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The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

Last of the Summer Music? The last round of applause for this year’s Balquhidder Summer Music concerts will echo round the Church on Sunday evening 7 August. For twenty six years this annual festival of classical music, showcasing the talents of young musicians, many of whom have since become famous names, has entertained audiences from central Scotland and beyond. Will this be the last year? At a time when many other music societies are struggling to retain audiences the Balquhidder festival has consistently attracted its enthusiasts and this is a great tribute to its chairman Alan Clarke, who with his wife Joan, has run the concert series for the past ten years. The work behind the scenes begins in the winter preceding each concert series and, unknown to many of the musicians at the time, Alan and Joan have toured the country to listen to groups and soloists in order to assess whether or not their particular talent will bring in the audiences. Thanks to their own musical knowledge we have been treated to some wonderful performances over the years and Alan has sometimes also challenged us to listen to and appreciate composers and arrangements unfamiliar to many. The concerts were inspired by the Revd Jim Benson, minister at Balquhidder Kirk in the 1980s, who ran regular musical evenings in the manse. The guidelines which he produced included the following:

• Priority will be given to young musicians at the start of their careers. • Proceeds of the concerts will be given to the musicians. • High professional standards will be expected. • Musicians will be given a friendly reception in Balquhidder and a good meal by their hosts in a relaxing domestic setting. When Jim Benson left the area Jim Hannah and his wife Penny stepped in immediately to take over the organisation of the concert series until the end of the summer of 2000 and all through the years these guidelines have been adhered to. Many of us have been privileged to act as hosts and to form friendships with the musicians through inviting them into our homes. It has been a delight and summer Sundays will never be the same if the concert series has to close. Alan and Joan are leaving the area, and leaving a huge hole in our community, for they have contributed to village life in so many different ways, not just for six weeks between June and August. We owe them our profound thanks and one of the best parting gifts we could give them is a promise that Summer Music will continue.

Where is the next Chairman of Balquhidder Summer Music? Whoever you are - please contact The Villagers so that we may pass on the good news.

©Two Worlds Images

n Joan and Ala Clarke

EDITORS’ NOTE Three Cheers For The Backroom Staff! In my continuing learning experience at The Villagers I have been amazed at the number of e-mails all the people in the background are constantly having to send as they do so much hard work to enable the paper to reach you all. So a heartfelt thank you to John, John, Alistair, Hilda Wullie and Gill and probably others I have yet to meet. Thanks also to our regular contributors, some hiding behind their pen names (for now at least), and if anyone has an idea for a one-off article or a column please get in touch. “OnLine” The Villagers is now online - but two months behind, so you will still need to buy your ‘real’ copy. Kim Proven from the Loch Earn Tourism Initiative (LETI) has done an amazing job of getting the 2010-11 publications on the website at index.php/NewsThe-Villagers.htm There will be a full report in next month’s issue! JJ


WANTED! For regular Thursday afternoon trip to Bridge of Allan. Leaving Balquhidder at 1.15pm and collecting from Bridge of Allan at 4.00pm Cost of petrol to be shared. Phone Penny Hannah

01877 384202



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

16.1 ºC 25.3 7.6 2.6

60.9 ºF 77.5 45.7 36.6

Rainfall: 12.0 cms 4.8 ins Strongest wind gust 25 mph on 24 June 2


SUMMER MUSIC Summer Music 2011 is finishing with a flourish with


Bella Tromba

an all-girl trumpet quartet from London. 7th August Balquhidder Church 7.00pm Part of their programme will be music newly composed by Peter Longworth of Brig o’Turk, an up-and-coming local composer to be noted now, before he gets famous! Please come along and support your local music festival. Tickets are very reasonably priced and people 15 years and younger are free - see the website for details.


We would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the last 3 years as we finished at Woodlands at the end of July. We’ll miss our regular customers and wish you all well!! Happy gardening and a fond farewell from Cherry and Brian.

managed to run her car off the road between Lochearnhead and St Fillans. She was unhurt and got a lift from a passing motorist to the Sandison Hall. It seemed sensible to inform the Police in case someone else reported a car in a ditch with no sign of a driver and caused unnecessary police activity. Mine being the closest phone to the Hall, Andrea came round to use it. As expected, Crieff Police Station was not manned (it is only partially manned) so the call was diverted to Perth. The worrying thing was that, despite 5 minutes of ringing out, Perth did not answer either! We had to phone Andy Ward’s number, be diverted to Stirling, who answered instantly and dealt with the problem although it was out of their area. Very good news for the village, and in particular the new residents of Dundurn Walk is that Marcus (Genesis) are about to finish the current development – finishing the roads within and outwith the development and demolishing the compound. I understand that the delay in demolishing the compound was due to ongoing negotiations with Clint Eastwood

The St Fillans Bit As my wife is part of the committee I know just how many hours (months) it takes for a local drama group to find a production suited to the inevitable restrictions on the group and the need to entertain us simple villagers. The group has suffered in the past two years with dwindling membership as the old regulars retire and Cathy & Co have gone to great lengths to try to recruit fresh blood, so it was good to see so many new faces in the cast of their new production. In Ladies Day the St Fillans Players certainly picked a winner (pun intended). Performed on three consecutive nights in July, a challenge in itself, it played to full houses and entertained royally. The basis of the plot is four ladies who work in a Hull fish processing plant deciding to splash out and go to Royal Ascot Ladies Day the year it was actually held in York – a perfect background for humour.

Processing fish

he was actually a spirit. But these are minor points. I believe that the success of any show can be measured by the mood of the audience as they leave and that mood was, to a person, happiness and laughter. Well done to all involved and, as usual, especially to Cathy Moncrieff who persevered through the lean times of minimal membership, rebuilt her ‘troup’ and directed Ladies Day so well. Laughter there was by the bucket load. Inevitably the stage was dominated by the four ladies and the success of the show depended on their performances. They did not let us down. It’s not really fair to pick out a particular player, but I feel that the performance by Nadine Leonard (one of the new faces) cannot go without mention. Her mastery of comic timing and facial expressions was worthy of any professional stage. I must assume that this is not Nadine’s first crack at amateur dramatics. A full critique has appeared in the local press so my mention of the play is brief. To nit-pick I felt that the second half of the show ‘dragged’ a bit and continuity was spoiled by several prompts (I saw the Friday production). It is very difficult for amateurs to go from comedy to pathos, as was required by the plot, and so it proved. I know I’m not alone in not realising that when Barry the Bookie appeared on stage

Interestingly, on her way to perform in the show on the Friday evening, Andrea Hudspeth (another new face)

Mr Eastwood

who wanted to use the area as a set for a shanty town in a new spaghetti western film, but withdrew from the deal when he realised that even shanty towns didn’t look that bad. Marcus’s new website is and is worth a visit as it includes numerous photos of ‘villagers at play’ to give an indication to prospective buyers of just how active our tiny community is. Which flows nicely into the upcoming Festive Weekend. Although well covered here in recent months further info is flowing in. New departures in the moneyraising auction are ‘group activities’ which include a ‘Girls’ Night In’ for ten ladies , with a champagne supper, celebratory coach Ross Taylor, reflexology and reiki – sponsored by Whispers Lingerie of Auchterarder. Wild Thyme have chipped in a morning ‘cooking with Andy’, again for ten people. Andy is ex Gleneagles and Wild Thyme is one of Scotland’s most successful outside caterers so top tips are guaranteed. In anticipation of a sunny (Continued overleaf) 3

