Issuu on Google+

a huge thank you to our sponsors

Issue No 41, March 2013 delivered free to every address in Kilmallie

page 28

A huge thank you to the businesses who have sponsored us for 2012/2013. The cost of copying this newsletter has again been very generously donated by Lorna and Finlay Finlayson of Crannog Restaurant, Fort William. The paper for this issue has been generously donated by BSW Timber, Kilmallie

BOYD BROTHERS (HAULAGE) LTD

CLYDEBoyd Fort William Ltd

would you like to become a sponsor too? We rely on the contributions from our business community for the cost of printing and distributing this free newsletter to every address in our area. Without further sponsorship this year, we may not be able to meet all our costs. We welcome sponsorship from all businesses located in Kilmallie, or with principal key personnel resident in Kilmallie. If you would you like to see your name or logo in print supporting your community newsletter, please join with our current sponsors. All donations, big or small, are hugely appreciated. Please contact us at treasurer@kilmallie.org.uk for details.

KCC reports – p2 on the web – p3 community consultation – p4 councillors’ corner - p5 contractors on Blar - p6 road sign quiz - p6 community policing - p6 Community Centre - p7 fantastic facilities - p7 Lochaber High – p8 Banavie Primary – p9 Kilmallie Playgroup – p10 Christmas lights - p11 coastguard - p12 canal news- p13 FOCAL- p14 Waterways Trust – p14 Corpach in Colour - p15 Banavie Floral - p15 rugby club – p15 Kilmallie shinty - p16 Rural Education Trust - p16 Heather’s Walk - p16 green fingers - p16 shades of blue - p17 paws for thought - p18 dog club - p19 Corpach woods – p19 Locheilnet - p19 wild about Kilmallie - p20 Gaelic poems - p21 Room 13 - p21 calling all pipers - p22 Art club - 22 focus on folk - p23 Letters – p24 Locheilside – p25 focus on business – p25 spotlight – p26 feedback - p27 puzzles – p27

sponsors – p28

Jan, Kshama, Beryl, Libby and Christine, posing for the press!.

yet another giant 28 page issue!

inside

congratulations to us all!

You might have heard by now that Kilmallie Community News was shortlisted and Highly Commended in the 2012 Highlands and Islands Media Awards ceremony in Inverness on 1st Feb. We were delighted with the news, and also delighted that it got a lot of publicity, not only locally - in the Oban Times and the Lochaber News, including a second mention from our favourite Roamer, but - somewhat surreally it also got picked up by the BBC, and we were mentioned on their Highlands and Islands News webpage! So much fame and glory could go to our heads! But the truth is that everyone in the Kilmallie community deserves the commendation. Yes the newsletter team are quite chuffed, but the newsletter couldn’t be as good as it is without the brilliant regular contributions from the High School, Banavie School, Kilmallie Playgroup, John Stafford at Scottish Canals, Phil Wren our local Coastguard, Jon Mercer at Glenloy Wildlife, Hugh Muir our local history expert, Tony Whitelocke our crossword compiler, our three local councillors Allan Henderson Bill Clark and Eddie Hunter, Paul Biggin and Corpach Woods, Jimmy Smith and John Macdonald at Kilmallie Community Centre, Corpach in Colour, Banavie Floral Improvements, FOCAL (Friends of Caledonian Canal Lochaber), Green Fingers, the Rugby Club, the Shinty Club, Locheilnet, Andy Bilton our police liaison officer... and the cracking features from all our

occasional contributors too many to mention, plus our Gaelic translators, all the organisations who’ve been in our Spotlight, and all the Folk and Businesses who’ve been interviewed in our Focus... as well as all the people who’ve supplied photos, and written to us, and given us feedback. Our last issue had contributions from over 40 people all told, so it really is great teamwork. And then there’s all the people who have helped pound the pavements to deliver. And last but not least there are our sponsors - you can see them all on the back page - we are hugely grateful to them all as there could be no newsletter at all without their contri -butions in cash and kind. Special mention goes to Lorna and Finlay Finlayson of Crannog Restaurant for photocopying facilities, and to Andy Rogers of BSW for supplying the paper. The newsletters wouldn’t have been so good if we weren’t part of such an interesting community. We are a diverse mixture - people whose families have lived here for generations, people who’ve migrated from elsewhere in Lochaber, or other parts of Scotland, the UK and other countries. We all have a single common ancestor if we go back far enough, so we all have a lot in common, but also a lot of different experiences, interests and backgrounds. All of which makes for a great community newsletter. Sorry if this reads like an Oscar acceptance speech!


feedback

From the Chair

Although I usually keep rather quiet in my corner, I just have to say how wonderful [the last] edition of the KCC newsletter is. Such a variety of information, something for everyone. I think it is the only newsletter I read from start to finish, even the messages printed on the side! I know how much work this is so I am in awe for the job you are doing  (CP)

why not come along

to a KCC meeting if you have any local concerns

Hello there and welcome to the March 2013 edition of the Kilmallie Community News. I am delighted that our terrific newsletter was one of three shortlisted for the Highlands and Islands Media Awards in the Community Newspaper of the Year category and although not winning the award it was Highly Commended. A massive thank you to everyone involved in the production, distribution and sponsorship of this great local resource; winners all!

Looks very professional! (CG) Congrats on another excellent news bulletin! (GM) I’ve let lots of friends in Fort William read it and they can’t believe how good it is. (LW)

You may remember that in our December issue we highlighted that 2012 would be the last year that the Highland Council would be providing Christmas trees and lights to the community and we asked you to complete a survey to ascertain the community’s thoughts on Christmas decorations. Whilst we received a response much lower than I personally expected, given the subject of the survey, I am delighted that a small band of potential volunteers have come forward to meet each other, and KCC members, at our meeting on the 20th March and consider whether the provision of these decorations in the community is something they will be able to take forward. We were saddened to receive recently the resignation of Jillian, particularly as it was her call to arms which brought us all together 2 years ago. We have such busy lives these days that sometimes something has to give and membership of a community council can be quite demanding of our time. We are now 6 members when our membership maximum can be 8 so we will shortly be considering how we can persuade more people in the community to come and join us. We held our February meeting in Lochaber High School— now that brought back some memories! How is it that I knew exactly where the tuck shop used to be! Great facilities, must go back and see them during the day when I am told there are fabulous views up to the Glen and Ben from the badminton hall and windows by the gym room. You can see some interesting school timeline dates on our website at www.kilmallie.org.uk/about-kilmallie/kilmallietimeline/. Some time ago I told you that I had set up a Facebook and Twitter page but had not started posting or tweeting yet... well I have finally got going with it; you can find us at Facebook.com/KilmallieCC and Twitter.com/KilmallieCC. We need to get some more likes on Facebook in order to get some useful statistics from it and it would be nice to have some followers on Twitter, please go and like us!! I have started with meeting dates but hope to make it more interesting as we go along. Give me some feedback, either by email or in our super new suggestion boxes, on what you would like to see posted. Maggie chairman@kilmallie.org.uk

Not only do you inform the Kilmallie Community but keep former Kilmallie residents up to date with what is happening back home. (AG) Thanks for another great newsletter ! Can I suggest a future article on the local SCOUTS. This is a great group which, I believe, few folk know exists. They don’t publicise themselves - and they have a leaky roof with little resources to fix. (HM) By coincidence we have a feature planned on the Scouts for next issue. Please get in touch if you want to tell us more about scouting in Kilmallie past or present.

