Page 1






The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

BLS H ighland G ames and G athering For over 200 years now there have been Games on the shores of Loch Earn. Saturday 23 July 2011 dawned fine and sunny, as bright and clear as we have ever had. From 7.00am our trade stands were filing into Games Field and our patrons, competitors and spectators began arriving early in anticipation of a good day’s spectacle. To add to that anticipation we began with flypasts from Neil’s seaplanes and our friends at Mountain Rescue on exercise with their Sea King helicopter. Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Highland Games celebrates the Gathering of the Clans MacGregor, MacLaren and Stewart of Ardvorlich and include our neighbouring Clan MacNab. This year our President Angus Cameron invited Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor to attend as Chieftain and, accompanied by Lady MacGregor, they led the March, played into the field by Badenoch and Strathspey Pipe Band. Our car parking plans held up well as the crowd swelled to record proportions and neighbouring fields were soon filled. Side shows and trade stands were busy despite the economic conditions. Competitor entries were higher this year in every category. Conveners had worked hard to publicise the events. with the traditional Beginning Heavyweight events, competitors took part in Open competition and in Perthshire

Highland Games categories. SHGA events took on an international flavour with Rusty Price from California narrowly edging out Mike Pockoski of North Carolina with Craig Sinclair from Drumoak, Kincardineshire in third place. In the Perthshire Heavy Category Lorne Colthart of Blair Atholl and Stuart Anderson of Killin were nip and tuck. Stuart tied in caber while Lorne prevailed in shot and hammer. Perthshire League events are sponsored by PSPC. In track and field Gregor Innes of Glasgow and Prasad Prasad from Callander were again outstanding. Prasad continues to dominate the hill race in times around 27minutes and his wife won this year’s ladies race. Here special mention of Lochearnhead Hotelier Amanda Kerr, who finished third in the Ladies Race, running on behalf of her nominated charity Diabetes UK. In the Piping events John Mulhearn won the Senior March, Andrea Boyd the Strathspey/Reel and Jamie Forrester, Piobaireachd. Andrea won the overall prize. Struan Moffatt won Junior March, Strathspey and Reel, Timothy Ness the Piobaireachd. There was an extensive Highland Dancing programme all day. The committee had arranged to hire an awning to protect the dance platform and maintain an unobstructed view of the dancers and that

Highland Games as seen from Neil Gregory’s seaplane

worked well. Rachel McLagan Blairgowrie won in the 17+ class, Siobhan Young from Kilbirnie in 13-17yrs and Bethan Forrest from Forfar in under 13yrs class. Piob Mhor of Scotland sponsor the Perthshire dancers and The Piob Mhor award for Best Dressed was awarded to Lyndsey Douglas. Preparations for any event of this kind can be hard work. We rely on long hours and commitment from our volunteers. Several new recruits helped the old guard this time and we are very pleased by the responsible attitude shown, which gives us confidence for the future. If you want to assist in any way you will be made most welcome. On the day itself a special mention for Fiona and Davy Elston and their gate team for marshalling our spectators so good humouredly, also to Mike Holliday and his beer tent team who were running out of everything by close of day. Mike’s ceilidh from 4.00pm featured Pure Malt, a band specialising in rousing anthems lustily sung by the musically challenged. Our Clan Chieftains reported that their many guests enjoyed the spectacle and tradition in such a lovely setting. Thanks from us to all the spectators who contributed so much to the fun. We had visitors from all corners, notably parties from Spain and Belgium who joined in the local events and to the crowd at the High Jump who cheered on the competitors in great good humour. (Continued on page 2)

EDITORS’ RAMBLINGS Reading through the varied articles being prepared for this month’s Villagers a couple of themes seemed to be coming through. One was how people were recognising the value of being able to work with other parties who have the same ultimate goal of improving our communities. Kim Proven’s LETI article showing what she has achieved already and we have plans for further collaboration, one idea being to research authors and stories of the area. It was also interesting to see that Marguerite and Gill’s great front page of last month’s Villagers had been partly instrumental in saving Summer Music. This theme of helping is also illustrated by the number of people who are prepared to help charities raise much needed funds, either by walking, climbing or singing - all on different scales, but all showing the same spirit of generosity and caring. Please let us know of any events/shy heroes we should feature in future issues - or any events which need a few more volunteers to help achieve their aims and we can publicise these. One negative issue which is constantly being raised is the problem of litter and whose responsibility it is to deal with this constant blight on our surroundings. This is another area where hopefully bringing people’s ideas together might be productive, so views –suggestions - action plans will all be welcome for future issues. Autumn also featured in people’s thoughts - so I wish you all a perfect “Indian Summer” as, in the autumn of our life, we head off to New Zealand to support Scotland in their bid to win the Rugby World Cup, leaving Marguerite in sole charge again! Jill Johnston



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

19.6 ºC 23.4 9.4 4.4

67.2 ºF 74.1 49.0 39.0

Rainfall: 10.29 cms 4.1 ins Strongest wind gust 25 mph on 14 July 2

Balquhidder Summer Music is set to continue - for now!

With the departure of Alan Clarke from the organisation of Balquhidder Summer Music, a void opened up which threatened to be the end of the festival. At almost literally the last minute, he has managed to secure succession. The Friends of Balquhidder Church have already agreed to have Wouter van Doorn, of Breadalbane House, Killin, take the concert series into its 27th season, and hopefully beyond. As a husband-and-wife team, the Van Doorns have been running Breadalbane House as a B&B for a bit over two years now, since emigrating from the Netherlands. They were introduced to BSM at the start of the 2009 season by fellow visitors to the concerts from Killin and they’ve been to every concert they could manage to get away for ever since. When Alan Clarke announced the impending end at the last but one concert this year, it was Désirée who put the idea into Wouter’s head that he might be the one to try and keep the tradition going. Evidently, that worked, and with the guiding hand of Alan available in the background when necessary, he hopes that next year it will be ‘business as usual’ at Balquhidder Church! As he says: ‘We were consistently amazed at the high quality music-making that went The Van Doorns - Désirée and Wouter on in this very rural area and also at the staunch support and numerous attendance. It had become a focal point for us in the BLS H ighland G ames summer season and one we looked forward and G athering to every time. Being the next organiser (Continued from front page) was a fascinating idea, which very quickly Among our visitors we were delighted became more than just a flight of fancy. to welcome the MacLaren Pipe Band We live close by, we have time to spend from Holland. They had contacted us (especially off-season, when most of the and requested permission to march and organisational work takes place), classical to play on the field. We were pleased music has been in my veins for as long as I to accommodate such a request and remember and it would be an ideal way to they played a set with Badenoch and integrate more fully into the Trossachs and Strathspey Band as well as for their Clan. Perthsire area that has become our home. We hope they will return. Together, Désirée and I hope to keep up the As Secretary, I thank our generous good work.’ patrons, our convenors and many There is no intention to change what volunteers who help to create such a Summer Music is - a platform for mainly day. Acknowledgement here goes to Dr young professional musicians at the Kinloch of Edinchip for the use of the beginning of their career, and the variety field. in programming remains a focal point. Finally I would mention two of our Unfortunately, economic circumstances long time conveners who are standing will make a close look at ways to make aside after 2011. Catie McNally who has ends meet very necessary. With rising run the Secretary’s tent and Fiona Elston rates for the artists along with grants in charge of Gate have indicated that and sponsorship increasingly difficult to they look forward to taking on a role obtain, there is heavy weather ahead. Best as spectators in future. Our conveners of all would be rising attendance; not just are very important to our success and for the direct (and necessary) income, but typically neither would step aside until they felt that others were ready to assume also to show sponsors and decision-makers their jobs on Games day. Thank you both on grants that the concerts work; and fill a for all your involvement. It is a great need. comfort that others are willing to step into It is probably safe to predict that next their shoes. year’s series will happen. Everyone can help by attending one or more of the Summer Alex Gargolinski Music concerts next year and by spreading Secretary the word!

