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JUNE 2011



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

Prestigious Palace Project

Well Worth the Visit! Thanks to Matthew Shelley of Historic Scotland, my cousin and I were able to visit the nearly completed Palace Project at Stirling Castle two weeks before the official opening. Donning hard hats and luminous waistcoats, for safety reasons, of course, we were taken through the royal apartments of King James V and his Queen, Mary of Guise. After two years’ hard work by architects, stonemasons, weavers, embroiderers, the wood carver and many other specialists, the rooms have been furnished according to the researches by the historians. Now you can walk through the apartments and really sense the Royal atmosphere of the 16th Century, surrounded by reproductions of the wall hangings, paintings, ornaments and furniture. We were very impressed by the quality of the work and the dedication to detail which brought the whole concept together. The rich variety of fabrics and techniques used in that time have been brought back to life and this has enriched the work of today’s craftsmen and women.

The set of seven tapestries ‘The Hunt of the Unicorn’ is not yet complete. Five were in place and the sixth is almost finished. We watched the weavers at their arduous work and marvelled at the intricacy of the designs. The original tapestries are housed in the Cloisters Museum at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. There is now, with the completion of this project, the opportunity for people of all ages to learn and appreciate a little of the past history of the Royals in Stirling Castle. We also enjoyed visiting the exhibitions down in the vaults which are very handson and aimed at children but which will undoubtedly give adults too a great deal of pleasure. Marguerite Kobs Marion Eifinger (An expert in conservation of murals and stone objects)

The grand opening weekend on 4/5 June will be a sumptuous affair and an exciting experience for all the family. Further information can be found on the website: Photos courtesy of Historic Scotland

EDITOR’S NOTE First of all a big thank you to Marguerite for continuing her excellent work as editor. I am becoming even more aware of all of the different skills – technical and diplomatic apparently being paramount – needed for this task. I am certainly hoping all the regular contributors will be able to continue their good work – and we might reveal some of the personalities behind their pen names eventually. Obviously many readers know exactly who they are but there are others (such as us when we started reading The Villagers) who would love to know more about these intriguing characters. Old Nyati this month, for example, poses an interesting question at the end of his article. Answers to this via e-mail, postcards etc., please with a prize for the best contribution. In next month’s edition there will be an interview with ????? (see photo, right) I was privileged to do whilst on holiday in Australia. This will include his suggestion for one of his books he hopes the new Villagers Book Club might enjoy. Jill Johnston

Jill and... guess who?

Paintings For Your Pleasure

The group enjoying a break from their labours



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

15.1 ºC 19.6 4.8 -0.8

59.1 ºF 67.3 40.6 28.8

Rainfall: 9.8 cms 3.9 ins Strongest wind gust 38mph on 4 April 2

Who would think that just six people could put on an Art Show of their own work? Well, that is exactly what the U3A Callander Painting for Pleasure group is planning to do on Saturday and Sunday 25 and 26 June. As the group meets weekly in St Andrew’s Church Hall this will be the venue for the show, entitled “Paintings for Pleasure”. The public will be welcomed to view the work on display, enjoy a “cuppa” and home-baking and maybe take the opportunity to make some purchases. Greetings cards of the pictures will also be available. But who, you may ask, are these six painters? Well, they are all retired and so have greater time to pursue their interest: there is Patricia who specialises in flower paintings and who was involved in Art Shows in Oxfordshire earlier in her life; there is Maurice who is retired from the SSO and excels in animal paintings;

Mary, who is registered blind, would you believe, produces lovely watercolours particularly of snow scenes and who is accompanied occasionally by her guide dog, whose artistic prowess leaves a bit to be desired but who is a most welcome visitor; Eleanor’s work may well be familiar as she exhibits regularly in Stirling, Glasgow and Pitlochry Theatre and whose professionalism is an inspiration to the whole group; David’s rate of turnout leaves us breathless and Wednesday afternoons wouldn’t be the same without the purr of that hair drier! Then there’s me – well I just love painting and the company! So why not come and enjoy the show and meet these painters who will be glad to introduce their work and offer you a refreshing cup of tea. Barbara Legg

The St Fillans Bit There are two ways of demolishing a sadly decayed greenhouse. The first is to employ the services of a local tradesman who knows what he’s doing and will get rid of the resultant pile of glass and wood. The second way is to pressgang your long suffering wife into acting as labourer, arm yourself with hammers, wrecking bars and a bush saw, then smash away enthusiastically with the hammer in the hope that most of the glass falls inside the greenhouse (which it did). Then, using a rickety old step ladder, ascend with bush saw and attack the wooden frame. The final act is the step ladder sliding on the glass which you’ve just deposited on the ground, followed by the intrepid bush saw operator who lands in the broken glass. Thus it is that I type this with several square inches of skin missing off my hand and a sore back and neck. My considered conclusion is that the first option would be the best. (And we still have a pile of broken glass to move to the tip). Isn’t it just typical that as soon as locals offer boat and canoe hire on the loch the weather changes to almost constant wind and rain. None the less the Naitbys report steady business with their fishing boats and Mary from the Four Seasons tells me that there is good interest from their guests. All we need now is a bit of sun. The newly owned Drummond seems

to be prospering. At least on the food and drink side and the place is heaving at the weekends. Inevitably it will take time (and plenty of effort/money) to build up the rooms trade but Andy is going for it. At The Four Seasons they are noticing a definite trend for folk to eat in the Tarken Bistro rather than the more formal restaurant, to the extent that they are having to turn people away especially on weekend nights. Simple message: book ahead. As reported last month we now have a newly constituted Community Council and the members have elected Steve Howell as new Chairman, wife Isobel continues as Treasurer and Trish Forrester as Secretary. The speed with which Trish churns out the minutes of the meetings is more than impressive and she could find herself with a job for life if she’s not careful. The Festive Committee have finalised plans for this year’s event which kicks off with a Soft Ball tournament on Friday 12 August, followed by supper and music from the Billy Ferguson Band in the marquee. Although billed as a ceilidh band Billy and the boys play just about anything so a good night is on the cards. On the Saturday there is the traditional BBQ, bouncy castles etc and daft games but the theme is Magic - fancy dress in any form related to magic is welcomed (but not essential) and there will be a Magician there who will entertain at the

Loch Earn’s Finest View... and Food Glorious Food

Bistro Lunch from £9.99 Afternoon Teas, Bistro Suppers, Fine Dining or just come along and enjoy our view! The Four Seasons Hotel, St Fillans

01764 685 333

tables during the BBQ and then do a show afterwards. Just like that! On Sunday the usual hog roast is replaced by a Spit Lamb Roast, and if there is a better smell than lamb roasting I’ve never experienced it. Sunday music this year is from the band who played on the Saturday last year when, due to unfortunate timing, the band finished just as most people were sitting down. I was lucky enough to hear most of their ‘set’ and it was really excellent. I think they call their style ‘Cool Jazz’ – great stuff, not to be missed. There will be the usual auction with Sue and Ivan twisting arms right now to drum up prizes. Russell Cunningham is now heading up a group whose aim is to create a permanent kids’ play park in the village behind The Drummond and all surpluses from the Festive Weekend will be earmarked for that project. The idea has been floated for years and it’s good to see a start being made on it. The St Fillans Players are back in action rehearsing a production which will play on 7, 8 & 9 July in The Sandison. It’s called Ladies Day and is a very funny play, but my lips are sealed beyond that. Tickets will be available in mid June and methinks it’s one not to miss. Over at The Golf Club, caterers Marion and James Logan are now offering personalised bottles of wine for members and visitors. With a red called ‘Old Goat’ and a dry white called ‘Wild Goat’ – both labels bearing the club logo, these make excellent gifts or mementos. The Goat bit comes from the club’s logo which has long been a combination of Dundurn Hill (known locally as Goat Hill) and a drawing of one of the wild goats so often seen in the area. Fraser also tells me that, in light of the present economic restraints which really do make us all consider our expenses, the club is waiving the usual joining fee for 2011. Which makes it a good time to get enrolled or to rejoin if your membership has lapsed. This month’s St Fillans Bit is, sadly, somewhat briefer than usual. One reason being that, apart from The Golf Club, I have received no input from villagers on forthcoming events, or any matters of local interest. So, I repeat my oft stated plea, please let me know of events or happenings or just of things that annoy or affect you in our village. No input equals no column - seemples! John Murray 3

Stirling County... at Murrayfield! Coffee Morning to raise funds for the

BLS Playgroup

on Sat 18 June

Left: Running on to the hallowed turf (what a moment); and below: “We did it!”

at Lochearnhead Village Hall from 10.00am - 4.00pm We have a few stalls booked: candles, Usborne books, garden ornaments, ceramics, tombola and raffle. The Callander Fire Brigade will also make an appearance!