(Continued from page 3

weekend Graham’s Dairies have donated enough ice cream for everyone at the Saturday BBQ. Day tickets are £12 a day for adults or £30 for all three days. Kids under 12 go free (so get the old school uniforms out) and 12 - 18’s are £5 a day. That means 12 -18’s can enjoy the ceilidh and get fed for a fiver on the Friday night. Tickets must be bought in advance from Elaine on 01764 685487 – no tickets at the gate. Glad to report that the new tarmac area at the top of the Sandison ramp has been a great success. A thank you to the Hall Committee for a donation received towards the cost. I understand that further donations will be forthcoming from groups who use the Hall and are benefitting from the improvement (hint). A date for the diary is Sunday 11 September when St Fillans Golf Club

holds an open day which includes a round of golf on the superb course (Sandy Lyle’s favourite inland course), the chance to experience the friendly club, the bar, the magnificent scenery, dine in the restaurant and join in putting/chipping competitions. The round of golf will cost you just a fiver – but if you pre-register for the day it will be FREE! The club will also be offering outstanding membership ‘deals’ on the day. The event is from 11.00am – 3.00pm (which counts me out as I need two days to even walk 9 holes) and it’s easy to pre-register by phoning 01764 685487 or email stfillansgolf@aol. com. Seems a pleasant way of spending a Sunday even if you aren’t thinking right now of joining a club. I think I’ve got Sophie into a routine now, so hopefully she’ll be with us most months with a youngster’s input.

Sophie’s Bit...............................


How is your summer going? My summer is going really well and I have a lot to write about. We have a French boy called Nicolas staying here in St Fillans with us. He really enjoyed his 2 weeks in Scotland. We took him to all sorts of places and he had lots of fun. My Mom, Dad and the boys had a few days near Fort William while Emily and I went down to Greenock to stay with our Grandma and Grampa. We went to see the Tall Ships and they were amazing. We had so much fun. We even got to go on one of the ships – the Gloria which was from Columbia. Emily had a shot in a sailor’s hammock. We took lots of photos. Daniel and Nicolas wanted to see the Tall Ships so we had a big switch and Emily and I went up North with Mum and Dad. We had a great time. We loved being on the beach and in the holiday cottage. We had great fun and what an adventure we had. I have also been doing golf lessons at St Fillans golf course. I am enjoying it very much and what great fun it is. I love the golf and the teacher makes us laugh a lot. On 23 July it was my birthday, the same day as the Loch Earn Highland Games. I really enjoyed the day. We went to the games which were great. My grampa asked the man with the microphone to announce that it was my birthday. It was quite embarrassing. I had some great birthday presents and have had a lovely day. Hope you all have a great summer.

Sophie XXxx

(What a delightful, happy contribution. Not a mention of X Boxes, iPods or the other electronic thingies which seem to dominate the lives of youngsters nowadays – just a youngster enjoying Scotland. JM) If I told you it was ‘Rich and mellow with ripe fruit and a fudge aroma’ you’d no doubt think I was referring to Jean Milne leaving the Village store after a caffeine fix. But no, that’s the description of the new Achray House house malt, a ten year old Speyside called simply ‘The A’. The sampling notes promise ‘the fruitiness continues on the palate with vanilla sweetness and a delicate hint of smoke’. As a man who is now 21 days ‘on the wagon’ my mouth waters as I type. The new Achray Terrace is the perfect place to sample ‘The A’ Finally, apologies for the standard of pics this month. After complaints about the auto focus ‘bleep’ of my camera I delved into the menu and turned it off and in so doing I managed to turn off the auto focus as well. We live and learn! John Murray 4

The Village Store St Fillans

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

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

01764 685309

Note - Festive Weekend Start Times are: Friday 5.00 pm for Soft Ball... and 7.00 pm for Ceilidh. Saturday 12 noon for BBQ... Sunday 1.00 pm for the roast!

Strathyre News I am sure everyone will join me in wishing Ian and Mel Brydie and their lovely family good luck and good health in their new home “Shian View”. Their removal must be some sort of record as their last house must be the best part of 50ft away and was probably done with a human chain. Jan and I have been fortunate enough to have shared a few fine malts with them in front of their most welcoming fireplace and hope to do so again. (When is the house warming, Ian!!?!!!)

need of a public toilet facility, so it begs the question where do the visitors “go” if no toilet is available? Given that we are part of the National Park whose business it is to promote tourism in the area, why has Strathyre been missed out on again? The Village already suffers the indignation of not being mentioned on any road signs, regardless of which direction you travel and now it seems that when people get here they are encouraged not to stay through lack of basic amenities.This must have an effect on local businesses which rely heavily on passing trade. I am going on a few days’ holiday but on my return I will be making a few phone calls to try and establish why we no longer have a functional public toilet. Watch this space!!!

Pictured are Ian and Mel with the family; Steven 19 and the gorgeous girls Libby (4) and Keely (2) not forgetting old faithful Bell the family dog. Not quite sure what this is all about but it appears that the council in its wisdom has decided that Strathyre is no longer in

This is Uisge-Beatha (ouska-bah) ‘The Water Of Life’ - Whisky, of which I, and my very good friend Rab Park of Bathgate, are now the proud owners. She has recently been berthed on beautiful Loch Earn but not without the help of some very special people and we would like to extend our gratitude to the numerous folk who have helped us over the last hectic months in order to reach this stage. Our first thank you goes to Rosemary Pettie and her family for kindly giving us permission to berth and use her property to access the boat. To Angus Cameron for the use of his slipway and temporary use of his mooring buoy while ours was being installed. To Robert Kerr and his family of the Lochearnhead Hotel for his help and hospitality, with which we hope to continue in the future, and a wee special thanks to his daughter who saved the day

when she spotted the boat going for a sail unmanned requiring to be rescued. To Davy Watt, whose knowledge seems to be boundless when it comes to the loch and the procedures involved in setting up a mooring; something Rab and I were completely in the dark about; we thought you just tied a brick to a rope and lobbed it overboard!!!!! Very much NOT so! Also for the use of his jetty when needed. To Neil Gregory of the seaplane, for all advice given and hopefully heeded when at the bar, but a very special thanks to Andy Wilde who has been a tower of strength and support throughout and has come to our rescue on several occasions; Andy, you’re a diamond!!! Not forgetting the people in Strathyre who have been of tremendous support during all this: the Richards family of Immervoulin Caravan Park for allowing us to store and do refurbishment work during the winter; ... to Davy Allan, of Old Station Court, for his kindness in giving us an anchor and chain; ...and to our other Davy Allan the plumber, who has been a constant source of information on how to handle a boat on the water and has given us various bit and bobs to help us on this journey which has climaxed in having a lovely boat on a beautiful location. It has introduced us to new friends and we look forward to some very enjoyable times on board and extend a warm welcome to all concerned to join us at any time - you will be made welcome on UISGE-BEATHA. From a very grateful Wullie Dalziel (Captain) and Rab Park (Deckhand!!!) ...Watch this space...


