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The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

Everyone at The Villagers would like to wish our St Fillans correspondent, John Murray, a very happy 70th Birthday. Hope you had a great day, John!

Ringing the bell at Balquhidder Church, Friday 27th July at 08:12am as part of the nationwide celebrations for the start of the Olympics. The church bell was repaired just in time thanks to Florian MacLaren! Malcolm White started ringing then Charlie Hunter had a go, watched by Maureen Lipscombe (who took the pictures) and Vera Stewart.

CALLANDER & WEST PERTHSHIRE U3A Following the launch of the new Callander & West Perthshire U3A great interest has been shown in the forthcoming programme of courses both in Callander itself and in outlying villages within the Trossachs and Breadalbane areas. U3As are democratic, self-funded, selfmanaged organisations which exist to provide, at minimal cost, a full range of activities for all those no longer in full-time employment. It costs only £16 for a full year’s membership and in our first session from September to Christmas we are offering 19 courses, ranging from languages (French, for Beginners and Continuing Students, German, Italian and Gaelic) to arts and crafts (Painting for Pleasure, Creative Stitchery, Music Appreciation and Making Music Together).

Scottish Local History Highlights, Ancient History, Astronomy, Current Affairs and Travellers’ Tales are also extremely popular and for the very active we have Scottish Country Dancing and Gardening on offer. There is also a Book Group and an in-depth discussion group called Quintessentials. In order that members of all the groups can meet socially we organise monthly pub lunches and suppers, touring the area to sample the food, drink and ambience on offer in towns and villages. Most of the courses will take place in the group leaders’ homes although it is possible that meetings may occasionally be held in students’ homes. Other courses which require more space will be held in a variety of venues such as McLaren High School, St Andrews Church Hall and the Old Bank Café, all in Callander.

Members of Callander & West Perthshire U3A are also invited to three General Meetings in the year, the first of which will take place in November. The committee, together with the group leaders, had an informal meeting over coffee at the Harbour Café by Loch Venachar and it was great to see the enthusiasm shown by everyone at the start of this new venture. By the time The Villagers is on sale our official Enrolment Day will have passed but if anyone would like to join please get in touch with me and I will send out the full programme together with a list of vacancies. We also welcome members of Forth Valley U3A to join our groups and will not charge an extra fee. Marguerite Kobs, Secretary 01877 384 215

EDITOR’S BIT Great to see that the Olympic spirit was alive and well in the various wheelbarrow races, chariot racing and football games between ‘Marrieds’ and ‘Singles’ (one wonders if these are still politically correct these days) enjoyed over the last few weeks, most of them fortunately in the sunshine. They all reflect the wonderful work done by (usually) small bands of dedicated volunteers, mirroring those in evidence in the real Olympics. Personally I am so grateful to all The Villagers volunteers who consistently send such diverse and high quality articles in at the drop of an email every month. Hopefully you’ll enjoy our ‘historical’ theme this month; we would welcome any further articles relating to stories connected with events or characters from the past. I know there are lots of good stories out there to be shared, particularly with people who are new to the area. Reflecting the very diverse nature of life here I would like to thank Wouter van Doorn for seven Sundays of great music in Balquhidder. Having to compete with the aforementioned Olympics must have been a daunting task but the concerts demonstrated a great range of musicians ending with an amazing one man band with his electric violin and computer! Hopefully Wouter will be able to continue Summer Music next year without such competition and, if so, I would urge you to give it a try. Let us hope once again for an Indian summer and autumn colours to enjoy before we reach the Panto season! JJ REMEMBER... Advertising must be paid up before publication. This also applies to adverts on a 6 month discount which are coming up for renewal. We are sending out invoices a month ahead to give people plenty of time to pay - but if no payment is received by Deadline Day (21st) then the advert will have to be removed. Sorry!



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.

17.3 ºC 21.9 9.78 3.7

63.1 ºF 71.4 49.6 38.6

Rainfall: 12 cms 4.83 ins Strongest wind gust 26 mph on 22 July


Letter to the Editor...

Just a few thoughts now that July has gone. Going through the returns for the Highland Games presents a happy picture – gate up, trade stands ahead and bar returns looking good too. Of themselves, such facts would make any treasurer content, in a season where so many events had been lost to some miserable weather. I want to say to each and every one of our volunteers and convenors how much I appreciate their commitment to our Games, the preparation, the smooth running of the event and the clear up afterward. Thanks to Gus’s generosity in allowing us to use Ben Ouhr field we put on a great show before a large international crowd. Thanks to all our Patrons for their continued support. Everyone knew their job and showed great good humour, even at our busiest moments. It was a pleasure to work with all. Many Games continue to struggle with succession as the ‘old guard’ move on. Through enthusiastic volunteering and introduction of new, younger faces to our number I feel sure we have a solid base for our July date in the years to come. Alex Gargolinski Hon.Secretary Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Highland Games


Watch out for the full report next month! H H H H

Lunch Club is Back Again! Hello to everyone who is resident in the three villages. The Lunch Club will be starting on Monday the 8th October at the Scout Station, Lochearnhead. You will be provided with a choice of two soups and bread and butter, two puddings, tea or coffee, biscuits and usually chocolates not bad for £2.00 (last year’s prices). We start at 12.30pm and usually finish at 2.30pm - cards and dominoes are provided after coffee. During the season, which runs till March (weather permitting), we will also endeavour to provide two roast dinners, plus a Traditional Christmas Dinner (these cost a little more - they were £3.00 in 2011). We will also have 3 raffles which are usually a bit of fun! Normally a free bus service will be provided to collect people and convey them to the station and home again but as there is a bit of a problem at the moment with the transport services we will try and work something out before we start in October. I will let everyone know. So if you would like to join us please do so it is open to everyone. Having said that we might get inundated so please phone or email me if you wish to come (not dedicated locals). Phone 01877384 228 Email :



There will be an Annual General Meeting of BLS Trust on Thursday 20 September 2012 at 8 pm at the Inn at Strathyre. Everyone is welcome to come along to hear a review the work of the Trust over the year, followed by a presentation about the work of Community First Responders, members of the public who volunteer to help their community by dealing with medical emergencies ahead of the arrival of an ambulance. The Trust has community based aims for the benefit of everyone in Strathyre, Balquhidder and Lochearnhead. Recreation and leisure time facilities and environmental improvement are central themes, together with care of the elderly and others in the Community who need help. With this in mind, this year the Trust has : • Worked with Stirling Council on the improvement of the playground near the village shop • Begun work on the provision of defibrillators within the three villages • Obtained grant funding to buy equipment for Choir Occasional • Obtained grant funding towards this year’s Balquhidder pantomime • Started to think about the conduct of a community consultation to find out what the people who live in the villages want. However, we are only a small band with other commitments, jobs and families and we could do with extra hands to help us achieve what we can. If you would like to learn more or help us out, come along on 20 September and join in!

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The St Fillans Bit It is said that the only certain thing in life is death, but there is another absolute certainty – the generator at the annual Festive Weekend either won’t start or won’t make electrickery. Thus ‘twas no surprise to anyone when, an hour before the Village BBQ was to start, a group of bemused men stood scratching heads around a The BBQ & Fun Day, featuring devilish wee device which, this year, actually started and (left) the Chariot Race and (below) ran – but sparks it produced not. A ‘runner’ was sent a Veggie Dog! Last picture shows to procure a replacement device from Crieff – which MC Harry Burnett doing his stuff refused to start at all. Third time lucky with a villager’s generator which both ran and made volts. Just one of the trials of the Festive Committee who did a grand job organizing the BBQ & Fun Day remembering for any other organisers. on 11th August. Inevitably, after weeks of The list of games would fill my rain and the erection of the marquee to allocated space here but the Mass Musical keep everyone dry, the weather was fine Chairs was well enjoyed and mention with even a report of sunshine from one of Alison Smylie’s input in organizing events for adults and kids alike is well corner of the field. Some 80 souls enjoyed a good afternoon deserved. Harry Burnett warbled away with the best burgers I’ve tasted in a while magnificently as MC and Jean Milne and loads of fun games and competitions. & Elma Brierley withdrew cash from The ‘cross country’ Chariot Race kicked pockets for the raffle. A very good day off proceedings and the skill level in and a credit to all involved. All surplus funds will finance chariot construction was impressive, the November 5th Bonfire Party. even if the skill levels of the drivers was As I thought last month, the Festive Committee has open to question. The design Gold Medal agreed to take the Village Hogmanay Gathering under went to the Hardman-Carters and the its wing so the Sandison Hall will be open from 10 p.m. race winner Gold Medal to Stuart & onwards on 31st December for villagers to gather and greet Ethan. The ‘Mini Garden’ entries were 2013 with music laid on. It’s amazing (scary?) to be talking all superb with the overall winner being about 2013 when it seems just a few years ago that we were Emily Jardine. The inflatable castle and all waiting in trepidation for the clocks to roll into 2000 slide kept the youngsters busy (and one – whereupon all our computers would crash, Boeing 747s or two of the less inhibited oldsters) would fall from the skies and computer software companies were making a fortune but the face painting facility was under selling ‘Millenium Fixes’ for our Windows 98. used because, to everyone’s surprise, the Whilst talking about the Sandison and Windows, Jim Brierley has now completed the inflatable operator refused access to his installation of the first four new windows in the Hall and mighty fine they look as well. gear to anyone face painted – seemingly As is the way, the installation was not straightforward – those 100 year old windows the paint can interact with the plastic of were not fitted with future removal in mind and there was a good bit of structural wet the inflatables. News indeed but worth rot to be eradicated as well but Jim has done a fine job. Not sure if his 2 ‘assistants’ Continued overleaf


Continued from page 3

– yours truly and Russell – speeded or impeded progress but the final result has Secretary Bennett thinking now of how to persuade the Committee to replace the rest of the windows.

Clearly an improvement!

The aforementioned John Bennett tells me of the ongoing fund raising by the Golf Club in aid of Help For Heroes. On 18th August a Charity Golf Match was held at the St Fillans Course with teams of three competing and paying an entry fee plus cash penalties for going into bunkers, all proceeds to the HFH Fund. The weather, as usual this year, restricted entrants but a good day was had and a decent sum raised. Winners on the day were Moss Pugh, Andy Bunyon & John Kinninburgh. The fund raising is ongoing over the year. On 19th August an audience of some 80 plus enjoyed the organ recital by Nigel Ogden in Dundurn Church and, I’m told, it was fun and entertaining. At the time of writing I don’t have the figures for the surplus raised for Church Funds but Linda Bennett will pass those on for next month. Sadly I was not there, being worn out by a three day celebration of my 70th birthday and heading off for ‘early beddies’ on the Sunday. I really never anticipated reaching 70, but, as they say, only the good die young. My weekend was busy with family from Spain & London & elsewhere gathering to ensure that they stayed in The Will. Passing mention of The Four Seasons and Yann’s in Crieff is due for the efforts that both


hostelries went to to feed us and to make the weekend memorable. Leading nicely into the monthly input from Mary at The Four Seasons. Fishy Friday is back and National Chocolate Week is from the 8th to 14th October. The hotel is offering a fantastic chocolate based menu that week. Then there are two Gourmet Wine Tasting evenings on November 16th (old world) and 30th (new world). An excellent chance to enjoy the theory of matching wine to food. As Mary puts it – Good Wine, Good Food, Good Company, Good Fun. And, whilst the remainder of our ‘summer’ lasts you can still enjoy the afternoon cream teas – especially good on the terrace with a glass of bubbly. Ron Wellens has asked me to thank the many folk who donated to Marie Curie Cancer Care after the sad loss of his wife Jan. More than £1,000 has been raised - and if you have any experience of the wonderful work which both Marie Curie and MacMillan Nurses do to ease the suffering of both cancer patients and their loved ones you’ll know how important donations are. Lastly, a timely reminder from Kay Naitby of just how important it is to keep your garages and sheds locked up and your bits and pieces in them. A few days ago she interrupted what was seemingly an opportunist theft of items left out in the driveway of a neighbour. Her back up team of two Rotties ensured speedy return of the purloined goods. I understand that the Police were involved and ‘talked’ to the alleged culprit. We are a trusting lot in our village but it bears a reminder that it only takes a minute for a thief to enter your property or garden and make off with stuff. Apart from the hassle you’ll probably find that you can’t claim

on insurance since the excess exceeds the value – and once you’ve claimed you’ll probably pay more at renewal. So now – over to Sophie. John Murray

Sophie’s Bit

Hi everybody!