The St Fillans Bit Best to get the apology out of the way first. It seems that my brief mention of the superb Ladies’ Day production by the St Fillans Players did not meet with the approval of at least one member of the group – as she told me during the Festive Weekend. I have re-read the report I made last month and really can’t see why it might be classed as ‘rubbish’. The essence of the report was that we enjoyed a great night’s entertainment, that I was so pleased to see Cathy’s group back up to strength and everyone left happy. I did say that the second half dragged a bit and mentioned the several prompts. This was just as I saw it – my opinion. It’s maybe worth repeating to readers that none of us who contribute to The Villagers is a professional journalist (my only qualification is an ‘O’ level in English but that was in 1958, and in Birmingham, so probably doesn’t count), we receive no remuneration or expenses, we do it to keep alive a local monthly mag which we all believe in. Much of the stuff I write could well be classed as rubbish – in which case, don’t bother reading it! Rant over. Yet another very successful Festive Weekend in August. As we’ve come to expect, the weather did its worst and three days of continual rain building up to the Friday evening left the playing field waterlogged and the Softie Ball had to be called off and replaced by a quiz, which happily filled the time until supper – a really good Thai curry which Alan Milne, a known expert on nosh, praised by announcing, after his third plate full, “It’ll do”. That’s worth a Michelin Star anywhere else. The Billy Ferguson Band then entertained and ‘fair got the place stomping’ with all ages up and jigging. The Saturday BBQ was excellent and the roving magician who entertained at the individual tables was mesmerising. Before he came to our table, the old wise one (me) said, “Watch his hands, not his eyes”. I watched his hands from 2ft away and I simply have no idea how he did the tricks. How can a six of hearts lying in someone’s hand turn into a three of clubs when the magician is 4ft away from him? There was a later magic show in front of the audience and aimed, I gather, at the kids. I missed it but my better half said that the kids, and the adults, were enthralled. This was a new innovation for the Festive Weekend and I doubted it would work. Wrong again – well done committee! Harry masterminded the outdoor games which, again, I didn’t see but having seen Harry in action last year I’ve no doubt they were a success. To Sunday and a major innovation – table cloths, proper plates, real cutlery

(Continued overleaf)

The full committee discussing next year’s event

Jiving in wellies

The Band

The elders of the village

The Jiggers

The Magician - pure magic! 3

(Continued from page 3

and table service for the lamb roast. The marquee looked a treat, but maybe (again my opinion) it was a bit ambitious for a village fête. Feeding ninety folk all at the same time is a serious challenge (as a hotelier I’d never have chanced it, always dividing big parties into sub-sections). The downside was that, good as the lamb was, it was cold by the time it reached the last tables, including ours. Still good, but disappointing as I love hot roast lamb. Entertainment was by a ‘Cool Jazz Band’ called Free Four. Easy going music, very well played. But, again, my opinion, backed by several others who were there, it lacked the fun aspect of trad jazz. As it was described to me later by a villager ‘elevator music’ and lacking the ‘uumph’ needed for a fête. There were two auctions, on the Saturday and Sunday – both very well supported by the guests. Please, committee, don’t take the Sunday comments too much to heart – just feedback, which I know from last year you appreciate. One has to take any event as a complete experience and I think that I’m not alone in saying, “Fantastic weekend – well done”. Having run the thing for a few years I know, but few see, the hours of effort expended by a small group of organisers both before, during and (never seen) afterwards. I gather from Johnston that the profit/surplus on the weekend is around £4,000 – not a bad start to Russell’s kids’ play park project. As an aside, it was so good to see so many of the newcomers to the village supporting the Festive Weekend – even the folk who only moved into Willie’s Neish just two days before. I was in a minority when I supported the Genesis development because I believed that the village needed ‘fresh blood’, new folk to revitalize our village. We’re all getting older and less inclined to lead things – the newcomers are certainly doing that, and well. Talking of getting older, it seems no time since the intrepid Ian Moncreiff was

celebrating his 70th by walking 7 miles, cycling 7 miles, rowing 7 miles, playing 7 holes of golf and then drinking 7 pints in the Achray (it’s in village folk law that he and his buddy Owen lost count of the pints and drank 12 by mistake). Now, on his 80th birthday, Ian has just won the Over 80s competition in St Fillans and been picked to represent Scotland in an upcoming Blind Golf Competition with England. Amazing! Still on the getting older note, my much abused body entertains me daily with fresh aches and pains. Three weeks ago something slipped in my upper back and I literally couldn’t move my neck without real pain, such that I spent two nights sitting bolt upright in a chair with a blanket round me, trying to sleep. I saw Doreen (the local bone doctor) after two days, she pounded me but said she could not cure it – go see the Doc to get decent pain killers. At 3.00pm on a Friday I phoned Comrie Surgery, was seen by a doctor before 5.00pm and given pain killers from stock until the chemist opened on Saturday. The point of this tale is that we read all the time of people down South waiting three days for an appointment with the doctor – just how lucky are we in rural Perthshire? Updates from the Four Seasons (no report last month as Mary was on holiday and Andrew forgot – he’s had his cymbals

confiscated for two weeks as punishment). Firstly, if you want Christmas Day Lunch there, book now – they were sold out long before December last year). Plus, it’s Scottish Food Fortnight from 3rd – 17th September with truly Scottish Dishes like Shetland Salmon, Scrabster Scallops, Perthshire Lamb, Balquhidder Venison and even Comrie Butcher’s Haggis. And if you take a copy of The Villagers with you there is 10% off the bill! What more do you need? Now a word from Sophie!

Sophie’s Bit...............

Hello! The summer holidays are nearly over and you know what that means? School starts up again. In the summer we have been up to all sorts of fun things like the Comrie Fortnight. We took part in some of the activities and did really well in them. We did the Pram Derby where you had to be in fancy dress as someone else pushed the pram. My sister Emily and her friend Anna dressed as the Tortoise and the Hare and they came 1st in their age group. My friend Eilidh and I dressed as Hula girls and came 2nd in our age group. My brother Daniel’s football team won their tournament. We all had great fun. Later in the Comrie Fortnight Pet Show my cousin Abigail came up and helped us enter Gnasher and Gnipper. Gnipper came 2nd for most lively dog (Gawd knows how lively the first was – JM) and Gnasher came second for the most obedient. So the dogs did really well too. At the start of August I did the Tread Drama School. I really enjoyed it and had a wonderful time. Every night I came home very tired because I’d been singing and dancing all day long. At the end of the week we performed a show from Grease, Mamma Mia and Hairspray. It was non-stop singing and dancing. (Cathy – take note – a definite recruit! JM) After that it was the St Fillans Weekend. We could only go on the Saturday. My cousins came and we all had a great time. The magician was really good and did great magic tricks. There were really good races to enter and have fun in. When I went to Grandma’s and Grampa’s we had a walk on the beach and found a huge dead crab. So we dug a hole and buried it. Then we found an enormous jellyfish, about 40cm across. We didn’t touch it! We have had a great holiday - hope you have too.

Sophie x

The Amazing Ian Moncrieff 4

Keep the info coming in – for the first time in years I’ve had to drop several items this month to keep within my allocation of words. But bet your life next month I’ll be struggling to fill my space. John Murray

Strathyre News Laura and Emma take on the mighty West Highland Way Pictured are Laura McLaren, 20, and Emma McLellan, 20, who are about to tackle the West Highland Way to raise funds for March Glen Care Centre. Fundraising has been ongoing for some time now as everyone will know from the collection boxes around the village and in Callander, so it is anticipated that a very respectable sum should be heading to their chosen charity and it will be interesting to know just how well these two intrepid travellers do! I will keep you posted. The West Highland Way is a mammoth walk, which starts in Milngavie and ends in Fort William, a distance of no less than 97 MILES of very hard and unforgiving terrain. The walk will be spread over a sixday period with the miles covered being extended each day. They will pass through Carbeth, Drymen, Balmaha, Rowardennan, Inversnaid, Ardlui, Inverarnan, Crianlarich,Tyndrum, Bridge Of Orchy, Inveroran, Kingshouse (Rannoch), Kinlochleven and finally Fort William. Living accommodation will be a mixture of hotels, hostels and tents.

Laura and Emma - the Intrepid Two!

This is not a walk for the faint hearted and the girls have been in training (I hope) for this arduous journey. I am sure they are as ready as they will ever be. They leave on Saturday 27th August and return on Thursday 1st September, so by the time you have read this they will be home safe and sound and probably a wee bit sore in places which I will not mention ... but what an experience. I’m sure it will be a big talking point for a very long time and I think I can say that all our readers wish them the best of luck and good health throughout this wonderful journey. Hope the weather is kind to you, girls!!!! Wullie Dalziel

What the Spider said to the Spider... by Jim H!

