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The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

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Merry Christmas - and a very Happy New Year!

Sue Crow

The churches began their countdown to Christmas on the last Sunday in November as the candles on the Advent wreath were lit one by one. Together we were looking forward to Christmas, and it’s now almost upon us. We all look forward to gathering to sing familiar carols and rejoice in the coming of our Saviour. We also look back to the blessings we have in Christ Jesus, and the wonder of the Christmas story. Time and time again in the Old Testament we read about the Messiah who was to come. In the fullness of time a virgin brought forth a son. Each Christmas we celebrate the fact that our Heavenly Father fulfilled his wonderful promise to the world. He gave to the world his greatest gift His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. We look forward too, expressing his love for us, by showing that same love and care to others. At a time when many are in poverty, many are hungry and thirsty, we need to show His love in practical ways. At our Christmas Eve service we will take a collection for “Borderline”, a charity which cares for homeless Scots in London. Join us this year, at 11 pm on Christmas Eve. Bring your friends and neighbours that together we may “Come and adore Him, He who is born Christ the Lord”. May I wish you all a happy Christmas, a peaceful Christmas, a joyful Christmas. The Reverend John Lincoln (Minister)

Paddy Allen and the Episcopal congregation of St Angus’s in Lochearnhead wish all the community blessings for this Christmas time. As Christ made our ordinary daily lives sacred by becoming a child in an ordinary family in a simple town and sharing our lives, so may we more and more find joy in His love in our lives, and know how precious we are to Him in all our work and play, and loves and sorrows.


Editor’s Thoughts Having spent a wet afternoon (just one?) reading through the Minutes of past AGMs I realised how a number of issues constantly reccur. With the next AGM due in February (8th in Kings House) it seems an appropriate time to consider the future direction of The Villagers in certain key areas. Looking at the current edition reinforced some of the thoughts that have been running round my head (particularly at 2am). Wullie’s excellent letter is an example of how, hopefully, we can campaign together to ensure that our four communities are not overlooked in these difficult economic times. John’s St Fillans column (which I will personally miss - it’s his last one) highlights the difficulties of encouraging people to give up their time for voluntary work, and the clever way he has managed to bring in a whole new team. Throughout the history of the paper a constant theme has been the need to involve the younger generation and again John has shown how to achieve this by recruiting Sophie for St. Fillans. I am sure with all the talented youngsters in the other three villages we could find other young reporters particularly if we adopt the model of taking it in turns so no one feels overwhelmed. On a lighter note we are lucky to all have lots of fun events to look forward to over the next few weeks so go along and support the Christmas Market, enjoy the New Year Dances and come to the AGM to put forward your views on your paper. I apologise in advance for any mistakes/omissions in this my first solo edition; I am to blame for them all (David always tells me that anyway). Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all. Jill

Christmas Messages Helen and Brian Hughes from Auchessan send all their friends warm wishes for a very Happy Christmas and a Guid New Year when it comes. • Hannah Malloy in Strathyre wishes all her friends and neighbours a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. • It would be lovely to be able to send Christmas cards to all my friends in all the four villages but the poor posties would be weighed down! Instead I hope that everyone will accept my good wishes for a very happy festive season and for all that’s good in the New Year too. Marguerite and Mr Fish.



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

12.8 ºC 16.3 7.5 -0.3

55.4 ºF 61.3 45.5 31.5

Rainfall: 20.1 cms 8.04 ins Strongest wind gust 43 mph on 3 October

Villagers AGM The 19th Annual General Meeting of the BLS Newspaper Association, publishers of The Villagers, will take place on Wednesday 8 February 2012 at 7.30pm in the Kingshouse Hotel. All very welcome!

Lochearnhead Hogmanay Party 9pm-2am Tickets for the 31st December village hall party sold out in days! Tel:01567 830415 to go on the standby list for hopefuls. Know someone who is going? You might want to ask them to buy you raffle tickets. Excellent prizes so far donated by; St Fillans GC, Lix Toll, Glenample Estates, The Lochearnhead Hotel, The Golden Larches, Earnknowe, Lochearnhead Post Office, Sula Furnishings, Cooper Cottages with more being handed in on the night. 9pm-2am, Licensed bar, band “The Session” and stovies.

A Date for your Diary

Dancing Party H

Friday 10th February

You are cordially invited to join the Lochearnhead Dancing Club in Lochearnhead Hall commencing at 7.30pm. Come and see what the dancing is all about! Quick basic lessons will be available as will party games and general frivolity. Bring yourselves and a drink. Supper will be provided. (No charge!) Call Mary Barclay on 01567 830453 for further details and to book your place. We look forward to welcoming you. 3

The St Fillans Bit Sadly, this is my last contribution to The St Fillans Bit – I’ve written the column for several years now and I feel that my scribblings are becoming pretty repetitive; it is increasingly difficult to find things to write two pages about in our tiny community. Input from villagers (with a couple of exceptions) is minimal and my recent head first dive down the stairs and resultant injuries mentioned last month with their after effects (see below) have further reduced my enthusiasm. But, panic not - there is a good chance that a quartet of villagers, headed up by Angus Ross, will be taking over my role - each writing four columns a year, thus reducing the pressure of one person churning out copy every month. You’d be amazed how quickly copy deadlines come around. At the moment Angus has three volunteers so if you’re interested give him or Elaine a ring. Response to my pleas for commitment to our annual Hogmanay Gathering in the Sandison Hall has been pathetic, but I’ve been convinced by friends that a good turnout is on the cards so the Sandison will be open to see in 2012 from 10 pm till about 2 am on the 31st. Same format - bring your own booze and biccies, I’ll provide the music. But the entrance fee is £5 a head this year (kids under 14, £3) – all proceeds to the Hall maintenance fund. Apologies to Mary from the Four Seasons for omitting her input last month. She gives me updates every month and I can only blame my scattered head for forgetting her bit. During December the Four Seasons is open from Thursday evening till Monday lunchtime & fully open from 23rd December for the Festive Period. They are taking bookings for Christmas Lunch (we’ve booked - but don’t let that put you off). The Ladies Supper Club will be enjoying their Christmas meal on 21 December - let them know if you’ll be there. Then the hotel closes from 2nd January and reopens weekends in March. I’ve been trying to find out what’s happening at The Drummond Hotel but with no luck. Although signs on the doors say it’s open, apart from Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I’ve been along several times to get an update but it’s always closed. The phone just rings out and there is no answering machine. I’m told that the Gents Supper Club, booked at The Drummond for last night (24th) was cancelled by the hotel at lunchtime, but, happily, The Achray took over the booking at the last minute and the meal was, Russell tells me, a great success. I believe that 4

planning permission has been applied for to turn the top two floors of the hotel into time share apartments. But just what the future of the hotel is, is a bit of a mystery. I’m more than a little embarrassed that, in this column, I’ve given so much praise to the reborn Drummond, just to find that once the caravan site closes so does the focal point of our village. On a more positive note, Bob Livermore expresses thanks to villagers who, mainly through the village shop, contributed some £138 to the annual Poppy Appeal. The November meeting of the St Fillans Community Council saw Steve Howell elected as new chairman with the remainder of the Council members reelected en bloc. The Council reported an impressive £260 donated by villagers during the Bonfire Night party on 5th November which was, as ever, very impressive for such a small village. The annual Christmas Carol Get-together around the tree outside the Drummond will be on Friday 23 December at 7pm followed by mince pies & mulled wine at Neish House (courtesy of Mark and his other half - whose name, sadly, escapes me). Feedback from the winners of auction and raffle prizes at the Festive Weekend has been very positive. Dave Pryde was moved to send a very congratulatory email to Glass House Catering who organised the meal in his home, Louise’s ‘Girls Night’. It was much enjoyed by the ladies and those attending the Wild Thyme cooking experience were mightily impressed by

both the cooking & eating experience. The companies and individuals who donate prizes for the Festive Weekend are, essentially, what makes the weekend work and it’s good to hear that winners enjoyed so much their winnings. I’ve got Sophie well trained now to get ‘her bit’ in on time - so over to Sophie.

Sophies Bit Hello everyone

I am writing this feeling quite sad. My Nannie (great grandmother) passed away this morning, 23rd November. She was 86 and had not been well for a while. We will miss her very much. I’ve been delivering Hogmanay Leaflets round the village. I feel very sorry for the postman as some of you have vicious letter boxes! I was also interviewed for “5 Minutes with...” which I enjoyed. Thank you to the people who nominated me for this. I can’t believe it will be Christmas soon. I am in our Christmas school play and Grandma and Grampa are taking us all to see a pantomime in Pitlochry. We are also going down to Newcastle as my brother’s team (Hibs under 14’s) is playing Newcastle United at their training centre. Hopefully they will play well and we will be there to shout him on. Till next time. Hope you all have a lovely Christmas.

Sophie xxxx As I mentioned above, as a result of my dive down stairs and resultant helicopter ride to Glasgow Southern I had the most amazing full body scans, x-rays and examination. The results were very positive – except

that I have some form of Arrhythmia which essentially is an uneven heartbeat. Apparently this can occur for no apparent reason once you reach your sixties and the docs don’t know if it was the cause of my fall or the result of it. But the main effect of it is serious breathlessness. As usual, Comrie Medical Practice was superbly helpful (Dr Carrol in this case) but the bottom line was three days in PRI Ward 4 for various tests. Not an experience I can recommend to anybody. Ward 4 is a General Admission Ward - so 24 hours a day it’s constant noise - incoherent drunks found unconscious in the street admitted at 3am, beds moved about constantly and ‘old gits’ shouting unintelligibly. Sleep is impossible. I slag not the nursing staff who do an amazing job when they must just feel like belting the patients. I understand that a fully trained nurse gets about £30K a year - they should be on double that. I discharged myself on day 3 - the alternative being suicide. We should thank The Lord that young girls are so willing to put up with, in fact enjoy, nursing. Anyway, that’s my last ‘bit’. I have enjoyed the years of writing for The Villagers, have never ceased to be amazed at Marguerite’s ability to pull the mag together every month and wish Jill all the best as new Editor. Thanks for reading my garbled Birmingham prose, apologies to the few folk I’ve upset (never intentionally). Cheers

Strathyre Primary News Football taster P4 - P7 children have been getting a wee taste of football with the Active Stirling team. They have been learning basic football skills, dribbling, controlling and aiming. Active Stirling is a brilliant team of people that comes out and gives time to the children and their sports.