I can’t believe it will be September when you read this! The summer has gone so quickly. What have I been up to since last time? Well, there was the St Fillans BBQ. It was really good fun and I really enjoyed it. It was great to see some of my friends there. Some of the games were really messy and my dad got completely soaked -haha!!! We got soaked again when my neighbour Paul took us out on his boat for a day on the loch. It was such fun and it was very kind of him to take us. I loved being the ‘green machine’. I came flying off it every time I went on it!! Daniel was not happy because he had a football injury and could not join in, but he went on the boat with us. We had a quiet weekend in the house because Daniel was away in Dublin with his football team. They played against Liverpool and lost - but my brother scored a goal!! We have a new addition to our home, a hamster called Coco. It is very cute but seems to be a bit crazy and we are slowly trying to tame it to let us pick it up. So far we have avoided being bitten. It is Emily’s birthday in September so she loves this month! She will be eight. That’s all for now. Bye!

Sophie x

Strathyre News

There will be an


Strathyre Village Association

at the Village Hall in Strathyre on Thursday 6th September 2012 at 7.30pm. All welcome. Any queries please contact Susie Crammon on 01877384672 or email

Scottish Dancing at Strathyre

It is with deep regret we announce that the Scottish dance group in Strathyre will not be meeting this winter. The club has been going for over 60 years, but with dwindling numbers and few new members we have insufficient members to continue. Unfortunately for Scottish dancing we need a minimum of eight people per evening - that is about the sum total of the membership - and rarely can all members make an evening. We have tried changing the day from Tuesday to Thursday but this didn’t bring any fresh blood. We would like to thank all members past and present for their support over the years.


You may recall - a few editions ago I was complaining about the state of the Village and suggesting some improvements that could be made, i.e. the dilapidated old sign when approaching from Callander, and the collapsed section of the retaining wall opposite the Munro. Well, I can now confirm that the sign is earmarked for removal and a builder has been contracted to repair the wall. WD Progress at last!

Former Strathyre Primary and McLaren High School pupil Deborah Claire Gibson, who graduated from Glasgow University with an MA (Hons) in Public Policy

The Law Can Be Enforced I have been reading an interesting article in the Oban Times associated with Loch Awe. It would appear that three “fishermen” have been fined £150 each for their behaviour at the lochside. It seems when they had left the loch they “forgot to tidy up the mess they had made”. In court the Procurator Fiscal stated, “This sort of thing is becoming a particular problem in this area. With the crackdown on wild camping at Loch Lomond there has been a displacement up to Loch Awe.” The Fiscal then went on to say, “It was a horrendous mess the next day; there were numerous bottles lying in and around the fire, tents were left discarded; there was rotting food lying around and a barbeque left behind. Clothing was also left behind, along with fishing tackle and line - and the associated problems these would cause for wild life. Tourists were put off going anywhere near this site!” This prosecution was brought about because the landowner had contacted the police, who in turn warned the fishermen that they would face prosecution if they did not tidy up the site before they left, a warning they decided to ignore at their cost. If this story sounds familiar, it’s because this is what is happening on our doorstep at Loch Lubnaig and the river Balvaig. Perhaps the landowners associated with the Lubnaig and Balvaig should take a Wullie D leaf out of the landowners’ book at Loch Awe.


“Oh yes we are….” Balquhidder Panto’s here again! After 4 years Balquhidder locals are braving the stage again for another pantomime. This time it’s going to be Aladdin with the script written by Clare Hunter and music by Gill Allan. Rehearsals have already started and the show will take place on Friday 30th November and Saturday 1st December with the possibility of an extra show on Sunday 2nd December if tickets are in high demand! With a cast of over 40 locals of all ages and featuring Connor Ramsay Clapham as Aladdin, Alan Sneddon as Widow Twankee, Georgina Mattson as the Princess, Kieran MacNicol as Wishee Washee and guest appearances by last time’s panto favourites Ian Inglis and Charlie Methven it promises to be really good fun. Meanwhile of course we are trying to get together props and costumes as

Advice on the New Welfare Benefits is Available

Do you need advice on the New Welfare Benefits? Then why not come along to the Stirling Tenants Assembly Annual Conference. We have speakers from both the Income Maximisation team and the CAB to talk about how the changes could affect you. We will also have tables hosted by people giving advice and information on money, energy use and credit unions. We have the Minister for Housing, Keith Brown, MSP addressing the meeting. The Conference is open to EVERYONE and is on Saturday 22nd September at Council Chambers, Viewforth, Stirling. Registration is from 9.30am for a 10am start. A buffet lunch is provided. If you would like to attend, contact either Moira Robertson 01838 300296 or Emma Meldrum 01786 443129 It will be followed by an AGM which is for Stirling Council tenants only. 6

cheaply as possible. So if you have any of the following to loan or give then we would be very grateful. Just let Clare Hunter know on 01877 384737 or email her at Thank you! • Any Chinese parasols, fans, red velvet cushion, magic wand, diabolo, gong, large coloured ostrich feathers, gold goblet (or one that can be sprayed gold) • any Chinese style jackets, dresses, pyjamas, hats or fabric • any old jewellery, the blingier the better, that can be taken apart to use as jewels in the cave • and of course…an Aladdin lamp…

Welfare Reform Conference Are you aware of the changes? h h h h h If not then please attend a conference organised by the

Stirling Tenants Assembly

22nd September 2012

From 10am The Chambers at Stirling Council Old Viewforth Stirling h h h h h ALL WELCOME Lunch and refreshments provided. Speakers Citizens Advice Bureau Income Maximisation Officers Housing Minister( tbc) Information Tables Credit Union Money Advice Energy Saving Advice And much more h h h h h Please contact Emma on 01786 443129 or email by 14th September to book your place at this important event.

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 goes in search of a beautiful view, captured in a painting. It was the winter of 1857 in Balquhidder when Duncan Campbell, school teacher there, was told to have all the fires in the school house burning and warm. The Duke of Athol and the Empress Eugénie, consort of Napoleon III, were travelling up in the Duke’s open boat carriage to see Rob Roy’s grave. So Campbell, living right alongside as the school teacher, was expected to play host to the visitors. It must have been a great panic. Alas, the weather was so bad that the Empress, who, remember, was half Spanish and half Scottish, and wished to see some of the ancestral areas, declined the hospitality and stayed at the Kings House where she was applauded by the parishioners there (who later raved about her beauty and golden hair). But that is not really my story this time. Another guest who stayed at the school house was Waller Hugh Paton, the now famous artist. Whilst staying with Duncan Campbell he painted a picture of the Kirkton Glen waterfall which was purchased by Mr Carnegie of Stronvar (I wonder where it is now - Paton’s works now make many thousands at auction he also gave a water colour to his host. The painting below is Paton’s The Braes of Balquhidder from Glen Buckie and behind it is the same view today, from exactly the same spot. It took a wee bit of finding - by lining up

the hills in the background as reference points. The ruined bothy is no longer there as in the 1850s, but an obvious viewpoint just off the old peat road to Brig o’ Turk looked a likely place for the eye of an artist, and the footprint of the bothie is still apparent - though many of the stones have been taken for other buildings and stone walls. It is an interesting place to just stand and stare. The railway at that time had only reached Dunblane; the extension to Callander was still under construction. Paton must have travelled from there to Balquhidder by coach and then up Glen Buckie with his canvas and paints in someone’s dogcart. Were the midges bad in those days? It is an interesting comparison of images: not nearly so many trees on the hills, and a clear view of the Calair Burn at that time. The whole book carries the full story of his stay in the area with interesting observations about local people and events. A book, Reminiscences and Reflections of an Octogenarian Highlander by Duncan Campbell (who it seems was the school teacher for three years on a salary of £100 per year) can be found on the internet. He quotes his love of the Glen thus: ‘The Kirkton, Balquhidder Kirk and burial ground are the finest to be found. If any sweet, romantic spot in splendid

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scenery could make one fall in love with death, this Balquhidder churchyard should do it sooner than any other I have seen in Scotland and England and I have seen many of great charms.’ That gives us all something to think about, doesn’t it? Old Nyati


Church News BalquhiĐĐer Reg. Charity No. SC012316

The St Angus Day service on 15th August attracted visitors who enjoyed hearing prayers and a sermon in Gaelic with English sub titles. We all enjoyed learning some simple lyrics in Gaelic, and our regular musicians helped to give a Celtic backing to the singing. As always, it was good to celebrate the coming of Christianity to the glen nearly 1,500 years ago. We have been disappointed to realise that the problems which led to the cancelling of the taxi/bus service bringing folk to our Sunday noon services have still not been resolved. We know that Stirling Council has been trying to deal with this, and we hope that it will not be too long before the service resumes. Meanwhile, we have to be patient and trust that all will be well in due course. As we hoped, the Church bell is now ringing merrily every Sunday, and we have Florian MacLaren to thank for replacing the rope on its pulley. We are most grateful to him for shinning up there to mend it! Jean Edwards

A Note from

St Angus’s Church... It seems no time since we were emerging from the dark days of winter full of anticipation of the summer to come and, like much in life, it’s been a mixture of highs and lows, the glorious, the stormy and the just plain dreich. Now autumn approaches and after that...who knows? However, let’s forget about the vagaries of the West Perthshire climate and the “double-dip recession” (just to cheer you up!) and look forward to a couple of bright spots on the horizon: On Sunday September 9th at our service of Evensong at 6pm we are to be treated to the company of Kenneth Steven - and believe me this will be a real treat - who is to read from his books Song Among The Stones and Evensong accompanied by the clarsach. I am a complete convert to Kenneth’s poetry; his evocative style paints pictures with words and pictures that live and breathe -


and are three dimensional. Miss this and you miss something very special. We look forward to welcoming you and sharing this experience of one of Scotland’s eminent poets. Then, on Friday 21st September we have a return visit of Anthony WeldForester of Sotheby’s and his wife Jo at the White Church in Comrie. Anthony will give an illustrated talk on Scottish paintings from 1750–2010 and Jo will discuss any interesting ceramics brought by the audience and maybe even give a valuation. Tickets will cost £8 at the door or, to book in advance, please telephone 01567 830233. The evening starts at 7.30 with doors open 7.0pm. There will be light snacks provided, a cash bar will be available and there will be a raffle. Proceeds to the Strathearn Episcopal Churches. So please bring along any interesting pieces of antique china or pottery (very carefully please for they come at your own risk!) we would love to see them and hear their histories. So with the demise of summer we look forward to what autumn brings and look forward to seeing you!

