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The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans

S T R AT H Y R E ‘ F U N D AY ’

The Fun Day at Strathyre was a great success - thanks to all the people who showed up for the event and helped out - and the sum of £177.00 was raised, going towards the village Christmas party. We were very lucky with the weather, as it had been raining nearly every day for a week - but on the day, even though we did not have blazing sunshine, it stayed dry. Well done, everyone a true village community effort. The main event, as usual, was the tug-of-war between the two pubs The Inn and Bistro and the Munro Inn. Unfortunately due to work and other commitments the Munro lost a few people from their team, but at the last minute we found enough people to take part. The Inn and Bistro won for the third year. All I can say is, watch out next year! The tennis was won by super sportsman Dougie who was

also on the winning side for the 5-a-side football. He was Man of the Match! Well done, Dougie, and well done everyone else who took part in the tennis and the football. The evening too was a great success thanks to our local boys who strummed their stuff until they were totally exhausted... or was that the beer? Thank you, boys - you were fantastic and I enjoyed every minute. That only leaves me to thank Wullie for his marquee, Greg and Dougie for helping me set up and Barbara, Diane and Margo for providing all the baking which tasted great; I have put on a stone! Also thanks to Nyree and Greg for supplying the bouncy castle which the young ones enjoyed; Karen and Barry for all their help, and Tommy for doing the burgers. Hope to see you all there next year!


Munro Inn

EDITOR’S BIT This month I am donating most of ‘my slot’ to the letter we received asking for support to bring much needed sports facilities to Callander. Over the last few months we have had several articles on the Olympics and this seems a good time to build on the goodwill and awareness - and recognise the need for more opportunities to become involved. This project (see page 10)could apparently bring those opportunities, not only to Callander, but to the wider community, of which we are all part. I have a personal interest here - in that as a family we were very involved in our local rugby club and I know our sons enjoyed playing - plus the team ethos it generated. So I will be adding my support and I hope others will read and consider the case being made. I have recently had the pleasure of meeting the newest arrivals to Balquhidder (see page 11) and I was initially nearly as mystified as our two Labrador puppies were when they saw these slightly strange sheep. Many thanks to Timothy for provided us with their story and fascinating history! Enjoy the wonderful autumn colours... Jill J


Following the successful launch of the new U3A group the enrolment day on 31st August exceeded all expectations. A long queue of potential new members formed at the door of St Andrews Hall in Callander and by the end of the afternoon 125 people had signed up for the twenty different courses on offer. Postal enrolment has brought the total to 136 so far and the courses have begun. Some of the most popular groups are now too large for their venues and the course leaders are repeating the courses a day or so later. Everyone has contributed to making the start of our exciting new venture run as smoothly as possible and now the committee is busy organising the promised general meetings, the first of which will take place on: Tuesday 20 November at 2.00pm in ‘Callander Youth Project’ Bridgend, Callander Speaker: Paul Prescott Title ‘The Mary Queen of Scots Way’ This is a meeting for members only and will give us all an opportunity to get to know those on different courses from our own. Refreshments will be provided. The second issue of our newsletter is out now and has been sent to members either by post or e-mail. If anyone else would like to join us or find out more about Callander & West Perthshire U3A we now have a website where you will find details of the courses on offer now and for next year together with contact numbers of committee members. You are welcome to get in touch with any of us. Marguerite Kobs Secretary, C&WP

Christmas Market

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

Sunday 9 December 11.00am – 4.00pm

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

? ? ?? ? ? Quiz ? in the ? ?

Watersports Centre Lochearnhead Friday 26 October

starting at 7.00 for 7.30 start Teams of 4 can be booked by ringing Alistair Barclay on 01567 830453 Price per team £24.00 which includes an excellent buffet supper (courtesy of Martin and Laura - Watersports Centre). There will be a bar. ALL proceeds to the Roof Appeal for the

Falls of Dochart Home, Killin



The night is always a lot of fun and remember - the correct answer is the one on the quiz masters sheet!!!!!

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.

18.5 ºC 22.6 10.2 2.6

65.1 ºF 72.6 50.3 36.7

Rainfall: 20.9 cms 8.37 ins Strongest wind gust 31 mph on 30 August


Fruit Veg Jams Preserves Gifts

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 Village Store St Fillans

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

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

01764 685309

The St Fillans Bit Might as well start this month with my old gripe – lack of input. This column exists to promote, report and record, both prior to and after, events and happenings in the village and to highlight successes and concerns about village matters. I am told that villagers value this. However, the column cannot exist without input from readers and, sadly, only two villagers have given me anything to write about this month. So if you have anything to promote or report on, please get in touch, otherwise this segment of The Villagers will cease to exist. (Certainly do not want this to happen! -

are in for serious walkies as any Springer or Cocker owner knows. Leading nicely to the new ‘footpath’ created by the recent fencing off of the final part of the Genesis development which is not proceeding at the present so the field is returning to agricultural use.

worried Editor)

So, at times of little news, I gather that Fleet Street editors call out for a cute animal picture. Hence the photo of the latest addition to the Bennett family – one Ruby by name and as cute, lively and friendly as any pup can be. Ruby is 12 weeks old (when I took the pic) and if you even vaguely hanker after a pet do not go and see this wee Springer because you’ll be scanning the ads the next day and cleaning up puddles a few days later. As the pup grows, the Bennetts The new footpath

Little Ruby

My understanding of the arrangement for the refencing was that a public footpath some 1800mm wide (about 6 feet) was to be formed on the North side of the field. I have heard ‘rumblings’ that folk are not very happy with the end product which, in parts, is well under 1800mm and is seemingly very difficult for people and dogs to walk on as the surface is cut down brambles. No doubt the Community Council will make

representations if the path does not meet the agreed criteria. I mentioned last month the visit of Nigel Ogden to Dundurn Parish Church on 19th August and Linda Bennett has given me more info on the visit. Some 90 folk, many from outside the village, were well entertained by Nigel with a lively evening of varied music from classical, show tunes and popular songs from throughout the recent decades – with the theme from the film Titanic drawing prolonged applause. During the interval wine and refreshments were served, thanks to ladies of the village, and the evening was compered by the Reverend Graham McWilliams who added his own humour to the proceedings. Some £350 was raised by the event for Church Funds – so a good evening all round. I was sorry to hear that James and Marion are leaving the Golf Club at the end of October after four years of looking after the catering and much of the daily admin side of the club. I had a quick chat with them and, having spent eight years as a hotelier, I could empathize with the efforts required to operate a 7 day a week enterprise and the frustrations of running a business where trade came in bursts. A rainy week (plenty of them this year) and you hang about waiting for the odd customer, then fine weather and you can hardly cope with the demand. The couple are off for a good holiday in the sun when they finish, then decide on their future ventures. My guess is back to sunny France for them. The club will be advertising for replacements in the next few weeks. I met briefly with Sue last week for an update on the proposed village web site. Progress is being made but Sue and Ivan have been under other work pressures of Continued overleaf


Continued from page 3

late and do not want to submit a proposal to the Community Council until it is a complete and funded plan. I think this will now happen fairly rapidly and the outline of the site is pretty impressive. I do not know if I am maybe the last person to discover the website Gumtree but two weeks ago I decided on a clear out of my workshop now that I now no longer rebuild old motor bikes and to facilitate the creation of a customized work space for the construction of model boats and bikes (sad isn’t it). I had never used Gumtree but decided to give it a try. It is free, including photos of the articles you want to see, and I started getting responses within hours and within three days had sold everything I had listed. So the never-used treadmill and rowing machine – features of many households – went on the site next and sold in two days. The great benefit is that you choose an area to sell in, obviously local, and buyers collect for cash. A really quick and cost effective way of get rid of the stuff that clutters the home and is no longer needed – someone wants it and it is surprising how many people use the site to find items they need. It is now the season for creepy crawlies to try and find a nice warm escape from the colder weather, usually in your bathroom or bedroom. With a real hatred of spiders I invested some three years ago in a couple of ‘No More Spiders’ sprays – they have numerous trade names. A regular spray around window and door openings and any little cracks in skirtings etc. and the spiders avoid your home. It really has worked for us. Similarly we are not over fond of mice, and living on the edge of the wooded hillside, we used to have our fair share finding their way into the house, or being bought in by three idiot cats who liked to play with them then let them go free in the house when they got bored. We tried the wee sonic pest deterrents which simply plug into a wall socket and emit vibrations and sonic waves which humans can’t hear and mice hate. Result – no sign of a mouse for 3 years. Worth a try if you are pestered by them (pun intended). Mary from the Four Seasons apologises for the closure of the Tarken Bar from time to time recently, partly because Jack the barman broke a bone in his foot playing rugby and other staff had untimely health problems coinciding with Jack’s fracture. However it is business as usual now. Remember Chocolate Week, 8th – 14th October, not one to be missed by chocolate lovers. The list of chocky influenced dishes is too long for here but things like Smoked Venison, chestnut & citrus salad with dark chocolate balsamic reduction, followed by Milk Chocolate & Drambuie Parfait or Scottish Morangie Brie coated in Belgian chocolate sound very tempting. Mary also 4

reports excellent bookings for their ever popular Christmas Day Lunch, so book now to avoid finding no room at the inn. Lastly, a date for the diary, the Bonfire Night Fireworks party will be on Saturday 3rd November in the field behind The Drummond. The usual excellent fireworks and burgers or sausage rolls all for free (but donations in the bucket always welcome). Please do remember that I need your input if this column is to continue. Winter approaches and all the various club and group activities start up again, why not promote them? John Murray

Strathyre News

Old Station Court Gardens

Golfing Triumph Here is a photograph of four local chappies happily posing as they were presented with the Carluke Golf Club Sponsor’s Competition trophy which they won on Friday 7th September. From left to right we have Colin MacGregor, Ron Milne, Joe La Piazza and Art Crammon, all from Strathyre and representing Belhaven Brewers. Having worked in the licensed trade for more years than I care to remember, golf has always been my ‘release valve’ when the opportunity would arise. I was asked by Belhaven Brewers to put together a team to represent their Company and immediately contacted my golfing chums who eagerly obliged. The Competition Rules required each fourball to register their best stapleford points score per hole and the Belhaven team finished with a winning total of 48 points.

ash Ron’s B

Jan and I recently attended the AGM of Rural Stirling and I was delighted to be presented with joint First Prize for best Communal/Shared Garden which I happily accepted on behalf of the Tenants and residents Association, so a big thank you and congratulations to all who help in keeping the gardens in such prime condition. On a more personal note I was also presented with First Prize in the Best Vegetable Garden category, which is a new category started this year, which makes it even better to be the first winner. The prize winning vouchers received will help kick start both gardens next season and hopefully we can continue with this winning streak. Bring it on!!!! A very Happy (for a change) Wullie D Strathyre missed a treat on Friday 21st when White Rose performed in the village hall. Perhaps too many events at the same time plus very little advertising prevented many people from attending. The band was excellent; great music and instrumentals, so look out for them when White Rose are due to perform in Balquhidder village hall on the 29th December. If you like traditional Scottish music do not miss them (visitors will love them)! Ron Milne

Jan and I had the pleasure of attending the 70th birthday party of Ron Milne along with what seemed to be, the rest of Strathyre and many of Ron’s old friends and family. What a fantastic night it was with many of the revellers donning costumes through the ages. We had everything from ‘Teddy Boys’... (I’ll let Ron explain who they were as I am too young to remember!!!) to super groups like ABBA, (see photo, above left) which all added to the fantastic atmosphere on the night. If that was not enough we were entertained by a band called The Tin Men who were just astounding with their variety of music which kept the dance floor rocking all night; so popular were they that we are trying to get them booked for a Hogmanay party in the hall, so watch this space. Not forgetting our local up and coming talent in the shape of Kenny and Stevie on guitar and box who entertained us during the band’s interval and gave everyone a chance to enjoy some Scottish music and country dancing, something the villagers enjoy so much! So well done, lads. Ron has asked me to thank everyone for coming along, for all the wonderful presents and especially his wife Maggie and all the family for the hard work that these occasions require to be a success. Ron, we all had a ball and thank you for the invite.