We’re delighted to hear all your feedback, and please let us know what you’d like to see in future newsletters.

“some straight clues, some cryptic clues, some easy, some not so easy” 1

any suggestions? KCC are delighted to announce the arrival of our bright shiny smart suggestion boxes. They’ve already proved really useful when we did the survey of your views on Christmas lights, but you can use them any time if you have  ideas you’d like the community to pursue  concerns you’d like KCC to take action on  complaints or compliments about what what is happening locally or you can write to us, email us, phone us or come along to a meeting. Please put your name and contact details on any suggestions you put in the boxes, so we can get back in touch with you and let you know what action is being taken. The boxes are sited at our noticeboards at Corpach and Banavie - hopefully convenient for everyone.

2

7

3

8

4

6

9

10

12

5

11

13

14

15

16

Across 1 4 7 9 10 11 12 14 18 20 22 23 24 25

You have this when not alone (7) One of the 7 little people, and not very bright (5) This Miss is a Muppet favourite (5) Jumper. And old Singer car (7) Celebate harem dwellers (7) Not little Edward made sure it was logged (5) One of the female Spices (6) These get tossed(6) Engine is part of MOT or something (5) Cricket referees (7) Popeye’s favourite (7) Wear in the hero deed (5) It can be single, double, whipped or clotted (5) Altered diverse is altered (7)

17

Down 18

19

20

22

24

page 27

21

23

25 Thank you to Tony Whitelocke for another great crossword. Answers to this puzzle are on the website www.kilmallie.org.uk (follow the link on the RHS of the homepage) and will also be published in the next issue of the newsletter for people without access to the internet

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 13 15 16 17 18 19 21

Bobbies (7) She’s an example surrounded by man (5) Belief of cartoon bear with small and medium ending (6) They’re unclean, all twelve of them (5) Painter’s board (7) Give way (5) Sailing boat (5) Not in on flank. Also not in! (7) Fruit a bit of a cheap pledge (5) Put us in spend to hang (7) Writer (6) It sounds alright when it’s to my ears (5) Realm (5) Kitchen and lounge are examples (5)

Answers to last issue’s puzzle: Across: 1 OUTDOOR, 4 MEGAN, 7 EAGLE, 9 NORFOLK, 10 ABRIDGE, 11 HATED, 12 LUSTRE, 14 GLOSSY, 18 SCRAM, 20 ANIMALS, 22 NUMERAL, 23 GROOM, 24 ABYSS, 25 DENMARK Down: 1 OVERALL, 2 TIGER, 3 RANGER, 4 MARCH, 5 GROTTOS, 6 NAKED, 8 EIDER, 13 SCRUMPY, 15 LYING, 16 YASHMAK, 17 BALLAD, 18 SANTA, 19 MARKS, 21 ALOHA

your own puzzles, quizzes and wordgames to share in future issues

Kilmallie Community Council

Your newsletter is excellent and I do know how much work must go in to pulling it all together. (JS)

please send us

page 2


want to hear more about Lochaber Womens’ Aid?...they’re coming to our April meeting

Anita Maclean tells us about the valuable service that Lochaber Women’s Aid provide locally.

Lochaber Women’s Aid... Women Supporting Women Domestic abuse is any form of emotional, physical or sexual abuse carried out by one partner (or ex-partner) against another. Lochaber Women’s Aid is a local charity, affiliated to the national Scottish Women’s Aid organisation, which supports women, children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse. We have been providing confidential, sensitive support to women, children and young people throughout Lochaber for over nine years. During this time, we have helped over 400 individuals cope with the effects of domestic abuse. Despite this, many people remain unaware of the availability of our service and the support we can offer locally. We have a team of experienced workers who can offer women support with housing, legal and benefits matters. We also have dedicated children’s workers who support children and young people under the age of 18. The impact our support service has on individuals is illustrated in the following case study, written by a former client.

A personal reflection on Domestic Abuse “I’ve put off writing this for a wee while… scared of the words that I put on this page. They will become stark evidence of how I’ve been feeling, how things have been for me for two years now. “I haven’t been too sure that I have the strength to see what I write, but I write them now with the knowledge that there are women out there that just know, just feel the same and just care. And for this, this simple knowledge that there are amazing women out there who support me… makes everything possible. “I know that I am here today because of the care and support of Women’s Aid. ALL of you in some way or another have helped to make this somewhat dark period of my life bearable. “The moment I walked through your doors, everything changed. I didn’t know how it did or for how long I would be going through this process...but it did. Maybe it was because finally I was allowed to let this change happen. I was presented with options that I never thought were possible, and allowed and supported to explore them to help build my life up for me, and my amazing and beautiful children. I guess it started really before then.

“Picking up the phone...the hardest thing possible at that time. The realisation that it was all wrong, my life, I couldn’t cope by myself in the set up that was destroying me and ultimately the happiness of my children. “I spoke to a woman in Inverness, and she put me in touch with Lochaber Women’s Aid. I spoke to B briefly, I had to cut it short because of the shouting in the house. She asked me to come in on a day, at a time. Broken, disorientated and scared I came in with my babies. D took the wee ones, B took me into the group room, one which was to become so familiar to me over time, over tears, laughter, rocking, hugs, friends, friends lost, Christmases, home baking, jewellery making, talks of divorce, alienation, love, hopelessness, strength, empowerment, fags, more laughter, more strength, another tumble into the void of despair, court… then support, support, support until clarity, self-belief, empowerment, attitude, love and bonding with my children and the love and bonding with other women alike happened. “And for this, I thank you...all of you. “You give hope to all of us that come through your doors.”