Susan Stewart

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07712 047149

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held at Balquhidder Village Hall on 8th August 2012

Present: Alastair Barclay (AB); Richard Eastland (RE); Adrian Squires (AS); Rosanne McWilliams (RM); Susie Crammon (SC); Sara Hesp (SH); Marguerite Kobs (MK); Paul Hicks (PH). Apologies: Malcolm McNaughton (MM); Karen Methven; Angus Cameron. Owen McKee (OM), National Park (N-P). In attendance: Cllr Alycia Hayes (AH); Richard Harris (RH); Fearghas McKay (FM). 1) Appointment of Chair Owing to an urgent, re-arranged meeting, MM was unable to attend the council meeting and had asked AB to chair it in his place. 2) Approval of Minutes The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed. It was proposed by RM and seconded by SC that the minutes should be accepted and this was approved unanimously. 3) Police Report PC Ward was unable to attend the meeting. 4) Matters Arising 4.1) Broadband Provision RH and FM attended from Stronvar in Balquhidder to highlight the urgent need for broadband provision in the Glen. As business managers, both are seriously handicapped by the lack of broadband internet access in this area. RH stated that he had moved there with the express purpose of trying to provide local employment but found that he was heavily constrained by poor infrastructure. They had already contacted Bruce Crawford (MSP) and Anne McGuire (MP) regarding this issue, encountering much good will but with no tangible results. They had also established contact with other local businesses such as Monachyle Mhor and Inverlochlarig Farm and believed that the time had come to establish a local initiative with a view to creating a ‘Point of Presence’ in the Glen. This would be a physical location housing servers, routers, switches and other necessary equipment. It would require setting up a local company to function as an internet service provider (ISP), obliging British Telecom (BT) to ‘unbundle local loop connections’. RH and FM noted two main difficulties: finance and permission from the National Park (N-P) for the installation of the necessary infrastructure. FM stated that he believed it would be necessary to obtain the initial backing from local businesses as it would require a significant financial investment at the start. From there, it should be possible to reduce costs by extending the scheme to private households. A survey by the CC in 2009 established that there are some seventy businesses in the immediate area that would be interested in having broadband access. AH noted that the N-P had a specific remit to promote broadband services within its area but had been unable to establish the person who held responsibility for this objective. She went on to suggest that it might be helpful to arrange a public meeting at which these proposals could be presented and undertook to seek the co-operation and joint attendance of her colleagues, Fergus Wood (FW) and Martin Earl (ME). Members agreed that this would be a good place to start and AB advised that most people would need a simple explanation of what is envisaged with a rough estimate of the costs involved. It was agreed that AH would seek to arrange a meeting and that the CC would try to discover the person in the N-P responsible for promoting broadband. Action 1: AH to contact FW and ME with a view to arranging a public meeting. Action 2: PH to contact OM regarding involvement of N-P. 4.2) Road closure notification MK advised members that recent road works on the Balquhidder Road had caused serious annoyance to local residents who were particularly aggrieved at the lack of prior notice. Work had been carried out on 30th and 31st July and, despite prior assurances to the contrary, the road had been closed on the morning of 30th July. This obliged residents to take long detours and some had been late for meetings and appointments. Furthermore, a water ‘tobie’ had been covered in tarmac outside one particular house, despite neighbours (in the absence of the residents themselves) pointing out the folly of this action. It was agreed that the CC should seek an explanation from Les Goodfellow (LG), the Head of Environment Services at Stirling Council. Action: PH to write to LG. 4.3) Village notice boards Recently, MK was notified by a police patrol that the notice board beside the post box on the road from Kingshouse to Balquhidder had been damaged. The person responsible had been traced and the police were taking appropriate action but the question remained as to who was responsible for arranging for repairs to be made. A discussion ensued on the usefulness of public notice boards now that most information was disseminated through The Villagers and on various internet sites. It was agreed that MK would approach Mr Rod Blain to obtain a quotation for the cost of repairing the notice board. This would then be reviewed by the CC to determine if the continued use of such notice boards was cost effective. Action: MK to obtain quote for work from RB. 4.4) Refuse collections AB reported that the residents of Glenbeich, Lochearnhead, were having ongoing problems with the collection of refuse from bins. The main difficulty was that the vehicles were not really suited to rural areas. AB was in the process of resolving the matter and would report on the results in due course. AH took the opportunity to report that she had met with principled intransigence on the part of the Head of Environment at Stirling Council over the uplifting of litter from road sides. At the same time, she highlighted the encouraging early results from an experimental scheme at Strathfillan whereby the CC had been given greater control over local resources. She was hopeful that similar results could be obtained in other CCs such as our own. AB also mentioned the problem of rubbish in a lay-by on the A84 road from Lochearnhead to Glen Ogle Pass. AH undertook to raise this with the Head of Environment. Action: AH to speak to LG. 4.5) CC Responsibilities (flower boxes and Christmas lights) AB detailed the history of a recent invoice submitted to the CC in respect of electricity provided for Christmas lights in Lochearnhead. It proved to be twice what had been expected under an informal agreement made some six years ago. The matter had been settled but it raised the question of whether the CC should be responsible for such matters. Christmas lights in Strathyre and Balquhidder were provided by other bodies and it was suggested that the same arrangement should exist in Lochearnhead. Discussion then moved to the subject of flower boxes. Again, various informal arrangements had been made in different places but it was agreed that the CC should not hold responsibility for them. RE mentioned the particular problem of insurance cover: bodies such as Stirling Council had public liability insurance but this cover did not extend to CCs. Regretfully, it was decided that the CC should have no continuing responsibility for these facilities. 5) Correspondence None had been received since the previous meeting. 6) Planning Matters There were no current applications affecting our area. 7) Matters From Local Councillors There were no additional matters to raise. 8) Any Other Competent Business 8.1) Cycle track from St Fillans to Lochearnhead AB reported on the continuing progress of this venture and applauded the significant benefit that it would offer, both to local residents and to visitors. 8.2) Outlet Centre, Balquhidder Station AB reported that an article had appeared recently in the Scots Magazine concerning the Loch Earn Tourist Initiative (LETI). This had prompted Mr Robin Dixon (who manages Leitters Forest, East of the A84 at Balquhidder Station) to write to Kim Proven (of Briar Cottages in Lochearnhead) regarding a proposal for development of Leitters Forest. Kim Proven had passed on this information to AB as potentially of interest to the wider community. The proposal concerns the possibility of excavating the old gold mine above Leitters Forest with a view to seeing if a small working operation might be financially viable, both in terms of producing gold and as a tourist venture. The owners of Leitters Forest were also considering the possibility of opening a small ‘outlet centre’ with forest walks in this area. Plans are still very much at an early stage but Mr Dixon is keen to seek feedback from the local community and businesses regarding the idea. 8.3) Resignation of Secretary RE stated that, owing to the pressure of work commitments, he could no longer find the time to discharge the rôle of Secretary and wished to tender his resignation. Having discussed the matter earlier, he proposed that PH should be appointed in his place. PH said that he was willing to take on this responsibility, adding that he was already receiving much of the correspondence as it was his name that appeared regularly on the minutes. RE’s proposal was seconded by PH and agreed unanimously. Action: PH appointed as Secretary. There was no other business and, at 9:20pm, AB declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is planned to take place at 7:30pm on Wednesday 19th September 2012 at the Village Hall, Lochearnhead.


Callander Film Society

IT’S TIME to sign up for the best bargain in town with Callander Film Society’s latest programme. At only £22 for the contemporary programme (11 films), £10 for the classic (5 films) or £27 for both - that’s less than £1.60 per screening including our AGM. And you won’t need to travel to Stirling to enjoy them! First in the contemporary programme is the modern silent film that won almost every award going last year. The Artist shows silent movie star George Valentin bemoaning talking pictures with sparky young dancer Peppy Miller. On October 24th Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy, follows British retirees as they discover the charms of the Indian Marigold Hotel’s faded glory. The season also features Disney Pixar’s new cartoon Brave set in 10th century Scotland and Ken Loach’s latest, The Angels’ Share, also set in Scotland. Foreign language films include Oscar winner of best foreign film 2011, The Separation, about one couple’s difficult decision about leaving Iran; Headhunters from Norway, based on a Jo Nesbo crime novel; Kid with a Bike about a young French boy; and Monsieur Lazhar, a French Canadian tale about an Algerian immigrant teacher. Classic films include Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes and Greyfriar’s Bobby, the story of a Skye terrier which refused to leave its master’s grave. Marlon Brando is unforgettable in On the Waterfront, a fifties drama about the New York dock workers. The Card stars Alec Guinness as a young Victorian ambitious to get on. Oscar-winning Black Narcissus is an atmospheric and emotional film about nuns trying to establish a mission in the Himalayas. Contemporary films are shown on the large screen in the Visit Scotland Information Centre in Ancaster Square on Saturdays at 7.30pm. Our digital projector, Blu-Ray DVD

Kevin does it at last! There is nothing quite like the satisfaction of catching a fish on a fly you have tied yourself. Kevin Howlett must have had that feeling the other week when, fresh from winning the Glenartney trial the weekend before with his bitch Fly, bred and trained by himself (K.Howlett’s Tess, W. McAlistair’s Hope ) they ran early in the morning session of the Inverlochlarig Hill Sheepdog Trial. Fly led for most of the day with a clean run and 88 points. This was the 5th year of the event and up until now Kevin had enjoyed mixed success at his home trial with his best result 2nd in the open. In the afternoon Stuart Davidson’s Rob from Dunoon had a good clean run to match Fly’s score of 88 but this only put him into 2nd place because he was marked down on his outrun which is used as a tiebreaker. Stuart has been a great supporter of this dog trial and, like Kevin, had enjoyed limited success so it was good to see him in the mix. However Kevin’s Swift added to the drama by trumping the proceedings late in the afternoon with a score of 89. Although she missed a gate the rest of her run was pretty much perfect so she sneaked the win by 1 point. Duncan 10

Contemporary Programme

Saturdays 7.30pm VisitScotland Information Centre, Ancaster Square October 6th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Artist October 27th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Exotic Marigold Hotel November 10th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Separation* November 24th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midnight in Paris December 15th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brave* January 12th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Headhunters January 26th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Moonrise Kingdom February 9th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Salmon Fishing in the Yemen** February 23rd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kid with a Bike March 9th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Angels’ Share March 23rd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Monsieur Lazhar * sponsored by Lady Kentmores Antiques

** sponsored by Mhor Bread & Mhor Fish

Classic Programme

Fridays 7.30pm The Waverley Hotel, Main Street November 16th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Lady Vanishes (1938) December 21st. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greyfriar’s Bobby (1961) January 18th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . On the Waterfront (1954) February 15th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Card (1952) March 15th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Black Narcissus (1946

player and digital surround sound with five speakers give a high quality cinematic experience. Classics are on Fridays at 7.30pm in the Waverley Hotel using a 16mm film projector. Membership entitles you to attend the AGM in May which includes a free film with wine and nibbles. You are also entitled to attend the British Federation of Film Societies viewing sessions. We are grateful for support from the British Federation of Film Societies, Stirling & District Arts Forum and sponsors Mhor Fish & Mhor Bread and Lady Kentmores Antiques. Membership forms are available online: Keep in touch on Facebook or Twitter or call Eammon O’Boyle on 330519 for more information.

