The Voice of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre & St Fillans Papa Shandy
The Magpies Riverside Ceilidh Band
Well Done Strathyre! 2016
Thanks to all organisers, performers and backstage staff who made this yearâ€™s Festival another success. See page 24 for more. Hugh Kelly
Benedictus Alasdair Anthony - Runner up Katie Kross
Photos by Archie Scott Photography
Editor’s Bit Thanks first of all to Gill and David for completing last month’s edition when ‘Grandma’ was on ‘sick duty’ in Australia. The correlation between my being out of the country and good weather here continued as you all enjoyed two weeks of uninterrupted sunshine - and Sydney had its worst storms for over a hundred years, with a weekend of incessant and spectacular rain washing away part of their famous coastal path! “A heatwave starting on the 16th is predicted for July...” she cryptically said. There will certainly be plenty of activities over the next few weeks of school holidays for those of you opting sensibly for a “staycation” holiday here, when you don’t have to worry about the current plummeting exchange rates and you can support local businesses offering activities for all the family and special days out... at the Highland Games, for example. Last month I rather glibly suggested that once the voting was over the “recriminations will probably start for whichever side loses”. I, along with virtually everyone else in the country, did not foresee the utter turmoil which was about to envelope both sides of the supposed “governing parties”. I am too much of a coward to try to predict where we might be this time next month! Enjoy summer. The foxgloves are stunning this year! JJ
Volunteers Wanted The Balquhidder Bike Fest -
is a fun event for all ages. This is its third year with a bigger programme and lots of new fun events. To make it work we need volunteer helpers and marshalls. If you can help in any way or simply wish to know more please contact David Johnston or Iain Ramsay-Clapham. David Johnston 01877 384227 firstname.lastname@example.org Iain Ramsay-Clapham 01877 384648 email@example.com SEE PAGE 7! 2
Highland Games For the first time in weeks I find it is damp enough to be an excuse to stay in and write our annual bit for the Games which this year are on the 23rd July. Only nine weeks to the big day! It is thanks to our hard working committee and to you, our patrons and sponsors, that we can run and finance this great event.
Last year we were once again blessed by the weather Gods, resulting in a good crowd. The Perthshire Games association leagues are obviously making a difference (Heavies and Dancing) but there was also a very good turnout of Open Athletes. The piping was of a very high standard - but alas, we could do with a few more pipers! Unfortunately we compete with pipe band competitions and a lot of the competing pipers play in pipe bands. Jean and her helpers managed to organize and put on a fantastic dancing event with over forty dancers. Graham and his squad did a great job organizing the many running events and produced a good show on the track. Liz and her team do a great job taking your money at the gates. Mike, our Fieldmaster, always seems to lift our spirits when things go wrong or seem impossible; he always attends to a panic somewhere on the park and puts it right. Paul and his parking crew have probably the longest day and any help, even if just for an hour or two, would be very welcome. None of us is getting any younger! We are constantly trying to improve and renew the field and equipment. Our new beer tent did a tremendous job last year, especially when the games finished and the Ceilidh started; the heavens opened and the tent was packed! Our field is always in need of tweaking - our new drains seem to work well! They had a good testing over the winter.
The hard standing for the beer tent area has been a success and helps extend the field. Unfortunately the entrance near the hall was washed away during the winter floods but we have this in hand and hopefully, with some aid from a council grant, this will be repaired before the Games. As you can imagine, this all costs money, and time from our very small army of volunteers. So once again we are asking if you would be generous enough to help us with some form of Patronage or Sponsorship for this important event in the local calendar. Should you wish to sponsor an event, please contact me, Alex Gargolinski on 07860 644709 or Ken McCallum 01786 825270/07973 285126 and we can discuss what and how. Also if you feel you would like to help with setting up, or on the day with Car Parking, Bar (help very much needed), Gates or on the field... please let us know, It does not have to be all day, an hour or two will be a great help. Just give one of the above a ring. We are sending this newsletter to all our friends and patrons to give you a reminder that the committee are doing their best to keep the games ‘afloat’ and continue the success they have enjoyed for many years. Our first records in Balquhidder are from 1838! We will as usual put a list of our Patrons in the programme. If you have taken on an event, we will add your name or business name. The sum donated will not be listed. We will also send you tickets for entry into the park - and you will be invited to join the convenors in some ‘light’ refreshments. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future and seeing you at the Games. Yours Aye Angus Cameron, President
The St Fillans Bit One thing I’ve learned since taking on the “St Fillans Bit” is that you need to be a bit of a detective with a creative, nosey personality. With this in mind, I dropped into the Village Store recently to meet up with other villagers and get some inspiration. A coffee, lunch and several hours later I re-emerged full of ideas (and caffeine). No wonder JK Rowling found her local café, The Elephant House, the perfect place to write (which has a lovely view of Edinburgh Castle, by the way). Whilst chatting with a friend and neighbour, we started composing a list of people in the village who we thought would have interesting stories to tell about their lives. After about ten people, we then decided that probably everyone in the village would have something interesting to say about some aspect of their life (maybe not all of it printable). We come from such diverse backgrounds, with a lot of us having taken some extraordinary paths to get here; I really think that this should be captured in some way, not least because it makes an interesting read, but also as part of our local social history. With that in mind, I promise to deliver an “interview with a villager” next month. I’m very sorry but due to that dirty word called “work” and having been gallivanting about quite a bit recently I’ve not had as much time to be nosey and detective-like as I wanted to be. I have, however, had time to eat and I was pleased to see the restaurant at the golf club full the other month when Steve and I and a couple of friends went for a meal there one Saturday evening. Their caterer, Richard Mountain, seems to live by his namesake as the portions were not small by any means. I’d heard a rumour that he’s been used to feeding sheep farmers, which I interpreted to mean that sheep farmers like large helpings, which is fine by me. Being one of the “ladies” in the village who frequents the Ladies Supper Club, I’m looking forward to dinner there at the end of June, which will be our “last supper” of the season. We followed the Gentlemen’s Supper Club and decided to add an extra date in June to support the golf club. I’m pleased to say we only have to eat and drink and not take part in any golf, which just advertises that you don’t need to be a member to eat there – or at least I hope not, otherwise I’ll be thrown out before I’ve even joined. I was going to make a reference to no balls required, however I don’t think Jill, The Editor, will print that. On the theme of food, Brad, at The Achray House Hotel, is pleased to report
by Isobel Howell that from July they are serving Sunday roast lunches. They also have two new members of staff in their team; Gemma Edwards, who is looking after front of house (bar and restaurant) and Tamas Laszlo who does housekeeping and provides assistance in the kitchen, where you will find Chris is now proudly their new Head Chef. Mary, from The Four Seasons Hotel, has updated me on their K9 fun run in June which raised over £300 in sponsorship for The Dogs Trust charity – well done to everybody who took part and donated. Participants enjoyed it so much they’re going to make it an annual event, starting early next year. July is a very busy month for them, so booking is advised, especially for the Bistro and at weekends. We’re also reminded about their cream teas (served every day) which Mary says are “divine”. You may recall in March I mentioned that Jim Brierley, from The White Cottage, is working on updating “The Annals of St Fillans”, in recognition of the bicentenary of the renaming of St Fillans. Jim is trying to piece together the history of the village, its houses and who they were built for, amongst other interesting artefacts, and would still like your help; for example, would anybody be willing to record details of names and details of the gravestones in the graveyard; does anybody know who paints the stone frog at the east end of the village; when did the steamer start operating on the loch and when did it stop. There is a list of questions on the Homepage of the St Fillans website www. stfillanscc.org.uk. Please have a look and
see if you can help Jim in his quest. There will be an exhibition next year, so material and old photographs would be greatly received. Dundurn Parish Church is offering the opportunity for folks to meet and chat over a coffee in their garden on the last Saturday mornings in July and August. It’s a great way for anybody new to the area to meet other people. It’s also an excuse to go and look at the beautiful and recently redesigned garden, which always looks immaculate and is a great focal point of the village - thanks to Frances Brown for her inspired design work and Hamish who keeps the place looking neat and tidy (it’s the Holy Spirit level he uses on the hedges, you know). Andrea Hudspeth of Aquila Ecology has a programme of informal and interesting wildlife walks planned in July. These include Lady Mary’s Walk and Laggan Hill in Crieff on 7th July, from 10am. On 9th July she will be leading an Evening Wildlife Walk on the Millennium Path in Comrie, between 8:30pm and 10:30pm and on 12th July you can learn about and watch the birds, bats and other wildlife on the River Earn in St Fillans from 8:30pm. I can say that I went on one of Andrea’s evening wildlife walks last month and learned some very interesting facts about our flora and fauna and had been totally unaware that we had a rare Bird’s Nest orchid within a stone’s throw of our property. Thanks to some clever (Continued overleaf) bat detecting devices,
The St Fillans Bit
Continued from previous page
Eat those midges!