Dunblane Cathedral

Organ Recitals Every Saturday

12 noon - 12.45pm until 20 August Entry Free Join us afterwards for lunch in the Church Hall Homemade soup and baking Payment for lunch by donation, half of which will go to the Hospice funds 5

Callander Jazz and Blues Festival 2011

30 September - 2 October

McEwen of Arveuh Can you help? The Loch Earn Tourism Initiative (LETI) group received an email from Canadian Bob McEwen while he was investigating his family roots. Bob says “We found church records in Carlton Place, Ontario, Canada, showing that my Gr/Gr/Gr grandfather had come from Arveuh in Balquhidder Parish. I’ve been to Loch Earn but never knew about Arveuh. Just wondering if you would know where it is or was or if maybe it was only a house or farm name”. Do you know of such a place anywhere within the old Parish of Balquhidder? Could it be the original name of your house? If you have any information that would help Bob please email Bob went on to say “I attach a picture of myself and two other pipers at the Alamo here in Texas. I’m the one on the left, wearing the McGregor kilt. I was a member of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment in Canada and they wore the McGregor kilt. What can I say? Those subversive McGregors have infiltrated everywhere!” LETI promotes accommodation, hospitality and events in the villages of Strathyre, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and St Fillans via website www. and blogsite Tourism related business owners in the area can join the LETI group at £40 per year thus benefiting from local networking, on-line publicity, links and advertising. If you know of any events in our villages that are not currently on the website or have any other queries relating to LETI please email Kim Proven at enquiries@ 6

Don’t miss the sixth annual Callander Jazz and Blues Festival - a long weekend of superb and varied music. Full details of this year’s Festival performers and event programme plus ticket information and prices can be found on the Festival website:

Festival Rover tickets are now on sale from the Callander Tourist Information Centre; all major debit/credit cards accepted; telephone 01877 330342. For online ticket sales, go to www.ticketweb. Weekend Rover tickets are £40 per person. The Festival helpline is 01877 339399 /339455.

recipes from our local hotels Irn Bru Chilli Jam by Alan Gibson at the Achray House Hotel, St Fillans Take two large white onions and one large shallot. Chop each very finely and add to a large saucepan. Finely chop two red chillies and add to the saucepan. For a milder jam do not include the chilli seeds; for a hot jam add all the seeds. Add a two litre bottle of Irn Bru (not the diet variety) and boil down until just moist. Chill and serve with anything you want to spice up, such as salmon, cold pork, or as we do at Achray House, haggis in filo pastry.


Central Scotland Police

In Oz when you need us

Andy Ward’s currently on holiday at the moment! We hope he is managing to unwind and relax. 7

Church News BalquhiĐĐer A Word of Thanks I would like to say many thanks to everyone who phoned, sent cards, letters and expressions of sympathy for the recent sad loss of my mother Isa Aitchison. It meant so much to Fred and me. Many thanks to Rev John Lincoln for his comforting visits and service, Mr J Gould, Funeral Director (Crieff) for his help and support and to all those who paid their last respects in Church and at the graveside. Thanks also to the Munro Inn for their kind hospitality. The sum of £625 was presented to Richmond House Home in Crieff where my mother was so well cared for. Catherine Menzies

Reg. Charity No. SC012316

We have been fortunate to acquire new hymn books and are now using the 2005, 4th edition, of the Church Hymnary for most services. The new edition has both the old favourites and some new hymns which, for the main part, seem to fit well known tunes. I personally am not keen on change, but, so far, I have to admit that some of the new words are really quite refreshing. Even new tunes seem easy to sing and have the added advantage of not going too high! Someone must have thought about that aspect, thank goodness. If you haven’t been to Church for a while, please come and give the new hymn book a try. It will be in use most Sundays except the first in the month, which is Communion. All services are at 12.00 noon. Not the most convenient time, but we do serve tea and biscuits afterwards, and most of us seem to survive with a late Sunday lunch. The St Angus Day Gaelic-themed service will be on Wednesday 10 August at 6.00pm, followed at 7.00pm by the Friends of Balquhidder Church AGM.

Jean Edwards

Farewell to Alan and Joan


uth o s g n Headi

As I am sure you all know by now Alan and Joan Clarke are moving south to Shropshire. We hasten to say that we have had a wonderful eleven and nine years respectively in this very special community. Our new address is : The Old School, Middleton-in-Chirbury, Powys SY15 6BY. Tel: 01938 561886, we are retaining our “tullochlodge” email. Come and see us - but please not all at once !” 8


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 looks back to the bad old days...

“Times are bad on the croft,” someone said. It was just after the War and to us as schoolboys at that time it was often also said: “We shall have to make do.” Country schoolboys in those days really did learn to “make do” whether it was an odd spare wheel for the three-wheeler bicycle (the original having sustained a terminal encounter with a gate post), or a supplement to sate the appetite. Who remembers ‘Rationing’ and the need to have ration book coupons to buy a ¼lb of sweets - if the shop had any? One way we made do was by digging up Pig Nuts (Conopodium Majus)as in my photograph. They abound in fields around the glens. Scrape off the skin with a thumbnail to reveal an ivory white tuber, add just a touch of salt and then you have a tasty little treat. We did not need pocket money or ration coupons for these. Other things we harvested were the first green leaves of the Hawthorn in Spring which we called ‘Bread and Cheese’ and the so-called Salt Grass (the fresh leaves of Sorrel) which had quite a salty taste, but not unpleasant. The late summer meant a few ears of wheat rubbed between the palms of our hands to produce grains which, when chewed for a while, would become like a piece of chewing gum and last for some time; then of course there were blackberries and scrumped apples.

Talking of sweet coupons and the shop; if our village shop had run out, three of us could be found on an expedition to the next village about a mile away, with parents’ consent, of course. The system was to share riding the three-wheeler, which was about four sizes too small for us and with one rather buckled back wheel larger than the other (making do again) which wobbled as it rotated. Each of us in turn would ride for a little while whilst the others ran behind until their turn came and we must have looked a strange sight, but it worked. Perhaps all those ‘supplements’ to the diet gave us some immunity to today’s modern ailments. There was certainly no obesity, most people cycled to work, if they had a job, few had a car and anyway petrol was strictly rationed. What a shock it would be today! Meat was rationed to a few ounces per person per week so many folk kept a pig to ‘recycle’ their household scraps. A snared rabbit was worth 5 old shillings in the market and a dozen eggs 10 shillings!!! Remember that the weekly wage then was about £7.00 which made the rabbit worth approximately a quarter of a day’s wages and half a day for the eggs. What would that be in today’s money? If times were that bad just now the rabbits would certainly have to watch out and we would have to “make do” again.

The roots of pignut have been an occasional source of food over the centuries but have never really represented anything other than a curiosity. The taste is described as having a chestnut-like flavour and they can be roasted, boiled, or eaten raw. CHINESE-STYLE PIGNUT & NOODLES Ingredients

½ tsp Root Ginger - grated Oil Lamb (or other meat) - sliced Light Soy Sauce 2 or 3 Pignuts - sliced ½ cup Water 1 heaped tsp Cornflour Method

Lightly fry the ginger for 2 to 3 mins. Add sliced meat and a dash of soy sauce and stir-fry until the meat is lightly browned. Add the water and sliced pignut and cook over a moderate heat until the pignut just starts to ‘give’ to the tip of a sharp knife. Mix the cornflour in a little water and add to the pan. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring to prevent it becoming lumpy. Serve with thin egg noodles.



Blow & Blast!