Robertson’s Mott, and Andy Carnegie’s Chip (last year’s winner) both had good runs and there was not much between any of the prize winners at the end of the day. On the whole the cross swaledale gimmers behaved well and apart from a few heavy showers the weather was not too inclement. The BBC ALBA cameras were back again this year with some incredibly patient cameramen who were up the hill from 7 in the morning until 6 at night. As usual the organizers wish to thank all those who competed and helped to make the day a success, especially the judge Michael Griffin from Luss who had a very long day, Adam Simpson the course director, Helen Simpson who organized the catering and all those who released the sheep up the hill. Results Judge M.Griffin, Luss. 53 ran 1. K.Howlett’s Swift, Balquhidder 2. K.Howlett’s Fly, Balquhidder 3. S.L.Davidson’s Rob, Sandbank 4. D.Robertson’s Mott, Luss 5. A.D.Carnegie’s Chip, Comrie 6. J.Casey’s Moss, Campbeltown

89 88 88 87 86 85

Nite at the Races

By popular demand I will be hosting a Race Night at The Inn & Bistro on Saturday 22nd September, first race commencing (hopefully) at 8.00. So why not come along and have a punt on the night. There will be a raffle and possibly an auction as well. All funds will be for the Stuc a Chroin Hill Race which, next year will be, thanks to the hard work of the committee, The Scottish Championship, so well done to them for securing this. As it is such a big event in the racing calendar they would like to show everyone what Strathyre can do and this means funding and support from as many as possible. If you would be interested in getting involved in any way at the time of the build-up to the race your help would be greatly appreciated. Let’s make Strathyre proud and put on a race to remember!!! See you at the race night and come early as seating is limited. Wullie Dalziel

Commemorative Plaque Proposals Sought for Scotland Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, today, Sunday 19th August 2012, announced the launch of the Commemorative Plaque Scheme. This scheme will celebrate the life and achievements of significant historic figures, through the erection of a plaque on their home where they lived, or the building that was particularly synonymous with their achievements. People are invited to submit their nominations for the historic figures they would like to put forward by filling in an application form on Historic Scotland’s website: commemorativeplaques with up to 1,000 words on two questions explaining why their chosen person is appropriate for a Commemorative Plaque. There will be a maximum of 12 plaques awarded each year. These will be decided by an independent academic panel which is still to be announced. Ms Hyslop said, “We are launching the Commemorative Plaque Scheme in the Year of Creative Scotland 2012 and are seeking nominations for historic figures in the arts and creative fields. “The Commemorative Plaques will

celebrate the achievements of people who lived in Scotland, the links between the person and a building which will also highlight the social and human element of local architecture. “The form of a building can say a great deal about the character of the particular person who lived or worked there; it can confirm assumptions or, in other cases, come as a complete surprise, casting a new aspect on the individual concerned. “An annual theme will be formally announced each year which will guide people to consider nominations within specific industries.” The closing date for completed submissions is 12 October 2012. For information... We would advise that any prospective nominations are made now so that initial checks can be undertaken. This will then allow the applicant sufficient time to carry out the second stage of the process as detailed on the ‘How to propose a Commemorative Plaque’ page. Should you require further information about the scheme please contact the Investments and Projects Team on 0131 668 8801 FREE 0131 668 8801 or email at

Cowane’s Hospital to receive £296,997 Historic Scotland Building Repair Grant The A-listed Cowane’s Hospital in Stirling is one of eight buildings in Scotland which is set to receive building repair grants totalling £1,900,970 from Historic Scotland. The hospital is a very rare survivor of an early 17th century civic institution, complete with its historic garden which has recently been added to the Gardens Inventory. Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Minister for Culture and External Affairs said: “Scotland has a wealth of fascinating buildings and architecture and it is vital that we preserve these iconic buildings which help regenerate areas and communities. “These grants not only help to breathe new fabric into the heart of the community and preserve our sense of history and heritage but also assist in attracting visitors, which in turns boosts Scotland’s economy.” Hazel Barton, (Master and Factor,) said: “This offer is excellent news for both Stirling and its visitors. We look forward to developing our proposals with Historic Scotland and bringing John Cowane’s wonderful and ancient legacy to life again.” The other grant recipients are the Campbeltown Picture House, believed to be Scotland’s earliest cinema, Sauchie Tower in Alloa, an early 15th century tower, built by the Governor of Stirling Castle, Tomintoul Croft in Braemar, a rare surviving 19th century croft cottage, with a remarkably intact historic interior including box beds in the roof space, Paisley Town Hall, Kelburn Castle, Largs, Caithness Row, New Lanark and Semple Park Cascades in Renfrewshire, an 18th century cascade system, unique of its type in Scotland.


Gardening SEPT EM B ER

Pieris japonica

by Jonathan MacDonald

We may all have a favourite season, but by far, the one that seems to have universal affection, is autumn. This is a busy time for plants and wildlife when strange things start to happen before our eyes as the slowly setting summer sun fuel a synchronised display that lasts until the very last leaves whirl gently to the ground. The landscape develops a toasted appearance that a master baker would be happy to see upon a tray of fresh warm scones. Plants waft sugar-rich scents into the air as energy is broken down and released. Every deciduous tree or shrub will help contribute to the display that has tremendous visual impact, but which also tells us of strange chemical reactions deep inside. Triggered by light and temperature, plants, like other hibernating animals, work long hours stockpiling stores for the long winter. If you see a shrub in full autumn colour, it is rapidly harnessing the last packets of energy from the sun, now that its exhausting cycle of flowering and fruiting is over. It is indulging in one last gorge before an oncoming diet, a guiltless pleasure ensuring prolongation. For the best displays you need good fortune with the weather. You need a double combination of conditions. We usually hope for one here - two is being greedy! Firstly, clear cool skies during the day to bring out the leaf colour in plants, and secondly, consistent cold night temperatures, which produce greater plant pigment production. We can get this pattern here, but it is much more common during the famous New England fall. So what are these fancy colours and why do they occur? Some plants have high proportions of a chemical or, to be exact, hydrocarbons, called plant pigments, of which beta carotene (the orange one abundant in carrots) is the greatest. You get yellow from xanthophylls and other rich purple colours from the anthocyanins which only occur in the leaf at this time. Add to this mix the breaking down green chlorophyll and you soon have a rich palette of colours. Some plants exhibit the full range of autumn hues while others rely on a solo performance - say, yellow - in walnut trees. A favourite for this is a lovely small well behaved tree called the Persian Ironwood Parrotia persica - a crimson delight, which you can only compliment on its show. It has it all and it seems to know it too! In a narrow space it jumps 12

up and proclaims it; given a wider space it opens its arms out wide and belts it out like Pavarotti. Anthocyanins will add colour to the new emerging leaves and buds of some well know shrubs we see in the area, namely Pieris japonica and a well know shrub Photinia “Red Robin”. It’s not so well understood, why this should happen - but we should ask, why do woody plants produce these colours at all? Two fairly recent theories exist for this. Photo protection shields the leaf with plant pigments allowing the plant to absorb and prolong food production for longer into the autumn, thereby sustaining the process; another theory is the colour acts as a deterrent to insects, e.g. aphids avoiding very red trees, as this shows a strong defence system. They therefore have lower infestations. Because of this, wild apples exhibit red leaves, while domesticated highly bred ones are less showy and more likely to be attacked. An interesting practice which occurs at this time in America is called ‘leaf peeping’. It has a major economical contribution to the New England purse. In Japan they have a similar custom called Momijigari, literally ‘hunting the red leaves’ - no doubt Japanese maple ones. Perhaps the National Park should catch onto this as we do have our fair share of lovely autumn colour; I hereby coin the term ‘leaf twitching’ which has a certain familiarity to birders in particular! There are days that are just perfect for colour and you seem to remember them better

than the actual experience. Robert Burns captured the sense of wonder: Come Autumn, sae pensive, in yellow and grey, And soothe me wi’ tidings o’ Nature’s decay. There are many angry expletives heard in the country when you go out to find that a rabbit or deer has gone off with your prize show leeks, hostas or rose. Deer get used to almost any smell and using pepper, rotten eggs and human hair as a deterrent will work for a while - and, if you are finding it hard to get hold of coyote urine, fear not! A simple solution is at hand. Deer brains are hard wired to fear the smell of blood and especially deer blood and this triggers a “fear instinct”. Using a number of old socks hung up in the garden full of blood meal, which is a readily available fertiliser, will keep them away. It comes as straight blood meal or fish, blood and bone. Your neighbours will of course chitchat that you are scaring them away with the smell from your socks alone - but inside the loaded pungent aroma of the moist blood meal will blend with the woollies to keep the garden’s largest pest at bay. It even works for rabbits. You may also elect to scatter it around your perimeter plants and shrubs, and gain from its nutritional benefits as well. You may even wish to experiment with black puddings, but that will definitely get the neighbours chatting as well as the garden birds.

Open 7 days a week: 9.30am -5pm “September Tree Festival”

Expert advice, delivery and planting available. Trees from £5.99 including Apples, Pears, Acers, Conifers, Bonsai... planting and staking demonstrations

“SPRING BULBS” now in, massive range from gorgeous daffodils... to tulips... to huge amaryllis!


On the main road A85 going East just before Comrie Tel: 01764 670800 Open 7 days a week: 9.30am -5pm

All the Fun of the Lochearnhead Fete

Yes – it was another lucky sunny day, one of the few this summer, which allowed our final summer event of the year to be held successfully in our village. Callander and District Pipe Band opened the fete by playing a selection of rousing tunes, which was followed by a few words by local businessman Owen McKee. A big thank you to all who supported this event in any way, either before, during or after the event and especially to those who gave up an afternoon to organise and run the Face-painting, Splat the Rat, Pitch and Putt, Game, Book, Coconut, Bric-a-Brac, Tombola and Handicraft stalls. Also thanks to the tea ladies, the burger chefs, our gate-man, the barman, our race organiser and to Margaret Galloway once again for dealing with the difficult task of choosing the winning dogs in the fun dog show. We were very lucky to have the presence of Liz Campbell from Callander, who not only more than ably piped herself, but organised Highland Dancers for a display. Thanks Liz. Thanks to Angus Cameron for providing the field this year, to Alexander Bowers for preparing a level surface and to Alex Gargolinski for providing us with a steady stream of amusing commentary throughout the afternoon. Finally, thanks to the willing Painting team, who within two hours on Saturday evening had cheered up nine stalls with pastel paints, which looked great once the covers were on. This might explain the pink, blue and lilac grass seen the next day when the stalls were taken down! As this is one of our main fund-raisers for the running and maintenance of our Village Hall, the Fete organising team is open to anyone who is willing to come along with new ideas and help out in any way. Don’t be shy! I am pleased to announce that this year, even with all the adversities of weather and economic uncertainty, we made a grand total of £967.96. With this, we are hoping to re-fit the kitchen with stronger units and replace the bain-marie for functions. Ollie Cameron