we also got to hear bats feeding in the dark, as they lapped up insects from the surface of the water – the more midges they can eat, the better for all of us! One last thing before I sign off - I’ve had a call from the organisers of The St Fillans Festive Weekend saying that tickets for this year’s programme of events are selling like hot cakes. Following with the baking reference, I hope for dry weather this year to avoid any soggy bottoms and I remind folks to put the dates of Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August into their calendars and buy their tickets early to avoid disappointment – especially for the Sunday event as places will be numbered. To purchase tickets please contact one of The Festive Committee members who are Don, Richard G, Jo Steventon, Bruce, Dave and Steve. In the meantime, I look forward to bringing you more news next month when we’ll all, thankfully, know if we’re “in” or “out” (and can get back to some decent telly gawping). Enjoy the summer! Isobel
Lochearnhead Village Hall Race Night An extremely enthusiastic crowd gathered to enjoy the Race Night in the Lochearnhead village hall on Saturday 14 May. From the off betting was brisk on each race and the roar of the crowd was unstoppable. As always there were winners and losers – but all in a good cause. The best men’s jockey outfit was won hands down by Toby whilst the first prize for the ladies hat was won by Teresa (by all accounts she had been modelling the creation all day at the Golden Larches - and she did look a treat!) but it was a hotly contested competition with Lynn claiming a well deserved second prize. The village hall committee would like to thank all those ‘punters’ who came along on the night (special mention for the Strathyre posse!) and went home minus the contents of their wallets (and in some cases the shirt on their backs!). A big thank you is also due to all the local businesses that provided generous sponsorship for each race. By the end of an exhausting evening, over £1000 pounds had been raised, which will go a long way towards the upkeep of the hall over the next year; so thanks again to everyone who supported the event.
Callander & Trossachs Summerfest
We’re back for a third year with even more activities and events to entertain you at venues all around Callander! From 16 to 31 July we’ll be open every day from 11 till 5pm at St Kessog’s, the former church in Ancaster Square, now the HQ for the Clanranald Trust. Here we’ll have a packed programme of free exhibitions with a focus on pottery and local heritage, and afternoons and evenings filled with music, poetry and films. Add to this an evening with the former Makar, Liz Lochhead, in the Kirk Hall, the Riverside Ceilidh Band at the Dreadnought Hotel, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the High School, a community outdoor festival and ceilidh at McLaren Leisure - and a whole series of craft and music workshops... walks and cycle rides... we truly have something for everyone! The full programme will also be on www.callandercdt.org.uk and www.mclarenleisure.co.uk and we’ll keep up to date with news and any changes on Facebook (CallanderSummerfest) and Twitter (@callanderfest). Check in for any last minute additions or changes. Look out for our bright pink brochures!
Free range rare breed pork for sale
We sell fresh pork as 1/2 pigs (20kg) and 1/4 pigs (10kg) every 3 months. Next available - August 2016. We also sell frozen sausage and bacon packs - £25. We can arrange drop off points in the local area.
Contact: Fiona MacLennan t: 07783116399 e: firstname.lastname@example.org facebook: Glenorchy Farm 5
Black and Yellow Fields of Strathyre
The Inn & Bistro 2016 Darts League held their annual presentation night at the Inn on Friday 10th June and photographed above are some of the players who were able to attend. Once again it was a VERY hard fought championship with the title being won by a margin of just one point. The ladies this year were fantastic throughout the tournament which is reflected in the outcome of placements, which are as follows. First place Second place Third place Best lady Bottom of League
W. Dalziel R. MacWilliams B. Higgins L. Anderson J. Heron
My thanks to Ceana Heron for presenting the prizes in the night and of course to Steve and staff for looking after us throughout the year and a special mention for the wonderful array of food provided each Thursday night.
The darts continue every Thursday evening throughout the year with the League starting around Oct/Nov . It’s a great fun evening and playing standards do not come into it. Anyone at any level is more than welcome to join us and if you have never played before then tuition is available. There will be a notice up in the Inn for names for the league or you can contact me if interested. See you on the ‘ochy!!
On Friday 25th June the final papers were signed with Order of St John passing ownership and Title of land once belonging to the late Miss Buick, over to the people of Strathyre through SVA Strathyre Village Association. This is a culmination of community efforts over 9 months led by Kenny Higgins as the village co-ordinator. The land, amounting to 27 acres of rough hillside terrain, will be returned to its former status of recreational land for the people of Strathyre to enjoy in keeping with the late Miss Buick’s original wishes. It is hoped that the village may be able to find funding for some maintenance on existing and now well overgrown pathways, some of which form the Rob Roy Way Trail. The land is acquired by the village in conjunction with small parcels of land opposite Strathyre Inn which border existing properties. The small parcels of land are narrow strips that hold no development possibilities. Kenny Higgins has now stepped out of the negotiations as the land officially passes over to the village through SVA.
A date for your diary is Saturday 6th August when I will be hosting a fund raising Quiz Nite in the Village Hall - with the first question being asked at 7.30pm! This will be a 100 question quiz and all proceeds will go to the Music Festival funds for 2017.There will also be a raffle, whisky curling and perhaps an auction. It will be VERY much a family affair so BYOB and a wee plate of nibbles if you fancy. Teams will consist of no more than four players and costs will be £3 per person with a prize for the winning team. So come along and bring the “weans” and enjoy.
Real Ale - Real Music
A great night in Strathyre raised £830 for the school. Thanks to all those who came!
www.balquidder.info for further details
McLaren High School Activities Week took place at the beginning of June. Here are some excerpts from pupil reports and a selection of photos: This year is the 25th year since Activities Week began. The person who introduced it to our school was Mr Martin, the Depute Headteacher at that time. He introduced it because there were trips on throughout the year that some pupils could afford but some couldn’t, and as a result some of them would miss out on very important educational learning.
Disneyland This year I went to Disneyland and it was a very long bus drive, around 15 – 17 hours. It was worth it though as it was a great experience. We got to our hotel at 4:00 pm and then got assigned to our rooms. It was very peaceful, in the morning we had breakfast then went to Disneyland. We were only allowed in Disney the first day, then Universal and Disney the second day. I went round with my friends and my favourite rides where Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion and Tower of Terror. It was great fun and I would definitely go ag ain. Tegan Cook S1 Sailing For Activities Week eight pupils and one teacher tried sailing at Loch Venachar. We learned how to rig and dismantle a Wayfarer, then our instructors bundled us into the boats and took us out into the middle of the loch. Thankfully, for those of us that had never been sailing before, it was a calm, clear day, and we meandered around all morning. The wind picked up a bit that afternoon, once we were all settled in, and the next day there was enough for us to learn how to steer the boat. By the third day we were pretty confident we knew what we were doing, so they sent us out in Toppers by ourselves. We only capsized a couple of times between us – and one was on purpose because we got bored from the lack of wind. Big thanks to the members of Loch Venachar Sailing Club for making this possible – and to Mrs Gregory for the barbeque on Friday afternoon. Iona Whitehead S3 Total Wipeout Pupils had a great time on Loch Ard as part of their Activities Week adventures which included gorge walking and cliff jumping as well as climbing the huge inflatables on the loch!
Horrible Haunted Histories! Horrible Haunted Histories One of the activities which ran during small suspended platforms. After we took activities week was called Horrible Haunted a break for lunch we headed straight for Histories. On Wednesday we went to woodland combat where we strapped Edinburgh Dungeons, which was amazing bands round our head that would detect if fun. There were also torturers, cannibals, we had been shot by some laser guns. We grave robbers, haunted manors, a drop ride used these for capture the flag and player vs player. and a hall of mirrors. On the Thursday morning we went to Mary On the second day we learned different Kings Close and learned about the two tricks with plants we could find. One kind types of plague and how only one of them we rubbed on our faces, and another we could be treated. After lunch we went on a chewed on. We also learned how to make City of the Dead tour, which went through a shelter from raw materials on the forest the vaults under South Bridge in Edinburgh, floor. After lunch we went to the golf where we heard about all sorts of ghost course for golf, getting lessons from an stories and people being scratched, burned instructor in both driving and putting. or bitten on the tours without even On our final day my group practised shooting with air rifles and taking part in knowing! On the Friday author Alex Bell came to archery. Later on my group learned how to do a horror writing workshop with us and ride on a Segway and took a tour of some there were booklets that contained writing of the resort on them. After our tiring week tips and character profiles which we had to we left on the bus journey back to our high Aleks Whyte S1 complete. Marley Sandy S1 school.
