The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans
50 years at The Station
“A piece of Scotland that will be forever England” was the potentially provocative introduction to an interview on Radio Scotland this August.
The programme was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Scout Centre at Lochearnhead Station. The centre was the vision of Melville Balsillie in 1961, for Scouts from Hertfordshire to gain experience and training on real mountains. From that date there have regularly been courses and visits every year from Hertfordshire - probably amounting to more than the number of competitors in the Olympics, particularly when all the other users of this unique facility are added to these figures! So this year is the half-century celebration of Hertfordshire’s Highland Headquarters, for introducing such a large number of young people to the area and to the challenge of the mountains. Balsillie had found the Station in a sorry state of repair in 1961, and persuaded British Rail and the County Executive to let him establish this outpost of Hertfordshire. On 4th August 1962, after a large amount of hard work, Charles Maclean, Chief Scout, in front of an august body of dignitaries, clan chiefs and scouts, opened the Station.
Over the next fifty years there were various milestones for the Centre, including the purchase from British Rail in 1978, and the new cabins in 1995 - opened by Garth Morrison, Chief Scout. During the morning of 4th August this year, a total of 120 people visited, including the Deputy Chief Commissioner for Scotland, Kenneth Robertson; Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Stirling and Falkirk, Dorothy Kinloch; Lord Lieutenant for East Fife, Sir Garth Morrison KT; Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Hertfordshire, Paul Brenham; and Clan Chief Donald MacLaren (Clan Chief Sir Lachlan Maclean visited earlier to give apologies). Angus Cameron from Lochearnhead plus Rikki Harrington joined us with other guests and some ‘old’ scouts who were there in 1962 to swap stories, renew acquaintances and just to see the Station again. At twelve noon, Clive Rule, an ex-Watford scout, cycled into the Station, bringing with him the Hertfordshire Pennant. The ride took him less than a week, following a similar route to that taken by Ken Tuffen who rode up in 1962. In true tradition he camped each night - and only met rain as he approached the station (typical!). He and Ken then hoisted the Pennant to start the day’s events. (Continued on page 11)
Scouting from Hertfordshire to Lochearnhead Maurice and the Scout Station at Lochearnhead are always thought of in the same breath. He is always there, greeting all the Scouts and users and always welcomes any visitors especially if they came some time ago as youngsters, now bringing up their own children. The station is always smart and he takes a real pride in maintaining it - as a railway station, and more importantly, a functioning activity site for people walking and camping on the hills. The mountains are his real love; they are the reason for his introduction to Lochearnhead in the first place. (Continued on page 11)
A wonderful turnout at the Scout Centre, Lochearnhead Station
The AGM of The Villagers will be held on Wednesday 20th of February in Lochearnhead (venue to be confirmed) and I hope as many of you as possible will attend - and maybe even volunteer to help in some capacity next year. If Gill and I were both run over tomorrow - there is currently no one who would be able to do a smooth takeover! So ‘understudies’ would be very welcome. On the subject of understudies - next month’s edition may very well be a little later than normal as some members of the Villagers team are involved in Aladdin, Balquhidder’s panto - but hopefully the December issue will be a bumper one for Christmas and New Year, so please send dates of all festive events in good time to be included. While we have been enjoying this wonderful autumn, people have been planning for winter. Both Penny Pincher and John have come up with tips to alleviate the pain of freezing weather and ever rising bills - well worth a look! Remembrance Sunday With approaching I conclude with an extract from a very poignant book (from which we are hoping to include longer sections at some point) based on letters from the First World War written by AD Gillespie, who was a frequent visitor to Balquhidder: “We have no news tonight, and so I hope that there may still be some honourable way to peace. I don’t want to fight the Germans, for I respect them, but if the country is drawn in, I feel I must go in too, and do the very best I can.” JJ
REMEMBER... Advertising must be paid up before publication. This also applies to adverts on a 6 month discount which are coming up for renewal. We are sending out invoices a month ahead to give people plenty of time to pay - but if no payment is received by Deadline Day (21st) then the advert will have to be removed. Sorry!
The following readings were taken at ‘Bramblings’, Auchtubh, Balquhidder for the month of August. Average max. temp. Actual max. temp. Average min. temp. Actual min. temp.
15.0 ºC 19.7 7.6 7.6
59.0 ºF 67.0 45.0 45.0
Rainfall: 11.15 cms 4.46 ins Strongest wind gust 51 mph on 25 Sept
Don’t forget the market at Balquhidder Hall is being held this year on
Sunday 9 December 11.00am – 4.00pm
Get your tickets for ALADDIN... the Balquhidder Pantomime Extravaganza With splendid costumes, original music, Chinese circus acts and special effects to amaze and delight….. Aladdin, this year’s Balquhidder Pantomime with a cast of 40 locals is not to be missed. It will take place in Balquhidder Village Hall for 3 nights only on: Thursday 29th November Friday 30th November Saturday 1st December All tickets are £6.00 each Get them from Charlie Hunter -in person from: The Old Schoolhouse, Balquhidder or by email : firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 01877 384737/ 07876686202 (If leaving a message, clearly give your name, number of tickets and night you want them for - and your contact phone number.) Book early to avoid disappointment as last time tickets sold out quickly!
Letter to the Editor
Hi I’m writing from Australia where I’ve been doing some family research. My great - great - great grandfather Dougal(d) McGregor was born to Donald (Buchanan) alias McGregor and Christian Robertson in Easter Ruscachan in 1764. This farm, I gather, is just north of Strathyre. Do you know anyone who might have more information about the (Buchanan) McGregors and /or Ruscachan? (I’m stuck with the research - Dougal(d) is listed under the Dougal-Cair branch.) Thanks!
11 tables are available for hire at £7 each (square 1 x 1 metre) To book one please phone Janet 01877 384275 or mobile 07817 948908
Balquhidder Hall AGM
will take place in Balquhidder Village Hall on
Wednesday 5th December 2012 At 7.30 pm All Welcome!
Get your Christmas turkeys and all the trimmings here. Unusual gifts on sale too. Closing at lunchtime on Christmas Eve Re-opening Easter 2013
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
The St Fillans Bit by John Murray It seems that I got my facts a mite wrong last month when referring to the new footpath to the north of the Genesis development. Thanks to Don for giving me the real picture. The minimum width in Scotland for a footpath is 1500mm and the new path meets that requirement apart from one small section. More importantly, there is no obligation on Drummond Estates to provide a path since no recorded Right of Way exists. It is true that the base of the path is cut down brambles but the CC is talking with The Garden Group re spraying the surface to kill off the brambles, which I understand is a spring time job. Andrew at The Four Seasons has asked me to mention the mindless actions of some individual(s) who presumably think Lone camper John Neish and companion Meg that tampering with the gas supply to the hotel (twice in one day) is a fun prank. from Falkirk and has fished Loch Earn for With the season at an end, members of St Apart from the major disruption caused in some 40 years, nowadays accompanied Fillans Golf Club gathered recently for the the hotel and the call out of engineers to by his grand wee dog Meg who is 11 years annual distribution of silverware and a very fix things, the worst aspect is the very real old and a cross between a Jack Russell and impressive collection of trophies and salvers dangers to the ‘prankster’ and the hotel staff a Chihuahua (had to look that spelling were on display. Our photo shows some of and guests of tampering with a gas supply. up). As you can see in the photo they are the prizewinners following the presentation The local police are involved and if anyone a happy pair enjoying our loch as it should conducted by Club Captain Ena Bennie knows who the culprit is, I am sure that be enjoyed – wish that could be said for all and Gents Captain Fraser Ballantyne. This visitors. Meg loves camping and is first into year the club’s programme of competitions Andrew would appreciate a call (685333). was badly affected by (Continued overleaf) During November & December The Four the tent at bedtime! Seasons will be open from Thursday evenings to Monday mornings until 22 December when they close until the Christmas and Hogmanay Festivities. Booking for meals at Christmas or over the Festive Period is recommended. Other events of note are two Gourmet Wine Tasting Dinners on 16th and 30th November and a Silent Auction with buffet on 29th November in aid of St Angus Church. We often hear of, or witness, abuse of our lochsides by visitors and fishermen. So it was good to meet John Neish (very apt name) camping and fishing peacefully and with respect for the environment for a week on the North bank just outside the village. Whilst tootling about on my scooter St Fillans Golf Club members - and prizewinners! I stopped for a blether with John who hails 3
Continued from page 3
the extremely wet weather and the early season improvement in visitor numbers was negated by the ‘wettest summer on record’. The Ladies Open in July attracted a great entry but had to be abandoned after the start due to flooding greens, whilst the Gents Open in September suffered the same fate. The Club Championship finalists were unable to play their games at all and these will now take place in the sunny spring of 2013. If, like me, you are a pet owner with dodgy knees and find bending down to lift or lower feeding bowls to the floor a bit of a pain then the simple answer is shown in my two photos here. From an idea seen on TV the devices are a simple bit of ply and
scrap wood spacers with 2 or 3 holes cut in the ply to take stainless bowls and then a length of rod (broomstick or anything) attached, total cost about a fiver. No more bending – just lift the thing up, fill bowls and lower to waiting cats/dogs. The bowls lift out for cleaning. My 3 cats are shown testing the device, and my better half loves it even though her knees are fine. You won’t believe the difference it makes. In these times of ever increasing energy costs it still came as surprise when ordering three 47kg Propane cylinders two weeks ago to find the cost now up to a staggering £79 a bottle from my usual local supplier. Thanks to Fraz for researching other suppliers and coming up with Beatsons of Alloa who delivered to us both at a significant saving. That got me going on researching Electricity suppliers and discovering that by changing my tariff in five minutes online I managed a reduction of some 18% whilst still staying with the same supplier! If, like me, you are reluctant to switch suppliers due to the hassle of emails and paperwork it could well pay to have a look at the other prices offered by your present supplier. Glad to report that the Village Burns Supper will be held again next year on 4
Saturday January 26th in The Sandison Hall. Organised by The Jolly Boys gents lunch group the cost will be similar to last this year and tickets will be available soon. These evenings are always a quick sell out so be ready to book yours. Finally, as the winter approaches it might be worth considering fitting winter tyres to your car if it’s not 4 wheel drive. This is our first winter for a long time without a 4WD and I have done a bit of research which indicates an astonishing twice as much grip in ice or snow with winter tyres fitted in place of normal tyres. The upfront cost is about £450, but factor in that while you’re using them you are not using your normal tyres (stored) which go on again in the Spring. J& R Autos in Crieff have fitted mine for less than the cost from the major tyre fitting chain (great lads to deal with) and I’ll report later on their effectiveness. Over to Sophie:
Finally I’m on holiday! I thought the October holiday was never going to come, and here I am at the very start of it. So far we have been at our Grandma and Grampa’s. We have been up to all sorts of things. We went to the Glasgow Science Centre and we all had an amazing time. Some of my favourite things were the optical illusions and the Alice in Wonderland exhibits, there was a lot of other fun stuff there too. The only problem was that it was really busy. It was the busiest we have ever seen it. It was so hard to find a seat for our lunch, but we eventually managed to get one. I suppose it is a good thing that so many people use the science centre. We had a brilliant walk at Pucksglen in Argyll. We had to use the ferry across the Clyde to get there. This time we did not see any porpoises, but last time we saw two. Pucksglen is such an amazing place. The river had made a really steep gorge, so it made the path really narrow so we had to be really careful. My Grampa thinks it is the most beautiful walk in Scotland. The dog had such a great time too. I think it is the dogs’ favourite walk as well! In winter when it is very icy all the rivers and streams freeze over. All the water that drips down from the wall’s edges freeze to icicles. I love when that happens because we get to knock them and pick them off the wall. I am really looking forward to Bonfire night. By the time you read this it will all be over. I hope you remembered to keep your animals safe. And I hope you had a great time as well. My Dad and Daniel had a bad journey home the other night from football. They were coming home from Newcastle and it was dark. They were on the back road over from Braco to Comrie. When they came round the bend just at Achingarach somebody had placed a row of boulders in a straight line right across the road. The options were to hit it or swerve off the road down a drop into the field. My Dad hit the rocks and it broke the underneath of the car. He cleared the rocks off the road with Daniel’s help and managed to get a lift home. The police came round later and the car had to be fixed at the garage. Dad was not happy at all - but it could have been a lot worse!