Once again, we are delighted to deliver the Kilmallie Community Council Newsletter to every house and business in the area – we hope you think that the production of this the 41st edition is a great community achievement! We hope it presents some of the resources that are available and gives you a few ideas on how you can spend your time both outdoors and indoors here in Kilmallie. The editorial team especially appreciate receiving updates from the regular contributors and our readers do look forward to hearing from them. We must thank all contributors for taking the time to write for us again. We are thankful too for the many additional articles, letters and photographs sent in. We are also extremely grateful to younger residents for taking the trouble to send something and of course to their parents and their teachers for encouraging them to do so! We hope that if you enjoy reading the newsletter, you too might like to write and tell us about your Kilmallie experiences… maybe about a favourite walk, or wildlife that you have seen or a

Then contact us for sensitive support and advice We offer 1-2-1 support sessions to help you make your own decisions. We are the only service providing specialist domestic abuse support to women, children and young people in Lochaber

Contact us on: 01397 705734 Lochaber Women’s Aid 3 Belford Road, Fort William, PH33 6BT E-mail: lwa@lochaberwomensaid.org A Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in Scotland No: SC330605 Scottish Charity Number SCO34484

Your newsletter team: Christine Hutchison Jan MacLugash Kshama Wilmington Mandy Ketchin

Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the views of the newsletter team or of Kilmallie Community Council.

chairman@kilmallie.org.uk

Secretary Russell Leaper Canal House, Banavie, PH33 7LY

secretary@kilmallie.org.uk

Treasurer Jan MacLugash Salen, Banavie PH33 7LY

treasurer@kilmallie.org.uk

Associate member

Christine Hutchison Mandy Ketchin Kshama Wilmington Chris Pellow

on the web

772252 772383 772499

email us at newsletter@kilmallie.org.uk

Members of the public are most welcome at all our meetings. Meetings are held at 7:15pm, on the 3rd Wed of every month excl July and Dec. Next ordinary meeting dates are 20 March, 17 April, 15 May, and 19 June 2013. Next AGM is 19 June 2013. Meetings are normally held in Kilmallie Community Centre but check our website for any last minute changes.

Other members

Are you or is someone you know experiencing Domestic Abuse?

Christine , Jan, Kshama and Mandy

KILMALLIE COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Chairman Maggie Mackenzie, 42 Hillview Drive, Corpach, PH33 7LS

page 3

www.kilmallie.org.uk

coming up soon more history from Hugh Muir, The Kilmallie Image Library, scouting in Kilmallie, and maybe articles on fundraising in Vietnam, the steam train, the ramblers and more... let us know what else you would like to see in future issues

Thanks to everyone who submitted their Christmas lights survey online: it was a bit of a pilot run for us, so we were delighted that it worked so smoothly. Look out for more surveys in the future - it is an easy way for us to find out what you all think and want. Thanks to Martin Briscoe for lots of new stuff to put on our timeline, especially about WW1. If you’d like to add anything to the website, please get in touch with the team (Mandy, Maggie and Russell) at website@kilmallie.org.uk Martin Briscoe’s picture of the first train through the Corpach level crossing after the addition of the new barriers. Martin tells us: “There was a train at 17:15h on Sunday 27th Jan but the road was still temporarily closed, this is the 22:25h and the first normal operation of the barriers”.

level crossing gates officially opened by Dave Thompson MSP

spotlight

kilmallie community news

fundraising event you’ve been involved in. Photos are also most welcome. We also delight in hearing about individuals and groups who make the area such a great place to live in. We must say a big thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers for helping us this time yet again. Please contact us if you would like to help with the delivery of our next newsletter which again we will try and hand-deliver as much as possible. If you have any letters, please send them and any articles to newsletter@kilmallie.org.uk The deadline for the 42nd edition of the KCC Newsletter is 21st May 2013, for publication mid June.

corpach

page 26


a racehorse called Corpach won the Sussex Stakes in 1936 ridden by Sir Gordon Richards

Here’s more from Hugh Muir about the history of Locheilside. Lots more still to come from Hugh in future issues.

Achdalieu - the field of Da Lieu or St Lupus. Could have been a church here. Because of their support of the Camerons, the Cummings held this area for a couple of centuries until it was returned to the Camerons in 1843. In 1654 there was the Battle of Achdalieu when the Camerons attacked and defeated a party of soldiers from the Fort who had been on a wood-felling exercise. In 1885 the Lodge was built by Lochiel, designed by Sir Alex Ross and leased out to fishing / shooting clients. From 1903 some modifications and extensions were made to the Lodge. In the late 1800s the arable land here was farmed by Annat Farm. During the 1940s the Lodge was used as a "special training centre ". It is said that the main artifacts from Achnacarry were stored here while it was occupied by the Commandos. In 1952 the Lodge was opened as a Hotel by W Bremner. It is claimed that he was the first Hotel in the area to take coach parties! In 1964 the Dulverton Trust purchased the Lodge with the view of turning it into an outdoor centre. In 1965 it was assigned to the Outward Bound Trust. and in 1977 became Outward Bound Loch Eil.

focus on business This issue we have interviewed Stewart Leitch, owner of the Moorings Hotel. What is your company name?

keen to see you there on the day (part day) if possible. Voluntary Action Lochaber will produce a report on the event and any through the Wards Discretionary Budget to deliver a consultation information received through the consultation will be shared with event and produce a Sub Community Development Plan for the the relevant Community Council area. greater Fort William area. We are keen to work with the We are looking to roll this out throughout Lochaber in the coming Community Councils in Fort William to engage with communities months in partnership with local Community Councils and the and give them an opportunity to input to the priorities within the Association of Lochaber Community Councils. plan. If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact This piece of work requires to be completed by the 31st March 2013 me directly on 01397 706044 and I apologise for the short timescale we are working within. We have organised a drop in event in your area for Saturday the Flora McKee, 23rd March 10.30 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. in Kilmallie Hall. We would be Voluntary Action Lochaber

Voluntary Action Lochaber has been funded

Fassfern - the alderwood station. Home of the Camerons for centuries. Believed that the House was built by 1700 with major alterations and enlargement by 1770. There is a Bonnie Prince Charlie room here where he spent a night (the bed is in the West Highland Museum). He picked a white rose here which became a symbol of the uprising. One of the sons of Fassfern was Lieut. Col. John Cameron who was killed at Quatre Bras in 1815. He is commemorated by the Obelisk near Corpach old cemetery. Another son was Sir Duncan Cameron of Fassfern and Callart (Loch Leven). For a time he owned ground at the Fort and it became Duncansburgh. In the 1770s the estate had a kiln, a brewhouse and a meal mill - the lades can still be seen close to the carpark. In 1846 the estate had 20,000 sheep. Stone was quarried here for the Canal: the site is believed to be on the East side of the river close to the now bypass road. After the death of Donald Walter XXII the estates of Drumsallie and Fassfern were sold. About 40 years ago the then estate owner decided that his shepherds were spending too much time looking for sheep. He had a number of numbered large fields in the glen where all the sheep could be kept. The thinking was that the shepherds would spend more time looking after the sheep than looking for them! Hugh Muir

We run a 27 bedroomed Hotel with quality accommodation. We provide bar meals and restaurant food, we also cater for functions such as meetings and weddings. Our main aim is to maintain a high standard in all aspects of customer care. We are proud to have won an AA rosette for our restaurant food every year for the last 15 years and this year we were awarded a fourth star by the AA. How long have you been operating in Kilmallie?