The Village Store St Fillans

Newsagent • Off-licence • Top-ups Tobacco • Groceries • Gifts Hot Pies to take away Hardware • Oil • Fishing Tackle & Permits Café • Dunfillan Coffee Soup • Toasties • Baking • Packed Lunches OPENING HOURS:

7.00am - 5.30pm every day Late opening (Fri/Sat/Sun) till 7.00pm

01764 685309


Stirling Area Broadband

Callander Jazz and Blues Festival 2011

30 September - 2 October The sixth annual Callander Jazz and Blues Festival is once again fast approaching and as always will offer a long weekend of superb music with a number of extended themes and a unique new Festival venue. Last year, we ran out of audience space at quite a few of our headline performances which was most disappointing for the visitors concerned. This year we are doing something about the space situation by siting an outside event venue which is a first for Callander and a first for any Jazz Festival in Scotland. A theatre size Yurt, capable of seating 250 people, will be located in the grassed playing area behind Callander Primary School for the duration of the festival weekend. All seven of this year’s headline performances will be staged at this venue. The other Festival gigs, which will be in excess of 30, will still be staged in local hotels, pubs, restaurants and eateries in the town as in past years. The vast majority of this year’s live performances will take place in Callander and so we are looking forward to a very lively festival weekend. Festival Jazz cruises There will be two Jazz cruises in the festival programme, the first on Saturday 1 October featuring the music of the Ness River Rhythm Kings, and the second on Sunday 2 October with the ever popular Winston’s Pennine Jazz on board again for the third year running. Both Jazz Cruises are on board the SS Sir Walter Scott and depart at 3.00 pm each day, with a cruise duration of two hours. Please note that tickets are only bookable from Lock Katrine Pier Ticket Office, tel: 01877 332000 e-mail: Ticket price is £19.50 per person, or £14.50 per person for Festival Rover ticket holders. Full details of this year’s Festival performers and event programme plus ticket information and prices can be found on the Festival website, www. Festival Rover tickets are now on sale from the Callander Tourist Information Centre; all major debit/credit cards accepted; telephone 01877 330342. For online ticket sales, go to www. Weekend Rover tickets are £40 per person. The Festival helpline is 01877 339399 /339455


It is widely acknowledged that a significant number of businesses and residents in the Stirling Council area are suffering from poor broadband internet access. Working with Clackmannanshire Council and partners, Stirling Council is currently putting measures in place to address broadband issues that have been plaguing the areas surrounding and including Bandeath Industrial Estate (Throsk) and Touch Business Centre (Cambusbarron). The Scottish Government has ambitions that by 2015 all homes and businesses in the UK will have access to at least 2Mbit/s broadband and that 90% will have access to 24Mbit/s. To this end the Government will soon make a limited amount of funding available. To meet the Government’s ambitions and Stirling Council’s own economic development objectives, we plan to build on what we are already implementing in the Bandeath/Touch areas and ensure a quality broadband service is available to all residents and businesses throughout Stirling. To do this we need to apply for Government funding and we need your help to do so. If you, as a resident or business, are suffering from poor or no access to broadband please e-mail or write to Sandy Frickleton at the address below. If you know of any other residents or businesses in your area that have broadband issues, please encourage them to respond to Sandy as well. To help with building the case for Stirling Sandy needs a description of the issue and what you/ they mainly use the internet for. Also, an indication of current speed would be helpful. The more evidence we have, the stronger our bid for funding to get a quality broadband service out to you will be. Contact details: Sandy Frickleton, Business Liaison Executive, Stirling Council, New Viewforth, Stirling. Email: frickletona@ Tel: 01786 443403

recipes from our local hotels Old Flax Mill Lamb Stew (Irish Style) by Andrew McNie

Chef/Proprietor at the Old Flax Mill 2lbs potatoes 8oz onions 8oz leeks 2lbs diced lamb shoulder ¾ pint lamb stock 1 teaspoon salt + pinch of pepper 1 level tablespoon dried rosemary This style of lamb stew is ideal for anyone on a gluten free diet! Thinly slice potatoes, onions and leeks. Place in pan with diced lamb then add stock and seasoning. Bring to the boil then lower the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 1½hours or until meat is tender. Transfer to a warm dish and serve sprinkled with chopped parsley. Serve with mashed Rooster potatoes, Savoy cabbage tossed in a little butter and smoked bacon, together with steamed carrots. This recipe serves four. ENJOY!

Secret Workers on Wildlife Reserve? Those of you who know The Old Flax Mill may not be aware that just across the road is the Colin Burt Reserve for Wildlife Preservation. It’s a great place to walk off the effects of the Sunday carvery and I go there with my dog so that he can have a good run after having waited patiently while I enjoyed my meal. Each time I visit there is something new on the reserve; a renovated path, signage through the wood, a new bridge leading across the bog into the wild meadow and soon there will be a footpath to the River Dochart and improvements to the bird hide. So who are the folk who work there? I have only come across them twice and last time I spoke to their leader Mark Pearson, to find out more. The Group is made up of young people from Fife who first started working in January 2001 as a single ATC squadron undertaking a conservation challenge for the Air Training Corp’s 60th Anniversary. There was much interest from other squadrons and the Fife Air Cadets Conservation Group was established in February 2002 and adopted its formal constitution at the first AGM in March of that year. It currently has cadets and staff from Glenrothes, Auchtermuchty, Cupar, Kirkcaldy and Burntisland ATC Sqns. Members of the Group all take part in the John Muir Award and a number of volunteers use the work to help towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and/or Queen’s Scout Award. Working in partnership, and very much an important part of the Group, are Explorer Scouts from groups across Fife. Many families have joined the Group and continue to help on each project. Everyone is involved in the ongoing practical management of different sites across Fife, Southern Central Scotland, in Glen Dochart, near Killin and also in an area within the Lake District National Park. The Group purchased a 50acre area of land in Glen Dochart in 2005. This is the Colin Burt Reserve for Wildlife Conservation. Colin Burt was a dedicated conservationist with a passion for wildlife and the countryside. After his tragic early death in 2004 his family wanted to find a place which would be a living memorial to him, dedicated to the wildlife, landscape and people he had loved and they formed a partnership with the Fife Air Cadets Conservation Group. The land in Glen Dochart was designated a part of the River Tay Special Area of Conservation on 17 March 2005 and work began the following year. Many years of work lie ahead but much has already been achieved to turn what was wet grazing ground and poor quality conifer plantation into an accessible reserve suitable for both wildlife and people. The aim is to demonstrate how recreation can be balanced with conservation, allowing people to experience and appreciate the countryside even more. MK The next three scheduled work days are as follows: Sunday 10 October • Saturday 27 November • Wednesday 29 December If anyone in the Breadalbane area is interested to join in or to sponsor this very important work please get in touch with Mark Pearson on: 07887 998 975 or Cazz Burt on 07833 600 365. 7

Church News BalquhiĐĐer Reg. Charity No. SC012316

Scottish Country Dancing New Season - New Day! The winter months are sadly approaching fast and it is time for the Scottish Country Dancing class to start again. Last year started well with four new members but sadly by the end only one of them remained and there is a chance that one of our other members will be moving so once more it is very much a hope that we get enough people this year. We were also badly hit with the cold weather last winter which meant cancelling more evenings than ever before. A couple of our members who were forced to give up because of work commitments want to rejoin us but can only do so if we change the day from Tuesday to Thursday so we thought, why not? Perhaps it will encourage more people if we try a different evening. Everything else remains the same - the subscription of £10 which covers all classes from the end of September to the end of March, which works out at 12 evenings before Christmas and 12 evenings in the New Year, plus an optional 30p per evening if you would like a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit halfway through. All ages are welcome and no charge for students. The first evening is free anyway so that you can try it with out obligation. All you need is a soft pair of shoes. Please come and give us a try - the first class is Thursday 29 September at 8.00pm in Strathyre Village Hall. For more details contact either our teacher Daphne Gompertz on 01877 384688 or our treasurer Hilda Astbury 01877 384681. Look forward to seeing you.


We are very pleased to hear that Summer Music will carry on next year, with a new chairman in charge. Wouter van Doorn and his wife Désirée, who live in Killin, have kindly volunteered their services which have been most gratefully accepted by The Friends of Balquhidder Church. Most folk will know by now that Alan and Joan Clarke have departed for a change of scene in rural Shropshire. During the years they ran Summer Music, they maintained a high standard of performances from a wide variety of artists, and that is sure to continue. The Friends of Balquhidder Church are looking out for new members especially anyone willing to serve on the Committee. It might be worth mentioning that membership of the Friends and the Committee is by no means limited to Church members. The Friends have a wide membership from around the world as well as locally here. The annual membership fee includes a magazine which is published twice a year, with articles about the Church, local history and the clans etc. For more details contact Miss Rosemary Whittemore at Tannoch Taigh, Balquhidder, FK19 8PB or email This year, Harvest Thanksgiving, with a retiral collection for Christian Aid, will be at the regular midday service on 25 September. All Church members have received an invitation from the Kirk Session to Coffee and Snacks at Kirkton Farm, starting at 10.30am, before the Harvest Thanksgiving Service. The Kirk Session is grateful to Mr and Mrs McLaren for the use of their premises for this event. Jean Edwards

The BLS Lunch and Leisure Club

resumes on Monday 3 October and, by popular request, will be at Lochearnhead Scout Station.