Chri s Call u tmas Men s for d etails! u
Sunday 23 Sept 2012 will be remembered as the very sad day when Old Station Court said cheerio to one of its most loved residents, and I can tell you there were rather a lot of tears shed on the day. After 14 years Fiona has decided to move on and start a new life in Callander and who could blame her. She has suffered a lot of hardship while in Strathyre, the most recent being the tragic loss of her partner Ewen. Jan and I have had the absolute pleasure of having Fiona as our nextdoor neighbour; we could not have asked for better. However, Fiona says that the good times far outweigh the sad times and she has asked me to say thank you to all her friends and neighbours for all they have done and the love they have shown for her and her children while in the village. Although it is only a few weeks since she moved, she is missing the village, but feels in her heart she has done the right thing by moving. She has a lovely new home and is working locally, surrounded by close family. But she knows that the kettle will always be on (or possibly a small ‘red’!) if she feels like a visit. Fiona, I think I speak for all when I say that we wish you well, your cheery smile will be sadly missed, we will always be your friends - and we look forward to sharing time with you in the future, (street parties, etc). Take care. Wullie D On behalf of the Village
How old do you have to be to receive a letter from the Queen? I think that when you reached 100 you received what was then known as a telegram though I have no idea what would happen in this day and age - she would probably email or text! However my intrepid little granddaughter, Rebekah by name, at the ripe old age of seven, decided that another 93 years just may be a bit too long to hear from our reigning monarch, so took it upon herself to shorten the gap and sent the Queen a letter herself. Never dreaming that anyone at Buckingham Palace would take any notice of a little girl’s letter, especially given that the Queen was so busy with the jubilee, the letter was forgotten about. So how surprised was she when the postman delivered a letter marked Buckingham Palace and it was from the first lady in waiting to the Queen? It turns out that this lady only responds to letters read by Her Majesty herself, who then instructs a formal reply to be sent out. I think it was a wonderful gesture, given how hectic her life must have been with all the goings on at the time. She certainly has given a little girl something to treasure for the rest of her life - and shows what a caring lady she really is. Wullie D
Rebekah proudly displays her letter from Balmoral!
I had the pleasure of overseeing the proceedings at a race night recently in the Inn and Bistro on behalf of the Stuc a Chroin Hill Race Committee, which I am the fundraiser for. What a wonderful night everyone had - and the magnificent sum of £1170 was raised in total, which will go a long way to promoting next years race, which incidentally just happens to be the Scottish Championship, so will be a major event. Can I take this opportunity to say a very big thank you to all who came along and joined in the fun!! A special thanks to all who sponsored the races and are as follows: Thomas Allan & sons • Atichisons Independent Traders • Kingshouse Hotel Sula Furnishings • The Munro Hotel • Kingshouse Travel • The Inn & Bistro The Chrystal Tea Room (Ron & Maggie) Also those who kindly donated to the auction after the racing, namely: The Richards Family (Immervoulin) • St Fillans Golf Club Catriona MacGeoch (Sula Furnishings) ... and thank you to Ewen Todd (Stirling Stove Centre) for a belated donation. ... and anyone else who I may have not mentioned!! Let’s not forget the girls who were our ‘bookies’ on the night, Jan, Lorna, Catriona and Teresa. Finally, as always, a big Thank You to the Inn & Bistro and staff for looking after everyone on the night. Wullie D 5
New Year’s Party 1st January 2013 Balquhidder Hall
Starting at 9pm till 1pm
Celidh Band Stewart McKeown Cost £10 per person Contact John McNaughton to reserve.
Hogmanay Party Lochearnhead Village Hall 9pm-2am Following the sell-out success of the last Hogmanay Party, the Lochearnhead Village Hall will once again be the place to be on the 31st December 2012. Live band The Session is back by popular demand and is guaranteed to have you on your feet - so bring your dancing shoes! Refreshments (bar and home-made stovies) will be available and there will be a chance for you to try your luck in the raffle. Tickets will be on sale in the Lochearnhead village shop on December 1st priced at a recession-beating £10/ adult and £5/child. But if you want to be sure of getting one of the hottest tickets of the season why not pre-reserve yours by calling 01567 830458 leaving your name, number of tickets and a contact telephone number. Pre-reserved tickets must be paid for by 1st December or they will go back on general sale. As always proceeds of the event will go towards the maintenance and upkeep of the village hall facility.
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 celebrates the art of hedging. There was always a good deal of pride in rural crafts, especially those that were in full view of everybody and open to ridicule or compliment - whichever was appropriate. So the novice at such things usually made a start well out of sight, away from the public eye. And so it was a long time ago with hedge laying, and subsequent annual trimming and management - known as ‘Hedge brushing’. It was at this time of year that this task was in full swing (forgive the pun) and there would be some urgency to get the hedgerow tidy before winter came - the idea being to cut back all the new growth in order to control the height and size of the hedge. Sadly in modern times examples of pride and conservation are not very apparent. A good example can be seen in the beech hedges between St Fillans and Comrie - but in contrast some of our local roadside hedges would have been the subject of much ridicule, the sad truth is nobody seems to care. There is no doubt that future generations will not see the diversified patterns of hedgerow trees that we see today. Perhaps it has to be. Someone driving a tractor with the flail type cutter is not going to stop for a moment to spare that young oak or beech pushing through the hawthorne hedge. The ones we see today were all left by a man with a ‘brushing hook’ or ‘slasher’ who knew what an oak or a beech looked like and left it to grow safely. It would give shelter and habitat to many of those creatures that are now in decline. There are parts of the country that will be devoid of hedgerow trees in years to come; it is sad to say that most people do not seem to know or care. Anyway, back to today: we have an old Harrison No 3 slasher - this has been someone’s favourite tool! Carbon steel forged, and tempered by hand in Sheffield - sharpened like a razor, the way it can be with steel of this quality. A slip stone was always carried for sharpening; a few minutes and some spit on the stone would keep the blade sharp. It was hard work - and if you were not very tall, it was a bit difficult to reach the top of a high hedge. If you could not
A rather large billhook
reach it, it would be even taller next year! It was lonely work too, with the threat of great leg-pulls if you had not made a good job (when the farmer next door compared it with others - well, it made you do your best). Twigs left sticking out were called ‘Parrot perches’ and caused a great amount of teasing at the pub, and, if it was a roadside hedge, then thorns not cleared off the road would cause many bicycle punctures, even your own! There was always a wasp nest waiting in the dry banks and a few unexpected stings meant that particular stretch of work would have to be left for a while. If a badger had dug out the nest to eat the grubs it was a bit more obvious by the wasp activity round about - so it could be avoided. There was no other way in those days. Miles of hedges were trimmed in this way - that was the only way it could be done. It is good to see that there is some revival in rural crafts at the moment. Have a look at ‘Timeless Tools’ on Google and you may see some of those old tools that we have all thrown away in the past making good prices. The famous names are now quite collectable, names like Brades, Elwell, Tyzack, Harrison and many more from the Blacksmiths of Sheffield and Glasgow, long since gone. But there is still pride in using something with a bit of history to it, and taking a pride in the countryside. Think on the words of the late King George VI: “The Wildlife and Countryside of today are not ours to do with as we please; we have them in trust - we must account for them to those who come after.” Old Nyati
The Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre Community Trust We have a number of exciting projects on the go which we would quite like to spread the word about over the next couple of months. So what are we doing? Well, here is a little background..... We are hoping to set up three First Responders Units throughout the three villages and also put in place external defibrillators. This will enable us to get to people before the ambulance may be able to. We are making good progress with getting this done and need to let people know. We also would like to drum up some volunteers to become first responders. We are moving on to stage two of the Strathyre playground development, which is going to be expanded and upgraded. Stage one is already complete and in place and proving a big hit with the youngest generation. We are excited that with the newly released Olympic legacy funding aimed to help develop local sport and fitness facilities, we can finally make progress with getting the tennis courts in Strathyre back up to scratch. And finally we will be having a consultation with all three villages to raise awareness of us as an active fund raising group for our community - and also to find out what people want us to do for the community. We have already raised funds for Balquhidder’s Panto and Choir Occasional... we have great plans, and we want to shout about it! Thank you. Erica Mackenzie
Church News BalquhiĐĐer Reg. Charity No. SC012316
We are very sad to report the death of Mr Jimmy Stewart of Lochearnhead. Jimmy died in hospital on Sunday 30th September following a fall at home some days earlier. The Church was packed for his funeral which was held on Friday 12th October. Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends. Jimmy was a faithful friend to our Church both in the general sense and as a member of the Friends of Balquhidder Church. He was a Committee member of the Friends for some years, mainly during the Revd. Benson’s Ministry here. We were all very fond of Jimmy and shall miss his smiling face so much. He was always eager to help with tasks such as varnishing the pews or painting the railings around Rob Roy’s grave. I had the impression that this last summer was a good one for Jimmy as he tended his garden and enjoyed creating a new vegetable plot. While we were moaning about the wet weather, Jimmy was smilingly producing bumper crops. We all miss our chats with him very much indeed. Our Harvest Thanksgiving service was held on Sunday 30th September. As it was also the last Sunday in the month, the musicians were there to help with worship. There was a collection for the Christian Aid harvest appeal which raised £60.00. Many thanks to all who contributed to this appeal. We were pleased to welcome the children and staff of Strathyre School to the Church on Monday 8th October for their Harvest Service, which was most enjoyable. The final hymn was a Harvest Samba which really went with a swing. Great fun! Our thanks to them all. Lastly, we are delighted that, after two months or so, the bus service to both the Sunday Church services and the Luncheon Club has resumed. As many folk will realise by now, this is subsidised by Stirling Council and is free to OAPs. We are all glad that the service is working well now. Jean Edwards
Position Vacant s Part time
live-in housekeeper required in exchange for rent-free detached accommodation. Must be driver (non smoker preferred)
For more information please telephone 01877 384202
A Note from
St Angus’s Church...