A mother-and-daughter team are bringing their Blow&Blast woodwind ensemble workshops to Lochearnhead this autumn. These one-off events are designed specifically for adults who have recently started playing flute, oboe, clarinet or bassoon, or who have returned to one of these instruments after a long gap. Blow&Blast workshops are available at two levels: introductory and intermediate. Players can participate in the introductory workshop with as few as 8 notes. The intermediate group caters for more experienced players, generally of approximately Grade 4 - 7 standard. Crieff-based tutors Tricia and Trona are experienced woodwind teachers who sympathise with the particular challenges confronting adult learners. Their Blow&Blast workshops have already attracted an enthusiastic following at Birnam Arts Centre and feature in the Creative Learning programme at the Horsecross in Perth. Dates for the workshops at Lochearnhead Hall are Sundays 18 Sept, 9 Oct and 27 Nov. The introductory group is at 11.00am and the intermediate group at 2.00pm. Each workshop is priced at £15 and you will need your own instrument.

For those who don’t yet play, Tricia and Trona are also running a couple of ‘taster’ sessions at £5.00 per head – at Lochearnhead Hall on Sunday 28 Aug at 2.00pm and a morning version at 10.00am at Balquhidder Hall on Thursday 8 Sept. The ‘tasters’ will include advice on how to produce the sound, finding a teacher/teaching yourself, buying/hiring an instrument and choosing appropriate music, as well as providing the chance to try to play a few notes on the flute and clarinet. Participants can also bring along an old instrument for a ‘health-check’ to discover whether it is still functional. For more information on either the Blow&Blast workshops or the taster sessions, or to book a place, visit or phone Tricia or Trona on 01764 652052.

3V Arts and Crafts

The Three Villages Arts and Crafts group 3V Arts and Crafts will meet on Wednesday afternoons from 14 September from 1.00 – 4.00pm to paint in the tranquil, friendly setting of Balquhidder Hall. We extend an invitation to anyone who enjoys painting and drawing, or would like to have a go, to join us. We can lend you materials until you decide if painting and drawing are for you. The cost is £3 per afternoon to cover the fee to hire the hall. We plan to hold special classes with a professional tutor at intervals during the session.

If you enjoy creating, designing and making in any medium we invite you to meet us in Balquhidder hall on the 14 September between 1.00 and 4.00pm for an informal discussion of how we might build a craft group in our community which will meet on Wednesday afternoons to work together, for tuition, to exchange ideas and help each other, to mount exhibitions of our work and, perhaps most importantly, make friends. Don’t sit home alone beavering away at your sewing machine, lathe or with your knitting needles or whatever your thing is. Share your talent with like-minded others and be stimulated by their ideas in return. Would you like to learn a skill or craft? Let us know and together we can plan for it to happen. We look forward to hearing from you or meeting you in Balquhidder Hall on the 14 September.


For more information contact Ruth on tel 01877 384309 e-mail:

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

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE? Is it just me, have I not got green fingers anymore? Was I too late planting out, has it been too wet? I’m not sure so I’m depending on all you budding gardeners to fill Balquhidder Hall with all your wonderfully home grown produce at the Annual Show on Saturday 27 August. If you’ve no garden don’t worry, there are still plenty of other classes you can enter - AND PLEASE DO! Entry schedules are still in the two village shops and if you can’t see them there just ask. Yet again I am begging you all to make that little extra effort to help make the show a glorious one. I look forward to seeing you all there - the tea and biscuits/ cakes are free!! Polly Perkins President

Leg Fracture Caused by Cow Pat

We would all like to pass on our best wishes for a speedy recovery to poor David Low of The Monachyle Mhor and Library Tearoom, who had an unfortunate close encounter with a cow pat in July and broke his leg. Ouch. 11

Callander Rambling Club

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

Photos by Alistair Barclay and Richard Harris

The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www. a m b l e r s . h t m in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New Members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary!

An awkward light and sheep that wanted to migrate to the west were amongst the hazards encountered by the dogs and their handlers at this year’s Inverlochlarig sheepdog trial. The four blackface gimmers released from the top of the course were very difficult to see due to the sunlight, especially first thing in the morning. By contrast if one looked to the opposite hillside, sheep stood out like sore thumbs. The judge, Alan Wilkie from Lintrathen, was therefore not hard on dogs which needed a few extra whistles on the outrun and even the eventual winner, Andy Carnegie’s Chip from Tigh Na Blair, required a few extra commands to reach the sheep. But it was a day dominated by the Comrie contingent with Adam Simpson’s Lad and Luce coming second and sixth respectively. Peter Martin’s Jenny from Glen Lyon came third with ex Inverlochlarig shepherd Alistair MacKenzie and Coal fourth. A Watson’s Jake, the winner from two years ago came fifth. Many thanks to all competitors, visitors and to all those who helped and donated prizes.

AUGUST • Sat 13th 8.30am LDP - C to C (5) - Ardgartan to Loch Lomond (8 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Sat 20th 8:30am Ramble - The Pass of the Dead (12 miles) Bill Thomson 01877 330102 • Wed 24th 9:30am Ramble - Thornhill to Callander (8 miles) Peter Rickard 01786 850209 • Sat 27th 8:30am Hill - An Caisteal & Beinn a’ Chroin (995m) Richard Cooper 01877 331067

Chip is Top Dog at Inverlochlarig Report by Malcolm McNaughton and Kevin Howlett

Results (40 dogs ran) OPEN 1. A Carnegie’s Chip (Comrie) 95 2. A Simpsons Lad (Comrie) 84 82 3. P.Martin’s Jenny (Glen Lyon) 4. A.McKenzie’s Coal (Lochearnhead) 76 5. A Watson’s Jake (Shotts) 75 6. A Simpson’s Luce (Comrie) 73

LOCAL 1. A Carnegie’s Chip (Comrie) 95 84 2. A Simpsons Lad (Comrie) 3. A.McKenzie’s Coal (Lochearnhead) 76 Best outrun lift and fetch - Mike MacNally’s Finn Youngest handler - Alan MacKenzie’s Spot

SEPTEMBER • Sat 10th 8:30am Ramble - Across Rannoch Moor (12 miles) Rob Smallman 01786 825877 • Sat 17th 8:30am LDP: C to C (6) - Letternay to Ardgartan (8.5 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Wed 28th 9:30am Ramble - The Braes of Doune Windmills (7 miles) Margaret Black 01786 850237 OCTOBER • Sat 1st 8:30am LDP: CtoC(8) Loch Lomond to Loch Dhu (10 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Sat 8th 8:30am LDP: Hill: Beinn Chochan & Beinn Bhreac (703m) contact 01877 387201


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

5 minutes with...

Sarah Gibson, Sheann and Mini

Duncan Cameron nominated Sarah Gibson and her dog Sheann to be interviewed next. Immervoulin Cottage is home to Sarah, her husband Grant and their three year old son Tyler. The cottage is only just off the main road and yet amazingly secluded and quiet. Quiet.... I’ve only just thought this and not one but two superenthusiastic collies loudly bounce towards me to say hello. I find out they are Sheann and Mini and very keen to play. They are maybe not your traditional guard dogs but there is no chance you can sneak into this place unnoticed! Lovely smart collies! Sarah welcomes me in and we start with the questions.

Sarah, how long have you lived in Strathyre?

My parents and I moved to Strathyre permanently when I was ten, which is 23 years ago. We used to come up to Strathyre on holiday and mum and dad felt that by moving to Strathyre we would have a better quality of life compared to that in Burnley (England), where we lived before. I started in Strathyre Primary school in P6 which was a huge change from the school in England. My previous school had 25/30 pupils per class whilst Strathyre had a total of 14 children in the whole school at the time and only 4 children of my own age group. Mrs Comrie was Head Teacher when I was there.

Coppock is obviously your maiden name but you are now Sarah Gibson. Tell me more!