Our company name is “Lochaber Hotels Ltd.”; when we set up this We have been operating in Kilmallie as Lochaber Hotels Ltd for 15 company in 1997 it owned “The Moorings Hotel” and “The Onich years since May 1997. I have lived in this area for the last 43 years. Hotel”. We also ran No.4 Restaurant in Fort William for 6 years How many people do you employ locally? until 2006, we then sold Onich Hotel in 2007. In 2001 we extended the Moorings Hotel adding 10 new superior We employ 42 staff in summer and 35 in winter, with 25 of these being full-time permanent positions. bedrooms and a function suite. We have since then added a Canalside meeting room and fitness suite. Where are you located?

We are located in Banavie beside the Neptune’s Staircase. If you are coming by car from Fort William town centre drive towards Inverness; turn left on to the A830 towards Mallaig at the roundabout. Go straight on at the next roundabout. Turn right after the canal bridge. This is the road to Gairlochy. The Moorings Hotel is on your right. What does your company do?

What do you and your business like about being in Kilmallie?

It is a great area! Lots to see and do, a good tourist area which of course is very important for our business. One of our guests summed it up when commenting on his stay in one of our superior canalside rooms ‘Where else can you see the Harry Potter steam train crossing the Caledonian Canal out of one window and boats going through the canal out of another with Ben Nevis in the background?’ We have lochs, glens, forests and mountains, a good community, good schools – a superb area to bring up a family and to do business in.

page 25

did you know Lochiel is a town in South Australia

locheilside

page 4


tertiary (specialist) settings in Highland and have formed close clinical and More recently I have undertaken a lead academic ties in doing so. I was very role in the further development of fortunate 5 years ago to be given the Outreach Day Hospice Services alongside opportunity of a part time secondment to colleagues in Highland Hospice. Our small the University of Stirling to carry out a group of patients meet fortnightly in the research project which has in turn led to a new Kilmallie Free Church – a bright open number of publications in medical and venue, having moved from its old meeting nursing journals and the opportunity to place of the Information Centre at the present that work at national and local library. Again this service allows local international Conference. This in turn led residents to access services previously to the award of the International Journal only available to those who lived in the of Palliative Nursing Palliative Care Nurse Inverness area, close to Highland Hospice of the Year, probably the greatest surprise and is another example of joint working of my life and certainly one of its high across the area. points! As Lead Macmillan Nurse I have had the One of the best parts of this job is the pleasure of working across Lochaber and ability to combine work such as research, Highland in driving cancer services teaching and leadership with the clinical forward and ensuring, where safe to do role. It is excellence in patient care which so, that there was equity of service for drives the job and motivates me to seek even those who lived in the more remote for improvement at every opportunity. I areas of rural Lochaber. The team is now a feel so lucky in my work life to have had strong, committed and cohesive one this. which covers all geographical areas of Lochaber and the Small Isles. We work In April of this year I am taking a break closely with all other health care from leading the Macmillan Team to take professionals both in primary up a two year volunteering opportunity (community), secondary (hospital) and with my husband in which I will be using

letters Hi again Maggie

I was just browsing the Kilmallie Community web page and came across the mention of a book called The Caledonian Canal by A D Cameron, published by Birlinn, 2005. I have a copy of the first issue from 1972, published by Terence Dalton Ltd, which was presented to my dad and signed by the author as a present to for the canal’s 150th anniversary. cheers Andy Goodwin Gothenburg Great to receive your letters. Please keep them coming. Thanks too to Andy for this old view of Corpach below. We wonder whether other sons and daughters of Kilmallie are reading the newsletter from afar?

all the skills I have learnt over the past 15 years but in a very different setting – that of Malawi. Palliative care is a very new entity there. Poverty, advanced disease and very limited resources will stretch all my knowledge and skills to their limit (& beyond!). I have much to learn as well as to give and it is a challenge I relish. I will be very sorry to leave those I care for so dearly within this community but I know now that the services built up over the last era will be carried forward by my team and the other amazing professionals I have been fortunate enough to work alongside over one of the best periods in my life. I look forward to our return to one of the most beautiful places in Scotland (the world!) to live and to sharing the experience of our next adventures. Kathryn Hamling If you’d like to make a donation to support Kathryn’s project in Malawi, please go to http:// www.everyclick.com/kathrynandpeter

Dear KCC I was interested to read Ronald Cameron's article about Mr Belford. Although he was 'greedy and grasping', Mr Belford, still provided the means for a hospital to be built in Fort William. Towns and cities across Britain benefitted from endowments from wealthy Victorian industrialists. These men may often have had highly questionable business practices. However, either through feelings of obligation to their society, or simply self-promotion, they used at least some of their wealth to establish hospitals, schools and other public buildings which enriched health, culture and learning for decades. Compare this to many of the wealth-makers of current times. Far from feeling the need to give something back to their society, they stash their cash in offshore accounts to dodge the taxes which are now desperately needed to build the hospitals and schools of today, choosing to ignore public squalor in favour of private wealth. Where are the Victorian philanthropists now when we need them? Susannah Calderan

our Highland councillors’ corner

page 5

In a change from our previous format, where our three Ward 12 councillors took turns to write something on any subject they wished, this time we asked all three of them to describe their role as councillors, what it actually involves them doing and what are the particular topics currently being discussed in the committees they're on? Here is what Allan and Bill said. Unfortunately Eddie Hunter was unable to get his piece to us in time for our copy deadline but we hope to include it in the June edition of Councillors’ Corner. Let us know if there is a question you’d like us to put to them all in a future issue.