I write this literally as the car is pointing towards the island of Iona so I must be brief, there is a ferry to catch. First of all many apologies from St Angus’s that the quiz on behalf of the Falls of Dochart Home in Killin had to be cancelled. There were a number of contributing factors for this not least of which was a lack of response. So, please everyone, come along in the spring and support us when we expect to have the quiz. Our sincere condolences from the entire congregation go to the family and friends of the late Jimmy Stewart. He will be greatly missed in the village. He had a ready smile for everyone on the dreichest of days and it was always a pleasure to chat to him. A date for your diary: THE ST ANGUS’S CAROL SERVICE will take place on Sunday 9th December in the VILLAGE HALL at 6pm where we will be joined by the Killin Community Choir. We chose to have it in the hall because it is so much more accessible on a dark night than the Church so we look forward to seeing you there again. More about this in the next issue. Small congregations are severely depleted when one or two members move away and we have lost about a third of ours in the last year. However, the church has always survived so long as a faithful remnant hangs in there and I am sure this is only a temporary blip. We’ve recently said goodbye to Helen and Brian Hughes and we wish them well in their new life in Comrie. St Angus’s loss is St Serf ’s gain. Fiona Martin
A column devoted to saving cash.
The Mantra; “Eat it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Or do without.” Winter has suddenly reared its head and we should all be prepared with loads of ice-melting concoctions. (NB village hall committees.) Rock salt is the traditional method in the UK and is good up to a point, but not good for cars, waterways, wood floors or carpets. There are other better commercial compounds such as Magic Ice Melt but it IS possible to mix up a very similar brew yourself! Homemade Ice Melt 6 parts of rock salt 12 parts of ammonium chloride - available on line and is harmless to humans and animals 6 parts of magnesium sulphate - good old Epsom Salts Place all the ingredients into a bucket and mix really well. Sprinkle the mixture on pavements and driveways to melt ice and snow. This mixture will even handle hard-packed snow as it actually raises the temperature of ice and snow to melting point and beyond. Free Windshields with Homemade Deicer To prevent your car’s windows/mirrors from icing up in the winter, treat the windows before you go to bed each night. The window treatment can be made up of 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water and placed in a spray bottle. This mixture will prevent ice from forming. It is important to spray all of the car’s windows and not just the windshield. You can also use the same mixture using surgical spirit (isopropyl alcohol) for the vinegar. Cold weather also brings spiders and mice inside, neither of which are welcome in most households. Both beasties hate peppermint oil! I’ve just soaked some cotton wool balls in peppermint and besides making my kitchen cupboards smell pretty good - no mice have left
evidence of inappropriate visits since. Tumble dryers may well be called into use more than usual over winter. It would be wise to take a minute to check the filter. Overheating the machine from prolonged use could well lead to a fire in the heating unit from the lint collected. Remove the filter and the lint, then run the filter under cold water. If water remains on top, the filter could do with a gentle scrub with an old toothbrush and some detergent; it could save you a repair bill at least. Have ‘summer’ gardening and outside chores dulled your diamonds and jewels, ladies? The following should bring back the sparkle. Homemade Jewellery Cleaner 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 tablespoon dish detergent 1 cup water 1 piece aluminum foil Directions: 1 Heat water in the microwave or kettle for 1 or 2 minutes 2 Cut a piece of aluminum foil that roughly covers the bottom of a small bowl (like a cereal bowl) 3 Pour hot water into bowl. Place salt, soda, and dishwashing liquid into bowl. Place jewellery on top of foil and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes Rinse jewellery in cool water and then dry completely with soft cloth Discard solution after use and make a new batch next time. This works well for gold-filled, brass, german (nickel) silver, and sterling silver. It can even clean jewellery with freshwater pearls, shell cameos and mother of pearl with no problem. The solution can be a bit drying to hands, so wear a pair of gloves - and discard the liquid after using.
No Time to Spare... a Puzzle
As winter approaches, are your thoughts turning to your next holiday? What about a trip to Italy, or maybe France or Germany? Not likely that you will be heading for the stars, but you might be planning a visit to beautiful gardens or a concert hall. Perhaps you are too busy to plan a holiday because current affairs take up too much of your time... I wonder if they had more time to spare in Pompeii or in Scotland in past years. Staying at home, however, you could always start a new painting or catch up with that book you have always meant to read while enjoying a well chosen glass of wine. What about friends, I hear you say. Well why not an evening out for a pub supper or keep fit at a country dance? The quintessentials of life flow through all these activities which are being followed by growing numbers of people in the Callander & West Perthshire U3A. And, as if that is not enough, all members will be gathering on November 20th at 2.00p.m. in the Callander Youth Project to enjoy an armchair excursion along the Mary Queen of Scots Way in the company of Paul Prescott. However did we find time to go to work! P.S. Did you identify the sixteen different topics being studied at the twenty one different groups of the C&WP U3A? Barbara Legg Callander & West Perthshire U3A now has a website http://u3asites.org.uk/ callander-and-wp where you will find details of the courses on offer both now and for next year, together with contact numbers of committee members.
Scotland’s Leading Artists Donate Work to Arts Charity Fundraiser
Sunday 4th November 6.00 – 9.00pm Beaconhurst School Bridge of Allan, Stirling A dazzling occasion with original work by artists of national repute and emerging talent; a unique opportunity that attracts intense speculation. Be prepared to compete – bidding is fast and furious!
A Gala Evening featuring Contemporary Art Auction, Anonymous Postcard Sale, Contemporary Crafts Sale and live music! Book signing by our special guest, Artlink’s Patron and Children’s Laureate, Julia Donaldson. Drinks and canapés served. Viewing from 6.00pm Postcard sale 7.15pm Auction 7.45pm Tickets by donation from Artlink Central, Cowane Centre Cowane Street, Stirling FK8 1JP Tel: 01786 450971 Email: email@example.com www.artlinkcentral.org Charity Number: SC008158 Sponsored by: Special thanks to our supporters... Beaconhurst School United Auctions WoodWinters Wines and Whiskies
Local MP, Anne McGuire will be holding a surgery at the Parliamentary Advice Office, 22 Viewfield Street, Stirling FK8 1UA on Friday 16th November at 4.00pm. No appointment is necessary and everyone will be seen on a first come first served basis. At any other time, Anne can be contacted at the above office by telephone on 01786 446515, or by email at anne.mcguire.mp@ parliament.uk or via her website at www.anne.mcguiremp.org.uk You can also follow her on Twitter @AnneMcGuireMP
Artlink Central is delighted to announce its 8th biennial fundraising auction Art off the Rock to be held on Sunday 4th November at Beaconhurst School, Bridge of Allan, Stirling. Art off The Rock has become a prestigious event on the arts calendar, showcasing some of the best of Scottish art. This year’s auction will include work by Peter Howson, Catriona Campbell, Muriel Barclay, Elizabeth Blackadder, Lesley Banks, Graham Stewart, Alan King, Jacqueline Marr, Lesley Anne Derks and many others of note. The event also features the Anonymous Postcard Sale featuring work by hundreds of artists. This is a fun and frenzied part of the evening where guests have the opportunity to frantically purchase the work that most appeals at the sounding of a bell. Competition is fierce to grab a small work by a big-name artist, or just pick up a lovely unique artwork. Art Off The Rock attracts an audience of around 400 including long-term supporters, collectors and members of the arts community. The event raises crucial funds for the delivery of innovative arts programs to adults and children who experience learning disabilities, mental illness or social exclusion. Who do Artlink Central work with? Adults and children with learning disabilities, dementia, mental health issues and from excluded communities across central Scotland. What do we do? Provide access to high quality and challenging art programmes in hospitals, schools, prisons, at our premises in Stirling and at numerous outreach venues. Last year In the words of Julia Donaldson, above: Artlink engaged around sixty professional ‘Art off the Rock is a wonderful and festive artists to deliver its programs to well over event, raising money for Artlink Central in the two thousand participants. most enjoyable way imaginable. As well as the excitement of the auction of works of art Tickets limited. Available from Artlink by well known Scottish artists, there are pillars Central tel: 01786 450971 or info@ plastered in intriguing postcards, stalls full of artlinkcentral.org artistic Christmas presents, and good food, drink Special Guest on the evening will be and company. I am still totally in love with the ceramic zebra which I successfully bid for in 2008 Artlink Central’s Patron and Children’s and which now graces my hall table.’ Laureate, Julia Donaldson.
50 years at The Station Continued from front page A welcome by Alan Rand, Chairman of the Management Committee was followed by the presentation of the Silver Wolf to Maurice Baker by Paul Brenham and of the Silver Acorn to Andrew Rice by Rikki. Dorothy Kinloch and Kenneth Roberston planted a commemorative oak tree in the line of new trees along the driveway. Dorothy said that Hertfordshire had shown the way for other counties in providing a base for adventure and challenge. Kenneth had many memories of bringing his own scouts to the Station and said that scouts of all ages should look forward to the next fifty years - and see the oak as a symbol of growth. After a light lunch, Watford North Explorer Scouts carried out rope climbing exercises in Glen Ogle and invited guests to participate - most, though, stayed and swapped memories or just walked around the station in the sun. At 6.30pm though, it rained, very hard, and the Flag Down ceremony had to be carried out with everybody under the canopy - except Alan Rand and the duty Explorers. John Langdon gave one of Melville’s readings and then all ninety people moved inside for a five course dinner in the dining room and sun lounge. A Toast to Melville and The Station was made by Clive Rule, and the after dinner speaker was George Moody (ACC Mountain in 1967) who regaled us with many stories of Melville and the station. Rikki closed the formal part of the evening, thanking all those who had helped over the past fifty years - from the original group that had travelled up to refurbish the station, to those running courses; the work parties, and finally the catering team - and those who had organised the day. He wished the following week’s Explorers good weather, good adventure and a good start to the next fifty years. The day did not finish then, but far into the night - as you might expect! Alan Rand, Chairman of the Organising Committee
Some of the ninety-strong crowd at the Scout Station’s celebration day
Maurice (right) with George Moody - the other voice on the radio!
