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The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans



Hoedown gals

Dapper McDan gettin’ on down!

It was clear from the wanted posters splattered around the village hall on Saturday 8 October that the law hasn’t reached as far west as Balquhidder’s sleepy frontier. Many of the most notorious outlaws in the territory, along with hillbillys, cowhands, lawmen, not forgetting the posse from them thar Strathyre hills, descended on the hall for a finger-lickin’ Hog Roast by Alistair Gourlay and a tasty vegetarian option by our own genuine American - Ardell Park. This was followed by Bluegrass and Old Time music ‘True Grit’ Methven in charge from Goldrush and Dapper MacDan. Other activities during the evening included line dancing, admirably led by local girls Ellen, Meghan, Harriet and Stephanie, followed by whisky curling with Charlie ‘True Grit’ Methven. Always a magnet for the odd buck or two, this exciting competition saw the local young guns battling it out for a couple of bottles of moonshine, and was eventually won - many bucks later - by Sundance Kev and Sheriff Thompson. The best dressed hillbilly rosette was won by Dougie ‘Curtis’ Aitchison followed by a tremendous rendition of Deliverance Goldrush - there’s music in them thar hills! by the band. Dougie, from the Strathyre backwoods, came complete with pet rat, ukulele and a fine set of teeth!!! Finally, Ian the Kid wound up the night with an American style disco until the rooster crowed. BRA also wishes to thank Penny, Gill, Clare and Charlie, Malcolm, Pat, Jananne, Elaine and all those who helped and supported this event in any way. A grand total of £530 was raised, so remember your invitation for 28 December, folks!! Karen Methven

Line dancin’ lessons with Ellen and Meghan Dougie ‘Curtis’ Aitchison, complete with teeth


Editor’s “Hello Again” A note to say it is good to be back from our travels and to thank all concerned at The Villagers for ensuring all went so smoothly when we were away. I feel totally dispensable! Returning from seeing daffodils, tulips and magnificent magnolias meant that any mention of Christmas seemed a trifle odd; however a few drives in the glorious autumn colours are helping to reorientate us. Christmas and New Year plans are obviously featuring in this edition and it is good to see that all the village halls seem to be busy with events so providing both a focal centre for celebrations and raising the much needed funds to continue for another year. Let us hope this New Year we will all be able to get out and enjoy the fun together. The AGM for The Villagers in February will be an opportunity for anyone with views on how our community paper should continue to evolve to come and have their say so please come along and all ideas can be discussed over a glass of wine. We will also welcome any offers of help with the various roles needed to produce and distribute the paper; just a couple of hours a month is all that is needed in some cases. JJ Monthly Weather Correction and Clarification of the figures in the October edition... Balquhidder does have heavy rainfall but a total of 46.6ins in August was over the top! It should have read 6.6ins. This was a typo by the old editor – she has left (under a cloud?)... Humblest apologies have been offered to the folk at ‘Bramblings’ and were received with good grace.



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

16.4 ºC 21.3 10.2 6.7

61.6 ºF 70.3 50.36 44.0

Rainfall: 22.4 cms 8.96 ins Strongest wind gust 49 mph on 12 September 2

Ben Ledi Climb

Local children Katherine and Alex Stewart-Earl, Gregor and Jamie Nixon, Jamie and Kim Sharp-Hunter, Dan and Lottie Hesp and Iona Halliday climbed Ben Ledi. They raised more than £250 for the Rotary Club, Strathyre Primary School and Callander Taekwondo Club.

Battling the damp and cold for a good cause! Well done to all who took part.

Attention Mail Order Readers!

There has occasionally been a problem with address labels dropping off in the post and we have had copies of the newspaper returned to the Lochearnhead Post Office. If any of our subscribers have missed a copy please contact us and we’ll either send a replacement or add another month to your subscription.

We are very sad to announce the death of Thea Matyjasek. Thea was a founder member of The Villagers’ committee in January 1993 and worked on the newspaper for many years. She was the teacher at Lochearnhead School before her retirement to Auchtubh and subsequent moves, first to Fife and finally to Callander. She had many friends in the area and a full obituary will be published in the December edition.


The funeral will take place on Tuesday 8 November at 12 noon in Balquhidder Kirk.

The St Fillans Bit Seems impossible that it was 7 months ago that I was reporting the summer opening of the village shop and already I’m confirming the new winter hours. I know that time goes faster as we get older but just exactly where did Summer 2011 go? It must have been the worst summer up here in Scotland for years. As an avid cricket fan I’ve spent many a day and night this year watching English cricket on Sky TV in lovely sunshine and balmy nights, whilst the rain and darkness enveloped us up here. Anyway, the winter hours of the shop, now in effect, are 7.30am - 5.30pm except Sunday which is 8.00am – 4.00pm. More news from The Shop is that they are now stocking pet food for dogs and cats (including worming, flea and tick products); wild bird seed and fat products plus feeders. For rabbits or guinea pigs there is feed, straw and hay, flakes pellets for fish and reptile products to order. No reason now not to have that boa constrictor that you’ve always wanted lying by the fire. A further service from the shop is now free delivery on pet products and groceries generally. Delivery is to St Fillans or Lochearnhead and will be carried out after 5.30pm weekdays or 4.00 pm Sundays. Orders need to be in by 3.00 pm and it’s cash sales only (no cheques). This really is a valuable service, particularly when the ice and snow come. I heard just days ago of a village couple snow bound for four days with no access even to bread or milk until a neighbour noticed no foot prints or car tracks along their driveway and went to

investigate. There are two messages here – firstly we are an ageing population and it’s not difficult to look in or phone elderly folk during bad weather, plus even the fittest of us might find it handy for the boys from the shop to drop off stuff at night rather than battle along the road. On much sadder notes, Fraser has asked me to say that, “Fraser and Doreen would like to thank all villagers for their kind thoughts and prayers, also the many flowers and cards on the recent birth of their granddaughter Lillias Isabella Rennie born asleep on 23 September.” Of course, all of our sympathy, thoughts and hopes also go out to the Spearings after Ali’s horrendous injuries in Afghanistan and we all wish Ali all we can. I know that I can not be political in these pages but just as a general principle I wonder just how the Blairs, Browns and Camerons of our country sleep at night after sending our finest youth to do pointless battle, particularly in Afghanistan where not even the USSR could win. Whilst said politicians make vast fortunes and enjoy the best that life can give and are protected by dozens of security guards. Can’t be right. * * * * By the time you read this bonfire night will be upon us. Saturday 5 November in the field behind the Drummond. Gather 6.30pm, Fire starts 7.00pm and Fireworks 7.15pm. Free mulled wine and hot dogs and a bucket collection for those who feel like helping out with costs (which are

borne by the Community Trust). Same format – 4 idiots trying to communicate by walkie talkies, loud music which has a 50/50 chance of being synchronised with the fireworks. But a fun night for all. On Hogmanay this year The Drummond will be holding an event which involves a 4 course dinner followed by a Ceilidh till the small hours, cost £100 per couple. This obviously brings into question the worth of holding our now traditional gathering in the Sandison Hall from 10.00pm onwards, where folk eat first in their homes then gather bringing their own booze/nibbles to see in the New Year with other villagers. I really don’t want to take business from Andy at the Drummond (the whole thing started because so many villagers didn’t actually want a formal meal, just a get together later). This year Achray is closed for November & January, Four Seasons are not holding a Ceilidh on sheer cost grounds so it’s The Drummond or the Sandison. I’m happy to run the usual Sandison gathering with my always popular (?) varied mix of Scots music plus 60’s to 90’s stuff, but, as said last month this year it’s entry by pre-purchased ticket at £5 a head (all proceeds to the Sandison). But, of course, it depends on demand. To make the Sandison work we need at least 60 revellers, to date I have 20. So it’s as simple as this - if you want the Sandison event then I need to know by 30 November (and have your fivers – cash or cheque made out to the Sandison Hall – to ensure commitment. (My address is Inverachray and phone is 685487) This year we simply can’t leave it till Hogmanay before folk decide what they are doing. If less than 60 want it by 30 November 30 I’ll call it off . Talking to Andy this week he tells me that The Drummond rating on Trip Advisor has gone from 8 to 1! I can’t say that I ever look at Trip Advisor but the stated result must reflect far greater client satisfaction in the Hotel since Andy took over. * * * * Many of you will know that 3½ weeks ago I had my first try at lungeing head first down the stairs (an accident waiting to happen due to my ingenious idea of letting my hands slide before me on the bannisters and my useless legs follow). This technique is fine till the hands lose grip and 19 ½ stone of Brummie launches himself head first into the angular end of the bannister where the stair changes direction at the bottom. Result was more blood than I’ve ever seen (the wife was out at the time so all I could do was take off my T shirt and bunch it into the gushing gash on my head and lie on the floor till she came in). However, the point of the story is the superb performance of our NHS, so much criticised. It took an ambulance barely 25 minutes (Continued overleaf) 3

(Continued from page 3)

to get here from Crieff, minutes to assess the injury, minutes to work through a controller to organise a helicopter as the fastest way to get me into proper care due to the extent of the head wound. The care at Glasgow Southern was all anyone could ask and the full medical they gave me was worth £500 at BUPA! Aftercare by Comrie has been superb and blood transfusions at Crieff were almost a pleasure. My thanks to all who sent cards Members of the and phoned, plus the neighbours who airborne NHS turned out to help (especially Liz who took do their splendid work it upon herself to clean up the seriously bloody mess and wash rugs whilst we were in Glasgow Hospital and to Russell and Alan who had the unenviable task of helping lift a mammoth lump of Brummie onto a stretcher). And, of course, Fraz who brought me home from hospital. Simple moral – watch the bloody stairs as you get older. Finally, thanks to the groups who made small donations to the works I carried out in sorting the Hall ramp once and for all. Now to Sophie:

Sophie’s Bit............... Hi Everyone My article this month is going to be a short article. My October Holiday has been very good. It has been great getting up in the morning and not having to rush and get the bus for school. In the holidays I went up to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. I also went to see Nannie who is not very well at the moment but we hope she gets better soon. I went to the Sea Life Centre with my grandma and grandpa and saw lots of fish and sharks. I hope everyone enjoys bonfire night on 5th November and the fireworks too. Bye for Now!