It is not unusual for me to hear the question “what difference has being in a National Park made for us?” and I confess that in the early years it was very difficult indeed to detail any benefits. People who had been to some of the English and Welsh National Parks would often expound on how much better the facilities were in those Parks, ignoring that they have been in existence as National Parks for decades. Yes, we have much to do to catch up, but I am much more confident that we are moving in the right direction. The Five Lochs Project draft proposals with site plans have been distributed to the community representatives and a meeting has been arranged for 12 September when the proposals will be discussed and explained in full. With funding now in place we should be able to start the physical work this financial year with the priority area being Loch Lubnaig. The work is planned in phases and if there is a holdup on any particular phase we will be able to bring forward projects so that there is a guarantee that the Five Lochs area will have improved facilities for the 2013 season. And the work will continue to bring more facilities to the area over the next few years. Last week I paid a visit to the new RSPB reserve at Wards Estate on the south of Loch Lomond. A large swathe of the estate falls within a National Nature Reserve and it is totally within the National Park. The opportunity was taken for both the Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage to formally join forces with the RSPB to ensure that the reserve would be managed for the benefit of all three organisations. Although the reserve is already a haven, particularly for many ground nesting birds, and is home to a fantastic variety of flora, it has suffered from a lack of management for a number of years. Since


View from the Park by Owen McKee there are a number of paths through the estate from the village to the loch shore the RSPB has had discussions with the local community to outline the plans for the reserve and give them the comfort of knowing that the intention is to improve access and to provide better facilities to allow the public to enjoy what is a fantastic area. No - not everything in the Park is rosy; there is still a fly in the ointment. LITTER. Perhaps because it is such a high profile subject I find myself surveying everywhere I go to get a feel for where the problem is less severe in the hope that there is a ready solution to the problem. Not surprisingly, the least litter is on cycle/pathways; the most on road verges (clearly thrown from cars) and lochsides. Unfortunately it is clearly a cultural - or more correctly an uncultured - problem which will take many years to eradicate and Keep Scotland Beautiful is working on the education system to that end but in the meantime we need to clear the mess from the National Park. Whilst continuing our dialogue with the Local Authorities we were talking to Scottish Government to see if the Park Authority could take on the statutory duty of litter clearance (as opposed to domestic and business rubbish collection) only to be told that this is not legally possible. But we will not give up the fight, and we will strive with our Local Authority colleagues to get ‘litter in the Park’ a higher priority. Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead 01567830214

Volunteers Rangers needed

to share love of National Park Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is now recruiting for Volunteer Rangers to help look after the National Park and ensure visitors have a memorable experience when they arrive. Zoe MacGregor, Volunteer Development Manager said, “We’re looking for people who want to share what they love about the National Park with the thousands of visitors we welcome here every year. We want to make sure all our visitors take away a great experience from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs with volunteer rangers providing a warm welcome, information about what to see and where to visit and generally helping out at events, popular sites and at visitor centres. We currently have twenty two volunteer rangers who have contributed over 1200 hours this year. Following on from this success, we’re now looking to increase this to forty five. If you have a passion for being outdoors, know the local area and want to demonstrate or improve your existing skills, we want to hear from you!” With a minimum commitment of two days a month, Volunteer Rangers will be involved throughout the year. There are no specific qualifications needed to get involved. Training will be provided in the New Year with volunteers ready to start in April 2013. Stuart Crawford started as a Volunteer Ranger in January and explains why he got involved: “I applied to become a volunteer ranger because I really enjoyed the conservation side to volunteering and wanted to get more involved with the work that the National Park carries out. I have been involved with various tasks including visiting popular visitor sites across the Park and helped deliver events in Cowal and Breadalbane. I really enjoy my role, visiting some amazing places within the Park and working with a fantastic group of people. Becoming a volunteer ranger was a great decision for me, giving me the opportunity to combine my love of the outdoors, making new friends and expanding my knowledge of the National Park. I would recommend it to anyone.” If you would like to find out more, please have a look at the volunteering pages of the National Park website or contact Zoe MacGregor, National Park Volunteer Manager on 01389 722001. Geoff Miles Head of Marketing Communications

From our Beijing Correspondent... With Amber and Richard, we took a short trip down south into Hubei province, to Wuhan - one of the ‘3 furnaces in China’ and a city of over 10 million cooked prawns... sorry, people. We hired a nice(!) car and headed for the open road... which took the GPS (previously detested, now cherished!) over two hours to locate, just getting out of the gargantuan city. We stopped at an ancient burial site, believed to hold the tomb of the last King of the Chu Kingdom, dated 722-221BC. Although discovered 30 years ago, the main tomb is still untouched and by all accounts, he was a popular man - and there are over 90 other tombs still to be unearthed. The whole site is closed to the public... but we just happened to find a couple of archaeological researchers who didn’t mind showing us into the 130m-long horse and chariot tomb, where each set of ancient protruding wheels has 2 or 4 horse skeletons lying in harness. Amazing. Three emergency stops later, to avoid wiping out two moped riders and a pedestrian, who all just moved into our path without even a glance, we stopped along a little country road to buy a chair... as one does! It was a little, squat, newlymade local chair which took our fancy though presence of mind of how to take it on the flight to Beijing didn’t bother us - and for £3 we didn’t care! However, we then saw older, used ones, which we liked even more, so at the next village, we stopped to ask if we could buy one from an eating place (not really in the category of restaurant, or even cafe!). £10 they quoted us... but when we brought out our new one in exchange, they were absolutely gobsmacked! and grabbed it before ‘the mad foreigners’ changed their minds. We were all happy

and laughing and knew a hilarious story had been created. In Jingzhou, we again amused the locals by singing ditties and silly songs, pedalling a double tandem whilst circumnavigating the 12km long old city wall (one of the few still intact in China), and made some elderly women very happy purchasing coolie hats (for Aladdin). The next day, we crossed into Hunan province - a very defined road crossing, from tarmac to potholes - cracked concrete vehicle hell - and spent two days walking in Avatar country, amongst the national parks peaks of Zhangjiajie, which inspired the filmmakers - and they were stunning. We just unfortunately lacked the wings amongst the 1000m high sandstone mountains and pillars. On our way back into Hubei, we spent a night in an ethnic-minority Miao village. The mountains, bad roads and struggling GPS had delayed our daylight arrival into Dehang, so it is was in semi-darkness that Duncan tried to find us beds for the night - and ended up following a random Chinaman, who just happened to have two newly painted rooms in his house, and for £4.80, we weren’t going to decline. Fortunately he also found some electric fans to hasten our sleep in the immense heat. We arrived back early at Wuhan airport in glorious weather, only to be advised that bad weather was delaying Beijing flights, so we were put on an earlier flight which was already delayed... logic? Eight hours and a typhoon later, we managed to leave – it had come straight over the top of the airport! Tania and Duncan Francis PS the Francis menagerie is underway, with the newly acquired ‘Haggis’, ‘Neeps’ and ‘Tatties’...!

Richard, Amber and Duncan - pedal power in Jingzhou, Hubei.

That funny little Hubeian chair...the original!

An appeal from Town Break Town Break Stirling group is greatly in need of volunteers and trustees to help them to continue to provide services for people with early stage dementia and their families in the Stirling and Callander area. Apart from 4 staff members all services are provided by trained, committed volunteers and managed by a volunteer Board of Trustees. Drivers are required ( for both car and minibus transport) and helpers for the Day Clubs. Callander Day Club meets every Tuesday in S Andrew’s Church Hall from 11.30 am till early afternoon. Stirling Day Club meets on Mondays and Thursdays from 12 noon till 3pm in the Baptist Church Hall. If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity (helper, driver or trustee) please contact Alison Wilkie (01786 824690) or the Town Break office (01786 447787).

‘Avatar’ country, Zhangjiajie, Hunan.


Music From Afar...


ochearnhead had its own “Viking invasion” at the beginning of the month in the form of a brass band from Torsby in Sweden. The first intimation I had of this was the dulcet strains of a cornet floating through the opened window on a summer Sunday evening. I later discovered this was the band tuning up for a practice session before their concert in the village later in the week. All the band members are students from high school and university in this small town in the west of Sweden surrounded by lakes and tree covered hills. Playing with them on the night in question was Paul Duffy, a member of the multi award winning Black Dyke Band from Bradford; Paul’s girlfriend is a member of the Torsby band. Local folk had enthusiastically welcomed the 21-plus band members in to their homes for the duration of their week long stay, and their programme for the week included practice sessions every morning in the village hall, after which they were free to do their own thing and take part in all the outdoor activities that Lochearnhead has to offer, such as water ski-ing, kayaking, hill walking, cycling, swimming and sight seeing. By all accounts they had a great time. The band consisted of only the bass, cornets, euphoniums and trombones, as drums and percussion instruments were too bulky to transport. The outdoor concert was held on a perfectly still evening, with not a cloud in the sky and against the backdrop of the setting sun on the tip of Stuc a’ Chroin. Berit Palmquist, the band’s conductor thanked the hosts for the invitation to play in their garden and introduced the repertoire which included Summertime from Porgy and Bess and It’s A Beautiful World with Paul on soprano cornet playing the solos with spectacular flourishes. Amongst a varied programme of other tunes were a haunting piece called the Ashokan Farewell, and some recognisable Scottish “skirls” which had the audience whooping in encouragement. To show their versatility, but also to take a break from playing their instruments, they also sang a couple of songs, a Swedish folk tune and a hymn, which were applauded enthusiastically. After the concert and a barbecue provided by the home team, Hamish, Roger and Ollie set everyone’s feet tapping with a few Scottish tunes 16

and, by the end of the evening, the visitors had got to grips, literally, with the Gay Gordons and Strip the Willow. It was a very successful and happy evening and many thanks went out to all those involved in organising the event, and even the “midget flies” didn’t detract from our enjoyment. Berit said they were looking forward to the following evening, when they had been invited by Ian Milligan to play along with the Callander Band in Ancaster Square. Reports from those who went along to this said it was also a terrific evening’s entertainment. However before that, an impromptu hiking trip was organised by Martin Sanders to lead any of the band who were willing, up Mheal Reamhar above the village, starting at 9am on the following morning. It seems that he and Gus Cameron had quite a few enthusiastic followers who succeeded in reaching the top. An “honour guard” of cornets played a farewell lament outside Ollie and Gus’s back door on the morning of their departure from the village as a thank you to them for organising a great trip. Ollie Cameron

The Villages Football Matches On behalf of the organisers, we want to thank those supporters who donated to our fantastic raffle and who braved an inclement afternoon to support their teams. Ben Ouhr Hill and Loch Earn provided the back drop to some spectacular football, the Married Men’s team recovering from a 4-nil deficit to win -just - by 5 goals to 4. Congratulations to both sides for a great match played out in a sporting manner. Grant Sharp was gracious in his comments as he handed over the Trophy to the winning manager, Shuggie Atkinson. Shuggie, self-effacing as ever, did concede that by borrowing one or two players from the opposition his team had some younger legs to rely on at the finish. In the Ladies’ match, played at half time, we witnessed the Married Ladies win narrowly by 4 goals to 1 and their new star striker, Lizzy Rushton, grab the first hat trick in that competition. She may well turn out with the men’s team next year. These matches are played as a post script to clearing the Games field after the Highland Games. They also raise money for local causes and in support of Tommy MacGregor’s work with Cancer Research. This year your generous support raised over £1200 on the day. I would like to express my thanks to those who helped out on the day, including Billy and Cathy with the barbecue, Dougie, Jeanette and Moira on the bar and particularly the committee boys Tom Gibbon and Shuggie who tirelessly collected contributions for our fine raffle. The unusual feature of our day was the sponsored shave contributed by Duncan McDiarmid which of itself brought in about £300 to our collection. Alex Gargolinski

Enjoy a Giggle! I saw this advert in a window that said: “Television for sale, £1, volume stuck on full.” I thought, “I can’t turn that down.” I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again... – that’s a site for sore eyes! So I said to a Scotsman ‘did you have terrible spots as a kid?’ He said ‘ac ne...’