Maurice Baker - Scouting from Hertfordshire to Lochearnhead Continued from front page
S T AN GUS’ S CHURCH, LO CHE ARNH EAD IS HO LD ING A
SILENT AUCTION on
THURSDAY 29th NOVEMBER 2012 AT 7PM T i c k e t s £ 15 I n clud in g Sup p er The auction will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel
by kind permission of Andrew Low, who is very supportive of the church. For those who don’t know, at a Silent Auction all the items for sale are exhibited around the room for people to see. Each person is given a number and they write that number next to the article(s) with their bid. During the evening they can write down higher bids where someone has outbid them to gain the item (s) of their choice. This continues until ‘Time Up’ is called and bidding ceases. There will be a Four Seasons hot buffet and at the end the successful bidders will be announced. We are working hard to accumulate good quality items and would appreciate any donations – an antique you are fed up with, that oil painting in the loft, etc! Also that Auction could include ‘promises’, e.g.: your holiday villa for a week, a meal in a hotel, 4 hours gardening, etc. If you have something to donate, please let us know well in advance to enable the completion of the list of items for sale. For tickets and further information please contact Pam & Lawrie Hopkins on
IT PROMISES TO BE A FUN EVENING!
G G G
Maurice’s involvement with scouting in Hertfordshire started in 1954 in Welwyn Garden city as an Assistant Scout Leader. He had a break when he did his national service but even then got involved as Scout Leader of the 19th Jahore Bahru group in Malaya for service families. On his return he was made Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts in Welwyn, in addition to being a Group Scout Leader and then, in 1970, became a Venture Scout leader and organised in a number of County overseas expeditions including to the Lofoten Islands in 1971, 1973 and 1982, Kashmir in 1975 and Turkey in 1977. By then he was already actively involved in the organisation having been a trainee on the first winter course in Lochearnhead in December 1962, with the work parties and joined the committee in 1970. He was made Assistant County Commissioner and Mountaineering advisor in 1974 and this involvement did not change when he moved from Hertfordshire to Redcar in 1983. He knew that the development of the Ravenscroft bungalows would give him an ideal base for continuing with the Station and acquired the bungalow adjacent to the Station in October 1987. He did not move in straight away but spent many weekends there whilst still working at Redcar and only moved in permanently in June 1992 on retirement. The steward of the Station at that time was Willie Brown and when he passed away Maurice took over. His position as deputy chairman of the committee is a vital link to those in Hertfordshire keeping them in touch with the well being of the buildings, the feedback from the Station users and with the village. He is always willing to talk and always available to help. He is active around the villages and is as passionate about the area and hills as he is about the Station – as someone has said ‘He is Lochearnhead’s unsung hero’ The presentation of the Scout Silver Wolf Award – the highest that is awarded to leaders for ‘service of a most exceptional nature’ – at the 50th anniversary in August was a very apt tribute. 11
Gardening N O V E M B E R by Jonathan MacDonald If you wander back in time to the great age of steam, prior to ‘Beeching’ and the general decline of the old fashioned railway, a whole style of flora existed that is long gone, but which can still linger in our minds. The best station platforms (and Lochearnhead may have been one) were festooned with window boxes overflowing with petunias, begonias and nasturtiums whose soft blooms would bear imperturbably the whoosh and hiss of trains. A sunny day would see the station master out in his garden, a starched bleached shirt camouflaged against the annually painted white picket Balqhuidder Station, left, and a pretty shop front fence; a hung up jacket and a regular check of the fob watch to allow a little more pulling of weeds from the rose beds. Here were found giant gripe is that we do not take the time to see the one thing or group of things that are most worth doing. She found billowing hollyhocks and scented honeysuckle. Even the signalman’s garden had its own distinctive flora, with gardens to be generally so dull and commonplace. On the perhaps some giant sunflowers and a beloved collection of dahlias to other hand I became very fond of plain bungalows with those red stones and perhaps a corydline and one huge amuse a passing engine driver and passengers. Move away from the station, further into any town, where shopkeepers hydrangea paniculata in the corner. They have a certain would also happily house a display of flowers; butchers showed off beauty and are as interesting as the largest stately home. carnations between splayed carcasses and throttled rabbits. If you were Ask a postman, they can tell you about gardens! I would thirsty you could be treated by the local publican to huge well-watered wander around Ayr grading the gardens out of 10 which and bulging baskets of flowers; inside the landlady would be found was great fun - particularly when you saw a maximum dusting ancient aspidistras in old smoke filled windows. Most other score. Perhaps this craze will catch on? shops and garages tended to be limited in their displays but an occasional office in Glasgow and Edinburgh would have a cheerful display outside If you are going to take on some project, be careful - you with perhaps a red or white geranium and a splash of blue lobelia to may remove something that, if left entirely alone, would be beautiful in itself - don’t replace it with some hackneyed awaken the senses of tired executives heading home. These were dependent, almost certainly, on the goodwill of those monstrosity. Treat your features with the most deliberate wonderful attendants from a bygone age - ‘commissionaire’ gentlemen and careful consideration. with their immaculate white gloves. Great hotels would also attempt Gertrude Jekyll, one of the finest gardeners there has ever been, encourages us to tame even the ugliest spot in the the unusual, both at entrances and gardens. It would normally come down to the enthusiasm of the owners. garden and that, although not easily done, will be worth it. Crianlarich hotel was always a head-turner each year bursting out Her writing on plant use and function still remain the gold in bolder embellishments flaunting someone’s hard work. These are standard amongst students of design over a hundred years fascinating partnerships between man and the garden - and like all later. She started late at the gardening game, being nearly gardening when repetition becomes common and follows a familiar 50 - and was nearly blind at the time. She gardened in the pattern, then we may wish to call that fashion and, like all fashion, it heyday of the railways and took the design of the basics eventually withers on the vine. Amateur gardening received a jolt in the practised by the station master and signalman to a newer, arm recently from Anne Wareham, author of the critically acclaimed The higher level. If you find a 500 piece jigsaw of the classic Ill Tempered Gardener in which we are challenged out of our complacent cottage garden in your loft - that’s the Jekyll calling card. thinking on how we should garden. She has been thrown out of the National Gardening Scheme after complaining about how mediocre most gardens are and how the scheme has blighted gardens over the years. Enough said. She makes you think about how a garden should be. Open 7 days a week: 9.30am -5pm I tend to think most people’s gardens on the whole satisfy them, and are therefore massive statements on their personalities. Like the seaman, fond of the feel of grass New garden loyalty scheme worth £££’s in discounts under foot after a voyage, we typically and special offers. Sign up today. steer a course that lies somewhere within our reach, abilities, climate and budget. Coming next month: Top quality premium Christmas trees. Most gardeners do not study the great Burning peat 30kg bags excellent for fire and wood burners, diversity and history of gardens in order delivery available. to create something entirely new or On the main road A85 going East just before Comrie copied. It is often best to study what does well in the village and adapt that - but this firstname.lastname@example.org www.scottishgardens.info rule is not exact either. Wareham took 25 Tel: 01764 670800 Open 7 days a week: 9.30am -5pm years to create her garden and perhaps her
Now is the time to plant spring bulbs!
From our Beijing Correspondent... ‘Scottish diet’ not a success in China! Our three pretty goldfish, from overbred stock, didn’t last... so along came ‘Jezebel’, who attached herself to one of our visitors at the Summer Palace. She has since been living amongst the plants on the balcony for two weeks, chomping on live mealworms from a cup. Yum Yum. Our brilliant green praying mantis (fascinating waste of time) will soon be moved into the British Ambassador’s garden when we go exploring Cambodia. With our two keen offspring, we spent our first night under the stars and a full moon, atop an ancient tower on the Great Wall of China – and rose at 5am to watch the sunrise – spectacular. Amber and Richard have now sadly (for us) returned to the UK and Uni life, whilst our Asia exploration continues. As Duncan misses walking and climbing in the Highlands, he has arranged an expedition to a remote area of Sichuan province (a ‘sensitive’ Tibetan area) – so we headed off for a recce...(any excuse!) This time we managed to hire a roadworthy 4WD car, which we tested almost to the limits, travelling along the only road into that area: a boulder-strewn track created by the incessant convoy of heavily laden lorries. It was brilliant fun, though exhausting to drive. ‘Dodgem’ cars are the real things here and one has to play the game, preferably without the nudging which would make the locals see flashing dollar signs before their eyes. Never before have we driven into a tunnel carved under a mountain, to find a warren of badly lit carriageways stretching some 6kms. It was particularly frightening meeting oncoming traffic as ‘hazard lights’ constitute ‘lights on’ here, (even in the thickest of fog on tight mountain roads)! We had four days travelling through beautiful Tibetan villages, over a pass at 4,300mtrs, below snowy mountain peaks. The area, as well as the buildings and people were varied and wonderful, different again to those previously seen. We visited a remote area known as the Tribal Corridor of China, where ancient towers scatter the hillsides, some next to houses, without purpose or reason. Some date back to 1000-1500 BC and are now classified in the Secret Towers of the Himalayas. Bizarre. Anyone ever seen a Masked Civet before? We have! Nearly ran it over! Tania Francis
Callander Rambling Club
Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear
The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www.incallander. co.uk/ramblers.htm 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 • Sat 3rd 8:30am Hill: Creag Each (672m) contact 01877 330930 • Wed 7th 9:30am Ramble: Glen Lochay (9 miles) contact 01877 339080 • Wed 21st 9:30am Stroll: Brig o’Turk Loop (4 miles) contact 01877 330105 DECEMBER • Sat 1st 8:30am Hill: Guallan (461m) contact 01877 382522 • Wed 5th 9:30am Ramble: Leathan Dhail (7 miles) contact 01877 331691
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!