I was saddened to hear that one of Sophie’s lovely wee terriers was, literally, savaged by a newcomer dog to the village who was on a lead but tore the lead from his owner’s wrist. All I can say is that we come to live in St Fillans to avoid the savagery of modern day city life. The freedom to walk at night unafraid of thuggery is just as important as being able to let our dogs roam free on the hillsides without risk of attack from other dogs. I hope that the situation can be sorted, and quickly, as I now am wary of exercising my friendly and harmless Spaniels if they are at risk of attack. John Murray 4

To whom does this reg plate belong?

GOLF CLUBS FOR SALE Eleven clubs ideal as beginner’s set, includes golf bag and umbrella. All in excellent condition. £20.00 ono. Telephone 01877 384202.

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:

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:

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

01764 685309

Strathyre News Strathyre Wedding I could be wrong in saying that Monday 29 August was one of the most beautiful days of summer weatherwise, but for one couple it was certainly THE most beautiful day; the couple in question being Sue Chambers and Arthur Crammon who celebrated their wedding on that wonderful day. What a lovely setting it was. The service took place in the back garden of Sue’s house Comraich - now home to the happy couple. As can be seen from the photographs the setting could not have been more picturesque with everything going to plan. The celebrations culminated in a large party in the Inn and Bistro where everyone had a wonderful time. Sue and Arthur would like to thank everyone for their help, support and best

Clockwise, from above: Mr and Mrs Crammon; the vows are made; setting the scene; the guests arrive.

wishes, which made for a memorable day. I am sure I speak for all when we wish Sue and Arthur a long and happy life together. Lang may yer lums reek!

u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u u Upgrade for Strathyre Children’s Play Park Some local ladies have had an inspirational idea to upgrade the very menial play park that the children in Strathyre use. They decided to attempt to raise funds to install more playthings in the park to make it more adventurous and enjoyable for local and visiting children alike. After some negotiation with the governing bodies they were granted permission to proceed with what is now called Phase One of the upgrade, provided they could raise the funding themselves. They did some homework and found they needed the sum of £3000 to complete the project so set about the task of doing just that. They approached Stirling Council who said they could not provide full funding but very kindly donated £500 to get the fund started. Then the wonderful Suzanne Player intervened and directed them towards a grant of £1500, which they secured. This left a shortfall of £1000, which the Village, in its generosity, has raised and the upgrade will now go ahead. Stirling Council has offered to install any new equipment and also maintain it throughout the year. Strathyre Gun Club also made a wonderful donation of £950, which will be used for Phase Two of the upgrade, if all goes to plan. If you would like to know more about this project or make a donation, you can speak to Linsey Revie or Mel Brydie. Some fundraising events are in the pipeline e.g. a Village Quiz Night and possibly a Mr & Mrs Night.

Strathyre Gun Club and their fantastic donation

The following is a list of how some of the funds were raised: £47.00 Footy Cards £100.00 ‘Roll on Flooring’ £100.00 Ian Brydie £418.63 Munro Fun Day £60.00 Linsey in the Inn £233.50 Bottle Stall £40.00 Immervoulin Caravan Park £950.00 Strathyre Gun Club Wullie Dalziel 5

Thursday 17, Friday 18 & Saturday 19 November 2011 at 7.30pm

Balquhidder Village Hall

Performed by local players Tickets: Adults £7.50 includes a glass of wine or a soft drink Children (under 16) £4 Tickets available from Lochearnhead Village Shop, Lochearnhead Post Office, Strathyre Village Shop and The Wee Gem, Callander or call The Keep on 10877 384648

In 1992 a strange thing happens in Fettercairn (South Aberdeenshire). A woman who had left the community many years before arrives back heavily laden with personal issues. In desperation she seeks help from within the bosom of her family... This hilarious comedy by David Joy will take place in Balquhidder Hall on Thursday 17th, Friday 18th and Saturday 19th November. Tickets (priced £7.50 for adults and £4 for children under 16) include a glass of wine or soft drink and are available from The Wee Gem in Callander, Strathyre Village Shop, Lochearnhead Post Office and Lochearnhead Village Shop. Please come along and support our local players Charlie Methven, Gillian Ramsay-Clapham, Alan Sneddon, Maureen Hamilton, Ollie Cameron and Ian Inglis.

Have aLaugh!


New members still welcome for Callander Amateur Operatic Society

Concert Night Callander Amateur Operatic Society’s annual fundraising concert will be held at McLaren High School on Friday 25 November. We’re very excited about our 2012 show La Perichole with its Peru location, exotic costumes and exuberant comic characters and, therefore, the November concert will be giving the audience a taster of the delights to follow. So cheer up a dark winter’s night and let us sing you songs from ‘Around the World in 80 minutes’ (or thereabouts). The evening will kick off at 7.30pm and will offer its usual mix of chorus delights: forthcoming show songs from La Perichole and solo efforts showcasing some of the great talent we have in the Callander area. Tickets are £5 and available from the National Park Office on Callander Main Street, or any society member. Alternatively, contact Maggie Magor 01877 339074. We really hope you can come and join us for a fun night!

Callander Amateur Operatic Society are early into rehearsals for their 2012 show, La Périchole, which will run from 1417 March 2012 at McLaren High School in Callander. There’s still time to join us! So if you’re harbouring a secret desire to sing and dance on a regular basis, why not come along. We meet weekly on Mondays at McLaren High School to rehearse for our annual show held every March. Rehearsals comprise a bit of singing (you don’t need to read music), a bit of stagework, a bit of dancing (you don’t need to be Fred Astaire and Anne Widdecombes are most welcome), some chat and a bit of drinking tea and eating cake. It’s a great way to meet folk from around Callander and beyond (we’ve members from Doune, Thornhill, Braco, Lochearnhead, Balquhidder, Dunblane) who are from all walks of life and all ages. Fun is guaranteed. We’d also love to hear from people who’d like to help out behind the scenes. There’s a lot of work goes into a show and much of this is done by a hard working team of volunteers who help out off-stage, so do come along and see how you can get involved. Check out our website: or contact Maggie on 07989 975311

Driving to Distraction?

Poems on the Environment entered in the 2011 Horticultural Show Our Environment

Tins in a field, tossed from a car, Bottles that really should be in a bar, Branches pulled down off the trees for a lark, This place is part of a National Park.

Campers too drunk to take their stuff home, Not caring at all about where they roam, Noisy and dirty they don’t have to pay, So why should they bother what people say?

What should we do to preserve the scene? What should we do to make it all clean? Camp sites and toilets, car park and lines, Bags for the rubbish and rules on signs.

Take a look at the mountains so tall, Don’t they make you feel ever so small? We borrow this place for such a short time, Just respect it – then it will all be fine. Anon The Environment

Red squirrels scampering around Outside the school grounds Crossing the road so bold The clear loch lovely and cold

Flowers all around Dead on the ground Because of pollution We have no solution

Mice and rabbits getting stuck Even sometimes a little duck Beautiful trees swaying around Lets not cut them to the ground

Big mountains that touch the sky Look at the trees so high Doesn’t it make you wonder why The environment is so beautiful!

Mice and rabbits getting stuck Even sometimes a little duck Beautiful trees swaying around Let’s not cut them to the ground Lottie Hesp

We have a problem with the standard of driving hereabouts. Not that it’s any worse here than elsewhere in the UK, but our local mix of drivers and roads creates a potentially lethal combination: trouble comes from any permutation of sightseeing tourists wombling along major routes at 25mph, psychotic travelling salesmen, recreational motorcyclists of varying degrees of ability and patience, big trucks heading to and from Oban and the North, random agricultural traffic and locals whose familiarity with the roads can often breed a blindness to the hazards of the road. And, with two much-loved animals having been killed in the last month in Balquhidder, in both cases by locals driving far too fast, isn’t it time to have a think about your attitude to driving, both on the major routes hereabouts and, very particularly, on the single track road through Balquhidder Glen? Whilst we have our fair share of visitors they tend, by and large, to be fairly slow moving - the main problem coming from the number who don’t seem to be able to judge the width of their (often hired) vehicles. That really only becomes a problem when they meet someone travelling too fast in the opposite direction: the resulting panic reaction can turn a marginal situation into an accident trying to happen. The bigger problem though is us: familiarity does breed contempt - as we repeatedly use a route we stop noticing the things that would otherwise warn us of a problem - because we’ve gotten away with taking a blind corner at a particular speed up until now, we assume that we can continue to do so. Until the day we do find a logging truck coming the other way… Most accidents occur within three miles or so of home and that’s not just because we spend most time on those roads: we’ve become blind to the fixed hazards and don’t acknowledge them any more. Nor do we then pay attention to what’s happening along the way and when a cat, dog, cyclist or horse ‘suddenly’ appear, we’re travelling too quickly to respond safely. So here then are a few things to think about – they might seem like simple common sense (and they are) but these are some of the most common things people need to unlearn and relearn: On all roads: - keep your attention on the task at hand: it’s one thing coming around a corner to find an oncoming Land Rover and sheep trailer in the middle of the road; quite another for the driver to also be (illegally) on a handheld phone and therefore having neither the concentration or the available limbs to control his vehicle. - plan ahead: always be thinking as far ahead as you can see, plus a bit further, and asking yourself, “what if…?”. - talk to yourself: no, I’m not talking about gibbering incoherently and the whole dribbling bit that goes with it but about giving a running commentary on what you’re seeing along the road, what could be about to happen and, if it does, what you’re going to do about it. It’s amazing what you can learn from yourself. - don’t speed through villages: a few months ago I spent an hour or so sitting outside the shop in Strathyre. In that time, some 70% of the passing vehicles were visibly over the 30mph limit, including coaches, trucks, camper vans and a not inconsiderable number of vehicles I recognised. Motorcyclists were commendably well-behaved – 7