For Activities Week I went to Crieff for ‘Action and Adventure”. Once we got there, we were split into two groups and set off. I started at treetop climbing. We took zipwires between trees and jumped between
Barcelona Out of all the many amazing Spanish scenes I saw in Barcelona, Sagrada Familia had to be the best. The construction started on March 18th 1882 and is expected to finish
Let’s Get Active During Activities Week I did Let’s Get Active. On Wednesday the highlight for me was the swimming - and we had lots of fun cycling as well (see photo, above). On Thursday we did more cycling and rugby and we did the climbing wall as well. It was so much fun apart from the fact that I couldn’t get any higher than two metres off the ground! On Friday we did laser tag which was fun and very, very dark which is the whole point of it! Milly Devine S1 The Peak
On Our Doorstep On Day 1 the group travelled to The Peak in Stirling to take part in a curling session with a professional coach. Day 2 was a trip to The Science Centre in Glasgow including lunch at Pizza Hut and the final day was a visit to Stirling Castle. Here are some pupil comments: The whole of Activities Week was fantastic! I really enjoyed doing curling for the first time, the climbing and the Science Centre were so much fun and Stirling Castle and Pizza Hut were great as well. Bethan Jones S3 I enjoyed all the activities and especially having Emily Holl (a McLaren High parent!) as our rock climbing instructor. Archie Duff S2 I enjoyed the curling because it was really fun and I was first to get in the ‘house’ (the coloured rings). Logan Mailer S2
in 2026! But I don’t care, finished or not, I loved it! It was a breakthrough for art, with a different mind boggling sight around every corner, and it really got you thinking. It had everything from the tree like pillars to the illuminations of light from the complex windows. The legendary architect Antoni Gaudi had used nature as inspiration for the church Barcelona should be proud to house the Sagrada Familia in its city. Oliver Holden S2 Edinburgh Explorers On 1 June we went to the heart of Edinburgh where we were greeted by a glorious sunny day and we visited the National Museum of Scotland, which is currently holding a Celtic Art Exhibition. The 2nd of June involved visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia. Using an audio guide to find our way around we saw all the different rooms and what they were used for, there was even a free taster of Britannia Fudge for
those who wished! Our last day was spent at Edinburgh Zoo in the warmth, looking at all the interesting animals, including my new favourite animal, a Southern Pudu. We even got a slot for seeing the Pandas! Ella Chodyniecki S1 Cake Decorating On 1 June 2016 at McLaren High School we took part in Activities Week. It was fun, we had lots of different things to do and I did Cake Decorating (photo, left). On the first day we made sheep in a field, designed a smoothie and made a lemon drizzle cake. The next day we made the smoothie we had designed. We made a Mars bar cake and the marble cake we made was for the show stopper at the end. We had our own theme, mine was Minnie Mouse. On the last day we decorated the marble cake with fondant icing and it was so much fun. Josi Walker McLarty S1
From the Manse June 2016 Where has the New Year gone? It seems no time at all since it was Advent and we awaited not only Christmas but also a predicted fourmonth-long bitterly cold winter... well, that didn’t happen and what we got was four months of incessant rain! Then all too soon it was Lent with Easter falling early this year and what a joy to have the church full on Palm Sunday when we welcomed the congregation from Killin and Ardeonaig, the Revd Paddy Allen and some of the Scottish Episcopal congregation as well as the Killin Community Choir under the leadership of Franny Morrison. We were able to sing out the traditional Palm Sunday hymns and make a truly joyful noise in praise of our Lord. The church hosted three weddings in quick succession in the early spring and although the weather was still cold, the warmth of family celebrations and the explosion of happy energy that comes with each marriage fairly brought the old stones to life and enhanced the already beautiful surroundings. This ancient “thin” place brings out the spiritual in every visitor and such occasions give an opportunity to preach Christ to many who do not know Him. We pray that some souls may be won in this way. Now it is summer and it will not be long before the Clans McLaren and MacGregor visit the church and we celebrate St Angus’ Day once again. It is amazing to me that this will be my second summer here and that so far a new parish minister has not been found. We continue to advertise and pray for the right person to be forthcoming, but meanwhile, I feel very privileged to live among you and lead you in worship each week. May I wish you all a wonderful summer season and I pray that you will all be blessed as you enjoy the busy tourist season, as your farms bring forth whatever was sown or as you just enjoy your retirement in this beautiful glen. June 10
BalquhiĐĐer •bls Reg. Charity No. SC012316
I am sorry to say that most of what I have to report is rather negative. We are still waiting for repairs to the church roof following storm damage late last year! The insurers will not do their part of the repairs to the interior of the west wall that was damaged then until the roof repairs are done! It is all a somewhat Catch 22 situation. We were waiting for dry weather which came for some weeks and has now passed. Meanwhile, we are taking precautions and not using the area close to the west wall in case more plaster falls. The poor attendance at our Sunday church services continues. We are fortunate that visitors support us financially as much as they do, because the few regular church goers certainly could not do so. Again, I cannot help thinking that it is thanks to the MacLaren and MacGregor clans and not forgetting dear old Rob Roy that we keep going! Our locum minister, Revd June Johnston, perseveres and we enjoy her sermons each week very much indeed. The musicians who often come on the 3rd Sunday in the month help to raise the noise level when it comes to the hymns and we enjoy their visits very much too. There is no more news about the possibility of a minister to fill the vacancy here. There just are not enough ordained ministers to replace those retiring. At the end of July, on Sunday 24th Games Weekend, we expect an influx of MacGregors and MacLarens for their annual gatherings. The MacLarens usually come to our Sunday service then and the MacGregors have their own service in the afternoon at 3.00 pm. So let`s hope we shall hear the rafters ring well on that Sunday! Jean Edwards
A Note from
The older I get the more I keep thinking that remote(ish) rural areas are not ideal if I begin to lose my faculties but the more I contemplate the prospect of moving the more I realise how attached I have become to this place and the people who live here. I have lived in Lochearnhead longer than I have ever lived anywhere in my entire life. While thinking along these lines and how difficult it is to let go of things I was reminded of a poem by Michael Hare Duke who was Bishop of this Diocese. I’m going to share it with you but please make allowances as I learnt it from a tape more than 20 years ago and I have no means of checking the accuracy. So, with apologies to the author, here goes. It’s called Break of Glory: Prodigal Father You have made a world of waste Nothing can stay unchanged. We are lured to look for joy in the delights Which always, by design, slip from us. The cherry blossom scatters in the wind, The golden day fades into winter’s chill, The last round that friendship buys Is bitter tears to wash down laughter. We do our best to bottle back the glory Keep it stored in snipped curls of children’s hair, A cine of the holiday. But when we play the tape-recorder back There are only memories, Nostalgia for how things were, For once upon a time. We pour a tasteless brew into the glass But it kindles no fire for present action Because our hearts are cold for what they’ve lost. Once, on a hilltop. blundering Peter tried to house a vision In three tents he’d make to catch the brightness. Did he remember his mistake that day, dark without the sun
When finally they fixed the King of Glory between two thieves And once more the desert won over the watered garden For all attempts had failed to keep things safe? But then, against all hope, the glory came bursting out of the tomb And that same bright vision that had turned the hillside grass golden Was there, on the corpse shelf. That truth can change our living if we risk its light Lost things are safe if we can let them go But what we hoard away turns spoiled and mouldy. So, with the Spirits’ mind, take each gift Drink deep of its delights Then let it go into the dark And though our hearts are heavy for their loss Our sadness sheds soft tears, no more than dew Than waits the Break of Glory and Love’s Day.
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 www. incallander.co.uk/r a m b l e r s . h t m in the Ben Ledi View and on posters around Callander. New members and guests are always welcome. Here are some dates for your diary: July 2016 • Sat 2 July 09:30 LDP Ardreonaig to Glen Ogle (10 miles) contact 01877 330032 • Wed 6 July Stroll Glen Lochy (3.5 miles) contact 01877 330055 • Wed 13 July Ramble Arivurichardich and Leathan Dhail (8 miles) 01877 330444 • Sat 16 July Stroll Ardoch Fort Braco (5 miles) contact 01786 825682 • Sat 23 July LDP Glen Ogle to Strathyre (10 miles) contact 01877 330032 • Sat 30 July Hill Stob Ghabhar (1090m) contact 01877 331067
Free housing advice to Private Tenants in Stirling.
If you are a private tenant in the Stirling Council area and struggling with a housing issue, Shelter Scotland can provide you free confidential, independent help and advice to help get it sorted. The service is a partnership between Stirling Council & Shelter Scotland and can help with a broad range of questions from rent queries to rent arrears, eviction, tenancy rights, unlawful fees, deposits, repairs and shared accommodation. If you need to know your rights, if you need some help to resolve a housing issue or you just need some information, you can speak to our dedicated adviser on 0344 515 2483 or email us at email@example.com quoting the name of this publication. Further advice and information can be accessed at our website www.shelterscotland.org.
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. Thanks!