Make a note in your diary that Monday lunchtimes are good for a meal, a blether and a game. The club is open to all residents in the area – of any age. 12.30 – 2.30pm A choice of two soups, two puddings, tea or coffee, all for £2.00 Followed by whist, dominoes or scrabble. If you need transport to and fro contact Maurice Baker on 01567 830353 so that arrangements can be made!


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 discovers something of a ballistic nature...

Some would say “Old Nyati has been scratching about again”, which is perfectly true. How many people would have noticed this strange object lying in the peat out on the hill above Stroneslaney? It looked like the end of a broken branch, blackened and preserved by the acidic peat. But what of its identity? Take a look at the photographs and you will see that it is the remains of the brass end of a 12 bore pinfire shotgun cartridge. Compare it with the complete one in the second photo; it is clearly the same; the clue is the remains of the ‘pin’, which make it that little bit different. Now if we enquire a little more, the pinfire ignition system was only in brief use after its introduction in 1852, replacing the percussion muzzle loader, to be replaced only a few years later by the centrefire system that we know today. So what does this mean? Well the12th August is only just past and there will still be good walk-up days to be done. Was this cartridge fired on the 12th? Was it at grouse, or blackgame or snipe a little later in the season? We can date the time to be soon after 1852 and before the general acceptance of the centrefire, perhaps 1852-1860. It would certainly have been a shooting party from Stronvar. Last August The Villagers carried a photograph of a painting of just such a

day, showing the Carnegie family walkingup grouse over pointers on the Glorious Twelfth and the site of that painting is easily recognised as the low ground just above Gartnafuaran. My find was about half a mile farther along the glen. Remember that at that time the hill would have well managed heather, scattered oak and pine trees on the low ground with open hill above. We know from records that good bags of grouse were Centrefire cartridge showing percussion cap taken then. To give some idea of the amount of game in the glen - a long departed neighbour told me that as a child his parents were allowed to net salmon in the Calair Burn and caught so many that they gave them to the cats and dogs! Now of the gun that fired that cartridge; it would have been of high quality, so was it an Alex Henry or a Dixon or even a McNaughton? All were famous gunsmiths in Edinburgh and still known as ‘The Purdeys of the North’. What became of it? If it were from one of those makers and in good condition today we could talk of a value of several thousands of pounds. I have seen one of the stalking rifles that belonged to the family at Stronvar House; Preserved pinfire cartridge it was of the highest quality and is still being used in vintage events at Bisley. So if you see some old chap “scratching about” around the glen, stop and have a word. Another ‘Find’ could be in the offing ...“Time Team, eat your heart out!”

The Find

The load inside the cartridge

What the Spider said to the Spider... by Jim H!


Online Access for The Villagers! Ever wish you hadn’t binned The Villagers after reading it from cover to cover? Trying to recall an article, photo or advert? Archive records of The Villagers newspaper are now available online thanks to an offer by Loch Earn Tourism Initiative (LETI) members to host the publication on its website. The Villagers’ editorial group and LETI members share common aims in promoting local people, news, stories and events peculiar to the area. Lochearnhead villager Kim Proven drives the marketing and development of LETI’s website with other volunteers, Paul Holt (Strathyre) and Alison Inglis (Balquhidder). Kim says “www. depends on fresh local content and on-going publicity to improve its on-line presence and attract tourists. The Villagers newspaper does not have a website so the collaboration made sense. Local news and stories by both groups can now be enjoyed by villagers, tourists and generations to come.” Advertisers will gain a lifetime of extra value as the on-line version of the newspaper ensures automatic links where a website address is printed. Archive copies will be two months behind to enable up to the minute news and current events to be promoted in the traditional printed format sold via village retailers. LETI was formed in 1994 in Lochearnhead for accommodation providers to support each other. Neighbouring business enthusiasts from Balquhidder, Strathyre and St Fillans followed suit and today there are 38 member businesses covering accommodation, hospitality, outdoor activities and related services. Their aim is to increase business and awareness of the area through positive

publicity, attracting and delighting new and repeat guests. Kim says “Together we can sleep over 600 people, and wine and dine a significant number. If one of us is occupied we direct tourists to the website for alternative accommodation and information rather than lose them to other regions or countries. Like The Villagers’ news editors, we rely on locals and member volunteers to create and add new content. This is one of the ways that increases our chances of being found on the internet. It is a slow process, however, the website is constantly evolving and improving.” LETI’s chairman, photographer Alistair Barclay, rallies group members a few times a year offering a platform for ideas, discussion and outside presenters. The group also meets for light hearted social events at least once a year sampling dinners and lunches subsidised by hospitality members. If you are not aware of LETI’s website or recent updates, visit www.robroycountry. com or try searching for old news and contacts in The Villagers’ archives, www. If you are an accommodation, hospitality or outdoor activities provider in the area and would like to join LETI, there is an annual membership of £40. Members can expect; a business page and photographs, website links, scheduled events and attractions on the events calendar, stories and links on the blog site, publicity through external media contacts, sharing best practices, business and customer cross referrals and social gatherings to sample the best food and drink in the area. Email: with any queries relating to LETI or Telephone Kim Proven 01567 830 443 regarding the website.

Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses are taking part in a training programme. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoon will be on:

Wednesday 14 September Thursday 20 October Tuesday 22 November Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12 noon. Emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 08454 242424. On that afternoon, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments.

Ballroom Dancing Classes

start again on Friday 23 September from 7.30pm in Lochearnhead Village Hall Beginners very welcome. Contact Mary Barclay on 01567-830453 for further details

Good Food - and a warm welcome awaits all. Our exciting new kitchen team will be cooking the best locally sourced produce to ensure our summer menu has something for everyone. To make a reservation and enquire about our free transport service contact George at the Kings House. Reservations Tel: 01877 384 646 Fax: 01877 384716 email: 10

Do you do a regular weekly shopping run to Stirling? Could you drop me off and collect me at Bridge of Allan? Leaving Balquhidder at 1.15pm ... collecting from Bridge of Allan at 4.00pm...? Cost of petrol to be shared. Phone Penny Hannah

01877 384202

Lochearnhead Village Fete After an apprehensive start to the day, due to the inclement weather, things kicked off at 1.00pm with Owen McKee opening the fete. Thereafter the sun came out and thanks to the Callander Pipe Band, we were entertained with a few rousing tunes. Once again, thanks to Liz Campbell’s dancers from Callander School of Dancing, visitors enjoyed a display of some fine Highland Dancing. There were the usual races for all ages, with a good turnout from the adults, some running barefoot and others in wellies. Next was the ever popular dog show, with all sorts of dogs, those that looked like their owners, best six legs, scruffy dogs, waggy tailed dogs, ones that the judge would most like to take home and a new class this year, for the most unusual dog (see photos!) Thanks must go to those who worked tirelessly around the ring, selling books, tombola tickets, burgers, crepes, plants, teas and cakes, beer, bric-a-brac; and to others who ran the coconut shy, face-painting stall, pitch and putt, dog show entries, gate entries, fortune-telling and Find the Golden Nail stall. Also thank you to Tom Gibbon who kept us entertained on the PA system throughout the day. Overall, all those who were there appeared to enjoy the afternoon, visitors and villagers alike. In order for such an occasion to run smoothly and well, it does take quite a number of committed people before and after the event, to organise the setting up and clearing away and we would like to thank the busy work gang. We would welcome anyone who would like to help with this annual and enjoyable event, which is important for our community socially and financially, as the monies raised go towards the maintenance of our local Village Hall. Or if you can come up with any new ideas (which would be greatly welcomed), please let any one of the Village Hall Committee know. We would be delighted to hear from you. We do not have an exact total profit as yet, but as it stands, it is in the excess of £800. Good effort everyone and thanks again. Ollie Cameron

Making the most of the weather at Lochearnhead Village Fete. Top: Ladies’ Race; above: relaxing in the sunshine, and below left: ‘The Most Unusual Dog’...