Well, Grant and I met each other at McLaren High school when we were still very young. We split up for a while but then got together again at the age of 19. We bought Immervoulin Cottage together in 2003. Baby Tyler came along and Grant and I got married two years ago on the decking here at our house. It was FAB! We are expecting baby no. 2, due in January!!

Walkease... I haven’t seen your van for a while?

I started Walkease four years ago. I was working for Stirling Council and got very fed up with the travelling to Stirling. Walkease has kept me busy for a few years but recently things have been a bit quieter, partly I think because of the economic downturn and also because some of my clients work from home a lot more. I am currently concentrating on family life and I have a wee local part-time job for a change of scenery. The van has been gone a while now! We needed a family car with space for child car-seats!


We do a LOT of fundraising! Mell, Julia Harley, Lindsey Revie and myself do all the fundraising; we buy all the kids’ presents for the Strathyre Christmas party and we organise the hampers for the pensioners in Strathyre too. To enable us to do so, we aim to raise £1000 each year. We’ve done bag-packing, sponsored walks, Bodyshop parties. We do tons!! Then there is the fundraising for the playgroup too – we had a baking stall at the Lochearnhead Highland Games recently. There are loads of small children in our area and as it is well known, the playpark in Strathyre Village is not very good. We approached the council who told us what we could do in the short term. We applied for a grant and if we get it we need to fundraise £500 to get the playpark to a minimum standard. To have a really, really good playpark it is going to cost something like £20,000 - so we’ll be fundraising for the next I don’t know how many years!! We are running a bottle stall at Ancaster Square on Saturday 13 August – donations and helpers needed!!!

Tell me about Sheann.

Sheann is 6. We got her as a pup from Alec Buist who is a shepherd in Killin. It was Willy Reid who put us in touch with him. Sheann totally loved it when I started up the Walkease business because she walked all the time. Sheann is football daft, would play all day long and always has to have something in her mouth whilst playing. Sheann was not at all fazed when Tyler came along. We brought Tyler home from hospital, Sheann had a sniff at him and then carried on with her ball. Last year, when Sheann was 5, we decided to let her have a litter of pups. We mated her with a dog called Glen, owned by John Angus MacLeod. Sheann had four pups but sadly only one of these was alive and the rest were stillborn. We kept Mini, who was the firstborn and in the end the only one. She was a fab pup, really strong and Sheann was a very good mother. Mini is spoilt silly. She loves the couch - she loves the couch A LOT.

Tell me your likes and dislikes about living in our area.

I love the scenery and the lifestyle – a great place to bring up children. I dislike the wild camping and the litter left behind. Nuisance campers, too drunk to be able to be moved by the police. Unmentionable debris along the lochside, so much so that I will not even take my dogs there now. Porta Loos at the lochside. “Public conveniences” in Strathyre are being sold. Makes no sense to me! We need the tourists but these people do not contribute anything but litter to our community.

I couldn’t agree more. Now then! Who would you like to nominate to be interviewed next? Hilda Astbury - and her lovely white cat Snowy.

I am just about to leave and we hear the tooting of a horn. Sarah’s parents arrive back with Tyler who is not only gorgeous looking but also pretty amazing... at the age of three, sitting on his granddad’s lap he can already drive Grandad’s car AND toot the horn. Another great visit. Thanks for having me, Sarah - and I am looking forward to speaking to Hilda! 13

The 18th Scottish Blackface Shearing Championships

The sun shone on Lochearnhead Shears where the line-up of International Shearers was also on fire. The 18th year of the Championships saw a smaller entry than usual due to the good weather but the title was still keenly sought after. Many new faces appeared in each section, with many not having previously shorn Blackface sheep.

The Junior, Intermediate and Senior heats took place on Saturday afternoon with the Wool-Handling competition being held in conjunction with the Intermediate heats. Using shearing shed style conditions and rules, looking after two shearers each shearing three fleeces, removing any oddments, wrapping them securely and in presentable manner and keeping the boards clean for the shearer – Stacey Mundell from Fintry took the Red Ribbon, following on from her win at the Highland Show, securing


LOCHEARNHEAD SHEARS 2011 her place in the Scottish Team to the World Championships to be held in Masterton next March. Audrey Lamb from Lanark was 2nd with Nicky Gore from New Zealand coming 3rd and Dawn MacKinnon from Bathgate 4th. Sunday evening’s finals commenced with the traditional blade shearing, three local lads and a Welshman battled it out with shepherd Mark Armstrong from Ardeonaig, Killin, shearing four blackface hoggs in 10 mins 49 secs coming out the victor; Trevor Jones from Wales who was 4 mins slower, but cleaner on the board and the pen, coming 2nd with Mark’s neighbour Willie Taylor being placed 3rd and Euan Cameron 4th. The Junior Final, where they shore four blackie hoggs in just over 5 minutes, saw young Scott Wilson from Broughton take home the silverwear. Taking runner-up place was Ewan Wilson from Loch Tayside with Stuart Davidson, Blyth Bridge and Kevin Sayer, Yorkshire taking 3rd and 4th places respectively. The International Relay was next; teams of three from New Zealand, Scotland, Wales and “Rest of the World” competed in what was a crowd-thrilling event with support from each of these nations cheering on their team. The Welsh Team of Rhys Jones, Wyn Jones and Nicky Beynon were triumphant, Scotland were 1.20 points behind to put them in 2nd place with New Zealand and “Rest of the World” having to settle for 3rd and 4th place. Scotland against Republic of Ireland Junior Test, saw young Scottish lads – Scott Wilson and Ewan Wilson pull this off over the

visitors Shane McDonagh and Joe Stephens from the Republic of Ireland. The all Scottish Intermediate Final saw Sandy McKellar from Tyndrum, last year’s Junior winner, receive the red ribbon ahead of his fellow countrymen Ross Gibson, Gartocharn, Alan Brady, Amulree and Brian Mundell, taking 2nd, 3rd and 4th places respectively. The welcome visit of the Northern Ireland Senior team test, consisting of Jack Robinson and Robert Davidson and Scottish representatives, David Higginson (Lochearnhead Shears’ current Chairman) and Ewan MacKay, saw the Scottish team on their own kind of sheep prove winners in a very close fought and exciting event. The Scotland v New Zealand Test saw the four shearers who are no strangers to competing for their own countries, shear their fifteen sheep in just under 10 minutes – Gavin Mutch and Hamish Mitchell for Scotland showed that they knew their way round the blackie hoggs with newcomer to Lochearnhead, Rowland Smith, and Dion King from New Zealand, taking reserve place. The line-up in the Senior Final, saw two Northern Irish lads and two New Zealanders raise the pace. By moving up another gear they shore their ten sheep in around 9 minutes, Jack Robinson from Co Londonderry took top honours, with Reece Munro taking runner up position, Jack Fagan from the famous Fagan Shearing Family from Te Kuiti in New Zealand taking 3rd and Robert Davidson from Co Antrim taking 4th.