‘Adopt a Path’ Campaign Launched An exciting new campaign encouraging people to help look after Scotland’s most iconic and popular mountains, has been launched on Conic Hill in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. The ‘Adopt a Path’ campaign is part of a major £6.1 million project The Mountains & The People – and is launched on its one-year anniversary. ‘Adopt a Path’ asks volunteers who go hillwalking to adopt a favourite hill route in Scotland’s National Parks – Loch Lomond & The Trossachs and Cairngorms - that they will inspect when they go walking and then report back on the condition of their adopted path. The aim is to create a whole army of volunteer path inspectors who will help spot damage on paths in the National Parks early, so that maintenance money and effort can be targeted and effective. ‘The Mountains & The People’ project represents the coming together of Scotland’s two National Parks to work on a scale never previously attempted. It is a partnership led by the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust (COAT) in conjunction with Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), which contributed £3.26m towards the project. The project brings together a mix of training, volunteering, education and contract work that helps truly connect people with the mountains in Scotland’s National Parks, whilst tackling the impacts of recreational access on our most iconic mountain paths. The work will improve over 125 km of paths whilst offering over 1000 days of volunteering opportunities and 36 paid traineeships, providing the opportunity to gain valuable skills and qualifications for work in the conservation sector. The launch saw the first cohort of trainees demonstrating their new pathwork skills on Conic Hill to representatives from each of the partner organisations behind the project. The trainees are taking part in a 6-month paid course to achieve their SVQ Level 2 in Environmental Conservation, spending time getting to know the different aspects of the course, meeting people working across the sector and most importantly getting to grips with the practical skills required to work in some of the country’s most challenging yet inspiring locations. The project will run a series of 6-month traineeships based in each National Park, training 36 people across this five-year project. Gordon Watson, CEO of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park said: “We 12
are thrilled that so many people come to Scotland’s National Parks to enjoy the spectacular mountains and scenery. But all those walking boots, combined with Scottish weather, can have a significant impact on our most popular hills. As paths get worn and degrade walkers tend to go around damaged areas causing paths to widen over time and the surrounding environment is damaged. By restoring the paths, training a new generation of path conservation workers, and encouraging people to get involved in this project we want to make sure these mountains are here to enjoy for this generation and the next.” Stretching for 1,800 square kilometres with a stunning combination of lochs, mountains, forests and glens, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is among Scotland’s busiest countryside attracting four million visitors annually. Iconic Ben Lomond and The Cobbler are just two of the 23 mountains in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs that will benefit from the ambitious project.
For further information on how to ‘Adopt a Path’ or to get involved in conservation with ‘The Mountains & The People’ then get in touch via volunteering@ themountainsandthepeople.org.uk or check out the website at www.themountainsandthepeople.org.uk.
SEEING STARS by Keith Wilson
JULY 2016 The easiest object to observe in the night sky is our Moon - so why not take a look at it this month. You can spot many of its features with the naked eye but using binoculars will show you much much more. The best time to view the Moon this month is the last week of July. When you look at the Moon you will see light and dark areas. The dark areas are featureless plains of lava called ‘maria’ which is Latin for ‘seas’. The light coloured areas are ‘terrae’ or more commonly ‘highlands’. These areas are older and higher than the ‘maria’. Over millions of years our Moon has been pummelled by meteoroids, asteroids and comets thus forming the craters on its surface. These have been named after famous scholars, scientists, artists and explorers. The very large bright ones can be seen with the naked eye and others can be seen through binoculars. The best time to study the Moon is before or after full moon when it is not too bright to look at. The best place to look is along the line on its surface between light and dark which is known as the terminator. The low sun hits mountains, ridges and craters and casts shadows across the surface making the features really stand out. When the Moon is new and showing just a tiny crescent you might notice that the unlit portion of the Moon appears to glow. What you are seeing is earthshine - light reflected from Earth is making the Moon glow! Take a look at our closest neighbour in space. Try and spot the bright crater Tycho and The Sea of Tranquility where the first humans landed nearly fifty years ago.
Farm Forum: Another Fine Mess... Like many people I am having difficulty comprehending the result of the referendum. It appears that our Westminster politicians are having the same dilemma. There is difficulty in commenting about it at this stage other than to say that we are in for years of uncertainty until the mess is sorted out, and this is not in the interest of anyone. The EU certainly has its faults but we would have had more chance of influencing it from within than without. We elect politicians to run the country for us, so in my view, it is abdicating responsibility to pass the buck to their constituents, most of whom, including myself, cannot understand all the intricacies of a complicated thing like the EU. In any event, for a decision of such magnitude, I believe a two thirds majority should have been required. From a purely agricultural point of view the last few years have been plagued by evolving a new “common agricultural policy” which has just come in to being, or not, depending on how you look at it. This will all have to be dismantled. Richard Wright writing in the Scottish Farmer just before the referendum and published after, said: -”If the vote is to leave, I will be surprised and I believe it will deliver the economic shocks that have been forecast. While these may be short term they will be damaging, and the decision will create further uncertainty for farmers. “There will be lots of unknowns,
and those will be big in agriculture, given that it depends on the EU for such a big share of farm incomes. The key question is how long it will take to disentangle the CAP, and whether that will be a phased outcome. “Beyond that, the big question is long term support for agriculture from the treasury in London and whether that will be regionalised. This will be a huge task for the farm lobby organisations, and only time will show whether a smooth transition is possible. “The other big issue is trade. Key to this is access to the existing single market and the terms that would be imposed. Despite the rhetoric during the referendum campaign, this will be no automatic process. Farmers can be certain that the EU member states will demand standards the same as those under CAP rules. That could mean facing the same standards, but without the certainty of a CAP payment, guaranteed in law under the treaty of Rome that created the original EEC.”
Scents and Sensibility “An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it makes a better soup.” H.L. Mencken, A Book of Burlesques
I remember my granny having a dressing table set that included a glass perfume bottle with a squeezy bulb at the end. Her favourite perfume was Lily of the Valley. As a child it all seemed terribly glamorous! This past month we have sold lots of Nemesia in the garden centre and many people have commented on its wonderful fragrance. On a warm evening, there is nothing nicer than catching the fragrance of honeysuckle, stocks, sweet peas or clematis - and the trick is to plant in a sheltered spot that will trap the delicate aromas. Perfume is all about seduction and many flowers emit fragrance as an aid to pollination by enticing insects or birds. Thousands of years ago the Persians distilled rose petals to produce a highly sought after scented oil. Historically we know that the Egyptians used perfume as part of their religious ceremonies and that the burning of incense has played a big role in religions all over the world for many centuries. In the days before decent plumbing and sanitation, the main role of perfume was to mask bad odours in the same way that spices were used to mask the taste of bad meat. However, until fairly recently the biochemical process of scent production was something of a mystery. In the 1950s chemists had isolated 20 chemicals in the fragrance of a rose; by the early 2000s this had risen to 400 and now the gene that ‘switches on’ fragrance production by producing a particular enzyme has been pinpointed. I’m sure that you have noticed that many roses and geraniums these days are devoid of any fragrance; this is because over the years, they have been bred for their appearance and so that the blooms will last a long time. This process has meant that many have lost their scent since it is no longer needed in 14
order for the plants to reproduce. However, there are still some wonderfully fragrant varieties such as my favourite climber ‘New Dawn’ (pink) and bush roses like ‘Margaret Merril’ (white) or ‘Deep Secret’ (red). Although some plant species produce scent from their petals, others like orchids have special organs that produce a smelly fragrance and in the case of orchids, these attract one particular species of bee, unsurprisingly called ‘orchid bees’. The bees collect orchid scents from various plants and mix them together to create their own particular fragrance, rather like an insectivorous perfumier. They store these scents near their knees… maybe this accounts for the expression “the bees knees”? Vanilla is an orchid that is hermaphrodite - it is self-fertile - but is unable to pollinate itself, relying on a particular bee, or humming birds, to do the job. Vanilla plants flower for a couple of months but each individual bloom lasts for just one day and must be pollinated within an 8-hour window. For many years, vanilla was only grown in Mexico because this is the only country where its natural pollinators exist. Many attempts to introduce it to other
countries failed. In Sri Lanka, the only way to produce the pods was through hand pollination, a tricky process that we were never terribly successful with. At Handanugoda Tea Plantation in Sri Lanka, an extremely rare and expensive ‘Virgin white tea’ is produced. This tea is picked by ladies wearing white gloves using silver scissors and is never touched by human hand throughout the processing. The owner Herman Gunarathne is a character and great storyteller and his idea to create a totally “pure” tea came about after a visit to Grasse in France which is home to many great perfume houses. He met one of the famous ‘noses’ who was able to tell exactly which country any bloom came from including the same type of flower picked in a different country purely from their fragrance. He claimed that the minute amount of residue left on the blooms from the hands of the pickers fractionally changed their scent. Individually we each have our own ‘scent print’ which results from our genes, skin chemistry, diet, medication, stress level and, probably the most important factor of all, the temperature of our skin. As a result of this combination a particular perfume may smell great on one person but terrible on another! Floral fragrances and essences have long been used in aromatherapy for healing and relaxation and have the power to evoke many memories and emotions. Without aromas, life would be so much blander as we would taste very little. Try holding your nose and eating something… you won’t taste a lot! I’m sure that most of us have many hidden memories that are subconsciously connected to fragrance. Many years ago, I was on a walking holiday in the Spanish mountains when we came across a hillside of violets... the fragrance of a violet is delicate, but in such numbers was intense - and I was instantly transported back to my childhood and eating ‘Parma Violets’.
