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JULY 2011



The Voi c e of B a l qu h i d d er, L o ch e arn h e ad, Str at hy re & St Fi l l ans

Magic Master Sir Terry

talks to The Villagers Imagine being on holiday in a remote part of Australia for four nights and discovering that one of your ten holiday companions was Sir Terry Pratchett, an author who has had my husband and children laughing out loud over his books for the last twenty years. It seemed too good an opportunity to miss to see if he would ‘spare me a few minutes to answer a couple of questions’. I began by asking him what had made him choose fantasy as his genre and then sat back for the next hour and a half as the consummate storyteller and wordsmith beguiled me with his tales, interweaving his own life with some of the main characters from his novels, interspersed with his views and comments about teachers, the current state of the world and humanity in general. It was wonderful and I was an instant convert to the ‘fantasy’ world I had previously refrained from entering. He explained that when he was young his mum was always telling him stories ‘and stuff ’ partly inspired by her Irish grandfather. At school he realised that, because he was quite small, to survive he would have to become the joker in the gang, the kid who could make up apposite nicknames for the teachers and make them all laugh. He always loved reading and got a Saturday job in the local library. This enabled him to read books from the adult section which not only increased his vocabulary but also introduced him to the Punch magazines and began his interest in satire and the techniques of humour. He then progressed to Private Eye and Mad magazines, which led to him having an argument with his Head Teacher when he had taken these into school. His response was to decide to leave school early to start a job as a journalist on the local paper. He enjoyed reading fantasy books but realised that not many of them were funny and decided to write books that were

Sir Terry Pratchett and some imagery from his much-loved books

“manifestly silly but with people who are real. My characters are as real as I can make them”. He creates his characters by “never missing a chance to talk to someone who has something interesting to say” and nurses, and particularly midwives, were always “incredibly good value” with their stories of birth and death. When I asked him if he had a particular favourite from the many characters he had created, his initial choice was ‘Commander Vimes, head of the City Watch’ but he also had a soft spot for ‘Tiffany Aching’. He explained that he felt that she had provided him with a real test as an author as he had wanted to develop a character who would grow from a young child into a reflective young woman in her society over the course of four books. In the beginning Tiffany, who has read lots of fairy stories (Terry always puts books, diaries etc., into his own stories) realises that as she has brown hair she can never become the princess so she decides to become a “good witch” instead. She learns a lot from her “wise granny” including the golden rules of: “Speak for them that have no voices. Feed them that have no breakfasts. Bury them that is dead”. As Tiffany grows up she has to confront

“real evil” at the conclusion of the fourth novel. This was an ending Terry was very emotional talking about as he said adult readers will realise the very serious issues he is dealing with, all based on real life today. He feels that when things start going wrong society picks a scapegoat instead of recognising the importance of the commonality of mankind. On a lighter note he concluded by suggesting that The Wee Free Men might be a good starting point for anyone of any age not yet familiar with his stories. It has a number of Scottish characters including the ‘Nac Mac Feegles’; a wise old granny who is a shepherdess in the hills; witches... - and plenty of fun and asides to make us all laugh out loud: a Pratchett trademark! Jill Johnston

EDITOR’S NOTE Since this issue is late in arriving it is timely to remind readers that The Villagers’ committee is made up of volunteers who all have other lives to lead and who are not sitting around eagerly awaiting each Deadline Day. Both editors have been away on Granny duties and our Production Manager has been riding the waves as you can see below. Many congratulations on a superb win to Gill and Richard and their team and may we all be forgiven for making you wait for this exciting edition of your community newspaper. Marguerite Kobs


For regular Thursday afternoon trip to Bridge of Allan. Leaving Balquhidder at 1.15pm and collecting from Bridge of Allan at 4.00pm Cost of petrol to be shared. Phone 01877 384202



10.30am - 5.30pm Daily except Tuesdays Trees, Shrubs and Perennials Bedding and Hanging Baskets

20% OFF PLANT SALE 16 - 29 JULY Also Crafts and Gifts

COMRIE 01764 670038 Books to enjoy

Cooking Spaghetti byAl Dente Rusty Bedsprings by IP Knightley The Builders Directory by Bodgett & Scarper

The ‘World’s Most Sociable’ Rally Yes - that’s me wrestling with the big steering thing aboard the Ocean Odyssey as we hurtled (mostly with wind power only...!) across the Mediterranean toward Smir on the Moroccan coast, to take first prize in the Gibraltar-Morocco Yacht Rally of 2011. It was a fantastic experience with dolphins and turtles swimming along with us - and the win was all down to our well-weathered captain Peter and his first mate Laurent - all we did was hang on and enjoy the ride! Gill Allan



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

13.2 ºC 18.9 6.3 -2.1

55.7 ºF 66.0 43.0 28.2

Rainfall: 28.7 cms 11.7 ins Strongest wind gust 55 mph on 23 May 2

The St Fillans Bit At last our local eccentric painter has achieved the fame he so justly deserves. The new logo for the Festive Weekend, pictured right, is based on one of David Kerr’s paintings of Loch Earn (the original hangs in The Drummond if you’re interested – as does David, most days). But if you want to relax and gaze on our lovely loch and hillsides the new terrace at The Achray will be hard to beat. Since taking over the hotel Alan and Jane have made serious investment in the internals and now intend to carry on investing in the outside and surrounds. The new terrace

New terrace at The Achray

really is impressive, seats 25 and is ideal for an informal lunch or evening drinks. I’ve even benefited because the gazebo which has been a feature of the Achray garden since I bought it (for far too much at a charity auction in the Four Seasons about 12 years ago), will be superfluous with the new garden and car park plans, so A and J have kindly donated it to me. We are now in the process of relocating it into the space where our old greenhouse used to be – see last month for the fiasco of my greenhouse demolition attempt. Hopefully I’ll get the gazebo relocated with only one visit to PRI. The most amazing achievement of A and J is the repainting of the weather vane on the top of the roof, a thing I often contemplated then quickly rejected since I’m not even safe on a 5ft step ladder. The organisation of this year’s event (12/13/14 August) is again being greatly helped by Sue and Ivan, whose collective experience of organisation and marketing is more than a little impressive. I outlined last month the basics of the weekend, but Ivan has asked me to stress the ‘family friendly’ approach that the committee are taking this year – the event, from its conception seven years ago was always family orientated but maybe some of that has been lost over the years and now, with ever increasing

Four Ladies - and a Trout

numbers of youngsters in the village, it’s good to see the focus going towards them, although, as Ivan stresses, there will be plenty of fun aimed at us geriatrics. Ivan and Sue have been hard at work twisting arms and obtaining donations in both cash and kind from many folk. Marcus from Genesis (the builders, not the group) has become main sponsor and other sponsors/donors currently include David Comrie, Wild Thyme, Dalchonzie Fruit Farm, Dunblane Hydro, Grahams Dairies, Kingsbarns Golf Club, Glasshouse Hospitality and many others. All the ingredients are there for a superb weekend, it only now needs our support. I gather that tickets are already available from Elaine Ross (685494). So get buying! The efforts which Andy is making at The Drummond are both welcome and well needed. The bar trade has grown amazingly and live music features most weekends – but more interesting to those without a desire to have their ears blasted is the introduction of ‘Fine Dining’ in the completely separate dining room, with the background music supplied by a real live piano player. I had the pleasure of hearing him play a few days ago and though a youngster he has real talent on the piano. Thinking he couldn’t, I asked him to play a Chopin prelude, he asked me which one, I didn’t have a clue so he played a simple one, then a crazily complex one with no sheet music. I haven’t tried the food but it must be worth going just to hear the piano playing. All of this is, of course, causing embarassment to Andrew at The Four Seasons. Older residents will remember when Andrew used to entertain in his kilt with a mouth organ, a big drum and cymbals strapped to his thighs. His career as a oneman band sadly ended when the cymbals slipped up his thighs and the resounding crescendo of the Dam Busters March was accompanied by a dull thud from his cymbals followed by an excruciating howl from Andrew. He did try to carry on as a soprano but it just wasn’t the same! Instead he has reintroduced the Fish on Friday menu, by demand, and is now offering a