Being proud to serve the ward of Caol & Mallaig which encompasses Kilmallie I welcome this opportunity to explain something I didn’t fully understand before I joined Highland Council... how it works! As an Independent councillor on Highland Council, over and above attending to the needs of constituents who contact me by phone, email, letter, or directly, I have specific tasks within the council. All councillors form the full council but at present only the councillors affiliated to political parties (the administration) decide policy and where the funds are to be spent. We as Independent councillors scrutinise and offer alternative views where necessary - not always easy or successful. As a group of Independent councillors we meet regularly to formulate this scrutinising policy and the alternate proposals. Various other committees then function within the Council in Inverness. My main one is TEC services which deals with all roads (except trunk ones), waste management, grass cutting, parking, toilets and a range of other technical services. Through this committee I also serve on Highland Licensing Board and Licensing Committee dealing with all aspects of licensing from pubs to street traders. Another sub committee of mine is Fisheries Piers and Harbours which meets at various ports around the Highlands. My second committee is Audit & Scrutiny which basically reports on all functioning aspects of the Highland Council making sure it complies with the regulations of public services. I am also able to attend all the other committees as a non-voting councillor when

time or subject dictates. I also have special responsibility for the islands, serving on the Board of Eigg Heritage, Rum Community Trust and Knoydart Foundation as Council nominee. Other directorships are the Outdoor Capital of the UK and I am an observer to Pubwatch and Caol Community Centre. On alternate Mondays we meet in Lochaber House with our area manager to be briefed by service directors, local leaders of industry or discuss various relevant topics and discretionary budget matters. I consider attending Community Councils an important part of my duties as I get a local perspective on Council matters. These are always held in the evening. My other local committees include the access forum (rights of way), transport forum (co-ordinating local transport) traffic congestion forum (lobbying Transport Scotland on local issues such as A830 link road, A82 partnership (upgrading), Fort William steering group, Fort William Golf Club, Lochaber Fisheries Board, Caol in Bloom, Lochaber Council on Alcoholism, Shopmobility, Lochaber Music Festival and Loch Sheil Jetties. I also write a regular Council corner for Westword, Kilmallie Community newsletter as well as regular features for the local press. Over and above this I have the privilege of Provost duties, representing the Council wherever, in Lochaber, or beyond.

It is worth noting that out of the 80 Elected Members of Highland Council, 22 Members plus the Leader and Depute Leader of the Council sit on each of the 4 strategic committees. The strategic committees are Adult & Children’s Services Committee; Finance, Housing & Resources Committee; Planning, Environment & Development Committee; and Transport, Environmental & Community Services Committee. There are also other committees and groups. The make-up of each of the strategic committees is based on the membership of each Political Group. SNP has 6 members plus the Leader of the Council on each strategic committee. LIB-DEM has 4 members plus the Depute Leader. LAB has 2 members. IND has 10 members. The Administration of the Council is made up of members of the SNP, LIB DEM and LAB Councillors. The Independents are in opposition. Invariably, as in any Political Council, voting runs along the political make up of the council. On 29th June, 2012 I was appointed to the Audit & Scrutiny Committee. Due to resignations, I was appointed to TEC Services on 25th October and the Gaelic Implementation Group on 12th December. I am also a member of the South Planning Applications Committee. Like all Councillors, I attend Highland Council and Group Meetings in HQ together with numerous meetings each month in the Ward. Non-committee members can attend other strategic meetings and can voice an opinion but cannot vote. I would attend such meetings particularly if there is a Lochaber interest. The remit of the Audit & Scrutiny Committee is to advise the Council in matters relating to the programme of internal and external audit work. The Committee also deals with matters arising from complaints to the Ombudsman and other complaints systems relevant to Council Services.

Transport, Environmental & Community Services Committee covers a whole range of public services too numerous to detail in a 600 word article. Trading standards, emergency planning, environmental health, food safety, road repairs, ferries, waste management, storm damage, flood prevention, street market policy, grounds maintenance and control of dogs are just some of the responsibilities of this committee. South Planning Committee is like all other Planning committees throughout the country. This is arguably the most controversial committee of all due to Councillors being in a position to make decisions that can affect the lives of applicants and objectors alike. It is imperative to consider each application from a Planning perspective. Councillors simply do not have the power to refuse an application against the Planning Officer’s recommendation of approval without submitting bona fide Planning reasons which are legally acceptable and support the decision to oppose the Planning Officer’s recommendation. To force a refusal without bona fide Planning reasons could result in the applicant appealing the decision. In the event of the appeal being upheld, costs would be awarded against the Council. Planning is the only committee where all Local Members in the Ward can both speak and vote on any application within their Ward. The Gaelic Implementations Group has been set up to promote and support the indigenous Gaelic language, heritage and culture of the Highlands and to oversee the implementation of the Gaelic Language Plan which is supported by all Political Groups within Highland Council. When you have 80 Councillors in a political democracy, you will always have differences of opinion. That is what democracy is all about.

Allan Henderson

Bill Clark

means hillock of the peat moss

contd from prev page

tomonie

have you heard

the CD “The Moons of Glenloy”?

page 24


turf’’s been cut

for new police station on the Blar

KCC received the following update from Colin Graham, Development Manager of Miller Developments on 28 Jan.

"We have now almost completed our Phase 1 infrastructure works at the Blar - the new spine road, the new 5 arm roundabout, platforming of the Tesco & Police Station sites and all utilities into the site itself (power, telecoms, water, foul pumping station) and not forgetting our upgrade of Lochybridge, which everyone seems to agree has made a big different to the operation of the junction between the A82 and the A830. Practical completion of the Police Station site took place in the week commencing 21 January and completion of the Tesco site is due in mid-February. For the avoidance of doubt, both the Police and Tesco have both bought their sites and paid Miller for all the infrastructure works; work on the new Police Station is due to commence formally in the next few weeks but we have not been told by Tesco as to what their current programme is. Having bought the site from Miller, that is now in their control but having made a multi-million pound investment in the site thus far, we are hopeful that the opening of the new store is not far off.

road sign quiz

1

Why is Blar Mor always spelt wrong?

2

Why do they point to a superstore that isn’t there (and with no definite plans to be there soon)?

3

How many tourists will go looking for the superstore that isn’t there?

4

Why does the superstore mysteriously appear only when you’re travelling west? (spooky!)

5

Why is the road to the new police station restricted to delivery vehicles?

6

Why is the main road to Mallaig the least visually prominent direction on the whole road sign?

7

Why can only Gaelic speakers travel to Mallaig? (or is Malaig now the official English spelling too, in which case why can’t it be in white?)

Please send your answers, and any further questions, to KCC.

Hopefully our works have not brought too much disturbance to the residents of Caol and we look forward to a bright future for the Blar going forward." Regards Colin Graham Miller Developments And on 12 Feb we received the following brief info from Tesco’s Town Planning Manager in response to our invitation to tell us about their store development.