The Village Store St Fillans

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

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

01764 685309



the unusual woodland plant nursery wide range of trees, shrubs and perennials. ...also interesting indoor and outdoor gifts and ornaments, fairtrade wooden craft, range of birdcare, tools and garden sundries. open 10.30-5.30 except Tuesday

01764 670038

We’re just west of Comrie on the A85 4

It was a double celebration for Stirling County Rugby Club on Saturday 7 May, when the Under 18 and Under 16 squads played in the National Youth Cup Finals at Murrayfield, Edinburgh. The U16s, pictured above, will share the cup with Ayr, after a hard-fought and exciting game from two very well matched sides. The final score was 17-17. McLaren High School pupils and former McLaren Minis players, Angus Leishman, Angus Perrie and Adam Woods were members of the team. The U18s (below) gave a powerful performance against Selkirk, leading from the start - and finished with an emphatic win over the borders youth side: 41-13. McLaren High School pupils Ruaridh Leishman and Will Vernon were members of the U18 team as well as former pupil Colin Hutton. To play on the national pitch at Murrayfield in front of enthusiastic supporters was a wonderful experience for all the boys and a great way to round off the 2010/2011 season.

Stirling Community Hospital – a new beginning Following the transfer of acute services from Stirling to Larbert in July 2011, Stirling Royal Infirmary will take on a new role as a Community Hospital, one of four which will support the work of Forth Valley Royal Hospital. This will ensure that local people from across Stirling continue to have access to a wide range of health services, including a new Minor Injury Unit. This Unit, which will initially be based in the former A&E department, will provide treatment for a wide range of common injuries such as sprains, cuts, minor burns and broken bones. Stirling Community Hospital will also continue to be a base for hundreds of NHS staff and handle more than 200,000 patient appointments each year, maintaining an important presence at the heart of the community. It will provide a wide range of outpatient services including: • Minor Injury Unit • GP Out-Of-Hours Services • X-Ray and Ultrasound • Dermatology • Audiology • Women’s Health (including midwifery-led clinics, antenatal and post-natal care) • Children and Young People’s Services (including medical clinics, therapy services, mental health services) • Physiotherapy • Dietetics • Sexual Health • Rehabilitation Services (including appliance and orthotics, speech and language therapy and wheelchair clinics) • Diabetes Day Centre (including Diabetic Retinal Screening) • A range of outreach clinics provided by clinical staff from Forth Valley Royal Hospital including Rheumatology, Neurology, Endocrinology and Specialist Nurse Clinics) • Hepatitis Clinics

Know Who To Turn To

NHS For th Va l l e y has produced a booklet which has been distributed to G P pr a c t i c e s a n d community pharmacies and is also available on the Forth Valley website The booklet describes the wide range of health services available across Forth Valley and gives examples of common conditions to help you make your decision on where to turn to for healthcare treatment and advice, for example a Minor Injury Unit, GP, pharmacist or dentist.

There are plans to transfer some in-patient services currently provided at Bannockburn Hospital to more modern accommodation on the Stirling Community Hospital site.

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


Stuart and Fiona

Business as usual In The Park Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park are offering tourism businesses an opportunity to register for a new, innovative online Business Toolkit. The ‘Business in the Park’ toolkit is a FREE service designed to support local businesses. It provides National Park information, a stunning photo gallery, a series of ‘Top 10’ tourism things to do and see, downloadable maps, case studies, green tourism ideas, event information, daily weather forecasts and lots of tips on how to successfully promote your business, which includes the use of an eye-ctaching logo. The toolkit will be regularly updated to help keep the local business community in touch with news and developments in and around the area and will include visitor statistics, event information and monthly recommendations from National Park Rangers.


Fiona Logan, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park explains: “The more information and knowledge local businesses can share with their visitors, the more likely they are to succeed in helping them to get the best out of the Park, to stay for longer and to return time and time again.” It is estimated that within the National Park there are nearly a thousand tourism businesses, all of which can now benefit from the information that has been made available within the toolkit. One company planning to make use of the toolkit is Cruise Loch Lomond, run by Stuart Cordner, seen here with Fiona Logan. If you would like to know more then visit http://www.lochlomond-trossachs. org/businesstoolkit and complete a registration form.

recipes from our local hotels by Steve Nixon Uncle Bob’s Rumbledethump Roulade Ingredients 8oz peeled and diced carrot 1½ lbs peeled and diced potato 8oz washed and sliced spring cabbage 12oz peeled and diced turnip 6oz butter 1 egg yolk Oats Breadcrumbs Egg wash

at The Inn & Bistro, Strathyre

Method Place carrot, turnip and potatoes in water and cook until soft. About 5-8 minutes before veg is ready, add cabbage. Drain, mash and season. Add egg yolk and butter and if mix is too wet, add oats until mixture is workable. Roll into a sausage/croquette shape on a lightly floured surface and cut into 3in lengths. Flour, egg and breadcrumb the croquettes. Shallow fry in oil and butter mix until lightly browned , then place in oven (Gas 5) for 10-12 mins. Serve as a side dish - or with a herb, leek and cream sauce as a main course.

Off to Oz... We would all like to wish the very best to Tanya, Alasdair and wee Donald MacLennan of Balquhidder as they zoom off to Australia to a new life. They are meeting up with Chester the labrador who flew out a few weeks ago to get things organised for them! They will all be greatly missed. Hope to see you back some day!

Donald gets into koala practice at the MacLennans’ recent Bon Voyage party

Chester: “What day do they get here?”


Church News Balquhidder Reg. Charity No. SC012316

Midsummer Concert

Birth Announcement (by email) from Hannover

As promised, we are on course to present a special fundraising concert at the Church on Friday 24 June at 7.30pm. It will be a similar format to the New Year concert and will give us a chance to hear again our talented local artistes. More details are available on posters in local shops and around the villages. As before, tickets will be £5.00, available at the door. At least this time there should be no problem with snow and ice ! Christian Aid Week We sent £119.00 to Christian Aid in response to the End Poverty campaign. Many thanks to all who donated to this annual appeal. Jean Edwards BOOK TITLES

The white-wellied bride gave birth to a gorgeous son! As we promised last year we would like to inform you about the latest news in our little family. On Friday, 6 May my wife Kathrin gave birth to Karlo, a healthy and beautiful boy, just two days before this year’s Mothers Day in Germany. The little toddler was 50cm tall and weighed 2,750 grams. As we like the thought of passing on names that have already run in the family we have chosen the name Karlo. My grandfather`s name was Charles McLaren. The regular German variation - Karl - sounded a bit too tame to us, that is why have chosen the better-sounding Karlo. All our Scottish relatives are really excited with us and are looking forward to going to “wet the baby’s head” when they will be walking on Boar’s Rock in July. In one of our photos Karlo shows how incredibly proud he already is to be a Scotsman. We hope everything is fine with you and wonderful Balquhidder. The very proud parents Kathrin & Dominic Wichmann

A Prize Waiting for You! We of ‘The Friends of Balquhidder Church’ are looking for a new picture, photo, painting, sketch, winterish in nature, to have printed as Christmas cards that we can sell to raise funds to keep our church going. There will be a small prize for the best and selected picture. You can enhance it in any way; maybe the computer could be used. We would like a bit of colour and imagination. Entries must be sent by the end of July this year! Make sure you sign it. All originals will be returned. So come on, dig out some super photos and do something to them. (Nothing bigger than A4 in size, please!) Please either send them to: Polly Perkins, 1 Auchtubh, Balquhidder Lochearnhead, FK19 8NZ or e-mail your fabulous art work to: I so look forward to hearing from all you artists! Polly Perkins Committee Member ‘Friends of Balquhidder Church’


Mathematics by Myles B Yondus A Mess in the Way by G G Dunnitt Escaping Rats by Norah Hole Danger! by Luke Owte Without Warning by Oliver Sudden Grave Mistakes by Paul Bearer Need Insurance? by Justin Case I Love Mathematics by Adam Upp Smash His Lobster! by Buster Crabbe

Late arrivals to the Russian Ball... Mr and Mrs Peace and their son Warren Mr and Mrs Stroika and their son Perry

Sponsorship The Villagers will be sponsoring local events once again this year and we ask organisers to write to the Business Manager (address on back page) with their requests.