Old Station Court is now adorned with what can only be described as a work of art, in the shape of a memorial bench (pictured above) dedicated to the much missed Ewen MacGregor. This beautiful piece of furniture was hand crafted by the combined efforts of the very talented Barry Trainor and his partner Karen. I can honestly say that I have never seen such a beautiful piece of work and dedicated to a wonderful member of our small community. I know the attached photo will not do it justice and urge people to go and see it for themselves. It is located in front of Ally and Katy`s house as you enter the court. I have no idea how much work and sweat went into this from the cutting of the tree by Raymond Duncan, to the finished article but I suspect the wee sma` hours would come into the equation. Making it even more poignant is the fact that this was carved from a local cherry tree which had been blown down just a few yards from where Ewen and Fiona lived in the court and how wonderful it was used in this way and was not deemed to be firewood. Thank you Barry and Karen for gifting this memorial to the family, and allowing us all to enjoy and view it with our own fond and lasting memories of Ewen. Ron and Maggie would like to thank everyone who came to Ron’s 70th Birthday Bash. Thanks for all the great presents (anyone who would like a dram or two, just ring the bell)! It was great to see the effort people put into their costumes. And last but not least thanks to The Tin Men for keeping us all dancing the night away! It was wonderful to see so many friends old and new - some I hadn’t seen for nearly 20 years. Once again thanks to everyone. Ron 5

Born In Perthshire

Tippermuir Books Limited is pleased to announce the publication of a new book, Born in Perthshire, written by Paul Philippou and Rob Hands. Born in Perthshire comprises a series of short essays on well-known figures born within the historical county of Perthshire. Each topical and biographical piece, which originally appeared in the Perthshire Advertiser, includes an original associated illustration. The book also includes separate chapters entitled ‘A Brief Guide to a Few of the (Historical) Newspapers, Magazines, and Journals of Perth & District’ and ‘Honorary Burgesses & Honorary Freemen of Perth’. The cover of the book features a lovely sketch of Tibbermore Church. The book is available from local bookshops (Waterstones, WHSmith), the AK Bell Library, Gloagburn Farm Shop, and on-line. Tippermuir Books Limited is a not-for-profit Perth-based publishing established in 2009. The company has undergone continual growth over the last three years and has recently added two new authors to its list. A forthcoming book, With Orwell in Spain by Christopher Hall, is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia. The company has a couple of new books about Perth planned for 2013 – further details about these will be released nearer the publication date.

The Telemann Ensemble plays St Mary’s The Telemann Ensemble was founded by harpsichord player Leslie Macleod and flautist Neil The Telemann Ensemble Gillies in 1977 with the intention of performing works by Georg Philipp Telemann and other neglected baroque composers as well as acclaimed in Strathyre Village Hall masters such as Bach, Handel and Vivaldi. Since then the ensemble has performed on 27th October 2012 throughout Scotland making regular To reserve a table appearances at the Burrell Collection, the and for further information Kibble Palace in Glasgow and at the Millport contact Lynda Anderson Summer Music festival. at the village shop. Leslie Macleod is a member of the teaching staff at Hutchesons’ Grammar School. Born and brought up in Glasgow, Leslie attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music where he studied with Alexa Maxwell and David Lumsden. He has performed as both continuo player and soloist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Ensemble, Scaramuccia and the Scottish Early Music Consort. The concert on Saturday 13 October will start at 7.30 pm and will be at St Mary’s Church, Aberfoyle. The Telemann Ensemble play Baroque and Chamber music and their concerts are always well attended! Details and tickets booking are on our website

Table Top Sale

Or from me at Mark Seymour Thorntree, Arnprior, Stirling FK8 3EY Tel 01786 870710 6

Strictly for


Dancing is going to start again in Lochearnhead Hall on Friday 13 October. Alistair and Mary Barclay have been patiently trying to instil the moves you may have seen on Strictly Come Dancing with often hilarious results from their “pupils”. It is all good fun and we are a very sociable group and any new members would be made very welcome whatever your previous dancing experience, nothing to lose from coming along one Friday evening (and we do go to the pub afterwards).


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 finds out about someone quietly inspirational in our community! Sometimes in small communities, things happen that not many people know about. We all know about Murray and Hoy for example, but here is another story: it is one of modesty - and not a little courage, determination and enterprise. It is from Enniskillen in Ireland that this begins, with an advert on the internet for someone to care for a lady with a disability here in Balquhidder. A brief interview and then the post was agreed for a few months. Everything has been going fine, a great rapport all around with everyone, and... well, if you have seen a young lady ‘running’ around the area, perhaps you would have thought, oh, just someone keeping fit, as we did. But wait a minute! What about the courage and enterprise it takes to come to Balquhidder and take up the challenge of being a full time carer - almost 24/7. And the one to be cared for is no small inspiration either! Methinks there was a bit of joint effort in encouragement. “Oh! can I have a day off?” came the request. “Yes, I can manage with the other helpers.” And so then it was:

Angela on one of her training sessions

“Did you have a nice day?” “It was great! I ran in a race!” “Oh? What race?” “It was the Perthshire half marathon.” “You’re joking! How did it go?” “I won it.” So, look again if you see this figure around! I shall only say that her name is Angela. And her next ambition? The Cardiff half marathon - and the Irish Team in the World/European Duathalon. Sadly, by the time you read this, she will have left us. Go well, Angela! Old Nyati A Duathalon is running and cycling.

DRT Service to Restart this Month

We have today received notification from the Office of the Traffic Commissioner that permission has been granted for the Balquhidder DRT Service to restart on Monday 8 October 2012. The DRT Service offers taxi-type convenience at the equivalent of a bus fare. It will operate in the Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre area The service will now be operated by Highland Glen Travel of Lochearnhead. It will be available daily (Mondays-Sundays) between 07:00 and 21:30 (7 am and 9.30 pm). National Entitlement Cards are accepted as on bus services. Bookings can be made with Highland Glen Travel by telephone to 01567 830388 or e-mail to While bookings should be made 24 hours in advance, every effort will be made to accommodate passengers making bookings on shorter notice.

Balquhidder Scheme Area – from Monday 8 October 2012 Reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of HMSO. © Crown copyright and database right 2011. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100020780


Church News BalquhiĐĐer Reg. Charity No. SC012316

I hardly like to mention it, but time is marching on towards Advent and some of us are beginning to think ahead to Christmas. Hence this reminder that the Church has Christmas cards for sale at £2.50 for a pack of 6 cards and envelopes. The picture is of Loch Voil and a snow covered Llan Dhu with brilliant blue sky which makes a lovely picture. They are on sale in Church on the sales table just inside the front door. The Church is usually open during the day and you can leave the payment there. Alternatively, they can be ordered from the Friends of Balquhidder Church by emailing rosemary.whittemore@ Also available on the Church sales table are copies of St John`s gospel translated into modern Gaelic and published by the Bible Society of Scotland as an attractive paperback for £1.00. Our Minister, Revd. John Lincoln, assisted in the work of translation. Jean Edwards

The Artist • Exotic Marigold Hotel • A Separation Midnight in Paris • Brave • Headhunters • Moonrise Kingdom Salmon Fishing in the Yemen • Kid with a Bike • The Angels’ Share Monsieur Lazhar • The Lady Vanishes • Greyfriar’s Bobby On the Waterfront • The Card • Black Narcussus

Callander Film Society

Don’t forget - Callander Film Society’s latest programme kicks off on the 6th October! At only £22 for the contemporary programme (11 films), £10 for the classic (5 films) or £27 for both that’s less than £1.60 per screening including our AGM. And you won’t need to travel to Stirling to enjoy them! Contemporary films are shown on the large screen in the VisitScotland Information

Centre in Ancaster Square on Saturdays at 7.30pm. Our digital projector, Blu-Ray DVD player and digital surround sound with five speakers give a high quality cinematic experience. Classics are on Fridays at 7.30pm in the Waverly Hotel using a 16mm film projector. Membership entitles you to attend the AGM in May and also the British Federation of Film Societies viewing sessions. Membership forms are available online at Keep in touch on Facebook or Twitter or call Eammon Do you need a new home in O’Boyle on 01877 339 323 (PLEASE note Lochearnhead, Strathyre, new number) for more information. Killin or Callander? If so,

Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help

The Association’s aim is to support rural communities by providing affordable good quality homes for people in housing need. We currently have 450 rented homes and around 30 of these become available for re-let each year. We also build some new homes each year. For more details and a housing application form contact us at: Rural Stirling Housing Association Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AA Telephone 01786 841101 Email Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SCO37849 Please note that we encourage all applicants to also apply to Stirling Council’s housing list (Tel 0845 277 7000) Being on both lists is the best way to maximise your chances of being re-housed.