Callander Sport and Adventure Project Organised by Callander Sport and Adventure Project, The Callander Highland Games Hill Race recently returned to Callander after a ten year absence and attracted 60 entries from 6 different countries. Runners from near and far were challenged by an arduous but spectacular 8 mile course showing off some of the wonderful scenery that Callander has to offer. Despite high levels of competition Callander’s own athletes managed to take away three of the five gold medals, an outstanding performance. This highly successful event is just the start of things to come as Callander Sport and Adventure Project, a developing social enterprise, is aiming to create more opportunities for sport and adventure activities in the area. To find out more about the Callander Sport and Adventure Project and to be “Part Of The Plan” please come to our publicity event detailed below. Please note that in order to cater for the right numbers booking is essential. Below: Callander’s Craig Harvey, Gold medallist and second overall; right: Robert Osfield of Callander approaches the summit , and right, above: For Wendy Rizza of Glasgow, the ordeal is nearly over!


‘Be Part of The Plan’

on Tuesday 20 September at 7.30pm in The Atrium Café CCW Store Main Street, Callander Drop in for a buffet supper and a glass of wine. There is no cost for the event but booking is essential! Please email by 13 September. Angela Ward from Paisley with Dave Fisher from Callander Pipe Band

Massive Registration Campaign Brian Byrne, the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) is advising electors that the annual Voter Registration Form is being posted out on 31 August. • The form should be checked to ensure that all eligible resident electors over 16 years of age are included before making a prompt response. • The most cost effective response to the form can be made by telephone, email, fax or text if no changes are necessary. • Should changes be necessary then a signed form with details of the changes is required and can be returned by scanned email attachment, fax or in the pre-paid envelope provided. • It is in every elector’s interest to ensure that a response is made and they are included in the 1st December Register of Electors. Not being registered prevents you voting and reduces your credit rating. • Should anyone require further advice please refer to the frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) on • If you have not received a registration form or have not registered by telephone or email by 9 September please download a form from the above website. • • • Contact details for the Electoral Registration Office are: Email: Tel: 01786-892289 Fax 01786-892255

Rusty McD is here again with another 5-minute interview featuring someone in our community - and their furry, feathered or scaly friends!

5 minutes with...

Hilda Astbury & Snowy I have been told by various youngsters in the area that they think Mrs Astbury is a legend. To get legend status in the eyes of a teenager you have to be quite something! I have to say I quite agree. Hilda Astbury without doubt qualifies to be one of the most active pensioners in our four villages. Hilda’s house is a busy one when I arrive. She is having her family from Dunblane and Edinburgh over for a visit and they all make me very welcome. I point out to Hilda that my piece in The Villagers is quite light hearted and obviously not the height of journalism, to which Hilda aptly replies “I know, I’ve read them all”! Snowy, Hilda’s cat is snoozing away on a chair, ends up on Hilda’s lap during the interview and remains sound asleep whilst we are all having an animated conversation.

Hilda, how long have you lived in Strathyre? My husband Don and I purchased the schoolhouse 27 years ago. We previously lived in Manchester. We used to go on holiday to Scotland – why go abroad when there are still so many hills we haven’t climbed and so many places to visit in our country? I used to be a maths teacher at a secondary school and I took early retirement when I was in my 50’s. People thought I would be bored in early retirement but I wasn’t really! I am not the sort of person to do nothing! I nevertheless got a part-time job at the college teaching computer science. The college had one computer for 30 students – different times! I bought a computer for myself so that any keen students could use mine occasionally. My husband Don, who was a chief chemist, wasn’t sure if he could retire. The schoolhouse in Strathyre had been for sale for a while and we were told that the council had put in another date for a viewing. It was a very snowy winter. We bought the house. Don retired in April and we moved in in June 1984. Tell me about life in Strathyre once you settled into the schoolhouse. I took up country dancing, at first it was the only active thing I found to do. I also took Gaelic lessons. Don very quickly got involved in being in the community council and all sorts of other things so I took up orienteering. I took up competitive orienteering. I first won the British Championships in 1980 in my class (classes are ranked by age) and I have been to places like Scandinavia, Ireland and the veteran world cup in the States. I volunteered at the Strathyre, Lochearnhead and Brig O’ Turk schools and took the children out for orienteering during term time. In my first year in Strathyre there were 9 children at the school and it was agreed we would do some orienteering for

Hilda with the amazing Snowy!

a term. I took my group to the school championships at Gartmorn Dam and we (Strathyre Primary) won over all the big schools in the area! In my job as a maths teacher I always worked with teenagers and so I have never treated the primary school children any different. This resulted in a very grown up attitude which I’m sure is why all these children did so well at the championships.

What do you like and what do you find maybe not quite so good about living in our area? I like the fact that we are in the country. I like the people, the fact that it isn’t busy, I just like living here. It would have been an advantage if the trains were still around! Tell me about Snowy. We’ve had Snowy since she was a kitten. Snowy is going to be 22 in October! Our previous cat got killed on the road outside and we decided we weren’t going to have another cat. But then one day a mouse appeared in the house... Our son’s friend had a pedigree cat and they used to plan pedigree litters but the cat had other ideas - she got out and that was that... The kittens were born in October and my granddaughter Joanne christened the kitten we picked ‘Snowy’. Snowy used to be outside most of the time but she is now an indoor cat and just sleeps! She would be quite happy to sleep on my lap all day long if I were the sort of person who would sit down a lot! Who would you like me to interview next, Hilda? I’ve given it a bit of thought and have decided to nominate Edna Haydock and Margaret Mylne next. They have a dog called Copper.

There is a toot outside the door, which coincides with the interview being finished. Hilda rushes out to get some fish from the fishmonger’s and I’m heading back to my car smiling. Another lovely visit. So Edna Haydock and Margaret Mylne, if you are reading this, be prepared! I’m off to visit you for next month’s issue of The Villagers.

Callander Rambling Club

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www. 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! SEPTEMBER • Sat 10th 8:30am Ramble - Across Rannoch Moor (12 miles) Rob Smallman 01786 825877 • Wed 28th 9:30am Ramble - The Braes of Doune Windmills (7 miles) Margaret Black 01786 850237 OCTOBER • Sat 8th 8:30am LDP: Hill: Beinn Chochan & Beinn Bhreac (703m) contact 01877 387201 13

McLaren High School News Hungry for Success At the end of last session the 80 pupils in Stirling Council’s high schools with the highest points for the year in the healthy eating reward scheme each received an Amazon voucher to the value of £100. Congratulations to the following pupils from McLaren High who were all in the top 80 and received a voucher: Laura Aitken, Catherine Allan, Stuart Berrow, Will Cartwright, Jack Cartwright, Siobhan Cattigan, Harry Cordner, Alasdair Craig, Jinny Dowling, Antonia Dowling, Shannon Dyer, Helena Gardner, James Gardner, Cameron Gibson, Aimee Higginson, Darek Kunecki, Steven Lauder, Ruairidh Leishman, Kristina MacEachern, Daniel Mallin Martin, Charlotte Mallin Martin, Lindsay McEwen, Laura McGinley, Fiona Morgan, Georgia Parkes, Francesca Respinger, Megan Rhys, Anna Tatnell, Ailsa Taylor, Camilla Tigwell and Hazel Wyllie. Well done for making healthy choices when purchasing food in the cafeteria. Senior Golf Championship