Pin-Feathers* by Old Nyati

*Once in demand by Victorian miniaturists, the tiny pin-feather comes from the leading edge of a woodcock’s wing and only two such feathers occur on each bird (one on each wing). This month Old Nyati sketches the comings and goings from his dining room window. It was the late Bobby Bennett of Stronvar Garden who inspired me to keep a count of all the different bird species seen in the garden and around the glen. My own count has reached 54 seen from the dining room window and a further 23 different ‘A young pheasant’s fancy...’ ones seen in the glen. Over time we seem chap...” to have gained ospreys but just about lost “I think I saw her first, old Black Game and Red Grouse. One of the most unusual sights was when I saw a peregrine stoop and take a blackbird about 30m outside the window. But what about all these photographs? Well it is that time of year when, as they say, “A young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love” and “Spring is in the air” and what a wonderful month April turned out to be, something of a record it seems. The two cock pheasants were having a real scrap over the resident ladies as they do sometimes, occasionally fighting to the death if one has particularly long spurs to inflict a killing wound. The chap resting on his own looks a bit defeated after losing in the courtship display, looking like a sideways peacock trying to impress his girlfriend. We have been taking sides watching the rivalry between the two cock birds as they do have different mannerisms and are easily recognised. Most of the pheasants in the glen are no more than two generations removed from hand reared birds from nearby estates and, in the face of predators, Cock pheasant looking a bit defeated they would quickly go the same way as the Black Game. When our dog is being groomed and shedding a lot of hair at this time of year it is amusing to see the immediate arrival of the tits to collect the hair for their nests and it is all gathered up in about 15 minutes! The Spotted Flycatcher has returned and has chosen to build behind a set of antlers under the workshop overhang and the wagtails are at home in a garden bank. I think this wonderful time of year can be summed up by this little story: Some passing visitors to the glen were Pied Wagtail asking me directions for taking a walk as they were staying in the area on holiday. In Providing building material! a lovely Lancashire accent they explained that they came from “Boulton” (Bolton) Spotted Flycatcher and, after an interesting conversation and as they were about to leave, one of them asked if she could ask me one more question - “What is it like to live in Paradise?”

The Gatherer

Well perhaps you can think of your own answer to that one. (See the competition note in the Editor’s column.) 9

McLaren High School News

by Yvonne King

Senior Ski Course 2011 In April, a group of pupils and staff set off by coach on the long journey to Austria for a week of skiing. The challenge for the instructors was to bring on the skiing of the different groups, whilst ensuring that everyone enjoyed themselves and had a good opportunity to ski the vast area available. For the most part the weather was very hot and sunny despite the altitude (2,500m). The group visited the ski area of Kaltenbach and were treated to a day on the Hintertux glacier. At an altitude of some 3,400m the snow quality was fantastic allowing the groups to ski at pace in the brilliant sunshine. The group then moved to Zell am Ziller which again provided a vast skiing arena. Apres ski activities involved a little bit of ‘chilling’ in the sun on the hotel balcony, the ‘not to be missed quiz night’, an opportunity to watch the champions league, and a fantastic experience of traditional Austrian 10-pin bowling.

Cup v Alva

The Wet Warriors (!) on 5 May

McLaren High Senior 7s Rugby A depleted McLaren side took part in our annual 7s at Stirling. We comfortably won our 4 pool games beating Larbert 6 tries to 0, Grangemouth 4 tries to 2, Alloa 5 tries to 0 and Dunblane 3 tries to 1 to finish top of our group. This hard schedule took its toll in the semi-final against Alva, and we lost 6 tries to 3, however the team should be commended for their hard work.

Under-14 Rugby Team Cap a Great Season In May the team took part in the Central Schools U14 Tournament at Stirling. They opened with a 19-0 win over Wallace High followed by the narrowest of victories 1-0 win over Balfron (a lastminute drop goal by Andrew Nixon). Next up was an 18-0 win over Alva and the final game against Lornshill Academy was won 17-0. This was a fantastic performance from the boys who all did well against some very strong opposition, albeit having only 13 players. They worked as a team and kept a clean sheet throughout. Captain Andrew Nixon was presented with the winners shield by Kris Burney from Active Stirling. This means they have played the whole season (13 games) undefeated!

Under-16 7s Rugby Our Under 16 side kept up their winning run by winning the Balfron 7s, beating a combined Wallace High/Dunblane High in the final. Top scorer was Jamie Patterson but all the boys got in on the act. Senior Rugby The Senior XV played in the final of the Central Cup against Alva recently. The game started well but Alva, already Scottish Bowl winners, proved too strong and despite 2 tries from Will Vernon and 1 from Ruairidh Leishman, Alva were deserved 43-15 winners. U-16 Cup Congratulations to our U-16 side who won the Central Cup. As Stirling High were unable to play, the team played the winners and losers of the Plate final in 2 short games, beating Wallace 10-0 and drawing 5-5 with Balfron. Scorers were Adam Wood (2) and Angus Perrie. Adam was voted man of the match. This rounds off a great season with the boys reaching the Scottish Semi Final, winning the Central 7s and the Central Cup. Well done to the team! 10

Under 16s Central Cup, April

Spelling Bee On 28 April four first year students from McLaren High school took part in ‘The Times Spelling Bee’ competition in Glasgow. Scott McCoull, Georgina Vernon, Ross Patterson and Bryony Semple (pictured above) all trained hard and competed well in the competition doing themselves and the school proud. It was a great day out and the pupils thoroughly enjoyed themselves, learning how to spell a few new words along the way! Well done to all four contestants who worked well together as a team.

School Show The eagerly anticipated school performance of ‘Guys and Dolls’ will take place in the High School on 20, 21 and 22 June at 7.30pm. Tickets will cost £6.00 with concessions available at £4.50 for the performance on 20 June only. Tickets will go on sale on 6 June and will be available from the National Park Office, Main Street, Callander, or from the ICT Department at the School.

Dear Villagers, In response to the Community Council report in the May Villagers, I would like to offer another point of view on the pavement/street lighting issue. I totally agree that it is not easy to balance the ‘wild and natural charm’ of the area with modern life, but I totally disagree that safety should not be a main priority when, as is rightly pointed out, small children, casual sightseers and locals are walking these roads and on many occasions drivers are still driving through the village at much more than 30mph, especially at night. The village would not be any noisier or polluted if we have a pavement and lights. The village has grown in all directions in the past thirty years and now has little pockets of houses throughout the village. I completely understand why so many people want to live here, it is a beautiful and fantastic place to live. All of the new housing areas have street lights, as does the main road past the village shop. The only area that does not have lighting is along the Crieff Road from the hall. I was under the impression that part of reducing the speed limit within the village to 30mph (which I am all in favour of) was that street lighting and pavements had to be provided. As I understand it, these are basic requirements for having a 30 mile limit as opposed to a 40 limit. For anyone walking from the hall along the main road, it is VERY precarious, with the roots of trees lifting the existing pavements making it like an obstacle course, bad enough in daylight when you can see them (I have stumbled and sprained my ankle on several occasions - no drink involved) but a nightmare at night when it is pitch black and those of us with dogs need to take them a walk at bedtime. Similarly, the walk along to both hotels (and beyond) is an accident waiting to happen and the danger is multiplied when you have a couple of drinks or more. The safety issue of this, in a world gone ‘Health and Safety’ and ‘Risk Assessment’ mad is just ridiculous and I would argue that there is a very real need for street lighting in this part of the village. It will not affect the beauty of the village but will make it safer. I also strongly feel that if money had been set aside for this in the past it should STILL be available NOW. Even if the pavement part of the contract can’t be carried out, why can’t the lighting be done? As far as the notices which were put up; what a waste of time and money if they do not intend to do what they say; an issue I will be following up with Transport Scotland. Yours sincerely, Mary McDiarmid

Hungry for Success The healthy eating reward scheme continues with 15 sets of 2 cinema tickets being awarded in a monthly draw. Cinema tickets were awarded in March to the following pupils: Conor Alexander, Jack Barrett, Scott Dineley, Stephanie Irvine, Hannah Lane, Sabine Lang, Quintin Lyle, Luisa McWilliams, Euan Meikle, Phoebe Myles, Robyn Napier, Gregor Nixon, Samantha Ogilvie, Sophie Rees and Fiona Semple. And in April to: Jordan Anderson, Callum Bain, Freddie Bawden, Hannah Brisbane, Skye Campbell, Kaitlin Cassidy, Amie Duffy, Nicola Faulds, Scott Fleming, Jamie Hall, Ainsley Hardacre, Hannah Inglis, Harry Milligan, Douglas Petrie and Rory Wilson. Congratulations to all and well done for making healthy choices when purchasing food in the cafeteria. At the end of the school year in June 2011 the eighty pupils in Stirling Council’s high schools with the highest points will each receive an Amazon voucher to the value of £100. Pupils should register their lunch card at

visit our website: 11

20 – 26 June

Callander Rambling Club

Jill and Mary - they did it!