A Doggie Plea!
Beverly and Neil at Riverside Garden Centre, Tullybannocher are pleased to announce the opening of Riverside Gallery in early July. The gallery is a new venture and is in the building next door to the garden centre. There is a wealth of talent in Scotland and the gallery is primarily intended to be a showcase for the work of local artists and craft makers. Many of the artworks in our first exhibition focus on nature with much of the inspiration taken from our own gardens. The garden centre also sells gifts including Traidcraft goodies and the café next door serves great home-made cakes and a selection of fine teas if you fancy a treat. All are welcome! We are open 7 days a week, from 10am-4.30pm.
June is the month when most of our U3A groups plan their last meetings before the summer break but outings to include all members are still to come while Swimming, Bridge, Table Tennis and Quintessentials continue. We have had a steady influx of new members since the start of the year and because some of them live as far out as Killin we are planning to offer some parallel groups at a venue in their village when the new term starts in September. Before then we have booked Callander Kirk Hall for our 4th AGM and Enrolment Day which will take place on Tuesday 23 August from 3.00pm. Further details will be available nearer the time.
My favourite recipes... by Kasia
Savoury scones with wild garlic
The recipe for cheesy scones comes from Marry Berry’s Complete Cookbook. You can add some wild garlic, chives, spinach or basil to enhance the flavour. Best served on the day of baking. 60g butter, plus extra for greasing 250g self-raising flour 2 tsp baking powder 1 egg 150 ml milk, plus extra for glazing 125 g grated mature Cheddar cheese 1/2 tsp mustard powder A handful of chopped wild garlic - alternatively chives, spinach or basil (optional)
1. Lightly butter a large baking tray. 2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Rub in the butter with the fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in cheese, mustard powder and wild garlic or chosen herbs. 3. Break the egg into a measuring jug and make up to 150 ml with milk. Beat lightly to mix. Add to the bowl and mix to a soft dough. 4. Lightly knead the dough until smooth. Roll out until 1 cm thick, cut into rounds with the pastry cutter and put on the baking tray. Brush with milk and sprinkle with finely grated cheese. 5. Bake in preheated oven at 220 C (425F, gas 7) for about 10 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!
Hello... My name is Rusty. I’m a seven year old Parsons Terrier (a Jack Russell with longer legs) and my best friend is a 7 year old Collie. We have played together since we were puppies. I am sad cos my friend is moving away. When my Boss goes away or has a day’s shopping, I stay at his house, and when his Boss goes away, my friend stays here at my house. I’m looking for a new friend who would enjoy this arrangement. We would have to meet to see if we like each other and our Bosses would need to talk (in my experience they do a lot of that). I have a big garden and I can’t get out of it – I know cos I’ve tried. I go for walkies twice a day - you would like that! There are lots of rabbits around here (but I can’t catch them by myself). They play in my garden too and tease me through the window. If you would like to be my friend please lift the telephone and bark three times. My number is 01567 830233. (If your Boss rings, no need to bark.)
Pin-Feathers* *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 rediscivers a story linked to Balquhidder in a book he bought as a schoolboy...
It was “five bob” (5/- or 25p in today’s money). Two months’ pocket money in those days! And found in a book shop, a long time ago. A bit of foxing round the engravings, which made it look really old. ‘Adventures round the World’. To a schoolboy, nearly seventy years ago, what thoughts did that conjure up? There are tales of tiger hunts, shipwrecks, explorations, sea voyages and more. Gold leaf-edged pages with a Bedouin on a camel, a hot air balloon and a sailing ship embossed on the front cover. But what of this extracted story? Please read the extract below. A British consul in California, and from Balquhidder! Does anyone know of the Macansh family in Balquhidder? The book dates from 1883 and the story from 1851, so perhaps someone local may still know the name. It would be interesting to hear if there is a clue somewhere out there. Then perhaps the now ancient schoolboy would have a sequel to the story. Old Nyati KEEPING “THE CORNUCOPIA:” A PASSAGE OF CALIFORNIAN ADVENTURE
MMEDIATELY on landing at San IFrancisco, early in the spring of 1851,
when yet a boy, I entered the office of a most respectable leading firm in the city, Macansh and Malloch. They were chiefly connected with the European trade. Mr. Macansh had been long in the country, before the gold discoveries were made; and the character he bore in the State may be judged by the fact that he acted as British Consul. He was, besides much respected by the Spanish merchants and others, though not perhaps so much by the Americans… The premises of Macansh and Malloch consisted of a large wooden-framed house and tarpaulin shed, which were packed choke-full of goods, to say nothing of the heaps which were outside. In regard to convenience for a junior clerk’s duties, I could not have had it ever so inclined… Meanwhile, I did not at all dislike the warehouse business. One of my duties was to act as tally-clerk on the wharf, or on board vessels elsewhere in harbour, when the firm had and interest in the cargo. Every sort of life then astir in San
Francisco was to be seen there. Still I did not confine myself to one branch, being ready to give hoist or a shove if necessary, and frequently helped old Mr. Macansh at ready-made shifts of carpentry or engineering, where he was in his glory. He showed a considerable degree of favour for me; when we were at work among the goods together, he would commence to talk about the Scotch Highlands, which he had left early in life. I had been partly brought up there, though in a quite different district; and at times I could not help being amused in my own mind by his expecting me to know as much about Balquhidder as he did. After various anecdotes regarding it, and scraps of old Gaelic, part of which struck me as being more like Indian or Spanish, he would find that he had kept me too late for dinner at my boardinghose, and make me share his own, which he always brought with him: and it could not have been much plainer if he had been still herding cattle in the old spot. A more worthy, honest, hard-working character it would have been hard to find, I should say…
Do you need an affordable home? Rural Stirling Housing Association aims to support local communities by providing quality homes at affordable rents for families, couples and single people in housing need. We currently have over 550 rented houses and flats. Around 50 of these become available for rent each year. We hope to have new properties in Strathblane and Balmaha soon and currently have properties in the following communities
Aberfoyle Deanston Gartmore Lochearnhead Balfron Doune Killin Strathyre Buchlyvie Drymen Kinlochard Stronachlachar Callander Gargunnock Kippen Tyndrum
We may be able to build in other communities in the future – please let us know to if you want to live in a village that is not listed above. Information on local housing need and demand helps us plan for the future. If you are interested one of our properties become available please
in renting when they contact us:
Rural Stirling Housing Association Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AA Telephone: 01786 841101 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rsha.org.uk
Registered as a Scottish Charity No. SC037849
BLS Community Trust Minutes of Board meeting – 7th June 2016 at The Inn Strathyre from 8pm. Present: Sarah Gibson; Mel Brydie; David Johnstone; Kelly Clapperton-Bates; Emma Richards; Andrew Poulter. 1. Apologies: Jan Dalziel 2. Declaration of Interest: Sarah declared an interest in the Immervoulin to Strathyre path. 3. Minutes of last meeting: These were passed as a true and accurate record, proposed by Emma and seconded by Mel. 4. Matters Arising: The Strathyre Tennis Courts have now been passed over to the Strathyre Village Association, Mel still needs to write them a cheque for £261. 5. Financial update: Item
Stirling Council (SC)
Immervoulin Path (SC)
Immervoulin Path (General)
General Admin (Not Ringfenced)
There are £10 membership fees still to bank, a cheque of £13 to be drawn for the Annual Return submission and a cheque of £261 to be passed on to the SVA for the Strathyre Tennis Court. Mel needs to speak to Sara Hesp about sending us a copy of last year’s accounts in a word document and also to ask her what the date is for the OSCAR submission. Mel to also email Donald McIver about signing off this year’s accounts. Kelly to be the 2nd signature on the bank account, Mel to get the correct forms from the bank. 6. Communication and membership drive: The website has now been updated. Sarah has now passed over the running of the website, facebook and twitter to Emma. The membership drive is ongoing. Dani Bird is interested in becoming a Director of the Trust and will come along to our next meeting but we still need someone else from Lochearnhead to join the Trust
7. Projects: 7.1 Strathyre Tennis Court: Now handed over to the Strathyre Village Association. 7.2 Strathyre Playpark: The new bench is now in place. The donation box that was placed at the playpark in April has now raised £66.20, Mel to bank. We have applied for funding from Stirling Council for a big child friendly donation box which will be placed at the shop. Mel has tried to email Colin MackKay about clearing the playpark as we had expected it to be done by now. There has been no response so far so Mel is going to try and email him again. 7.3 Immervoulin Footpath: We applied for Paths for All 2016 Community Grant Scheme for up to £1500 but it was refused due to a high demand. We are planning a path meeting with Billy Ronald, Kenny Auld & Martin Earl to get things, moving again. 7.4 Book exchange - Balquhidder: The signs have been made and the shelves are in. The bill for the signage is £496, Mel to pay. David to organise an opening ceremony once it has been painted. 7.5 Notice Boards for the 3 villages: As we did not get funding from the National Park this year we have decided to try again next year as the interpretation boards are a well needed project. We will all gather information for the 3 villages about local paths, points of interest and local amenities. We decided we would also get leaflets made up with all the same information on them and these can be placed in local shops, B & B’s, hotels etc David to speak to Gill for design ideas. 7.5 Three Village Plan: This is still ongoing. 8.0 Community Action Plan: All projects are ongoing but we need more support for Lochearnhead projects. We decided to arrange a meeting in September to talk about how to take the outstanding actions in the Community action plan forward. We will invited locals that help put the plan together and try and come up with some ways forward. 9.0 Date of next meeting: 2nd August 2016 in the Inn Strathyre at 8.30pm. 10.0 Any Other Business: Mel still to send out letters to Lochearnhead villagers to see if they would be interested in joining the BLS Community Trust.