Callum Fountain (above) won this year’s Senior Golf Championship by beating Darek Kunecki in the final round. Competition was very strong and credit must go to Callum for his success. He will have his name engraved on the Senior Golf Championship trophy as well as recognition for his golfing prowess at the Senior Awards Ceremony. Well done to all entrants for making this year’s competition a very successful one and for conducting themselves in a very sporting manner. Box Tops for Books McLaren High School is participating in the Box Tops for Books scheme this year. It is an initiative from Nestlé offering a wide range of new books from the leading children’s publisher Dorling

by Yvonne King

Kindersley in exchange for tokens from the top of Nestlé cereal boxes. You can view the types of books that are available by visiting www. As well as information about the scheme, the website has lots of tips about how you can support your child’s reading at home. It takes as little as 10 tokens to get one book, so the more tokens we collect the more books we can receive for our library. This is where we need your help and support to make the most of the scheme. If your family eats Nestlé cereals, please remember to tear off the token on the top of the box and bring it in to school. Tokens can be handed in to reception, the pupil office or the library. Edinburgh International Book Festival On Monday 22 August pupils from S2 and S3 went to the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Here are two pupils’ thoughts on the day: ‘I enjoyed the book festival because it was a good way to see new authors, hear them talk about their books and hear how they were inspired to write their books. I liked all the authors and thought their books sounded very good. One of the authors, Celia Rees, had written historical novels and she talked about her newest book, The Fool’s Girl, and how she had based it on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. I thought the plot was clever and it is a book that I want to read in the future. I really enjoyed listening to Julie Bertanga and Keith Gray. Their books were both about surviving in different ways. Julia’s was about a future sinking world in the year 2099. Keith’s book was on running away from home with his friend’s urn.’ Hannah Michael S2 ‘When we arrived at the book festival we went to the Scottish Power tent and saw Celia Rees. She explained that she buys one piece of jewellery for every book she writes, to reward herself. Next we went to another workshop which was held in the RBS tent with Keith Gray and Julie Bertanga. They told us in detail about how they wrote their books, the style and what they were about. Both of the books sounded good. Julia had published a series of books about 2099 where the world was all underwater. Keith Gray has written many books but he described his book Ostrich Bay and it sounded good and he encouraged us to read it. The Edinburgh Book Festival was a great experience.’ Gregor Henderson S2

visit our website: 14

Macmillan Cancer Care Charity Concert and Auction On Thursday 25 August a charity concert and auction, organised by Fiona Martin of Lochearnhead and held in the Killin Kirk and Hotel raised over £2,000 for Macmillan Cancer Care. This was the third such concert and auction, the others being held in previous years at the Watersports Centre in Lochearnhead. Following a number of instances where family and friends had benefited from the support and care of Macmillan Nurses, Fiona has now raised many thousands of pounds for this most worthy of charities. Her grandchildren and some of their friends were joined by the Killin Community Choir where a selection of music for voice, bassoon, cello, flute, piano and trombone, took place. An audience of some seventy people thoroughly enjoyed the concert before retiring to the Killin Hotel for the auction. A variety of lots from local businesses and artists were available. A fun evening ensued which was rounded off by a quite superb raffle. Thanks must go to Killin Kirk and the Killin Hotel for all their help and support and of course to all those who donated a variety of lots and raffle prizes. Last but not least of course a big, big thank you to all those who supported the evening. It was an amazing night and in these tight economic times it was wonderful that so many were prepared to support such a worthy charity. The photographs show the youngsters and the choir and were taken during the concert by Ron Allner. Alistair Barclay

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held in Strathyre Village Hall on 24 August 2011

Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Adrian Squires (AS), Alistair Barclay (AB), Sara Hesp (SH), Marguerite Kobs (MK), Angus Cameron (AC) and Paul Hicks (PH). Apologies: Richard Eastland, Rosanne McWilliams, Karen Methven and PC Andy Ward. In attendance: Cllr Tony Ffinch (TF) from Stirling Council (SC).

1) Approval of Minutes The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed. It was proposed by MK and seconded by PH that the minutes should be accepted and this was approved unanimously. 2) Police Report PC Ward was currently on leave so no report was available. 3) Matters Arising 3.1) Balquhidder Glen Road MK reported that she had received a reply from the Area Roads Officer at Stirling Council regarding the resurfacing of the Balquhidder Glen Road. This had to be abandoned earlier due to severely adverse weather conditions, but was now scheduled to be completed during October this year. 3.2) Strathyre Playground SH reported that application had been made to the Community Pride Fund for a grant of £1,500 and this had been approved. Stirling Council has offered to contribute a further £500 and local fund-raising efforts have produced over £700, leaving a shortfall of just £280 to reach the overall target of £2,990. SH commended those who have worked so hard locally to inspire and encourage the realisation of this project. 4) Other Correspondence None 5) Planning Matters A formal application has been received to build a third dwelling house on the site of the former garage on Main Street at Strathyre. This is the third and final plot available for this site and no objections to it have been voiced locally. 6) Any Other Business 6.1) Litter at Balquhidder MM raised the continuing problem of nuisance and litter, commenting that the past week had seen significant levels of damage and litter in Balquhidder Glen. It was his belief that the situation would not improve whilst ever there were no facilities provided for dealing with waste and litter from “wild camping”. He asked if SC had re-considered its policy on encouraging people to take their litter home as it clearly wasn’t producing the intended or desired results. MK supported this view and commented on a complaint that had been received from a visitor earlier this year about the disgraceful amount of litter in the area. There was great concern locally that this problem would increasingly discourage visitors and tourists from coming to our area with the consequent impact on the local economy. SH added that she had recently suffered from wanton damage to horse jumps on her land where it appeared that sections had been removed from jumps simply to use as firewood. The incident had been reported to the police but it was another indication that the overall problem of aggressive nuisance and litter was increasing steadily. TF replied that litter continued to be a contentious issue but that SC was cooperating fully with the National Park Authority and that, where litter had been bagged and left beside the road for collection, it was uplifted on a regular basis. AC asked whether the provisions of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 regarding “wild camping” were having any impact on the situation but TF replied that the resources required to enforce this legislation properly were very expensive and, in the current economic climate, not always available. MM suggested that a few strategically placed bins might go a long way to solving the worst of the problems. TF agreed with this and commented that bins for this purpose could be bought from SC, but he also pointed out that previous experience showed that bins tended to be over-filled, causing yet further problems. PH mentioned some correspondence on the subject that had been received from the Stirling Tourism Association. This centred on the problem of litter being thrown from moving vehicles. The Association has responded to this with an initiative to distribute car stickers to local communities, encouraging local people to publish the message: “Keep our roads litter free”. Community Council members were of the opinion that this would have a limited effect in tackling the problem. 6.2) Toilet Facilities Discussion then moved to the problem of maintaining toilet facilities in various places. TF stated that there is no statutory requirement for local authorities to provide such facilities, although every organisation concerned with tourism is of the opinion that they constitute a vital part of the overall attraction (or otherwise) of any area. The National Park is pursuing a policy of seeking to link the responsibility for maintaining toilets with adjacent commercial initiatives such as hotels or vending stalls, but the reality is that looking after toilet facilities is both costly and arduous and few people are prepared to take it on. There is also a cultural expectation of free toilet provision in the UK that runs counter to efforts to recoup costs by charging for access. 6.3) Road Widening at Lochearnhead AB reported that, following representations from individuals and the BLS CC, phase two of the proposed upgrade to the A85 in Lochearnhead, eastwards of the Clachan Cottage Hotel, will not now be implemented. 6.4) Future Venue for BLS CC The current owner of the Kings House Hotel at Balquhidder has put up the premises for sale and it is likely that the hotel may close before the end of the year. The CC had been planning to meet here during the winter months so a discussion ensued on alternative venue sites. The Inn & Bistro at Strathyre was held to be the best, viable, alternative site and AB agreed to make further enquiries with a view to arranging meetings here from 5th October onwards. Action: AB to liaise with Inn & Bistro regarding future venue. PS: It has since transpired that new owners for the Kings House may be forthcoming in time to avoid any period of closure, and that no new venue will be needed. There was no other business and, at 8:20pm, MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is planned to take place at 7:30pm on Wednesday 5th October at the Kings House or another venue yet to be confirmed. These minutes have yet to be formally approved at the next CC meeting. To read full and approved minutes of all CC meetings go to (Then click on Balquhidder)


Michael Forsyth’s Ascent of Mount Vinson

Perthshire Open Studios 3 – 11 September Now in its 4th consecutive year this event continues to grow as word gets out of how valuable Open Studios are to both artists and visitors. This year POS has over 180 artists exhibiting in 122 venues across Perthshire. Nine days for artists to share with you, the visitor, their diverse and creative talent from Paintings, Drawings and Photography to Textiles, Jewellery, Sculptures and Ceramics and much, much more. Some of the art is good enough to eat, and indeed you can - but check with the artist first!!!!! The Open Studios is a unique opportunity for both established and emerging creative individuals and has shown to bring many benefits to both the contributors and the visitors. Members of the public may not otherwise be aware of the range, quality and diversity of the creative talent that exists in the Perthshire region and many artists and makers have found the Open Studio a good platform to connect with the public and to gain valuable feedback on their work as well as making sales. As a further source of interaction many artists and makers offer demonstrations and workshops. Visit the website to see the map and proposed routes, to check on individual artists and their venues. Balquhidder welcomes visitors to its own resident artist: Veronika Verden-Anderson Paintings and Sculpture Cragmhor, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead FK19 8PB Tel: 01877 384715 Email: 16

Michael Forsyth summited Mount Vinson on 4 January 2011. At 4,892 metres (16,067feet), Mount Vinson is the highest peak in Antarctica and one of mountaineering’s coveted “Seven Summits” (the highest mountains on each of the seven continents). He had initially hoped to raise £250,000 for his two chosen charities, Marie Curie cancer care and Children in Need India. His final total was over £423,000. This was Michael’s third of the seven summits and the second time he had used his “hobby” to raise funds for charity having previously raised over £220,000 when he climbed Kilimanjaro. Come and hear about his experience in Antarctica and see stunning photos.