Pink Ribbon Walk Refugee Week is celebrated across the UK each year and aims to get rid of the negative stereotypes and misconceptions about refugees. A number of events are held nationwide to help educate people and break down some of the barriers and discrimination that refugees face. There will be several events going on around Stirling so please look out for the publicity, which will be available shortly. Running alongside Refugee Week is the Simple Acts campaign. This campaign is being used to encourage people to do one small act to help change the negative perceptions of refugees. It could be something like – cooking a dish from another country or watching a movie about refugees and is a great way to get all ages involved and learning about refugees. If you want to find out more about Refugee Week and the Simple Acts campaign please check out their websites, or http:// You can also follow them on Twitter or Facebook at RefugeeWeek and RefugeeWeek. If you would like to find out more about what is going on in Stirling please send an e-mail to


Several months ago glancing through a magazine, I saw an advert for ‘The Pink Ribbon Walk’ for breast cancer care. When I saw that one of the four walks was at Scone Palace it appealed to me, especially having known several people with breast cancer. Thinking I needed ‘a friend’ with me I asked Jill (your new editor) who also having friends with breast cancer, agreed at once to join me. We duly enrolled for the 10-mile walk and set about getting sponsors. The week before the walk our bright pink tee-shirts arrived and on 14 May we set off to Scone, where we were confronted by hundreds of people milling about. After a few speeches and a ‘warm-up’ we were off – joining a long crocodile of pink shirts. Luckily the rain stayed away and we marched merrily along being plied with bottles of water, snack bars and fruit along the way. We completed the walk in 3 hours and with husbands being duly impressed we were taken out for dinner that evening. Between us we have raised almost £600 – well worth the effort and grateful thanks to all who sponsored us. Next year Jill says we’re doing the 20-mile walk. We’ll see nearer the time!! Mary Barclay Photo by Alistair Barclay

Sponsored by Caledonian Country Wear The Club consists of a group of enthusiasts who meet regularly throughout the year to participate in a programme of strolls, rambles, hill walks and a Long Distance Path. Details are published on http://www. a m b l e r s . h t m in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New Members and guests are always welcome. JUNE • Sat 4th Rotary Sponsored Walk - Ben Ledi (879m) Richard Cooper 01877 331067 • Wed 15th 9:30am Stroll - Mugdock Moor and Country Park (5 miles) Jen Shearer 01877 330446 • Sat 18th 8:30am LDP - C to C (4) Strachur to Lochgoilhead (9 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Sat 25th 8:30am Hill - Stuchd an Lochain (960m) Richard Cooper 01877 331067 • Wed 29th 9:30am Ramble - The Glen Ogle Rail Trail (10 miles) Lesley Hawkins 01877 339080 JULY • Sat 9th 8.30am LDP - C to C (5) - Strachur to Lochgoilhead (9 miles) Paul Prescott 01877 330032 • Wed 13th 9:30am Ramble - Lady Margaret’s Walk, Crieff (8 miles) Susan McWhirter 01786 825198 • Sat 16th 8:30am Hill - Stob Binnein (from Inverlochlarig) (1165m) Mike Hawkins 01877 339080 • Sat 23rd 8:30am Ramble - Balquhidder to Brig O’Turk (10 miles) Bob Rennie 01877 330930

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

5 minutes with...

Mr Joe Seymour, Champion Budgie Breeder Karen and Mike Holliday nominated Joe Seymour, who lives in Strathyre, to be interviewed next. I have not met Joe Seymour before and I would love to see the budgies, so I am looking forward to the interview. Whilst parking at An Airigh, I notice the unusual parking sign at the gate: “Frog Parking only, all others will be toad”. A slight hesitation... my car isn’t French... but I park it there anyway. Joe is awaiting me on the doorstep, pointing out the damage the recent storm has caused to the roof of his house. Wasn’t the weather awful on the 23rd of May?! I am introduced to his lovely wife Jean and whilst a young red squirrel is having a good feed at the bird table just outside their living room window, we start the interview. Joe, how long have you lived in Strathyre? J: We are originally from Durham and bought ‘An Airigh’ in 1983 from my cousin because we liked Strathyre very much. We already came up every year for a holiday and we particularly liked to come up in winter to see the snow. In 1997, when I retired, we moved in permanently. It wasn’t a big step, moving to Strathyre. We already knew many people in the area from being here on holiday. What was your job, before you retired? J: I was a Civil Engineer in the North East of England. I designed and built bridges; a well known one is on the Darlington Bypass. What was ‘An Airigh’ like when you first moved in? J: ‘An Airigh’ was built in 1952 by Mr Hogan, the bricklayer who used to live in this house and by Mr Henderson, the local joiner, who was our next door neighbour. The house had metal windows and felt roof tiles. One day Jean was in the kitchen and saw this rather large box outside at Mr Henderson’s house. She thought, “Am I seeing things?? Surely this can’t be a coffin?!” All became obvious when we saw Mr Henderson outside his house in a top hat

and black suit. Mr Henderson was the local joiner come undertaker! His wife is still alive, she lives in Causewayhead. You clearly love the hills and country life. J: Yes I do. Mike mentioned the Mountain Rescue but in 1997 I was really too old to be a member. I very much enjoyed being a “casualty” during the training. My son and I climbed Mont Blanc in 1994 for Cancer Research. I was 61 at the time and 20 years older than the next guy... The team of 10 we were in consisted of my son (a paramedic), Durham County Traffic Police, ambulance staff and friends. We made £2,500 for Cancer Research which went to Freeman Hospital, County Durham, a hospital that has made a real change in developing cancer treatments. I like to be involved in the Stuc a’Chroin Hill Race and have done so for quite a few years but now I’m no longer actively involved and just on “the radio” as I’ve had both my knees done! I still go to Mike and Karen Holliday at Edinample to do the beating for the pheasant shooting though! What do you like and not like in our area? J: We love living where we live. Originally it was peace and quiet, which it still is but the roads have become busier. Nothing negative to say really, we like it here! The budgies! J: Yes, the budgies started in 1953 when I came back from doing my National Service in Hong Kong. My uncle had some while I was away and I thought it was a good idea to have some too and so the hobby started. I have had budgies ever since on and off until 1990 and even kept racing pigeons for twenty years. I gave the racing pigeons up in 1983 when I bought the house in Strathyre. In 2005, Jean told me she fancied some birds again and so we started having budgies again. We’re showing them all over Scotland in places like Edinburgh, Inverness, Kirkcaldy etc. and have now reached Champion status. The radio in the avery is playing and there are some absolutely stunning budgerigars happily chirping away. I learn about colours, albinos, lutinos, cobalt and sky blue budgies. I see a wall full of rosettes, have a look at all the awards won and sneak a peek into the nest of three newly born chicks. I might just visit again if I’m allowed to bring my children. It was great meeting you! Who would you like to be interviewed next? J: My neighbour Duncan Cameron (RSPB) and his dog Daisy. 13

B ALQUHIDDER S UMMER M USIC er to get your Retmi c keemt sbfor t h e Su m m e r

Mu s i c C on c e r t s - the first on 10 July and the fifth on 7 August, all at 7.00pm in Balquhidder Kirk. Visit


s 2011 Concert Date

--- 10 July --Djordje Gajic (virtuoso accordion) --- 17 July --Camerata Ritmata cussion) (guitar, piano, bass, per --y Jul --- 24 Tim Dean and Singers from the RSAMD --- 31 July --Alba Quartet (string quartet) --- 7 August --Bella Tromba (trumpet quartet)


mu ersummer d id h u lq a www.b

for the most recent information and pictures of some of the participants.