Reading Mr Morpurgo’s excellent books

Maths Week In October we had a money week where the children throughout the school were learning about money. We had a shop and some children got a certain amount of money to buy what they wanted and they had to keep within their budget; another group had to plan a trip keeping within a certain budget. The children really enjoyed the week and were eager to get out and spend their pocket money.

PS Met Andy at the Drummond yesterday (25th) and he tells me that the Hotel is now closed for the Winter due to lack of custom. James Silvey tells all about Watervoles

The Village Store 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:

7.30am - 5.30pm Mon-Sat Sunday 8.00am till 4.00pm

01764 685309

Doing the Maths!

Watervoles James Silvey from the Forestry Enterprise came to the school to talk to the children about watervoles. The children were told that watervoles were now coming back into the area.

John Murray

St Fillans

Football action

Friend or Foe The P4-P7 children have been studying Michael Morpurgo’s book Friend or Foe. Michael Morpurgo is a fabulous author who can be enjoyed by everyone - not just children. The children were asked to bring in any Micahel Morpurgo books from home to share with their class; Dan Hesp brought in 31 books which he had read!

Another Green Flag for Strathyre Primary!

Green Flag Hard working pupils at the school were celebrating their achievement after being awarded their Third Green Flag. The children have done various tasks over the last two years to gain this accredited award. They keep their school grounds clean and tidy, recycle as much as they can, do litter picks around the village, composting, healthy eating and living. The children are very aware of environmental issues that affect our world. Congratulations to all the children in achieving this their Third Green Flag and keep up the good work and you will soon achieve your fourth Green Flag.

Dates to remember The School Christmas Fair The date has been changed from Friday 2nd December to Friday 9th December. This is being held in the school from 1.30 to 5pm. There will be coffee and mince pies, a tombola stall, new book stall (very reasonable prices), raffle, Guess the Birthday, bonus ball squares, Christmas stall, toys, gifts, homebaking, Santa’s Grotto, face painting and much more. If you would like to give tombola or raffle prizes, baking etc. please hand them in to the school. 20th December - Nativity Rock The children are presenting their Nativity Show in Lochearnhead Hall at 1.30pm - all welcome. 22nd December The children are going around Strathyre Village carol singing. Come along and join in! 5

Strathyre News

A disgrace...?

... definitely...

Strathyre Bridges

First, A Letter to Stirling Council My name is William Dalziel and I am a resident in Strathyre. I am the local correspondent for The Villagers newspaper and I am writing a story on the state of the village in general at the moment. I need some help with my research on certain matters and was wondering if anyone on the Council could advise with the issues I am trying to address, which are as follows: Can someone advise me as to the situation regarding the now disused toilets and what, if any, action has been taken to replace them or are the village and the tourists now to do without any toilets whatsoever!!! As you can see from the photos this area is shameful and a disgrace to the community as a whole. This is one of the first sights visitors get when entering Strathyre and it is anything but “bonnie” as the song says. The car park area is full of pot holes and the information sign looks as if it has been vandalised. It has been but by the council itself, as I am lead to believe this was the solution to addressing the wrong information that the sign contained. Although I still can`t find the information centre indicated!! We do now have nice shiny new signs when entering the village from both directions but was it too much to ask for the old sign to be removed, (see photo) for, as can be seen by the growth around it, it has been in a state of disrepair for rather a long time now. Could this sign not have been recycled and possibly have saved some money? The question is will the council face up to their responsibilities and redress the balance on these issues? I will be taking these up with Bruce Crawford MSP and Anne Maguire MP . I am sorry if I sound over the top on these issues but I live with the fact that Strathyre seem to be a forgotten village by local authorities and given the tax we pay for the privilege of living in a rural area surely we deserve better. I await your response and hope I can report a very encouraging outcome. Many thanks for your time. Mr William Dalziel

I was approached by one of the Village residents recently, who expressed great concern as to the state of disrepair of the two foot bridges situated at the Tennis court which lead onto the path up to the forestry road, which is a regular route for walkers in the area and, as the photographs show, they are in a very dangerous state. I was not sure who was responsible for the maintenance of these bridges and at this moment I am still in limbo. However, through the power of the internet I have made some progress and after a few unresponsive emails I have

been contacted by a member of the forestry commission who assures me they are not responsible for them, even though the path leads on to commission land. Historically, they were maintained by Stirling Council but my contact is not sure if that is still the case or if this has now been passed on to The National Park. However, he has very kindly passed on my email to both authorities in the hope that someone will come back to me with some positive solution and the bridges will be repaired or perhaps replaced. I will keep you posted on progress (if any).

Amazing ‘Channel Swim’... Update! You may remember I reported recently that Janet and Emma Richards were attempting to swim the “Channel”. Well I am delighted to report that they completed their “Channel Swim” on the 11/11/11, a very apt day for remembering great achievements, completing the challenge in 25 days based on an average of one hour per day. Not bad when you

consider that to swim the actual Channel is estimated at 17 hours, which I am sure they would have matched, if they did not have as many breaks as they did, the wee souls!!!! They have raised a fantastic £600 between sponsors and money raised in the Village shop box. However, this amount can only be paid to their chosen charity if all

Strathyre Playgroup Strathyre playgroup is on every Friday (termtime) 10 till 12. It is a chance for parents to get together for a blether and a cuppa and a chance for the bairns to play. We have regular activities including art, nature walks and occasionally a visitor may come to do music or ceramic crafts. Recently we were lucky enough to have a visit from the national park rangers who gave a talk on local wildlife, they helped the children make bird feeders ready for the frosty weather and let them look

for wildlife through their impressive telescope. We would like to say a big thank you to the rangers and give them an open invite as the children really enjoyed their visit. We will be getting ready for Christmas now with a busy month of card making and Christmas art and we will be having our party on the 16th of December so please come along. We would also like to say a big thank you to The Inn for donating £45 to the playgroup, raised at their Halloween party.


sponsors honour their pledge of money, so if you have offered to donate funds please contact any of the girls via the Caravan park on 384285 or pop in and see them. Or pop it in an envelope and leave it in the shop with your details. Well done to both girls and all I can say is Sacré Bleu, Lassies!

Looking through the Rangers’ telescope

Church News BalquhiĐĐer

Remembrance Day Thankfully the weather was mild and there was a good attendance at all three village Reg. Charity No. SC012316 services at the war memorials. Our thanks go to Mr Malcolm White for organising the pipers and wreath layers, and for liaising with the Episcopal Church in Lochearnhead. Thanks also to those involved in contributing to the services. New Year Church Concert The New Year Church Ceilidh is being planned for Friday 13th January 2012. It will be held in the church with all proceeds going to church funds. We look forward to an enjoyable evening of local talent as well as artists from further afield. It will start at 7.30pm with programmes costing £5, which will include refreshments. Do we have a future? With the number of ministers in Scotland being reduced by 200 by the end of 2012 we need to have a strong case for continuing the ministry in Balquhidder Church if we are to be allowed to call for a replacement for Rev John Lincoln when he retires. Our church membership is around 80 but our regular congregation is often less than 20. Apart from the financial responsibilities associated with our ongoing survival, we need to address where we stand today and what our vision is for tomorrow. “Without a vision the people perish”, the Bible tells us. We are a caring and serving community as a whole. Now we must pull together to plan seriously for the future or we are in danger of losing our parish church. Watch out for community meetings in the new year and take the opportunity to make your views heard. As well as making you most welcome any Sunday morning, we look forward to celebrating Christmas together at the Watchnight Service on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and for an opportunity to meet up again in the new year at the ceilidh on 13th January2012. With best wishes for a very happy Christmas and every blessing in the New Year.

Joan Mann

Remembrance Services at Lochearnhead and Balquhidder Sunday 13th November 2011

A Thank You from Jean Edwards Jean would like to thank all her friends, neighbours and all medical staff at both the surgery and Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert, for all the care, love and attention she has received during her recent treatment for two separate conditions. Her children, Helen and Michael, together with her great friend Pauline, deserve special mention for their devotion. Since returning home Jean has received exceptional care and rehabilitation from her District Nurse and the NHS Forth Valley Rapid Response Service. Jean was very apprehensive about going to Larbert, which to her was like going to a foreign country, but everything about her stays in hospital showed what a wonderful, modern hospital it is. Facilities for patients, the quality of the staff, could not have been better and as an added bonus, the food was great. Thanks must also go to Joan Mann who has taken over Church News until Jean is on her feet again.