FOR SALE Casio Electronic Keyboard with stand – brand new, never used. £100 or nearest offer Contact Matthew Duncan Lochearn House 01567 830380 QUILT SALE 15 October 11.00 am - 2.00 pm LOCHEARN HOUSE LOCHEARNHEAD Various sized quilts and throws for sale Large selection Ideal gifts or Xmas presents

Villages’ Football

It all began as a recreation activity following the clear-up of the games field after the Highland Games. Now we have a super crowd of supporters to cheer on our teams and to take part in our grand charity raffle. On behalf of the organisers I want to thank all contributors and donors who came along and enjoyed great fun on a sunny Sunday, 24 July. This year, with the help of several sponsors we were able to achieve another ambition, to kit out our teams with strips which we can use for many years to come. In the men’s match, our single men defeated the married men by 5 goals to 2, late strikes sealing a win in a very sporting game. Grant Sharpe accepted the George Wright trophy on behalf of his team for the second year in a row. The ladies of the villages and their friends also played at half time for the inaugural Linda Gargolinski Memorial Shield and the girls beat the mums, but only on penalties. Equally important as the matches is our amazing raffle. Tom Gibbon, Shuggie Atkinson and Tommy Anderson working like beavers to draw donations from every quarter. This year your efforts raised over £1400 on a magnificent summer day and with the proceeds of our beer tent we can continue our support of local causes and, of course, Tommy MacGregors’s work with Cancer Research, for which he was honoured by that charity earlier this year. I mentioned sponsors’ help with our new kit. We thank The Four Seasons Hotel, Lix Toll Garage, The Inn & Bistro, Strathyre and Sean McGrandles’ caravaners, in particular. Come along again next year, bring your boots or just join in the fun. Alex Gargolinski Treasurer

Top: The Married Men Team, and above: The Single Men Team

Educat ion Programme

MOSEY ON Down to the hoedown and Hog Roast!!

Saturday 8 October at Methvens’ Farm, Balquhidder

6.30pm until late

Performers spanning the centuries have come together to launch Historic Scotland’s education programme. Sites throughout Scotland, including both Stirling and Doune Castles, offer year-round historical activities to primary and secondary school children. Pupils will also have the opportunity to learn how other subjects such as science and art come together with history, as well as being able to explore the natural environment through Historic Scotland’s ranger service.

Tickets from Jane McLeod 01877 330566 Adults £17 6-12yrs £10 Under 5s Free Music from Scottish Bluegrass Association’s


Book early, y’all! Tickets are gonna FLY! proceeds to go to Balquhidder Riding Association

BYOB Dress: Western!! Yee hah!


Rangers’ Review By Graeme Auty & Gareth Kett

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Once again the annual Clanscape in Killin environmental/ cultural event was held at Breadalbane Park in Killin on what must have been the wettest day of the year. From the moment the NP team, consisting of four rangers, three volunteer rangers and three NP volunteers, arrived at the site on the evening of 6 August until the event closed on Sunday at 1600, it poured down. But in its own way this added to the atmosphere as music from The Shiftin’ Bobbins and stories from Scot An Sgeulaiche diffused through the rain against mist-clad mountains which appeared to engulf Breadalbane Park, the tight knit circle of stalls and the re-created Highland Encampment. The event was well attended and a good time was had by all. At this year’s Clanscape visitors could try their hand at a number of traditional crafts such as pottery, willow weaving, wool dying, cooking and archery, to name but a few. Our thanks go to all the activity providers and the Killin Mountain Rescue Team who gave their time free of charge. Lochearnhead rangers have continued to survey the Glen Ogle butterfly transect throughout the summer months. The 2km transect which roughly follows the old military road through the glen was set up back in 2005. The data collected is passed on to Butterfly Conservation and forms part of a national database which is used by the government as a climate change indicator. Butterflies are very sensitive to the abundance of the particular plant species on which their young caterpillars feed. For example, the caterpillars of the distinctive peacock butterfly, which can be seen on the wing at this time of year, will feed only on nettles.

Clanscape in Killin - despite the rain!

These plants, which in turn will be affected by changes in temperature, acidity and precipitation, make butterflies an obvious visual indicator of climate change. Sadly, as in other parts of the UK, 2011 has been a poor year for our butterflies in terms of numbers, although the variety of species recorded has remained constant to date. We’ll give you a fuller summary when the survey season ends at the end of September. We are still keen to know of the whereabouts of any stands of Himalayan Balsam around the area as recent surveys, in particular around Loch Earn, have shown this to be a bigger problem than had been previously thought, with quite large stands being recorded. The rangers have been out over the last few weeks hand pulling these plants where they have become established, removing them before they have a chance to set seed. The locations of the plants have been accurately mapped as further hand pulling will be required over the next couple of years before complete eradication can be achieved. As usual, if we are around at the Lochearnhead Office, please feel free to drop in, or to call Gareth or myself if you have any queries, wildlife sightings or just for a catch up. Gareth is in most days but I am only part-time and am on duty Thursdays and Fridays. You can call me on 01389 722115 or on my mobile 07764371700 or alternatively you can email me on or Gareth at gareth.kett@


Farm Forum: A Small Victory, Maybe!

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.

Well, Summer is drawing to a close once again and Autumn is on the horizon. The weather has been quite changeable but for once we seem to have done rather better than the east side of the country. Soft fruit is rotting before it ripens and oil seed rape has been adversely affected. I have previously mentioned electronic identification tags and the threat posed to the sheep industry (particularly in the hills) by the recent EU demand for 100% traceability when the electronic equipment and tags available are not capable of delivering, quite apart from the geographical problems. Well months of discussion and many air miles later the EU seem to have accepted the Scottish position. We still await the written outcome but it does seem to be more hopeful. I do not apologise for mentioning this matter for the umpteenth time because the wrong conclusion could have meant the decimation of sheep farming in the hills and that would have affected us all – not only farmers. The Common Agricultural Policy renegotiations are ongoing but are now nearing a more critical stage, with

the first set of proposals due in early October. Indeed, as is often the case various “leaks” are now appearing which we must assume are to judge reaction to more controversial elements before the “consultation” document is released. I would imagine we can expect quite a prolonged battle of words before a compromise is reached between all twenty six member states who all want something slightly different in any case. As is usually the case it will probably please none of them! You will probably have noticed in the press recently articles about walkers getting injured by cattle, particularly if they are accompanied by a dog. Groups of cattle should be avoided, cows with young calves are particularly sensitive. Taking a dog near them is particularly foolhardy, whether it’s on a lead or not. The cattle perceive it (and you to a lesser degree) as a threat and can easily attack. If it is on a lead you are in the target line and if it is off the lead it will come straight back to you for protection anyway. Cattle are big heavy animals that can move uncomfortably fast so stay clear of them, dog or not! Agricola

FREE FOOD WASTE CADDY LINERS AVAILABLE - LIMITED PERIOD ONLY! For a limited period only, Waste Services is making a quantity of food waste caddy liners available to households in the Stirling area free-of-charge. These liners will be available to collect from the Customer First “One Stop Shop”, located in Port Street. The promotion of the food waste caddy liners is part of a trial looking at how food waste caddy liners affect recycling behaviour. Each household taking part in this trial can be issued up to 2 rolls of liners. Each roll contains roughly 25 liners. As part of this project, and, in return for the liners, we would like to ask you a few questions about your food waste recycling habits and we may also phone you to discuss your opinion about the use of food caddy liners in more detail. This trial is part of the national “Zero Waste Scotland Strategy” which aims to reduce all forms of household waste, including food waste. Thanks for your support! Stirling Council Waste Services