We are now about half way through the 2014 – 2019 Community Action Plan which was drawn up by the residents of the three villages – Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre. Considerable effort was put into drafting the plans for each village and the projects identified represent the aspirations and priorities of those residents living within the three villages. The BLS Trust has a role in assisting the three village communities in delivering the ‘Actions’ identified in the plan but cannot do so without someone taking the responsibility for the work involved. This assistance can take the form of helping develop a project plan, publicity, applying of funding and more. The trust currently has members from Strathyre and Balquhidder who are doing their best to encourage progress on the projects in these villages but currently there are no representative from Lochearnhead. We are therefore urgently looking for a couple of representative from Lochearnhead to take up the challenge. The next meeting of the Trust is at 20:30 on 2 August 2016 at The Inn, Strathyre. We will be conducting a review of the progress on the Community Action Plan so why not come along, find out what is happening and maybe get involved. Alternatively contact David Johnston on 01877 384227 for a chat.
BLS – Where Business Does the Talking The Broch Café, Strathyre Getting its name from the Norse word for fort, the Broch Café is situated at the heart of the village of Strathyre, providing a warm welcome to both locals and those passing through looking for a home-cooked meal or cup of coffee. Bill and Lesley Lindsay have added their own European feel to the place after taking over the Café from its previous owners last year, with plans to possibly expand in the coming future. This month I spoke to Bill about what is involved in running the Café, and what lies in store for the Broch. When did you first open the Broch Café and can you tell us a little about the history of the business? We bought the Café on the 14th of August last year, 2015. The previous owners decided to sell after operating it for just over two years. The workload had increased, and they decided they had maybe reached the end of their time with it. So we bought it on the 14th of August and opened it again on the 22nd of August. Since then we’ve managed to run it full-time, right through the winter, seven days a week. On the odd occasion we’ve had to drop it to five days, depending on the weather; snow for example. But we’ve essentially operated it seven days a week since last August. Where did you live and work before you moved to Strathyre? I was born and brought up in Shawlands in Glasgow. I worked for one of the major construction companies, Tarmac Plc, for most of my working life. I was an accountant with them and I worked in Edinburgh as well, but moved back to Glasgow with a different company that Tarmac ultimately took over. We eventually got shut down in the summer of 1994 although I was kept on along with a few other members of the management team. I set up my own business in 1995, and I continued to run that. Although we’ve actually shut that business down, the company still exists. The company being renamed Rossini Scotland, because my great-grandparents came from Italy. Lesley was born and brought up in Dunblane. Her identical twin sister Karen now lives next door to us, her other sister lives in Brisbane, Australia. They’re a very close family. Lesley is a driving instructor. She teaches a lot of the youngsters that live around here to drive, as well as those in Callander and as far away as Doune. She has curtailed her driving activities because of the Broch Café, and because driving tuition in the winter is fraught with a lot of dangers. We wanted to have something a 18
Children in Need’s Pudsey Bear visits the Broch
bit more local, and the Broch Café became available. So we put in a bid, and obviously won it. Is it a purely family-run business or do you employ any staff? We also employ Jill Howard who lives locally. She has a background in catering and works full-time for us. Jill and Lesley get on very well. They do a lot of the baking together and they make a very good team. The dream team is Lesley, Jill and Charlie (who works for us part-time at weekends). I work there sometimes too, when it’s busy, say on a Saturday afternoon. What does the day-to-day running of the Café involve – what are your opening hours? Normally Jill or Lesley are down there from about 9:15 in the morning onwards. Their early start allows them to prep the food and cater for people who are looking for an ‘early’ breakfast. And not just breakfast, we get a lot of people dropping in between the hours of 10am and noon. They’re maybe travelling north or south, or they’ve left their B & B in Callander early and they’re just looking for a coffee stop; not necessarily for a meal, but for a coffee and cake. So the opening hours are from 10am until 5pm, and occasionally later at the weekend. In the winter we try to open at 10am but we close at 3:30pm when it gets dark, because it’s quite obvious there’s not much business about when we lose the light. During the winter, we have theme nights and they have proved to be successful. We are always looking for ‘different’ themes but the emphasis is on great food and having fun. Do you cook and bake the food yourselves and are any of the ingredients locally sourced?
We try to source local ingredients as much as possible, for example all our butcher meat comes from Comrie Butchers. We’re waiting for Gareth to have his organic farm up the road. When that comes on stream, we will purchase whatever he produces that’s of use to us. So we do look to local suppliers as much as possible. Obviously though living here means we can’t grow our own pineapples, or strawberries in the wintertime! What are some of the advantages of running this sort of business in a rural community like Strathyre? We look towards catering for the locals, but also being on Sustrans Route 7, the cycle route, means we do get a lot of people walking and cycling. They’ve either come from Callander or down from Killin, and it’s a good stop-off point, because we’re roughly equidistance between these two places, so it’s a good stop for lunch. What are the more challenging aspects? It comes with its own problems working in Strathyre, because there’s a lack of youngsters available to work in the Café. We’re quite conscious about the cost effects of employing people as it’s quite expensive now the living wage has increased. Hopefully our first year will turn in a profit although we have invested heavily in new equipment. But it’s a bit weather-dependent. On good days it’ll be busy, but when it’s pouring rain we can’t put our outside tables out, and that curtails the number of covers we’ve got to roughly 24, which has a knock-on effect on sales. It’s a challenge getting staff in the local area, because there is an age gap of between about 14 and 17. Obviously for a part-time job you can’t bring people from Stirling or Killin. Hopefully Clem (known as Sam), our French student, will join us again for the summer months. Sam lives and studies
in Paris but her Scottish connections here in Strathyre are now well established. How do you advertise – what is your online presence? We advertise in the Trossachs Directory and we also advertise on one of the motorcycle bikers’ websites. Lesley looks after our Facebook page and our website. We also have business cards and A5 flyers. How do you adapt to the different seasons – do you notice a big difference between the ‘peak’ summer season and the quieter winter months? Holiday periods affect sales quite significantly. The school holidays are from the end of June until probably the end of September (for the English holidays). There’s a big increase in traffic during that period, and that increases our sales quite significantly. The English holidays probably have a greater effect on us. There are a lot of Scottish visitors as well but I think English and foreign visitors make a noticeable difference. For example you’ll find that if they are staying at the Strathyre Lodges; they’ll cycle up here, bring their kids, and come up two or three times during the week. Are most of your customers visitors to the area or locals? I would say we get a fair percentage of locals. We get a lot of people visiting from the surrounding villages, towns and area. We get a lot of passing trade from the A84 as well; people travelling on their holidays to Oban, the West Coast or up to the Islands. They’ve come from down south, and we’re a nice stopping-off point because the Broch is probably the first café you meet in the lower highlands. People stop because of that. We also have free parking; a big play area for kids; outside seating; and it’s also very handy for dog-walking. I think that does make a difference. And once people have stopped here, on their way back they know where we are. We often see the same people travelling north, and again on their return. What are your most popular menu items? All our baking is home-made, apart from Tunnock’s tea cakes! Everything else is homemade. Our soup, cakes and paninis are all very popular. When we took over the Café we tried to make it more European café-style. We still serve basic food, but with a European twist. Also the way we serve the food is on slate and wooden platters. We have had a lot of positive comments about that because people say they don’t expect to get that in rural areas. You expect to maybe get that in cafés in the cities, and more expensive eating places. They don’t expect it though when they come up to places like Strathyre. I don’t know who else does it in that format about here. But we thought it was a good move, we like it to be modern, but still rural.
