powder to improve your success rate.

Gardening Classes begin Tuesday 15 April Contact us to reserve a place! Open 7 days a week: 9.30am - 4.30pm Huge selection of plants and stock

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

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


View from the Park by Owen McKee Last month I highlighted that The National Park Artist In Residence had proposed The Whistles Project which would see the installation of a series of whistles along a stretch of the old Callander to Oban line (now the Route 7 Cycle Track) to create the impression of a train travelling along the line. In pursuit of bringing the project to fruition, the Artist In Residence, Steve Messam was invited to make a presentation and demonstration at Lochearnhead. With invited guests, including representative from the funding agency, Creative Scotland, duly assembled I must confess to a little anxiety that the concept might prove to be an artistic journey too far. The anxiety was somewhat increased when there was a delay due to a technical hitch in setting up the trial whistles. Had the project hit the buffers? Thankfully the problem was overcome and, following a presentation on the genesis of the idea, The Whistles were successfully activated. It certainly works. The ambition is that the Whistles will be activated over two or three weekends during the summer season. There will be prior warning as it is recognized that although the noise will merely replicate the sound of the old train whistles heard when the line was active, such a noise over a prolonged period may require a level of toleration from people living close to the track. Can I suggest that you have a little look at the artist’s website

The big event this month is the official opening of the Glentarken Bridge section of the St. Fillans to Lochearnhead pathway. This has been a magnificent achievement by the local groups spearheaded by Geoff Carter. There is an open invitation to the event which will take place at noon on 9th May. Access is adjacent to the Sailing Club. Parking is limited so please double up on transport where possible. The Tourist season got off to a flying start over Easter with the type of weather I confidently predict will bless the summer months (well, here’s hoping anyway!) Operation Ironworks got underway over Easter with Police Scotland and Park Rangers patrols. There were relatively few reported disturbances so fingers crossed that that will be the pattern for the rest of the season. As always there is a fear of displacement - this time from Loch Lubnaig. There was a report of an encampment on the west bank of the Balvaig but just over the bridge at Strathyre. It was a short-lived visit by an organised group but I have instructed the Rangers to keep an eye on the situation and to add this location to their patrols to ensure that we can nip any possible trouble in the bud. The Cabin at The North Loch Lubnaig car park is now in full operation and the Viewing Platform at the South Loch Lubnaig Car Park was nearing completion at the time of going to press. Owen McKee


Rambling Club Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www. a m b l e r s . h t m in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: MAY • Sat 3rd 8:30am Ramble: Stuc Odhar (638m) – contact 01786 825198 • Wed 7th 9:30am Ramble: Duncolm & The Slacks (10miles) – contact 01786 841240 • Wed 14th 9:30am Hill: Meall Odhar, the alchemist’s dream (656m) – contact 01786 825877 • Wed 21st 9:30am Stroll: Loch Ard Loop (4 miles) – contact 01877 330032 • Sat 24th 8:30am LDP: CT(1) Blairgowrie to Bridge of Cally (7miles) – contact 01877 330032 • Wed 28th 8:30am Stroll: Dunning Area (5.5 miles) – contact 01786 860451 JUNE • Wed 4th 9:30am Ramble: Kincardine to Torryburn (FCP) (6.5miles) – contact 01786 850209 • Wed 11th 9:30am Ramble: Torryburn to N Queensferry (FCP) (10miles) – contact 01786 850209

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!


Here’s a recipe for you to try, from E Bentinck’s book


Reluctant Cook Manse biscuits

For my mother’s family of twelve (although they only spent one night in the manse together before two of her brothers went to fight in the First World War) these biscuits were mostly fine on their own - but for special occasions (surely that one night was one of those) they were joined together in twos with jam. 8oz(225g) flour 1 egg 4oz(100g) butter ½ teasp cinnamon 4oz(100g) sugar jam Rub butter into the flour. Add sugar and cinnamon. Add beaten egg and mix to a stiff dough. Knead and roll out thinly. Cut rounds and bake on a greased tray for 15 minutes in a moderate oven.