many have at least some advanced training and show more restraint in urban limits than car drivers. - Fail Safe: none of us gets it right all of the time. So drive in that knowledge - if you’re driving at 100% of your ability and get distracted or make a mistake, you’ve got nowhere to go but directly to the scene of the crash. If you’re driving at 50% of your ability, you’re much more likely to have time and space to recover both from your own mistakes and those of others. On single-track roads and heading into narrow, blind bends such as the Doctor’s Corner: - allow more space to react and stop: on a narrow or single-track road you need to think TWICE AS FAR ahead as you would on the open road, as you need to allow not just for your own thinking and stopping distance but for that of a driver coming the other way, whose level of attention and reaction you can’t guarantee. - keep a close eye on the verges for movement and (at night) the reflection of eyes in your headlights, Especially at this time of year: not only are local mogs a-hunting but a head-on collision with a sex-crazed Red Deer stag is going to leave more than just the stag with a headache. - when passing houses and farms that are close to the road, there’s a much higher likelihood of animals being out and about or of the hapless inhabitants trying to enter or exit their own drives. - If in doubt, SLOW DOWN! On the major routes: - drive at a speed appropriate to the conditions, your level of attention, the traffic and the road: and that includes travelling appropriately close to the legal limit on the main trunk roads where it’s safe and reasonable to do so as well as showing appropriate restraint when needed. - when you’re stuck behind said 25mph camper van, FALL BACK - this gives you a far better view ahead and lets you plan your overtake. How often have we all seen a tailgating car driver dodging and weaving behind a caravan along a clear Anie straight, only to then overtake at the last minute into the blind bend at the end? And have you ever been that driver? Nobody’s perfect: the worst piece of driving I’ve seen in the glen was by an on-duty police officer driving far beyond either his or anyone else’s ability to react and avoid: I was on a bike. Had I been in a car at that point there’d have been a head-on collision. Had I been one foot further right I’d have been killed. Most of us would benefit hugely from post-test training, and the further we are from our test days the more we’re likely to benefit. Locally, the Forth Valley Group of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is here to help:

Richard Harris Richard is a holder of the IAM test in both cars and motorcycles, is an advanced motorcycling instructor and holds the RoSPA driving certificate at Gold standard.


Christmas Market

Don’t forget the market at Balquhidder Hall is being held this year on

Sunday 4 December 11.00am – 4.00pm Tables are available for hire at £7 each (square 1 x 1 metre) If you would like a space please contact Janet Richards at 17 Old Station Court, Strathyre 01877 38428 or 07817 948908

Church News BalquhiĐĐer Reg. Charity No. SC012316

Harvest Thanksgiving The retiral collection after the Harvest Thanksgiving service on 25 September raised £87.00 for Christian Aid. Gift Aid will add another £20.00 to the total. Many thanks to all who contributed to this. Remembrance Day The Remembrance Day services on 13 November will be held at the war memorials in all three villages as follows: In Lochearnhead at 10.30 am, in Balquhidder at 12 noon, immediately preceding the usual Sunday service, and in Strathyre at 3.00pm. Carnegie Family Lastly, I thought you might like to know that the Carnegie Brewery in Gothenburg, Sweden, is still going strong! It was established in 1803 and David Carnegie took over the firm completely in 1839. The brewery produced beer and porter. After a faltering beginning it did well and ultimately helped to fund the purchase of the Stronvar estate in 1849 and the building of our church in 1855. David Carnegie also built a church in Gothenburg which was designed by David Bryce, who was the architect responsible for Balquhidder Church. Earlier this year, we had a visit from a group of young people from Sweden who came to pay their respects at the Carnegie memorial in the Church graveyard, where they left a bottle of Carnegie porter propped against the headstone. It remained in place for several months until shortly after this photograph was taken when it disappeared! Someone must have been very thirsty! According to my dictionary, porter is a bitter, strong beer made from charred malt and was originally made specifically for porters. Google told me it was also known as Stout, or Stout Porter, which was, it seems, for extra well built porters! Jean Edwards

Puppies for sale

Sprocker/Cocker Cross Working stock Phone Pete and Paula For more details 01877-384250 8

Singing is Good for You! Thanks to everyone who came along to be part of the new singing group in Balquhidder. A very promising start! We are hoping to make a weekly ‘thing’ of it so if you would like to come please call for details of the next meetings. Gill 07778 702304 & Alice 07872 317734


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 stalks the wild places near home.

It was an October morning - “Come on, the sky is clear, grab a sandwich and something to drink.” The hills are calling. My heart is singing as we start out to see a few of the wonderful things that we have in these local Highlands. Stick, binoculars and the camera, good boots and clothes; quickly into the the car, dog as well - she won’t let us go without her. There is a place no more than a hour away by car that is famed for seeing the Autumn Salmon Run where we can stand and watch the fish leap right past our feet. It’s quite amazing to see the efforts and the failures; it makes one almost want to help. A few miles more and the hill road takes us through a private estate and a fairly slow drive, (well, on this road anything else would lead to a deep ditch for the rest of the day) and a good chance of seeing Blackgame, often quite close to the road. Stop carefully and don’t go leaping out of the car, slowly open the window but then keep quiet, take lots of photos and have a closer look with the binoculars. There is no doubt that a well managed sporting estate provides a better wildlife habitat than many other areas. You may notice markers on the high deer fence which gives Grouse and Blackgame the chance to see and avoid the wire. It is some years ago now but on one springtime early morning outing in this area we met a cock Capercaillie displaying in the middle of the road. What a sight to see and he kept up the challenge for quite a while. There is a colony of Black-headed gulls near here too, at a small lochan which

is fully populated by nesting birds in the Spring. So now onto much higher ground, still in the car, but here within a short walk there is a chance to see Ptarmigan. “Put your boots on, take raincoat, stick and camera. No talking and walk slowly.” The weather chart has shown a mass of warm air pushing up from Spain and the Mediterranean into the British Isles; it is certainly warmer but after a week of almost continuous rain, warm air moving over wet ground and being pushed up the mountains means only one thing, dew point and mist. We could say, “We missed the view and viewed the mist”, but no matter, there is a distinct track to follow and it would be folly to stray from this in these conditions; one would get seriously lost. Not much hope of seeing anything but the wind is in our faces and the dog has its head in the air ‘pointing’ so there is something ahead. Was that a roar? It is rutting time. “Stand still and answer the roar, get the camera ready, quick.” There are just three seconds before the stag is away, time enough for my photograph that was a bit of excitement for everybody!


This time we don’t see the Ptarmigan and it is time to leave things in peace, get down out of the mist and back to the car; we have a good photo to show off to those who understand the difficulties. There is much wildlife to discover around these parts but I divulge no names for the places you have seen with us. Remember also that if you do not have permission, please cooperate with the local stalker to make sure you are not spoiling his day’s work. There are other times of year when you will do no harm. Please have respect for these wild places, it is a privilege to share them.

Leaping Salmon

Stag in the mist 9

Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses are taking part in a training programme. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoon will be on Tuesday 22nd November 2011 Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12 noon. Emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 08454 242424. On that afternoon, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments. Callander Medical Centre Flu Vaccine Open Day Update Leny & Bracklinn Practices would like to thank everyone (patients and staff ) for making the Open Day such a success, with over 600 people attending on the day. All and any comments are welcome and will be noted for planning next year’s Open Day. A total of £476.50 was raised between the two practices and will be donated to Breast Cancer Care and Jeans for Genes charities. Anyone still to receive the flu vaccination should contact their practice to arrange an appointment on 01877 331000 (Leny Practice) or 01877 331001 (Bracklinn Practice).

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 7.30 in the Kingshouse Hotel All very welcome!


Scottish Wildlife Trust

Callander Members’ Centre Honey Bees: Breeding Challenges in Scotland by Magnus Peterson of the Dunblane and Stirling Beekeepers’ Association and a 30-year practitioner, was fascinating.

Bees evolved 100 million years ago, at the same time as plants. Many plants, eg grasses, are wind-pollinated but those that rely on insects secrete sugary nectar. Bees feed solely on nectar and pollen so can be supported by gardening practices. Worldwide there are 20,000 bee species, mostly solitary, eg the masonry bee. However, honey and bumblebees are social bees living in colonies. Man’s long association with honeybees is seen in pre-historic cave paintings of honey hunters and today, in the UK, the majority are kept by beekeepers. At 15kg per hive and £5/kg, honey is worth ~£1.135M pa in Scotland. There is a smaller market for beeswax, royal jelly, propolis and bee venom, ‘nature’s botox’, a reported wedding beauty preparation for Kate Middleton! Siting hives for crop pollination is mutually beneficial and could be increased. Honeybees are not aggressive although workers can sting. The barbed sting continues to pump toxins so scrape it out quickly with a fingernail. The honeybee dies but bumblebees and wasps retract their stings and can sting up to 17 times if grumpy! Alarmist headlines have forecast the imminent extinction of bees; (wrongly) attributing to Einstein the comment that if bees died out, humans would die four years later. In reality the situation may not be so severe and we could survive on nonpollinated staple foods, more restricted and boring though that may be! However, bees are under threat. Loss of habitat, e.g. rough clover-rich pasture, has a major impact, particularly on bumblebees and solitary bees. Monocultures such as oil-seed rape have a short season while fields of wheat and barley are ‘bee deserts’. Poor control of international trade can lead to undesirable crossbreeding eg USA “killer bees” from an accidental cross of African and European honeybees. Import of diseases into populations with no immunity can cause severe losses and mites like varroa can make bees susceptible to viruses. Winter losses can recover over summer but 27% of colonies were lost in 2009 with a worse winter in 2010.