We do like our coffee too and we think it’s the best in our area. It’s Italian coffee we sell – Lucaffé coffee. We’ve had many positive comments about it, in particular from foreigners. We had an Italian gentleman who, when he finished his double espresso said, “you won’t get much better than that, anywhere!” Particularly the way it’s served as well, because we serve it in the proper espresso cups. Lesley is very particular about our food, which must be cooked to perfection. When it comes to putting out food and drinks, it must be properly presented. So, we’re very careful how we serve things. Can you tell us about the interesting artwork that you also sell in the Café? The sculptures we sell came about because we were getting a big cycle rack from Love Loch Lomond. The guy who was delivering them was ex-navy, and had started to do chainsaw carvings when he came out of the navy. We had a discussion when he brought one big rack, because that was all we were supposed to have. But one big rack can only take five bikes, and my argument was – “Five bikes is just one family, where are we going to put the other 20 bikes?” So he said he would see what he could do, but he did say “Would you have a look at my website and see what you think? And I’ll try to help you if you can help me.” So that’s how it came about. He does carvings of highland coos. In fact it’s called the Wee Coo Company. The big coo that we’ve got outside the
Broch took four guys to lift off the wagon, it’s that heavy! It’s a solid structure that was all carved by chainsaw. He also supplies miniature versions of the wee coos. They’re made in his workshop near Loch Lomond. You can obtain similar things made in China, but his are all handmade by himself. Because of that they are in restricted supply. What are your plans for the future – do you plan to expand at all? We will continue to make advances where we think it necessary. We might extend the Café outwards to make it a slightly bigger footprint on the ground floor. One of our problems is we’ve become a victim of our own success, because we know what we’re doing is good. We’ve only got 52 covers; we’ve got a limited kitchen (which is what you see in the Café behind the counter). We do need more operating space in the kitchen area and for that reason I’d like to expand outwards on to the patio a bit. So my idea for the future is to move everything out a few metres and have a glass curtain wall so that every table can appreciate the views! Interview by Iona Mchedliani For more information on the Broch Café, Bill and Lesley can be contacted by phone or email on: 01877 384612, or at: email@example.com. Alternatively, information on the Café can be found at their website: www.brochcafe.co.uk
Again another busy month has been and gone. With the nice weather that we have seen, there has been a large increase in visitor numbers to our roads and loch sides. Given the volume of traffic, we have seen a number of collisions, some of which resulted in serious injury. We also saw a number of lengthy road closures in the area as a result of incidents in neighbouring divisions, in particular fatal collisions which occurred on the A82. Some of you may or may not recall, but around November last year, a meeting was held by the three community councils of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Strathyre; Strathfillan and Killin with regards to road closures on our trunk roads and the impact that it has on the local communities. I attended the meeting along with other officers; and our local councillor, Martin Earl and management from Bear Scotland also attended. The feedback from all was that it had been beneficial for all in attendance to hear explanations about the reasons behind lengthy closures and what all takes place behind the scenes. One of the things that we took away from the meeting was the perception of the lack of information that local communities receive. Given the potential lengthy diversion routes, I made a suggestion about some form of variable signage that we could use, as well as a way of deploying road closures quicker than we see at present. We have continued liaising with Bear Scotland over the past few months and the good news is that we are now at the implementation stage and by the time this goes to print, I have been assured that the system will be in place. At a number of strategic locations along our local trunk roads network of the A84, A85 and A82, there will be a number of permanent storage sites which will contain everything that the Police or Bear staff need to close a road. Instead of wasting money installing large NADICS style boards across the region, my suggestion of a simple white board was taken up and each location will have a sign and pen which will allow us to tailor each road closure signage to the circumstances, and where possible advice on how far local access will be permitted will be displayed. Bear Scotland are funding the project and this area will in fact be used as a pilot scheme which will be reviewed in several months. If it is deemed to be a success, then Bear have advised that they intend on rolling the scheme out further throughout Scotland. 20
Air Weapon Legislation. I have no doubt that over the last few weeks, you will have seen or heard the media campaigns with regards to the new Air Weapons legislation which is imminent, along with the amnesty for unwanted weapons. The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 comes fully into effect on 31 December 2016. The new law will require any person who possesses, purchases, uses or acquires an air weapon to have a certificate to hold them legally. It will be an offence not to have a certificate for these purposes from 31 December 2016, unless you are exempt, but from 1 July 2016, you will be able to apply to Police Scotland for a certificate. The new Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015 will: • Clearly define the air weapons which will be subject to licensing • Broadly follow the principles and practises of existing firearms legislations • Enable a fit person to obtain a licence to own, possess and shoot an air weapon in a regulated way without compromising public safety • Ensure appropriate enforcement of the new regime with robust offences and penalties to deal with any person who contravenes the regime Local Police divisions have designated Police Offices where specially trained officers will be on hand to accept and make safe surrendered air weapons. In this area, the designated office is Callander Police Office. Although the amnesty has now officially ended, weapons will still be accepted if they are unwanted or there is no intention
to apply for the required license. The weapons can either be taken to Callander Police Office, or if you make contact with me direct, I will arrange uplift of the weapon(s). Although the details of the licences still have not been officially confirmed, it would appear at present that the Scottish Government intend on the fee to apply for a certificate to be £72 for a new licence. For persons who already hold either Firearms or Shotgun certificates, the fee will be £5 and will be an admin fee to issue the new licence as these persons have already been through the vetting process. As the local Firearms Enquiry Officer for the area, if there are any questions with regards to the new legislation, or any other Firearms Licensing queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and I will do my best to assist. As always, I can always be contacted on 101 or for those who prefer email, I can be contacted directly at william.diamond@ scotland.pnn.police.uk. Regards, PC Will Diamond
Explore more of Loch Lomond with extended waterbus service
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Lochearnhead Football Fun Married v Singles (Men) Married v Singles (Ladies)
The popular Loch Lomond waterbus service has been extended to take in additional locations around the world-famous loch, meaning visitors now have even more choice when exploring the area. Due to popular demand, the waterbus will now operate a new service between Loch Lomond Shores in Balloch to Inchmurrin and Inchcailloch, giving people the opportunity to explore two of Loch Lomond’s most popular islands. Furthermore, the Inchmurrin service includes a morning tea/coffee and scone, or soup and a sandwich at lunchtime, depending on what time you sail. Situated only 50 minutes by train from Glasgow, Balloch is the southern gateway to the National Park and the waterbus not only provides an excellent way to see Loch Lomond, it is an excellent choice for those who are looking to visit the surrounding area. You can also travel from Glasgow directly to Arrochar/Tarbet train station and after a short 10-minute walk to Tarbet pier, you will be able to explore the most northern parts of Loch Lomond by waterbus. Both options are an excellent choice for walkers and cyclists. The service between Ardlui and Ardleish provides access to points along the West Highland Way making it a great option for those wishing to walk or cycle part of the long distance route. In addition, there’s increased frequency of the service between Luss and Balmaha providing more opportunities to explore Conic Hill, the Millennium Trail and Hidden Treasures Path which are all popular trails. For those wanting to explore beyond
Loch Lomond you can take the waterbus to Inversnaid and from there walk or cycle (on hilly terrain) to Stronachlachar. From there you can embark on a sail on beautiful Loch Katrine - made famous by Sir Walter Scott’s poem The Lady of the Lake – or cycle, on relatively flat terrain, around the loch. Mairi Bell, Head of Tourism for Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park said: “This year, it’s easier than ever for visitors to leave their car at home and explore Loch Lomond and beyond. We’ve seen a rise in people wanting to take in the spectacular scenery of the National Park by foot, by bike, by boat, or by a combination of the three. Now, more than ever, visitors can join up their journeys and experience a wide range of activities that allow them to make the most of their visit.” For further information on attractions and activities in the National Park including walks, cycle routes and waterbus services visit www.lochlomond-trossachs.org
Our annual football matches take place on Sunday 24th July 2016 at 3pm. Once our volunteers have cleared up the Games field the Married Men of the villages will try to regain the trophy from the holders, the Single Men. At half time the Married Ladies will try to revenge last year’s defeat too. Several good causes will benefit from our famous raffle, including treats for our village school, the kids Christmas party and the Ripple Retreat at Loch Venacher. Refreshments and burgers will be available at our beer tent. Donations to the raffle would be most welcome. If you can help out in any way contact: George Weir 07855 023360 or Martin Sanders 07719 773230.
MHOR FEST 2016 the evidence!
Enjoying bakery goodies High wire!