On a misty, chilly morning over 40 people attended the short service at Lochearnhead War Memorial, with many medals proudly adorning jackets. The service was conducted by Malcolm White, Balquhidder Church and Lt Colonel (Rtd.) Rory Gilchrist, the Black Watch Regiment, from St Angus Church Lochearnhead, who, before he commenced, read out a very poignant poem written by the widow of a Black Watch Sergeant killed in a fire fight action in Afghanistan in May. Sergeant Sean Binnie would have been 25 years old on Armistice Day, the 11th November. Alistair Barclay kindly took some photographs of the reading and Lt Colonel Gilchrist has agreed to forward these to Mrs Binnie in Northern Ireland and also to the Regimental Magazine as a tribute from this small Highland village. Before the service commenced, three Army vehicles passed the Memorial, the passengers came to the salute – a nice tribute. Wreath layers were Councillor Owen McKee, National Park for Stirling Council, Mr Ransom for St Angus Church and Maureen Lipscomb for Balquhidder Church. Christine Campbell read out the 31 names on the Memorial and Piper Kieran MacNicol played an excellent ‘Flowers of the Forest’ lament. We also remembered today the young St Fillans soldier who has been severely injured in Afghanistan. We are grateful to the two Police Officers who stopped the traffic for our 15 minute

service; the appreciation of the village was conveyed to them before they departed. Both Churches appreciate our villagers’ support. Thank you. Balquhidder Church Remembrance Service took place at 12 noon at the War Memorial and was conducted by our Minister The Reverend John Lincoln. Approximately 30 of a congregation stood in the cold while wreaths were laid by Malcolm White for Stirling Council and Bombardier Donald MacLaren laid the wreath for Balquhidder Church. Donald is serving with 45 Commando Arbroath and was wearing his desert combats, green beret and parachute wings, having just returned from his third tour of duty in Afghanistan as a Forward Air Controller. He has also served one tour of duty in Iraq. He is a very brave young Commando and local man. Our Piper was Donald’s father, Clan Chief Donald MacLaren of MacLaren who played the lament ‘Flowers of the Forest. Malcolm White Lochearnhead 7


Theadora Matyjasek

25.06.1927 – 27.10.2011

Action in Mind, Stirling’s leading

mental health charity supports people experiencing or recovering from mental ill-health by delivering personcentred services, as well as challenging stigma and discrimination by promoting positive mental health and well-being in local communities.

The Villagers’ Production Committee 1993. Front row: Thea Matyjasek, Elizabeth Murray, Shirley Glen, Margaret Ritchie, Elspeth Jenkins. Back row: Pauline Perkins, Neil Barber, Stan Collingwood, Hilda Astbury

Theadora Ellen Harris was born in Upper Largo in Fife and whilst still at primary school tried to teach herself French – the start of a lifelong love of languages which saw her proficient in French, Italian and German, with later on Polish and some Gaelic. On moving to Buckhaven High School she befriended Connie Davis and the two went on to teacher training at Moray House and remained very close to the end, enjoying many, many holidays together. Thea had a great love of dogs from her first puppy, Mac, given to her when she was ill as a child and all through her life she had both dogs and cats as pets. In 1965 Thea moved to Lochearnhead to teach and many of her former pupils were at her funeral to pay their respects and remember what an inspiring teacher she was. 1971 brought romance when she met and later married Joe Matyjasek, who ran the pig farm at Auchtubh. When Thea retired they moved into the newly built bungalow which they named ‘Kalinka’. After Joe’s death in 1991 Thea found it difficult to continue living there since she did not drive and in 1997 she sold ‘Kalinka’ to Marguerite Kobs, the newly retired editor. (Even after all this time the best way to direct people to the house is to say, “It’s Thea’s old house”). After first moving to Cellardyke, Thea finally settled in Callander, taking an active part in U3A, pursuing another of her passions - music – and many of the weekly music appreciation group also attended her funeral. Thea hugely enjoyed being a member 8

of ‘The Balquhidder Awfiest Choir’, run by Margaret Ritchie and when, in 1993, Margaret founded The Villagers, Thea became the sub-editor for Balquhidder. In those days each sub-editor produced one page out of the total of six. The photo shows Thea on the left, front row. Joe’s family kept in touch after her move but Thea made new friends easily and in her last years came to rely on Isobel for help, especially with walking her dog Rufus. Friends both new and old will miss Thea a great deal. An anecdote sent in by Thea’s close friend Flora Phillips: The French are proud of their TGVs (Trains de Grande Vitesse) which travel non-stop to their destinations. Thea and a friend, on a trip to a resort in the South of France, had been booked by a travel agency to fly to Marseille and take a local train to their resort. Settled on the train, they heard words over the loudspeaker, muffled and in a regional accent which they could not make out. The fact was that half of the train would be detached and return to Marseille, the other half would continue onwards. In time Thea noticed that the scenery outside the window duplicated that of the journey some time before and she realised that they were returning to Marseille. They got off at the next station and told the guard that they were stranded. He immediately made a phone call; and thus it was that the unstoppable (almost) TGV made an unscheduled stop at a remote station in the middle of nowhere. It was the passengers

We’re here to help you! If you or a member of your family, a friend or colleague is experiencing mental ill-health we may be able to help. We provide a range of services from information and signposting, counselling to volunteer befriending (from ages 12 - 65), home support, peer support and groups (The Hub) and social support to people living in rural and remote communities. Service users are referred by health and social care professionals because they may be experiencing mild or moderate symptoms associated with anxiety, stress or depression to chronic and enduring symptoms relating to bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. How you can help! Are you interested in volunteering? Do you have an interest in mental health and feel you want to make a difference to people’s lives. If so, we really want to hear from you. We provide a range of volunteering opportunities for people from supporting our befriending services, peer support and groups service to serving on the Board on the Board of Trustees. For more information email or telephone 01786 451203 DISCLAIMER Action in Mind is a company limited by guarantee and registered in Scotland No SC 151478. It is recognised as a charity by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) No SC16267. Registered Office: 19 Dean Crescent, Riverside, Stirling FK8 1UR.

who were astonished; Thea not a bit. ‘Time and tide stop for no man,’ it is said. That applies to the TGV – except for Thea! Thea had a special joie de vivre in her personality. I wish she could have had a longer life – such enthusiasm is rare.

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

5 minutes with...

Sophie Jardine, ‘Gnasher’ and ‘Gnipper’ Edward and Jane Chadfield nominated Sophie Jardine from St. Fillans to be interviewed next. It was about time that somebody from St. Fillans would feature in the 5 Minutes With interview and I am thrilled to bits that the honour goes to one of the younger writers in our monthly newspaper. I am meeting Sophie and her family after school and I have been given very clear directions how to get to their house. I was told that the house is the only house without a hedge in the street and that there is a rock in the garden. How hard can it be to find their house? Of course everything looks different in the dark so I first had to ask a friendly lady I met in her car and then I proceeded to ring the neighbour’s doorbell first (they also had a rock in the garden..) who kindly pointed me in the right direction. Hooray, I’ve arrived! Over a nice mug of tea, Sophie, Gnasher and Gnipper and I get on with the interview while sister Emily and mum get on with Emily’s homework. Sophie, how long have you lived in St. Fillans? We’ve been in this house in St. Fillans for three years. I was born in Portobello in Edinburgh, at home in the bathroom by accident after my mum had a 15 minute labour! I go to school in Crieff by bus. Sophie, you write in The Villagers. How did this come about? Well, John Murray takes my story. One day I was waiting at the bus stop to go to school and he came along in his car and asked me if I wanted to write in The Villagers. It was a bit of a shock but I said yes! I have been doing it for about two years but I had a break from it for a while in the middle. What do you like and what is maybe not so good about living in St. Fillans? I like the adventure & wildlife and the beautiful scenery. I don’t like always having to go in the car to go places. I get carsick on the bumpy bendy roads. Tell me about Gnasher and Gnipper! Gnasher is four and Gnipper is two. We have had both of them from when they were puppies. Gnasher is a Yorkshire terrier and Gnipper is an Affin Pinscher. They both play-fight over toys and who gets which bed. They have separate beds. Mum bought Gnipper a slightly smaller bed than Gnasher’s but Gnipper kept fighting over the big bed. Gnipper is the boss! So now they have beds the same size but they still argue who gets which bed! Both dogs also moan about the weather. Honestly! They do not like the rain!

Sophie, with (from left to right) Gnipper and Gnasher!

I can’t blame them - I don’t like the rain either! Now you know what’s coming next: who would you like to nominate for next month’s interview? I would like to nominate Elaine Ross who also lives in St. Fillans. She has experience in rescuing Greyhounds and would be an interesting person to talk to. Would it be alright if I came with you for this interview?

That would be lovely Sophie! So I’ll see you next month Sophie and we’ll go to see Elaine together! With a grin on my face I leave St. Fillans. What a lovely family and I am tickled pink that Sophie would like to join me to do the next interview. So we are staying in St. Fillans next month – Elaine, get the kettle on!


Bracklinn Practice has a student CALLANDER MEDICAL CENTRE working with us for a 4 week period commencing 21st November. The is open between 8.30am – 6.00pm student is from Dundee University Monday to Friday. Individual clinic in her fifth year. During her last 2 wee times can be obtained from the ks with us she will be seeing patients relevant surgery, and are displayed in in her own clinic, and you will be offered the Practice Leaflets. However, please appointments either with her or our note the following amendments to usual GPs. We are sure you will agre these opening times. e that having a student working with Bracklinn Practice and Leny Practice us is a great opportunity for us all, will be closed on the following dates: and all feedback will be appreciated . Monday 26 December Thank you! & Tuesday 27 December Margaret Davis Monday 2 January Practice Manager & Tuesday 3 January Bracklinn Practice will not be holding a commuter clinic on Wednesday 28th December. If your Practice is closed and you require emergency medical assistance please contact NHS24 on 08454 24 24 24. May we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year from all the staff at Callander Medical Centre.

Callander Rambling Club

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear

The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www. a m b l e r s . h t m in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New Members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: DECEMBER • Sat 3rd 8:30am Hill: Lendrick Hill (456m) contact 01876 825877 • Wed 7th 9:30am Ramble: Along Loch Ard (6 miles) contact 01877 382803 • Wed 14th 9:30am Stroll: Coilhallan Woods (4.5 miles) contact 01877 330105 JANUARY • Mon 2nd 11.00am Stroll: Town Walk (4 miles) contact 01876 331621 • Sat 7th 6:30pm AGM and Dinner contact 01877 339080 • Sat 14th 8:30am Hill: Ben Gullipen (414m) contact 01877 339080 • Sat 28th 8:30am Ramble: Kippen Circular (8 miles) contact 01786 860451 FEBRUARY Walks will be decided at the AGM

Get your Christmas turkeys and all the trimmings here. Unusual gifts on sale too. Closing at lunchtime on Christmas Eve Re-opening Easter 2012

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!