10% discount on a four course dinner in the Meall Restaurant if you simply produce his current advert in The Villagers. (I would suggest though, try not to mention cymbals as that often brings tears to his eyes). To matters more mundane. The works which we carried out to the Sandison Hall car park two years ago certainly improved the general appearance, but unfortunately we (I) hadn’t factored in the fact that many drivers found the transition from concrete ramp to gravel car park a problem, resulting in frantic revving of the engine and gravel spraying back down the ramp. This made the ramp pretty lethal for pedestrians and for me on my 2-wheel devices. It also gave the Cunningham and Murray families a constant job in brushing the gravel back up to the car park. Thus, at my own expense – though the Hall committee are considering contributing – I have had a width of 2

New tarmac at Sandison Hall

metres dug out at the top of the ramp and tarmac laid. This should give an easier transition for drivers from ramp to gravel. Maybe I could just ask users of the car park to try to avoid spinning their wheels on the gravel, remembering that it’s us who have to tidy up. I mentioned the next St Fillans Players production last month – somewhere on this page is a pic of the four female leads and a trout. (The trout is the one dangling). I’ve no idea what the picture means but I’m assured that it is relevant. The only way to find out is to go see the show (7/8/9 July) – tickets from the Village Shop. Continued p.4 3

The St Fillans Bit (Continued from p.3) It’s interesting that a few years back Ian Botham named St Fillans Golf Course as his favourite 9 hole course. Now Sandy Lyle, in an article in a golfing magazine, has also named St F as his favourite inland course. Can’t really get better promotion than that for our village.

Drs Strang & Scott Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses Many thanks to Nicé Muir for the lovely photo of her new grandchild Zoe Rachel Muir with proud father and grandmother. This granddaughter lives in London which is a bit closer than her other granddaughter in Australia – might be a good idea for the Muirs to move to India, at least that’s equidistant for family gatherings. John Murray Finally, I’m delighted to say that Sophie is back with us - her input is much welcomed:

Sophie’s Bit ...... I am very sorry that I have not been writing for a while but now I’m back! This July is going to be our Summer Holiday. I have lots planned in the holidays and am looking forward to it. It is also my birthday in July. (I think she’d prefer cash not cheques – JM) My school used to be St Dominic’s but now I’ve moved school to Morrisons and I have met lots of new friends and teachers. I have also rescued some tadpoles again from a little pond across from my house, I kept them for a while but put them back soon after because they were now able to look after themselves. This July there is also going to be a French boy coming to stay with us to practise his English and to explore St Fillans. He is looking forward to coming to Scotland because this is his first time here. A little while ago the St Dominics choir put on a show called Alice In Wonderland and I was a part of it. I was the Mock Turtle and my grandma made my costume. She made a brilliant shell which I looked fab in. My mom made an amazing toadstool that people could actually sit on! In the show I had to sing a solo and act too. My friend Abigail played the part of Alice and looked great in her costume.

Sophie X x


The staff at Callander Medical Centre would like to thank the Airtricity Fund, Rotary Club and Round Table for their generosity in providing us with a new ECG machine. The ECG machine (which is used by both Leny Practice and Bracklinn Practice staff) is a very modern piece of equipment, which is used to record people’s heart rate for monitoring purposes due to a diagnosis or type of drug prescribed, and its recordings go straight into the patient’s computer record. This is a great advantage to the Community as it means that patients do not have to attend the hospital for this procedure, therefore the monitoring can be done much quicker at the practice, and in more familiar surroundings.

The Village Store St Fillans

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

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

01764 685309


Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

PC Andy Ward is too busy chasing the criminals to write a report this month...

Strathyre News Fire at Immervoulin Caravan Park

There was a very dangerous fire at the park on Sunday the 5th June when the refuse bins were found to be on fire at 6.00am.

The police have a system where they prioritise incidents and areas by the number of complaints they receive so if they continually receive reports about this area then it will move up their priority list and will become a target area for them and, with any luck, after some of these unwelcome visitors have had a few police visits they may decide that this is not the place to be, or even start to keep within the law when they are here. So please do call the police and speak to any officer who answers as there seem to be occasions when Andy is requested but is not available and the caller just decides not to pursue the complaint.

Race for Life

The photographs below are of some of the ladies who took part in the Race for Life at Stirling University on Sunday 29 May. The race is competed over 5K and all proceeds raised are donated to Cancer Research. Several bins were badly damaged as the photograph shows, and some were completely destroyed.Given the location of the bin area which is surrounded by trees,it was most fortunate the it did not spread before the fire services arrived.However it was brought under control and eventually extinguished. Police were on the scene but it could not be established as to how the fire started, had it reached the gas tanks or any of the caravans on site then it would have been nothing short of a disaster.

More headaches for Immervoulin

This was the remains of the electrics in Emma Richards’ home after the recent electrical storm which hit the village. While most of the residents were affected in some way or another, Emma’s home received a direct hit from a bolt of lightning which caused massive damage and resulted in loss of all communication. Luckily no one was injured, but it shows the power of Mother Nature when she is in a bad mood!! I had a recent conversation with PC Andy Ward and he has asked me to pass on some useful information. As many people are aware we have an ongoing problem with wild camping in the area but in this instance I would like to direct our attention to one particular area; the area in question being the river embankment beside the swing bridge. This apparently is a very popular place for large groups who constantly leave litter and some unmentionable reminders of their visits. If at any time, you see people there who are blatantly breaking the law, i.e. littering, cutting branches from healthy trees, using the place as a public toilet etc, please report it to the police immediately.

I did not get a figure of total monies raised by the Strathyre ladies but suspect it ran into a four figure sum so, well done to everyone involved. A special mention for Rosanne McWilliams who completed the course in a very admirable time of 29min. and also to Lindsey Revie for dedicating her efforts to the memory of a much loved and missed member of the Village whom we all knew as “Oor Lenny” Well done Lindsey! To all who took part - the Village is very proud of you.

Hello World

Just thought the readers might like to share these moments that Jan and I had with a pair of Great Tits who were nesting in the bird house in our back garden.