The 18th Scottish Blackface Shearing Championships


(Rhys Jones, Wyn Jones & Nicky Beynon) (Una Cameron, Grant Lundie & Simon Bedwell) (Ian Kirkpatrick, Paerata Abraham & Aaron Hayes) (Ian Montgomery, Adam Berry & R JOnes)


(Hamish Mitchell & Gavin Mutch) (Rowland Smith & Dion King)


The Open finalists had a tough fight to secure the top four places, with some reckoning the Lochearnhead Open Final is amongst the toughest throughout the UK. The quality of workmanship and speed was the order of the day. Once again with the crowd off their seats in excitement we saw two previous Blackface Shearing Champions take to the stages, Gavin Mutch and Hamish Mitchell, along with Simon Bedwell from Ross-shire and Kiwi Rowland Smith, who along with his brother Doug, holds the World 2-stand eight hour Strongwool Ewes Shearing Record, set in January this year where they broke the record by 80, shearing 1066 ewes. Breakneck speed saw Hamish Mitchell, from Lochearnhead, now farming in Norway, shear twenty hoggs in 12 mins 23 secs, with Gavin Mutch just not keeping the pace with last year’s record of 12 mins 11secs. Hamish’s slightly cleaner pen saw him once again take the title, Gavin had to settle for the blue ribbon, Rowland Smith took 3rd spot with Simon Bedwell in 4th. Another highlight of the day was George Bayne and Colin MacGregor being presented with their Master Shearers awards, great recognition for all they have done for Shearing over the last thirty years throughout the UK and the World. These awards were presented by BISCA Chairman Brendan Kelly.

R McLARTY & SON HAND SHEARS Mark Armstrong 1st 2nd Trevor Jones 3rd Willie Taylor 4th Euan Cameron SCOTTISH WOOL GROWERS WOOL-HANDLING Stacey Mundell 1st 2nd Audrey Lamb 3rd Nicky Gore 4th Dawn McKinnon A B GAIRNS JUNIOR SHEARING Scott Wilson, Lanarkshire 20.53 1st 2nd Ewan Wilson, Lawers 22.64 3rd Stuart Davidson, Lanarkshire 28.45 31.19 4th Kevin Sayer, Yorkshire

5th 6th 7th 8th

Erin Lobb Charles McCombie Stuart Grant Jonathon Easton

HIGHWAY SHEARING (UK) Ltd INTERMEDIATE SHEARING Sandy McKellar, Tyndrum 29.62 1st 2nd Ross Gibson, Gartocharn 30.68 Alan Brady, Amulree 32.38 3rd 4th Brian Mundell, Fintry 33.88 5th 6th 7th 8th

Brendan Graham Rory Kerr Graeme Davidson Alastair Shaw

REID AND ROBERTSON/DECTOMAX SENIOR SHEARING Jack Robinson, Co Londonderry 34.75 1st 2nd Reece Munro, New Zealand 38.65 3rd Jack Fagan, Te Kuiti, New Zealand 39.60 4th Robert Davidson, Co Antrim 40.40 5th 6th 7th 8th

Dafydd Jones David Higginson Ewan MacKay Stewart Kennedy

HEINIGER SCOTTISH BLACKFACE CHAMPIONSHIPS OPEN SHEARING 1st Hamish Mitchell, Lochearnhead 46.55 2nd Gavin Mutch, Huntly, Aberdeenshire 48.65 3rd Rowland Smith, New Zealand 49.70 4th Simon Bedwell, Ross-shire 50.20 5th 6th 7th 8th

Rhys Jones Nicky Beynon Richard Jones John Lamb

and finally...

The Colin MacGregor Salver for the best pen in any final – Scott Wilson

“If you could just get rid of the split ends, that will be fine.”


Lochearnhead Shears Crookmaking Competition 2011

They say good things come to those who wait; well, we’ve waited a few years for a dry weekend for the shearing and crookmaking competition. Sunday 3 July dawned bright and sunny which made setting up the stands a lot easier. I didn’t have many pre-entries so I was waiting with baited breath to see who would come. Seven competitors bringing 77 sticks between them was the total. Down on previous years but, whilst talking to the competitors, it seems to be the same at other shows. Mr John Fotheringham came from Meigle to be the judge. The usual high standard didn’t make it easy for him but after much deliberation he awarded the prizes to the following: Champion – Philip Roskell Reserve Champion – Philip Roskell Novice Champion – Rowan Forrest Next year’s show will be held on Sunday 1st July so pop it in your diary now, then come along and enjoy a display of sticks or go and see some sheep being shorn. See you all next year. Margaret Galloway

From left to right: The Trophies; Novice Champion stick by Rowan Forrest, with engraved shearing comb in the horn; The Judge admires the winning stick; Champion stick by Philip Roskell.




It’s time for a late summer/early autumn clear out and to make some extra money! Book a table for £10.00 and sell your good quality superfluous-to-requirements goods and chattels in Balquhidder Hall on

Sunday, 14 August from 12 noon – 4.00pm. Afternoon tea available. To book your pitch:

1. Phone: 01877 384202 or e-mail: hannah_ then 2. Send CHEQUE (payable to Balquhidder Hall) or CASH to Penny Hannah, Gartnafuaran Cottage, Balquhidder FK19 8PB

In aid of Hall and Gaelic Playgroup funds 16

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held in Balquhidder Village Hall on 13th July 2011

Present: M McNaughton (MM), A Squires (AS), A Barclay (AB), R Eastland (RE), S Hesp (SH), R McWilliams (RM), K Methven (KM), M Kobs (MK) and P Hicks (PH). Apologies: A Cameron and PC A Ward. In attendance: Provost F Wood (FW) (Stirling Council) and O McKee (OM) (National Park).

1) Approval of Minutes The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed. One minor alteration was requested: AB asked that the figure quoted at item 6.1 should be amended to £416.71. It was then proposed by AB and seconded by AS that the minutes should be accepted and this was approved unanimously. 2) Police Report PC Ward was currently on leave so no report was available. 3) Matters Arising 3.1) Strathyre Playground SH reported that good progress had been made, following two meetings organised with help from Suzanne Player (Stirling Council). Local parents have chosen items of equipment that will cost around £3,000. Stirling Council has offered to contribute £500 and given advice on claiming for a further grant of £1,500. Local fund-raising efforts have set themselves a target of another £500, leaving a shortfall of around £500. 3.2) Nursery School Bus The relatively sudden withdrawal of this service with little prior notice has caused severe problems for parents locally. A meeting is being planned (through further help from Suzanne Player) with concerned parents as far afield as Tyndrum and Crianlarich. Many parents would be willing to make some financial contribution to the continuation of this service but FW confirmed that re-instating it would require a further decision at a full meeting of Stirling Council. Mention was made of a vehicle that is being used for a similar purpose in Croftamie near Drymen. It used to belong to Stirling Council and is now being used with the aid of a grant from the National Park. OM said that it was unlikely that this particular arrangement would be repeated but that new grants are considered by the Park each November. The Funding Officer for Stirling Council has suggested that the provision of this service might be a statutory responsibility for the council. If so, this means that a discretionary grant cannot be awarded. FW undertook to seek an answer as to whether or not this was the case. Action: FW to query Council responsibility. 3.3) Litter Problem and Joint Working with Other Community Councils AB met recently with Graham Archibald (National Park) who is responsible for implementing a five-year plan to tackle anti-social behaviour (such as littering) in the area of the Five Lochs. MM reminded the meeting that our response to a recent survey by the Park Authority had identified litter as our top priority. KM added that the current activity of Park Rangers didn’t appear to be making any discernible impact on the problem. OM stated that the Park is seeking agreement with each of the local authorities (councils) involved whereby the Park Authority would take on responsibility for removing non-domestic litter. In the area of Loch Lomond Side, this policy has worked well with the additional support of specific bye-laws. OM added that it is not part of the rôle of Park Rangers to uplift litter, although they will occasionally do this when commonsense dictates. They do, however, have a responsibility to “meet and greet” visitors to the Park, encouraging them to take a responsible attitude towards matters such as litter. There is also an ongoing agreement that people undertaking Community Service Orders may be used to collect litter within the Park. A proposal has been made by the Park to provide large litter bins at specific locations that would be emptied regularly by council waste disposal services. However, this will be dependent on reaching agreement with each of the local authorities involved. Other problems, such as noise pollution, the obstruction of minor roads by visitors’ vehicles and rowdy behaviour, were also discussed. At the moment, only police officers have the appropriate powers to deal effectively with such situations when powers of persuasion are insufficient. Talks with local landowners are still going on in the hope that they may be able to exert some influence on those using their land for activities such as camping and fishing. OM promised to keep the Community Council up to date with the results of these negotiations. At present, there is general agreement to the Park’s proposals but detailed arrangements still need to be worked out. Action: OM to give feedback from discussions. 3.4) Tennis Courts at Strathyre. It was noted that Alan Clarke of the BLS Trust would be moving away from the area very shortly. Alan has been closely involved with this project and someone would need to take his place. SH volunteered to do so and her offer was gratefully accepted. Action: SH to replace Alan Clarke on BLS Trust. 4) Other Correspondence RE reported that he had received a report on the budget for local roads in the coming financial year. MK pointed out that work that had been started earlier in Balquhidder had never been completed. Following discussion with FW, MK offered to seek an answer on this from the relevant department. (Stephen Todd recently replaced Hunter Jameson as the person responsible for the upkeep of rural roads.) Action: MK to query completion of road repairs in Balquhidder. 5) Planning Matters There were currently no planning matters for consideration. 6) Any Other Business There was no other business and, at 8:40pm, MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is at 7:30pm on Wednesday 24th August in Strathyre Village Hall. These minutes have yet to be formally approved at the next CC meeting. To read full and approved minutes of all CC meetings follow the link, then click on Balquhidder 17