The next enrolment day for

Forth Valley U3A will be held in

St Andrew’s Church, Callander on Friday 13 January from 10.00am Come along to see which courses are available and to sign up for the next session while sampling the coffee and home baking. 10


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 remembers the austerity days of yesterday.

They were painted dark olive drab, not like the orange coloured ones you see today. In the 1940s it was not uncommon for an enemy aircraft to empty its machine guns at any opportune target such as a farm tractor and the driver would not hear the aircraft coming. It would have been “Easy Meat” for the gunner. To replace the horse on our farm one of these Standard Fordson tractors was allocated to my father, the condition being that it should be used on neighbouring farms as well. Tractors then were in very short supply and the message from the Government was to produce more food at all costs. As schoolboys at that time it was a real magnet to us all to have a TRACTOR in the village. Notice the wide mudguards in the rear view photo - we would sit on those, one on each side and if you faced forward you could easily slide off and go under the wheels but if you faced backwards you would slide off under the trailer wheels. We knew the danger so we held on tightly; there were a few near-misses though. All the horse drawn machines had to be adapted to be towed by the tractor. It had quite low gears with four forward speeds and a reverse. The single foot pedal operated both clutch and brake combined. At about seven years old we boys were pressed into service to help on stop/start jobs by driving. This was a huge thrill and responsibility but our legs were too short to work the clutch/brake pedal so we had to stand on it with both feet and use our weight to hold it down. This was a bit tricky at times if a sudden stop or start was called for and all highly dangerous but part of what was called “The War Effort”. Whenever the tractor was in operation after school or at weekends it would have at least three passengers, one on each mudguard, one crouching on the footplate on the left side away from the clutch pedal and a fourth one, the youngest, running alongside in tears because no one would let him ride. One day he jumped onto the back of a trailing plough and got his leg caught fast in the wheel but the driver could not hear his cries for help and only stopped when we gave the alarm. Thankfully, no serious harm was done. All the horses had names so it was inevitable that our tractor should have one and so ‘she’ was known as TIN LIZZIE. Like any horse she had her own ways and one was not very pleasant. The ignition timing was a wee bit too advanced which meant that starting the old girl by swinging the starting handle was rather dangerous and my elder brother suffered a dislocated thumb from a vicious kickback. The idea was never to place your thumb over the handle so that in the event of a kick your hand would slide off - he forgot!

The engine ran on TVO, tractor vaporising oil but had to be started on petrol. Gasoline it said on the tank, a word we had never heard of then. The only way to stop it was to turn off the fuel and wait a few minutes for the carburettor to empty. Because petrol was so severely rationed it was normal to switch over to TVO far too soon, before the engine had warmed up and this resulted in a huge cloud of white smoke from the exhaust. Starting the engine in the winter was often very difficult; the radiator had to be drained each night in case of frost (no antifreeze then) and refilled with hot water to help warm things up which meant raiding the kitchen boiler - not too popular with that dept. Tin Lizzie lived with us for many years; there were several de-cokes, a re-bore or two and a re-conditioned engine during that period. Lizzie was often ‘tethered’ in gear, with the clutch pedal held down by a latch on the foot plate, leading inevitably to premature wear of the clutch plates which meant that she would not always stop immediately when requested. On one such occasion my father crashed right through a field gate and another time demolished a length of churchyard wall - oh what fun! People made allowances then - no nasty litigation. Then around 1953 one of the first blue and orange Fordson Major diesel tractors came to replace Tin Lizzie. What a step forward! A self starter, no more handles to swing, a first time start on cold, damp days in winter and EIGHT gears, six forward and two reverse and a new smell - diesel oil. That was progress! At about this time, we of the village, now teenagers, would attend dances in the surrounding villages on our bicycles, trying to pluck up courage to ask the girls for a dance, but then this new tractor gave me the means to extend my outings to dances farther away, because, you see, its top gear gave a speed of 12 to 14 mph and it had headlights. Though I was still only a learner driver the MAJOR as we called it had only one seat so no experienced driver was needed to accompany the learner. It had no cab so the outdoor cycling clothes were still needed but it was much more fun and good for the ego. It did draw a certain amount of attention, though mainly from the boys. It is sad to relate my disappointment when I heard that the girls said I smelled of diesel. “Oh well, such is life !” 11

Joan’s Bags One-off handbags in Balfron

Wilhelmina Stewart Our community is saddened by the death of Wilhelmina Stewart on Monday 21 November at Crieff Cottage Hospital. She had been ill for some time but only a week before had been able to attend the Lunch Club along with her husband Jimmy, where she enjoyed the homemade soup and pudding on offer there, surrounded by friends from Lochearnhead, Balquhidder and Strathyre. Wilhelmina will be remembered for many reasons but in particular for her beautiful garden and her wonderful handicrafts. A staunch supporter of the Horticultural Society, she exhibited her flowers, patchwork, knitting and sewing over many years and won many prizes. Our photo shows her with the two shields she received as both overall winner and winner of ‘Best in Show’ at the 2009 Annual BLS Horticultural Show. By the time this issue of The Villagers is printed the funeral at Balquhidder Kirk on 1st December will have taken place. All our sympathies go out to Jimmy and all the family.


Do you own a shop and want to start selling one-off handbags? Maybe you want a handbag to be tailor made for one of your dresses? Whatever the case, Joan Smith Designs can help. With over 50 years of experience, Joan Smith Designs offer hand made leather and tweed handbags of all shapes and sizes. We use luxury leather and other quality materials. We also make leather waistcoats for women and leather belts and jewellery. Our handbags are made with you in mind: Uniquely made to suit the customers’ needs • Hand made using luxury materials • Competitively priced • Very friendly and personal service • Wealth of experience in design and fabric work We can come to you to discuss designs: Dunblane, Alloa, Auchterarder, Bridge Of Allan, Crieff, Stirling, Killin, Balfron, Callander There will be a Christmas Shopping Fayre at Stirling Castle to which Joan has been invited - so she can display and sell her hand made leather designs, of which samples can be seen in the attached photo. Joan would like to extend the invitation to anyone who would like to come along on the day. The Fayre will be on Tuesday 6th December and will commence at 6pm and finish at 9pm. Tickets are £5.00 each, including entry to the Castle and parking. Children are free. Tickets can be obtained by visiting or the Clan and Craft Shop at the Castle or by phoning Audrey on 01786431310.

More Good News from your Mobile Library Service Last year we were able to offer online access to our catalogues for the first time. The number of readers who have used this option has delighted us. This facility is about to become even better with our new library system with many new features for you to enjoy. And there’s more good news! Every time you visit the Mobile Library we will give you a booklet with all new fiction and non-fiction books that are on order for the Library Service. All you have to do is tell us which books you would like to read and we’ll do the rest. This year we have more options available on our website: lib.stirling. As well as browsing the catalogue and ordering books online you can access the following online resources free! • Transparent Language Line - 95 languages available in an interactive format • The Driving Theory Test - contains the entire official test question bank, hazard perception video clips and an online version of the Highway Code • Know UK - is a unique online service developed to provide libraries with a complete collection of current, useful and UK-specific reference information from over 100 of the most widely used reference publications in the UK • Encyclopaedia Britannica - available in junior, student and adult formats • Go Citizen - is an online study resource for candidates preparing for the Life in the UK test or British citizenship test. It includes an online version of the latest official study materials from the Home Office, plus hundreds of practice test questions in the same format as the official test. People who are Housebound If you know of someone in your community who would like library books/tapes/cds Outreach Services caters for those who are housebound.. If, due to age, location or disability you are unable to get to your local library, these services are available for you. If you are unable to access the library temporarily due to illness, or following a stay in hospital, we can also help until you are back on your feet! All you have to do is speak to the Mobile Library staff and they will arrange everything for you. As well as books, books on compact discs, books on tape, quarterly book lists and a quarterly magazine, “Chatterbox”, are delivered. Reading aids such as book rests and magnifying sheets are provided, subject to availability. For more details telephone 01786 432383 or email


McLaren High School News by Yvonne King Scottish National Parks Media Project 2011 On Friday 28 October S2 pupils from McLaren High travelled to Boat of Garten to attend the National Parks Media Project presentations. The night was a ‘red carpet’ event to celebrate the achievements of pupils from nine secondary schools and their efforts in developing short films to highlight different aspects of outdoor learning within our National Parks. McLaren pupils had been professionally trained in script writing, interviewing, presenting, filming and editing and had produced a ten minute documentary showing our S2 pupils working towards National Parks Media Project their John Muir Award both at school and at Lendrick Muir outdoor centre. The pupils certainly demonstrated ‘Excellence’ in film-making, thoroughly enjoyed the experience and can pass their training on to other pupils. The film clearly emphasises the rich educational experiences that arise from pupils learning in the ‘outdoor’ classroom and also how much benefit they gain from exploring our National Parks. Visit of Commonwealth Track Cyclist – Charline Joiner On Wednesday 26 October the school was privileged to receive a visit from Charline Joiner. Charline is a member of the Scottish Elite Track Cycling Team and as well as bringing her bike to school, she also brought the silver medal that she won at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Charline gave a presentation to pupils who were following Standard Grade and Higher Physical Education courses and Standard Grade Biology. In this she charted her career explaining how she only became involved in the sport through injury, when cycling was recommended to her by her physiotherapist. She explained that it was the speed that attracted her the most and while initially she has been involved in sprint events she is now looking to include more endurance distances. She told stories of her early involvement in the sport and how she met Chris Hoy. She explained the difficulties of training in Scotland and why it is necessary to train in Lanzarote or Florida!!! Charline also talked about her motivation and the influential people in her career and about how she prepares mentally for every event. The talk was both motivational and inspirational, and after fielding answers to questions from the audience, there was the opportunity for pupils to momentarily wear the Commonwealth Games Silver Medal as well as handle the competition bike. Funding for elite athletes like Charline, who are performing at the highest level in what is a minority sport, is absolutely essential and Charline was keen to emphasise the appreciation of support from FESFM who provide her with competition and training kit. McLaren High School Duke of Edinburgh Group The McLaren D of E Group finished off and entertaining Expedition Reports. this year’s expedition season with a Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Certificates fundraising family ceilidh on Friday 21 were presented to 30 pupils who had October. The committee would like to completed their award over the last year. thank everyone who contributed to the A further 13 pupils were awarded the event by donating prizes for the raffle/ Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. The silent auction, bringing food for the Chair’s annual report thanked all leaders, supper or just buying tickets and joining volunteers and McLaren staff currently in the fun. The dance floor was packed all involved in running the award for pupils night and we are delighted to report that within McLaren High and especially the evening raised over £1,300 to boost all those involved in the busiest ever our funds! expedition season. Last Wednesday we held our AGM and An open evening for pupils wishing to Annual Award Ceremony. A number of enrol in Bronze (S3 and upwards) will be expedition groups both at Bronze and held in McLaren High School Assembly Silver level presented some excellent Hall on Tuesday 15 November at 8pm. 14