However, the overall message was positive; although it may be trickier, beekeeping in Scotland is still viable. Agriculture here is not so intensive, supported by greener policies. Providing movement of large numbers of bees is restricted, evolution increases tolerance to current diseases. In the last 3-4 years there has been resurgence of interest, education of the next generation of beekeepers is a priority. More information can be found on the Scottish Beekeepers Association website ( or from the Dunblane & Stirling group, Courses start around the end of January and are limited to 30. Lesley Hawkins

Scottish Wildlife Trust Callander

Member’s Centre Diary Tuesday 8 November 2011

Beavers: the Knapdale Reintroduction Trial by Simon Jones SWT Project Manager

Tuesday 13 December 2011

Wildlife in the National Forest by Kenny Kortland Species Ecologist, Forestry Commission Scotland

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

Diary of a Rugby Tourist by David Johnston

1 Oct. - Sitting on the ferry crossing Auckland harbour on the way to the ‘Fan-zone’ and the 3.5k ‘Fan Walk’ to Eden Park and the Scotland v England game. The ‘Fan-Zone’ was a great attraction with lots of bars, food outlets and entertainment. After the disappointment of the Wellington game and the last minute defeat by Argentina, Scotland have a huge task ahead if the are to stay in the competition. It is 25 years since they have beaten England by 8 points or more and that is the target for tonight. It would be a historic achievement if they pulled it off but the odds are not good ad we travel in hope rather than with a strong belief. There is lots of local sympathy for our plight but in reality Scotland lost the game against Argentina when they really should have won and the team have only themselves to blame. We have spent the last few days in the Bay of Islands which is beautiful and the weather has been sunny. Spent an afternoon cruising the bay searching for dolphins and whales, both of which we got close to but the highlight of the trip was sailing through the hole in the rock. There was a big swell and it took the boat’s captain four attempts to get the boat lined up to pass safely through. We had a couple of superb lunches in Russell which is the oldest European settlement in NZ and has the oldest hotel. We also took a trip to Cape Regina which is the most northerly point of NZ and the point where the Maoris believe the spirits of the dead leave for the homeland. From there we headed to 90 mile beach, (which we drove along), and the tall sand dunes for some sandboarding fun. 2 Oct. - The odds were stacked against us last night and so it proved although for much of the match it looked as if Scotland might have pulled off a major upset by beating England even if not achieving the desired 8 point clearance. In fact, at half time, many of the English fans were thinking they were in for a long 3 weeks with no more England games to watch. If both these last two games had only been 75 minutes long it might have been a different story for Scotland. Heading to Rotorua today to stay with a cousin and their family, more hot pools I think will be called for. 5 Oct. - Spent a great day on the beach at Mount Mounganui sunbathing and swimming in the big Pacific surf. The hot pools lived up to their reputation but we are off to Napier and the wine region around Hawkes Bay in the morning to complete our tour of NZ before we head back to Wellington and a flight back to Sydney and a return visit to grandson Thomas who now has his first rugby ball. The quarter finals, semi finals and the final will all have to be watched on television. 7 Oct. - Spent a couple of enjoyable nights and a day visiting the Hawkes Bay vineyards in Napier, staying in a bed and breakfast run by an ex French rugby player. He was not convinced that the French could overcome England the next day. There were some South Africans and Welsh supporters staying

Top left: The Hole In The Rock, Bay of Islands Above: Rather a large Rugby Ball...

as well and they were convinced that both their teams would prevail over Australia and Ireland respectively. On the way from Rotorua we had stopped to watch the Lady Knox geyser which blows at 10:30am every day. This is achieved by adding chemicals similar to soap which breaks the surface tension and sets it off. Quite a spectacle. 11 Oct. - Travelled to Wellington where we watched the French, Australians, Welsh and All Blacks prevail in the quarter finals. This is our last day in New Zealand and we return to Sydney, and grandson Thomas, tomorrow. Spent the day in Wellington visiting the botanic gardens and the new museum. The gardens had a tulip display with a tribute to Scotland and Argentina who had played there and the Web Ellis cup was on display in the museum.

Top: Wellington’s Botanic Gardens; Middle: Hotel sign Above: The Web Ellis Cup

14 Oct. - Now safely back in Sydney and looking forward to watching the semi final games tomorrow and Sunday. In the papers the French are saying that the Welsh are the favourites in their game and the Australians are relying on the strength of their defence to beat the All Blacks. The Australian press seem to think that the pressure will get to the All Blacks and that the Wallabies will get to their 4th World Cup final. We will see. 21 Oct. - sitting at Perth airport in Australia waiting for the flight home via Singapore and London. We watched the semi-final matches in Sydney. France held out against a determined Welsh side who had had a player sent off in controversial circumstances early in the game. While Wales had all the possession and territory in the end they could not overcome the 1 point lead which France defended. The All Blacks were awesome in attack against Australia and have now set up a repeat of the 1987 final against France. We have spent the last few days with our son’s in-laws enjoying cloudless skies, great red wine and dips in the ocean. The third / fourth play off between Wales and Australia will take place while we fly to Singapore but we will be back in Balquhidder for the final on Sunday morning. As this is the start of the long journey home it seems to be a suitable point to end this diary / blog. It has been a memorable trip for us and although Scotland did not progress through the group stages we enjoyed supporting them. The End. 11

The 16 Days of Action Against Gender Violence is an international campaign which takes place every year between November 25- International Day Against Violence Against Women- and December 10- International Human Rights Day. These dates not only symbolically link violence against women and human rights but also emphasises that such violence is a violation of human rights. The 16 Days Campaign has been used by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by: raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels. • establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women. • creating tools to pressure governments to implement policies made to eliminate violence against women. • strengthening local work around violence against women. Our planning group here in Forth Valley is made up of representatives from Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Councils, Central Scotland Police, Central Scotland Fire and Rescue, Forth Valley NHS and a number of local voluntary organisations who work with families affected by domestic abuse. Each year, we organise a range of activities during the 16 Days to raise awareness of the issues associated

with violence against women and children. We know that a woman will often be assaulted by her partner or ex-partner around 35 times before she seeks help from agencies or reports the incident to the police. We also know that across the Forth Valley area between April 2010 and March 2011 3,719 incidents of domestic abuse were reported to Central Scotland Police – that’s an average of 71 per week. Few incidents are actually reported – so we know this is the tip of the iceberg. This year, we have a range of activities including an exhibition which will be displayed at various local venues, training sessions, workshops in schools, a special film screening and a fundraising Ceilidh with White Ribbon Scotland. Only by working together can we change attitudes towards domestic abuse. For further information on the campaign or any of the Stirling activities, please contact Anne Meikle:

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: NOVEMBER • Wed 16th 9:30am Ramble: Through the Bealach Cumhang (6 miles) contact 01877 331691 • Wed 23rd 9:30am Stroll: Killin Junction Station (4.5 miles) contact 01877 330032 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

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!


Annual General Meeting of

Balquhidder Hall will be held in the hall at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 29 November

G This meeting is open to all those resident in Balquhidder Parish aged 18 years and over. 12

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

5 minutes with...

Jane and Edward Chadfield and ‘CD’ On a blustery Saturday morning, I am heading down the road to The Woodlands in Balquhidder, home to Jane and Edward Chadfield. Edward told me, when I arranged to visit for the interview, that coffee time is at the back of 10.00 hrs. so 10.00 am it is and I am really looking forward to seeing them. Jane and Edward are country people, down to earth with a good sense of humour, the kind of people I feel I can relate to. When I recently bumped into them, Jane told me to watch Edward as he talks a lot... Edward smirked at this, almost in acknowledgement. “So do I...” I think to myself... this could potentially end up as another case of “trades description” with a title for this interview of “5 minutes with...” But I have a plan! I have written all the questions down in my file and decide not to deviate and to be very ‘to the point’ during the interview... Jane and Edward, how long have you lived in Balquhidder? We knew you were going to ask this question and so we did our maths before you arrived. We came to the conclusion we moved here in 1994. We are originally from Derbyshire, near the Peak District where we farmed a 60 acre farm. Our farming business diversified into leisure activities i.e. a shooting school and fisheries. We used to come up to Scotland for deerstalking and we liked to stay at John and Adele McGregor-Blain’s when they lived at Creagan House in Strathyre. We got on so well with the McGregor-Blains, that we stayed with them several times when we were in the area. Then John built the Keep and so we stayed over there every time we were over. Later, John, who knew we liked Balquhidder, told us he was selling the Keep and he also told us about another house that was for sale at the time. This house was Betty Beauchamp’s house, teacher and author of the book Braes O’ Balquhidder. We looked at Betty Beauchamp’s house and it immediately gave us a good feeling. The feeling of home and that somehow the house welcomed us. We decided to buy The Woodlands. For a long time, villagers called our house “Betty Beauchamp’s house” and it is only in recent years folk are now referring to it as The Woodlands. Most people, local people, walkers and cyclists have seen the halfway Totem. Edward, you are the creator of Balquhidder’s most unusual traffic sign – which is so fitting to a village like Balquhidder. The totem pole is obviously liked by the Balquhidder population. After all, unlike other more conventional traffic signs, your totem pole is still firmly in place – and has been for a few years now! How did the idea come about? Edward: Well, one day, I met a car on the stretch of single track road that clearly had less distance to reverse to the passing place than I had. I didn’t recognise the car and thought I would just sit and let the other party do the reversing. When we drew level, it turned out to be Vera Stewart (from Tomna-Dhair) in her new car. From this, we thought it would be good to have some sort of marker where the half way point is. Anybody being furthest away from the halfway point needs to do the reversing. The totem pole is positioned precisely on the halfway point of the road. It seems to have stood the test of time and has only been out of its position for a short period of time for some minor restoration when The Haste’s Highland pony in the field thought it was a useful bum scratcher! What do you like about living in Balquhidder and what is maybe not so good? We like the lovely people in our community, the wildlife, the space. We don’t like the rain and we wish that more of the houses around us

were occupied permanently rather than just used for holidays or the weekend. Tell me about your dog CD. Jane: CD is eight years old. We had her from when she was a pup – a replacement for the very much loved old brown labrador Florin that we lost. Florin (or as some said, the two bob dog) was brilliant. She was an extension of me. Anybody who has such a connection with their animal would recognise this. CD’s pedigree is half show dog, half working dog. Florin was all working dog. We have found this to be quite a difference. CD is the one with the good nose though! Florin was a very dark brown colour and Edward called her Brown Dog or BD for short. When we got our new pup, I thought of all sorts of names but it was absolutely pointless as Edward would just call her Cream Dog anyway! So there you have it – Cream Dog, CD for short! Who would you like to nominate to be interviewed for next month’s issue of The Villagers? Sophie Jardine from St. Fillans and her dogs Gnasher and Gnipper. Sophie writes in The Villagers and if her parents are happy for her to be interviewed, we would love to nominate her. Two and a bit hours later I find myself back in the car. Such lovely genuine people! Jane and Edward are such an asset to our community. Five Minutes With?! The title of my piece is a joke! Thank you very much for your hospitality and the coffee Jane and Edward! And Sophie Jardine, if you are reading this – I can’t wait to meet you so that we can put a picture to your lovely monthly writings! St. Fillans here we come! 13