Balquhidder, Lochearnhead & Strathyre Community Council Minutes of Meeting held at Lochearnhead Village Hall, 19th September 2012

Present: Malcolm McNaughton (MM); Alastair Barclay (AB); Richard Eastland (RE); Sara Hesp (SH); Karen Methven (KM); Angus Cameron (AC); Paul Hicks (PH). Apologies: Rosanne McWilliams; Susie Crammon; Marguerite Kobs; Adrian Squires; Owen McKee, National Park (N-P). In attendance: Cllr Martin Earl (ME); Suzanne Player (SP), Stirling Council, PC Andy Ward, Central Scotland Police; Fiona Martin, Lochearnhead (FM). 1) Approval of Minutes The minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed. It was proposed by AB and seconded by SH that the minutes should be accepted and this was approved unanimously. 2) Police Matters MM began by offering condolences to PC Ward on behalf of his colleagues, locally and nationally, following the news of two police officers murdered whilst on duty, two days previously in Manchester. PC Ward thanked MM for his comments and then continued with his report of recent activities and events. He had been conducting checks on licensed premises in association with the local Licensing Boards and expressed disappointment that several offences had been disclosed. One licensee had sold alcohol to a minor whilst others were using untrained staff or had incomplete paperwork. He also mentioned a police pursuit involving an intoxicated customer who had left licensed premises and promptly driven off in a motor vehicle with no attempted intervention from the licensee. A separate incident with a disqualified driver had resulted in a police officer being assaulted, following which a man was arrested and later charged with the assault and a number of thefts and burglaries in this area. A prison sentence is anticipated. The Roads Policing unit has been particularly active of late and numerous offences have been detected. A concert recently in Killin, advertised as a ‘Battle of the Bands’, had attracted fifteen rock bands and many of their followers. The organisers had given sketchy and inadequate notice of the event to the authorities but the police attended and detected numerous offences involving the misuse of illegal drugs. Seven people were arrested and charged and drugs, including a substantial amount of cocaine, were seized. PC Ward also spoke of a much greater number of callers recently from this area with people reporting their suspicions to the police more readily. He believed that this was in response to previous appeals for such help and noted that the level of crimes committed in our area had dropped over this period - a fact that he attributed directly to the increased public vigilance. Holiday chalets and cottages have been targeted particularly by criminals so it is important that people continue to report any suspicious activity on the part of people and vehicles especially. 3) Matters Arising 3.1) Broadband Provision PH passed on a report from Richard Harris and Fearghus McKay. They have been gathering information on costs and talking to potential infrastructure providers. OM has also passed on contact details for Colin Cook, deputy director of the Scottish Government’s ‘Digital Directorate’. They are actively seeking pilot schemes to take forward and the Balquhidder project may be suitable. ME mentioned another project, StepChange2015, and reported that its draft paper on rural broadband is being submitted for the first time to Stirling Council (SC). The aim is to reach 75% of all premises, as opposed to a percentage of the population. This will cover a much larger geographical area than any earlier proposals. ME also stated that, in order to qualify for grants, it would be especially helpful to have detailed information about the situation in any given area. PH mentioned that the CC had undertaken such research a couple of years ago and undertook to send ME a copy of the results. Action: PH to send copy of the research to ME. 3.2) Balquhidder Road Closure (30-31 July 2012) PH stated that a reply had been received from Stephen Todd, Team Leader for the Roads Maintenance department to our complaint regarding the lack of notice for this road closure. The work in question had been undertaken by contractors and no apology had been offered but assurances had been received that proper notification will be given in future regarding such work. 3.3) Village notice board - Balquhidder Road An estimate for repair of the notice board has been obtained and it was mentioned that McLaren High School has in the past offered to undertake such works as part of its course work for students. However, PH queried whether the notice board continues to serve any useful purpose given that few people travel along this road on foot. It was also suggested that the notice board should not be left in a dangerous condition any longer than necessary. Following some discussion, it was decided that MM would examine it with a view to dismantling it and possibly using it elsewhere. Action: MM to check board and remove it, if appropriate. 3.3) Litter at Glen Ogle AB reported that the problem has now been dealt with efficiently and effectively and the area has been well restored. 3.4) Cycle Path (St Fillans to Lochearnhead) AB reported that this project to convert the old railway line to a cycle track is going forward well. An initial, feasibility study has been very favourable and many of the landowners are willing to support the venture. However, AC mentioned that people living near the route in Lochearnhead are unlikely to be happy about the track coming out in the midst of a built-up area on Auchraw Terrace. It was agreed that we should invite those undertaking the project to address the CC so that any concerns could be explored more fully. Action: AB to arrange an invitation. 4) Defibrillator at Balquhidder and other villages The BLS Trust is now dealing with this and has arranged a meeting at which Alan Moffat, the First Response Manager at Comrie, will explain how a defibrillator was installed in a former telephone kiosk there. AC stated that he is in touch with a doctor from Glasgow who is connected with the charity, Heart Start, that supplies such equipment. The doctor has offered to provide up to two such machines at a very reasonable price. FM added that she had recently become associated with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) and is keen to start a ‘First Responders’ scheme in our area. She had spoken with the Community Resuscitation Development Officer for the SAS, Murray McEwan, who would be keen to support such a venture. Finally, PC Ward mentioned that, although Central Scotland Police had declined to include its officers in the ‘First Responder’ scheme (in order to avoid any potential conflict of duties in certain situations), it was willing to install defibrillators in all police patrol vehicles and to train its officers in the use of the equipment. It was agreed that FM would attend the meeting of the BLS Trust and seek to coordinate the two initiatives. FM also mentioned that she was interested in receiving any feedback from people regarding their experience of using the Ambulance Service locally. 5) Five Lochs Visitor Management Project AB has been attending meetings regarding this project and reported that the National Park (N-P) has now finalised its plans which will appear shortly on its website. Implementation will ensue without delay. SH reported that there was some concern in Strathyre about how the start of the new arrangements will affect local people. MM then expressed his own concern at the amount of money being spent on getting professional appraisals of the sites concerned. ME reinforced this view, stating that people elsewhere have complained of not being fully consulted about proposed changes. AB offered to invite Grant Moir (N-P) to attend a CC meeting in order to address these concerns and this was agreed. Action: AB to invite GM to attend CC meeting. 6) Breadalbane CC Forum Area Management Proposal PH reminded members that the Area Management Proposal had derived from discussions between the Breadalbane Forum of CCs and SC. It envisages the creation of a small team of council staff that would operate in this geographical area, restoring the local knowledge and accountability associated with the earlier system of ‘Village Officers’ but having a greater flexibility to provide improved local services at no additional cost. Talks were held earlier this year and it was agreed that CCs would provide lists of services that they would wish to see given priority whilst SC would provide details of current expenditure and a breakdown of working practices. Recently, SC proposed a modified, experimental service to operate exclusively in the area of Strathfillan CC. The forum had rejected this modified proposal as being totally inadequate. This was discussed and it was noted that there had possibly been a breakdown in communications but steps were being taken to retrieve the situation. ME reported that the three local councillors have requested a meeting with Bob Jack, Les Goodfellow and others to try and resolve the issue. Clearly, full costings will be required to make a proper appraisal of the practical changes that will be involved. It has also been suggested that each CC should have a liaison officer in place. 7) Correspondence 7.1) Events around Stirling (2014) PH reported that the CC had received advanced notice of several events that would be occurring in and around Stirling in 2014. These included: Bannockburn 700 (23-24 June); Clans 2014 (linked to a second Homecoming event in Scotland); Scottish Food & Drink Festival (linked to the Ryder Cup event); Angling Festival (still under discussion). Communities are being advised to consider how they might link in to one or more of these events, maximising the opportunities that they would present for local business and community involvement. 7.2) Outcomes for Stirling PH reported that the ‘Single Outcome Agreement’ is a ten-year plan for developing communities in the SC area. We have notified our three priorities as being: Litter; Broadband Access; Restructuring of Local Council Services. We have also mentioned road safety as an issue of local concern. A workshop for the ‘Rural North’ area of Stirling is to be held in Callander (at the Youth Project, Bridgend) from 7-9pm on Wednesday 26 September. SH offered to attend this workshop on behalf of the CC. Action: SH to attend workshop, 26 Sep 2012. 8) Planning Matters 8.1) Sports Facilities in Callander The CC has been notified of two separate but linked developments in Callander that will have a significant impact on our own residents. McLaren High School Parents Council and McLaren Rugby Football Club are both proposing ambitious schemes to provide sporting facilities that will be available to everyone. The projects anticipate the construction of an all-weather, synthetic pitch and grass pitch at McLaren High, with a full-sized rugby pitch and training area adjacent to the Callander Primary School. The CC welcomed both projects and proposed that a letter should be written to the N-P planning authorities in support of these ventures. Action: PH to write a letter in support of both projects to N-P planners. 9) Matters From Local Councillors 9.1) Martin Earl and Fergus Wood have been nominated to the N-P Board. If unopposed, these appointments will take effect from 1 October 2012. 9.2) ME mentioned that he had attended the Senior Award ceremony at McLaren High School recently and was favourably impressed. It was a really positive and uplifting event. 10) Any Other Competent Business 10.1) Community Futures Grants 2012-2013 (National Park) Last year, the N-P offered grants of up to £800 to CCs and Trusts in order to help them develop their community plans. It was agreed that the application form should be passed to the BLS Trust which was in a better position to take advantage of it. There was no other business and, at 9:15pm, MM declared the meeting closed. The next meeting is planned to take place at 7:30pm on Wednesday 31st October 2012 at the Kingshouse.


Synthetic Pitch at McLaren

The Planning Application for the Multi Use Synthetic Pitch at McLaren has now been submitted to Loch Lomond National Park Planning Department (Application Number: 2012/0283/DET) The Rugby Club’s planning application for upgrading the playing field at Callander Primary School will also go in shortly. Although these are two separate applications, we understand they will be looked at as one project. To view planning application, please follow link: activeTab=summary&keyVal=MAHNVVSIA9000 Letters of support from all corners of the Community are very important and will help to reinforce the application. Whether you currently participate in sport, plan to take up a sport, enjoy watching sport or simply recognise the benefits that this new facility and upgrade will bring to the Community of Callander we hope that you are able to support the application by either writing to any, or all of the contacts below or simply emailing. If you prefer, you can send the attached template, inserting your contact details and signing and dating the letter. Callander deserves to have excellent and much needed facilities – your help could secure this. If you would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the Working Group, care of Pam Campbell, or 01786 841542 FREE 01786 841542. With thanks MUSP Working Group


Contact details for Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Planning Department: Bob Cook , LLTNP Callander Office, 52-54 Main Street, Callander, FK17 8BD Ms Catherine Stewart, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Carrochan, Carrochan Road, Balloch, G83 8EG. Email


Local artist Ardell Morton will be teaching a 5 week block of painting classes in November starting on Thursday 1 November in Balquhidder hall. The course will be for 3 hours each week and cost £60.00. The first block will be landscape painting to include composition, colour formulas and general canvas or paper preparation. The class will be suitable for beginners or the more experienced painters. For more information contact Ardell at or

McLaren Pitch - LATEST NEWS

Back in February 2011 Stirling Council and the board of McLaren Community Leisure Centre (MCLC) took the decision to re-surface the small all-weather area at MCLC at a cost of £70,000. McLaren High School parent council challenged this decision and, with the backing of the council and the leisure centre, embarked on a campaign to raise £550,000 for a fullsized Multi Use Synthetic Pitch (MUSP) which would not only put McLaren High School on an even footing with other schools in Stirling but would be of benefit to the whole community. The MUSP working group, a subgroup of the parent council, has worked hard, identifying the needs of the wide range of community sports groups, community needs and school curriculum requirements. Together with the other stakeholders, it was agreed a 103 x 70m 3G short pile synthetic pitch and 2 grass pitches would meet all the needs, including those of hockey, football, rugby and school. Callander Tennis Club acknowledged the proposed facility does not meet their needs, but offered their support as they could see the wider benefit to the whole community. Although not meeting McLaren Rugby Football Club’s full needs, as the facility could only be used for non-contact training, they also accepted it meets needs and wished to support any initiative that encourages community participation in sporting activities. We explored all avenues to secure additional land at the high school but with no success. However, a solution was 10

found; McLaren Rugby Football Club is negotiating with Callander Primary School (CPS) and Stirling Council to have a full size rugby pitch and an additional training pitch at the primary school. The playing field is first and foremost a playing field for the pupils of both the primary and high school. Improvements including drainage to the field will enable pupils to play a wide range of games and sports on a playing field which is no longer waterlogged and our pupils at McLaren and feeder primary schools will have the luxury and benefit of fantastic sporting facilities. Hockey, football, rugby, kick about, athletics with all of their class mates are just some of the sports they will be able to play. All funding has been raised, nearly £700,000, a fantastic feat. But, we have one more hurdle to get over before we see pupils, our local sporting heroes and other members of the community

enjoying and making the most of the first class facilities, as well as supporters being able to watch their teams play in their home town. We need to secure planning permission for the Multi Use Synthetic Pitch and McLaren Rugby Club need to secure planning permission for the grass pitch with floodlighting at the primary school. Stirling Council is leading the planning application process for the MUSP, the planning reference number is 2012/0283/DET. WE need you to write to local Elected Members; Callander Community Council and Planning Department at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to show your support, so our pupils and the wider sporting community can finally have the fantastic sporting facilities they deserve.