We have no date to start on site as yet so a feature on the Tesco development is perhaps premature. We will keep the community updated on a date for work to begin and at that time an article in your newsletter would be very useful. Regards Ben Train Town Planning Manager Tesco Stores Limited

community policing 2013 promises to be a year of change for Northern Constabulary and the other existing 7 Scottish Forces, as they merge into a single Police Service for Scotland on April 1st 2013. This will most certainly mean a large number of changes in operational and organisational structure, with a lengthy transitional period ahead of us. For example, the national launch of the single nonemergency number (101) will take place on the 25th February 2013. Other important changes in relation to how the new Police Service for Scotland will operate will be conveyed through our Media department in a timely fashion. However, the important message from a local policing perspective is that for Northern Constabulary and the Lochaber Area Command, despite the many changes and challenges that lie ahead, it will be ‘business as usual’. As a local area command we are keen to allay any fears that local policing will dispense with the community-based policing approach that Northern Constabulary has historically been proud of and which has worked so effectively. We still rely very heavily on the support, assistance and good will that the local public continue to provide and are dedicated to

retain this approach to the way in which we operate. Building work on the new Fort William Police Station at the Blar is due to get underway imminently and it is anticipated that the work will be completed by the tail end of 2013. As part of this building project, there will be a creation of a Trunk Road Patrol Group to be based at Fort William, comprising a sergeant and 12 constables which is a considerable uplift of staffing in the area. As we approach the springtime and going forward into the summer, we will be anticipating the usual influx of tourists and visitors to the area in support of events such as the 6 day trials and the World Mountain Bike championships. By this time the single Police Service for Scotland will be well underway and we are looking forward to dealing with these events in the same successful way as in previous years, as already intimated, “Business as Usual.” Andrew Bilton Police Sergeant Liaison Officer for Kilmallie Community Council Andrew.bilton@northern.pnn.police.uk Fort William Police Station, Tel 01397 702361

Peripheral oncology and haematology clinics, when consultant colleagues held their review clinics locally, was the next service to be overhauled and brought to Lochaber, again reducing travelling burden on patients and their families. At initially and had many challenges to times it has been difficult to maintain overcome in changing approaches to these services and unfortunately due to specialist Cancer and Palliative Care service pressure in Raigmore the highly nursing. Completion of my Cancer Nursing regarded Haematology review clinics at degree added some credence to the role Belford have had to be discontinued. This and helped enormously in building a good continues to be reviewed and when evidence base for suggested changes. possible it is hoped this service will be reinstated. Although much support was already in place for those having treatment for their I was offered the opportunity to join up cancer it was still necessary for all adult with specialist colleagues in other areas to patients at that time to travel to Inverness carry out reviews of cancer services or Glasgow for those treatments. Seeing throughout Scotland for the Scottish how these folks struggled in terms of Government. No task was turned down, coping with travelling and dealing with no distance was too far to travel! the, at times, horrid after-effects of their Gradually over a relatively short time my medications, pushed me to consider full time 9-5 job had become an allbringing chemotherapy services to Fort consuming 24/7 one. Thankfully at the William. Encouraged by the Consultant in end of 2002 the Scottish Government Clinical Oncology, Dr Elia and the released a tranche of monies for cancer Consultant Surgeons in Belford I took on services and Fort William successfully bid the appropriate course in Glasgow and for two new cancer nurse posts. The two months later started the service in Macmillan Team was born, my sanity and the Belford. Initially this only meant family life was restored and succession juggling a small number of patients having planning was firmly in place. their intravenous chemotherapy into my already packed workload but like all new Being involved in the steering group for services it grew and grew. The majority of the development of cancer information adult cancer patients in Lochaber now services for Lochaber in partnership with have all of their chemotherapy (antiHighland Council saw another innovative cancer therapies) in Belford Hospital project reach fruition in Fort William with where the chemo service is run one day a the development of the Cancer week housed in the Renal Unit. Information area in our local library. This has proved very successful under the lead The breast prosthesis fitting service for of Anna Strachan, one of the Macmillan those who had undergone breast surgery Team, alongside a small number of willing was the next innovation to be added to volunteers, and allows individuals local cancer services and has proved again (patients and carers/families) to seek help that patients need not travel quite so far and advice, including financial guidance, for expert advice and fitting by the local outwith the clinical setting. Macmillan Team. contd overpage

focus on folk Many thanks to Kathryn Hamling, who lives in Corpach, for telling us about her work as a nurse, leading up to her recent decision to spend 2 years volunteering in Malawi with her husband Peter.

Having been born and bred in Northern Ireland, I first came to Scotland to train as a midwife. I had by then completed my General Nurse Training (SRN) and staffed in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. The previous 4 years had been a trying time at the height of the Northern Ireland 'Troubles' and I longed for a time away from the violence and bigotry which shaped our every day. I had never been away from home so this seemed a big, brave step at the time. However, my initial home sickness being away from home was soon replaced by the joy and the freedom of really living - the ability to shop anywhere without being searched entering the shop; go out in the evening and then wander home eating fish & chips at 10.30pm; and knowing I no longer needed to throw myself to the ground as a sharp shot reverberated nearby - it was only a car back-firing! As my mother feared - there would be no going back. Post midwifery training I stayed on, then married and Scotland became my permanent home. Over the next 16 years I lived and nursed in Falkirk (as a midwife); in Strathcarron Hospice, Denny (my first work in Palliative Care - a job which was to be instrumental in shaping my choice of speciality); the Borders (General & Marie Curie Nursing); and in Sutherland (District Nursing and a return to Midwifery), all whilst having my 4 children and studying for the first of my academic degrees. In 1998 I found the job I had been waiting for - a Macmillan Nursing post in Lochaber - successfully interviewed and selected we up-sticks and moved the family to Fort William - it was the start of a great experience in every way. Lochaber’s first Macmillan nurse, Norma Burke, had been in post for some 3 years previous and had done much of the ground work in introducing Macmillan Nursing as a new entity in Fort William. However on leaving, the post had lain empty for a number of months so some of that footwork had to start again to reintroduce the service. These early months were a joy as I travelled throughout Lochaber meeting all the GPs and District Nurses in the widespread geographical area. I was welcomed by many but not all

page 23

Bike and Hike 4-5 May

contractors on the Blar

maggie’s monster

page 6


calling all kilmallie pipers KCC Chair, Maggie received this letter from the Northern Meeting Charitable Piping Trust

The Northern Meeting Charitable Piping Trust Please reply to Grant Milne 31 Old Distillery, Dingwall, IV15 9XE January 29, 2013

20 years since the building of the Erracht commemorative cairn

Highland Piping Survey Dear Margaret Mackenzie The Northern Meeting Piping Trust, working with the Highland Council, would like to gather information about the state of piping in the Highlands. We wish to find out from the piping community what developments or changes would be beneficial. To enable us to do this we would first like to make contact with all the pipers in your community. We already have contact information about the Highland Council's instructors, some private instructors and from several pipe bands. The attached document gives a list of the contacts we hold. If you know of any other pipers, pipe bands or other bands involving pipers please could you put us in touch, or pass on a copy of this letter and ask them to make contact.