Singing is Good for You!

Choir Occasional

starts up again on Thursday 20 September at 7.30pm, Balquhidder Village Hall. All welcome! Gill Allan 01877 384203


Static Caravan

29ft Double and Twin Bedrooms in Immaculate Condition. Offers Invited.


Callander Rambling Club

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www.incallander. 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 1st 8:30am Hill: Beinn an Lochan (901m) contact 01877 339080 • Wed 5th 9:30am Stroll: Kennett Estate & Tolbooth (4.5miles) contact 01786 842021 • Sat 15th 8:30am Ramble: Queen Elizabeth Forest (10miles) contact 01877 382803 • Sat 22nd 8:30am LDP: CtoC (10) Aberfoyle to Callander (9.5miles) contact 01877 330032 • Wed 26th 9:30am Ramble: Edinample to Kilmahog (10miles) contact 01877 376200 OCTOBER • Wed 3rd 9:30am Ramble: Blackford to Crieff (10 miles) contact 07737 682426 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!


Welcome to our new contributor Pat Macinnes, who runs a course in Scottish History Highlights with the Callander & West Perthshire U3A. This is the first part of an ongoing story about the 3rd Duke of Perth.

The Jacobite Duke James Drummond, 6th Earl and 3rd (Jacobite) Duke of Perth was born on 11 May 1713 at Drummond Castle, near Crieff. When he was only three and a half months old his father, with commendable foresight, made over to him the entire estate. This consisted of a wide swathe of Perthshire, stretching from the north east through to the south west, together with the Earldom of Perth. This had the effect of shielding this vast estate from forfeiture when the failure of the 1715 Rising led to his father’s attainder and escape to France. Young James was sent to France for his education and, at some point in his childhood, was struck by a runaway barrel. He suffered from the consequences of these injuries for the rest of his life. He returned to Scotland in 1732 and passion for horse racing and provided immediately set about improving his cover for his meetings with those who estates. He issued formal leases to his were less than enthusiastic about the tenants and actively encouraged the Hanoverian dynasty. enclosure of fields, the installation of He also found the time, in 1743, drainage, the liming of the ground to to court a young lady in Yarm, near make it more fertile and the use of new Stockton-on-Tees. Her father, a wealthy crops to increase yields. All this improved Catholic lawyer, did not approve of the the value of his land but resulted in Duke and she turned him down. If a higher rents, never popular with the folk personable young Catholic nobleman paying them, although their situation who owned most of Perthshire was not deemed a suitable match for a lawyer’s also improved, over time. On 29 July 1739, he had drawn up a daughter, one wonders who was? plan for the new town of Callander. It Personable he was, being described had a more continental appearance than as six feet tall, of slender build and a the random settlements of old, having a fair complexion. He was also possessed wide main street, central square and two of a particularly nice nature and easystreets intersecting the main street at going personality. Even people who did either end of the town. Interestingly, he not agree with his Jacobite sympathies, proposed that the bridge across the River e.g. Duncan Forbes of Culloden, Lord Teith should be built where the present President of the Court of Session, spoke day footbridge stands. Considering the highly of him. Forbes expressed concern design was planned in 1739 when horse- that any rising led by Prince Charles drawn transport was the norm, the Duke’s Edward Stuart would soon fizzle out, wide main street is coping remarkably leaving people like the Duke of Perth well with traffic he could never have and Cameron of Lochiel to suffer the envisaged. Had he not been so heavily consequences, when both men deserved involved in the 1745 Rising, it would have better. He was said to be brave, almost been interesting to see what other far- to a fault, generous, kind, enthusiastic, sighted plans he might have implemented intelligent, sympathetic and sociable. Analysis of his handwriting confirmed across Perthshire. Later in 1739 he travelled down to the reports of his character, no skeletons Kilsyth to see for himself the novelty of a lurking in his cupboard! If he had a weakness it was his field of potatoes. They had been grown since 1733, but unquestioning loyalty to the Jacobite only in gardens. He enquired into the cause. He must have known, as did method of cultivation when done on Lochiel, that the Rising could not such a large scale. He was a member of succeed without French troops, French The Honourable Society of Improvers in armaments and French gold. None of the Knowledge of Agriculture in Scotland these came with the Prince and yet both men committed their estates, their and actively supported its aims. Politically he was very active, being tenantry and their very lives to the cause. a founder member of the Association In the absence of French gold a number (later Concert) of Gentlemen, whose of the Jacobite nobility and gentry sole aim was the restoration of the Stuart pledged funds to enable the Rising to get monarchy. He also maintained contact under way. The Duke pledged £1,500, with Jacobite sympathisers in the north (£193,000.00 today) and it is possible that east of England and was a frequent visitor without his financial support there might to York races. This both indulged his have been no Rising. 18

The 3rd Duke of Perth

Some years earlier the Duke, having been brought up in France himself, realised that the two Royal princes might be losing touch with their Scottish heritage. To re-acquaint them with it, he sent complete outfits of Highland dress to both Prince Charles and Prince Henry together with a book of Country Dances. He received thank-you letters from them, although both letters are in the same hand, suggesting they were dictated to a secretary, rather than being written by the princes personally. In 1740 he followed these gifts with magnificent silver-mounted Highland targes and silver-hilted backswords for both princes. The targes, of wooden boards covered in pigskin, may have been made in the Highlands before being taken to London. There, the intricate silver high-relief mounts, with a gorgon’s head in the centre were added, probably by a famous London goldsmith of German origins, Charles (Frederick) Kandler. He had converted to Roman Catholicism and was much favoured by wealthy Catholic families. This may have been why the Duke of Perth chose him to do the work. Whatever the reason, the silverwork is of outstanding quality and was truly a gift fit for a prince, or two. The targe belonging to Prince Charles was rescued from the battlefield of Culloden by Colonel Ewan MacPherson of Cluny and remained in his family until the 20th century. The Prince’s sword was not so lucky. It was captured at Culloden and given to Butcher Cumberland. It has now been reunited with the targe and both items are on display in the National Museum of Scotland. They may have been in the baggage train which had to be abandoned on the battlefield. The targe presented to Prince Henry is now in the collection at Warwick Castle. The fate of his sword is not yet known to me. The year 1740 seems to have been a time for this extremely wealthy young

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Sword and targe gifted to the young Prince Charles, on display in the National Museum of Scotland.

man to start spending some of his inheritance. Between 7 April 1740 and 10 May 1745 he ran up the most enormous bill with his tailor. It came to £568.19.2, the equivalent of £64,300.00 today. He must have dressed his staff most regally: there were expensive fabrics, hats, silver buttons, gold buttons, silver lace, etc, etc. Two footmen were kitted out with hats costing 10 shillings each, (£56.50 today) and a ‘fine hat’ for his valet was priced at 9 shillings, the equivalent of £50.80 today. His tailor, Thomas Dundas, must have trusted him implicitly because the first payment to account, £400, was not made until 8 February 1744 and the bill was paid in full on 21 May 1745. Perhaps he was putting his affairs in order before the momentous event, for which he had been planning for most of his adult life, got under way. © Copyright Patricia Macinnes August 2012

There was considerable excitement in July when BBC Scotland broadcast the sighting of a beaver as it swam in the river Leny near Callander, probably the same one that had been photographed from the bridge by a Bridgend resident 5 days earlier. This sighting is the furthest south and the first in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The video taken by the canoeist is on the ‘Save the Free Beavers of the Tay’ Facebook site, dubbed “Rob Roy, the Rob Roy, outlaw beaver outlaw beaver of the Trossachs”! In Knapdale, the Scottish Beaver Scottish Government announced that Trial, a collaboration between SNH, the Tay beavers should not be trapped SWT & FCS, introduced four beaver but be left until 2015 when the Knapdale pairs in 2009. These are from Norway, trial ends and a decision on the whole rebelieved to be closest to those hunted introduction will be made. Meanwhile, to extinction 400 years ago and this SNH is monitoring the situation and controlled introduction is monitoring heads a group comprising landowners, the beavers and their impact on the local Tay Fisheries Board and conservation groups, including RZSS and SWT. ecosystem. However, the Tay is home to a much Callander will now be included in this larger colony, grown to 100-120 over survey. At the current rate of growth five generations. Most are believed of and spread the decision on the future of Bavarian origin and opinion differs beavers in Scotland may be taken out of on whether this non-native strain is man’s hands! inappropriate or could offer a beneficial Less controversial species on our SWT genetic mix. It is unproven whether they wildflower walk on 24 June included 6 were deliberately released or escaped species of orchid along Braelenny Road from private collections in Angus and (early purple, spotted heath, northern Perthshire 8 and 11 years ago. Is this marsh, fragrant, greater butterfly and where our beaver came from? If so, what twayblade) with a lesser butterfly orchid on the Golf course. Jane Jones recorded route would it have taken? It is illegal to allow beavers to escape an amazing list of 142 plant species! into the wild and whether they have been Many thanks to all who helped to deliberately released or have escaped make our fund-raising event on 11 also has an impact on their status under August so successful. To individuals the Wildlife & Countryside Act (1981). for donations and help on the stall and Authorised release of the beaver into the to businesses who donated items for wild would grant the species full legal the bottle stall; Campbell’s shortbread, protection but ‘self-introduced’ escapees Co-op, Deli Ecosse, EWM, MacMillan Wine, Nature’s Corner, Roslyn Cottage have none. Disagreement continues between B&B, Tesco and the Scottish Real Ale those who support the return of beavers Shop. to Scotland and those who fear that Finally, our season of talks starts on their spread could be detrimental to 11 September with ‘Wildlife Crime in the environment, damaging woodland, Central Scotland’, 7:30pm, the Waverley reducing fish stocks and flooding Hotel – see you there? farmland. However, in March 2012 the Lesley Hawkins

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Callander Member’s Centre Diary Tuesday 11th September

‘Wildlife Crime in Central Scotland’ by Paul Barr, Central Scotland Police Tuesday 9th October

‘The Wildcat and Lynx - Scotland’s Forgotten Cats’

by David Hetherington, Cairngorms National Park Authority ALL WELCOME

Meetings are held in The Waverley Hotel, Main Street, Callander at 7:30pm. Cost £2 for members, £2.50 non-members and free for full-time students. Includes refreshments. Our full programme and more details on SWT can be found at