McLaren High School News by Yvonne King

Advanced Higher Biology Visit to Vane Farm On Thursday 8 and Wednesday 14 September we went to visit Vane Farm RSPB Reserve at Loch Leven near Kinross. During our visit we investigated the biodiversity of the loch and surrounding area in relation to what we are currently studying in our Advanced Higher Biology course. This included pond-dipping, sampling for invertebrates and using open quadrats for sampling plant species in a given area. On Vane Hill we studied plant succession by visiting different areas, each demonstrating specific developments in a forest ecosystem. While there we worked with biology students from other schools and RSPB staff from the farm who helped us in our investigations and gave us a unique insight into the history of the reserve. From this experience we gained an understanding of real ‘hands on’ fieldwork which related to our studies. David MacAskill and Emma Buchanan S6 Charity Event McLaren High School Charities Committee would like to thank all staff and pupils for their donations and help on stalls during the charity event on Friday 5 October. With everyone’s help we raised £1,140.95. Half of this money will go to MacMillan Cancer Research. The other half will help to fund former pupils Sean, Neil and Darren Ferrier’s trek across the Sahara Desert, which they are undertaking to raise money for the Cardiomyopathy Association in memory of their brother Callum. Bracklinn secured some more house points by winning the bake off. A big thanks to everyone who took part in the ‘Keepy Uppy’ Challenge – the winner was Callum Wyllie S5. Senior Rugby Report: McLaren 1st XV v Breadalbane High School For their first match of the season the McLaren 1st XV travelled north up the A9 to Pitlochry to take on Breadalbane High School in the Scottish Cup first round. It was a tough season opener for both teams but the match ended 22:10 in favour of McLaren. Well done to all the boys who played. Cafeteria Draw Congratulations to Iona Halliday S1 and Conall Thompson S3, winners of the Customer Service week draw in the cafeteria. Both received 2 cinema tickets. Thanks to all for taking part. Theatre Outing On the evening of Thursday 6 October 30 senior pupils attended the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow to see The national Theatre of Scotland’s latest production Men Should Weep. The students were given a unique insight to a particular time and place, 1930’s Glasgow, as well as an understanding of the pressures of poverty in any context. It was a sobering and enlightening experience. 14

Students at Vane Farm

Mufti Day On Friday 7 October pupils were invited to pay £1 to come to school wearing jeans and/or something pink instead of their normal school uniform. During the day we raised the sum of £604.46 which will be split between 2 charities, Jeans for Genes and Breast Cancer Research. Thanks to all who took part. European Day of Languages McLaren High celebrated the European Day of Languages with a series of events. Thanks to the following pupils who read the daily announcements over the tannoy system: Laura MacDougall (Spanish), Maya Campbell (Japanese), Marina MacLaren (Ukrainian). Thanks also to the following pupils who helped to teach the teachers a foreign language: Laura MacDougall, Hannah Williams, Aimee MacLeod, Beccy McKay and Marina MacLaren. All S1 classes participated in a cultural quiz on Europe. The quiz was won by the team consisting of: Callum Convoy, Callum Hall, Emme Knowles, Iona Halliday and Alan Chodyniecki. Well done! Finally, thanks to Mrs Lorna Leckie and all her team in the cafeteria who prepared a range of snacks from different European countries. Autumn Concert What a great start to the musical season of events at McLaren High School. The Autumn Concert held on 6 October had a varied programme including a flute duet

Participants of Languages Day

from Morag Beaton and Rachel Morris S2, and a beautifully played bagpipe solo from Callum Hall S1 of Highland Cathedral which moved the audience. The McLaren Swing Band also featured one of their pieces recently performed at the Callander Jazz and Blues Festival. Orchestra and Wind Band numbers were again boosted by a number of pupils from S1 joining for their debut concert. Well done to all involved for a most enjoyable evening!

visit our website:

New Series of Books Reveal a Picture of Life in MediÆval Perth A series of publications, ‘Excavations at 75-95 High Street, Perth’, sponsored by Historic Scotland, was launched in Perth Museum and Art Gallery on 20 October. The series reveals a fascinating insight into Perth’s largest ever mediaeval excavations. The archaeological dig, which took place in Perth’s High Street in the mid 1970’s, unearthed the remains of up to 29 wooden buildings, textiles, Spanish silks, metalwork, leather, wooden and bone objects as well as medieval pottery and animal bone. Olwyn Owen, Head of Scheduling and Marine at Historic Scotland said: “The excavations in Perth in the mid 1970s gave us a glimpse for the first time in Scotland, of just how rich the urban archaeological resource might be. Perth is the jewel in our urban archaeological crown, unique amongst Scottish towns for the depth, importance and consistently high quality of its archaeological remains. The archaeological deposits of Perth contain artefacts and materials that do not survive elsewhere. This gives us the

Perth Walrus knife... and one of two pilgrimage ampulla of St Thomas, from the Perth excavation

opportunity to be able to reconstruct an accurate picture of lifestyle and living conditions in the town some 700 or 800 years ago”. There will be four books in the series. Volumes 1 and 4 have been launched first and detail the history, excavation and excavated buildings, and the environmental and zoological evidence, respectively. These will be followed in 2012 by Volumes 2 and 3 in which the ceramics, metalwork, religious and wooden objects, the leather and textiles will be described.

Single volume, £15 + £6 p&p Two volumes (purchased together) £25 + £8 p&p Four volumes (ordered and paid for together) £40 + £12 p&p Before 12 November 2011 European postage costs are available on request Orders (cheques payable to ‘TAFAC’) should be sent to: Derek Hall, TAFAC Asst Editor, 34 Glenfarg Terrace, Perth, PH2 0AP email: (Orders for all four are welcomed in advance of publication of final fascicule)

Hogmanay Party in The Lochearnhead Village Hall

Pl ans are afo o t to tur n th e Lochearnhead village hall into a Hogmanay party hot spot once again. Dance your way to the bells on the 31st December with live band The Session from 9pm-2am; stopping only to order drinks from the bar, have a bowl of home made stovies and cross your fingers for a win in the raffle. Local businesses have already handed in very generous raffle prizes. Funds will go towards the ongoing upkeep and maintenance of the hall. Tickets priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children will be available to purchase in local shops around the end of November. NB:The hall holds a maximum of 100 guests and tickets sold out quickly last year. 15

A first for the Trossachs: McLaren Community 3G Pitch Af ter ye ars of negotiations with Stirling Council and other partners, plans for the first 3G full size synthetic pitch at McLaren are making progress. Following a series of consultations and meetings between interested groups, McLaren PTA/ PC (MCMWG) is leading the fundraising campaign to enable our communities to have an accessible full size synthetic pitch. It is hoped the pitch will be built on the area of ground which currently has a small all weather pitch and grass pitch at McLaren. By building this, we will enable sport, including hockey, athletics, football and non-contact rugby practice to be played no matter the weather – no more worries about waterlogged pitches. The pitch will comply with governing body regulations including FIFA, and FIH (Federation of International Hockey). There will also be a grass pitch suitable for school rugby and 16

Illustration by Cara Fraser

football. Unfortunately and regrettably, the pitch will not be suitable for tennis or netball. The total project cost is in the region of £500,000 - £550,000. The PTA/PC (MCMWG) has been given a target figure of approximately 90% to be secured by mid December. We are hopeful of successful bids to Sportscotland (£152,000) Cashback for Communities( £150,000) and have currently secured £90,463. There is a shortfall of approximately £80,000. The Working Group is working on other funding applications and is launching a series of community fundraisers, including Lucky Sods! We are keen to see this project succeed

and we are sure you want this project and will appreciate the benefits of this facility to all living in and visiting the area. If you are in a position to help, or if you would like to make a contribution or comment on the project, we would love to hear from you. You can contact either McLaren High School - Yvonne King 01877 330156), Pam Campbell - 01786 841542 / or Janet Al-Asadi (

recipes from our local hotels Raspberry Meringue Roulade from Creagan House, Strathyre 4 egg whites ½ pint double cream 8oz / 225g caster sugar 8oz / 225g raspberries 1 ½ oz / 45g flaked almonds Line swiss roll tin with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites until stiff, add sugar gradually and slowly. Keep whisking well. Spread meringue in tin. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 220°C / 425°F or Gas Mark 7 for 10 minutes until pale gold. Cool and invert onto tin foil. Whisk cream, gently mix in fruit. Spread mixture over meringue, roll up and seal with foil. Chill in fridge. Serve with a raspberry or passion fruit coulis.

Gordon has owned Creagan House with his wife Cherry for 25 years and this year celebrated a special Birthday. He has held two rosettes for a total of 14 years and is the only person to work in the kitchen. Open for dinner Friday to Tuesday inclusive he uses his “spare” time to look after his own polytunnel and hens, enabling him to extend the sourcing of local produce, which has always been one of his passions.