View from the Park by Owen McKee We seem to have missed summer and autumn beckons. Will it be the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” so wistfully described in Keats’ ode To Autumn? Or will the demands for cuts occasioned by the Government Spending Review so depress autumn that we will be in the depth of an early winter? All government departments are being tasked to achieve cuts for the next year of 10% followed by 5% in each of the two succeeding years and at the same time to do so without any compulsory redundancies. Remembering that staff costs take up most of the Park Authority’s funds and that most of those staff are employed in the Ranger Service and the Planning Department it is not hard to see that we do have a very difficult time ahead. Clearly income streams could be the saviour and that was partly the driver in introducing boat launching charging on Loch Lomond. Panic not! The Park Authority has no launching facilities in any of our local lochs nor does it have the power to impose any charges on private

businesses. However, where we do have land or facilities as at Tarbet and Inveruglas on the north west Loch Lomond, we will be looking at ways of working in partnership with local businesses to bring some further funding into the Park’s coffers. We will also be working with the other government agencies in the Park such as Scottish Natural Heritage and the Forestry Commission to share services both to achieve economies and to provide a more efficient and effective service. To some extent that process was reinforced when the Draft Park Plan was launched for consultation at Balloch HQ on 24 August by the Environment Minister Michael Russell. The Park Plan is the policy document prepared by the Park Authority in consultation with all the government bodies operating in the Park with the strict intention that each and every government body and agency, both local and national, takes heed of it in all that they do within the Park area. The Five Lochs project is progressing

with further discussions taking place with relevant land owners. The community groups will be coming back into the discussions in early October by which time we hope to have achieved some formal agreements with land owners. The Cononish Goldmine Planning meetings are scheduled for 24, 25 and 26 October. Details of the application and consultation responses can be viewed on the planning pages of the National Park Website ( As always I can be contacted as follows: Post: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead. Phone: 01567 830214

LOCHEARNHEAD POST OFFICE AND SHOP POST OFFICE AND PARCELFORCE SERVICES. CASH MACHINE (no fee) Quality Lochearnhead Souvenirs Dog Treats ~ Wild Bird Food Signed Books ~ Toys Confectionery ~ Ice Cream Cards ~ Stationery FISHING PERMITS/TACKLE/ LIVE BAIT

~ ~ ~



0900 - 1730


0900 - 1230

Wednesday Sunday

0900 - 1300 Closed

Post Office Post Box Collection Times: Morning - 12 noon Afternoon - 1600 (Except Saturday) Sunday - No Collection Telephone: 01567 830 201 20


Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

Lochearnhead Incident Many Lochearnhead residents will already be aware of an incident which took place on Sunday 21 August. A male was arrested following the incident and was kept in custody until the Monday. At that time he pled guilty to the various charges and sentence has been deferred for three weeks. I must stress that incidents such as this will not be tolerated by me or my colleagues and will be dealt with in a swift manner. Thankfully they are very rare in our area; however, if you need to contact the police in an emergency then please call 999. Update on previous article You will all be aware that I am constantly asking you to contact the police if you see or hear something suspicious and I am pleased to let you know that following a number of calls from local residents I have been attempting to trace a male from the Glasgow area who has been intermittently visiting addresses in both Lochearnhead and Killin. The male has been selling various household goods door to door. Whilst on patrol recently I saw a male attend at a house in Lochearnhead. After speaking to him he was unable and reluctant to give an explanation as to why he was there. It was apparent that he was selling goods door to door without the relevant certificates and licences. He has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal. Whilst I would have preferred to have spoken to this man sooner I want to reassure everybody that whilst it may take

some time to trace people I make every effort to do so irrespective of what they have done or the time delay. If you are suspicious about somebody offering to do work then take as many details as possible, ask them to return at a more convenient time and contact the police. Never let them into your home unless you are 100% satisfied they are who they say they are. Ironworks Over the past few months we have been regularly patrolling the local area and dealing with numerous incidents of antisocial behaviour such as littering. The following is an example of the work we have been doing. On the morning of Saturday 20 August a call was received with regards to people camping near the swing bridge in Strathyre. Two people were charged with littering offences and made to clean the area immediately. Later that afternoon I received another call, this time to Balquhidder where seven males were again charged with littering offences. I am heartened that you are all taking responsibility for your community and contacting us. I would urge everybody to do this as soon as they think a problem is occurring. Note as much information as possible, such as numbers of people, descriptions of them, their tents, their car registration numbers and what has happened. All this information is very valuable to us. Quad Bike Thefts Two quad bikes were stolen during the weekend 23/ 24 July from two adjacent farms in the Crianlarich area. The bikes were inside barns and were pushed to a waiting vehicle. Both bikes were Hondas and in daily use on the farm. Quad bikes are hot property for thieves; here are a few steps to make them secure helps to reduce the likelihood of them being stolen. • Don’t leave the keys in the ignition; this just makes it too easy. • Chain them up to other machinery or the fabric of the building. • Block them in with other vehicles and or plant. • Keep records of the chassis numbers. • Don’t be complacent if the farm or other location is remote or at the end of a long driveway. PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000 21

T H E V I L L A G E RS ’ TRADE DIRECTORY EMINDER ANOTHER R d up must be pai Advertising publication. before rts on a plies to adve This also ap iscount which are 6 month d p for renewal. coming u g out invoices in e W are send d to give people ea ah th n a mo e to pay plenty of tim t is received en m ay p but if no Day (24th) by Deadline rt will have ve then the ad moved. to be re

We’ll send you or your friends

The Villagers

£11.00 for 11 monthly issues (£20.00 for Europe and £27.50 for the rest of the world). All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, Tom-Na-Dair BALQUHIDDER FK19 8PB, SCOTLAND Cheques should be made payable to: THE BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION Remittance enclosed £ .........................(do not send cash) Please send copies of ‘The Villagers’ starting on ................ for 11 months To: NAME .......................................................................................................................... ADDRESS: ........................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................POSTCODE .............................. SENDER’S NAME & ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM ABOVE Please send copies of ‘The Villagers’ starting on ............................... for 11 months NAME ................................................................................................................................ ADDRESS .......................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................POSTCODE................................ 22


for us this No room again h... nc Sa , month

Do we stil l get paid, Nef ?


• The Villagers’ Contacts • John Stewart Business Manager BLS Newspaper Association Tom na Dhair Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB 01877 384664

Marguerite Kobs Editor Kalinka Auchtubh Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8NZ 01877 384215

Jill Johnston Joint Editor Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227

Other Contacts... Alistair Barclay Photographer & Advertising Coordinator Dalvaich Glenbeich Lochearnhead FK19 8PZ 01567 830453

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

BLS Lunch Club - Lochearnhead Scout Station from 3 October - 12.30-2.30pm


Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30-11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am - 12.30pm Contact Abbey Arkotxa 01877 384671


Yoga - Strathyre Hall - 11.00am-12noon 3 Villages Art & Craft Group - Balquhidder Hall - from 14 September 1.00 - 4.00pm Contact Ruth McLusky 01877 384309


Scottish Country Dancing - Strathyre Hall - from 29 September - 8.00pm Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00-9.00pm Upholstery Classes - 10am-1pm - Venue tbc - 07824 446024


Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon Ballroom Dancing - Lochearnhead Hall - from 23 September - 7.30-9.00pm

Production Manager: Gill Allan 01877 384 203 Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Wullie Dalziel 01877 384 384 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

SEPTEMBER 8 13 18 20 30

Blow & Blast Taster Session - Balquhidder Hall - 10.00am SWT talk - ‘Red Squirrels’ - St Andrews Church, Callander - 7.30pm Blow & Blast Workshops - Lochearnhead Hall -11.00am and 2.00pm Callander Sport & Adventure Project - The Atrium Café, Callander - 7.30pm Booking essential - see p.12 Callander Jazz & Blues Festival

OCTOBER 1-2 8 9 11 14 15

Callander Jazz & Blues Festival Hoedown! In aid of the Balquhidder Riding Association - See p. 17 Blow & Blast Workshops - Lochearnhead Hall - 11.00am and 2.00pm SWT talk - ‘Honey Bees’ - St Andrews Church, Callander - 7.30pm Talk by Michael Forsyth - St Mary’s Church, Aberfoyle - 7.30pm see p.16 Quilt Sale - Lochearn House, Lochearnhead - 11.00am - 2.00pm - see p.16

contac t@the Cheques for advertising and mail order subscriptions should be made out to:

The BLS Newspaper Association

Copy Deadline Day is the 24th of the month. Please help us to get The Villagers to you as soon as possible!

CHURCH CHURCH SERVICES 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 Vigil Mass Saturday 5.30pm May 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 Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: Published by The BLS Newspaper Association

The Villagers September 2011  

The Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead Highland Games review, police report, wildlife, Villagers, local businesses, holiday accommodat...

The Villagers September 2011  

The Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead Highland Games review, police report, wildlife, Villagers, local businesses, holiday accommodat...