GO KART RACE 20 AUGUST at Killin Agricultural Show Trophy prizes kindly donated by A&B Services, Killin

Go karts must be home made – no engines allowed! For entry and sponsorship forms contact:

Kirsty Munro on 07796 070 159 In aid of

Killin New Year Firework Fund


Drs Strang & Scott Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses The surgeries and community nurses are taking part in a training programme. This is to meet the educational and training needs of all members of the practice and nursing team. The next training afternoon will be on: Tuesday 14 June Both practices and community nurse clinic will close at 12noon. Emergency cover will be provided by NHS24 for nursing and GPs. In the event of an emergency, please telephone 08454 242424. On that afternoon, please do not contact the surgeries for repeat prescriptions or for appointments.

Late arrivals to the Ball... Mr and Mrs Draws and their son Chester Mr & Mrs Garcia and their headless son Alfredo Mr and Mrs Wallcarpeting and their son Walter

Rangers’ Review By Gareth Kett

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park

Trossachs Water Vole Project update This spring has seen the beginning of a second phase in the Trossachs Water Vole Project (previously the Trossachs Water Vole Trial Reintroduction Project) focusing on encouraging water voles from the Loch Ard Forest population to spread out into adjoining areas aided by a mink control programme. Breadalbane Rangers are continuing to lead volunteers in monitoring the progress of the water voles in the project area. The project, which is led by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and supported by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, is the first water vole reintroduction project in Scotland. It began back in 2006 when water voles (which are UK Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Species) from the Kilgarth Junction construction site near Glasgow were taken to Derek Gow Consultancy in Devon to be bred, with the third generation progeny numbering around 500 being released into the Loch Ard Forest in 2008. In a link with our area the breeding water voles were supplemented with individuals from Glen Lochay to prevent genetic throw-backs late in 2008 and almost 300 more water voles were released in 2009 with a further 160 odd being released between last summer and this spring. Loch Ard was chosen as being the nearest suitable habitat to Kilgarth for water voles, having had a population of water voles which had gone extinct within the past twenty years due to habitat destruction and mink predation. FCS has created a network of good quality restored habitat along forest watercourses, favouring otters and polecats, which are natural competitors to mink. Mink became prevalent at a time when predatory wild mammals were largely persecuted leaving an empty niche for the mink to exploit. As indicated by the change in the title, the project has been a huge success to date. We hope that with some help the water voles will be able to spread out from the Loch Ard Forest into the wider Trossachs Area. Although not separate subspecies there are two distinctly different types of water vole in Britain. Upland

Watch out! There’s a vole about...

Scottish water voles are black in colour originating from Iberia, while populations to the south are by and large brown, slightly larger in size and originate from Eastern Europe. Aberfoyle and Loch Ard Forest are situated in the crossover area meaning that progeny from the brown water voles from the Kilgarth area can legitimately be bred with black individuals from Glen Lochay and reintroduced to the Loch Ard Forest/Trossachs area. Water voles have an average life expectancy of five months, being a choice prey species for many predators. They survive by breeding three or four times a year producing litters of between four and six depending upon climate and food availability. James Silvey has just taken over as Water Vole Project Officer from Anna-Marie Ford who has left to start a family. If you would like any more information on the Trossachs Water Vole Project or would like to get involved, just contact me at the Lochearnhead Office on 01389 722044 or James at the FCS Offices on 01877 382383. If you have any other queries or wildlife sightings to discuss please contact me on the above number or e-mail gareth.kett@, or contact Graeme on 01389 722115, e-mail

Calling all Upholsterers... and your chairs! Unbelievably it is 10 years since I came to Strathyre and started teaching upholstery. The classes have been run all round the area including Callander, Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Killin and students have come from as far as Stirling and Ardeonaig. To celebrate this I have tentative plans to hold an exhibition of work – past and present - probably sometime in September. This will be an open day with tea, coffee or glass of wine! A chance for people to see some of the amazing pieces that have been done over the years. Also it would be wonderful to get former students together for a reunion photograph. So please get in touch on 07824 446024 or email me at 15

Armed Forces Day On Saturday 18 June, Bridge of Allan will be playing host to the annual Armed Forces Day parade and military show. This also marks the homecoming of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders from Afghanistan. Serving personnel, veterans and cadets are invited to gather outside the Old Bridge Inn (close to Bridge of Allan Railway Station) from 11.15am for the parade to commence at 11.40am. The parade and bands will march to Strathallan Games Park - where those less able can join in before entering the arena for inspection of the troops at 12.30pm. The Stirling Military Show, entry to


which is free, starts after the parade and provides an afternoon of entertainment for all the family – there’s a tug-of-war, mock battle, the Police Dog Display team, the Quack Commandoes and lots more. There will be bouncy slides for the little ones, a climbing wall and inflatable assault course too. There will be a variety of stalls selling arts and crafts and lots of good food will also be on sale. Provost Fergus Wood said that “Stirling enjoys a unique relationship with the Armed Services, and this is a great opportunity to meet our young service men and women, celebrate the contribution they make, and have a great fun day out.”

Please note that parking at the Park will cost £1. On Thursday 16 June at 7.30pm, two authors will visit Bridge of Allan library and will be speaking of their experiences. Tom Renouf was in the Black Watch and saw service at the battle of Normandy, the liberation of Holland and the Battle of the Bulge. Alistair Urquhart wrote ‘The Forgotten Highlander’ an incredible story of his survival as a Japanese POW. Finally, a thanksgiving service will take place on Sunday 19 June, at 11.00am, in the Church of the Holy Rude. A warm welcome is extended to all serving armed forces, veterans and families.

Stirling Young Carers Inverlochlarig

Sheepdog Trials Saturday 23 July It’s an all day event starting at 9.00am and consisting of various different classes. As always there will be catering on-site as well as toilets. All welcome and no entry fee.

For further details contact Kevin 01877 384269

Young Carers are children and young people aged 7-18yrs who care for a parent, sibling or other relative who can’t manage without their help. The family member may have: • a long term / terminal illness • physical or sensory impairment • mental ill health • addiction to alcohol or drugs • a learning disability What does a Young Carer do? He or she provides emotional support, intimate caring, additional child care, general caring and domestic chores. These incredible children assume a level of responsibility usually expected of an adult. The Government cannot provide all the support services that often we might need and sometimes children and young people can naturally assume these caring roles out of their love for the family member. Because of their responsibilities to others, these young carers often miss out on the educational, vocational and leisure opportunities their peers take for granted. The Stirling Young Carers charity tries to minimise the impact this caring role can have on the children and teenagers, help them with their problems and introduce them to others in the same position. It offers the Young Carers: • free short breaks and days out • groups – a place to chill out and have fun • individual support if it is needed • advice, advocacy • workforce training Want to know more? Please contact us: Stirling Carers Centre 65-69 Barnton Street, Stirling, FK8 1HH 01786 447003

The 2011

Martin Currie

Rob Roy Challenge This annual fundraising event covers 55 miles of the Rob Roy Way. Teams or individuals walk 16 miles from Drymen to Callander and then switch to bikes and cycle 39 miles to Kenmore. After a feast and a party there is an overnight camp on the shores of Loch Tay. Further information at

Villagers New Team Member Welcome to Wullie Dalziel who has joined the team as Strathyre representative. His phone number is

01877 384384

and e-mail:

Late arrivals to the Fishermen’s Ball... Mr and Mrs Bigguns-Lately and their son Courtney... Salmon Janet Evening