One of the two chicks in the nest has its first look at the big wide world while the parent keeps a watchful eye, fantastic!! The S.V.A. held a fundraising fete on Saturday 14 May and raised the grand sum of £409. The committee have asked me to say a very special thank you to all the generous sponsors who helped make this possible: The Inn & Bistro, Inverlochlarig Farm, The Munro Inn, Sula Furnishing, Roll on Flooring, Strathyre Cleansing, The Wee Mindin’. Also to all the villagers and visitors who gave their support and help on what turned out to be one of the few nice days we have had for quite some time and which made the occasion all the more enjoyable. The committee would ask for the continued support of the villagers in any future fundraising activities and if anyone would like to become more involved with the S.V.A then please get in touch with any committee member and they will give you any help and advice needed. Wullie Dalziel PS Scariest moment of the month - I passed a fully operational snowplough flashing lights - and all in Glenogle on the 8th of JUNE!! Photographs by Wullie Dalziel


Callander Jazz and Blues Festival 2011

30 September - 2 October The sixth annual Callander Jazz and Blues Festival is once again fast approaching and as always will offer a long weekend of superb music with a number of extended themes and a unique new Festival venue. Last year, we ran out of audience space at quite a few of our headline performances which was most disappointing for the visitors concerned. This year we are doing something about the space situation by siting an outside event venue which is a first for Callander and a first for any Jazz Festival in Scotland. A theatre size Yurt, capable of seating 250 people, will be located in the grassed playing area behind Callander Primary School for the duration of the festival weekend. All seven of this year’s headline performances will be staged at this venue. The other Festival gigs, which will be in excess of 30, will still be staged in local hotels, pubs, restaurants and eateries in the town as in past years. The vast majority of this year’s live performances will take place in Callander and so we are looking forward to a very lively festival weekend. Festival Jazz cruises There will be two Jazz cruises in the festival programme, the first on Saturday 1 October featuring the music of the Ness River Rhythm Kings, and the second on Sunday 2 October with the ever popular Winston’s Pennine Jazz on board again for the third year running. Both Jazz Cruises are on board the SS Sir Walter Scott and depart at 3.00 pm each day, with a cruise duration of two hours. Please note that tickets are only bookable from Loch Katrine Pier Ticket Office, tel: 01877 332000;


e-mail: Ticket price is £19.50 per person, or £14.50 per person for Festival Rover ticket holders. Full details of this year’s Festival performers and event programme plus ticket information and prices can be found on the Festival website:

Festival Rover tickets are now on sale from the Callander Tourist Information Centre; all major debit/credit cards accepted; telephone 01877 330342. For online ticket sales, go to www. Weekend Rover tickets are £40 per person or, if you buy before 31 July 2011, they are available at a discounted price of £35. The Festival helpline is 01877 339399 /339455.

recipes from our local hotels Panacotta

by Tom Lewis


at Monachyle Mhor Hotel, Balquhidder

Ingredients ¼ pint milk 4 oz sugar 4 leaves gelatine 1¾ pint double cream

1 vanilla pod (split it lengthways and scrape out seeds, keeping all)

Warm milk gently with vanilla pods, seeds and sugar. At same time soak gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 mins. Now remove gelatine and add to milk ensuring there are no lumps. Add the cream to the milk mixture, remove vanilla pod (keep this and dry it off and add to a jar of sugar to make vanilla sugar). Pour mixture into moulds or glasses and set for at least 3 - 4 hours. Turn out or leave in glass. Serve with summer fruits.

Local Recipe Book The Strathearn Churches, Lochearnhead, Comrie and Crieff, are looking to put together a ‘Local Recipe Book’. We would like people to post their favourite or most interesting recipe, together with any interesting facts, i.e. grandmother’s recipe, remembered from childhood etc. in one of the boxes you will find in the local shops. We are hoping to include a Children’s Section, so please encourage any budding cooks to write down their favourites and why. We need these by the end of August so that the book can be ready by Christmas, an interesting present to send to friends living further afield. Mary Barclay, Secretary, St. Angus’s Episcopal Church, 01567 830453.

WALKEASE PET SERVICES I wish to take this opportunity to advise that Walkease is no longer operating. This is a huge thank you to all my clients for their custom and support over the last few years. Best wishes to both you and your well loved pets. Sarah of Walkease 7

Church News BalquhiĐĐer Reg. Charity No. SC012316

Sheila displays her OBE, accompanied by stepson Tom, matron-of-honour Elizabeth and Col. Clive Fairweather

Congratulations Professor Sheila Bird, Senior Scientist, Medical Research Council, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge, who lives partly in Auchtubh, was appointed OBE in the New Year’s Honours List for services to social science and, on June 1st, received her OBE from Her Majesty the Queen. Accompanying Sheila were her stepson, Dr Tom G. Bird, who is clinical lecturer in Hepatology in Edinburgh, her matron of honour Mrs Elizabeth Galashan, the North Region’s head of Skills Development Scotland, and Colonel Clive B. Fairweather, formerly Scotland’s Chief Inspector of Prisons with whom Sheila works currently on 20-weekly analyses of military fatality rates by nationality and cause. Sheila’s OBE relates, inter alia, to her work in prisons, which was begun with her late husband Dr. A. Graham Bird, and on promoting statistical excellence in journalism. It was Sheila’s work in prisons that was discussed with Her Majesty. After photographs, the foursome was joined by Mrs Diane Duke, a friend from when Sheila had worked with the World Health Organisation’s diarrhoeal disease control programme, who is now the only female Private Secretary in the Royal Household, and who had slipped in to watch Sheila’s investiture. The five made their way to St Johns Restaurant in Smithfield where a dozen all told enjoyed a convivial feast of roast suckling pig. The OBE-rig-out’s next outing was on 20 June, when Sheila was invited to return to Elgin Academy to present the prizes and give an address. 8

We are most grateful to everyone involved in the Fundraising Concert held in the Church on Friday 24 June. It raised £380.00 which will go a long way towards the next fuel bill! Most of the artists were local and showed a wide range of ages and talents. We had singers Ian Inglis and Matt Duncan, classical instrumentalists Alan and Joan Clarke with Ilse MacFarlane, as well as Tara Leishman at the piano, plenty of traditional Scottish tunes from Roger Sharp, Revd John Lincoln, Kieran MacNicol and the Drambuskers. Mr McGlynn-Stewart (Magi as most of us know him) entertained us with poetry and played or talked to his huge gong which, we were told, once belonged to the King of Afghanistan. In addition, young pupils of Alice Eastland played their party pieces, with Jamie Sharpe Hunter even managing to coax a tune from the Church’s old and rather difficult organ! It was very good of all the artists to rally round to help the Church in this way and we appreciate their efforts very much indeed. Special thanks go to Charlie Hunter for arranging and compering the show, and to Eleanor Bell and all the ladies who provided the refreshments. Thank you to everyone who took part and to the enthusiastic audience. On 4 June, Killin Church arranged a small, surprise celebration to commemorate the Revd John Lincoln’s 25th anniversary since his ordination. It was held at the House of Cantle (ex- Morenish Lodge hotel) on a lovely evening with members of the Churches from both sides of Glen Ogle. Revd and Mrs Lincoln were presented with a book token and flowers respectively. They thank most sincerely those who arranged the evening and all who attended. Jean Edwards

Birth Announcement

Congratulations to Stuart and Jamie Anderson (Stuart formally of Lochearnhead - now Killin) on the birth of James Struan Anderson on 5 May, weighing in at 10lb 3oz. Well done! Lots of love from all the family.

Congratulations to Joe Howells (right) of Strathyre on his recent achievement in becoming Deputy Head Boy at McLaren High School. We are proud that a former Strathyre Primary School pupil who was taught by Anne Comrie and Bernie McDonald has achieved this success in his final year at McLaren High . Well done Joe.