Balquhidder’s newest inhabitants! A typical cloudy Sunday morning in Balquhidder meant the end of a 26 hour drive from the continent for Pebbles, Jess and Tess, three rare-breed sheep. A bit unsure of what was happening to them, they were let out of the transporter and led into their new field by one of the owners and a couple of helpful locals. In the following days and weeks they settled in and met most of their village neighbours as they came by to have a look at Balquhidder’s newest inhabitants. Pebbles, Jess and Tess are Herdwick sheep, a mountain breed, widely considered to be one of the hardiest of all Britain’s sheep, whose natural home has been the fells of the English Lake District where they are able to withstand heavy rainfall and extreme winter conditions at heights of 3000 feet and more. The etymology of the breed’s name goes as far back as the 12th century when it first appeared as herdvyck, meaning sheep pasture. Although it is believed they were brought in by the Viking invaders during the 10th century, no solid evidence can be found. From then onwards they played a vital role in keeping the major part of the Cumbrian fells treeless as we know it today. However, the breed’s history is filled with events which have put them on the verge of extinction. Low prices for wool and low breeding capacity meant farmers

had to receive government subsidies during the first part of the 20th century to keep the breed commercially viable. And it is partly due to the efforts of people like Mrs. Heelis, better known publically as the children’s author Beatrix Potter, who committed themselves so actively that the breed was successfully preserved throughout the rest of the century. However, because of their geographical restriction to the Lake District area, the breed endured heavy losses during the foot-and-mouth outbreak in 2001. Over 25% of the estimated 100,000 Herdwicks were lost due to the disease, most of which were heafed ewes that had the ability to

teach their lambs which pastures were best for grazing on and were accessible at different times of the year. Again, determined to preserve the iconic breed and not wanting to risk overgrazing of the fells, as is often the case with unheafed sheep, committed individuals amongst whom were the Duke of Westminster and Lord Lonsdale, who stepped in to save the ‘Herdy Gerdies’ once more. From then onwards the breed has steadily grown again in numbers and can now even be found in limited numbers in different countries all over the world. This goes to show that Herdwicks still remain a popular and much loved rare-breed, something which Pebbles, Jess and Tess have experienced once more since their arrival in their new home, Balquhidder. Timothy Robeers




Gardening O C TO B E R by Jonathan MacDonald Wildflowers in the garden? In theory every living plant in your garden is just that: wild, tamed, harnessed, multiplied, packaged, blown in the wind, marched on their own roots across from the neighbours or dropped by innocent birds. What characterises ‘wildflowers’ (found in various combinations) that are so popular these days? For a start, they tend to come in very small amounts for the new enthusiast to try to make a meaningful actual ‘meadow’ and for £1.99 you can be tricked into thinking, like Blake, that you can hold infinity in the palm of your hand - and eternity in an hour. The process, like the poem, is much more complicated. Wildflowers have developed over many years to fit a particular niche within a landscape, and to gather up a dozen species and hope for them to burst into life on a hard-pressed back lawn is asking a lot. A plant’s daily struggle is always one of competition, and typically self-sown wildflowers will be choked by the grass. Here lies the ‘root’ of the problem. A while back, and due to the small quantities, I decided to make the best use of the seed by sowing them directly into tubs, planters and baskets at the entrance to Ayr Hospice where I was a volunteer gardener as a student. The Head of the parks department who also advised on the garden was too late to do anything about my handiwork. He thought I had lost my senses because I had opted not to use the park’s surplus marigolds and alyssum that he was offering. “Why are you planting weeds?” he asked me. “Wildflowers are all the rage,” I said rather timidly, to which he snorted, “I will be the one raging if they are rubbish!” Blimey, I thought, the pressure was on! I nurtured every small seedling that appeared in the following weeks (and I also made a decision to avoid working in parks departments when I qualified). The staff noticed an increase in my appearances each night to care for the developing displays. I tended them with all my amateur heart. To my delight they soon burst into life and jumped up at a tremendous rate in a vast array of colours and fantastic shapes. The receptionists said that nearly everyone who came through the doors had commented on them, saying how lovely they were. The bees and butterflies added to the show. Would the old Park Manager be won over? “I spend most of my week spraying these things off with weed killer” he told me when we next 12

Carpets of colour... great swathes of wildflowers were planted to great effect all over the Olympic Park in London for 2012

met at the entrance. Now that was a great compliment - for I had recreated nature, and although not a meadow, it was loved by the visiting people and insects - they loved it, and he hated it. It was not a meadow, and this is where you then move up a level in difficulty. The challenge comes in obtaining the exact balance between competition, fertility and succession - entire books have been written on the subject. I have seen some very expensive flops, and some spectacular success stories too. A one hit wonder is pretty easy to achieve; it is getting the same effect the next year that is the challenge, as the seeds establish and overwinter. If you have space then start your meadow small, about the size of a snooker table, or simply grow the flowers (as I did) in boxes, and nail that before going on tour with your merry band of noisy and wild flowers.

Now, if you were starting to think wildflowers are complex, spare a small thought for Arabidopsis thaliana, a member of the mustard family commonly called the ‘Mouse-eared Cress’. It is the first plant to have its genome mapped and investigations have found that it only has 25,000 genes. That bizarrely is 5,000 MORE than us humans, who have 20,000. They are too complex to be understood at present and we rely on computer software to model the differences between the genome of a plant and us. This is called bioinformatics and is such a new field in science there is no standard definition for it yet. It is a mixture of IT, molecular biology and computer science. Until it is all solved, therefore, we may find we share genetic material with a potato, tulip, or giant sequoia... which may explain how we feel some mornings!

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Council Commitment to Broadband Welcomed Bruce Crawford, MSP for the Stirling constituency, has written to Stirling Council’s Tory Finance portfolioholder, Councillor Neil Benny, requesting detail on the new funding to be allocated to rural broadband infrastructure. Councillor Benny made a public commitment at a recent meeting of Stirling Council’s Executive Committee to spend up to £2.2 million to improve broadband coverage, and confirmed this when questioned last week at the Scrutiny and Audit Committee. Commenting, Mr. Crawford said:

“I understand that Stirling Council intends to invest up to £2.2 million to improve rural broadband, and have written to Stirling Council’s Finance spokesman, Tory Councillor Neil Benny, saying that I am pleased with this new investment and seeking details of how this new investment will be spent and in what timescales. “It is essential that money is spent in a coordinated fashion to ensure the best results for communities and businesses across the Stirling area, particularly in rural areas, where current broadband provision is not sufficient at the present time.”

Local Startup sold to Leading Media Company

Or, doing dotcom in the Glens. We founded Connect TV just over a year ago with a small team including local entrepreneurs Richard Harris and Jonathan Marshall. Our hybrid broadcast & internet technology has since been revolutionising the TV industry; in our first year of operation, we grew from from nowhere to operating more than seventy TV channels on Freeview HD. The company has now been bought by Arqiva, one of the main players in the UK broadcast industry (Arqiva owns and operates many of the UK’s TV transmitters). That’s the good news. The less good news is that we had to move most of Connect TV’s operations to London, because the local infrastructure for both broadband and television was of such poor quality and reliability that we couldn’t adequately either run the business or carry out our intended development work locally. It meant that we were unable to contribute what we’d wanted to the local economy - and the necessary extra travel has done our carbon footprint no good at all. Now, with the next generation of products from our R&D company already in the pipeline, I wonder just how much longer we and other local businesses will have to keep exporting their activities because of the lack of vision, lack of commitment and buck passing by both government and BT? That said, we are currently trying to do something about it. There will be an article in next month’s Villagers to explain more.

New Bill Can Deliver Power to Communities The Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill, currently being proposed to the Scottish Parliament, could give more power to Scotland’s communities and potentially see the biggest transfer of power since devolution. The exploratory consultation on the Bill, which was recently debated at the Scottish Parliament, is currently seeking views on a range of ideas which could see more power in the hands of communities: • Urban right to buy – extending the right that currently exists for rural communities to buy land to urban communities. • Right to take over unused or underused public sector land and buildings – either the right to request a transfer, or possibly a presumptive right to take over a public sector asset when it can be shown it is unused or underused and the asset owner was not able to show plans for future use. • Right to use and access unused land – where it can be shown that land, in public or private sector ownership, is unused or underused and the asset owner is not able to show plans for future use. This could include a “community right to grow”, giving communities a right to access unused land and plant flowers, crops or trees. • Community compulsory purchase – communities often identify areas of land or a building in their area that are unused and causing problems and could be brought back into use. Currently local authorities have powers to compulsorily purchase property if it is in the public interest to do so; communities could be given similar powers. • Participatory budgeting – giving communities more direct control over how public sector money is spent in local areas. • Overarching duty to engage – to replace individual duties to engage with communities placed on different public sector bodies with one overarching duty. Scotland’s people are its greatest asset and are a rich source of creativity and talent. There is a strong foundation of active communities across the Stirling constituency; it is to be hoped that this proposed legislation will build on this. Submit your views to the consultation. Further details can be found at:http:// 12/09/12912Communityempowerment. 13

View from the Park by Owen McKee Officially summer has gone, and unofficially there are doubts that it ever arrived in these parts this year. Whether it was down to the weather, the general economic climate, the price of petrol or the fact that at the peak period we had a very successful Olympics to compete with I do not know but all the indicators are that it was not a bumper year for the local tourist trade .Should we be depressed or should we look forward to better times to come? One hurdle which will definitely be removed is the Olympics and the focus will shift to Scotland in the next two years. And whereas I am not too optimistic that we will be clear of the economic mire in the next two years, I do think we must surely have a much better prospect of some decent summer weather. But what of the shift of focus to Scotland for the next two years? 2014 brings a mass of events with the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, the Year of Homecoming with lessons learned from the last one, and the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn. And so the list goes on. 2013 is also the year we celebrate Natural Scotland. So that we do not get too far ahead of ourselves, let us just look at what we will be doing to help promote the year of Natural Scotland. Joining with our sister Park in the Cairngorms we have a National Parks Week from 25th - 31st July when the main theme will be activities that can be experienced in the Park with an emphasis on Walking and Cycling. Can you think of anywhere better to get engaged in these? Yes, I know that week falls at the peak holiday period and, if we wish to help business, we should be looking to promote the shoulder months. Be patient - that is coming! But we also

have a duty to get the message across about the health benefits of these activities to the largest possible audience. The month of May will benefit from the WILD PARK with promotional messages going out in advance drawing attention to the wildlife and plant life that exists in the Park with information on what, where and when to see. We will be promoting the National Parks Ceilidh Trail, Clanscape and Highland Games will also feature in our promotions. Although I do not want to dwell yet on 2014, there is another event in 2014 which is of particular relevance for the National Park Authority and that is the 200th anniversary of the father of National Parks, John Muir. To help ensure our founding father gets some overdue consideration the Scottish National Parks have combined forces to host an Artists in Residency Programme - starting in 2013 to feature the contribution of John Muir. That contribution and the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 will be the theme for the artists in examining the issues for the National Parks in the 21st century. Exciting times ahead, so let us all put summer 2012 behind us and look forward in confidence

and hope to the next two years in The Park. Who knows? That may well lead us into a brighter general economic climate in 2015. Owen McKee As always I can be contacted as follows: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead. 0156 830214 FREE 0156 830214

Takeaway pizzas available!