View from the Park by Owen McKee The Five Lochs project reached another milestone with the submission in mid-October of the planning applications for the sites at Loch Lubnaig north and south car parks, Loch Venachar car park, Inverlochlarig car park and Glenoglehead. The aim is that these applications will be brought before the Planning Committee for the December meeting and, if permission is granted, work can get underway immediately. The Loch Lubnaig sites are the priority but if there are any hitches there we will move the focus to Loch Venachar and the other sites so that some facilities will be in place for the 2013 season. There has also been good progress on the St Fillans to Lochearnhead pathway with only one landowner dissenting. Fortunately it is felt that the objection there can be overcome with a variation at the Lochearnhead side of the route. A further delay yes, but real hope that the path will go ahead. Our Shot In The Park photographic competition in celebration of the tenth anniversary of The Park attracted a fantastic array of entries which presented the judges with a real selection problem. Entries came from far and wide but the overall winner was Aberfoyle resident, Helen Smith. Not only do we live in a fantastic area we are also blessed with people with the skill to help others to enjoy it. Back to the practicalities of ensuring that our Park remains a special place. Our Local Plan, Photo of the Month which controls how development happens You have to look twice at this picture to make sure your eyes aren’t deceiving you! This in the Park, and our Park Partnership Plan, unusual shot of a young deer and its ‘shadow’ is by Edward Chadfield of Balquhidder. which encompasses all that happens in the Park, both embrace the government’s drive for renewable energy. The main focus in the Park is for hydro and bio-mass generating schemes with encouragement for wind being restricted to well sited, single turbine proposals. The authority is very keen to ensure that everyone fully understands our policies. To help we publish with the Local Plan supporting Supplementary Planning Guidance which explains more fully our thinking behind the planning policies. Needless to say we consulted with a variety of community groups and development agents so that we were informed as to what people expected of us at The Park. Recently the Park Authority was consulted by a neighbouring planning authority on a wind farm development outwith the Park. Saturday 3rd November - Hallowe’en Party from 8pm - 12am. Free entry and prizes As the relevant development impacted on for the best costume and pumpkin lantern. Live music, games, cocktails, amazing the Park our response reflected the view we decorations and great fun. would have had if the development had been Sunday 11th November - Local Indoor Market from 12pm - 4pm. An open event proposed for the Park and resulted in an where local businesses will be showcasing their products or services. The ideal objection. opportunity to get some Christmas gifts or just to find out more about what the local area has to offer. If any local businesses would like to take part, please contact Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead 01567 830214 email@example.com 14
Nicola or Kenny on 01877 384646
Angus Maciver, Chairman, FVGAM congratulates Fiona Roberston of Tyndrum’s Green Welly Stop on her new appointment as Honorary President
Fiona rides to the top
Fiona Robertson, joint owner of the Green Welly Stop at Tyndrum, has been appointed as Honorary President of the Forth Valley Advanced Motorists. Fiona recently passed her Advanced Motorcycle test after having achieved her Advanced Car test a few years ago. Fiona and her husband Edward are keen bikers living in rural west central Scotland, and they appreciate the extra riding skills that the IAM course gives. Fiona’s bike tutor Rory Colville who lives in Stirling said of her: “Fiona was a keen student who displayed a good standard of riding and with guidance achieved her goal of reaching the high standard expected for the advanced test. I am sure Fiona in her new position will be a great ambassador for all that the IAM does to improve the skills of drivers and riders in central Scotland.” For further information on driving/riding courses, visit our website:
Great news for Stirling internet users Tuesday 2nd October, 2012 Stirling Council has secured Stirling’s place on a national broadband delivery strategy. The Scottish Government announced recently that they would fund next generation broadband connection to 75% of premises across Scotland by 2015, as part of the national broadband infrastructure programme. At a meeting of the Council’s Executive will focus on connecting areas that will be on Thursday 27 September, members easiest to reach, which may exclude some heard that work would be undertaken to rural communities. By additional Council find out how much of the Stirling Council funding in to the project, this will help to area would benefit from the Scottish connect these areas. Government broadband improvement The Council will prepare a strategy for programme. The Executive agreed to advanced internet connectivity and use the top-up government funding to ensure data gathered to inform decision-making that more of the Stirling area is included on priorities for investment. in the upgraded broadband coverage, with an indicative amount of £600,000 at this stage. Councillor Neil Benny, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Economy and Culture, said; “Faster broadband is a great benefit to everyone doing business online, and we want to do what we can to help as many people as possible receive the fastest speeds available.” High speed internet has recently been rolled out across the city area. However, much of rural Stirling receives poor broadband speeds, with some areas not able to access broadband at all. The Scottish Government’s core programme
Enjoy a Giggle!
Did I read that sign right? Outside a secondhand shop: WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING - BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN? Notice in health food shop window: CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS Spotted in a safari park: ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR Seen during a conference: FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN’T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAY CARE ON THE 1ST FLOOR Notice in a farmer’s field: THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES Message on a leaflet: IF YOU CANNOT READ, THIS LEAFLET WILL TELL YOU HOW TO GET LESSONS On a repair shop door: WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR THE BELL DOESN’T WORK)
McLaren High School News by Yvonne King
McLaren DofE Group The Group has had a busy 2nd half to the expedition season following the summer holidays. During the last weekend in August, eighteen of this year’s Bronze Group completed their qualifying expedition walking a route between Ledcharrie and Brig O’Turk. The same weekend our Silver Walking Group braved the midges of Glen Etive during their practice expedition whilst the first of the canoe groups, “Team Owen” paddled their way around Loch Tay for their practice canoe expedition. “Team Les” (were next to explore Loch Tay the first weekend in September. The combined canoe groups have just returned from their Silver qualifying expedition in the Great Glen (Nessie not sighted!). Day 1 saw everyone stay in their canoes but Day 2 saw a few capsizes and the water was a lot cooler than the Ardeche! Our Silver Walking Group will head to Glen Affric at the end of September for their qualifying expedition. Charity Bake Sale On Friday we held a very successful and fun filled Interhouse Bake Off in support of MacMillan Cancer Support. We had a great range of delicious cakes baked by our S6 pupils. The staff got involved too and held their own coffee morning in the staffroom. All in all the day was a fantastic success and on behalf of the charities committee and MacMillan Cancer Support I would to thank everyone who took part and helped raise the fantastic total of £771.47! Siobhan Cattigan S6, Vice Chairperson and Secretary, Charities Committee
From top: DofE Group; Bake Sale; Male Vocal group: Mixed Vocal Group
Vocal Groups Rehearsals for the vocal groups have commenced at McLaren High School and already there are record numbers of pupils in attendance. Pupils from S1-S6 are invited to join the mixed vocal group during Tuesday lunchtimes and boys in S4-S6 also have the opportunity to join the male vocal group during Friday lunchtimes. Participation in such activities is an excellent way to meet new friends and there is no doubt that the rehearsals motivate pupils, making for an enthusiastic start to their lessons in the afternoon.
Under 14s Rugby
Under 14 Rugby v Perth Academy On Thursday 20 September the first school fixture of the season for the Under 14s school rugby team took place. Our opposition, Perth Academy, played hosts in appalling weather with a team twice our size. McLaren got off to a flying start, taking the lead with 3 great tries in the first half from Gregor Nixon, Logan Trotter and Charlie Allardyce. All were converted by Logan’s great kicking! Perth replied with 1 unconverted try, leaving us looking safe at 12-3 ahead at half time. The second half was totally different as Perth replaced most of their S1s with S2s and scored 4 more tries. Charlie scored another, but that left us only 3 points ahead with 30 seconds to go to the end of the game. Then in the final 15 seconds Perth scored one final try to equalise the scores. It was going to be decided by the conversion….. but they missed and we all cheered as that secured the draw. A well fought battle by both sides with a very solid McLaren scrum. Everyone enjoyed themselves, especially with the very exciting finish. Well done to Calum Cameron who was awarded Man of the Match for some great play as flanker. Connor Ramsay-Clapham S2 Under 14 Rugby – McLaren High School v Glenalmond School On Tuesday 2 October the U14 rugby team travelled north to face Glenalmond School in what is becoming an annual fixture. Based on last year’s result, this was always going to be a challenging game and from the early skirmishes this was certainly the case. Glenalmond ran in three fairly quick scores and it was easily into the tenth minute before the McLaren team secured some real possession. Instrumental in this was young Connor RamsayClapham who was doing some neat work at the back of the rucks and mauls and the ball was at least beginning to get to the backs. Luke Maher, arriving at McLaren in August, was beginning to show that he had a bit of a pedigree. Receiving the Clapham passes Luke began to show that the Glenalmond line could be penetrated. At last, the forwards gave themselves a bit of a shake and breaks were beginning to be supported. There were some good charging runs from Connor Clark and Calum Cameron but by half time McLaren still hadn’t posted any points. The half time team talk from Mr Imrie seemed to work. From the onset of the second half McLaren put Glenalmond on the back foot. Luke Maher and Connor Clark again both found gaps and made good breaks. Glenalmond at this point was pretty much pinned on the half way line. Then a scything break by Jamie Nixon resulted in McLaren receiving a penalty, a quick tap by Connor Ramsay-Clapham and a timely off-load to Connor Clark saw the McLaren prop burst several tackles and sprint for the line and the first McLaren try. The match ended 22:6 to Glenalmond, but the boys can take a lot of pride from their performance. Their second half showing was superb and had they begun the game the way they finished, the score line might have been very different.
Under 16s Hockey
Under 16s Hockey v Stirling High The Under 16 hockey team played against Stirling High at Stirling on 27 September. When we first arrived we were a bit intimidated because we found out the team we were playing against were 5th years. The first goal came from Stirling High, but that didn’t knock us down and we kept our spirits high coming back with two goals shortly after scored by Tara Leishman. It was a tough match as both teams were playing well and goals were being scored at both ends. Stirling High were a solid team but through great team work we were able to come out on top winning 13 - 8! The victorious hockey team: Tara Leishman (8 goals), Samantha Ogilvie (2), Amber MacLean, India MacLean, Siobhan Cattigan, Skye Bending and Claire Craig (3). Samantha Ogilvie and Amber MacLean S3
Under 13s Hockey
Under 13s Hockey v Stirling High The Under 13 girls were also playing Stirling High on the same evening. Although this was their first hockey match for many of the girls they managed to get off to a good start and were playing well together. McLaren appeared in the first half to be the stronger team and had more possession of the ball but unfortunately was struggling to get the ball past the strong Stirling defence. By half time Stirling had managed to take the lead 2-1. The girls didn’t let this affect them and kept their spirits up going into the second half. McLaren managed to get a goal back to make it 2-2 but unfortunately this appeared to motivate the Stirling team who came back to win the game 4-2. Well done to all the girls involved.
visit our website: www.mclarenhigh.co.uk 17
Pat Macinnes, who runs a course in Scottish History Highlights with the Callander & West Perthshire U3A, completes her story about the 3rd Duke of Perth.