Congratulations to Scott Welsh and Janette Campbell, married on 4 June in St Angus Church, Lochearnhead. Wishing them all the very best for a long and happy future together.

Pin-Feathers* by Old Nyati

*Once in demand by Victorian miniaturists, the tiny pin-feather comes from the leading edge of a woodcock’s wing and only two such feathers occur on each bird (one on each wing). This month Old Nyati shares some secrets. Can you keep a secret? I don’t suppose you can, Don’t you smile,don’t you laugh……

These are the first few lines of an old nursery rhyme that I remember. Well, “Yes I can” ... and that applies to the location of the subjects in my photographs. I was invited to share the secret while taking the photographs and it is guarded well. Some of the rarer varieties of wild orchids which grow in our area are shown here, the more common ones abound but some of the others are certainly on the rarity list. One is the Butterfly Orchid, I think! The others can be ‘Googled’ by the enquiring mind. It is an opinion that for their continued safety not every man and his dog should know where they are. These places can be designated SSSIs but this can be a sort of two-edged sword; protection is one way, but drawing attention to the site can lead to misguided damage at certain times of the year by too many visitors, perhaps not damaging the specimen, but compacting the earth around it so that next year’s plant cannot grow. I am a little scared by what is happening

in some areas such as the Lake District and Peak District National Parks which have become grossly over-visited, causing erosion problems on footpaths on the hills with, at times, a veritable queue of people trying to get to a popular place. Freedom for all can sometimes start to destroy the very thing that they have come to see; perhaps it could be called over-population or even exploitation! There is a place nearby where I was once shown the Twablade Orchid, but alas, in ignorance, it is now part of an extensive lawn. Having said that there is another lawn in the glens where the orchids are avoided. Another place not far away has a good population of the Sundew, that carnivorous plant which devours insects and also the delightful little Butterwort which can be seen in many places along the hill road sides. It is in flower now, with a tiny blue tassel, an exquisite little thing; in the same kind of area look out for the Milkwort, another miniature beauty.

If you are really careful and quiet you may see the Common Lizard and sometimes the Slow Worm; there are Smooth Newts here too so walk slowly and keep quiet in these places for there may be things to see that we did not know about. In the burns there are still Lampreys, but then I am not saying is a secret. With some that secret can be shared and I thank those who have shared their secret places with me.


McLaren High School News

by Yvonne King

Music News Congratulations to Rachel Speirs (singing), Callum Cronin (double bass), John Ferrie (cello) and Katie Allen (violin) who have all been offered places to study at the RSAMD junior school. Also to Stephanie Irvine (clarsach) who has a place at Douglas Academy Music School. Well done to all of you. Under 14 Rugby 7s Our U14 team added yet more silverware to the trophy cabinet by winning the U14 Central 7s Cup held at Stirling on 25 May. The boys won all their pool games beating Alva 24-0, Balfron B 26-0 and Alloa 21-0 and the final against Balfron A 12-0. Scorers were Finn Rhys (2), Will Cartwright (1), Conor Alexander (4), Cameron Hendry (4), Kieran Rennie (3), Andrew Nixon (4), Alexander Allison (1), Gregor Nixon (1), Conor Watson (1), Craig Arnott (1) and Duncan Hendry (1). A great effort from the team, not conceding a single try in the entire tournament! Rapid Response CfE Challenge S1 pupils were recently involved in a Curriculum for Excellence challenge called Rapid Response. This simulation was based on helping the people in Honduras after a hurricane. Civil engineers came and talked to us about their jobs and explained the necessity of making shelters and water transportation systems after a natural disaster such as an earthquake or a tsunami. The activities included water transportation, making water filters, orienteering and making wind anemometers. Our favourite was the shelter building because it brought the team together and it was fun. We all enjoyed the day. Kirsty Galloway and Samantha Ogilvie S1 In the water transportation activity we had to build a water transportation device to get water from one bucket (a village) to another bucket (another village) using guttering and negotiating the hurdle (mountain). In shelter building we had to build a waterproof shelter using canes, bricks and plastic sheets. To test if it was waterproof they poured a watering can full of water over the top! We built water filters using a plastic bottle, a pile of stones and sand, and a tea cloth to filter and clean the water. In Home Economics we made food that you could give to people that had been in a natural disaster. Ryan Welsh and Paul Scott S1


How to make a Loaf of White Bread From Maw Broon’s Cookbook

Illustration by Jim Hannah 3½ lbs flour 3 teaspoons salt 1½ pints tepid water 1 teaspoon sugar 1oz yeast Mix the flour and salt. Add sugar tae the yeast and mix until creamy, then add warm water. Mix with flour and knead until ye hae a smooth elastic dough. Cut across the surface of the dough to mark into quarters. Cover bowl with towel and set aside in a warm place until the dough is double its original size (1½-2 hrs). Knock it back – knead thoroughly tae distribute gas.

Shape into loaves, place in warmed tins, cover and allow to rise again (15 mins). Bake in a hot oven for 5 mins then reduce heat and bake ½-1 hour according to size of loaves. (Daphne ate the pies!)

FOR SALE Dark Oak Dresser Reproduction Excellent condition £95 Tel: 01567 830238

Photographs show (in no particular order!): Disneyland, Paris Excursion; Dance Infusion; Total Wipeout; Lendrick Muir; Battlefields Trip to Belgium and France; Cakes and Cookies; Outward Bound; Sponsored Walk

visit our website: 11

Our Safari to the Hidden Glens Without fuss or fanfare a new business was launched in Balquhidder earlier this year – ‘Hidden Glen Safaris’. As my sphere of activity has been severely reduced for the last two years to visits to the hospital, doctor’s surgery, the village hall and meals out with friends, I decided to try a venture into the unknown. On a morning that makes one forgive Scotland for all the rain and cold it usually throws at its inhabitants, four of us boarded Alan Sneddon’s comfortable Land Rover and set off on the road to Inverlochlarig. With crystal clear visibility, the sun shining, the loch like a millpond and the smell of bluebells in the air Alan drove slowly, pointing out things of interest as went along. At Inverlochlarig we drove through the farm out to the west, heading towards Loch Lomond in the distance and beyond where the sheepdog hill trials are run. We forded a couple of burns, negotiated cows and a bull cooling off in the water and stopped by the water to watch the birdlife. The scenery is magnificent and what a joy to stop and listen to the silence - we could have been hundreds of miles from civilisation and yet here we were in our own backyard. As it was such

a bright day, there weren’t many deer visible, but Alan managed to find those grazing in the distance and point them out, high on the hills, along with a few walkers . Our next glen excursion took us back through the farm and on to the old north road which originally ran to Fort William but now falls away just below Stob Binnein and passes by evidence of a former settlement. By this time we were all in urgent need of refreshment, so a reliable Kelly Kettle was produced from the back of the Land Rover, filled with clear fresh water from a waterfall and before long fresh, hot tea and coffee were available. What a magnificent country we live in and how amazing to be able to view it from a completely different perspective with an informed and informative guide! A most enjoyable way of seeing beyond the everyday view of the glen and a marvellous excursion for visitors. Alan can be contacted through his website: or by phone on 07765 789 354. Penny Hannah

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 ramblers.htm in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New Members and guests are always welcome. JULY • Sat 9th 8.30am LDP - C to C (5) - Lochgoilhead to Ardgartan (7 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Wed 13th 9:30am Ramble - Lady Margaret’s Walk, Crieff (8 miles) Susan McWhirter 01786 825198 • Sat 16th 8:30am Hill - Stob Binnein (from Inverlochlarig) (1165m) Mike Hawkins 01877 339080 • Sat 23rd 8:30am Ramble - Balquhidder to Brig O’Turk (10 miles) Bob Rennie 01877 330930 AUGUST • Sat 13th 8.30am LDP - C to C (5) - Ardgartan to Loch Lomond (8 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Sat 20th 8:30am Ramble - The Pass of the Dead (12 miles) Bill Thomson 01877 330102 • Wed 24th 9:30am Ramble - Thornhill to Callander (8 miles) Peter Rickard 01786 850209 • Sat 27th 8:30am Hill - An Caisteal & Beinn a’ Chroin (995m) Richard Cooper 01877 331067


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

5 minutes with...