Rangers’ Review By Graeme Auty

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Over the last few weeks the rangers have been carrying out their usual patrols across the area. The recent sunny weather has meant the loch shore areas have been very busy. The rangers have also been over on the east side of Loch Lomond enforcing the new camping ban which came into force in June. Under the new byelaws it is now an offence to camp anywhere in the 9 mile long restricted zone between Drymen and Rowardennan. People can still camp at the official camp sites at Cashel and Milarrochy as well as the new camp site at Sallochy which is managed by Forestry Commision Scotland. The new byelaws are part of The East Loch Lomond Management Plan which will also include improvements to car park infrastructure, traffic management measures as well as the introduction of an alcohol ban in the area. These measures have been brought in to reduce the impact of years of very high visitor pressure and increasing antisocial behaviour along the loch’s eastern shore. Whilst out on patrol in the Breadalbane area the rangers are collecting data on the impact this will inevitably have on the other lochside locations across the National Park. The impact of the new byelaws on east Loch Lomond is also being monitored very closely with the potential that some of the measures introduced may be used elsewhere in the park. Graeme Archibald, the Ranger Service Manager for the Breadalbane and Cowal team, is developing the new Five Lochs Project looking at future potential improvements at Lochs Achray, Venachar, Lubnaig, Voil and Earn. Spot a Comma There have been several reports recently of people seeing comma butterflies in the area. Up until recently this very distinctive butterfly was very rare in Scotland but now seems to be spreading further north and west. Over recent years they have been seen in the central


The ‘Comma’

belt and last year they are known to have bred successfully in Stirlingshire. They are a very distinctive orange and brown colour with very unusual ragged edges to their wings. On the underside of the wing there is a distinctive small white comma shape, which gives the butterfly its name. Now is the best time of year to see them as they are on the wing throughout the summer months until September. If you do see one in your garden or whilst out and about let us know and we can pass this information on to Butterfly Conservation who are tracking the expansion of the comma throughout Scotland, or you can submit your own sighting on line at If the rangers are around at the Lochearnhead Office, please feel free to drop in, or to call Gareth or me if you have any queries, wildlife sightings or if you want to find out more about the Five Lochs Project. Gareth is in most days but I am part-time and am on duty Thursdays and Fridays. You can call me on 01389 722115 or on my mobile 07764371700 or alternatively you can email me on graeme. or Gareth at

Farm Forum: Those Soaring Costs!

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

In the last few weeks two people from outwith the farming industry have commented to me about the large increase in the price of wool. This is true – the average producer clip value has increased about three fold since 2008. I think, however, it would be right just to put things in perspective. The projected price of Blackface wool for the 2011 season is not much more than £1 per Kg so it will still do not much more than cover the cost of shearing – it is always worth knowing both sides of the story! It is perhaps worth mentioning that the cost of the raw material is a minute part of the cost of the woollen garment. If you question the cost of a woollen garment in a shop the salesperson will sometimes point out that the price of wool has doubled, so now you know what your response should be! The price has risen firstly, because there are fewer sheep in the world (wool is a world commodity) and secondly, because most of the competing fibres to wool are oil based. I read a little snippit in the agricultural press the other day that might be of interest to those with a bent for invention. The Scottish Government has approached a firm of land agents to research new approaches to flood control. The question is, how can farmers and landowners be encouraged

to store and control floodwater on their land? Come on, citizens of the east end of Balquhidder, why not have a go at Loch Occasional for starters? When you have got that cracked get in touch and we might find some other projects!! It does not need me to tell you that prices of many essentials such as some foods are rising and in some cases this means a better return for the farmer/ producer. However I noticed in the paper the other day that potato farmers are receiving between £160 and £200 per tonne for their new crop potatoes and in one supermarket some were selling between £1.00 and £1.96 per Kg which relates to £1000 and £1960 per tonne. They were certainly washed and some were packed in poly bags but it’s not a bad mark up! It is interesting to note that milk producers are receiving 5% more for their product than a year ago. This increase, a reporter said, faded into insignificance compared with the market indicator which reflects returns from butter and milk powder commodity markets. These have rocketed a staggering 31% in value. I recently compared prices of milk and water and discovered a well known brand of full cream milk costing 75p per litre and an equally well known brand of still spring water costing 98p per litre. No comment!! Agricola

Enjoying wonderful views over Loch Earn and the surrounding countryside

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.

The hotel is family run with ten en suite bedrooms, lounge bar, restaurant and residents’ lounge. Relax in the bar, take in the stunning views from our terrace and enjoy your drink or bar meal. For something that little bit more special try our menu in the Lochview Restaurant.