The 2012 Jazz Festival 28-30 September One month to go and our seventh Jazz and Blues Festival is geared up to take over the town. There is a great programme of live music on offer here in the town and at our Loch Katrine and Loch Venachar venues, over 40 performances in some 20 venues, vocal, instrumental and dance workshops, Open Mic sessions and the ever popular Sunday Jazz Parade and Jazz Cruise. The majority of this year’s headline performances will take place in McLaren High School which has great flexibility for audience participation, especially King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys in the Jump Jive Swing sessions. Don’t miss headline performers King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys, and Jacquie Dankworth, daughter of the legendary John Dankworth and Cleo Laine. The recently refurbished Dreadnought Hotel and the Youth Project at Bridgend will again attract dedicated followers of jazz. Some more very special guests will be appearing over the weekend. The Stephen NickGould Duffy Quartet will play at Poppies Hotel ( Stephen is well-known to jazz lovers as the Jacqui Dankworth host of BBC Scotland’s weekly Jazz House programme). Poppies also hosts the Iain talent playing a selection of straight ahead Ewing Trio (Iain is the principal male jazz jazz and hard bop influenced by the blue vocalist with Brass Impact and Swing note era: the Brown Field Byrne Quintet. Sensation and has regularly performed in Full programme details are on the website and on printed London with top big bands) Why not hear Edinburgh’s own Nick programmes available in the VisitScotland Gould with JazzMaine and special guest Information Centre, National Park office Debbie Davis at Venachar Lochside and many other outlets around town. on Sunday 30th while you have lunch, Tickets are available online from and then go on to Loch Katrine for the or in person from jazz cruise on SS Sir Walter Scott? Free VisitScotland Information Centre (01877 transport between these venues will be 330342). All major credit/debit cards arranged for those who want to pack in a accepted. They will also be available from most appealing afternoon of jazz amid our the Festival’s own ticket office based in the National Park office, Main Street, from picturesque lochs. Festival Director’s recommendation: 2pm on Friday 28 September when the This year it has to be a line up of young Festival begins. Festival helpline number: jazz musicians who are a shining example 01877 339399. Graham Oliphant, Festival Director of youthful, enthusiastic, raw musical


Enrolment day for Forth Valley U3A on 7 September Forth Valley University of the Third Age is now commencing its ninth year of offering stimulating learning groups for older people ( anyone not in full-time employment) led by older people themselves who share their skills, knowledge and experience. We learn from each other. There are no qualifications required to join Forth Valley U3A, and no exams to take! Learning is for pleasure, refreshing a long forgotten subject, realising a long held ambition, or tackling something new as a challenge. What about brushing up on a language, mastering bridge or surfing the net? All are possible in Forth Valley U3A. Learning groups meet in informal, social settings and the topics can range as widely as we have members to run a group. Forth Valley covers a wide geographical area, from Dollar to Dunblane, Kilsyth to Killin and everywhere in between. As well as a full programme of groups running from September through to early summer, we organise visits to galleries, performances, and places of interest. On October 3rd this year we are hosting a Study Day ‘ Enjoying Later Life-Exploring Opportunities’ which will bring people together from many other U3As in Scotland to enjoy some talks and displays and try out some mental and physical activities. Enrolment meetings for the 201213 session will be held on Friday 7 September. A morning event will be held in Callander at the Callander Youth Project, Bridgend, 10am-11.30am. and a further afternoon event at Cambusbarron Community Centre, 2pm-3.30pm. Membership renewals can be completed at either meeting, and anyone interested in joining as a new member will have the chance to meet group leaders and get information on what their groups do. Socialising with other members and sharing their enthusiasm for Forth Valley U3A is helped along over tea, coffee and home baking at both meetings. If you’d like to find out more and have internet access, see our website, Also, the membership secretary can be contacted on 01786 822062.

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: Thursday 20th September 2012 Wednesday 3rd October 2012 Thursday 29th November 2012 Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12 noon. Emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs. On these afternoons, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 08454 242424. BRACKLINN PRACTICE is pleased to announce its new web site: Please browse all the information, and let us have your comments. Check out the news items regularly for any changes, and general information for you such as flu clinics. You will soon be able to order prescriptions, and book appointments, but due to it being a secure website you will need a password from the practice. Thank you! Margaret A Davis Practice Manager, Bracklinn Practice Callander Medical Centre Geisher Road, Callander FK17 8LX

LENY PRACTICE (Drs Mathewson & Gibson) We would like to thank patients for the positive feedback received following the successful launch of our website www. which we will continue to develop with additional information and services. Updates to your contact details and carer information can be made via the website in addition to completing travel forms for vaccinations in advance of your appointment. Repeat medication items can be ordered on-line and a new ‘special request’ form will shortly be added for items previously prescribed but no longer on your repeat re-order slip. SPECIAL PRESCRIPTION REQUEST FORMS are available now from reception and should be used for medication previously prescribed but not currently on your repeat re-order slip. Please note, for reasons of patient safety, prescription requests should not be made by telephone. National surveys have indicated prescription errors are more at risk when orders are taken by phone and we need to adapt our processes to limit any type of risk while providing a safe and reliable service. SKIN MATTERS – We will be holding another discussion evening in October/ November with Dr Olga Watkins. The evening will cover skin conditions that affect both young and old as well as information to help prevent and manage common skin complaints. This is an OPEN evening will no appointment necessary. Full details will be advertised when the date is confirmed.

Saturday 29th September • 7.30pm in McLaren Hall, Killin

o Killin Community Choir o

will be joined by soloists from the world of Opera to sing a variety of numbers. Doors open from 7.00pm and a Bar is available. Tickets priced at £8.00 (£6.00 for concessions).

Contact 01567 830453 for tickets and further details.



Bracklinn AND Leny Practice OPEN DAY for flu vaccinations is on Friday 5th October. Flu vaccines will be available from 9.00am – 5.30pm. Please note that we will be operating emergency appointments only on that day and Leny Practice will provide a limited afternoon clinic. Repeat prescription requests will not be processed.

The flu vaccine is available to everyone over 65 years OR under 65 - if you have one of the following conditions: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Asthma Chronic Heart Disease Hypertension with Cardiac complications Renal Disease Liver Disease Stroke Multiple Sclerosis Diabetic A stent inserted No spleen Receiving Chemotherapy or Steroids or if you are a Carer. Immunosuppressed patients and children under the age of 5 years with health problems. If you are unsure whether you are entitled to the vaccination, or cannot attend the surgery on 5th October, please contact us on the following numbers: Bracklinn Practice 01877 331001 Leny Practice 01877 331000 Please note that flu vaccines cannot be given before the 5th October.

H CHARITY FUNDRAISING We will be fundraising on our Open Day

Friday 5th October 2012 for

Jeans for Genes Day

(children with genetic disorders) &

Pink Friday

(Breast Cancer Care) Last year we raised over £350 for these charities!


Rangers’ Review By Graeme Auty

Swallow youngsters make their presence felt!

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

As usual a lot of my time over the last month has been taken up with tackling some of the invasive plants across the area, with quite a lot of time spent getting land owner permissions, getting it all mapped accurately and obtaining the required permissions from Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA). I have also been out with a group of National Park volunteers hand pulling the patches of Himalayan balsam on both sides of Loch Earn where it grows amongst the rocks and lochside woodland. As Gareth pointed out in last month’s Villagers, the volunteers and I have also been busy with knotweed spraying. All of the patches in St Fillans, Lochearnhead, Killin and around Loch Earn have all now had one dose of chemical treatment this summer so hopefully next year will see much reduced growth. Many of the other areas of knotweed are now mapped and SEPA has approved applications to spray the existing stands of knotweed in Crianlarich, Glen Dochart and Glen Ogle. Hopefully, if we get a few dry days over the next few weeks, all these sites will be treated plus a second spray on those areas already treated earlier in the summer. Swallow tale Over the past few weeks we have had a few instances of young swallows which have been found injured or dead. This has probably been due to the heavy storms that have passed through the area damaging nests leaving recently fledged juvenile birds vulnerable to domestic cats and other predators. If you do come across any dead bird which has been ringed you can report it to the British Trust of Ornithology at this web site: rings.jsp?country=EN With their swooping flight and their chattering song these fascinating birds are now busy preparing to depart for warmer weather and a more plentiful supply of food. Swallow migration occurs in stages, with birds lingering around roost sites, often in reed beds, numbering as many as 100,000 strong recorded at one roost site in Aberdeenshire several years ago. Most will have gone by late September, heading for the Mediterranean and large parts of Africa, with some birds clocking up a journey of up to 6,000 miles as they head for over-wintering sites in South Africa. Some swallows have been recorded as travelling over 300 miles in a single day, quite an incredible achievement for such a small bird. Few people will witness their gathering roosts, but for most of us there is a sudden 22

absence, a mysterious departure as the skies will suddenly become a little quieter. “See you next year!” However, no sooner have the swallows headed south, then great V-shaped skeins of geese will begin arriving from the north to their overwintering grounds here. This influx of geese and other wetland birds marks the beginning of this year’s wetland bird surveys for the rangers. This year we will be surveying Lochs Lubnaig and Earn as usual until March but we will also be stepping in to cover Lochs Voil and Doine in September and October.

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 part time in my ranger role 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

Takeaway pizzas available!

National Park Pioneers Celebrated

Pictured at the celebratory lunch are left to right Friends Chairman ,James Fraser; Hon. Vice President, Professor Gavin Arneil; Lord John McFall of Alcuith; Dr Hannah Stirling MBE and Friends President; Freeman of Argyll and Bute, Billy Petrie OBE DL; and Friends Vice President, George Boyd.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park three individuals who campaigned vigorously for National Park status and have served the area well over many years were honoured at a special celebration lunch organised by the Friends of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, with sponsorship from Argyll and Bute Council. At the lunch, held at the Lodge on Loch Lomond Hotel yesterday, Dr. Hannah Stirling MBE, Lord John McFall of Alcuith and Billy Petrie OBE JP DL, the former

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.

Provost of Argyll and Bute Council and chairman of the various tourist organisations covering the National Park area, were all honoured for their tireless work in helping to secure Scotland’s first National Park and contributing to the wellbeing of the area in a number of other ways. Commenting on the contribution of all three individuals the Chairman of the Friends, James Fraser said, “These are three remarkable individuals who all in their own way have played a major part in securing the creation of the National Park and they have consistently over many decades selflessly worked hard to promote and protect this special place which is home to 16,000 local residents and plays host to 4 million visitors from other parts of the UK and overseas annually.’’ He added: ‘’We were delighted to mark the contribution of Lord John McFall of Alcuith and Billy Petrie by appointing them both as Honorary Vice-Presidents of the Friends and we were also pleased that the guest of honour Dr. Hannah Stirling MBE received a commemorative engraved quaich from Billy Petrie on behalf of Argyll and Bute Council to mark her outstanding contribution to the protection and promotion of Loch Lomond.’’ At the celebratory lunch both Billy Petrie and Lord McFall described Hannah as a truly remarkable lady who has done so much over so many years as the ‘Queen of Loch Lomond’ through her work with the Friends and also her own charitable Trust. They referred to the successful campaign led by Hannah in the late 1970s to safeguard Ben Lomond from a major hydro dam scheme; the support to bring the Ben into the ownership of the National Trust for Scotland followed by the creation

of Scotland’s National Memorial Park to commemorate the fallen in two world wars; the many conservation and access projects delivered under her watchful eye and her passionate and prolonged lobbying to convince respective Governments and senior politicians of the merits of designating the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs area as a National Park. In paying tribute to the work of Lord McFall, Professor Gavin Arneil, a past Chairman of the Friends said: ‘’ I recall John hosting a number of one day conferences in the early 1990s to keep the fight to secure National Park status in the public eye and I admired his efforts to ensure the creation of a National Park was on the agenda of various Government Ministers. It was largely through his efforts that one of the first pieces of legislation the late Donald Dewar pushed through the new Scottish Parliament was the National Parks Act that led to the creation of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in 2002.’’ In his comments on the contribution of Billy Petrie, James Fraser, the current Chairman of the Friends said: ‘’Billy has recently stepped down as a Councillor after 45 years of dedicated service for the lochside communities and the wider area and during that time he has been Provost or Convener of no less than 3 Councils and Chairman of 4 tourist bodies and has served on the Park Authority and its predecessors. This is a remarkable track record of public service and we are deeply indebted to him for his outstanding contribution to enriching the lives of so many and ensuring the National Park is a better place to live, work and visit.’’ 23


Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

Thanks for the calls I would just like to say thanks to those people who have been phoning the police when they see or hear something unusual. Over the past few weeks a number of calls have been received which have alerted us to suspicious incidents. These calls are very important in the fight against crime. Thefts from cars Many of you may remember the articles I posted last year regarding cars being broken into whilst they were parked in isolated and secluded car parks. Having carried out various checks it became apparent that thefts occurred throughout the west and north of Scotland. A group of people from Yorkshire were identified and believed to be responsible for the thefts. Unfortunately in the last few weeks a number of cars have been broken into whilst parked in car parks in Glen Coe and Callander. It is important that you do not leave any bags or valuables on show - and if you see something suspicious, call us immediately. Caught Again At the end of July a Lochearnhead man was caught again driving an uninsured car, this time by colleagues from Crieff. He has been charged with driving without insurance and being a disqualified driver. A report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal in Perth. Drink Driver Caught About 10pm on Tuesday the 10th of July I was patrolling the A82 between Crianlarich and Tyndrum when I saw a car being driven erratically. I stopped it and spoke to the male driver who smelt strongly of alcohol. He admitted that he had been drinking a short time earlier as had the female passenger (who was the owner of the car). On the arrival of my colleagues the male was breathalysed at the roadside which he failed. He was then arrested and taken to Stirling Police Office where he provided 2 more positive breath samples. Despite the time from his last drink to providing his samples at Stirling he was still more than twice the legal limit. In addition to this he was driving the car without insurance. As a result of this the female passenger was charged with allowing the male to drive without insurance.


On the 2nd of August both appeared at Stirling Sheriff Court the male who was from Airdrie was disqualified for 16 months and fined £500 and the female who was from Caldercruix was fined £200 and had 8 penalty points added to her licence. 23 year old gunslinger from Fife charged About 3pm on Sunday the 1st of July I was patrolling the north shore of Loch Earn when I saw a group of approximately 20 people next to the waters edge. A male who was part of the group raised what appeared to be a rifle to his shoulder and pointed it towards the road. I immediately stopped my vehicle and approached the male. When he saw me he dropped the rifle to the ground and attempted to hide it. I took possession of the air rifle which was still loaded, I explained the offence the male had committed and charged him accordingly. Unbelievably the male, along with the majority of the group, did not think they were doing anything wrong by not only having the air weapon in a public place but also taking indiscriminate “pot shots” at the rubbish they had dropped. Now you maybe excused for thinking that the group were made up of “young male tearaways and hooligans” but it was not. The group, who were from Fife, consisted of adults, both males and females, aged between 20 and 55 as well as several children. One male informed me that I had no right and that I was spoiling their day and that they were not in a public place. He went onto say that he often carried and used the air rifle in his home town in Fife and the police did not bother. I did explain that they were in a National Park which was definitely a public place. As for his claim about how, where and when he used the rifle and how the police viewed it, I cannot comment, but what I do know is that whilst we maybe viewed by some as ‘the wild west’, I will not put up with any kind of gun play around these parts. A report has been sent to the Procurator Fiscal and the male will get the opportunity to see a real Sheriff. Definitely an “OFF” Sale Along with several colleagues I carried out a number of checks on 8 different licensed premises between Strathyre and Tyndrum. The main reason for the checks was to make sure that alcohol was not being sold to persons under the legal age. Disappointingly following the Test Purchase Operation alcohol was sold to a 16 year old youth who was part of the police operation. Under the supervision of my colleagues the

youth entered the premises and was able to buy a bottle of cider without being challenged or having to provide any proof of age. Thankfully all of the other premises carried out the correct procedure and passed the test purchase. However following a number of checks on the various premises visited another licensee allowed a member of staff to sell alcohol without having received the proper training. Whilst on the surface the above would appear to be minor issues I can assure you that I take any alcohol related incident or offence seriously. It is an area the Chief Constable regards as a priority - ensuring that all those who live, work and visit Central Scotland Police area can do so safely and without being subjected to anti social behaviour as a result of alcohol misuse. As a result of the operation 2 reports have been submitted to both the Procurator Fiscal and Stirling Council Licensing Board. PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000

Monty Python Quest at Doune Castle

And now for something completely different! Come along to the magnificent medieval Doune Castle on Sunday 16th September 2012 for the annual Monty Python inspired event. Doune Castle featured in many of the scenes in the 1974 cult film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a parody of the legend of King Arthur, starring Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam. Gillian Urquhart, Historic Scotland’s Events Manager said: ”This is one of our most entertaining and surreal events. Dress up as your favourite character and take part in our Monty Python Idol competition. See some of the most popular comic sketches being recreated and take part in the silly singalong. “It is also a good chance to brush up on your knowledge of sparrow to coconut weight ratios - and take part in our special quiz. We will be running our Monty Python and the Holy Trail, and there will be a prize for the best costume.” The event takes place from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Tickets are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment! Book online in advance at Adults £13, Concession £10, Child £7.20 10% discount for Historic Scotland members.

Farm Forum: A Case for GM? A week of good weather – if you can remember it – has allowed quite a lot of silage and hay to be made but the weather has now returned to normal and many crops have been badly affected already and the main harvest has not even started. Unless there is a real change in the weather, the omens are not good. This month I intend to touch on a subject I have never broached before. You will all have heard of GM (genetically modified) crops. They have been in the news for many years and it is probably not surprising that they are being highlighted again just now, in view of predictions of global food shortages and the extremes of weather that are affecting many key production areas of the world. I must emphasise that I am not a scientist and know no more about GM crops than what I hear or read. Not many years ago, when experimental crops of GM oil seed rape were being grown in this country, there were demonstrations and many crops were destroyed. The fear was that the seeds from the GM trials could be blown by the wind and ‘contaminate’ other crops.

GM crops have been grown in America for years but have been banned in the EEC, as has their import. One has to question, at least recently, how much of the opposition is genuinely against GM and how much is political. The reason for genetically modifying crops is basically to improve yield whether this is by making them more resistant to drought conditions or immune to various diseases and pests. All three reasons are important but the latter is very relevant in this day and age when more and more pesticides are being banned. The EEC President appointed a special scientific adviser, Professor Ann Glover, to look into the question, as he said that the EU needed to explore this science as a way to head of scarcity of energy and other resources. It is reported by Richard Wright in The Scottish Farmer that Professor Glover has now made her position clear as to where she stands on GM crops; there was, she said, “no substantiated case” of these ever causing harm to human or environmental health. He continues,“that even with the seal of approval from the EEC President for her role, it is difficult to see Europe rolling back from the position it has got itself

Cuttings from Times Past...

telling of a Highland welcome, old style!

Meeting of the Earl of Moray and his tenantry.

Doune Lodge On Wednesday being the market day at Doune, and the rent-day with a number of farmers on lord Moray’s estate by the of Doune Lodge and knowing that his Lordship was to arrive from the south their await to station railway the to went en gentlem of number a 2.40pm train, p Lordshi his as soon As e. Landlord’s arrival and give him a cordial Highland welcom the from cheer loud a by ed signaliz was e stepped on to the platform his presenc Moray:bystanders. The following tenants had the honour of shaking hands with Lord glas; J. Glenfin , Stewart Duncan Duart; , Stewart James le; Bochast , Stewart Messrs. John dder. Balquhi hlarig, Inverloc Stewart jnr, Grodich, Glenfinglas; and John McNaughton, meeting and tenants his of many so seeing at e His Lordship expressed great pleasur them in such auspicious circumstances. sixty one He remarked that he had walked between Glenfinglas and Brig O’ Turk years ago with one of them, viz, James Stewart, Duart. well. Had His Lordship was suffering from a slight cold, but otherwise looked quite envied have well might they train the in been ners landow d any of the West Highlan y. tenantr ire Perthsh his and Moray of Earl the between ng subsisti s relation the happy short a for reside to is he His Lordship afterwards drove to Doune Lodge where time. was The tenants afterwards retired to Woodside Hotel where his lordship’s health s. honour d Highlan with fittingly pledged n of rent We may add that his Lordship has this year given a substantial reductio times. hard the to certain of the tenants as a solace for From the Perthshire Constitutional. 3rd. December 1884

into over GM crops. Led by France, a number of EU member states are opposed to all GM crops, regardless of scientific argument. The one question that has not been asked is: whose interest is being served by this stance? “The Commission’s response would be that it is meeting the concerns of 350 million citizens of the EU, who it believes do not want GM food. However, a survey in the UK, by the Food Standards Agency, suggests that things may not be as simple as this – and that consumers are more rational about food than many believe is the case. “In a recession it was no surprise that the number one issue on a list of concerns was price. Following price came health, in the shape of fat and salt content of food. Again,” he went on, “this is a rational position, given concerns about obesity rates in the UK and people’s wish to act in the best interests of their families. “What might be called traditional agricultural issues are well down the list of concerns. Animal welfare features, but concerns about pesticides and GM are towards the bottom of the list. “If these views are reflected across the EU, and there is no reason to suppose this would not be the case in most member states, there is a case for a more proactive approach to educating people about GM as a science – where it is now compared to the early days and how it would fit into European agriculture.” Indeed considering the necessity for the world to feed many more people in the future and the changing climate, it is surely incumbent upon us to encourage rational debate on the subject. Agricola



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• 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

Alistair Barclay Photographer & Advertising Coordinator Dalvaich, Glenbeich Lochearnhead FK19 8PZ 01567 830453

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 • Weekly Activities Tuesday

Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 -11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am - 12.30pm Contact Abbey Arkotxa 01877 384671 Badminton - Balquhidder Hall - 8.00pm

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

Wednesday Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am-12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Thursday

Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00-9.00pm Choir Occasional - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30-9.00pm (from 20 September)


Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon


1 6 7 9 11 20 21 21 22 22 29

Rambling Club - see p15 Open Meeting SVA - see p5 U3A Enrolment, Callander - see p20 Poetry Evensong, St. Angus - see p8 SWT Talks - see p19 AGM BLS Trust - see p2 Sotheby’s, White Church, Comrie - see p8 Whiterose Live Music, Stathyre - see p5 Welfare Reform Conference, Stirling - see p6 Race Night - The Inn and Bistro, Strathyre - 8.00pm - see p10 Killin Community Choir Concert - see p21

OCTOBER 6 8 8-14

Callander Film Society restarts - see p10 Monday Lunch Club resumes - see p2 National Chocolate Week Four Seasons - see p3

Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 Councillor Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497

Mobile 07881 310 924

Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07824 496 019

CHURCH 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 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

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

The Villagers September 2012  

The voioce of Balquhidder, Strathyre, Lochearnhead and St Fillans. News, events,accommodation and businesses in four villages where the Tros...

The Villagers September 2012  

The voioce of Balquhidder, Strathyre, Lochearnhead and St Fillans. News, events,accommodation and businesses in four villages where the Tros...