Duncan Cameron and Daisy This month I’m sent to have a chat with Duncan Cameron and his dog Daisy. No chance of having trouble finding the house as it is right next door to Joe and Jean Seymour’s. A sign with NO PARKING is attached to the gate but as I am visiting, I am quite confident that my car would not be TOAD like it says at the Seymour’s gate. Duncan is waiting for me on the doorstep and straight away it is obvious that once again I have been sent to meet up with another easy going, interesting Villager. Duncan’s wife Pauline says hello through the serving hatch (!) and asks me not to be offended for her not coming nearer to introduce herself... Pauline is nursing a nasty cold and is keen not to spread it. I am also greeted by Daisy, who did decide the best policy would be in fact to sit as close to me as possible. Duncan tells Daisy off for this but I am quite enjoying it. Daisy is a sweet, happy soul of a dog and I cannot imagine anybody not liking her company. And so we get on with the interview.

An obvious friendship between man and dog!

called Natural Research Projects Ltd. It is a wildlife research charity whose mission is to conduct objective research which helps us understand ecological processes. I love my job. I work all over Scotland and so does/did Daisy (who is now semi-retired). I’ve done all sorts of surveys from various birds to deer, foxes and wild goats. Daisy is great on goat surveys, she smells them under the rocks!

What made you choose Strathyre to be your home? D: Ah! That’s a romantic story really! I met Pauline when I was a Royal Marine Commando in the 70’s. Pauline was in the WRNS (Women’s Royal Naval Service). We both married somebody else but 25 years later we met each other again at mutual friends and we were both single again. We picked the house in Strathyre to start over again and we got married.

Tell me more about Daisy! D: Daisy is a Border Collie and is 12. Like I said, she is in semi-retirement as she can’t do the big walks that are required for some of the surveys any longer. One of her latest job descriptions is to take my mother (who lives in Callander) for walks! On many occasions, whilst out on research, Daisy has saved me from some serious injuries. I was standing on a crag one day and around me was glass-ice which became very obvious when Daisy slid down the hill. Another time Daisy disappeared in the heather into a rocky hole and in doing so allerted me to the hole and saved me from a broken leg at least! I always take some biscuits for Daisy on the hill but she doesn’t touch them until she gets a bit of my piece first and doesn’t eat her biscuits until I have finished all of my lunch! She is great company on the hill but her jokes are rubbish and her views on politics are worse!

Joe Seymour mentioned the RSPB. D: I had a severe head injury in 1996 which made me re-think my career and decided to turn my hobby into my work. I went from retail area manager into working for the RSPB. but I left them 2½ years ago as I was headhunted by a company

Hmmm, speaking of jokes, a certain Susan Revie recently told me that you yourself are quite partial to telling a few jokes... D: Haha! Yes, I like my jokes but to be honest I am not sure if they are suitable for The Villagers!! I’ll try this one – “What is a Shitzu?”

Duncan, how long have you lived in Strathyre? D: We have lived here now 11 years. I am originally from the Isle of Arran. My dad was a Co-op manager in Whiting Bay on the island and I’ve got lovely memories of me as a very small boy sitting on a Clydesdale horse who pulled the cart for tatties being delivered.

Is it one of these small dogs? D: No, it’s a zoo without animals. Good one! OK, back to the questions...What do you like and not like about life in our area? D: I like the scenery, the people, the wildlife and I can honestly say I have the best neighbours in the world in Joe and Jean. I dislike the noisy, drunken “tourists” and the litter they leave behind. I hate feeding the midges! I also noticed the spread of the mosquito (due to global warming?) and absolutely dread the thought of feeding them too! Who would you like to nominate for next month’s ‘5 Minutes with...’ ? D: Sarah Coppock. I think it would make a nice change as it appears that the majority of people in the interviews so far have been male. Her dog Shean and our Daisy are great friends. H H H I nearly forget to take a photo and just as well that Duncan knows the formula of this piece and reminds me of it! I would forget my head if it wasn’t screwed on! I think the photo turned out quite nice, an obvious friendship between man and dog. I also realise, as I am driving off that the title of this piece is one great big lie. 5 Minutes With?! Nothing could be further from the truth. The title should be “An Hour (at least) with...” 5 Minutes is way too short a time to speak to and find out more about all these interesting Villagers! I wonder what Sarah Coppock will have to say for herself next month and who she will nominate next. I’m already looking forward to it. 13


There is an excellent line-up of young musicians for this year’s Balquhidder Summer Music concerts. The concerts are all held in Balquhidder Church on Sunday evenings at 7.00pm, and should finish around 9.00pm. Full details are on the website: In addition, the MHOR TEA tea-room is planning to stay open on these evenings until 7.00pm. 10th July: Don’t miss the virtuoso accordionist Djordje Gajic. He’s been before, and if you missed him then, here’s another chance! Our website includes a link to a sample of his playing. 17th July: Camerata Ritmata is a group led by guitarist Simon Thacker, with piano, bass and drums. They play a fusion of classical Spanish and Mexican music mixed with modern folk and jazz elements, which should appeal to a wide range of musical interests. Our website also includes a link to a sample of their music. 24th July: This is the traditional slot to hear hand-picked singers from the Scottish Music Academy RSAMD. Head of Opera Tim Dean will be returning to Balquhidder again this year, bringing four singers to perform a range of songs and operatic excerpts. Youthful exuberance with quality! 31st July: Award-winning string quartet


Dunblane Cathedral

Organ Recitals Every Saturday

12noon - 12.45pm until 20 August Entry Free Alba Quartet came to Balquhidder a few years ago at the very start of their career. Now established for a few years, it will be great to hear this top-quality Scottishbased group again. 7th August: Summer Music 2011 is finishing with a flourish with Bella Tromba, an all-girl trumpet quartet from London. Part of their programme will be music newly composed by Peter Longworth of Brig o’Turk, an up-andcoming local composer to be noted now, before he gets famous! Please come along and support your local music festival. Tickets are very reasonably priced and people 15 years and younger are free - see the website for details. Alan Clarke, Chairman Balquhidder Summer Music

Join us afterwards for lunch in the Church Hall Homemade soup and baking Payment for lunch by donation, half of which will go to the Hospice funds