Reservations - Tel: 01567 830229 Fax: 01567 830364

email: 19

View from the Park by Owen McKee Just as I am writing this I have had word that the Local Plan has negotiated another hurdle on its merry way to becoming a reality. The Reporter’s Unit have finished their review of the Draft Plan and have now sent their findings to the Park Authority. An initial swift perusal suggests that they are broadly in agreement with the proposed plan. A closer examination of their findings may bring up the need to make one or two minor adjustments but all looks set for the adoption of the first National Park Local Plan by early autumn. Scotgold have now submitted a new application for the development of the gold mine at Cononish, Tyndrum. What happens now is that the proposal is advertised and comments invited. In particular there are a number of statutory consultees whose views are sought. You may ask why this is necessary when there was a previous application. As Scotgold has said in its press statements there have been major changes in the nature of the new application to address the objections raised on the previous application. The consultation allows for others to say whether they agree or whether they think there is anything further needed . It is anticipated that the application will be considered at a specially convened meeting in early October . The venue for the meeting will probably be Crianlarich Village Hall as this is somewhat larger than Tyndrum Village Hall which was unable to accommodate everyone who wished to attend the meeting for the previous application. The start of the “Glesca Fair” fortnight usually sees an upsurge in visitor numbers with a corresponding rise in complaints. Whether the indifferent weather or the general economic climate was to blame no one knows but the first weekend of the fair was relatively quiet on all fronts. Last Monday I toured Loch Earn expecting to see the remnants of camps with the resulting litter everywhere. Sad to say there was no evidence of multitudes. What was good to see was that litter was relatively light. In particular the Perth And Kinross Council area with wheelie bins in the laybys was almost litter free.The second weekend was blessed with sunshine and saw the visitor numbers increasing substantially. Writing this on the Sunday evening I tempt fate by saying that there appears not to be an upsurge in complaints. I will be trawling the area early in the week to see if there has been an increase in litter. 20

View from a very unhappy tourist! A letter to the Editor – received by post and without a contact address so we do hope that Mrs Murphy will read this edition of The Villagers carefully because the Community Council, the Rangers, the Police and the National Park (and many of us who actually live here) are all very busy right now coping with the litter problem. Dear Madam It saddens me to tell you that on a visit to your area we were disgusted by the litter everywhere; parking places, waterside; we even tried to go to obscure places, always finding cans, bottles, unwanted food, plastic bags. Campers are not totally to blame, day trippers also leave rubbish. We also saw large black bin bags filled up but they were just lying about anywhere. May I suggest you need to put large signs around the area warning people that Rangers and Police are on the lookout. I am so angry that people come for the beauty and leave the ugly behind. I couldn’t stay. I had to leave. There must be sterner laws about this. How about on the spot fines. Some of us outsiders really do care. I wish everyone luck in this effort. Mrs Murphy Glasgow October 5th is the date set for the meeting with the community representatives for the Five Lochs Project to bring them up to date with progress to date and to seek their views on proposals. Those views will be part of the discussions which will take place with relevant landowners at a meeting scheduled for 19 October. Last month saw the launch of a new service in the National Park with the introduction of a Rural Housing Enabler. This is a service which operates successfully in Moray and Aberdeenshire. The post has been sponsored by the charity Rural Housing Services and is part funded by the Park Authority with the primary aim of seeking out those housing opportunities that may be missed by mainstream housing providers like the councils and housing associations. Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows : Post: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead. Phone: 01567 830214

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

~ ~ ~


Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri Wednesday Saturday Sunday

0900 - 1730 0900 - 1300 0900 - 1230 Closed

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

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New National Park Rural Housing Project A new project has been launched by Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Housing and Transport. Designed to address the needs of communities living in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, the Rural Housing Enabler initiative will help communities achieve more affordable housing, by developing solutions to their housing needs, providing independent support and advice through to the construction of affordable homes. The lack of affordable housing is consistently one of the most pressing issues for rural communities. The Rural Housing Service is a charity that helps rural communities to take practical action to address local housing needs and build sustainable rural communities. Working with Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, the Rural Housing Enabler will explore with communities a variety of housing options and empower them to create solutions through their own actions and in partnership with local authorities, housing associations, estates and the private sector. The popularity of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park as a place to live is putting acute pressure on the local housing market which in turn reduces the amount of affordable housing available to local people. Communities living in the National Park recognise that suitable housing is crucial to sustaining local services including businesses and schools. These local services depend on key workers being able to access housing. The Rural Housing Enabler within Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is funded by Argyll & The Islands LEADER and Forth Valley LEADER with match funding from the National Park Authority. The Rural Housing Enabler is initially a 2-year post. For more information contact Gavin Kennedy on 01389 722600 or email

Dear Tech Support I followed your advice to download the Food and Hot Lingerie programs but now find one of them seems to have infected my computer with the Child Worm. I had heard of this malware but with what I thought was effective anti-virus software together with a recommended Firewall, that I was safe from infection. The Child Worm has taken over the Husband Operating System which crashes every time the Nappy app needs to run. The Romance and Kind Words program is totally corrupted and will not run properly. The worm has also affected Hibernation and Standby so Exhaustion is setting in. I have tried the Child Seat in Car program but it takes up a lot of memory and is only a temporary solution. Do you have any advice? Please. ‘Exhausted’ Dear ‘Exhausted’, It is important to realise that once infected with Child worm there is no cure and as it evolves it can get more difficult to handle. Running System Restore is no use as it cannot remove this worm from the system. Nor are you protected from reinfection, though subsequent attacks tend to be easier to cope with. Help is at hand either from the Mother app or the Mother-in-law add on. Although I previously warned you against the latter, in certain circumstances and provided strict guidelines are in place, they can be invaluable. These two either separately (or together if they are compatible) can take over your operating system on a temporary basis, allowing you and Husband to re-boot. The Nanny app is most helpful and perhaps the most professional of the available software to combat Child worm. However it is very expensive and may cause conflict with both Mother and Mother-in-law leading to unexpected system crashes. Beware the innocent seeming Au Pair app. This may often behave like a Trojan virus leading to the introduction of undesirable Boyfriend viruses. It is often unreliable and can have unexpected effects on Husband. Beware particularly of apps developed abroad. Although superficially attractive they can have deleterious effects such as changing the operating language of your computer to something unintelligible. You will have to live with the Child worm I’m afraid, though it can be an increasing drain on memory and resources as it evolves. Even when you think you have at last got rid of it, it is lurking in the background and is likely to reappear at awkward moments. However, on the whole it is fairly benign and can reward you with unexpected gifts such as Cookies and Grandchildren. Enjoy! Tech Support 21

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

We’ll send you or your friends

The Villagers

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



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

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

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

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



Balquhidder Summer Music - last concert - Balquhidder Church - 7.00pm see p. 2


St Angus Day Gaelic-themed service - Balquhidder Church 6.00pm (followed by AGM for Friends of Balquhidder Church) - see p.8


Indoor Car Boot Sale- Balquhidder Hall -12noon-4.00pm see p.16


Lochearnhead Village Fete -1.00pm start in the Games Field see p. 2


St Fillans Festive Weekend - see p. 4


Killin Agricultural Show


Community Council Meeting - Strathyre Hall - 7.30pm


Charity Concert and Auction - Killin - 7.30pm see p.8


BLS Annual Horticultural Society Show - Balquhidder Hall - 2.00-4.00pm see p.11

Blow & Blast Taster Session – Lochearnhead Hall – 2.00pm - see p.10



Blow & Blast Taster Session – Balquhidder Hall – 10.00am - see p.10


Arts & Crafts – Balquhidder Hall – 1.00-4.00pm - see p.10


Blow & Blast Workshop – Lochearnhead Hall -11.00am and 2.00pm - see p.10 Cheques for advertising and mail order subscriptions should be made out to:

The BLS Newspaper Association

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

Production Manager: Gill Allan 01877 384 203 Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Wullie Dalziel 01877 384 384 St Fillans Contact: John Murray 01764 685 487 Mail Order Distribution: Hilda Astbury 01877 384 681

The Villagers’ Photographer

Alistair Barclay is available to attend village functions and take photos if contacted in plenty of time. CDs of photos are also for sale. Please phone him on 01567 830453

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

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

ROMAN CATHOLIC Callander, St Joseph the Worker Sunday 11.30am Vigil Mass Saturday 5.30pm May to September Killin 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 August 2011  
The Villagers August 2011  

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