Above and below: Charline Joiner

Neil Ferrier receives the cheque

Charities Committee Recently members of our Charities Committee were delighted to hand over a cheque for £570.50 to Neil Ferrier who is undertaking a trek across the Sahara Desert with his brothers Sean and Darren to raise money for the Cardiomyopathy Association in memory of their brother Callum.

October Inter-House Event On Monday 3 October pupils from all years were involved in Inter-house activities. The outdoor sports were hockey for girls and football for boys, dodging the showers... and they produced lots of excitement and goals in what were once again hotly contested encounters. In football Bracklinn and Leny dominated overall with Leny just edging out Bracklinn for first place. This doesn’t give the full picture however, as Dochart came very close in several games but always drawing or losing by the odd goal. In hockey it was Dochart who finished the victors taking maximum points in the S2 and S3 events. Bracklinn finished 2nd and Leny 3rd. Indoors excitement was provided in the Inter-house Chess competition and, despite the closeness and intensity of several of the matches, it was the players from Dochart who claimed top spot. Bracklinn 2nd and Leny 3rd. Caricature drawing was again a very popular event. Our budding artists used photos of members of staff teasing out their prominent features. As ever Mr Carroll (Physics), Mr McMillan (IT) and Mr Williamson were popular targets singled out for specialist treatment. At the end of the day the judges fell in favour of Bracklinn, with contributions from Dochart putting From top: Inter-House team spirit; them in 2nd place and Leny 3rd. The very high standard of Inter-House action; Caricature art work was superb throughout. One of the highlights of winners Roseanne Tye with ‘model’ Mr MacMillan, and Andrew King with this competition is the ‘hanging of the pictures’ in the public ‘model’ Mr Ferguson, Janitor; gallery. As ever this drew large crowds as well as plenty of ‘Lucky Sods’ Illustration by Cara Fraser smiles in the realistic way our artists had interpreted their subjects! Debating saw motions presented, argued and justified by some of our confident speakers. Most houses had several to choose from! At the conclusion Leny won with Dochart and Bracklinn sharing second spot. After all the points were totalled the scores after this very first Inter-house event of the session are: Bracklinn 83, Leny 77 and Dochart 57. U16 Rugby v Linlithgow On Tuesday 4 October, the U16 Rugby team travelled to Linlithgow to take on Linlithgow Academy in the Scottish Cup. Spirits were high on the journey through with the McLaren team relishing the match. However, only minutes into the tie Linlithgow applied a bit of pressure forcing a scrum on the McLaren 22. From this the home team were able to manufacture a try. It didn’t seem much longer when the second Linlithgow try occurred, this time from some slick passing and a break from half-way. It has to be said that the Linlithgow players, to a man, were physically much bigger than the McLaren boys. It should also be noted that their ‘team’ was a composite team, drawing players from several local schools. To their great credit, the McLaren boys never showed a hint of flagging and despite the score, stuck in until the final whistle. This was indeed a spirited performance the character of which should stand them in good stead for future games. Parent Council - Lucky Sods Fundraiser Please support the new proposed 3G synthetic pitch in Callander. The McLaren Community MUSP Working Group (MCMWG) is raising funds for the proposed 3G synthetic pitch in Callander. For just £1 you can buy a numbered sod (turf ) which will give you the chance of winning cash prizes with the top prize of £100. If you would like more information about the Project, please contact Pam Campbell on 01786 841542. Top Cash Prize: £100 ON SALE NOW FROM McLAREN HIGH SCHOOL MAIN RECEPTION or the PUPIL OFFICE

Sods (tickets numbered 1 to 5000)can be bought for just £1. The draw will take place on 23 December 2011.

visit our website:

Senior Health Conference We recently held our Senior Health Conference. This was a very worthwhile experience as we learned important ’skills for life’ on topics such as relationships, the consequences of alcohol or drug-taking, and mental health and wellbeing. Guest speakers were informative, approachable and happy to share their own personal experiences. These certainly are lessons which will help us in our lives beyond school. Nathan O’Donnell, Abshiro Farah and Zoe Steel S6 PTA Draw Congratulations to the winners of our October draw: Mrs Patterson, Doune and Mrs Fergusson, Ruskie. 15

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

~ ~ ~



0900 - 1730


0900 - 1230

Wednesday Sunday

0900 - 1300 Closed

Post Office Post Box Collection Times: Morning - 12 noon Afternoon - 1600 (Except Saturday) Sunday - No Collection Telephone: 01567 830 201 THANK YOU! I would like to thank everyone for rallying round in my time of crisis. I am now back to my normal self and all is well. I look forward to seeing you all again soon. All the best for Christmas and the New Year! Susan Stewart Hair Design

Golf Trip

The 1st week in November saw the 10th anniversary of the Strathyre AF Golf Society’s trip to Royal Dornoch (don’t ask what the A.F. stands for). The group photo shows Joe LaPiazza, Ged McWilliams, Colin McGregor, Donald McGregor, George Weir, Graeme Courtney, Ron Milne, John Strange, Arthur Crammon, Rod Blain, Craig Fraser, Martin Illife and Tony Calvert, Steve Whitman and Fred Fordman from Brookmans Park Golf Club, Ron Milne’s old club in Hertfordshire. Joe LaPiazza organised the hotel and golf courses, Ron Milne the competitions and prizes. Joe is seen presenting Arthur Crammon with the overall winners’ prize (second year running). This year was the best ever for weather, only two hours of light rain in the 5 days. A great time was had by all. Looking forward to next year. Thanks again Joe!! Ron Milne 16

Council Invests In Snow Ploughs Stirling Council has invested £100,000 to combat severe winter weather, with nearly half of that being spent on twenty new snow ploughs that can be fitted to farm tractors. The tractors and ploughs will assist Stirling Council to clear roads during severe winter weather conditions. The new snowploughs were issued to local farmers last week. The farmers are all members of the Tayforth Machinery Ring, an organisation that the Council has used for many years during periods of heavy snowfall. In June, the decision was made to order the additional ploughs for the coming winter. During any adverse weather, the farmers will be contacted by the Council’s Roads Maintenance Service, and used to assist less busy trafficked routes. Due to the vagaries of the winter weather, this may mean some farmers are called into action and others are not. As well as these ploughs, investment has been made in fourteen new snow blowers, footway snow clearing machines and five hundred new shovels that will be available for the community to use, through community councils. Councillor Jim Thomson, Portfolio holder for Environment comments; “With 20 additional snowploughs the Council is better prepared than in previous years to deal with the worst of the winter weather. Involving local farmers means that we have assistance available where we need it’. Photo shows: Councillor Jim Thomson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Councillor Tony Ffinch and Bruce Hamilton from Tayforth machinery ring are pictured with some of the farmers and the new machinery.

Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held at the Kingshouse Hotel on 16th November 2011

Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Richard Eastland (RE), Alistair Barclay (AB), Marguerite Kobs (MK), Rosanne McWilliams (RM), Karen Methven (KM) and Paul Hicks (PH). Apologies: Adrian Squires (AS), Sara Hesp, Angus Cameron, PC Andy Ward and Owen McKee (National Park. In attendance: Bridget MacCaskill (Strathyre); Cllr Paul Owens (PO) and Suzanne Player (SP) of Stirling Council. 1) Approval of Minutes The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed. It was proposed by MK and seconded by KM that the minutes should be accepted and this was approved unanimously. 2) Police Report PC Ward was unable to attend so no report was available. 3) Memorial Path, Forest Lodge, Strathyre Don MacCaskill was a well-respected naturalist and “Chief Forester” in Strathyre Forest from 1972 until his death in 2000. As a memorial to his life and work, the Forestry Commission created the Coille MacCaskill Path at Tighness Burn with stones from Kilmartin Glen. In the early years after Don’s death, the path was well looked after but, more recently, it has been neglected. It has not been cleared regularly or properly drained. Don’s widow, Bridget, has drawn this to the attention of the Forestry Commission’s Head of Recreation (Mr Will Huckerby). As a result, some superficial work has been done but Bridget is concerned that the path may suffer serious decline if it is not regularly maintained. RM mentioned that the National Park has a “Paths Committee” with the express remit of looking after such paths. Its members may be willing to take on responsibility for ensuring that this path is properly managed. RE suggested that it would also be appropriate to write to the Forestry Commission to express the concern of the whole community at the potential loss of this facility. It was agreed that RE would write to the Forestry Commission (FC) and contact Mr Owen McKee, our liaison with the National Park (NP), to ascertain the best way of addressing this matter. Mrs MacCaskill was thanked for bringing it to the attention of the Community Council. Action: RE to write to FC and NP. 4) Matters Arising 4.1) Breadalbane Area Management Proposal PH gave a report from the recent meeting of the Breadalbane Forum of Community Councils regarding the progress of this initiative. He highlighted the positive attitude of Stirling Council with the immediate benefit of an improved plan for managing adverse winter weather. Formal arrangements have been approved to secure the assistance of local farmers through the Tayforth Machinery Ring, a non-profit cooperative that aims to make best use of local agricultural resources. Approaches have also been made to local businesses with a view to securing their assistance with tasks such as grass-cutting. These have met with positive interest but the matter of public liability insurance may prove insurmountable. Small businesses are normally only covered for their own land and properties. Similarly, active cooperation with larger organisations that have overlapping areas of responsibility (such as TranServ and Network Rail) is likely to face considerable obstacles but Stirling Council is committed to explore the possibility of cooperation, particularly in rural areas. 4.2) Five Lochs Management Plan AB reported that the National Park has allocated an additional £1M to this project and is keen to progress work in the area of Loch Lubnaig. The Park Authorities are doing their utmost to secure the support of the other public bodies involved for joint policies on such matters as litter. Progress is slow but AB is hopeful that agreement will eventually be forthcoming. 4.3) Nursery Bus RE reminded members of this matter, first raised in June 2011. The Nursery Bus, operated by Stirling Council in the area around Killin, had been withdrawn at short notice to the dismay of many local parents who had offered to support the service in both practical and financial ways. He had heard no more since that time and asked if other members were aware of any further developments. Nobody was able to respond to this but SP offered to make enquiries with a view to establishing the current situation. Action: SP to make further enquiries regarding the current situation. 4.4) Numerous Accidents on A84 RE reported that he had received replies from Transerv and Central Scotland Police. The location at the Southern end of Loch Lubnaig is a recognised “accident black spot” but there is insufficient firm ground available to erect a proper barrier beside the road. Other measures are still under consideration. 5) Planning Matters 5.1) Ballimore Hydro Scheme This was first raised in March 2011 and has since received permission to proceed. However, a local resident has raised concerns about the operation of the traffic management plan. It was agreed that AS should be asked to write to the Planning Department at the National Park to seek an assurance that the agreements reached during the planning stage are being properly monitored and respected. Action: AS to write to NP to seek assurance regarding compliance. 6) Any Other Business 6.1) Telephone Kiosk at Balquhidder MM mentioned a recent news item concerning a similar situation where a redundant telephone kiosk had been equipped with a defibrillator. He suggested that this might be a suitable use for the kiosk in Balquhidder. PH undertook to find out more about it. Action: PH to research further. 6.2) Updates from Stirling Council PO reported that Stirling and Clackmannanshire Councils are now sharing management arrangements for some services and this is working very effectively. He also mentioned another successful initiative: a joint venture between Social Services and the Health authorities to address the needs of elderly people on being released from hospital after extended treatment. This is reducing the time that people need to spend in hospital by enhancing their ability to cope with normal life in their own homes and providing better support to them. 6.3) Road Improvements at Lochearnhead TranServ had proposed to carry out road widening for drainage works and the installation of a pavement and street lighting on the A85 in Lochearnhead. AB reported that, following objections, the road widening will not proceed and the remaining work has been postponed owing to a current shortage of funds. 6.4) Blocked Sewer at Lochearnhead AB also reported that a resident of Lochearnhead had been experiencing problems with what appeared to be a blocked sewer. It was decided that this should simply be referred to the statutory authorities for action in the first instance. 6.5) Library Tearoom at Balquhidder KM reported that residents in Balquhidder had expressed concern over the future of the Library Tearoom in the village. It was decided that, as this concerned a private property offered for sale, it was outside the remit of the Community Council. 6.6) Fuel Station Test Site MK raised the question of responding to an invitation from Terence Barker Tanks, a company that produces modular fuel stations and is looking for a test site in rural Scotland. It was suggested that a site near the Kingshouse Hotel might be a suitable venue. Action: PH undertook to research this further. There was no other business and, at 9pm, MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is planned to take place at 7:30pm on Wednesday 11th January 2012 at the Kingshouse Hotel. 17

Doesn’t it help when people take time to understand that actions we take, albeit with the best intentions, can have a detrimental effect on others. This is exemplified in two recent planning applications. And before “the pot calling the kettle black” allegations are shouted from the rooftops, I acknowledge that the Park’s planners and committee are in particular need of that understanding. Taking the one with the bigger impact first. It was easy to understand that a community blighted with underemployment would be attracted by the promise of full employment all year round at higher wages. But at what cost? The initial application for Cononish failed to fully understand and consequently failed. Fortunately the applicants learned the lesson and worked hard to address the objections raised by others who would be affected. Result - a planning decision which balanced the provision of jobs with the need to protect the environment. Case number two saw a different approach by the applicant. From the start the applicant for a Biomass (i.e. in this case a woodburning) Heat and Electricity Generating Plant at Acharn , Killin, showed that they had learned from

View from the Park

by Owen McKee applications they had made elsewhere and not only dangled the carrot of local employment but worked with the community to address their concerns. They also took the time to ensure that environmental concerns were properly addressed. This will be a rather large building but, because care was taken to site it within the forest, its impact will be considerably lessened. Remarkably, not a single objection was received during the planning process. Needless to say the Park Authority will be monitoring the developments to ensure strict adherence to the conditions which were imposed when granting permission. At the November meeting of the Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre CC a query was raised as to the monitoring of the conditions applying to the permission granted for a Hydro Scheme at Ballimore. I was at St. Fillans CC meeting that evening so wasn’t able to comment. Please be assured that it is the duty of the developer to advise the Planning Authority of the date on which development is to start and that then triggers the monitoring arrangements. So the answer is yes the planning authority will monitor the

situation. Equally, if anyone feels that the conditions attaching to a planning permission are being breached please do let the Park Authority know (Phone 01389

722600). Linda McKay, the Park Authority Convener, has been going round the Park to get to know the communities and had a meeting in Lochearnhead with representatives of our area. Linda was impressed with the welcome she received and the enthusiasm of our representatives. She was able to let them know that this area is high on the Park’s agenda and that the lessons learned from the East Loch Lomond exercise are being fed into the Five Lochs Project. Furthermore this area will benefit in that resources previously tied up in East Loch Lomond will now be available here. Since this is the last issue before the Festive season, may I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows: Post: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead. Phone 01567 830214 email owen@thevillageshop.fsbusiness.

From our Beijing Correspondents The other part of day-to-day life here, which needs recording, is that of those exercising in the parks (though that sometimes extends to the pavements). If you were to go into a park anywhere in the UK and saw people walking around clapping their hands; hitting themselves; dancing around on their own; talking or singing aloud to themselves or even shouting out the occasional word, you might well be looking for ‘men in white coats’ who must be monitoring these behaviours – yet here, you would need to join in!! We spent a very enjoyable early morning out in a park a while ago ‘joining in’ – we played aeroplanes around the trees and shrubs, including sound effects – and no one thought anything of it. It kept us laughing all day. One of the amazing things is that you can be totally uninhibited here, anywhere, and it is acceptable. So when not looking at the madness of situations, it can be so much fun, being a child again. Having said that, being a ‘waiguoren’, we do attract more attention than the locals. Coming back from the pool at the Embassy last week, Duncan gave me a ‘backy’ on his Giant bike. It has a padded seat/rack at the back and Chinese people can always be seen wobbling along the roads with others sitting sideways on the back of their bikes. However, I don’t know if it was because we were foreigners doing it, or just that I was crying with laughter all the way home, that we did create a lot of amusement for the locals. Apart from a lot of cycling (both); walking up and down mountains (both); climbing (generally Duncan); running (Duncan – though I did my first ever International Orienteering Event last month, and really enjoyed the challenge of finding my way through the undergrowth. There were few paths and I preferred to try out the compass), I am now doing Pilates. I was told about the class given by a tiny, feisty Russian woman, who is unbelievably flexible. Well after a few months of feeling the difference and aiming for her Ad. Slogan – Look Better Naked - I was invited to start a training programme with her! So I am planning on taking some of her classes, once I can remember not only an hours’ worth of movements, but also to ensure my students ‘breathe’. I may or may not be qualified to teach back in the UK by the time I leave, but if not, I hope to continue until I am – then you can become my flexible friends. Inhal(e)... WE WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR! 18

Remembrance Day

does your COMPUTER run slowly? need SOFTWARE updating? VIRUS PROTECTION?

winning chocolate creativity with Cocoa Mountain Award ‘Chocolate-Making Workshop’ coming to a Village Hall near you in 2012... Cocoa Mountain, run by Carol Wood, is an award winning chocolatier and café selling artisan truffles, THE MOST INCREDIBLE hot chocolate and a delightful selection of very unusual baked goods. Carol and her team will be coming to Balquhidder to run an afternoon of chocolate and truffle making workshops for adults and children on 31st March 2012. All proceeds from the event are being used to sponsor a child called Richard who is aged 6 and lives in Africa. To find out more about why we are sponsoring Richard buy yourself a ticket soon and come along and have some luxury chocolatey fun. Tickets will be on sale at the Christmas Fayre or by contacting Erica (01877 384 617) or Abbey (0776 640 7578). There are only 40 adult and 20 children’s tickets available so don’t miss out! Carol will also have a stand the Balquhidder Christmas Fayre on 4th of December. In our self appointed roles as roving reporters we have just spent a fabulous afternoon at Cocoa Mountain in Auchterarder. Winning the inaugural Food Tourism Award in 2009 (in which Balquhidder’s Monachyle Mhor was also a contender) and voted Best Hot Chocolate by STV viewers Cocoa Mountain is a business going places. Here’s what we learned…. How did you get into the luxury chocolate business? I originally studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art. After which I began working with surgical stapling instruments, working in sales and spent most of my time scrubbed up and in surgery watching operations to see surgical instruments being used! I left that post in February last year and had no immediate idea of what to do. After lots of thought, Google searches and emails I found myself in Durness, in Sutherland, with the founders of Cocoa Mountain, seeing their business and the chocolate factory in operation. I loved the principles on which the business was run, and the product, so proposed a joint venture. We came to an agreement at the end of May 2010 and by 24th December I was open for business in Auchterarder. Did you have any previous experience of making the chocolate business? None whatsoever but I did have 3 months’