Registered Charity No. SCO20213 Co Ltd by Guarantee No. SC165487


Dear Games Supporter... Yes, I am sorry but another year has flown by and once again we are starting to look towards the Highland Games on 23 July this year. We are writing to our many friends in the hope that you will be generous enough to help us with some form of patronage or sponsorship for this important event. Our games are organised, like every other Highland Games, by members of our community who are hard working volunteers determined to ensure that our games survive. Thanks to their enthusiasm, hard work and the huge amount of experience they have gained over the years our games have managed to survive in these difficult times. We have two or three new committee members this year and we welcome them, but we have lost two senior members who have retired, so anyone wishing to join this hard working band please get in touch. I mentioned the word “survive”, three Games last year did not survive, mostly due to financial problems and lack of support. To quote Charlie Simpson of Caithness games “Age got to the committee. We all got too old and unfit to do the work. No young people were willing to take over and get involved. It’s disappointing but we can’t do it any more.” Also, in order to survive we need funding and we are very lucky to have loyal supporters and many patrons who give very generously every year which helps keep us going. The Games has a small fund which would probably help us through a bad year or two. It costs in the region of £11,000 to run the event. Sadly, like most Games, we cannot find a main sponsor. Last year’s event went very well considering the weather the week before and the day after, but on the day it could not have been better. Big congratulations to local lad Stewart Anderson who broke a very long standing record for the local hammer, held by Ewen Cameron since 1953. Two other heavyweight records were broken. Jean Swanston made a wonderful job of running the dancing event and due to increased numbers we had to create a few more prizes, giving our new treasurer Alex Gargolinski, a testing time. Fortunately he rose to the occasion and wisely had spare monies stashed in his tent. Piping once again was a little disappointing and we think this is partially due to many of the pipers belonging to pipe bands and either performing on a Saturday or competing in competitions elsewhere. Track and field events went well with good numbers of competitors, well complemented by a bus load of Spanish visitors, who are hoping to bring two busloads this year. We must be doing something right! The PHGA events were well supported; we now have dancing, piping and heavyweight events for participants from the Perthshire area. Sadly Highland Safaris are not continuing 18

their sponsorship this year so, like us, they are looking for sponsors. Hopefully this association will keep going as it has been very good for the eleven games involved, not to mention the help it has given to budding young competitors. In and around the field there seemed to be a very happy atmosphere which is superb as we like to call ourselves, “The friendly Highland Games”. Every year we buy, fix and service equipment in order to keep things shipshape. We looked at hiring a special marquee to put over the dancing platform in case of rain but this was going to prove too expensive at £1,100 for an afternoon. Apparently we can buy one for about £6,000!! We are talking to other games organisers with a view to sharing one. The Homecoming Gathering debacle goes on. Now into its third enquiry and many more thousands of pounds. The “good” news is they are considering holding another one in 2014, hopefully in June, to coincide with the Battle of Bannockburn celebrations, Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup. This should be another cheap weekend. We will, as usual, put a list of our patrons in the programme and sponsors will be highlighted above the event they sponsor, which can be done by adding either your own name or your business name as a form of advertisement. You will then receive tickets and some form of hospitality in the park and will perhaps care to join us, the convenors, for some light refreshment. Your continued support is most welcome. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. As usual time is of the essence as we have to meet the printing deadlines for our programme. Yours aye

Angus J.Cameron, President

Do you need a new home in Lochearnhead, Strathyre, Killin or Callander? If so,

Rural Stirling Housing Association may be able to help

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

Farm Forum: Yet another game of ‘tag’ I must not say “I told you so” because it is very bad form. However you may remember my reference a month ago to the old saying about casting a cloot till May is oot! Dear Tech Support, Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend to Husband and noticed a distinct slowdown in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend. In addition, Husband uninstalled many other valuable programmes, such as Romance and Personal Attention and then installed undesirable programs such as Rugby, Football, Sailing and Continuous TV. Conversation no longer runs and Housecleaning simply crashes the system. I’ve tried running Nagging to fix these problems but to no avail. What can I do? ‘Desperate’ Dear ‘Desperate’, First keep in mind, Boyfriend is an Entertainment Package, while Husband is an Operating System. Please visit: http://www.IThoughtYouLovedMe.html and try to download Tears. Don’t forget to install the Guilt update. If that application works as designed, Husband should then automatically run the applications Jewellery and Flowers, but remember overuse of the above application can cause Husband to default to Grumpy Silence, Garden Shed or Beer. Beer is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta. Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-Law (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources). Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband. In summary, Husband is a great system, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. It also tends to work better running one task at a time. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Food and Hot Lingerie. Good Luck! Tech Support

Why is it that the agricultural industry seems to jump from crisis to crisis not of its own making but normally instigated by bureaucrats in Brussels for sometimes no sound reason? The most recent problem involves the electronic identification of sheep which I have referred to in this column before. All sheep born after a certain date now have to be electronically tagged. Although they do not have to be individually identified at home they are electronically recorded at a market or slaughterhouse. Many tests have been done and the accuracy of the electronic reading equipment is not 100%. For example if you send 100 sheep to the market, after they are sold they run down a passage and their tags are read by an electronic tag reader, but in most cases only around 95 of them will be recorded. Brussels officials have witnessed this process and have accepted the situation – up to now. However they are now reported to be requiring 100% accuracy which is simply not achievable with current technology and there is nothing farmers can do about that. Quite apart from that, the tags that are tested are new tags and no one has yet had the opportunity of checking an old ewe that has been running about the hill with her tag for about six years, if indeed she still has her tag and hasn’t abandoned

Ha re’s loo kin g at Ew e, Kid it on some hazard on the hill and probably forgotten where she left it! Taking into account the draconian penalties applied nowadays for “non compliance” this could sound the death knell for sheep farming in many high ground areas. At the same time that all this is happening Mr Paice, the Environmental Secretary in Westminster, has promised that work will begin on cutting red tape in response to the report by an independent task force. It has just reported to him with 214 recommendations to reduce the administrative burden on farmers and food producers. Whilst Mr Paice said that the Government could not promise to act on all 214 recommendations made, he said that the battle to reduce paperwork had already begun. I only hope he realises that he is going to have to work at speed to reduce unnecessary legislation faster than the EEC creates it. Agricola


View from the Park by Owen McKee The world is not coming to an end just yet - but what about the signs? We all know that business needs to advertise especially in periods of economic depression but as with everything else too much can be fatal. Unfortunately the proliferation of unauthorised advertisement boards and banners added to the poorly co-ordinated official road and directional signage throughout the Park is fast becoming an additional source of terminal litter. (More about the “Litter Problem” later.) Last week I was travelling down to Balloch and on the journey over Cock Hill I was confronted by a huge roadside A-frame advert for a Callander housing development. Checking with the planning department I soon found that it was totally unauthorised and action was quickly taken to have it removed. Oh, that all breaches of planning regulations could be as speedily resolved! So what is to happen on the signage and unauthorised adverts front? Road direction and information signs are the responsibilty of the roads authority and discussions are taking place to ensure that whenever renewed or new signs are being

CAOS in the Village

proposed the Park Authority is consulted so that clutter and poor design can be avoided. Advertisements come under the control of the Park Authority and we are now embarking on an area by area review of what has planning permission. Negotiations will then take place to ensure that either the unauthorised adverts are removed or permission obtained. In some cases there is no doubt that some unauthorised adverts have been in place for a good many years. That however does not give them the right to remain. An additional problem arises for the advertisers in that road verges come under the control of the roads authority and consequently the advertiser using the verges should get permission from them. What about the adverts for village fetes,

Friday 20 May saw the annual pilgrimage of Callander Amateur Operatic Society to Balquhidder Village Hall. As usual the choral sound was absolutely superb, helped by the wonderful tiered staging which gave an added clarity to the sound. The Rodgers & Hammerstein medley was sublime - and feet were tapping along to the rendition of The Dashing White Sergeant and The Cachucha. There was also a visit from a couple of Glaswegians - Rab C Nesbitt and ‘Mary Doll’ - with their take on Hello Dolly. This was all interspersed with some startling solos and duets, all very ably compèred and lead by the Musical Director Ian Milligan. However, the star of the show was undoubtedly George Stewart, who applied his own special and comedic spin to some famous songs. Ian Inglis A great night was had by one and all!

highland games and such? Sometimes bureaucracy is tinged with discretion and realism!! Another area of concern is that the public agencies are adding to the problem. Do we need National Park, Forestry Commision, Scottish Water and SEPA all producing different signage? And so to litter. We are still trying to get the Local Authorities operating in the Park to adopt a common approach to litter. In the meantime we have an agreement with the Criminal Justice authority that the Community Service group will uplift litter on a weekly basis and that this will normally be on a Monday in our area. The exceptionally good weather ( I know it is hard to believe but it is true) which we encountered on both the April Bank Holiday weekends saw a big increase in visitor numbers throughout the Park. Locally there were fears that this was the displacement that many fear will result from the introduction from the East Loch Lomond Byelaws. I don’t think so but the position is being monitored with the Rangers doing surveys of campers etc. Before any of us jump to conclusions may I just say that the Byelaws only came into force on 1st June. As always I can be contacted as follows: Post: Taigh Na Bhuth, Lochearnhead. Phone: 01567 830214 email:

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

~ ~ ~


Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri Wednesday Saturday Sunday

0900 - 1730 0900 - 1300 0900 - 1230 Closed

Post Office Post Box Collection Times: Morning - 12 noon Afternoon - 1600 (Except Saturday) Sunday - No Collection Telephone: 01567 830 201 20

Lesley Blain and Gill Allan from Balquhidder, joining in the fun

Tiaras and Trainers! It was past all our bedtimes on Saturday 30 April when a large crowd of sparkling and pink-clad women gathered together in a car park in Stirling - with a single aim - to take part in the ‘Midnight Tiara Walk’ raising funds for the Strathcarron Hospice. Over 1600 girls took part in the walk on a 5 or 10 mile circuit around Stirling. The walk was led by TV personality Lorraine Kelly. It is hoped that over £180,000 will be raised as a result! Thanks to all the many marshals for their excellent (and very cheery!) help.