Composer Comes Home Scottish composer Peter Longworth will have his music played in his home town following performances in London, Poland and Canada. Peter grew up in Brig o’Turk and always had a passion for music. Whilst a pupil at McLaren High School he was Principal Trumpet of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. In 2008 Peter moved to London to study composition at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After hearing of Peter’s talent, trumpeter Jo Harris commissioned Colori di Roma for the UK Classical all-girl ensemble Bella Tromba. 18 year old Peter was inspired by his holiday travels to Rome and the music evokes the fountains and heat of the romantic city. Bella Tromba has performed at London’s Purcell Room, the Cheltenham Music Festival and for BBC Radio 3. Awarded Park Lane Group Young Artists in 2007 Bella Tromba have commissioned many new works forming an extensive repertoire. Colori di Roma has been played by the ensemble in music festivals in Europe and Canada and it received its première at London’s Caledonian Club off Park Lane. The quartet is thrilled to be playing Colori di Roma in Scotland for the first time. Performances: 6 August 7:30pm, Brig o’Turk Hall contact Kate Longworth on 01877 376 217 7 August 7:00pm, Balquhidder Kirk


Rangers’ Review By Graeme Auty

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Dawn Ironworks Over the past few weeks the rangers have been out and about across the area carrying out early morning visits to the lochside areas which are known to be problem sites for litter and anti-social behaviour. On Sunday 12 June at 6.00 am a couple of the park rangers together with two police officers from the local area visited Lochs American Skunk Cabbage Lubnaig, Voil, Doine and Venachar specifically targeting messy campsites, based and right: Himalayan upon intelligence gathered from rangers who had been on patrol on the Saturday Balsam night, with the aim of catching the culprits before they crept off in the early hours leaving all their mess behind. Despite the fairly poor weather conditions there were As usual, if we are around at the still several groups out camping, especially at Loch Lubnaig and in Balquhidder. Police Lochearnhead Office, please feel free to took 15 names and issued those responsible with cautions. The rangers involved in drop in, or to call Gareth or me if you the early morning operations would like to thank Central Scotland Police for being so have any queries, wildlife sightings or co-operative and willing to play their part. Hopefully there will be more early morning just for a catch up. Gareth is in most joint operations throughout the summer months. days but I am only part time and am on duty Thursdays and Fridays. You can call Invasives update me on 01389 722115 or on my mobile Several of the National Park volunteers have been out across the area with me tackling 07764 371700 or alternatively you can some invasive plants, namely Himalayan Balsam. This plant is a problem because it email me on graeme.auty@lochlomondtakes over from our usual species and when it dies back in the winter it leaves bare or Gareth at gareth.kett@ areas that are at risk of erosion. These plants are, as the name suggests, a non-native plant to this area and can spread very easily along river banks and roadsides. If the plants are pulled up before they have a chance to flower and produce seeds then affected areas can be cleared entirely of the plant within a couple of years. The six volunteers involved in the project will soon be taking a pesticide training course which will allow them to tackle other non-native invasive plants in the area such as Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed. Over the summer months the volunteers will be checking sites where these plants have been recorded. The long term aim is to prepare these infested sites by clearing away the old dead vegetation during the winter months in preparation for chemical treatment in May. We already have some really good information on the locations of Japanese Knotweed in the area; however, another invasive plant we are targeting as part of this project which we have little information on is the American Skunk Cabbage. This plant loves wet boggy areas and is often seen growing beside rivers and in ditches, they look like giant yellow arum lilies and can grow to almost a metre tall. If you have any of these invasive plants on your land and would like to get rid of them please let us know, you can contact me on the number shown.


Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held in Balquhidder Village Hall on 1st June 2011

Present: M McNaughton, R Eastland, A. Barclay, A Squires, S Hesp, M Kobs Apologies: R McWilliams, K Methven, A Cameron In attendance: O McKee (National Park), PC A. Ward, S Player (Stirling Council), Cllr. P Owens (Stirling Council) Cathy Maclean (Lochearnhead), Sarah Gibson, Mel Brydie and Lindsey Revie (all from Strathyre) Item



The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. Proposer: M Kobs


Police Matters: PC Ward announced that there were few local problems at the moment apart from concerns that wild camping might increase as a result of the new byelaw in force on East Loch Lomond.

3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5

Matters Arising: Reporting of CC meetings in The Villagers Following a complaint regarding the report in the May issue of The Villagers it was agreed that although the particular item had been dealt with fully at the CC meeting this was not perhaps evident in the report and that in future the minutes would be published in the newspaper with a note to remind readers these had not yet been approved, together with details of the Stirling Council website where all approved minutes of CC meetings can be read. MK Strathyre Playground S Hesp explained that the playground was in need of upgrading and contained old equipment which was in a dangerous state and could not be used by the under 3s. The village wanted to provide a play area suitable for children up to teenage and was seeking approval and backing from the CC to apply for funding. S Player and D Crichton (Stirling Council) had already been consulted and had offered helpful advice. £2000 is needed now and long term improvement with perhaps extension of the area should be planned for. O McKee stated that the National Park might be approached for funding later in the year. It was agreed that the CC could apply to Awards for All and the Community Grants Fund. A question was asked about the Tennis Court Project which had come under the auspices of the BLS Community Trust. It was understood that Alan Clarke was the representative from the Trust attending the Strathyre Village Association meetings. S Player offered to meet John Lincoln and establish whether monies had been set aside for the project. RE Nursery Bus The young mothers from Strathyre who were attending the meeting explained that the nursery bus, run by Stirling Council and operated from Killin, was cancelled with only two weeks’ notice. They had wanted to draw up a petition in protest but had been advised against this. S Player reported that she had spoken to the Head of Killin Nursery who is happy to discuss ways of helping individual parents who are finding it difficult to manage without the bus. S Player would advise Strathyre parents of the person to contact at Stirling Council to request a meeting to explore alternative options. S Player also reported that Bob Jack, Chief Executive of Stirling Council, was aware of the issue and had acknowledged that decision making of this kind might be done better with parental/community involvement at an earlier stage. P Owens advised sending in individual letters of protest and exploring other options eg taxis. The CC to write to Bruce Crawford MSP and Michael Boyle, Head of Childrens Services, with copies to our Stirling Councillors. RE Lochside Litter Update A Barclay’s article on the subject has been published in the June edition of The Villagers. He reported that 78 black bin bags full of rubbish had been collected from Loch Lubnaig and the north side of Loch Earn and that the volunteers had been disgusted by the amount of human excrement found at these sites. He felt that although the Loch Earn Tourism Initiative (LETI) had requested meetings on the subject, the 5-Lochs Group was tackling this difficult problem adequately. M McNaughton and A Cameron have visited the Balloch offices of the NP to see the Park Plan. Following discussions with the 5-Lochs Group toilets will be provided at the larger of the two car parks on Loch Lubnaig. O McKee reported that discussions with local landowners had taken place re; litter collection. P Owens reported that Stirling Council will provide people who are on Community Service to collect litter from lochsides. There is a budget of £75,000 for the combined services (provision of toilets and collection of litter) which will begin on Loch Lubnaig, followed by Loch Voil and Loch Earn. Worries over wild camping in our area as a result of the new byelaw on Loch Lomondside are being taken on board by Central Scotland Police, the Forestry Commission and the NP who have appointed extra rangers. Extra police from Tayside will patrol Loch Earn. The rangers will be provided with a RIB to be moored at the Watersports Centre. RE Road Closures on A85 A Barclay reported on the lengthy on-going correspondence between property owners and Transerv re: Compulsory Purchase Orders prior to road widening. Transerv maintains that road widening to 6 metres is essential to prevent road closures during repair work and that this necessitates the purchase of strips of land from the properties in East Lochearnhead where the road is narrow. The property owners are disputing this and have the right to appeal. However, the Roads Dept has no funding for repairs and the Compulsory Purchase Orders will not be sent out this year. Objections are being looked at and the meeting agreed no action to be taken by the CC at this time. MK

Seconder: A Barclay

4.0 Correspondence 4.1 Recycle Boxes: New boxes for recyclable materials will be delivered to villages along the A84 this summer. These will enable householders to dispose of food and drinks cartons, batteries and small electrical appliances as well as the usual bottles, cans and newspapers. 4.2

Public Procession Application: The Highland Games committee has applied for permission to hold the annual procession at the start of the Highland Games on 23 July.