Food stalls galore 22
Tom and Lisa
As you can see from these fun-filled images, the annual Festival at Monachyle Mhor was the biggest and best yet. Congratulations to Team MHOR for a wonderful weekend! Lovely Lisa
Raft Race inflatables
The Black Shed
Live music in full swing
In the Barn
A taste of honey
Cooking up a storm! 23
Strathyre Music Festival 2016
Erudite Muse “Nearly every great discovery in science has come as the result of providing a new question rather than a new answer.” Zoologist Paul A Meglitsch,
“The trouble with socialism is scocialism - but the trouble with capitalism is capitalists.” Economist Willi Schlamm,
“Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgement.” Don Corleone in The Godfather
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” Benjamin Franklin
Our 4th Annual Strathyre Music Festival was held over weekend 27 – 29th May 2016 and what a wonderful weekend it was; even the weather stayed fair for us. The success of the Festival was down primarily to the huge support and effort during the course of the year and over the Festival Weekend itself by Team Strathyre. The way our village pulled together to make this event a success was truly magnificent. Thank you one and all. The quality of the musicians and their music was once again superb. It was great to welcome some new musicians to our Festival, as well as the return of the veterans who have supported the Festival since it was started; without them we would be unable to continue. The audience was lively and enthusiastic. Their financial support both at The Balvaig Bar and the volume of tickets sold, ensures we will be staging the Festival next year. It was wonderful to see so many people drinking well, but at the same time responsibly. Thanks for your support. The Market place made a welcome return to the centre of the village and was well supported by Stall Holders and visitors alike. Next year we will be erecting a ‘Market Stage’ whereby, musicians who are unable to play in the marquee, will be encouraged to play in The Market Place. At this time, I would like to give a special thanks to The McLaren Pipe Band who got The Market Place on its way on Saturday morning; excellent performance. Overall I would like to think the ‘Bonnie’ was firmly put back into Strathyre. See you all 26-28th May 2017. Please see our website for further information. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Mike Keeney Chairman, Strathyre Music Festival 24
“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” Mohammad Ali
“It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without remembering my reasons for them.” Friedrich Nietzsche
“There might be a moment one week after death, when women achieve the figure they want.” Edina from Absolutely Fabulous
Drs Strang & Scott and Drs Mathewson & Gibson Community Nurses Bracklinn Practice Now is the time when you will be looking forward to a summer holiday, perhaps abroad. Make sure you have up to date vaccinations, insurance, an up to date European Health Card and plenty of high factor sun block. If you are not sure what vaccines you require, collect a travel questionnaire from the surgery and make a 20 minute appointment with the Practice Nurse to discuss your completed form. You will be advised what vaccines are required (if any) at this appointment. We require at least 8 weeks’ notice prior to your departure to be able to administer the vaccines in plenty of time. Please note that some vaccines incur a cost as they are not covered under the NHS, and some vaccines can only be provided by a private travel clinic. We hope you have a safe trip and enjoy your holiday. Leny Practice and Bracklinn Practice Both practices are hoping to start a joint patient forum in the near future. However, we need your ideas and help in arranging this. Karen Brown (Leny Practice Manager) and Margaret Davis (Bracklinn Practice Manager) would love to visit social, committee or charity groups to discuss “What you want or expect from your GP Practice”. Please phone the surgery’s on 01877 331000 or 01877 331001, or alternatively, call into the medical centre to discuss it further.
National Park Exploration Initiative Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have joined forces to encourage visitors to explore the Park’s finest natural and cultural attractions. The move comes as schools across the country wind down for the summer. Under the scheme, the SNHled ‘Explore for a day’ leaflet highlight 25 of the most exhilarating, interesting, and unique ‘to-dos’ in the Park. With summer now in full swing, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, which is within one hour’s drive of 50% of Scotland’s population, is preparing to welcome an influx of tourists and visitors from the UK and abroad. Known for bringing together the best of Highland and Lowland Scotland, the Park covers 720 square miles across four local authorities and typically welcomes more than four million visitors a year. Each activity in the ‘Explore for a day’ initiative has been carefully chosen by the Park and SNH to ensure there is something of interest for people from all walks of life. From budding outdoors adventurers, to those looking for a magical woodland walk, to learning about local history and folklore; there is something for everyone. Examples of the activities include: Culture at Rob Roy’s Grave and Loch Voil Located at the foot of Loch Voil, Balquhidder Kirkyard is the final resting place of Rob Roy MacGregor, a Scottish clan leader who died in 1734 and became a folk hero. Built on the lower slopes of Balquhidder Glen, the burial ground is thought to date back 4,000 years. The Celts believed this to be a ’thin place’ where the spiritual world and the earthly world came close together. It’s the ideal day out for anyone interested in history and local legends. Exploring Puck’s Glen, Dunoon A magical, atmospheric walk named after one of Shakespeare’s central characters in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, Puck’s Glen is a relatively short walk like no other. It offers visitors a blend of shady undergrowth, an enchanting gorge, tumbling waterfalls, and some of the finest rhododendron displays in the country. Walking in The Great Trossachs Forest National Nature Reserve Home to iconic wildlife, such as red squirrels, black grouse and many species of deer, and offering great opportunities for peace and quiet, the Reserve is a ‘forest in the making’ where a variety of habitats are being restored. Visitors can take a stroll through ancient woodland to a viewpoint overlooking the Lendrick Hill, or follow the circular walk around the wood which offers a short extension down to a great spot to watch wildlife and birds. Gordon Watson, chief executive of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority said: “The Park caters for a wide and diverse range of interests and tastes, and the ‘Explore for a day’ initiative does an outstanding job of highlighting how much there is on offer in Scotland’s first National Park. “Whether you’re a family with children, a group of friends looking to explore the outdoors, or have a specialised interest such as photography, history or birdwatching, there’s something for everyone. The ‘Explore for a day’ initiative will play a key role in ensuring visitors are aware of the diversity of things to do whilst here; encouraging them to come back to the Park time and time again; which in turn will support the local businesses and the people that live and work here.” Ian Ross, the chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority with the production of this brand new leaflet as part of the successful ‘Explore for a day’ series. “The leaflet will help tourists and locals to discover the Park and its many assets, and also allow them to enjoy our stunning scenery while greatly improving their health and well-being. To make sure that visitors get the very best out of their trip, ‘Explore for a day’ itineraries have been developed for different regions, and are available on the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park or Scottish Natural Heritage website. 25
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• DIARY DATES • We e k l y A c t i v i t i e s Monday
Bowling - St Fillans Lunch Club - The Scout Station, Lochearnhead - 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Keep Fit - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.30 to11.30am Gaelic Playgroup - Balquhidder Hall - 10.30am to 12.30pm Country Dancing - St Fillans
Wednesday Yoga - Balquhidder Hall - 11.00am to 12noon (contact Ann Cobbett 01877 376291) Youth Club - Lochearnhead Hall - 7.00 to 9.00pm Thursday
Darts League - The Inn & Bistro - 7.00pm
Playgroup - Lochearnhead Hall - 10.00am-12 noon (Contact Mel Brydie 01877 384668)
CHURCH SERVICES Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St. Fillans CHURCH OF SCOTLAND
Balquhidder Parish Church
2 Lochearnhead Shears - see page 5 23 Lochearnhead Games - see page 2 24 Football Game - Lochearnhead - see page 21
Sunday 11.30am Minister: Vacancy Enquiries to Interim Moderator: Revd Terry Ann Taylor 01877 382391
AUGUST 2016 2 6 13/14 27/28
BLS Trust meeting - Strathyre Inn - see page 17 Quiz Nite - Strathyre Village Hall - see page 6 St Fillans Festive Weekend - see page 4 Balquhidder Bike Fest - see page 7
The Villagers’ Photographer Jason Allardyce
www.allardycephotography.co.uk facebook.com/allardycephotography 01877 384295 / 07508 595211 Wedding, Portrait, Social, Pet Photography Councillor Martin Earl Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 922 email@example.com Councillor Alycia Hayes Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07881 310 924 firstname.lastname@example.org Councillor Fergus Wood Stirling Council, Old Viewforth, Stirling FK8 2ET 01786 443497 Mobile 07824 496 019 email@example.com
Registered Charity No. SCO12316
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 1st Sunday each month: 11.30am Communion 2nd Sunday 5.30pm Evensong 3rd Sunday 11.30am Communion 4th Sunday 5.30pm Evensong 5th Sunday (if applicable) 5.30pm FOOD FOR THOUGHT
A reflective time to discuss contemporary issues in a spiritual context
(Check with Rector for venue: 01764 655389)
Vestry Secretary - Maureen Lipscomb Tel: 01567 830234
Published on Jul 1, 2016
Strathyre, St Fillans, Balquhidder and Lochearnhead community and business news and photographs. Highlights include, Strathyre Music Festiva...