Stirling Council Youth Services recently launched its Youth employability initiatives campaign which targets young people whom are considering leaving school this winter. The marketing campaign which highlights Activity Agreements, the new Young Working Lives Programme and Young Scot Rewards will be visible in over 100 buses in and around the Stirling Council area from now until winter 2012. Young People supporters of this initiative came together for a photo shoot last week before it was launched on the buses. Young Scot Rewards focuses on the concept of points and rewards by using the NEC/Young Scot Card to encourage young people to participate in positive activities, which benefit themselves, their communities and the environment. An Activity Agreement is an opportunity for young people who are 16-19 years old and who are not currently in further education, training or employment. The Agreement is a programme of activities, based on the young person’s needs and will help them identify goals to support their progression. The Young Working Lives programme run by Youth Services and helps work -ready young people aged 16 – 25 with their job seeking and application skills as well as providing access to work experience, apprenticeship and job opportunities. If you would like further information on any of the above programmes please contact Marie McGrath, Opportunities for All Co-ordinator or Stacy McKinlay, Young Working Lives, at Stirling Council Youth Service, 01786 442719. Visit for further information on the rewards scheme.

Stacy McKinlay, Susan Smith, Lisa Holland from Youth Services, Leonie Coyle, Amanda McMinn from Young Working Lives Programme and Nicola Little , Modern Apprentice for Youth Services.

Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses are taking part in a training programme. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoon will be on: Wednesday 3rd October 2012 Thursday 29th November 2012 Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12 noon. Emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 08454 242424. On those afternoons, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments - thank you!

Angus (left) and Joe

First Responder Scheme

Congratulations to local boys

For every 1000 people one person will die from a heart attack this year. Less than 5% will survive without resuscitation and defibrillation in the first 8 minutes. A COMMUNITY FIRST RESPONDER SCHEME can change this statistic! If you have some free time and are interested in establishing a First Responder Scheme in your area please come to a meeting in the Watersports Centre, Lochearnhead on THURSDAY 4th OCTOBER at 7.0pm where Murray McEwan, Community Resuscitation Development Officer will explain what is involved.

At the recent awards ceremony at Mclaren High School Joe Howells, who was Depute Head Boy last year installed Angus Leishman as this year’s Depute Head Boy. Angus was also awarded Rugby Player of the Year and also Joint Dux Ludorum for Sports Achievements! So he certainly deserves congratulations. Joe has now gone on to study journalism in Aberdeen and we wish him well in his studies. Well done to both boys! 15

BLS Horticultural Society Annual Show 25th AUGUST 2012


ANNUAL SHOWDOWN! What can I say – just a really big THANKYOU to all those great people who put in over 200 entries. We even had flowers and some of the vegetables were really good, a great achievement considering the “summer” we have had, so well done all. There are certainly some talented people in our parish, notably in the Arts and Handicraft sections. It was good to see the ‘old’ regulars as well as some new folk – keep it up! The Baking section was really impressive and shows home baking is coming back in vogue. Many thanks to Joe Seymour who presented the prizes. Visitors and locals were noticeably absent in the afternoon but there were two other events going on at the same time in the area so maybe that was the reason. We will be at Balquhidder Hall next year I think so I expect to see even more entries – if you have recently moved into the area I am sure there will be something for you to enter. Below are all the results – so hope to see you next year.



Show Winner: Annette Brown (46pts) Runner up: Jimmy McSkimming (33pts) Best Exhibit in Show: ‘Jubilee Doll’ made by M. Galloway Section 1 Secretary’s Cup for Pot Plants Best in Section: Suzanne La Piazza - Fern 1. F. Phillips 2. A. Brown 3. S. La Piazza Best Begonia: William McConnachy Trophy F. Phillips Section 2 Matyjasek Cup for Cut Flowers Best in Section: Susie Crammon for ‘Pansies in a bowl’ 1. E. Jamieson 2. R. McWilliams 3. H. Astbury Section 3 The Bowers Cup for Vegetables & Fruit Best in Section: R. McWilliams - purple cabbage 1. A. Brown 2. S. Crammon 3. R. McWilliams The Strathyre Cleansing Cup for Best collection of 5 Vegetables: S. Crammon Section 4 Club Cup for Floral Art Best in Section: E. Jamieson – Table arrangement, Queen’s Jubilee 1. E. Jamieson 2. A. Brown 3. V. McGuffie 16

Section 5 Macdonald Cup for Kindred Activities Best in Section: J. McSkimming – Chocolate Cup Cakes 1. J. McSkimming 2. A. Brown 3. M.Galloway Section 6 Stuart-Love Cup for Handicrafts Best in Section: M. Galloway – ‘Jubilee Doll’ 1. E. Chadfield 2. A. Brown 3. M. Galloway Section 7 Gibson Cup for Art Best in Section: J. Hannah - Oil Painting of Fish 1. F. Martin 2. J. Hannah 3. E. Chadfield The Bobby Bennett Cup for Photography: T. McGuffie

Susan Stewart

Mobile Local Hairdresser

07712 047149


The Golden Larches Lorraine would like to take this opportunity to reflect on her time in Balquhidder now she has sold the business and is going to have time for new challenges.

She and Jim arrived in 1978 buying what was then the local newsagents and shop. They brought their two boys, James and Fraser, and their new lifestyle enabled Lorraine to work from home at the same time as looking after the two young boys. Jim was busy with his joinery work, including converting the school into the home of Margaret and Pauline. Lorraine was the precursor of Asda and Sainsburys as she delivered ‘messages’ up and down the Glen. The restaurant was built in 1984; having a joiner as a husband often came in useful! She has fond memories of the local staff she has always employed over the years and the many friends they have made, through the restaurant, from all over the world. She would like to thank all her customers for their support with a special mention to John and Jananne for all the venison they have provided! Now is the time to go fishing in Alaska, a dream they have not been able to do as they have never had a summer off in 34 years and for Jim to work on his golf handicap. There is also the small matter of building a new home, hopefully in the area they both love so much. Lorraine and Jim wish the new owners every success and hope they are as happy in The Larches as they have been. 17

Our new contributor Pat Macinnes, who runs a course in Scottish History Highlights with the Callander & West Perthshire U3A, continues her story about the 3rd Duke of Perth.

The Jacobite Duke When news of the arrival of Prince Charles Edward Stuart in Scotland reached the Hanoverian authorities, they decided to apprehend suspected Jacobite sympathisers before they could be of assistance to the Prince. A warrant for the arrest of the Duke of Perth was issued and two officers, Sir Patrick Murray of Ochtertyre and a Captain Campbell were ordered to seize the Duke. Both were known to him, so when they asked themselves to dinner he welcomed them to Drummond Castle. Soldiers meanwhile had been stationed around the building, out of sight. Only after this devious pair had partaken of the Duke’s food and drunk his wine, did they announce the reason for their visit. Thinking fast, the Duke politely requested that he be allowed to use the closet before going with them. They assumed there was only one door and agreed. The Duke quietly locked that door behind him and escaped down the servant’s stair and out into the woods surrounding the castle. He had to crawl on his hands and knees to avoid volunteers but the other ranks were, for the being seen and captured by the soldiers. most part, pressed into service. Numbers He met one of his tenants leading a horse were raised from Callander and the and borrowed the animal. It had only a surrounding area. Amongst the officers halter on but he rode it bareback to the were Captains Alexander Buchanan house of Moray of Abercairny, a distance of Auchleshie (transported); Robert of more than five miles. He probably Buchanan of Bochastle (killed, Culloden); changed horses there because he then William Drummond of Callander (not rode to the house of Thomas Drummond known); Ronald MacGregor of Kirkton, of Logiealmond, a further eight miles as Balquhidder (survived) and Alexander the crow flies. He was asleep there when Stewart of Glenbuckie. His death was his host had a premonition, the famed said to be suicide but would probably second sight, that all was not well. He rate an Open verdict at an inquest today. wakened the Duke and quickly got him Lieutenants John MacArthur of Callander out of the house. Shortly afterwards (survived); John Stewart of Lederich (not troops arrived to search the place. known) and another John Stewart of The Duke not only provided Loch Katrineside (not known). Amongst substantial funding for the Rising but the other ranks were Patrick Buchanan, also raised a regiment . He joined the brewer of Kilmahog (survived); William Prince at Perth early in September 1745 Clarke, farmer, Callander (survived); and was appointed Lieutenant General of Donald Farquharson aged 48, a farmer in the Prince’s army. Lord George Murray Balquhidder (transported); John Stewart, arrived shortly afterwards and was also brewer, Callander (lurking); John Stewart appointed a Lieutenant General. The of Glat, Callander (lurking) and William Prince then decreed that they would Murdoch, woolmerchant of Callander command on alternate days! This (survived). Other local men joined ludicrous arrangement continued until the Strathallan’s Cavalry Regiment and siege of Carlisle where the Duke accepted Donald Dubh MacLaren of Invernentie, the surrender of the castle. Lord George Balquhidder was a Captain in the Murray believed, strongly, that having a Stewarts of Appin Regiment (wounded, Catholic take such a prominent role was captured, escaped, survived). giving out the wrong signal and resigned As the Jacobite army marched south his commission. The other regimental through England it was clear that it leaders, whilst preferring the personality was not attracting the support they had of the Duke accepted that Murray was, been led to expect, not least from Prince by far, the better military commander Charles himself, who had confidently and urged the Prince to reinstate him. To predicted a mass uprising. In England avoid potential friction the Duke quietly men apparently had plenty to say, when resigned his commission, leaving Murray in their cups, about the shortcomings of in sole overall command of the army. the Hanoverians but failed to follow it up The Duke continued to command his with direct action when the opportunity own regiment. The officers were mainly presented itself. One man who did rally 18

to the cause was Captain John Daniel. He met the Duke of Perth and was sufficiently impressed by him not only to join up but also to recruit a number of others to swell the ranks. They proceeded unopposed, to Derby, where a Council of War was held. The Prince wanted to press on towards London, most of the others, led by Lord George Murray, thought retreat was the wise option. The Duke of Perth agreed with the Prince. Had they but known it there was panic in the Government in London and a run on the banks. It is said the crafty bankers hit upon the ruse of paying everyone out in sixpences, thus slowing down the rate of withdrawals. It is one of the great ‘what ifs’ of history, what would have happened if the will of the Prince and the Duke of Perth had prevailed? Instead they turned back and, whether it was the right decision or not, Lord George Murray brilliantly conducted that most difficult of military manoeuvres, an orderly retreat from hostile territory, with minimal casualties. However the Prince’s decision to leave a garrison at Carlisle, when the rest of the army returned to Scotland, was to prove disastrous for the men involved, greatly increasing the death toll in England. The conflict between the militarily inexperienced Prince and his commander, Lord George Murray, had simmered throughout the campaign. It is important to remember that the Jacobite army won every battle and skirmish of the ’45, except for the last one. The main reason for the disaster that was Culloden, was the choice of ground on which it was fought. It suited artillery and musket fire from ranks of redcoats, it was completely and utterly unsuited to the Highland charge.