The Jacobite Duke James Drummond, 3rd Duke of Perth was not attainted under the 1746 Act of Attainder only because he was believed to have died before the date of surrender, 12 July 1746. If he had not died then he would have been attainted. The penalty, if found guilty of high treason, was death, by beheading for the nobility and by the medieval horror of being partially hanged, cut down, disembowelled, castrated and quartered, for everyone else. His entire estate had been forfeited to the Crown because his brother Lord John Drummond, who would otherwise have inherited, was himself attainted. Why would anyone seek to impersonate the Duke, they had nothing to gain and everything to lose? That a James Drummond married, had an heir and two spares and died in 1782 is incontrovertible, but was he the third Duke? If he was, why did he choose to escape to Biddick in County Durham, rather than to France, where he had lived for so many years? If a letter he is said to have written is genuine, he blamed the French for failing to provide substantial assistance at the time when the Jacobite army was within two or three days’ march of London. French troops landing on the south coast of England at that crucial moment could have altered the outcome entirely. And why Biddick? Remember, the Duke was a frequent traveller on the Great North Road. He would have stopped at various inns for refreshments on his journeys. He may well have heard the locals speak of Biddick, which was then notorious for its lawlessness and was effectively a no-go area for the authorities. Perhaps he had filed this useful information at the back of his mind for this very eventuality. It would also be easier to make clandestine visits to Scotland from the north-east of England than it would be from France. The date of the arrival of a James Drummond in Biddick is not certain but is believed to have been later in 1746. A lady witness, a relative of a local laird, gave evidence some years later that the Duke had been seen in the vicinity of Drummond Castle for some time after Culloden. Before he escaped abroad, Lord George Murray is said to have hidden in Glenartney Forest, within the Duke’s estates, for several months after Culloden. Could the Duke have been with him? Another witness, whose evidence unfortunately does not stand up to scrutiny, said that he and 18
the Duke, with others, had walked all the way to Newcastle, travelling by night and hiding during daylight hours. James Drummond’s family said he had come by sea. Somehow he arrived in Biddick and obtained lodgings with a fellow Scotsman, a man of good character, who worked at the local pit. Life as a lodger in a pitman’s cottage in Biddick was a far cry from life in Drummond Castle, with its feather beds, feather pillows, carpets, cushions, looking glass, mahogany tea table and bird cage. Not to mention the valet, the footmen and the other servants. Could a Duke have adapted to a life so radically different from the one to which he was accustomed? He was prepared to live on an annual income of only £200, modest by his standards, (£26,000 today) according to a Disposition drawn up by him, but not enacted. He also made provision for any future wife of his to receive an annual payment of 10,000 merks Scots money, throughout her life and for herself alone. This was the equivalent of £800 sterling then and a very generous £104,000 today. Enlightened thinking in an age when women were chattels! He was deeply upset by the ending of his relationship with the lawyer’s daughter in Yarm and had declared that he was resolved never to marry. This settlement was in the event of his changing his mind and entering into a married state, at some time in the future. Unfortunately when he did lose his heart, to the beautiful daughter of his landlord, his fortune had been forfeited and his good intentions came to nothing. The James Drummond who arrived in Biddick must have had a fair amount of money with him. He had no visible means of support yet was presumably paying for his board and lodging. It is unlikely that a pit worker was allowing him to live there rent-free. A mysterious letter was said to have been written by his brother, Lord John Drummond, in answer to one from James Drummond. It was written on 16 April 1747, a conveniently memorable date, being the first anniversary of the disastrous battle, and enclosed a sum of money. It was delivered by a trusted courier who was on his way to Scotland from the continent. The death of Lord John Drummond on 28 September 1747 precluded any further injections of capital from this source. In addition to bringing some money with him this James Drummond seems to
James Drummond, 3rd Duke of Perth 1713 - 1746 or 1713 - 1782
have arrived with documents relating to his title, including his Patent of Nobility, a painted family coat of arms in a glazed black frame, a favourite diamond ring, a gold ring set with garnets and an embroidered satin christening mantle. Were these items carried by the Duke throughout the campaign, possibly in his baggage train, which was abandoned? If so, they could have fallen into the hands of someone else. Or were they left at Drummond Castle for safekeeping, possibly in the Charter Room, and retrieved by the Duke himself before he left his home for the final time, sometime after Culloden? What is known is that a disastrous flood, in 1771, destroyed much of the contents of his house, which was built on low lying ground only 50 yards from the banks of the River Wear. Amongst the many items washed away in the floodwater was the box containing these important documents and artefacts. It was never found, despite its owner searching for it over a long period. A Flood Relief Fund was set up for those affected and James Drummond received a payment from it. The reason his house was so close to the river bank was because he had been given the cottage, at a nominal yearly rent of 4 old pence (£2 today) and the job of ferryman to support himself, his young wife and subsequent family. Despite having maintained a low profile, his arrival in Biddick had come to the attention of the local squire who gave James Drummond quite a fright by telling him he knew who he was. This squire’s ancestors had fought and died for Stuart kings. Perhaps because of this or simply because he liked him, instead of handing him over to the authorities and almost certain death, he offered him the job of ferryman and with it, the cottage. This seems to be a fairly physical job for a man whose health was not robust although poor health had not stopped him from fighting, bravely, throughout the ’45
campaign. There are however accounts of ferrywomen working in other places, so perhaps it was not as strenuous as you might think. This brings us to the question of the injuries this James Drummond was known to have sustained. Not the lifethreatening wound reported by the valet but two, more minor, injuries. He had received a flesh wound on his right cheek which resulted in a scar and a deep wound on the back of his right hand. He always wore a fingerless glove on that hand but no glove on his left hand. There is evidence, given by two different men on two separate occasions, about these injuries. One said that the Duke of Perth was slightly wounded in a skirmish with Hanoverian dragoons somewhere south of Culloden, after the battle. The other said he had seen the Duke, bleeding from his face and hand, riding south some hours later. Their evidence, if true, would account for these injuries. The differences between the social classes in those days were very marked and it seems likely that the local squire would have spotted a commoner fairly quickly. James Drummond was a frequent dinner guest at the squire’s country mansion, his manners, bearing and conversation must have been consistent
with his supposed status. A relative of the squire was overheard saying to him that he would never be able to recover his lands because he dare not show his face in Scotland again. He was correct in one respect, as the forfeiture was not lifted until two years after the death of James Drummond. But it appears that he did return to Scotland, disguised as a beggar, on more than one occasion. According to sworn testimony he returned to his estates around 1774 or 1775 to obtain some money from his tenants. He got a bit, but not as much as he would have in the past. These tenants were already paying rent to the Commissioners for Forfeited Estates. Any additional payments to the Duke could have put quite a strain on their resources, but some did manage to pay him something, out of loyalty. Would tenants have paid out any money at all, unless they were sure of his identity? A number of men gave evidence, under oath, relating to stories told to them by their fathers, concerning these visits. Some of the statements are doubtful, perhaps because of exaggeration by the fathers, but others have the ring of truth to them. A tenant farmer, who knew the Duke well, told his son that he had seen the Duke standing quietly on an area of
high ground within the farm, looking across towards Drummond Castle. He appeared to be distressed and the tenant did not intrude, but he was certain beyond any doubt, that it was the Duke. His hair had turned grey but his features were still recognisable. Another man, who had been an apprentice shoemaker and lived near Drummond Castle, met the Duke, quite by accident, in a street in Newcastle around 1780. They had shaken hands and then remained holding hands for some time, while in conversation. This scene was witnessed by the shoemaker’s young companion, an Englishman who later testified that the shoemaker was in tears when he rejoined him. He told him that he had just met the Duke of Perth and that he was “a braw fellow”. He also said he was very sorry for the Duke’s misfortunes. The James Drummond in Biddick died, suddenly, in June 1782 and was buried in the churchyard of All Saints Church. His grave is not marked but that of his grandson, close by, is. The inscription on his gravestone says “The rightful heir to the Earldom of Perth”. On balance, I am inclined to believe that he was. © Patricia Macinnes August 2012
Loch Earn Tourism Initiative Strengthens Marketing Team
03 October 2012 Lochearnhead: The Loch Earn Tourism Initiative LETI (www.robroycountry.com) is preparing to launch a new marketing programme that hopes to rekindle love of romantic Scotland. The plan is to spark fresh interest in this idyllic part of Scotland and promote it as the natural destination for all year round short breaks and day trips within the UK. LETI members welcome their guests and visitors when the mountains are capped in snow and the fires are burning as well when the days are long. As part of this plan LETI has appointed Shena Campbell who has many years of experience in delivering communications programmes for industry and trade body organisations. LETI, which lies within Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, will focus initially on promoting the area and all it has to offer as a destination for short breaks within the UK. Known for its outstanding natural beauty with its mountains, lochs and forests, the area, also known as Rob Roy Country after the famous Highland hero Rob Roy MacGregor, includes the picturesque villages of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, St Fillans and Strathyre. LETI membership was established through an enthusiasm and appreciation
for all this part of the country has to offer the visitor. The LETI communities have a reputation for the warm welcome and the wealth of activities that they offer visitors all year round in addition to the breathtaking landscape in this magical part of central Scotland. Commenting on behalf of LETI members, Kim Proven said, “We are proud to live and work in such a natural and romantic setting where guests will experience local annual events and activities like water sports, golf, fishing, deer stalking, wildlife watching, fine dining and more adventurous pursuits including flying lessons by seaplane and
Landrover safari tours. There is also a wealth of Scottish history and folklore to uncover and plenty of opportunities to walk and climb at all levels.” “Our plan is to attract new and repeat guests by re-awakening their senses to, and showing those who have never ventured here, the beauty, interest and diversity of what we have to offer. We believe that Shena Campbell’s skills and experience will be of great value to LETI in this process and we look forward to working with her.” For further information please contact: Shena Campbell on 07801 826478 or Kim Proven, LETI website marketing 01567 830 443
Good Home Needed
Jimmy’s 12 year old cat Bluey, who is black and white (and talks a lot) is in need of a new home. Anyone who can help please contact Cathy at Lochearnhead Post Office which is his current temporary home.
13th July 1934 – 30th September 2012
Jimmy very sadly died as the result of a tragic accident in his garden at Lochearnhead. Cared for at the Western General hospital (Edinburgh) he died peacefully at the age of 78. The funeral took place at Balquhidder Parish Church 12th October 2012. Born at Allerdyce Castle, Aberdeenshire he was the eldest of 5 brothers and 1 sister. He was brought up at the family farm, Clunas, near Cawdor. He left school at the age of 14 and helped his father; after some years he left to run a farm on the Cawdor Estate. Through his great love of Scottish Country dancing he met and married Nancy Cameron and then came the family of Jimmy, Colin and Gavin. During 1968 Jimmy and the family moved to Perthshire, near Aberuthven and took up the position of Farm Manager. He also worked on the building of the bypass at Blackford. When his sons were younger Jimmy liked nothing better than to take them on caravan holidays at the west coast. He loved the Scottish countryside and all things Scottish. Very proud of his heritage he loved wearing the kilt and indeed bought kilts for all his sons who proudly wore them at Jimmy’s funeral. It was near Auchterarder where Wilhelmine met Jimmy. At this time Jimmy looked after pigs at Castle Brae; and eventually they were at Crow Bank Farm near Cumbernauld. Jimmy ran his own pig breeding business for some years. It was 1993 when Jimmy retired and he and Wilhelmine moved into one of the Railway Cottages at Lochearnhead. Jimmy spent alot of time re-modelling the house building an additional conservatory and workshop. Wilhelmine and Jimmy spent some 31 years together until sadly she passed away a year ago. They ran a very successful B&B, with guests returning year after year. Jimmy was so much a part of the Lochearnhead community joining in many dances, whist drives, and bowls in the village Hall. For many years he helped at the Highland Games, Sheep Shearing contests and at the Scout Station at the Lunch Club where he started the ‘raffles’. He loved Balquhidder Church and helped raise thousands of pounds for it. Also giving his time, together with Malcolm White, to re-varnishing the church pews and railings. Even beewaxing the pulpit – no mean feat! People only had to mention that something needed doing and Jimmy was there to 20
Do you need a new home in Lochearnhead, Strathyre, Killin or Callander? If so,
Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help
help, supplying firewood, painting and all sorts. A familiar figure he would be seen every morning going off to the shop where he would keep up with the local news. Someone refered to it as ‘Owen’ Parliament’. One of his hobbies was bee keeping starting with just 2 hives he ended up with over 40. I remember one particularly good year he made 900lbs of the best honey I have ever tasted. Jimmy also loved fishing be it at the sea or on the loch. We spent many happy days fishing at Furnace, usually very successfully. Jimmy would be straight home clean the fish and would then distribute most of his catch to welcoming friends. Gardening was another pursuit and what a lovely garden it was. Wilhelmine wanted flowers, Jimmy vegetables. Flowers it was. However this year Jimmy transformed part of the garden and grew his vegetables- mighty grand they were too. I know Jimmy will be so missed by all those who knew him, he was a man loved by all for his generosity, talents and kindnesses. I particularly will miss his wonderful smile . Our condolences go out to Jimmy, Colin , Gavin and all the family. Pauline Perkins
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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.rsha.org.uk 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.