They can do this by contacting our representative, Grant Milne, directly at the above address, at gmilnebagpiper@gmail.com or on 07745056630. We will then send out a brief questionnaire and ask those people to suggest any ideas that may help with the development of piping. We will also seek their permission to keep them informed regarding any piping developments. This project arises because in addition to organising its world famous solo piping competition, the Northern Meeting Piping Trust would like to play a role in strengthening piping and drumming throughout the Highlands. I would be most grateful if you could help us with this project. More information about the Northern Meeting Piping Trust is on our website www.northernmeetingpiping.com. Yours sincerely Nigel Campbell, Trustee Charity Number: SCO 2731. Trustees: Seymour Monro, Mark Tennant, Alan Forbes, Nigel Campbell

Northern Meeting Piping Trust - Highland Piping Survey Piping Tutors, Pipe Bands and Other Bands with whom we have Contact Piping tutors Mr Lewis Barclay, Inverness P/M Trevor Dear, Dingwall Mr James M Dow, Tain Mr Ian Ruari Finlayson, Kyle Mr Kevin Gunn, Watten Ms Louise Hay, Inverness Fr Mel Langille, Fortrose Ms Rhona Lightfoot, Inverness Mr Chris Macdonald, Inverness Pipe Bands Badenoch and Strathspey Beauly Firth and Glens Caithness Juvenile Dornoch Pipe Band Inverness BL Pipe Band Lochaber Pipe Band Other Bands which include one or more Pipers

Mr D E MacDonald, Inverness Mr J MacGregor, Dingwall Ms Carol-Anne MacKay, Ullapool Mr James MacKenzie, Dingwall Ms Margaret MacMaster, Fort William Mr Finlay MacRae, Dingwall Mr Niall Matheson, Inverness Ms Louise McBain, Inverness Mr John McDougall, Kincraig

Mr Iain MacFadyen, Kyle Ms Sue Mcintyre, Inverness Mr Gary Nimmo, Ullapool Mr Andrew Shilliday, Ullapool Mr George Stewart, Golspie Mr Niall Stewart, Kyle P/M Andrew Venters, Inverness Mr Sandy Wregg, Lairg

Lochaber Schools Pipe Band Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band Nairn & District Pipe Band Northern Constabulary Queen's Own Highlanders Association

Strathpeffer Pipe Band Sutherland Schools Thurso Pipe Band Ullapool and District Junior Pipe Band Wick RBLS Pipe Band

Culloden Ceilidh Band

Grouse Beaters Band

SPRING COLOURS FOR LOCHABER ART CLUB

Well known painter and skilled tutor BELLA GREEN will lead a painting workshop on COLOUR on 23/24 March at An Clachan, Rural Complex ,Torlundy. ‘’EXPLORING EXPRESSIVE COLOUR’’ will allow us to enjoy the world of colour in an expressive way via various stimulating exercises. Bella prefers acrylic paint for her workshops and a full list of required materials is provided. In April expressionist painter from Stirling and a regular visitor to Lochaber Art Club, LYS HANSEN will lead ‘’Land Art and Objects’’, a workshop combining landscape with personal objects in an interesting way. 20th – 21st April, An Clachan, Rural Complex, Torlundy. If you are interested in attending either of the above workshops please ring Catherine on 01855 841 231 for more details and to book a place. Cost is £45 for the weekend. No need to pay a sub to the club for your first workshop – just come along and try! Our AGM is on Wed 17th April 7pm at The Underwater Centre Fort William. Lorna Finlayson

Kilmallie Community Centre I had hoped that in this issue of the Kilmallie Community News that the modifications and addition to the disabled facilities would have been completed… alas, the builder has failed to keep his promise despite repeated visits and requests the work hasn’t even been started, the builder speaks with forked tongue! On the bright side the other business with the hall continues very well. Every weekday evening has a booking the last one being the Wednesday evening for badminton for which attendances are increasing every week and we welcome all ages and level of players. There has been an increase in enquiries regarding the facilities available which has also led to an increase in bookings for courses workshops lectures etc., long may it continue. We are presently upgrading the car park lighting to LED fittings instead of Halogen these being significantly cheaper to run and have a longer life. The surrounding hall grounds and pathways are requiring tidying up and we are open to constructive suggestions for better use of the grassed areas, one suggestion has been to create a fenced off play area for the Mothers and Toddlers Group, the small bike track to be re-visited and dressed up with a fenced area and possibly seating and perhaps some more picnic benches. A travelling theatre group has been contacted and we have requested that we be considered as one of their venues and it would be late spring or autumn. We hope we will be successful, they will contact us, alas this will lead to some maintenance on our stage equipment and lighting. The dressing rooms have been re-vamped and electric showers installed, these have been well used by the various hall users. Our main concern at the moment is that some groups are adjusting the radiators to a higher temperature setting and if it is not adjusted back this could be a danger to some of the toddlers and we would ask all hall users to refrain from altering the temperature settings. The hard working committee hope to continue to satisfy the needs of all the hall users. N.B, The next event on our calendar is the very popular Buttons and Bows musical evening which is on Saturday 23rd March 7.30 pm at a cost of £7.00 which includes tea and biscuits, tickets available from all committee members. Regards to all John Macdonald, Chairman Kilmallie Community Centre

fantastic facilities for all of us

page 7

Kilmallie Community Centre, Station Road, Corpach, Fort William, PH33 7JH Scottish Charity SC000604 CHAIRMAN Mr John Macdonald, Merchiston, Badabrie, Banavie, Fort William. 01397 772443 SECRETARY Mrs Norma MacLellan, 12 Hillview Drive, Corpach, Fort William. 01397 772597 TREASURER Mr James Smith, 13 Lady Margaret Dr, Corpach, Fort William.01397 772561