Lord George Murray had identified more favourable high ground to the south of the River Nairn but the Prince, fatally, chose this occasion to overrule his commander. He insisted on the battle being fought on level, boggy ground while half his army had still to arrive and those who were there, were exhausted after an abortive 20 mile night march just hours before. They were tired, cold, wet and hungry. Their very efficient quartermaster had been taken ill and his substitute proved himself to be completely incompetent, almost no food had been procured for them in the preceding 48 hours. That they managed to fight at all was testament to their bravery and commitment to the cause. However, in less than an hour it was all over and the second line, including the Duke of Perth’s regiment and that of his brother, Lord John Drummond, covered as best they could the retreat of the survivors of the front line. The Duke himself was in charge of the left of the front line, which consisted of the three Macdonald regiments who believed that their rightful place was on the right of the line. He was on horseback out in front of them, urging them to charge across that bleak moor. It soon became obvious that all was lost and they too joined the retreat. Both brothers made it off the field of battle, alive. What happened thereafter is the subject of much conjecture. The plaque in South Ancaster Square in Callander, erected by the 1745 Association, tells of the Duke’s death, at sea, in 1746. All the history books tell of the Duke’s death, at sea, in May 1746. It was therefore a revelation when I read that this story was false and that the Duke had died, on dry land, in June 1782! The first thing to establish was whether there were any facts to substantiate this claim. The death/burial of a James Drummond on the relevant date was a matter of public record, as was his marriage and even the birth of his bride. They had seven children and one of his sons had been killed in a horrific incident at sea. The eldest son had married and had a large family. Sometime after the 1746 Act of Attainder was repealed in1784 his eldest son, i.e. James Drummond’s grandson, had pursued a claim to the Earldom of Perth. Twice the case came before a jury of fifteen ‘good men and true’ and twice they found in his favour, that he was indeed “grandson and heir male of the body of James the sixth Earl of Perth who took upon himself the title of Duke of Perth”. Unfortunately when the claim came to be heard in the House of Lords the grandson turned up drunk. It was not the only time he had been under the influence. It was reported in a local paper that he had been drunk and disorderly in

a shop and had alarmed the customers. He also, for good measure, attempted to assault the arresting officer! For this unseemly behaviour he was fined two shillings and sixpence, plus costs. I was able to trace the family of the original James Drummond as far as 1911 using a variety of sources, e.g. parish records, census returns and birth, marriage and death records since Victorian times. From information received from a correspondent I discovered that there are still direct descendants living, although not a direct male heir. Would it be possible, from a distance of more than two and a half centuries, to find out what did happen in 1746, were these two James Drummonds one and the same person? The last time there was unanimity about the whereabouts of the Duke of Perth after Culloden, was that he was definitely at Ruthven. There, the survivors of the battle and those members of the Jacobite army who had, for various reasons, missed the actual battle, assembled and awaited the arrival of their Prince. After a few days a letter arrived instead, reportedly telling every man to seek his own safety as best he could. This is possibly Hanoverian propaganda as contemporary reports of its contents differ from that terse message. It seems that he professed devotion to them and their interests and said that, as he could do nothing for them on this side of the water, he intended instantly to proceed to France to obtain assistance or to procure better terms for them. He asked them to keep his departure a secret for as long as possible and to take advice from the Duke of Perth and Lord George Murray as to what they should do to defend themselves. He finally called on the Almighty to bless and direct them. Whichever version you believe, the sense of betrayal must have been almost palpable. They had risked everything for this man and a few thousand men were still willing to fight on, yet their Prince had thrown in the towel. Their leaders, knowing they faced charges of treason, made their plans for escape. I think it is possible that these plans were discussed between them, at Ruthven. Lord George Murray planned to fake his own death and escape abroad, others simply proposed to get on board any ship they could find, bound for Europe or Scandinavia. Suppose the Duke of Perth thought along the same lines as Lord George Murray. He would need others to provide the ‘evidence’ of his death to make it sound convincing to the authorities. A death at sea could not be disproved, no body to be dug up at a later date and it would only require a few of them to spread the story. The Duke’s very popularity would ensure

there would be volunteers to go along with this ruse. The Duke’s own father had escaped abroad after the ’15 and the Duke himself had shown courage and a cool head in escaping from his would-be captors the year before. Also my research has failed to find any corroboration of the story that he was badly wounded on the battlefield. Only his servant’s testimony tells of him being unable to ride unaided. If he had a musket ball in his shoulder would he have been able to participate in the gathering at Ruthven with its plans to continue the fight? Fragments of his clothing would have been forced deep into the wound, causing an infection. The other accounts of his death speak of exhaustion, fatigue, being worn out, but not of any serious wound. So, what did happen to James Drummond, 3rd Duke of Perth at and after Culloden? According to testimony given by his valet, the Duke receives a musket ball wound in his shoulder. He is unable to ride unaided and has to be helped from the battlefield, by his servants. He is then seen at Ruthven, where the letter from the Prince is received. They then proceed westwards, the Duke’s health deteriorating all the time, until eventually they have to carry him in a blanket. He appears to have had four servants with him so this would have been feasible. They reach Loch nan Uamh, the Duke by now a dying man. Wrapped in a blanket he is hoisted aboard a French warship, Le Mars. That ship and La Bellone are involved in a naval battle with ships of the British navy whilst still in the loch. Both ships are damaged but are quickly repaired sufficiently to be seaworthy. They set sail at 2am on 4 May and a few days later the Duke dies. His valet is with him throughout. A second eye-witness account is that of a French officer on board Le Mars. He tells of the Duke’s death on 8 May and of his burial at sea, with full military honours, the following day. The guns of Le Mars fire a salute as his body is consigned to the deep. Both ships arrive at Nantes, after a particularly prolonged voyage due to bad weather, on 27 May (according to the Julian calendar used by Britain until 1752) or on 6 June according to the Gregorian calendar which had been in use across Europe since 1582. A report of the arrival of Le Mars and of the Duke’s death is written by the Naval Administrator at Nantes on 7 June. He says “Ils sont perdu dans la traversée M. le Duc de Perth.” “They have lost during the voyage the Duke of Perth.” David, Lord Elcho, also on board Le Mars writes briefly in his diary of the death of the Duke and what a fine man he had been. The third eye-witness account is that 19

(Continued from previous page)

of Captain John Daniel, who was with the Duke at Ruthven. He confuses the picture by saying that he saw the body of the Duke thrown overboard from La Bellone and suggests a slightly later date. This could be an understandable error on his part as he was very seasick throughout his voyage and may have lost track of time. The weight of evidence that the Duke died at sea is overwhelming, until it is examined more closely. He was hoisted on board Le Mars wrapped in a blanket and apparently dying. Even if any of the officers on Le Mars had known him, he would have been difficult to recognise under these conditions and was probably taken below decks immediately and would have remained there until his death. The French officer’s report of the burial at sea with full military honours is a true account of what happened, except for one vital detail. The body consigned to the deep was, I believe, not that of the Duke. Eighty five men died during that voyage from wounds received during the naval battle and I think one of them got a send-off which would have astonished him. The officers had been told that the Duke of Perth was amongst the passengers they had taken on board, perhaps it was even his brother, Lord John Drummond (who was at Ruthven) who told them. Given the Duke’s rank and position it is perfectly understandable that his death

at sea was the subject of a letter from the Naval Administrator to his superiors in Paris. No one was lying, they all believed that the Duke had been on board Le Mars and that they had witnessed his burial at sea. Captain John Daniel wrote a report of his involvement in the ’45 and of his subsequent escape on La Bellone. His description of the Duke’s burial on that ship has injected an element of doubt as to which ship the Duke was actually on, until you read carefully what he wrote. He said “The boat the Duke was in, [a small boat taking him out to the bigger ship] put off immediately; and another coming took me in, with many more, and carried us to the Bellona [La Bellone], where we remained at anchor till two o’Clock the next morning, when we sailed for France. The chief of those in our ship were Sir Thomas Sheridan; Mr Sheridan, his nephew; and Mr Hay.” [Note, no mention of the Duke being on board]. He then continued “In the ship I was in, there raged a contagious distemper, which carried off sixty-seven in twenty-five days: and about the tenth day of our voyage, I saw the body of my friend and patron the Duke of Perth, thrown overboard; which afflicting sight, joined with my violent sickness, I expected would have put an end to my life.” Both Le Mars and La Bellone sailed

together on 4 May and arrived at Nantes, together, on 27 May (or 6 June). It is entirely possible that the two ships drew close enough on the day for Captain Daniel and the other Jacobites to have witnessed, from the decks of La Bellone, the burial ceremony of one of their leaders taking place on Le Mars. His report has been interpreted by several eminent historians as saying that the Duke’s body had been thrown overboard from La Bellone, thus confusing the issue. What of the four servants who accompanied the wounded Duke and carried him to Loch nan Uamh where Le Mars and La Bellone had dropped anchor on 29 April? One of these servants was captured on 23 April, on the east coast and two were captured on 1 May, in Perth. The valet himself apparently later testified that he had been with the Duke until the time of his death. He must therefore still have been on board Le Mars when it reached Nantes on 27 May (or 6 June). No landfall was made between Loch nan Uamh and France. How very interesting then to find that an official document, dated 3 June 1746, lists the name of the valet de chambre to the Duke of Perth amongst those incarcerated on a prison ship bound for Tilbury. To be continued……. © Patricia Macinnes August 2012

Two Weeks to close of Commemorative Plaque Nominations Historic Scotland is urging people to submit their nominations for the Commemorative Plaque Scheme as the closing date is fast approaching. The Scheme, which was launched in August by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, celebrates the life and achievements of significant historic figures in Scotland. Submissions for the inaugural plaques will close on 12th October 2012. The chosen historic figures will be celebrated with the erection of a Commemorative Plaques either on their home where they lived, or the building that was particularly synonymous with their achievements. An annual theme will be formally announced each year which will guide people to consider nominations within specific industries. This year’s theme is the Year of Creative. People are invited to submit their nominations for the historic figures they would like to put forward by filling in an application form on Historic Scotland’s website - www. - with up to 1,000 words on two questions explaining why their chosen person is appropriate for a Commemorative Plaque. There will be a maximum of 12 plaques awarded each year. These will be decided by an independent academic panel which is still to be announced. Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: “This is an excellent and very visual way of honouring historic figures who have made a great contribution to Scotland’s history and heritage.” In addition to the call for nominations, students at all of Scotland’s art schools have been invited to create a design for the plaque, in a competition which will see the winning entry used as the official plaque and the student receiving £500. The closing date for the competition is 31 October 2012. 20