Scottish Wildlife Trust Wildcat and Lynx: Scotland’s Forgotten Cats was an excellent talk by David Hetherington, Ecological Advisor of the Cairngorms National Park. Wildcats, once present throughout Britain, were persecuted for their dense fur and as a pest until extinct by 1860 in England and Wales. In Scotland their demise was halted by WW1 as sporting estate activities reduced and woodland cover increased. In 2006-8 a SNH survey showed they were quite widespread north from the N Central Lowlands with an important population in the Cairngorms. However, the number of ‘pure’ wildcats is only 400 with a real risk of extinction. Today the greatest threats come from interaction with domestic cats; hybridisation, spread of disease and being killed inadvertently during legal control of feral cats. The Cairngorms Wildcat Project was set up in 2009, a collaboration between Cairngorms NPA, SNH, FCS, RZSS (Edinburgh Zoo) and SGA. The Highland Tiger banner
successfully raised the profile, increasing awareness and support. Funding finished in April 2012 but work continues under the Scottish Wildcat Action Group. Successes have been achieved in more responsible domestic cat ownership and control of feral cats. Wildcat-friendly predator control by gamekeepers includes wider recognition of their main distinguishing features; no white feet, stripes on the rump rather than spots, rings round the thick, blunt-ended tail and the stripe down the centre of the back stops before the tail (see the diagram on the website). They are bigger and chunkier than domestic cats; males weigh 3.8 – 7.3kg, the skull is 25% bigger and they have longer legs. In 1975-78 a study in Glen Tanar analysed 546 wildcat faeces samples, showing that 92% contained rabbits and hares, 18% rodents & shrews, 7% gamebirds and 3% small birds - important in getting the SGA on board. Visit w w w. h i g h l a n d t i g e r. c o m for
Scottish Wildlife Trust
Callander Member’s Centre Diary Tuesday 13th November
‘The Great Trossachs Forest: regenerating a landscape’ by Sue Morris, Development Officer TGTF ALL WELCOME!
Meetings are held in The Waverley Hotel, Main Street, Callander at 7:30pm. Cost £2 for members, £2.50 non-members and free for full-time students. Includes refreshments. Our full programme and more details on SWT can be found at www.swt.org.uk
information, wonderful photos and to report sightings. Or, to see the real thing, visit the Highland Wildlife Park in Kincraig. The Eurasian Lynx: for his PhD David studied lynx populations in Europe, comparing with likely habitat in Scotland. Lynx are medium size cats, males weighing 18-30kg, secretively inhabiting woodland. They are ambush hunters, mainly preying on small/medium woodland deer. Radiocarbon dating of bones found in a cave in N Yorkshire indicates they became extinct in Britain - 1,500 years ago, implicating human activities such as hunting, deforestation and declining prey populations. There is a legal obligation to consider reintroduction of extinct species, reviewing causes and current viability. However, reintroduction of lynx to Scotland is controversial. The prime benefit would be control of increasingly problematic nonnative roe or sikka deer with consequent habitat restoration. However, concerns exist over predation on sheep and game birds. Scottish woodland cover has increased from 4 to 20% with a Government target of 25% by 2050. Availability of food to support a viable population of 200 lynx would limit them to the north of Scotland where there are 4-5 people/km2 compared with 120 in areas of W Europe where lynx have been reintroduced successfully. A re-introduction into the Swiss Jura Alps in 1990 has shown benefits from reduced numbers of chamois with increased dispersion improving forest vegetation. They are not a problem for shepherds (bears and wolves are), especially where grazing on open pastures. Over 20 years and 456 pastures, 77% of farmers lost no sheep and 15% had only 1 incident, on the edge of woods. Control options include co-grazing of llamas or donkeys while proven problem individuals can be shot. In Scandinavia, with a large natural population, controlled hunting is allowed but they are legally protected outside the hunting season. With work still to be done to safeguard the wildcat population, this may not be the time to push for lynx reintroduction to Scotland but consultation with all interested parties should begin. In the Harz National Park in Germany, despite them being almost impossible to see in the wild, the image of the lynx is a successful tourism-marketing tool – maybe we could get pre-emptive benefits! Lesley Hawkins 21
National Park perfectly framed Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park has announced the winners of their 10th anniversary photography competition. Launched in June to celebrate 10 years since the National Park was formally opened, the Park Authority was overwhelmed by the number and the quality of entries. Speaking about the competition, Fiona Logan, CEO of the National Park Authority said: “We received over 1000 entries and the standard has been exceptional. People have captured the real essence of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs. We are celebrating 10 years of being a National Park and we’re pleased that so many people have been inspired to explore all that this Park has to offer from the people who enjoy it, the stunning landscapes and the wonderful wildlife we have here. Congratulations to all our winners and thanks to everyone who shared their special moments in this fantastic National Park.” The overall winner was Helen Smith from Aberfoyle who captured an atmospheric morning walk in Queen Elizabeth forest. Helen also won the top prize in the flora and fauna category with a stunning photo of a fallow deer taken near Gartmore. Her prize was £700 in Amazon vouchers and two first class sleeper tickets to London, courtesy of First Scotrail. Each of the category winners received £100 in Amazon vouchers. The winner of the peoples vote won a luxury food hamper, courtesy of Scottish Hampers. Sally Magnusson, one of the judges commented on the winning shots: “I was delighted to be a part of the judging panel and to see such fantastic photographs. I’m very fond of this special part of the world and the competition entries have made me want to get out and see even more of it.” Scottish Photographer and fellow judge, Colin Prior added: “The National Park provides some outstanding photographic opportunities and the entries to this competition certainly proved that. Having taken many photographs throughout Loch Lomond and The Trossachs during my career, I was very impressed with the standard of the entries on show.” All of the shortlisted photographs will be displayed as part of the 10th anniversary at National Park HQ in Balloch and in the National Park office in Callander. The winning images can also be viewed on the National Park website: www.lochlomond-trossachs.org 22
The People’s Choice: Helen Smith’s Morning Walk
Full list of winners 1st place: Helen Smith, Aberfoyle Morning Walk Landscapes: Ian McCourt, Callander Sunrise Over Norman’s Pool The National Park at work: Sheila Robertson, Broughty Ferry Inversnaid Boat Reflections People: Helen Smith, Aberfoyle Morning Walk Flora & Fauna: Helen Smith, Aberfoyle Deer Under 16s: Alasdair Murphy, Callander Snowy Falls Peoples vote (online): Thomas Gorman, Clydebank Luss Pier The winning photos are available in high resolution on request.
Ian McCourt’s Sunrise Over Norman’s Pool
National Park - Knotweed Update
Spraying knotweed at Loch Earn National Park
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park land management team has teamed up with an army of local volunteers to wage war on invasive non-native plants across the entire upper catchment area of the River Tay in the National Park. Armed with knapsack sprayers and hand held steam injectors, volunteers have been tackling Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and giant hogweed around Strathfillan, Glen Dochart, Killin, Glen Ogle and Loch Earn. The project includes working with 25 different landowners ranging from several of the larger estates in the area to individual house holders, local businesses and local community trusts. Japanese knotweed was chemically treated in 64 locations whilst volunteers used their hands to pull out Himalayan balsam in the St Fillans area. Leading the project, Graeme Auty, Land Management Advisor with the National Park said: “Invasive non-native species (INNS) can really damage our environment, the economy and the way we live. They are responsible for the reduction in native wildlife and plant life and can prevent access to waterside locations. They can also cause structural damage to roads, buildings and river banks and in the case of Giant hogweed they pose a serious health hazard due to extremely toxic sap which results in severe blistering to the skin if touched. Tackling invasive species is a massive job. The success of this project so far has been down to the cooperation of all of the landowners involved and also from the commitment of the dedicated group of volunteers who have given up their own time to help eradicate these invasive plants from this part of the National Park.
We have worked closely with Scottish Environmental Protection Agency who have helped with the required approval needed for treating plants so close to water courses. We have already seen some very positive results from this year’s efforts. The remainder of the sites will need to be treated several times over the next 3 to 5 years before complete eradication is achieved. ” Emma Patterson, local landowner at Auchlyne and Suie estates has been involved in the project: “I sincerely hope that the project to eradicate all invasive plant species being carried out by the National Park will continue to receive all the support that it needs until all infected areas have been cleaned up.” As part of the project five volunteers were trained in NPTC Level 2 award in the safe use of pesticides and have now clocked up a total of 115 hours of volunteer time during this project. Willie Angus, Killin resident and one of the volunteers added: “For over four years we have been very concerned about the increasing size and spread of patches of Japanese Knotweed in the Killin area. The pesticide training allows us to treat it when favourable conditions occur and we can take on the responsibility of regular treatment and review until it is safely eradicated. As members of Environmental Action Killin (EAK), we have the support of a group of knowledgeable and interested members who can keep us informed about other areas that require treatment for alien plant species which we can bring to the attention of National Park staff who run the project.” Ruth Crosbie
Mobile Local Hairdresser
07712 047149 Jewellery by
Bespoke or off the shelf... Handmade sterling silver jewellery - made on the premises of Sula Furnishings, The Tryst, Balquhidder (next to the Kings House Hotel). All with my own hallmark - and until October, any commissions made can also have the Jubilee hallmark - an ideal gift idea. Open every day from 10 until 5pm. New website with on-line shop:
www.jewellerybynicki.com Tel : 07768 593 581
Rangers’Review Gareth Kett and Graeme Auty are taking a break this month. Look out for a report in December’s issue!
Central Scotland Police
There when you need us
PACT It is time for you to have your say. I am looking to update/renew the PACT priorities for the area. If you want me to look at any specific issues which either affect you as an individual, as a neighbourhood or as a community as a whole then contact me. Why not go onto the Central Scotland Police website and follow the links through My Area to Lochearnhead. You will see what we have been up to. Remember if you do not tell me what the issues are then I cannot address them. Local cannabis farm discovered A male from the Glasgow area who has recently returned to the Tyndrum area is due to appear in court at the beginning of November to answer a number of charges which include him being concerned in the supply of cocaine and the growing of cannabis plants. During October the male was the subject of a multi-agency investigation which resulted in him being arrested at a house he was renting. Whilst I cannot go into details at this stage with this specific case, what this does highlight is that no community is untouched by illegal drugs and that we must all be vigilant. We need your calls to stop this misery. If you suspect something or somebody, or are aware of illegal drugs in our community, then please make that call. If you don’t want to leave your details, that is fine - you can always call crime stoppers anonymously.