It took well over twenty minutes for everyone to twinkle their way past the start line!

Homes with big heating bills are the latest target for groundbreaking environmental group Going Carbon Neutral Stirling.

Work in local communities has shown that over a quarter of the average person’s carbon footprint relates to domestic heating and lighting. Carbon savings - and big cuts in energy bills - can be achieved but the whole topic of renewables and energy-saving measures can be a minefield. That prompted Going Carbon Neutral Stirling (GCNS) to set up Energise Stirling with help from the Climate Challenge Fund. GCNS has been working with manufacturers of solar panels, wind turbines and ground source heat pumps to arrange a bulk buy purchase that will make these technologies cheaper to install. For example, solar panels to heat water normally cost around £5000 but GCNS can source them from £3000 to £3500. Solar PV that generates electricity is usually well over £10,000 for a 3KW system (the recommended size for a medium to large home). GCNS can offer this at around £5000. Even better news is that you would get around £1000 a year from the government for the energy you generate, meaning that the panel would pay for itself within five years. And did you know ... • Solar panels can save around a tonne

of CO2 each year, significantly reducing your carbon footprint • GCNS will be visiting homes to survey their potential for the different technologies • Surprising to some, solar panels are not dependent on the sun’s heat but its light they even work when it’s cloudy! Through our work with local residents, GCNS has found that people in houses with stone walls are fed up with getting vague or even incorrect advice. This year, GCNS has been working with specialists from Historic Scotland to provide householders with the expert advice they need. This is achieved by identifying the best measures and materials for saving energy in older properties. To make it more affordable, GCNS has again arranged discounts with manufacturers and installers of products such as insulation and glazing. A GCNS worker would be happy to visit your home to see what measures are suitable for you. As a non-profitmaking organisation, GCNS will give impartial advice. If renewables or other energy saving measures are not suitable for certain homes, especially if they don’t really save much energy or carbon, GCNS will make that clear to householders. For more information, contact GCNS on 01786 468762 email


Strathyre Primary News by Rhoda Keenan Health Week At the end of April the school held a Health Week during which the P4-P7 children had a sleepover in the school. To start their evening they went on a bat walk around Strathyre with Graeme Auty, the Park Ranger. On their return they were given supper and got changed into their jammies. The children placed their beds and sleeping bags in the infant room which earlier on in the day had been emptied out, the desks and chairs being stored outside. Once they all got their ‘spot ‘ on the floor, they snuggled down to watch a DVD. Once the lights were out there were lots of special treats of sweets, giggling and laughing. The staff slept in the main classroom; well, some slept and some were up and down all night going “SSShhhhh”. The children were brilliant and in the morning they ate a hearty breakfast, joined by the younger ones who had come off the buses. It was a very relaxed morning so that everyone could recover from their sleepless night. In the afternoon it was the ‘Ready Steady Cook’ competition. The pupils worked in their houses to cook and bake two dishes each. The captain of the group chose an envelope and inside it were two recipes for them to follow. They were given an hour to create the mouth watering dishes. The judges this year were Mrs Lorraine Telfer from the Golden Larches, Christine from The Munro Inn, Steve Nixon from The Strathyre Inn and Steven Smith who works in Ciro’s in Callander. They had a very hard task judging the children on team work, health, safety and hygiene, presentation and taste. This year’s theme was The Royal Wedding and on the menu were: sundried tomato and rosemary palmiers, wedding carrot and cream cheese cupcakes, red onion and brie tartlets, banana and oat biscuits, green salad with tuna, with stuffed cherry tomatoes and couscous, royal wedding Victoria sponge, queen of hearts scone pizza and strawberry cream tea cake. The winning house was Ledi with red onion and brie tartlets and the banana and oat biscuits. All the children worked very hard and produced delicious food. Above right: Ready, Steady... Cook! The winning house: Ledi; smaller pictures show (left) ‘Sundried Tomato & Rosemary Palmiers; Cream Cheese and Carrot Cupcakes’ and right: Strawberry Cream Tea Cake. Right: Slaving away in the kitchen! 22

Doing the Bat Walk!

Stuc a’Chroin 5000 Hill Race 2011

Zumba comes to Strathyre! For those who don’t know, Zumba is a dance fitness programme created by dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez in Colombia during the 1990s. The programme combines international music with dance in an effort to make exercise fun. The children are pictured here showing how some skilled instruction can bring out natural rythym!

The Winner - Jim Davies. Photo by Tommy Anderson

The 2011 Stuc a’ Chroin race - one of the toughest hill races covering a distance of 14 miles and climbing 5000 feet -was held on Sat 30 April in Strathyre. It was one of the best days weatherwise (although a bit blowy up top) making running difficult at times along the ridge. From a starting field of 143 runners, Jim Davies from Borrowdale came first with a time of 2.17.54, Alistair Meikle (unattached) was 2nd with a time of 2.24.57 and four times winner Stewart Whitlie (Carnethy )came in 3rd with a time of 2.26.27. First female was Alayne Finlay (Ochil Hill Runners) in 3.00.53. The local prize went to Robert Osfield from Callander. Comments from the runners: “Thanks for a great race - the marshalling and organisation was first class as usual and along with the weather made it a great day. Despite the torture of running this course again it’s still one of my favourite events of the hill race calendar.” As usual the race was a success, but only because of the hard work by everyone involved. This includes the runners, for whom the race is organised - and whose positive attitude makes it possible. Our main sponsors are Graham Tiso, the Green Welly Stop, Tyndrum (who donate the very generous local prize) and Kingshouse Travel. We would also like to thank the following local businesses for their sponsorship and for their continuing support: Immervoulin Caravan Park, Stirling Stoves, Strathyre Cleansing, The Inn & Bistro, The Ben Sheann Hotel, The Village Shop, Roll on Flooring, The Munro Inn , Sula Furnishing, Pete Bland and Thomas Allan & Sons. Thanks to everyone involved in the admin and planning, and to all the helpers at the start and finish of the race; to the marshals for their superb support in supplying jelly babies and carrying the much appreciated water up the hill; to the course markers and to Tommy Anderson for the photos. The Inn & Bistro who hosted and supported the race this year were, as always, unflappable. Nothing was too much trouble! Many thanks. Finally our thanks to Edinample Estate for the opportunity to run the race on their land; to Mike Holliday for his continual support and running around, and to the Forestry Commission. The ceilidh in the evening was again a success - and thanks to everyone who helped tirelessly: the bar staff, band, organisers and of course, everyone who attended. Catriona MacGeoch

The Ben Sheann Race will be held on

Wednesday 15 June at 7.00pm please come along and support - or even join in! 23


Central Scotland Police

There when you need us

Assault on Police During a busy weekend two colleagues were called to a disturbance on Loch Lubnaig between two groups of “campers”. Whilst carrying out their enquiries they were attacked by a number of males and females who began to throw bottles, rocks, sticks and other items. The officers found themselves being threatened with various weapons and being forced into the water. Two off-duty officers from Strathclyde were camping nearby and recognising the seriousness of the situation came to the aid of the officers and between them managed to contain the situation until the arrival of several other officers from Balfron, Stirling and Dunblane. Three males and two females were arrested and held in custody. There is absolutely no doubt that the officers’ lives were in great danger and serious physical harm would have been inflicted upon them. Thankfully incidents such as these are very rare, however it is a very sobering thought for all of us when we attend calls such as these. Fly Tipping on the A85 What I have recently seen at a layby about 200m north of Lix Toll garage on the A85 can only be described as criminal. There is a very steep embankment which falls away from the layby and so anything left there is generally out of sight from passing motorists. Only those who are unfortunate enough to stop there see what has taken place. Not only is there the usual rubbish such as bottles, cans and fast food packages but there are several tyres as well as a toilet, a number of car seats, two old TVs and other large items. It is absolutely clear, even to a blind man on a charging horse, that this is a deliberate act. I urge anybody who sees somebody dumping rubbish to contact the police immediately. If possible take a note of the car registration number and a brief description of the persons responsible. You can call in anonymously if need be. If you are in any doubt about why you should do this or what the impact this behaviour has on our community and enviroment then I would suggest stopping at this layby and having a look for yourselves. I am not sure what the clean-up cost will be but ultimately we will all be paying for it one way or another. 24

Calls Regarding Suspicious Vehicles Recently there has been a surge in thefts of fuel, scrap metal and telephone cables together with both house and car break-ins from Crieff to Oban, Glen Coe to Balfron. Thankfully our area has been spared and in my opinion the reasons are: 1) a highly visible police presence 2) active targeting of those responsible 3) regular patrols of vulnerable areas 4) calls to the police from local residents KEEP CALLING IN. IT DOES MATTER AND IT DOES COUNT. Drugs seized On 29 April I stopped several vehicles which were passing through Strathyre and as a result five people have been reported to the Procurator Fiscal for being in possession of illegal drugs. Impact of Camping Ban Informal or wild camping is now banned on the East Loch Lomond side since a byelaw came into force on 1st June.