Jewellery by


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Scottish Wildlife Trust Scottish Wildlife Trust Our first talk of the season was on Wildlife Crime by PC Paul Barr, a full-time Wildlife & Environment Crime Officer (WECO), seconded to the National Park. Wildlife crime includes any unlawful act or omission that affects any wild creature, plant or environment, in both countryside and urban areas. All police forces now have WECO’s and a statutory duty to investigate incidents. Priorities are based on the volume of crimes and the level of damage to a population. PAWS, the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime in Scotland, includes police, land managers, Scottish Government and conservationists eg SNH, RSPB & Scottish Raptor Group. A number of the examples given are; Badgers: thankfully, there is no local evidence of badger baiting, but persecution also includes disturbance of setts eg from building development but they have been used as bike ramps and one individual emptied a slurry tanker into a tunnel! Bats: all species are protected in Europe and surveys must be carried out where bat colonies are known before potentially disruptive actions are taken. Freshwater pearl mussels: 60% of the world’s population is now in Scotland with just two licensed jewellers. Evidence of illegal removal is often a pile of discarded shells on the riverbank. Hares: coursing, using dogs to flush out and/or chase hares, is illegal but popular along the Carse of Stirling especially as crops are harvested. There is a database of known vehicle registrations and reporting suspicious activities is crucial. Fish: apprehending poachers, including salmon netting and fishing without a license, relies on working closely with water bailiffs. Deer: poaching includes setting snares but predominantly involves firearms. These may not be licensed and could be inappropriate, resulting in prolonged suffering.

Raptors: persecution is quite a political issue in Scotland with potential conflicts between conservationists and sporting estates. All birds are protected under the 1981 Wildlife & Countryside Act so cannot be killed or taken except under license but crimes continue, including poisoning, egg collection, taking chicks for falconry and disturbance of nest sites. Perpetrators may be subject to imprisonment, fines or, in the case of a persistent egg-collector, an ASBO preventing entry to Scotland in the breeding season. Raptors are easy targets for poisoned bait but the poisons are often used at high doses and can be absorbed via the skin. Tell-tale signs of a poisoned bird include clenched talons and dead insects on the carcass. If one is found then it should be covered to prevent other animals feeding and reported to the police. Even if an individual cannot be proved to have poisoned a bird, successful prosecutions have been made for possession or incorrect storage of illegal poisons. Since January 2012 legislation includes vicarious liability so landowners/ managers are responsible for the actions of their employees/contractors. Crows’ cages: while legal these must be licensed and the unique reference number plus police HQ telephone number must be displayed. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) is also in the remit of WECOs. This includes illegal trade in ivory, tortoises and contents of traditional medicines eg tiger bone for arthritis. Additionally, introduction into, or translocation within, the wild of invasive non-native animal and plant species eg grey squirrels, mink, Himalayan Balsam, Japanese Knotweed and rhododendron. Reporting by the public of suspected illegal activities is critical to their prevention. Should you see anything suspicious, please report it to Central Scotland Police on 01786 456000 and ask to be put through to the Wildlife Crime

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Callander Member’s Centre Diary Tuesday 9th October

‘The Wildcat and Lynx - Scotland’s Forgotten Cats’

by David Hetherington, Cairngorms National Park Authority Tues 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

Officer. Do not put yourself at risk from people or poisons and do not disturb the scene of the crime. On a happier note, winners of the Quiz are: 1st (1 year SWT Family Membership) was Martin Reid of Edinburgh; 2nd (visit for 4 to Argaty Red Kites) was Glen Kelly of Denny; 3rd (£15 voucher for Mhor Bread) was Cherie Bettison of Callander. Lesley Hawkins

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. in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary:

OCTOBER • Wed 3rd 9:30am Ramble: Blackford to Crieff (10 miles) contact 07737 682426 • Sat 6th 8:30am LDP: CtoC (9) Loch Dhu to Aberfoyle (9miles) contact 01877 330032 • Sat 13th 8:30am LDP: CtoC (10) Aberfoyle to Callander (9.5miles) contact 01877 330032 • Sat 20th 8:30am Hill: Beinn Chochain & Beinn Bhreac (703m) contact 01877 387201 • Wed 24th 9:30am Stroll: Kippen Circular (4miles) contact 01786 850237 NOVEMBER • Sat 3rd 8:30am Hill: Creag Each (672m) contact 01877 330930 • Wed 7th 9:30am Ramble: Glen Lochay (7.5miles) contact 01877 339080 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!


Rangers’ Review By Gareth Kett

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

As I write this article we are less than a week away from the end of the summer visitor season. While data collected during our patrols has yet to be analysed, anecdotally this has been a quiet season in which our loch shores have been subjected to less pressure than we have been accustomed to in past years. It is not possible to put a finger on the exact reason for this but it is fair to say that a combination of factors have come into play. Operation Ironworks (the partnership operation where Police Forces, National Park Rangers, Forestry Commission Scotland Rangers and Estate Bailiffs patrol areas together in an attempt to curb anti-social behaviour) has played a positive role in reducing anti-social behaviour, but the European Cup Football competition during the early part of the summer, the Olympics later in the season and the poor weather throughout have also been significant factors. While the reduction in anti-social behaviour is a step in the right direction, we would rather it was brought about by changing attitudes towards behaviour within the National Park and the wider Scottish countryside and by a more positive dynamic of visitor than by a reduction in visitor numbers as we need healthy visitor numbers to support the rural economy. A reduction in anti-social behaviour related problems does not mean that the situation is in any way satisfactory. Despite all our efforts a significant number of trees have been killed or damaged and there is still litter strewn along the loch shores. The Ranger Service will be leading National Park Volunteers in a series of litter picks over the winter starting with Loch Earn on the 4th and 5th October. We will be meeting at the Lochearnhead Office at 0930 and will finish at around 1500 each day. If anyone would like to join us for any amount of time you will be very welcome. You would have to bring gloves as there may not be enough litter pickers to go round and would need your own transport. You may have heard the red deer stags on the hills roaring as once again the red deer rutting season is upon us. The rut tends to start around mid-September and runs into mid-November. Red deer stags are majestic animals, weighing up to 145kg in uplands areas of Scotland, 22

although further south they can weigh much more. For most of the year stags and hinds segregate by varying degrees, with hinds occupying areas with proportionately more grassland and adjacent groups of stags occupying poorer ground, often with more heather. Away from the rutting season ranges are undefended but during the rut dominant males usually defend a harem of females or the area around them. These areas may be several kilometers from usual summer and wintering areas. There is a great deal of ritualized display during the rut with stags roaring, thrashing vegetation with their antlers, wallowing and spraying with urine and ejaculum. The most dominant stags roar more frequently and for longer. Serious fighting only occurs between animals of similar size and strength. Following the roaring contest the stags walk along side by side until one lowers and turns its head and they lock antlers, fighting by pushing and twisting until a victor emerges. Serious injuries and death sometimes occur. The longer a stag holds a harem, the weaker he will become and dominant stags are sometimes displaced by previously weaker challengers towards the end of the rut. All stags have a greatly reduced food intake during the rut, losing around 14% of their pre-rut body weight, which can leave them compromised if the ensuing winter is early and severe (S. Harris & D.W. Yalden 2008). On to a somewhat smaller red native mammal. Each year we ask people to be especially vigilant on the roads as this is the time of year that red squirrels are building up fat reserves for the winter, with many of them taking advantage of the hazel that can be found in abundance amongst much of our woodland roadside vegetation. Red squirrels display very poor road awareness and a number have already been killed on the A84 and A85 in our area, so please watch out for them. We are also asking people to keep a look out for grey squirrels in the Lochearnhead, Balquhidder and Strathyre area following a report of a grey squirrel in Lochearnhead. We seem to get the odd grey squirrel turning up in Lochearnhead every few years, normally at this time of year when they are foraging for food for the winter and young from the second litter of the year are dispersing. So far they have not

Red deer stags fight it out Š

become established east of St. Fillans. Itis important that we maintain the status quo so please pass on any sightings of grey squirrels to us or to Lewis Pate the Scottish Wildlife Trust Area Squirrel Project Officer; e-mail or telephone 01389722605. Thanks for all your reports of wildlife sightings. It really helps us build up a picture of wildlife population health and distribution in our area. As usual if you have any wildlife sightings to report or any queries please contact me on the aforementioned number or e-mail gareth.kett@, or contact Graeme on 01389 722115, e-mail graeme. Reference: Harris, S & Yalden D.W. (2008) Mammals of the British Isles: Handbook, 4th Edition. Impress Print, Corby, UK

McLaren High School News by Yvonne King

Senior Awards Ceremony 2012 The evening started with the sound of the pipes as Gregor Black led the platform party onto the stage. Peter Martin, Headteacher, opened the evening by introducing Dr Morag Dr Morag Hardy and Magnus Hardy (née Arkieson) a former pupil Haughey who in 1942 won one of McLaren’s most prestigious prizes - The War Memorial Prize for services to others. She went on to win the Dux in 1945 and was Head Girl! In a lovely break with tradition it was Morag who presented this year’s Dux Magnus Haughey with his silver medal. The formal part of the evening was brought to a close by the outgoing Head Boy (Liam Garvie) and Head Girl (Megan Rhys) who encouraged the pupils to take full advantage of all the support both inside and outside of the classroom offered to them at McLaren. Music was provided by Ava Dinwoodie (Voice) and Seona Glen (Piano). Magnus Haughey played us out with an amazing technique on the guitar! The CfE Swimming Gala On Wednesday 29 August 2012 our new S1 students participated in their very first sporting event at McLaren High – the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Swimming Gala. This was a great opportunity for the students to win points for their new houses and to get a feel for the strong sense of positive sportsmanship that McLaren promotes. Dawn Primrose S6 Outward Bound Classic Course at Loch Eil In August I was very fortunate to take part in an OB Classic course. During the 3 weeks at Loch Eil we had three different expeditions, all harder than the last. In the first few days we climbed the Mamore Hills, with four peaks in one day, so right from the beginning it was very challenging! Whilst I was there I met great people and the twelve people in my group became very close. During the course we took part in such activities as kayaking, gorge walking and rocking climbing. By the time we did our second expedition, a canoeing trip, the group had bonded very well and morale was very high. We canoed the length of Loch Sheil which took us two days. During the second week we had to complete a task called solo where you were given the basic necessities to survive and placed somewhere - in my case on the shore line! I was given a sheet of tarpaulin and some rope to create a shelter and basic foods to cook for dinner . We were given 26 hours to be able to survive on our own, and given the time to think about our lives and the future. I found this experience really exciting and felt proud I was able to complete the task. On the third week we were due to go on a three night expedition hill walking

The Group!