Alastair Savage

The Scottish Fiddle Journey

Alastair Savage A violinist, trained at RSMAD in Glasgow and the Royal Academy in London, and a BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra player. However he grew up as an award winning Folk Fiddler and ‘returned’ to his roots forming the Trio with Euan Drysdale and Iain Crawford.  He composes his own tunes and has recorded three albums of folk music.   Euan Drysdale Originally a Trumpet player, he studied at the RSMAD.  Now better known as a guitar and keyboard player, he is a renowned composer and instrumentalist. A founder member of the Alastair Savage Trio, he has played with Soft Monster and Big Vern and the Shootahs as well as recording his own music   Eddie McGuire A member of the Whistlebinkies, he frequently collaborates with a wide range of musicians.  A talented and famed composer in his own right, he joins Alastair and Euan to play on the flute.  He is a multi instrumentalist, so he may play ‘anything’ on the night! The Whistlebinkies are fortunate in having one of Scotland’s leading composers in its ranks. His suites Inner Sound, MacBeth and Albannach have taken Scottish traditional music to a new level of musical complexity. 21

National Park elections begin

Voting for new members of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park board will begin next month. Five members of the authority, who were elected by residents in 2010, will come to the end of their term of office on 3 July this year. The election process will start on 7 May when the Notice of Election will appear in local and national press. Candidates have to be over 21 and needn’t be resident in the Park or in the ward in which they wish to stand. If more than one candidate stands in a ward, a postal ballot will be held, with papers being issued around 12 June 2014, to be returned by 4pm on 3 July. Bob Jack, Chief Executive of Stirling Council and Returning Officer for the election explained why it is important to vote. He said, “This is a real opportunity for local people to have a direct say in how the Park is managed. I would urge all residents to use their vote.” Convener of the National Park Authority, Linda McKay said “As well as voting, we’d also like to encourage a wide cross section of people who live, work and have an interest in the National Park to put themselves forward as Board members. What we’re looking for is people who are enthusiastic, committed, care about the environment and want to make a difference to this beautiful part of Scotland.” The current Board membership is 17, made up of the five elected community representatives, six people nominated by the Scottish Government and six people nominated by the four local authorities – Stirling, Argyll & Bute, West Dunbartonshire and Perth & Kinross. A couple of dog owners are arguing about whose pet is smarter. “My dog is so smart,” says the first owner, “that every morning he waits for the paperboy to come around. He tips the kid and then brings the newspaper to me, along with my morning coffee.” “I know,” says the second owner. “How do you know?” “My dog told me.”

Scottish Wildlife Trust Callander Members’ Diary 2014 18 May Walk: Birds of Braeleny 9:30-12:00 Meet at Bracklinn Falls Car Park. Short, easy walk to Arivuriadoch Led by Kevin Duffy 21 June Walk: Trees of Glenfinglas and view of TGTF 13:00 Free Meet at Glenfinglas Car Park by new vistor centre. Led by Woodland Trust Ranger. Walk will be on uneven ground, taking in Lendrick Hill. Suitable footwear and waterproofs needed! Please book with Lesley Hawkins 01877 339080 or


Farm Forum: Responsible Dogs and Owners, Please... As you read this, the hill lambing is well underway and it’s the time of year when a dog - even on a lead - can do untold damage in a lambing park or on the hill. In most cases hill sheep are lambing on the hill and not in enclosed parks and even a dog that you may think is under control can come upon lambing ewes suddenly and create considerable disturbance and damage. This is quite apart from the increasing number of horrendous sheep worrying cases that are taking place annually. It is worthy to note that farmers require to have their sheep, over a certain age, identified by tags in both ears - one of them electronic. Non-compliance attracts severe penalties. Our government is discussing dog licensing and related control of dogs; but without getting into a discussion about all the other options, it seems me to me that all dogs should have to be electronically chipped and therefore identifiable with their owner. This would undoubtedly cut down some of the problems including sheep worrying. There is also the lesser known but very worrying problem of disease. There are rules and regulations in many public areas regarding cleaning up after your dog, and it may seem strange but the same should apply in areas where there are livestock.

An article appeared in the press at the end of March urging members of the public to clean up after their dogs when walking on agricultural land. There was a warning that parasites found in some dog faeces can result in abortion in cattle and death in sheep. The article said that there is evidence of links between two livestock diseases - neosporosis and sacrocystosis - and the presence on grazing land of faeces from infected dogs, with several reports of this over recent months. Farmers are pleading with the public to be more ‘Agricola’ responsible.