Those found guilty of camping outwith designated sites between March and October could face fines of up to £500. The byelaw bans setting up, using or occupying a tent: setting up, using or occupying a form of shelter overnight; sleeping overnight outdoors or in a vehicle. The police will be responsible for enforcing the byelaws and those found guilty of contravention facing fines of up to £500 on summary conviction. The byelaw will be reviewed after three years. Stirling Council has announced an Alcohol Consumption Byelaw to cover the same area of East Loch Lomond which stretches from Drymen to Rowardennan. This byelaw bans the public consumption of alcohol. My colleagues and I will be extra vigilant in our area in case we find offenders moving in here. PC Andrew Ward 01786 456 000

Enjoying wonderful views over Loch Earn and the surrounding countryside

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

Reservations - Tel: 01567 830229 Fax: 01567 830364


Lochside Litter and Wild Camping Over the years, to me the term ‘wild camping’ meant that when I’d had a very long walk in to climb a few Munros and it was quite impossible to walk in, climb the hills and walk out again the same day, I would carry a small, lightweight tent and all the kit necessary to enable me to spend the night just with the ‘dog’ and the stars, except that is, with the hill being a Munro that usually meant cloud and rain! Most of you will be aware that over recent years the problems of ‘wild camping’ in the various areas around our lochs now means that a group of individuals who have purchased a tent, sleeping bags and mats from one of the cheaper outdoor shops, arrive armed with nothing more than a boot full of booze and perhaps even a chainsaw and spend the next few hours quietly wrecking the place. Of course this isn’t an accurate reflection of all instances, but let me give you the results of a recent ‘litter clean-up’. Carried out and organised by the

‘Friends of the National Park’, after the recent bank holiday weekend, 78 black bags of ‘collectable’ litter were removed, together with sundry other items such as old tyres, wheels, etc. In terms of the human excrement that obviously could not be collected, this was described to me as thoroughly disgusting. That, by the way is not a misprint. It was 78 bags, collected from the east shore of Loch Lubnaig and the north shore of Loch Earn. Imagine the totals had they also had the time and manpower to cover the Balquhidder glen lochs as well as the south road of Loch Earn! A big thank you should be given to all those who took part in this exercise, but you have to ask the question - why is it necessary that local volunteers have to give of their own free time to clear up other people’s rubbish? I’m involved, by being a member of the Community Council, with the 5-Lochs Group, set up by the National Park with the sole intention of improving the lot of the whole National Park area for the benefit of everyone, locals and visitors alike. Some of you may be aware that as of 1st June new byelaws will come into force covering the east Loch Lomond area. In fact awareness has already proved to be of major benefit to the Loch Lomond area, but this also means that our own local area is now getting the kickback from this. In addition the fantastic spell of weather we had throughout much of April meant that people started travelling up to the area much earlier than would normally be the case. So, regrettably, in the short term we are going to have to suffer until such time as we can perhaps get the byelaws extended to include all the local area. Various suggestions have been made about how this problem can be sorted out. Perhaps a zero tolerance on any outdoor alcohol consumption might be the answer. This could benefit some of the local ‘pub’ trade, but may lead to an added problem of perhaps having more people drink-driving back to where they’ve camped, thus creating an added

workload for our local police officers. Perhaps it should be that we have no ‘wild camping’. Thus fishermen can only fish during daylight hours and must then pack up and return home. This penalises the genuine fishermen who want to come to the lochside, relax and watch the world go by. Wouldn’t we all like to do that? I’ve heard of trippers simply wanting to stop for an hour or so to enjoy a quiet lunch being harassed by some of the reprobate element. The purpose of this article is to outline to some extent the problems the local area is encountering in the short term, but rest assured that the National Park together with the police, local landowners, councils and local community councillors are working hard to improve the lot of those living in the area. I’d be delighted to hear views from local residents and if you are aware of specific problems of littering or anti-social behaviour then don’t hesitate to contact the police. They do have limited resources, but they can only act when they are aware of the problem. If it’s litter dumping then please let me know. I’ll take photographs and make them available to the NP authority and the councils. My feeling is that, to use the modern idiom - we’re all singing from the same hymn sheets, only some aren’t quite in tune with local feelings. We’re getting there and to be blunt, the sooner the better. Alistair Barclay

Late arrivals to the Medical Ball... Mr and Mrs Cillin and their daughter Penny... Mrs Royds and her daughter Emma... ... and a leading industrialist in the manufacture of personal hygiene products, Mr Roland E Odorant


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

We’ll send you or your friends

The Villagers

£11.00 for 11 monthly issues (£20.00 for Europe and £27.50 for the rest of the world). All you need to do is to post the completed form to: BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION, Tom-Na-Dair BALQUHIDDER FK19 8PB, SCOTLAND Cheques should be made payable to: THE BLS NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION Remittance enclosed £ .........................(do not send cash) Please send copies of ‘The Villagers’ starting on ................ for 11 months To: NAME .......................................................................................................................... ADDRESS: ........................................................................................................................ ........................................................................................POSTCODE .............................. SENDER’S NAME & ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM ABOVE Please send copies of ‘The Villagers’ starting on ............................... for 11 months NAME ................................................................................................................................ ADDRESS .......................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................POSTCODE................................ 26



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

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

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

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



Annual Summer Dance - Balquhidder Hall


Coffee Morning for BLS Playgroup - 10.00am-4.00pm - see p.4


Rob Roy Challenge - see p.17


Midsummer Concert in Balquhidder Church


‘Paintings for Pleasure’ Art Show, St Andrews Hall, Callander - see p.2

JULY 2-3

Loch Earn Shears and Crooks Competition

7,8,9 10 17 23

St Fillans Players - ‘Ladies’ Day’ - see p.3 Balquhidder Summer Music - see p.14 Balquhidder Summer Music Highland Games in Lochearnhead

23 24 31

Inverlochlarig Sheepdog Trials - see p.17 Balquhidder Summer Music Balquhidder Summer Music


Last Summer Music Concert

12,13,14 20

St Fillans Festive Weekend - see p.3 Killin Agricultural Show Cheques for advertising and mail order subscriptions should be made out to:

The BLS Newspaper Association

Copy Deadline Day is always the 24th of the month. Please help us to get The Villagers to you on time!

Production Manager: Gill Allan 01877 384 203 Lochearnhead Contact: Ali Ferguson 01567 830 405 Strathyre Contact: Wullie Dalziel 01877 384 384 St Fillans Contact: John Murray 01764 685 487 Mail Order Distribution: Hilda Astbury 01877 384 681

The Villagers’ Photographer

Alistair Barclay is available to attend village functions and take photos if contacted in plenty of time. CDs of photos are also for sale. Please phone him on 01567 830453

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

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

ROMAN CATHOLIC Callander, St Joseph the Worker Sunday 11.30am Vigil Mass Saturday 5.30pm May to September Killin Sunday 2.30pm Roman Catholic Church Services in Killin are being held in the ‘Village Room’ next door to the Church of Scotland until renovation work on the Episcopal Church is completed. 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 News June 2011  

News articles on Lochearnhead, Balquhidder, Strathyre and St Fillans villages in Perthshire Scotland. Get a favour of village life and its...

The Villagers News June 2011  

News articles on Lochearnhead, Balquhidder, Strathyre and St Fillans villages in Perthshire Scotland. Get a favour of village life and its...