First Meeting of New Trossachs Landscape History Network At a recent public meeting in Callander, various individuals came together for the start of a new community-generated network. This was a positive and creative beginning for the local initiative, which brings together diverse local individuals, groups and organisations to explore the area’s past. The Network is independent of any institution and is organised by local volunteers. Through it, people of different ages, interests and backgrounds can collaborate on activities relating to archaeology, history, ecology, or anything else to do with the local landscape and its heritage. There are a number of local history groups already active in and around the Trossachs and a number of other organisations whose work relates in one way or another to the landscape. There are also many people pursuing an interest in local history on an individual basis. The Network will not duplicate this but generate new projects which bring individuals, groups and organisations together to achieve things which might not otherwise happen. This is about more than the past. The focus is the local landscape, local history and so on, but we are looking to achieve other things as well. The Network will provide opportunities for everyone to learn something new, for children and young people to explore the landscape, and for those involved to pursue creative interests (e.g. photography, sketching, creative writing, film making). The Network will provide new opportunities for getting outof-doors and seeing how the past connects with the present. Anyone with an interest is welcome to join and there are no fees. You can join as an individual or as a representative of a group or organisation. The membership is diverse, with people of different ages, backgrounds and interests. Whether you currently know little about the local past or have been active

in local history for some time, the network could be for you. Each of us will concentrate on those activities and projects which fit with our interests and the time we have available. Following on from the enthusiastic first meeting in Callander, we have begun organising one or two initial events, including guided walks and training sessions in archaeology, history and other ways of investigating the past. The meeting generated a number of ideas for more ambitious projects, and these will be taken forward as the Network gets off the ground. If you are interested in finding out more and in getting involved, visit the Network’s website ( where you will find a summary of the first meeting, or contact Chris Dalglish: 01877 389366


Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held at the Kingshouse Hotel on 5th October 2011

Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM), Adrian Squires (AS), Sara Hesp (SH), Marguerite Kobs (MK), Richard Eastland (RE), Rosanne McWilliams (RM), Karen Methven (KM) and Paul Hicks (PH). Apologies: Alistair Barclay, Angus Cameron and Owen McKee. In attendance: PC Andy Ward; Cllr Fergus Wood (FW) of Stirling Council. 1) Approval of Minutes The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed. It was proposed by AS and seconded by MK that the minutes should be accepted and this was approved unanimously. 2) Police Report PC Ward reported on the success of Operation Ironworks during the summer. Very few incidents had been reported to the police. It had been expected that there might be some displacement of problems from East Loch Lomondside with the advent of the new bye-laws in the National Park, but this had not proved to be the case. However, PC Ward also noted that, overall, the number of visitors had been markedly lower than in previous years. At the same time, one problem that had been prominent was an increase in the unlawful use of air weapons within the Park. The police had seized several weapons and reported or charged offenders, but the attitude of Procurators Fiscal in the different judicial areas encompassed by the Park varies considerably, giving a very mixed message to the general public. PC Ward said that he intended to target the mis-use of air weapons next year with a view to eradicating this dangerous practice before it grows still further. Members then asked PC Ward about the recent change in the national structure of policing. He replied that there should be no impact whatsoever so far as members of the public are concerned. The reorganisation is planned to be completed in time for the Commonwealth Games in 2014. There would be some job redundancies, but the basic arrangement of police divisions and stations, with their concomitant levels of operational staffing and resources would be unaffected. Similarly, the level of financial funding from local authorities would continue as before. 3) Matters Arising 3.1) Balquhidder Glen Road MK had still not been advised of when this work was due to be completed but FW stated that some extensive works were to be carried out in Strathard in October so the work in Balquhidder would probably take place immediately before or afterwards. 3.2) Breadalbane Area Management Proposal PH reported on a proposal that has emerged from the Breadalbane Forum of Community Councils. This envisages the formation of a team of “Village Officers” in rural areas that will take responsibility for the various maintenance jobs that are handled by Stirling Council. Where jobs such as cutting grass may currently be handled by different departments of the Council (such as Education for school properties and Highways for roadside verges and banks), involving the use of different teams sent out from the Stirling each day, the new proposal would seek ways of harmonising the efforts of all parties involved. This might even extend beyond Council departments to other agencies and organisations. Thus, all of the grass-cutting in a given area might be sub-contracted to one agent, whether that was a Council team or a local farmer. Clearly, there are significant hurdles to this approach, not least of which would be the inter-agency cooperation required. The needs of Council staff would have to be considered very carefully and the allocation and availability of equipment and machinery would not be simple. However, the Chief Executive Officer for Stirling Council, Mr Bob Jack, believes that such schemes may provide a significant means of maximising the use of scarce resources, particularly in rural areas. Consequently, he has appointed Les Goodfellow as Head of Environmental Services to oversee the development of this proposal. Members agreed that there could be significant benefits for our community in this scheme. They undertook to assist with an evaluation of the work that is being carried out in our area, as well as identifying other tasks that we believe ought to be undertaken and better ways of allocating resources locally to derive maximum benefit from the money and effort being expended on our behalf. 3.3) Alternative Toilet Facilities in Strathyre The public toilets in Strathyre have now been closed for some time. Initially, an alternative “comfort arrangement” had been proposed with the Munro Inn but that has now closed. The Ben Sheann Hotel in not open during the day so the only other, available option is The Inn & Bistro. RM offered to speak to the owners about making a “comfort arrangement” with Stirling Council to provide toilet facilities for members of the public. Action: RM to speak with owners of The Inn. SH added that the building that used to house the toilets is rapidly deteriorating and visitors who have been enticed into using the car park through the sign advertising public toilets are then, in desperation, using the open ground immediately behind the building. She asked if the Council could remove the sign as soon as possible and FW offered to make the necessary arrangements for this to happen. Action: FW to arrange for the offending sign to be removed. 3.4) Numerous Accidents on A84 Members commented on several accidents that had occurred during the summer at a particular bend on the A84 at the Southern end of Loch Lubnaig. There was some speculation regarding a problem with the road surface at this point. After discussion, it was agreed that RE would contact both Transerv and the Police Accident Prevention Unit with a view to assessing the problem and taking any appropriate measures. Action: RE to write to Transerv and the Police. 4) Other Correspondence 4.1) Road Closure at Glen Ogle There have also been several road accidents on the A85 at Glen Ogle, roughly opposite the old railway viaduct. As a result, Transerv is due to lay a new road surface at this point but this will entail closing the road completely. This they propose to do at night on Wednesday 19th October between 22:00 and 06:00 hours. There will also be single lane passage with traffic lights during the day. Depending on weather, this arrangement may need to be extended. The view of the Community Council was sought as to the impact on the local community. Action: RE to reply to Transerv. It was decided that these works were urgent and necessary and that one night’s closure would be acceptable to local people, provided that sufficient notice is given by Transerv. 5) Planning Matters None 6) Any Other Business 6.1) Motto for Stirling At present, Stirling has a coat of arms but no motto. Various suggestions have been proposed and FW advised members that two possibilities would be chosen shortly and every community council would be canvassed as to which ought to be selected. 6.2) Litter and Related Problems KM advised members that she had written to Graham Archibald (National Park Ranger) with regard to the treecutting in our area but, to date, had received no reply. She also expressed her ongoing concern about litter in the National Park and the apparent impossibility of getting a concerted response from the various authorities involved. FW suggested that a forthcoming meeting for local landowners, organised by the National Park and due to take place on 19th October in Callander, might be an appropriate forum in which to raise this. Discussion ranged around the enduring problem of collecting and uplifting non-domestic waste. It was noted that the waste disposal facility in Callander was a valuable resource but its opening hours largely precluded residents in our area from using it. The question of linking the issue of fishing permits with this problem was also raised. Suggestions included offering waste disposal bags to those purchasing fishing permits and increasing the charge for a permit to a level that would finance a team of people dedicated to dealing with the waste generated by those who came to the area for the fishing. There was no other business and, at 9.00pm, MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is planned to take place at 7:30pm on Wednesday 16th November at the Kingshouse Hotel. 18

Holiday Home owners urged to protect pipes The owners of holiday homes and vacant properties in Stirlingshire and the Trossachs are being encouraged to ensure their properties are protected and prepared for winter. Scottish Water is also asking customers who are simply heading off on holiday during the winter months, to follow Scottish Water’s winter code and protect their pipes and be prepared. Information and advice are available at

Strathyre Primary News Recyke-a-Bike The children in P4 - P7 were asked to bring their bicycles to the school for a bike MOT by Recyke-a-Bike. The repairmen fixed brakes, seats, handlebars and tyres. This was a great service provided for the school by Active Stirling. Harvest Thanksgiving The pupils went to Balquhidder Church before the October break for their Harvest Thanksgiving Service. As well as the hymns and prayers the children read out their own poems to the audience of parents and friends of the school. This was a lovely end to the autumn term. Harvest Raffle The winners of the Harvest Boxes were: 1st - Patrick from Lochearnhead 2nd - Patrick Cook from Brig o’ Turk 3rd - Fiona Wilber from Strathyre Thank you to everyone who bought tickets and for sending in such delicious goodies for the boxes. Beetle Drive A beetle drive with a difference was held on 24 October. Everyone had to draw a witch. We would like to thank all those who attended and special thanks to Vivien and Alasdair Murray for providing the refreshments.

Clockwise from left: Harvest Thanksgiving service; Freya at the bike recycling; Josh watching the recycling action; fun at the Beetle Drive; having a cuppa at the drive!