Severe Weather Forum: Stirling Council has arranged discussion meetings re: provision for extra services in both urban and rural areas next winter and is seeking delegates from community councils. It was agreed to approach Charlie Methven to act as delegate since he already has a contract with Stirling Council for snow clearing and could provide excellent suggestions for improvement of winter services. MMcN


Planning Matters: No new requests.

6.0 6.1 6.2

Any Other Competent Business The Treasurer reported that Stirling Council’s grant to the CC this year is £116.71 PC Ward invited volunteers to accompany him on night patrols in June and August.

There being no further business the meeting was closed by the Chairman at 9.14pm. Next meeting to held on 14th July at 7.30pm in Lochearnhead Village Hall. Members of the public are invited to attend. These minutes have yet to be formally approved at the next CC meeting. To read full and approved minutes of all CC meetings follow the link, then click on Balquhidder a-c 16

Paintings that were for pleasure!

“Wow”- that is not the usual reaction on entering an Art Show but it was how one member of the public reacted on entering the Callander U3A Painting for Pleasure exhibition last weekend. It could not have been a more miserable weekend for weather but around seventy folk braved the elements to enjoy the show. A lively buzz greeted visitors who went on to buy £500 worth of paintings and well over £100 worth of greetings cards of the paintings. Tea, coffee, cakes and even lunch time plates of freshly made sandwiches catered for the appetites of the happy spectators.. The six members of the Painting for Pleasure group were more than delighted at the response to their venture and are encouraged to consider its repetition next year. Barbara Legg





Books to enjoy:

Private Leaning Post by Eileen Onnitt Advanced Dentistry by Phil McAvity The Frozen South by A. Winterbottom How To Get Attention by A. U. Overthere

Spectacular Jousting comes to Linlithgow Palace Hear the crack of lances splintering and the thunder of hooves as the Knights of Royal England return to the magnificent setting of Linlithgow Palace on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July. Come along and cheer on your favourite knight as he challenges the other combatants in a sensational display of skill and bravery. As well as the jousting there will be brutal foot combat, instruction on how to be a mediaeval assassin and presentations about how a noble lady of the time would dress. Around the mediaeval camps you’ll be able to see how weapons were made at a working forge, be amused by jugglers and jesters and discover how a knight dressed for battle. Adult: £11, Concession £8.80, Child £6.60 Admission free to Historic Scotland members


Scottish Schools Set Sail at Loch Earn

Start of the handicap fleet and the Topper dinghies in the distance

Very windy conditions prevailed at Loch Earn for the Scottish Schools Brown Cup on Monday 13 June. The event, in its 53rd year, attracted 95 competitors from across the country bringing lots of new visitors to St Fillans and the surrounding area over the weekend – from Forres to Lockerbie and from Largs to St Andrews. 420 Dingy RS Feva Dinghy Laser Radial Dinghy Optimist Dinghy Topper Dinghy

Hosted by Loch Earn Sailing Club at St Fillans, the Brown Cup regatta provided nail-biting competition among the sailors, aged between 7 and 18. Due to the challenging conditions on race day – 19mph westerly winds with gusts of up to 24mph - only two of the planned three races were completed. The worthy trophy winners are shown below!

John Beardon & Fergus Barrie Lockerbie Academy Katie Munro& Bethany Hurst Forres Academy Iain McLaughlan Gryffe High School Alasdair Ireland Dunoon Grammar Jack Aitken Hermitage High School

1st Primary School Competitor Izzy Millford

Laser fleet chasing towards the mark past the Clubhouse


Kirkmichael Primary School

The Scottish Schools Brown Cup overall trophy winners were Hermitage High School, Helensburgh succeeding over last year’s winners Lomond School. Helensburgh was in second place and Mary Erskine took third. Immediately preceding the event was a two-day intensive training camp at the Club attended by 41 children of various sailing abilities. Top RYA (Royal Yachting Association) coaches shared their expertise giving valuable race instruction prior to the main event. Commenting on the regatta, event organiser, Cammy Murray said, “Our training weekend before the race-day provided these young sailors with an insight into RYA Squad training and will hopefully inspire them to chase Olympic dreams in the future. Even the novice sailors battled round the race course finishing the races in conditions they may not have thought possible prior to their coaching sessions. This was a record-breaking year for entries to the Scottish Schools Brown Cup. As in previous years every competitor took home a rash vest memento which is always one of the highlights of the Brown Cup, kindly sponsored again by Brooks MacDonald Asset Management. All the competitors came off the water with big smiles on their faces and that’s what matters most!”

Farm Forum: Keep it Natural!


Sheepdog Trials Saturday 23 July It’s an all day event starting at 9.00am and consisting of various different classes.

As always there will be catering on-site as well as toilets. All welcome and no entry fee.

For further details contact Kevin 01877 384269

Strathyre Primary News

Strathyre Primary School was so anxious to start the school holidays that we have no report of their excellent end-of-term show - but maybe photos will wing their way to the editor for next month.

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:

As I write the Highland Show is almost over for another year. This is not just a show for the agricultural community, it is becoming more and more the show case of the industry directed at the all important consumer. It is well worth a visit and will be an eye opener to many. It is not only livestock that you will see but all the very high tech and expensive machinery used to produce the cereals and vegetables for your table. The major retailers have stands there also, as well as many small suppliers. The Cabinet Secrerary for rural affairs, Richard Lochhead, speaking at the show, made an interesting comment when referring to waste of food. Whilst admitting it might be a tough message for supermarkets with their shelves full of thoroughly washed vegetables, he was reported as wondering if there was not a case for crops such as potatoes and roots to be presented in their natural state. His rationale, according to Andrew Arbuckle in the Scotsman, was that a great deal of effort now goes in to educating consumers about where food comes from and yet they see little connection between earthcovered produce and the spotlessly washed vegetables currently on sale. He was also very aware that a large percentage of crops grown for the supermarkets do not meet the high standards set by the companies and end up for stock feed or just waste. He made the point that in today’s world that loss of food was not acceptable. He emphasised that his comments did not refer to the quality standards of the produce but only the presentation. (We

have all heard of bananas of the wrong length, etc!) It surprises me that when there is so much talk about global warming and disposing of rubbish, you find so many vegetables wrapped up in cling film or sealed in plastic bags when it is quite unnecessary. They will not last nearly as long as they will when offered loose and natural. Don’t forget that someone is paying for all that wrapping and the disposal of it, and guess who that is! Did you know that the use of battery cages for laying hens will be banned from 1st January 2012? This date has been known for a decade and our egg producers have geared themselves up to meet the EU welfare standards. However there are many countries that may fail to meet these requirements. There is apparently an EU assessment being carried out at this time but it could be that there will be eggs sold after the deadline that do not meet the welfare standards that are required and to which Britain, as usual, has complied at considerable expense - so buy British! I have written a lot in the past about the problems facing farming and hill faming in particular, for a multitude of reasons - not least the red tape. Well, Scottish Natural Heritage has commissioned a report which has just been published. The report deals with the decline in hill farming and its associated impact on nature and rural communities. The report states that objectives for nature conservation in large parts of Scotland depend on continued livestock farming. Without it the appearance of the landscape would change, becoming less diverse and often less attractive. Let us hope that this report by a respected organisation will be studied by policy makers. Agricola

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.