Sheep worrying in Killin On Saturday 20th October a member of the public who was walking on Pier Road in Killin saw a dog running loose in a nearby field and chasing the sheep which were present. The dog was seen to attack a ewe. Fortunately with the assistance of the farmer PC Fleming was able to scare off the dog which was identified and later traced at the owners address. Thankfully despite being very distressed none of the sheep were badly injured and are expected to make a full recovery. It would appear that the dog managed to escape from its garden before going on its rampage. A report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal regarding the incident. Theft of Ifor Williams trailer Sometime between 18th and 20th October a twin axle Ifor Williams trailer was stolen from a farm yard on the A85 between Auchlyne and Crianlarich. The trailer, which was not secured to a fixed point, has been valued at £1800.00. Do you live on a farm or in an isolated area, were you visited or did you disturb anybody, did you see anybody acting suspiciously around your or your neighbour’s property? Remember with your help we will do everything we can to catch the criminals but the best help you can give us is to make sure your property is secure in the first place. Take the housebreakers test The nights are getting darker and within the next few weeks it will be dark by late afternoon. This is the time when the professional criminals start to target houses. These “people” actively look for a target and many will travel up to a 100 miles to commit crime. Like law abiding citizens they too are
affected by fuel prices so to offset them they are even more determined to make sure their journey is not wasted. Home security starts and finishes with you. Whilst we can give advice and warn of crime patterns and trends it is your responsibility to make sure your property is safe. Thieves always look for soft or easy targets so it is up to you to make it hard for them. Once they know an area is easy to rob they will continue to return. 1) Is the house in darkness? 2) Is the driveway empty? 3) Is the mail still sticking through the letterbox? 4) Can you see into the rooms? 5) Are the windows open? 6) Has the occupier left ladders insecure in the garden? 7) Is the garage door open? If you have answered YES to 1 or 2 then you should be a bit more careful. If you have answered YES to 3 or more then you should take a serious look at your security as you are making your home and property a very easy target for thieves. We all know things can be repaired or replaced but what cannot be easily fixed is the psychological impact of somebody being in your home uninvited. How do you know if your home is vulnerable? Next time you arrive home take a good look at it. Does it look like somebody is in? Can you hide in the shadows of the house? Have you left ladders, benches or bins where they can be moved and used to climb up to windows? If you can see into rooms can you see anything valuable? Here are a few tips to help. 1) Make sure all the external doors and windows are properly secured. 2) Do not leave valuables on display. 3) Fit security lights all around the house especially to illuminate the area closest to the road. 4) Do not leave ladders insecure in the garden. 5) Put bikes and the like away in sheds and garages and lock the doors. 6) Secure garden furniture so it cannot be moved and used. If you are going away for a few nights tell a neighbour, have somebody come round and open and close the curtains, remove mail from view, remember fraud and identity theft is a very common crime which can have devastating effects on peoples lives and financial situations. Have somebody park their car on your drive. Set lights on timers as well as radios or tv sets. These all give the impression that somebody is home. To make your home secure only takes a few minutes thought, but to get over a breaking could take months if not years. Remember it is not only your home you should look after but those around you. If they are broken into the chances are yours could be next. PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000 www.centralscotland.police.co.uk
Farm Forum: GM on African Agenda A gentleman referred to as an ‘elder statesman of Scottish farming’ returned recently from the Commonwealth agricultural conference in Zambia. Top of the agenda was the challenge facing farmers worldwide to increase food production, to feed an estimated world population of 9 billion by 2050. Most of us get a little bemused when we get into billions - whether it be pounds or people. In this case it is more easily understood when you realise that this means a 50% increase in food production! The debate, very rightly, went on to emphasise the importance of the maintenance of the world’s environment, but equally, and sensibly, that it should be achieved in conjunction with agricultural production and not in opposition to it. The correspondent went on:
“Inevitably these threads led the multinational conference to a discussion of GM crops, which revealed that Zambia, like Scotland, was not using them. My own view is that we will shortly be in a situation where, if we want to achieve the extra level of production – the question to be answered is: can we afford not to use them?” Now the punch line: where did you first read that view? Just check Agricola in the September issue. That is surely proof that The Villagers circulates in Zambia! Incidentally, the slogan of the Zambian Farmers’ Union is very apt: No farmers no food - no future. The debate regarding the new Common agricultural policy, which is supposed to come in to operation in 2014, is getting nowhere fairly fast. The new EU budget will have to be negotiated before final
Dog Training Classes My dog training classes are now underway with a lovely mixture of breeds and ages, including Angus, nearly thirteen but thinks he’s four, and Holly, who has attended my classes before and loves taking part. Although they go to Ringcraft class for show dogs, my own dogs also make an appearance, to put in more practice for Crufts, for which they have qualified. The puppy classes are for socialisation and basic training as puppies do need this for everyday living with people and other dogs. Training a dog is ongoing and very rewarding both for owner and dog. If you think you and your dog would benefit from gentle training and meeting other people and dogs, I would be very pleased to welcome you. The classes are held in the Bridgend Youth Hub, Callander, on Wednesday evenings. Contact me on 07943 333145 for more details! Carol White (Member of Scottish Kennel Club, Scottish Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club)
discussions can take place for obvious reasons. The EU presidency changes every six months and Ireland will hold the reins from the beginning of 2013. Provided the budget is fixed before or at the very start of the term, many believe that this is the best chance for getting a deal in time for the scheduled 2014 implementation. Ireland has experience of EU presidencies and of agriculture, and has a much better chance of getting agreement than a president from a new member state who is expected to grapple with major EU reform in his or her first presidency. It is reckoned that when it comes to agriculture, that is where Ireland’s skills come to the fore. With the possible exception of France, no EU member state understands the CAP better - and knows the importance of the policy to its farmers. The next eight months will be interesting. Agricola
Getting Ready for Winter
Callander Jazz Club This new club was launched on Sunday 28 October in the Waverley Hotel and featured The Jazz Pack, a local jazz quartet. Meetings will be held monthly, on Sunday afternoons, 3pm to 6pm, in the Waverley’s Function Room. They will be hosted by a house band or a guest line up or sometimes by both. Next dates are Sunday 25 November (Moodswing); Sunday 23 December (House band and guests). Admission fee is £2.50 per person per session, payable at the door. This will give access to three hours of good live jazz music. For further information contact Graham Oliphant 07963 311 483 or email email@example.com
Scottish Water is encouraging customers to ensure homes and businesses are protected and prepared for winter. Protect your pipes - Be prepared is Scottish Water’s winter message, asking customers throughout the area to protect their pipes, be prepared and heat, insulate and protect their home and business. It will advise them what to do to prevent frozen or burst pipes, how to locate their stop valve, what to do in an emergency. Customers are being advised to follow Scottish Water’s winter code: • Heat, insulate and protect your pipes. • Leave your heating on at a low setting. • If you are going away then make sure you have someone who can regularly check for any problems. • If your property is going to be vacant over the winter months, turn off your water supply and drain the system. A licensed plumber should be able to advise you about this. • Keep your insurance documents somewhere secure and water-tight so you can access them easily if needed. • Locate your stop valve. • Keep a note of the telephone number of a licensed plumber. • Keep a note of the Scottish Water Customer Helpline number: 0845 601 8855. • Be a good neighbour and keep an eye out for your neighbours, especially the frail and elderly or disabled. 25
T H E V I L L A G ERS ’ TRADE DIRECTORY
We’ll send you or your friends The
£12.00 for 11 monthly issues (£37.00 for Europe and £47.00 for the rest of the world). We are sorry about the increased costs to our valued overseas readers, due to the new postal rates imposed by the Post Office! All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, GARDENERS COTTAGE 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................................
Cheques for advertising and mail order subscriptions should be made out to:
The BLS Newspaper Association
S U P P O RT Y O U R LOCAL S UP P LIERS !
• The Villagers’ Contacts • Jill Johnston Editor Gardeners Cottage Balquhidder FK19 8PB 01877 384227
Gill Allan Production Manager Stronvar Farm Balquhidder Lochearnhead FK19 8PB 01877 384203
Alistair Barclay Photographer & Advertising Coordinator Dalvaich, Glenbeich Lochearnhead FK19 8PZ 01567 830453
Other Contacts... Helen Clark Business Manager 07971 648743
Copy Deadline Day is the 21st of the month. Send your contributions to:
contac t@the -villagers.org.uk Please help us to get The Villagers to you as soon as possible!
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
• DIARY DATES • We e k l y A c t i v i t i e s Tuesday
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
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 - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am-12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291)
Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00-9.00pm Choir Occasional - Balquhidder Hall - 7.30-9.00pm
Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon Ballroom Dancing - Lochearnhead Hall
NOVEMBER 3 3 4 11 16 29 29/30
Bonfire Night & Fireworks Party - Field behind The Drummond - St Fillans Hallowe’en Party - Kings House - see p 14 Charity Art Show - see p10 Indoor Market Kings House - see p14 Anne Maguire Surgery - see p10 Silent Auction - see p11 Aladdin - Balquhidder Village Hall - see p2
DECEMBER 1 5 9
Aladdin - Balquhidder Village Hall - see p2 Balquhidder Hall AGM Christmas Market - Balquhidder Village Hall - p2
Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 firstname.lastname@example.org Councillor Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497
Mobile 07881 310 924 email@example.com
Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET Mobile 07824 496 019 firstname.lastname@example.org
CHURCH CHURCH SERVICES SERVICES Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St. Fillans CHURCH OF SCOTLAND Balquhidder Parish Church Registered Charity No. SCO12316 Sunday 12 noon Minister: Rev John Lincoln The Manse, Killin Tel: 01567 820 247 Dundurn Church, St Fillans Sunday11.30am Minister: Rev Graham McWilliams Tel: 01764 671 045
ROMAN CATHOLIC Callander, St Joseph the Worker Sunday 11.30am Saturday Vigil Mass 5.30pm from May through to September Killin, in the Episcopal Church Sunday 2.30pm Father Jim McCruden 2 Ancaster Square, Callander Tel: 01877 330 702
SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH St Angus’s Church, Lochearnhead First and third Sundays of the month: Holy Communion at 11.15am. Second and fourth Sundays of the month: Evensong at 6.00pm Fifth Sunday of the month: please see church noticeboard. Vestry Secretary - Mary Barclay Tel: 01567 830453
Printed by Graphics and Print Services, University of Stirling Tel: 01786 467209 email: email@example.com Published by The BLS Newspaper Association