Scottish Wildlife Trust

April was our last indoor meeting of this season and the brief AGM was followed by five short presentations from members. David Warnock entertained us with tales of a trip to the Altai mountains in Southern Russia in search of snow leopards. Two and a half days after leaving Dunblane on the sleeper train, he arrived in Moscow. The next 2 days on the Trans-Siberian Express, he was safe in the company of 3 Russian Army Officers, despite their diet of beer for breakfast and plentiful shots of cognac and whisky. He joined the rest of the Biosphere Expeditions group in Novosibirsk for 2 days’ driving a land rover to the Altai mountains. From a base camp at 8000ft they carried out wildlife surveys, including golden and steppe eagles and, finally, saw a print of the elusive snow leopard, aka ‘mountain ghosts’. Kevin Duffy shared experiences of tracking honey buzzards. More common than one may think, they spend a lot of time below the tree canopy so are rarely seen and the UK population size is unknown. They look very similar to common buzzards but have a ‘floppier’ flight. In the south they frequent beech woods but in Scotland are more likely to nest by rides in dense upland plantations. They eat wasp larvae, not honey, dense face feathers protecting them from stings. Pellets may also include frog bones but the debris of excavated wasp nests is the best indicator of their presence. Orchids around Callander were

described by John Snodin. Orchids have 3 sepals & 3 petals, the lower one forming a distinctively shaped lip. Heath Spotted has 3 equal lobes, Common Spotted a long middle lobe and the Northern Marsh orchid is unlobed – until they hybridise! Heath Spotted on the Golf course flowers in late May/June, earlier than the Early Purple growing higher up Braeleny Road and that can be pink or white! At least the small Fragrant Orchid lives up to its name! Butterfly orchids have creamy flowers along a sturdy stem, Greater being more common but Lesser on the Golf Course are responding to TLC. The less common coral root orchid has no leaves, is greenyyellow and lives on woodland fungi. All orchids use fungi, allowing them to invade seeds for food – amazing! Nick Cooke co-ordinates the Pearl Bordered Fritillary project on the north shore of Loch Katrine, now in its fifth year. This butterfly has declined by 70% in the last 40 years as woodland management has reduced. It flies in early May to mid-June, the easiest way to identify it from the very similar, but locally common, small PBF that flies mid-June to end July. On this site there has been a single record in 2011 but it is a very fussy specialist, needing violets for caterpillars and bugle for butterflies. Both are increasing as bracken is controlled by grazing with the FCS herd of cattle. If this is successful, reintroduction may be considered. 2014 surveys will be carried

Pearl bordered fritillary

out between 5 May & 13 June; volunteers can contact HYPERLINK mailto:nick@ Anna-Marie Dennis is the coordinator of kestrel records for the Central Scotland Raptor Group and gave an update on their status. BTO’s breeding bird survey shows them in decline in Scotland, on the amber list and categorised as a Species of European Conservation Concern. CSRG started a study in 2010 on the Carse of Stirling, expanding to 40 territories during 2013, including Callander, and now monitor over 40 nest boxes. Kestrels will nest on small ledges, in crags/quarries, inside buildings, in tree cavities and nest boxes, the latter making it easier to monitor and ring them. You could volunteer to help and report sightings at HYPERLINK Erratum: the April SWT article should have said the Normans introduced brown hares (not the colour)! Lesley Hawkins 23

This month has certainly seen an increase in the number of visitors to the area, and thankfully there have been very few crimes recorded. Operation Ironworks has been running since the start of April this year given the school holidays fell slightly earlier this year, and the weather began to improve. Having the extra resources on the ground makes a big difference and helps to prevent things from happening by intervening early on in the day. Ironworks patrols will continue every weekend until the end of the tourist season. If you are aware of any issues, the sooner that you report them to us, the sooner we can intervene. When you call police, be sure to advise the call taker of Ironworks and that will ensure that the call is passed onto the local officers quickly. I would like to appeal for any witnesses to a minor theft which took place from the National Park boat, on the 25th March whilst it was stored within the carpark of the Lochearnhead Watersports centre. The boat was left unattended and uncovered between 1330 and 1530. Staff returned to find that the fire extinguisher from onboard had been stolen. This is a completely mindless theft, which now means that the patrol boat