Future Events Thursday 3 November The SVA in partnership with the school are holding a fireworks evening in the school field. Food and drinks served from 6.00pm and the firework display starts at 7.00pm. All welcome. Thursday 17 November We are having a Japanese day in the school. Everyone welcome. We will be dressing up and participating in Japanese challenges, tasting Japanese food in the morning and then in the afternoon there will a presentation of the children’s work. Monday 28 November St Andrews Day celebrations from 1.30 to 3.00pm in the school. There will be a Scottish ceilidh where the children will be singing and dancing . All welcome. Friday 2 December Christmas Fair from 1.30 to 5.00pm in the school. Yes, it is that time of year again to come out and buy some Christmas Goodies. There will be a Santa’s grotto, face painting, a baking stall, Tombola, toy stall and much more. All welcome. Rhoda Keenan 19

From our Beijing Correspondents Now, where are we? Surprisingly I can say Beijing! We have spent our first ‘holiday’ here, over the National Day Week, when the City nearly empties of Chinese. Not quite sure where they all disappear to – guess it must be out to the countryside from whence they came, but it is NOT a good time to be caught out travelling, by road, plane or train. I should say that the only reason we were in town was because we missed our flight out – that was a first! We joke about ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ when we move in the UK – well here they in effect take that as well. The families leave with not only bags of clothing, but boxes and bags of varying sizes, usually large and tied or strapped up, containing an extraordinary assortment of belongings. What the logic is behind some things they take is certainly beyond us! And there seems to be no size and weight control for what can be taken as luggage on any of these modes of transport in China! However, we had a brilliant week exploring Beijing on our bikes. I really miss having my horse, but now my bike is my substitute, and usually the excitement is as immense, just not as pleasant. With flat roads and cycle tracks everywhere, one would have thought it would be a doddle. However, you then need to extend the picture by throwing in a few hundred thousand pedestrians, vehicles of all descriptions, and dodgy manholes – or just holes! In addition there are children and small dogs roaming around unrestricted. Pavements are not regarded as being exclusively for people walking…. those on bikes, electric or pedal, and any size or shape of vehicle capable of moving

A Chinese Wedding Party, going down a nearby street in Beijing - the Groom is on horseback, with the Bride being carried behind in a palanquin.

along them, avoiding trees, gaping holes and any other obstacle that somebody decides to leave, are seemingly acceptable. Hence, roads and cycle paths are treated equally! Therefore, cycling around is an amazing feat of endurance, both physical (stopping, starting, twisting and turning), and mental (keeping control of a sense of humour is vital, otherwise you would want to take on virtually every twit out there); awareness (of what others might do – in fact, are very likely to do, the more ridiculous the more likely!); self-preservation (as the Chinese seem to totally lack such, thereby are likely to undertake the seemingly most dangerous of manoeuvres, anywhere), and

nerves of steel (to try and behave as they do, thereby behaving irrationally!). We love it!! It is so exhilarating in the absurdity of it all. I really must get around to recording a regular scene on Beijing roads – a sight to behold, and not one I have come across anywhere else, including in the rest of China. There is another part of daily life here that is equally bizarre/entertaining, but I will write about that next month!

Tania Francis

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.


Search for a

Stirling Motto

Which words sum up the Stirling area and its people? The Stirling Coat of Arms has no motto and Provost Fergus Wood is leading the drive to find one.

Option 1 STEADFAST AS THE ROCK Like their Castle perched on a rock, the people of the Stirling area have stood proud and steadfast through the ages. Rock solid, loyal and resolute – like so many characters from our past, and like the troops who have fought for freedom all over the world over the years from their Castle home.

Option 2 HEID HIGH AND GANG FORRIT There’s always been something determined, positive and forward-looking in the Stirling spirit, and here’s a rallying cry in Old Scots that captures it. In good times and bad, Stirling people simply keep going forward, with heads held high. A motto that speaks of our past and looks to our future.

Voting slips are being included in the winter issue of Stirling magazine to be returned to The Civic Office. Or people can simply email their preferred Option to communications@ Stirling’s Civic Coat of Arms is decorated with two caltrops (iron spikes) and two rowels (spiked wheels on a horse’s spurs), representing the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The Scottish Lion Rampant on the shield indicates the former close association of the Royal Stewarts with the Stirling area. The supporters are a goshawk, representing the Drummonds, who were for centuries the principal family of southern Perthshire and were founders of Callander in 1739, and a wolf, representing the former Royal Burgh of Stirling. The wolf comes from the 9th century legend when a howling wolf saved the town from a Viking attack.

Cartoon by Jim Hannah

“One of my proudest duties is to welcome visitors from around the world to Stirling and that often includes showing people around our Council Chambers at Viewforth where the Civic Coat of Arms is on display,” said Provost Wood. “There’s a great story behind why we have a wolf on our crest but visitors often ask if there’s a Stirling motto too. “ The Provost’s Panel invited a group of eminent local historians, writers, constitutional experts and friends of Stirling to help us find one. It was agreed that the motto should be in either English or Auld Scots, although on occasion it might be appropriate to use a Gaelic translation. Guidance was also provided by Dr Elspeth King, Director of thhe Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum. People are being asked to choose between two options:

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 21

Rangers’ Review By Graeme Auty

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park The rangers were recently lucky to work alongside a fellow national park ranger all the way from Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda. Narcisse had been invited over to Scotland by the Fife Rotary Club and was visiting the region on a four week trip, staying with Fife Rotarians in Auchtermuchty and St Andrews. Narcisse spent several days in the Park with the rangers at Balmaha and Loch Lomond and then here with us at Lochearnhead. After a day spent walking up Ben Lomond and a day visiting some of the islands on Loch Lomond, Narcisse was keen to head up north and see some of the Breadalbane area of the Park. Unfortunately on the morning he came to Lochearnhead the weather was very wet and windy so the proposed walk up Ben Vorlich was cancelled and we headed out onto the loch hoping to see some interesting wildlife. Whilst on the loch, Narcisse helped Gareth and me to carry out our monthly Wetland bird survey. It was really interesting to hear all about the variety of work the rangers in Nyungwe do, as well as the astonishing diversity of wildlife there. Nyungwe Forest is a high-altitude, mountainous rainforest in southern Rwanda approximately 378 square miles in size, located in the Albertine Rift, a series of mountain ranges beginning in western Uganda and Congo, continuing south into eastern Congo. Nyungwe lies directly next to Kibira National Park in Burundi and is one of the largest mountainous rainforests remaining in Africa. Much of Narcisse’s work involves patrolling the dense high altitude rainforest working alongside the Rwandan army dealing with criminal gangs involved in illegal smuggling activities, poaching and illegal logging, especially along the Rwanda/Burundi border. He also works with many of the villagers who have recently been repatriated from within the park to the tea plantation areas around the park’s periphery,

No alligators or hippos here, unfortunately!

educating many of the school children about the importance of the forest. Narcisse also gave us a really interesting illustrated talk about Nyungwe Forest National Park, his role there and some of the threatened endemic wildlife unique to the park. He also very kindly invited us to stay with him in Rwanda to see the park first hand. As usual, if we are around at the Lochearnhead Office, please feel free to drop in, or to call Gareth or me if you have any queries, wildlife sightings or just for a catch up. Gareth is in most days but I am only part time and am on duty Thursdays and Fridays. You can call me on 01389 722115 or on my mobile 07764371700 or alternatively you can email me on or Gareth at

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • World Heritage Sites - and the Scottish Ten • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Rani Ki Vav stepwell – one of northern India’s most captivating and historic sites – is to be recreated in 3D digital form to help maintain it for future generations. A team of experts from Scotland are digitally recording the sculptures and terraces of the ancient Gujarat monument using laser technology in a pioneering partnership between the Scottish Government, through its heritage agency Historic Scotland, and the Glasgow School of Art’s Digital Documentation Studio. Together they have set themselves the goal of laser scanning all of Scotland’s UNESCO recognised World Heritage Sites and five international cultural icons. The team had hoped to carry out the work in March but the trip had to be postponed to allow them extra time to work out the logistics of capturing the different levels of the well and ensure all the necessary lasers were available. The Scottish Ten project has already scanned St Kilda, New Lanark, The Heart of Neolithic Orkney and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Sites in Scotland and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. The other Scottish World

The stepwell at Rani Ki Vav, Gujarat, North India

Heritage Site to be scanned will be the Antonine Wall as part of the transnational Frontiers of the Roman Empire WHS. Rani Ki Vav stepwell in Gujarat dates back to 1050. It is made up of stepped terraces descending into the ground and adorned with around 400 sculptures representing a range of Hindu themes. As one of the most important step wells in India, Rani Ki Vav has only been fully excavated in the last 50 years and is currently on the UNESCO tentative list to be considered for World Heritage Site status. The digital documentation will hopefully help to bring the site to a much wider national and international profile. Three international sites in China, Japan and another country still to be decided, are still to be announced as part of the Scottish Ten. All of the images created will be shared with the American not-for-profit organisation CyArk, founded by Ben Kacyra, inventor of the laser scanner. It is collecting the data from 500 world heritage landmarks to hold in a freely accessible global archive.

Stepwells (also called bawdi) are wells or ponds in which the water can be reached by descending a set of steps. They may be covered and protected, and are often of architectural significance. It can be multi-storied also in which a bullock turns the water wheel to raise the water in the well to the first or second floor. 22

Green Doors! On Saturday 12 November people across Stirling will be opening their doors to show the energy saving measures and renewable energy equipment they have installed to make their homes warmer, more efficient and cheaper to run. So whether you’re interested in solid wall insulation or solar panels this event will give you chance to: u

Cut out the salesman u

See and touch the measures installed u

Learn from others’ experiences (costs, how well it works, if any problems have arisen, which installer they recommend) u

Get free advice from Going Carbon Neutral Stirling (GCNS) At each Green Door you will receive a case study of the householder’s experiences, costs and contacts. Some of the measures on display include: u

Solar PV and thermal u

Roof and loft insulation u

Solid wall insulation u

Under floor insulation u

Double and secondary glazing u

Efficient boilers and heating systems u

Biomass boilers and solid fuel stoves Green Doors “HQ” will be at St Ninians Old Parish Church Hall where there will be an opportunity to participate in a short tour of the church hall which recently underwent an eco renovation and is already starting to see the benefits of reduced energy use. Also on hand will be a local resident who will be displaying the architectural plans of their self-build ‘eco home’. Green Doors events will also be running in Kippen and Balfron. For full details and to register, visit or contact Simon Gooden at 01786 468762 or by email at