full time training in Durness and I found the processes involved very similar to those I used in my Art Degrees – mixing, pouring, stirring, creating and presentation so it felt very familiar to me. What is so unique about the chocolates and truffles you produce? There are no preservatives in our chocolates and truffles. All the ingredients are fairly traded, organic and locally sourced where possible. Cocoa Mountain has turned down opportunities with Prince Charles’ Duchy range and Harrods because they won’t compromise these principles. Aside from producing amazing chocolates what else are you passionate about? I love baking with a difference. On the menu today we have chocolate beetroot cake; flour free orange and lavendar cake with a fresh juice reduction; raspberry blondies; goats cheese and cranberry scones. I am also very keen to cater for people who have specialist diets. I want customers to leave with a smile. We want to make sure that customers enjoy the experience of being here and expand their knowledge of chocolate. I have found that chocolate has quite an interesting effect on people!! My experiences in the shop are remarkably similar to those in the film, Chocolat! What can we expect from the workshops next year? Lots of fun! People will learn more about chocolate and Cocoa Mountain. I will be teaching them to make truffles with up to 10 different flavours. The children will make some fun shapes with their chocolate and enjoy the messiness of the whole process.

General System overhaul?

CALL SHAMMI on 01877 384715 What can we expect to see at the Christmas Fayre? I will bring a selection of truffles – there are 27 altogether, (if you have any particular requests please call me prior to the Christmas fayre to avoid disappointment). The truffles have a 2 week shelf life. In addition to the truffles there will be organic chocolate drops, chocolate-dipped fruits, bagged shards of chocolate, coffee beans, dark and white chocolate pebbles. For samples of Christmas boxes that can be ordered and sent to family and friends as gifts please go online. Our thanks to Carol for agreeing to help us with our fundraising and for bringing all her lovely chocolate to Balquhidder next month. Please come and see us at the Cocoa Mountain stall on the 4th and we’ll tell you more! Here’s where to get in touch with Cocoa Mountain and have a look at their products: auchterarder/ Orderline 01764 663105 e-mail Enquiries: auchterarder@ You can follow Cocoa Mountain on Facebook and Twitter


Scottish Wildlife Trust Beavers: the Knapdale Reintroduction Trial drew a large audience for Simon Jones’ excellent presentation on this often controversial project.

Beavers have been extinct from the UK for 400 years and were last seen at Loch Ness c.1600. As predators such as bears and wolves disappeared, man drove them to extinction for their dense pelts. This project is not a simple release of beavers into the wild but a 5-year trial to study their biology and impact on the environment, agriculture and tourism. Eurasian beavers from Norway were selected as genetically closest to our natives and in 2009 a family was released into each of four lochs in Knapdale. All were fitted with trackers and their location and health are monitored regularly. At a metre long and weighing up to 20kg, beavers are the second largest rodent in the world and the largest in the Northern Hemisphere, unflatteringly likened to a ‘tubby spaniel’! In the UK adults have no predators but foxes, eagles or pike, could take young kitts. In the wild they can live for 10-12 years and have 2-3 kitts per year but the belief that they mate for life has been undermined by observed ‘wife swapping’ between lochs! They are nocturnal with poor eyesight (have been known to fell trees onto themselves), reasonable hearing and a good sense of smell, using scent glands to mark out territories. As total herbivores they can eat up to 4 tons of leaves and bark per year. Beavers are semi-aquatic; webbed back feet and a flattened tail are adapted for swimming with clawed front feet for digging and holding branches. When swimming they show a very low profile with just eyes and ears above water and generate a similar bow-wave to otters but with broader heads. They are also much slower than otters that need to be fast and agile to catch fish. Beavers are ungainly on land and feed close to the water’s edge but can disperse up to 30-40km to find another beaver. Within the first three weeks, a family of 3 disappeared from their loch: the male was found 10km away up the coast, dispelling the belief that they do not swim in salt water. Beavers have been identified as a ‘keystone species’ and ‘ecosystem engineers’ since they create environments that support a wide range of species. By building dams they raise water levels, waterlogged trees die and surrounding trees are coppiced. A good quality habitat could support a family unit of 2-3 generations for up to 50years but poor ones would be quickly exhausted. When they move on the dam quickly deteriorates, water level drops and ‘beaver meadows’ are formed, completing the cycle. Management of dams can control impact on agricultural or access areas. Beavers are likely to be a protected species but, with high numbers across Europe, intervention will be permitted to manage their impact. Even with a lot of visitors and regular capture for monitoring, the Knapdale beavers are behaving naturally and the kitts, the first born here for 400 years, are putting on weight. Education is a major component of the project and there are plans to build viewing facilities at two of the lochs, adding comfort to the excitement of dawn and dusk vigils. Lots of Lesley Hawkins info and videos on 20

Scottish Wildlife Trust, Callander

Member’s Centre Diary Tuesday 13 December 2011

Wildlife in the National Forest

by Kenny Kortland Species Ecologist, Forestry Commission Scotland followed by (optional) Christmas Buffet @ £12 per head (booking before 2 December essential 01877 339080 /

January 2012 - there will not be a meeting in January Tuesday 14 February 2012

Fish Eagles in Cambodia

by Dave Anderson, FCS Wildlife Manager

All meetings are open to members and non-members and are held in St Andrew’s Church Hall, Leny Road, Callander at 7:30pm. Cost £2 includes refreshments, free for full-time students. SWT details can be found at including Members Centre pages

Farm Forum: Pulling the wool over our eyes? It is hard to believe that Christmas is just round the corner again! In the hill sheep farming sector this is very much the start of the annual cycle. The main sales are past and tups are being put out with the ewes. As the old song states “the rams are chasing ewe sheep... they’re determined there’ll be new sheep”! I am touching wood all round but at this time last year we were just starting one of the earliest winters on record and were unable to put tups out to the hill, and those that were there already had their work cut out simply keeping their heads above the snow, never mind looking for ewes! The weather has been exceptionally wet although mild and for the next month looks slightly more normal – let’s hope so anyway. Quality Meat Scotland, the organisation that promotes Scotch beef, lamb and pork, has just launched a very worthwhile initiative for schools. The meat voucher scheme is available Scotland wide and offers vouchers worth up to £100 to secondary schools to exchange for Scotch meat. The scheme was developed by the mainly producer funded organisation to ensure that tight budgets did not result in schools being unable to afford fresh red meat products for cookery lessons. It is part of the organisation’s health and education work to educate

young people on the role red meat can play in a healthy diet. I sincerely hope that home economics teachers will take advantage of the scheme. Recently I reported an improvement in the price of wool – up until recently the value of the wool did not pay for shearing the sheep. I was in a shop the other day and was asking about the price of a carpet which the seller assured me was the best, which is deemed to be about 80% wool. He pointed out that it had gone up in price considerably because of the big increase in the price of wool. He did not know that I knew anything about wool and it certainly has gone up in price – about 60p per Kg since last year but 50% of nothing is still nothing and in fact the predicted price of Blackface white carpet wool for this selling season is only about £1.17p/Kg. Without boring you with any more detail I would suggest that that the increase in the price of wool should have a minimal effect on the overall price of the carpet but you can bet your bottom dollar that everyone else in the production chain will still be getting their mark up. The unfortunate thing is that a remark of this kind leads people to believe that farmers are coining it in which is far from the case. Many alternative fibres are oil based and just imagine how much they have increased in price! Agricola

On behalf of St. Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead, Mary Barclay is pictured presenting a cheque for £310.00 to Mandy Hayes, the Manager of the Falls of Dochart. This was the proceeds of a very successful Quiz Night held at the Watersports Centre - with thanks to Laura & Martin - held in October. Many thanks to everyone who supported this event. 21

Rangers’ Review By Graeme Auty

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park This time of year is always a time for reflection on the year just past but also a time for looking forward to the year ahead. The Cowal and Breadalbane ranger team as we are now referred to, have been reviewing the past season and with this in mind we are now beginning the process of developing improvements in delivery of conservation and visitor experience in the park. Over the winter Gareth and I will be working with our fellow rangers on various winter working groups including the Visitor Management and the Education working groups, with the aim of revising and improving current material and procedures which can be rolled out across the park next year. Over the coming months Gareth and I will be organising a few volunteer tasks including carrying out some access improvements along the Glen Ogle Trail and hopefully some improvements along the old railway line between Lochearnhead and St Fillans. Let us know if you would like to get involved. Tim and Colin our two volunteer rangers based here at Lochearnhead will still to be with us over the winter, continuing to help out with the various surveys such as red squirrel transects and winter bird counts on Lochs Lubnaig and Earn, plus lending a hand with the annual winter programme of improvements to park owned sites and car parks. Tim and Colin will also be continuing with our recording of Japanese knotweed

in the area. GPS readings, site descriptions and photographs will be taken of all the known sites within the western Tay catchment area between Tyndrum and St Fillans. Pesticide training for the Volunteers who are going to help carry out the spraying next summer will be doing training on pesticides towards the end of February. Again I would like to ask that if you have any knotweed on your land and you would like us include it in our forthcoming spraying programme please let me know. All the costs for spraying will be paid for by the Park and will be carried out by fully trained volunteers and park staff. As usual, if we are around at the Lochearnhead Office, please feel free to drop in, the kettle is always on. We would like to thank all those folks who have regularly given us their advice and help over the past year and especially to those who have given up their time to help us with various surveys and events. We would like to wish you all the best over the coming festive season and for 2012. You can contact me on 01389 722115 or on my mobile 07764371700, alternatively you can email me on graeme.auty@ or Gareth at

Piano Tuition Professional musician offering lessons in Strathyre

Edinburgh University and Royal Academy of Music trained. Full member of Incorporated Society of Musicians. All levels - beginners welcome. Competitive rates. Contact

Robin Versteeg ATCL


07835 737905 / 01877 384736 Email:

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.



Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

Cottage broken into Unfortunately during some time in October an isolated holiday cottage was broken into in the area. The persons responsible have made off with a number of electrical items, some garden machinery as well as several bottles of alcohol. It is important that we keep an eye on each others property whether it is for a few hours a few days or for several weeks. If you are expecting a delivery or workmen to your house while you are away tell your neighbours. If you see visitors to a neighbouring property and are suspicious about them note as many details as possible, try and see what they are up to and phone the police. People who prey on others, break into houses and steal from the area are nothing more than vermin, and like vermin if there are rich pickings to go through they will infest an area until it is picked bare. Let’s not give them anything to feast on, let’s be vigilant, let’s look after each other. Drugs found in car About 4pm on Saturday 19th Iona and I were carrying out road safety checks on vehicles passing through Crianlarich. At that time we stopped a car with a minor defect. As a result of checks carried out a search was made of the driver and car a quantity of drugs were found. The driver has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal. Update on joint operation Last month I explained about a joint operation involving PC Frickleton and colleagues from Tayside Police where we targeted road safety and crime prevention issues. I am delighted to report that a powder which was recovered was sent to the forensic laboratory for analysis. The powder was Amphetamine, weighing more than 67 grams with a minimum street value of £650.

This once again shows how important these types of operations are in tackling all aspects of crime. Spillage on the A85 Recently I received a couple of calls from local residents who told me about a dangerous spillage on the A85. A driver who was travelling from Crieff to Killin noticed a continual deposit of either oil or diesel on the road. He followed it through Lochearnhead onto Glen Ogle when he drew up behind an old tractor pulling a trailer which had a JCB digger on the back. Whilst I would like to say it was a piece of good detective work tracing the tractor driver it was very easy given the obvious trail he had left behind. The driver received a fixed penalty notice with regards to the dangerous use of the vehicle. This will result in a fine and 3 points on his licence, he was not able to go any further until the leak had been fixed. Jackpot Around midnight of Thursday 10th November I was carrying out checks on vehicles passing through Tyndrum when I stopped a van. I checked out the 4 occupants and the van with the details provided. I carried out a search of the occupants and van at which time a quantity of drugs were found on one of the passengers (he was dealt with at the roadside). I suspected I had been given false details by the driver and the person found with the drugs and as a result of my enquiries the driver of the van was arrested for attempting to pervert the course of justice by providing false details, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance and stealing the van. The van driver

was held in custody and appeared at court on Monday 14th where he pled not guilty and was released on bail. In addition to being reported for the drugs offence the other male has also been charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice by providing false details. Male charged with wasting Police time A local man has been charged with wasting police time after he alleged that a concert ticket was stolen from his bedroom. His complaint resulted in an extensive enquiry where several people were interviewed in connection to the theft. A Crianlarich man caught A male from Crianlarich was stopped recently in the Stirling area driving a car whilst he was disqualified and has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal. Updating my Key Information Network What is the Key Information Network? It is a list of local businesses and people who I am able to pass news and information on to. Who can be on it? Anybody. Individuals, business owners, and organisations. Why do you have it? The idea behind it is that I am able to contact certain people quickly when an issue involves them directly. For example if we receive information about a missing person who we believe to be in the area I would contact all the hotels and B&Bs. As a result of a number of changes in the area I am in the process of updating my KIN contact list so if you think you would like to be on it let me know. PC Andy Ward

01786 456000

Rural H2H is a brand new support service dedicated to young people (11-18 years) who live in the McLaren catchment area affected by parental divorce or separation. It has been designed by young people for young people and offers you the opportunity to meet with another young person (a Lifeguide) who has been through the same thing and will help make sense of what’s happened, supporting you in a group or individually. If you would like more info about H2H or are interested in volunteering with us please contact: Ruth Kennedy, Rural Lifeguide Coordinator 01877 339966 or 07790 437713 Rural H2H is being part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community, Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER 2007-2013 programme, also Stirling Council and The Parish Development Fund and is the youth arm of Heart to Heart.




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 We are send d to give people a month ahea e to pay plenty of tim t is received en m but if no pay e Day (24th) by Deadlin 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................................ 24


Winter Needs Salt, Snow Shovels, Sledges and Logs Free Delivery Call Lynda 01567 830 396 or 07792 779 662 David and Phil Mather Lochearnhead 25

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

Jill Johnston Editor Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227

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

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

BLS Lunch Club - Lochearnhead Scout Station - 12.30-2.30pm Indoor Bowls - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm


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


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


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


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

DECEMBER 4 8 17 31

Christmas Market - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am - 4.00pm White Ribbon Ceilidh - see p.8 Strathyre Christmas Party - see p.3 Hogmanay Party - LochearnheadHall - see p.3


BLS Community Council Meeting - Kings House Hotel - 7.30pm Fundraising Concert - Balquhidder Kirk - 7.30pm - see p.7


BLS Newspaper Association AGM - Kings House Hotel - 7.30pm Dancing Party - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.30pm - see p.3 SWT talk- St Andrews Church, Callander – 7.30pm – see p.20

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

The BLS Newspaper Association

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

Other Contacts... 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 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


Callander, St Joseph the Worker Sunday 11.30am Killin, in the Episcopal Church Sunday 2.30pm Father Jim McCruden 2 Ancaster Square, Callander Tel: 01877 330 702


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


IN LOCHEARNHEAD All are welcome to join us. Sat 24 December (Christmas Eve) 6pm Crib Service and Carols - an informal service to help us pause and remember what this night is all about, just before we hang our stockings up! Sun 25 December (Christmas Day) 11.30am Christmas Communion 26

recipe of the month Cranberry Christmas Pudding from ‘The Reluctant Cook’ A topical recipe from an interesting book by a local author. The book begins with an insight into the writer’s early life and her varied cooking roles and her many observations show how really little changes with our attitudes to cooking. She refers to “10 minute Dinner Party” recipes published in 1948 which echo the current trend of 30-minute meals. She also has lots of ways of producing meals on a budget and using “left-overs” to maximum effect. The book is available from local shops or order from or

4oz (100g) butter 4oz (100g) sugar 6oz (175g) self-raising flour 1 or 2 apples 2 eggs 1oz (25g) mixed peel

Grated peel of one lemon and a little juice 1 tablespoon sherry 2oz (50g) cranberries ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Cream the butter and sugar until light - add the beaten eggs a little at a time beating well. Fold in the flour, apples (peeled, cored and chopped), mixed peel, grated lemon peel, sherry, cranberries, cinnamon and a little lemon juice. Put the mixture into a greased bowl and cover with a cloth or foil and steam for 2½ hours. Freeze and steam again on Christmas Day for 1 to 2 hours. Serve with brandy butter or a sweet cranberry sauce, to which you can add either sherry, brandy or port.

Bag It!

Fair Trade Shopping Bags Lochearnhead Post Office will be selling cotton fair trade shopping bags from the beginning of December. Following a children’s drawing competition three boys Adam Harvey, Liam Rennie and Shaun Welsh all have their designs printed on the Lochearnhead shopping bag. The price will be £4.95 with 50p from each sale being donated to the childrens Christmas party. Thanks to everyone who drew a picture. Hurry - limited edition of 100!! 27

“Fit Like?” a comedy drama production by a ‘group with no name’ Set in a council house in Forfar in 1993 and written by playwright David Joy, this play was a courageous first attempt at serious theatre by an all community cast from Killin, Lochearnhead and Balquhidder villages plus numerous supporters and helpers. The group performed to packed houses on Thursday 17, Friday 18 and Saturday 19, November. For most of the cast this was a debut stage appearance, driven along by the master of pantomime (and Tam O’Shanter), Charlie Methven. The more seasoned members of the team used their combined experience to mould the new players to produce a highly competent and very amusing entertainment. The stage direction, design and management were excellent. Well done Lesley Kettles, Erica Mackenzie, Margy Sharp and Fiona Inglis. What a joy! On one occasion, the cast called for a prompt - the call was answered by the prompter, the cast and the audience - all at the same time - great fun and total involvement! Maureen Hamilton playing Effie, gave a pivotal performance. She could have achieved a greater rise and fall in her delivery, but that will come. We enjoyed the banter between Effie and Tilda (Gillian Ramsay-Clapham), particularly the non stop cackling by Tilda - she certainly picked up the pace whenever she appeared. Robert played by Alan Sneddon, tended to rush his comic lines,

Take a bow...! The cast of Fit Like from left to right: Gillian Ramsay-Clapham, Maureen Hamilton, Ian Inglis, Charlie Methven, Alan Sneddon and Ollie Cameron.

as if he was in a hurry to get home. But the longer the play, the better he got. An excellent performance. Charlie was... Charlie! As good as ever, with excellent comic timing. His performance reminded us of that other Charlie (Chaplin), right down to the baggy trousers. Ian Inglis gave a subtle, gentle interpretation in his role as Harry Hamilton. His dream of opening his own hairdressing business was completely believable. A most sympathetic performance. Enter Wilma (Ollie Cameron)! She had the most demanding dual role. How cleverly she moved across, round and under the task of weaving her character’s unraveling personality in the complex plot. Ollie has a mature delivery, crisp diction and a unique ability to project her lines with amazing clarity. Good enough for another show? I hope so! A most enjoyable evening. Well done to ‘the group with no name’. J A Hannah Photographs by Alistair Barclay and Richard Harris

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

The Villagers December 2011  

News and village life in St Fillans, Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead where Perthsire and Stirlingshire meet within The Loch Lomond a...

The Villagers December 2011  

News and village life in St Fillans, Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead where Perthsire and Stirlingshire meet within The Loch Lomond a...