Keep your dog safe and under control

cannot be used until a new replacement extinguisher is fitted. Although that may well hinder routine patrols, it is the potential use during an emergency on the water that is now hampered. If you have any information regarding the theft, please contact me. Over the Easter weekend, an incident happened in Balquhidder whereby a ewe was attacked by a dog. The owner of the dog was quickly identified and has been charged with the offence of worrying livestock. Given the rural location that we are in, it is not uncommon to see dogs being walked off the lead. That in itself is not an offence, but dog walkers must ensure that their dogs are kept under proper control. It is an offence under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 for a dog to attack livestock, chase livestock or otherwise be at large (not on a lead or otherwise under close control) in an enclosure of sheep. The owner of the dog is ultimately responsible, and if being

walked by another person, then they too are liable to be charged. Like I said, it’s not an offence to have the dog off a lead, but if it is, it must be under close control. The definition of livestock is quite wide in that it also covers poultry and horses. Over the same weekend, there was a road traffic collision, whereby a dog was being walked near to the main road off the lead, and it ran across the road in front of a car and was killed. The person with the dog was ultimately at fault for the collision, and similar incidents to this could result in charges being brought against them for a dog deemed to be out of control in a public place, amongst others. If walking on or near a road, please ensure that dogs are kept on a lead and consideration should be given to insurance for the dog, as any collision caused by a dog could cost a lot financially. Most of you will no doubt be aware that on Saturday 5th April, the Lochearnhead Watersports Centre was found to be well ablaze. A joint investigation was undertaken by Police Scotland and Scottish Fire and Rescue and it has been concluded that the fire was set deliberately and enquiries are now underway. I would ask that if you have seen or heard anything to get in touch as a matter of urgency. Were you in Lochearnhead that night? Did you pass the watersports centre? Did you happen to see anyone or any vehicles parked in the vicinity? If you have any information, get in touch with me and let us decide whether or not it is of any value. I have no doubt that there is someone in the local communities that will know the identity of the person or persons responsible. As always, I can always be contacted on 101 or for those who prefer email, I can be contacted directly at william. Regards, PC Will Diamond


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

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

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

Other Contacts...

Helen Clark Business Manager 07971 648743

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

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

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

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Bowling - St Fillans Pilates - Balquhidder Village Hall - 6.40pm (Contact Abbey Arkotxa 01877 384671) Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 to11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am to 12.30pm Scottish Slimmers - Lochearnhead Village Hall - 7pm to 8pm Badminton - Balquhidder Hall - 8.00pm Country Dancing - St Fillans LEGS - Lochearnhead Hall - 6.30pm Pilates - Balquhidder Village Hall - 9.50am to 10.50am (Contact Abbey Arkotxa 01877 384671) Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am to 12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00 to 9.00pm Metafit Classes - Strathyre Village Hall - 8.00pm Choir Occasional - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm to 9.00pm Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon. Mel Brydie 01877 384668 Ballroom Dancing - Lochearnhead Hall

MAY 2014 10 Race Night - Lochearnhead Village Hall - 7pm - see p.2 24/25 Monachyle Mhor Festival weekend - see back page 24/25 Strathyre Music Festival - see pages 14/15 25 John Lincoln’s retirement service, Balquhidder Church - 12 noon 31 Summer Dance - Balquhidder Village Hall - 7.30pm - see p.2 JUNE 2014 7 Danakhosa Open Day - see page 18 Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 Councillor Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 924 Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07824 496 019

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

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

Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316 Sunday 12 noon Minister: Rev John Lincoln The Manse, Killin Tel: 01567 820 247 Dundurn Church, St Fillans Sunday11.30am Minister: Rev Graham McWilliams Tel: 01764 671 045

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

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



We’ll send you or your friends The


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

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




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

STRATHYRE. TEL 01877384248 07967143910


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

Neil Law

laptop Technician

Tel 01567 830314 Facebook: NHL Laptop Repair

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


Tv may 2014 lo res  

The voice of St Fillans, Lochearnhead, Balquhidder and Strathyre. Community newspaper for four villages around Loch Earn, The River Earn, Lo...

Tv may 2014 lo res  

The voice of St Fillans, Lochearnhead, Balquhidder and Strathyre. Community newspaper for four villages around Loch Earn, The River Earn, Lo...