View from the Park by Owen McKee So much for the old theory that a severe winter ensures a brilliant summer. But then perhaps it is just being delayed a little to give us all time to prepare; after all, the children have only just been released from school and they have a mere six weeks to enjoy themselves. In spite of the weather our front line troops, the Rangers, will be progressing with the visitor surveys to chart the East Loch Lomond Byelaws displacement theory. If the inclement weather persists the surveys will have to continue much longer than was originally intended as it is essential that we track whether the East Loch Lomond Byelaws result in any increase in anti-social behaviour in other parts of the Park. Ever the supreme optimist, my own hope is that the byelaws, combined with Operation Ironworks and the “Meet and Greet” tactics of the Rangers service, will show an improvement in the behaviour of our visitors. Clearly an essential part of visitor management is to make sure that there are facilities in place to meet the needs of any visitors. That does not mean that the Park Authority would entertain the Disneyland Theme Park type of development that made the headlines in the newspapers. However the Park Authority will encourage sensible and sensitive development to enhance the visitor experience and to promote the economic wellbeing of our communities. An indication of that type of cooperation is the money spent in repairing piers on Loch Lomond to enable local businesses to put in place the Waterbus service. It is that same partnership working which will underpin the Five Lochs project. The initial discussions with landowners has been encouraging and as a result a design contract for the car park, informal camping and infrastructure at Loch Lubnaig is progressing. With a specific proposal in place we will be engaging with the local communities through the community council representatives on the Project Group. It is hoped that we will see some work on site late this year . Over the past month I have had a couple of trips out with the Ranger Service to see how they operate in other parts of the Park. Unfortunately the first trip which was to the Loch Lomond Islands proved a bit fruitless. In was a wet and windy day no it isn’t the start of a dismal crime novel - it meant that the visitors were not about. In fact we did not encounter a single soul all day. Not a fisherman nor a camper. What was evident was that even on the islands the visiting morons seem to be able to bring along their chainsaws and cause mayhem. The other day was much better. 20

That time I was visiting Callander with discussions being on the built heritage of the area. Although I have lived in the area since before some of my hosts were born I was delighted that they were able to give me some enlightened insights into a heritage that too many of us locals take for granted. As always I can be contacted as follows : Post: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead, FK19 8PR Phone: 01567 830214 email:

Enjoying wonderful views over Loch Earn and the surrounding countryside

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

Reservations - Tel: 01567 830229 Fax: 01567 830364


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

From our Beijing Running 50k in the hills, on a glorious sunny day of Correspondents 27°C with high humidity is not much fun. Doing 10k is bad enough and that was mostly on the flat. However, we both achieved our aim... to complete within reasonable times - and aim to be able to do quicker next year. The Chinese just love statistics, so here are some of

possible interest: China has 33 Provinces over the huge area of 9,596,961km2 (3,705,407sq miles). It is the fourth largest country, behind Russia, Canada, then the USA, though has the largest population of the four. We have lived here for ten months, with two years and two months to go until our return to Balquhidder. During our time here, we have now stayed in 21 of the 33 Provinces … so there is a fairly good chance that we will visit them all before we head home! Our most recent trip - a very special outing for me - was to the north west section of Inner Mongolia (part of China, though inhabitants are mostly Mongolian). We went for a four day horse riding holiday, out in the grasslands, staying in a yurt. To members of BRA: Heaven is a flat-out gallop across the grasslands on a sure-footed mount; Hell is trying to stay in a Mongolian solid wood, metalframed saddle. We were both very battered and deeply bruised but had the fantastic Mongolian horsemen in awe at our capabilities on their raw-trained horses. At the end of July we are going on an official trip to Mongolia and hope again to be out on the Steppes, staying in yurts and hopefully doing some more riding. We have been to see the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, Shaanxi and visited the Panda Sanctuary in Chengdu, Sichuan. Neither was a disappointment. In fact we were stunned at how much action we were able to see with the Pandas, including watching one playing with a toad for nearly half an hour... and yes, the toad did come out of the encounter unscathed! Duncan has the delightful habit of chatting away to locals in Mandarin, who then volunteer to guide us around and we get to see so many things that other visitors miss. It is now a joke that we follow ‘strange Chinese men’ when we get to a new place. I think our best one yet was arriving late at night (after yet another flight delay!) at an airport down south, after the ferry terminal had closed, with a hotel booking on an island which we could not seemingly get to. Aha! Duncan goes into chat mode …. and conjures up a friend of our taxi driver, who has a fishing boat, which takes us across that water, where we happen to get on a passing minibus, which happily takes us to our hotel, which fortunately is still open in the early hours!! What Duncan couldn’t conjure up was good weather for our LOCHEARNHEAD weekend, on a small island with vast stretches of sandy beaches. Oh well, neither of us is really into POST OFFICE AND SHOP lying around sunbathing... hmm! And above is a photo of one of the stranger of the Chinese men POST OFFICE AND PARCELFORCE that we have met on our travels...

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

Tania and Duncan Francis

... and finally... Tania in the 10K race, around the Ming Tombs beside the Great Wall, north of Beijing, on a clear, hot (28°C) day at the beginning of May this year.

~ ~ ~


Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri Wednesday Saturday Sunday

0900 - 1730 0900 - 1300 0900 - 1230 Closed

Post Office Post Box Collection Times: Morning - 12 noon Afternoon - 1600 (Except Saturday) Sunday - No Collection Telephone: 01567 830 201 21

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

We’ll send you or your friends

The Villagers

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



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

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

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

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


JULY 7,8,9

St Fillans Players - ‘Ladies’ Day’


Balquhidder Summer Music - see p. 14


Balquhidder Summer Music


Balquhidder Summer Music


Inverlochlarig Sheepdog Trials - see p. 19


Balquhidder Summer Music


Balquhidder Summer Music

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


Balquhidder Summer Music - last concert


Lochearnhead Village Fete - 1.00pm start in the Games Field

12,13,14 20

St Fillans Festive Weekend


Killin Agricultural Show BLS Annual Horticultural Society Show - Balquhidder Hall 2.00-4.00pm - see p.6 Cheques for advertising and mail order subscriptions should be made out to:

The BLS Newspaper Association

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

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

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

ROMAN CATHOLIC Callander, St Joseph the Worker Sunday 11.30am Vigil Mass Saturday 5.30pm May to September Killin Sunday 2.30pm The Episcopal Church in Killin is now repaired and services have resumed Father Jim McCruden 2 Ancaster Square, Callander Tel: 01877 330 702

SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH St Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead First and third Sundays of the month: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fourth Sundays of the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Fifth Sunday of the month: please see church noticeboard. Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453 24

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

The Villagers July 2011  

Voice of four villages around Loch Earn, Loch Lubnaig, Loch Doine and Loch Voil. Read whats on, where to stay, where to eat and drink, even...