Musical Event On 21 July a small group from McLaren High School attended the Clan MacLaren Society’s 50th Anniversary Dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillans to entertain the guests with some traditional Scottish music. The 75 guests came not only from Scotland but from the rest of the UK, Germany and as far away as the USA and Australia to celebrate this important Clan event. The Clan enjoyed the traditional music and the Chairman, Hamish McLaren, thanked us for playing our selection of tunes. I would like to thank McLaren High pupils James Cameron and Lauren Third for joining us with their fiddles and Miss Lorna Hardie, Music Teacher, for playing the keyboard. It was a really enjoyable evening. Yvonne King, accordion, and group organiser

Tamsin gets to grips with a canoe

without an instructor. Throughout this expedition there were many incidents introduced where we had to work well as a team to get our team member back down the hill as quickly and safely as possible. In the end we walked up to 20km a day and were able to work well as a team to get a good end result. The only problem being the extortionate amount of midges! The thing I enjoyed the most was climbing Ben Nevis because we did not climb up the tourist route but a route which was a scramble and very challenging. I think my most challenging point was the ‘solo’ because I have never spent that amount of time on my own, with no knowledge of the time or anything/anyone to distract me. In the end it was hard to say good bye to my team mates because over the three weeks we became very close and I believe I have made friends for life. Tamsin Webster S6

Duke of Edinburgh Fundraising Ceilidh The McLaren Duke of Edinburgh Group is holding a Fundraising Ceilidh in McLaren High School on Friday 5 October, 7pm – 11pm. Tickets are priced £7 each or £25 for a family ticket and are available from Jacquie Fingland, telephone 07798 747886 or pupils can see Cameron Gibson in the school. Come along for an enjoyable evening – live ceilidh music, buffet, bar and raffle! Former Pupils Lunch The Annual Former Pupils’ Reunion took place on Saturday 8 September and was attended by Former Pupils from throughout the UK and as far afield as New Zealand and Australia. If you are a former pupil of McLaren High School and would like information on Former Pupil events please contact Moyra McLaren at

visit our website: 23


Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

The good and the bad in Killin Recently a music night took place in the village hall in Killin when 15 bands from the Clydebank area performed. The event was to raise money and awareness for the Beatson Cancer Unit. People began arriving on the Friday night with many of them camping on the playing field. The event began about 1pm on the Saturday and finished at 1am the following morning. During the day more people set up camp as well as a number staying in B&Bs. Everybody appeared to have a good time and enjoyed the various bands. Unfortunately, despite the purpose of the night, we were kept busy as a result of carrying out a number of drug searches of both vehicles and people. In total seven people have been reported for possession of drugs. We recovered cannabis, herbal cannabis, ecstasy tablets and cocaine as well as various drug paraphernalia. The total value of the drugs recovered is about ÂŁ900.00. Whilst the majority of those reported are from the Clydebank area two local males have also been reported for possession of cocaine. Drunk driver caught Just after 1am on Sunday 2nd September I was on foot patrol in Strathyre when I indicated for the driver of a van to stop. When the driver saw me he accelerated and sped past me and headed towards Callander. I quickly got into my truck and began following him. I knew my colleagues were at a static road point in Kilmahog so I warned them of the approaching van. The van eventually passed their location and again refused to stop. The driver went into Callander and headed for Aberfoyle. As this was happening one of our traffic cars was heading to us from Stirling. As

the van passed the Aberfoyle turn off the driver decided to stop. It became apparent that he had been drinking and he failed the roadside breath test I gave him. I took him to Stirling where he provided another sample which was more than twice the legal limit. A male from the Falkirk area has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal. Credit where credit is due Recently a party took place in one of the hotels in Strathyre which involved teenagers. To say that the alarm bells were ringing as to what might happen was an understatement. In the run up to the party I met with the licensee on a number of occasions when we discussed his responsibilities, etc. On the night of the party I visited the premises and was very pleased to see that the recommendations I had made had been followed and that all reasonable steps had been taken by all the staff to ensure there were no problems. However the biggest pat on the back must go to the party goers. Everybody appeared to be having a good time, I did not see anybody (too) drunk and we did not receive any calls from local residents complaining about their behaviour. At the end of the night busses and cars arrived to take everyone home. I am delighted for those who went to the party who showed that they can be responsible for their actions and that young people are good citizens and not all of them behave badly when they mix with alcohol. Early Evening Pursuit I have no doubt many of you will have watched the various TV programmes both here in the UK and also in the US which follow police officers as they respond to various calls. The most popular segments are the car chases which invariably appear to take place in the middle of the night.

You maybe forgiven for thinking that incidents such as these only occur in the big cities and involve top of the range vehicles racing down motorways and dual carriageways being pursued by high performance police cars. Unfortunately this is not always the case. A couple of weeks ago I was involved in a pursuit which not only took place on the A85 and the surrounding roads but occurred mid-week at 6 o’clock in the evening. I was driving my new L200 and the other vehicle was a Land Rover. Thankfully despite the driver at times reaching speeds of 100mph nobody else was involved. When the driver was caught he decided to assault one of my colleagues by punching him in the face. He appeared at Stirling Sheriff Court to answer numerous road traffic offences such as no insurance, disqualified driving, failing to stop and dangerous driving. He was remanded in jail and appeared in court on 20 September when he pled guilty. He was returned to jail whilst a decision on his sentence is being considered. Blues and Twos Emergency vehicles are easily identifiable as they are usually covered in reflective squares of yellow, blue, silver, green or are big and red. They also have lots of flashing blue and red lights fitted to them and just so you can hear us before you see us they have very loud anddistinctive sirens. Despite all these extras it still amazes me, and all my colleagues from the emergency services, that other drivers do not see or hear us approaching. They are either oblivious as to what is going on around them or else they choose to ignore the warnings believing they do not need to follow the Highway Code. Which ever it is, it is both dangerous and reckless. If you see or hear an emergency vehicle approaching you should: Look for a safe place to stop or pull over Use your indicators! This will let us know you are aware we are behind you Stop at the nearest and safest place Think before pulling back onto the road, other emergency vehicles may be coming. Do NOT: Stop on a bend or in such a place that it is impossible to see past your vehicle Ignore the sirens and lights Panic, we know what we are doing! Slow down to 20mph but continue to drive along the road. PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000


Farm Forum: Trees or Sheeps? It always amuses me when I hear so called experts talking about greenhouse gases, because I often wonder how much they produce with their frequent utterances! I read a very interesting report by Patsy Hunter the other day in which she points out that farmers have long been labeled the “bad guys” by environmentalists due to the amount of greenhouse gases produced from keeping livestock. This could apparently all change according to new research highlighting the carbon capturing role of grazed hill farms. A well known professor said “it has been a bit of a knee jerk reaction to say that cattle and sheep should be removed from the hills to allow more trees to be planted and carbon to be stored, as figures coming through show livestock farms by and large to be carbon neutral.” He went on to say “This is a really big issue which needs to be addressed as

there are huge implications for the industry if our livestock sector continues to fall.” He stressed the need for more investigations to quantify just how much carbon grazed ground, both upland and lowland, was taking in. So many areas of the highlands have been denuded of livestock during the last decade, it surprises me that people cannot see the impenetrable wilderness that ensues. During the summer I met a man who turned out to be a botanist, taking photographs of orchids at the roadside at Inverlochlarig. He explained that they are getting scarce because they are being smothered by “regeneration” and, as this ground was grazed by livestock, they were flourishing in abundance. The electronic identification of sheep is still causing major problems and no answers seem to be in sight. However electronic identification for cattle is now in

the offing but, initially at least, will be a voluntary scheme which will be reviewed in five years. Logic is not a word that is understood in the corridors of power, which is not really surprising when the politicians often have little or no practical knowledge of the subject on which they are pontificating. It does seem to me, however, that if we were going to be saddled with EID it would have been a lot more sensible to start of with cattle which are slightly more easily controlled than hill sheep. Note that my emphasis is on the “if ” because I believe the traceability we had was more than adequate in any case. Let us not forget that the last Foot and Mouth outbreak came from the Government’s own research establishment and no amount of electronic tags would have helped! Note:I am sure I heard somewhere that there is a move afoot to electronically tag traffic wardens and car owners would be issued with detector units – on second thoughts it might just have been a dream! Agricola

Cuttings from Times Past... in which the sale of a cow is not as straightforward as you might think... Copy letter. Messrs A & J. Jenkins Solicitors, Stirling. Callander 9th Feby. 1893

Dear Sirs, Mr Ferguson, Aberfoyle has consulted me with reference to your letter to him of 6th instant. The facts are these, Mr Ferguson’s son agreed to sell the cow in question to Mr McKeich at the price of £10, on the express condition that she would be lifted by New Year’s day, as Mr Ferguson was getting short of fodder. Although Mr McKeich was several times in Aberfoyle after New Year’s day he never called for the cow, and as Mr Ferguson could keep her no longer he wired Mr McKeich on 9th January that if the cow was not lifted on the following day she would be sold, Mr McKeich did not send for the cow on the following day, but on the 11th he sent a man for her, but as this had no money to pay for her, Mr Ferguson refused delivery, and disposed of the cow to another dealer, at the same money, £10 which was the full value. In these circumstances therefore Mr Ferguson declines to pay anything to Mr McKeich, and if he chooses to raise an action against Mr Ferguson I shall advise the latter to defend it to the utmost. I am , Yours truly, (Sgd) Wm Carmichael

October’s lovely Photo of the Month is from Mary McDiarmid of the Four Seasons.

The above letter settled the matter, but had the cow been sold the second time for more money, the difference might have had to be returned. From Agricola’s historic collection of writings!



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• 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 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

Weekly Activities 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

Wednesday Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am-12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Thursday

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

OCTOBER 6 8 9 8-14 13 26 27

Callander Film Society restarts - see p8 Monday Lunch Club resumes DRT Service restarts - see p.7 ‘The Wildcat and Lynx’ - Scottish Wildlife Trust talk - see p. 21 National Chocolate Week at the Four Seasons Ballroom Dancing starts up - Lochearnhead Hall - see p. 6 Quiz - Watersports Centre, Lochearnhead - starts 7pm for 7.30pm - see p.2 Table Top Sale - Strathyre Village Hall - see p. 6

NOVEMBER 1 3 13 20

Ardell Morton’s Art Classes start - see p. 10 Bonfire Night & Fireworks Party, - Field behind The Drummond - St Fillans ‘The Great Trossachs Forest’ - Scottish Wildlife Trust talk - see p. 21 First Meeting of Callander & West Perthshire U3A - Callander Youth Project, Bridgend, Callander - 2pm - see p.2

Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 Councillor Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497

Mobile 07881 310 924

Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET Mobile 07824 496 019

01786 443497

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: Published by The BLS Newspaper Association

The Villagers October 2012  

Village news, view from the park, community council, accommodation, Balquhidder, St Fillans, Strathyre and Lochearnhead news, Village Halls

The Villagers October 2012  

Village news, view from the park, community council, accommodation, Balquhidder, St Fillans, Strathyre and Lochearnhead news, Village Halls