Farm Forum: You Puzzle It Out! Some time ago I reported that the European Commission were revisiting the “transport of animals” regulations and were considering (among other things) reducing the distance animals could travel in one move. This would have had serious implications on the more remote areas of Scotland. The report is due out soon and MEP Alyn Smith was quoted as saying, “I have no doubt that Scotland’s farmers will be relieved to hear that there are no plans to reduce journey times soon. “We have known that this stock-take was coming for quite a while now, but it is good to get confirmation that our farmers will not find themselves facing even tougher, possibly unworkable, restrictions on livestock movements. “Instead, it appears that this report will be looking into the root cause of the problem – a lack of proper implementation in other EU member states. “Following the meeting with the commissioner I am at least quite comfortable that the current lack of enforcement in the animal transport regulations will not be dealt with by the introduction of new rules.” This is a similar problem to the EU ban on conventional hen laying cages which comes into force on 1st January, after a twelve year preparation period. As I reported before, British poultry farmers have spent millions of pounds complying with the coming regulations and it appears some other members will not meet the deadline. It remains to be seen what action the EU will take. I have written a lot about the CAP reform due to be implemented in 2014 – well, the comprehensively leaked proposals have now been published so the real discussions will commence and

probably last for the next two years. I do not intend to elaborate because anything I write would be purely supposition – just watch this space! A farming correspondent summed the situation up well when he quoted EU figures just published. To illustrate the problem the EU has to solve it should be remembered that fifty years ago when the Common Agricultural Policy was born there were six member states and now there are twenty seven. There may come a time not so far ahead when the EU could extend into Turkey and some of the former Soviet states. Trying to make a single policy fit all is becoming almost impossible. For example, the size of the average EU farm is below 30 acres. There are over 12 million registered farm holdings and the biggest number - almost one third - are in Romania. This is followed by Italy, Poland and Spain. In the terms of agricultural area, as opposed to farm numbers, France is biggest, followed by Spain, Germany and the UK. The biggest average farm size is in the Czech Republic at more than 300 acres, followed by the UK, Denmark, Germany and France. The smallest are in Greece, Cyprus and Romania - all well below 10 acres. Now sort out a common policy – answers in writing please!! I had lunch in a restaurant the other day and the waiter brought along a basket of bread and some wrapped pats of butter. The pats had “butter” written on one side and as I opened one I noticed something written in small print on the other side. On closer inspection it turned out to be “Caution - contains milk”. What is the world coming to; just imagine using milk to make butter? Agricola


View from the Park by Owen McKee Crianlarich Village Hall was filled to capacity for the special Board meeting convened to consider the application from Scotgold to mine for gold and silver in Cononish Glen. After a full day’s deliberation, with presentations from supporters and objectors, the board approved the application. When the decision was announced there was a moment of stunned silence and then an eruption of applause from the large number of locals in the audience. Was it an easy decision? The answer must be ‘certainly not’. Time and time again it could be seen that there was considerable nervousness about the potential for things to go wrong and the meeting was constantly reminded of the need for constant monitoring of not only the situation during the peiod of extraction but also, and more importantly, for the period of restoration. Indeed the restoration remains a matter of discussion for as yet there is no agreement on the amount of monies needed. It is important to point out that until agreement is reached on that point the official decision notice will not be issued and consequently no development can take place. However, now that the green light for the development has been given I am sure that commercial pressures will encourage Scotgold to come quickly to agreement of the amounts needed. I must say that the Park Authority displayed considerable courage in this decision as granting permission will tie up staff resources over a number of years in monitoring the situation to ensure that we fulfill our duty to enhance and conserve the natural and cultural heritage. Conditions and legal agreements that


form part of the planning process will bring benefits. In addition to the restoration bond a plan for the management of the Cononish Glen will see an extension of the Ancient Caledonian Pine Forest and other measures to benefit the Ben Lui and River Tay Catchment Special Areas of Conservation. Furthermore under the Planning Gain provisions a sum of money will be donated to the newly formed Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Countryside Trust. The community also stands to benefit not only from the promised jobs but from sums of money to be provided by Scotgold for local community projects. Overall the Strathfillan area should in time be a vibrant economic and evironmental success story. What is the Loch Lomond and Trossachs Countryside Trust mentioned above? The Park Authority is funded by the Scottish Government and is subject to its financial regulations. Particularly in the current economic climate we have to find new ways to fund projects within the Park. The Countryside Trust was set up as an independent body which will be able to raise monies for Park projects. November’s Planning meeting will see the consideration of an application for a biomass CHT Plant at Acharn Forest just off the Lix Toll to Killin road. The proposal, if granted permission, will see the production of electricity fuelled by wood harvested from an area within a 30 mile radius . Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows: Post: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead. Phone: 01567 830214 email:


Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

What do 10 cops plus 5 cars equal ? A month after an operation in Lochearnhead which resulted in a male being arrested, held in custody and then pleading guilty to drink driving, we put together another operation again targeting road safety and crime prevention issues this time looking at the roads around Loch Tay and its villages. On 8 October along with colleagues from Tayside Police, based in Pitlochry, and colleagues from Callander, as well as Special Constable PC Frickleton we patrolled the A827 between Killin and Aberfeldy. We used five police cars, one of which was unmarked. Within the first hour we caught two drivers who failed the roadside breath test, one in Killin, the other near Aberfeldy. PC Frickleton charged one of the drivers with having no insurance, not displaying “L” plates and being the holder of a provisional licence only. In the next two hours a vehicle was stopped in the Kenmore area, this time the occupants were suspected of being involved in crime as well as being in possession of illegal drugs. At the same time another vehicle was stopped as it entered Killin again from the direction of Kenmore. It was obvious the driver was drunk so I breathalysed him and he failed.

The male, who was from Eire, was kept in custody and appeared in court on the Monday. He pled guilty and received a £300 fine as well as being disqualified for a year. Whilst I do not see why I should be warning people that we will be out in force and patrolling the areas that are off the beaten track I would urge drivers to think before they drive if they have been consuming alcohol at any time. Clearly the work we are putting in to keeping our roads safe and the numbers of police being used to do it, on this occasion ten, should show how committed I and my colleagues are. The answer to the above question is simple: SUCCESS. Update on Lochearnhead Incident Towards the end of August a serious incident took place late in the evening where a male who was visiting his family carried out an unprovoked attack on a local resident. I do not intend naming this individual, not because I wish to protect his identity but because his family still reside here and I do not wish to cause them any more embarrassment or upset although our thoughts do lie with the victim and his family. The male appeared in court where sentence had been deferred for 3 weeks, however the Sheriff viewed the incident so seriously he deferred sentence until the middle of October. The male has now been sentenced and while it may appear to some as a slap on the wrist the punishment is heavy, 180 hours unpaid work, 12 months supervision, 4

months Restriction Of Liberty Order (curfew 8pm-7am ) and £900 Compensation Order, at £10 per fortnight. Joint operation with VOSA On 14 October I carried out a pre-planned operation with colleagues from VOSA, Vehicle Operators Service Agency, in Lochearnhead. During the three hours we were there a number of vehicles were stopped and checked out. These included cars, vans, HGVs, PSVs, livestock trucks and vehicles towing trailers. I am pleased to say that the vast majority of those vehicles stopped passed with flying colours. Unfortunately a couple of those that failed did so spectacularly. One livestock transporter was given a prohibition notice due to the brake pipes being in very poor condition. A bus was issued with an immediate prohibition notice due to the fact that the emergency exit doors were locked. The driver was unable (and did not know how) to unlock and open them. This may seem a minor offence but the implications in the event of an accident don’t bear thinking about. As well as checking the lights on the vehicles we stopped, we also checked the exhaust system, window wipers, window washers, tyres, brakes and steering system. Now that the bad weather is upon us, (did it ever go away?) we should all check the condition of our vehicles. Just because it has a current MOT does not mean it is in perfect condition. Check your vehicles before we check them. Car stopped near Killin A couple of weeks ago Iona and I were patrolling the A827 towards Ben Lawers when we saw a car with three males inside. When we checked them out we became very interested in the reason why they were in our area and after a thorough search of both them and the car our suspicions were proved right. A quantity of drugs was found on them and in the car. These males had travelled quite a distance and they could not give a reasonable explanation as to why they were in the Killin area. Anybody who sees anything or hears anything which is out of the ordinary should call the police immediately. PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000



Balquhidder Hall

New season begins on Monday 7 November at 7.30pm Contact John Cooper on

01877 384331




d up must be pai Advertising publication. before adverts on a so applies to t which are al is Th n u co 6 month dis p for renewal. coming u g out invoices in We are send d to give people ea ah th n o m a e to pay plenty of tim t is received men 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................................ 26


Attenti n Advertiso ers!

Do you real ise how mu ch extra advertising you will get now that Th e Villagers is online? Don’t risk lo sing your ad verts. Make sure yo u pay up-fro nt and on time. Our deadlin e is 24th of each month!


• 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

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

NOVEMBER 5 7 8 13 16 18/19 22

Open Day at Dhanakosa, Balquhidder - 11.00am-4.00pm Start of Indoor Bowls - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm SWT Talk ‘Beavers: the Knapdale Reintroduction Trial’ by Simon Jones, St Andrews Church Hall - 7.30pm Remembrance Day Services - see p. 8 Community Council Meeting - Kings House Hotel - 7.30pm ‘Fit Like?’ - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm see p. 6 AGM of Balquhidder Hall - 7.30pm - see p. 12


Christmas Market – Balquhidder Hall- 11.00am – 4.00pm see p. 8

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

The BLS Newspaper Association

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

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

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

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

SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH St Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead First and third Sundays of the month: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fourth Sundays of the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Fifth Sunday of the month: please see church noticeboard. Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453 Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: Published by The BLS Newspaper Association

The Villagers November 2011  

Strathyre Childrens play park, Balquhidder church news, Pin Feathers wildlfe stories, diary of a rugby tourist and other stories, events, ho...

The Villagers November 2011  

Strathyre Childrens play park, Balquhidder church news, Pin Feathers wildlfe stories, diary of a rugby tourist and other stories, events, ho...