a Smaller Hall (but still sizeable) capable of accommodating about 100 people for meetings  a large Sports Hall, with a gallery classroom available too if needed  a Dance Studio  a Gym Hall  a large meeting room with projection facilities, for 40-50 In a change from our usual routine of meeting at Kilmallie people, with associated cloakroom/toilet utility space Community Centre, KCC held its February meeting at Lochaber High  various classrooms, suitable for meetings, classes or whatever School. We wanted to find out about the school’s great facilities All the facilities are available in evenings, at weekends and during that are available for use by the community. non-term time, though there are some restrictions depending on Isobel MacKenzie, one of the deputy heads, kindly agreed to the school’s needs during the day. meet us and show us round. She explained that work is about to There is a scale of charges for all the different venues, in three start on Phase 3 of Lochaber 21, an ambitious £11M project of new bands (community, semi-commercial and commercial). Prices are building and refurbishment to provide school and community extremely reasonable. If you are thinking of booking a room or a facilities fit for the 21stC. The school is already enjoying the fruits hall, you should contact the High School’s main office (01397 of the first two phases of work, including a Sports and Drama 702512 or lochaber.high@highland.gov.uk) to discuss your Centre which is envied in many schools across Scotland. Needless to say, we were dead impressed – lots of large light airy spaces full requirements and tentative dates and ask for a Let Form. All charges are calculated by the Education, Culture and Sports office of people every night of the week doing things like badminton, based at Camaghael. dance classes, archery, fiddle lessons, martial arts, the list is No-one would want these facilities to detract from the viability endless. of Kilmallie Community Centre - the two facilities can complement The facilities that are available for community use include:  a Large Hall (not many schools have a large performance venue each other really well to suit our community’s different needs. We like this) with stage and raked seating, capable of seating up to are so lucky in Kilmallie to have such a great range of spaces 200 people, or 400 (depending on event) if combined with the available for community use. Please use them both... we don’t want to lose them. adjacent Small Hall. The raked seating can be folded back to Many thanks to Isobel for giving up her time to show us provide a large open space suitable for weddings and a variety round. We have a High School to be very proud of. of other events.

six days trial 3 – 11 May

page 22


We’re delighted to bring you these beautiful poems from

page 8

page 21

Cameron, age 9, and Kyle, age 10, who are both pupils at

Our winter term has suddenly turned to spring and we’ve been able to enjoy magnificent views of The Ben, emphasising what a spectacular setting we have for our school. I doubt if anybody has ever thought that the Lochaber High School building has enhanced this view but, with contractors now tendering for the next phase of the ‘Lochaber 21’ refurbishment programme, a much more attractive façade will be appearing soon. The appearance of the building is not the only thing that will change – over the next two years, facilities for learning and teaching, social areas and administration will be significantly improved with a Highland Council investment of £11 million. The first step in the refurbishment is to erect a temporary canteen and some demountable classrooms. This will allow the demolition of the current canteen along with some teaching areas which are no longer used. Over the next two years, building work will provide us with a new ‘heart’ for the school: a central building will include a main entrance and reception; pupil social area, dining area and kitchen; library and resource area; main school office and offices for Head Teacher, Deputes and Admin Assistant; Sixth Year common room; staffroom and toilets. Re-cladding and over-roofing will be carried out on the three-storey blocks with new windows installed on the east elevation. Towards the end of this phase of building,

the current administration block will be demolished and the car park/entrance area landscaped. All of this will bring enormous improvements to our facilities and will, I am sure, help to encourage young people to learn and to take a pride in their school.

Also thank you to Ronald Cameron for translation.

Ròn

While we will work hard, in collaboration with contractors, to minimise disruption to school life, we are aware that our main hall will be out of action for almost a year. This will impact on some of our annual events and we will be seeking alternative venues for Christmas dances and other events. There will also be an impact for organisations that let the hall.

Beinn Nibheis Tòrr craobhan beag ‘s mòr

Le ciabhag a’ dearrsach anns a’ ghrian.

The school hall has recently been the venue for serious activity; the senior prelim’ examinations. Pupils in S5 and S6, along with some S4 pupils, have been sitting Intermediate, Higher and Advanced Higher prelims in preparation for the final examinations in May/ June. These assessments are evermore important as employment and higher education opportunities become harder to find.

A’ ghaoth a’ seideadh agus a’ gearan

Anns an uisge mar bata luaith

Cho fuar ri dèigh.

A dh ‘itheadh tòrr iasg a h-uile latha

Daoine a’ streap suas.

An creutair cho min ri sioda.

Our curriculum has been the subject of much discussion lately. The introduction of National assessments, which will replace Standard Grade and Intermediate qualifications in 2014, is only one part of the picture. A national move to making subject choices at the end of S3 (instead of S2 as at present) and a reduction from eight subjects in S4 to just six has provoked a great deal of debate. We have held consultation meetings with our Parent Council; held an open evening for S1 and S2 parents and – as I write – we are preparing to meet representatives from our associated primary schools’ parent councils. Whatever the way ahead, and whatever the timescale for change, I am confident that the young people attending Lochaber High School will have good experiences which will prepare them well for the future. One part of that preparation for the future is to extend horizons and, in Lochaber High, we are keen to encourage our pupils to travel. Over New Year, a group of senior pupils had a week of advanced snow sports in the French Alps. At the end of February, 92 Sixth Year pupils and staff travelled to London for a longweekend of sight-seeing, museum visits and entertainment with four West End shows to choose from. contd at foot of next page

Còmhdaich le sneachd Leacainn uaine, glas aig a’ mhullach

Le Cameron Welsh

Air sgeir creagach, dubh is garbh Na laigh air leabaidh feamain, Chi thu creutair glas, dealrach

Le Kyle Dignan

Seal On a rocky skerry, black and rough Lying on a bed of seaweed You can see a grey beast, shining With whiskers shining in the sun

Ben Nevis Covered in snow. Green slopes. Grey at the top Lots of trees, big and small The wind blowing and complaining As cold as ice People climbing up.

In the water like a fast boat Eating lots of fish every day The creature, as smooth as silk.

Room 13’s Inside Out Project Room 13 is participating in a global photography project called “The Inside Out Project’

where they were printed, and shipped back to us here at Caol Youth Centre.

www.insideoutproject.net

The next stage

This project is based around portrait photography which makes a positive statement about who we are, where we are from and our community. The aim is to portray the vibrancy of local life and in doing so promote solidarity, equality and community spirit through the portraits.

Over the next 2 months Room 13, with the help of Allround Signs, we will be installing these images in different locations around Fort William. Look out for friends, family or your own portrait displayed in the form of Bunting at the Underpass, in a small exhibit at Kilmallie Church or in our main Exhibition at Caol Youth Centre where we will be holding a public opening on the 18th March 2013 at 7pm.

Photography sessions were held by Room 13 Community studio where members of the community came and got the portraits taken by a number of volunteers. These images were then sent off to Inside Out project HQ in America

All Welcome. Sarah Hughes

spotted on ebay in Feb – a 50 year old Banavie to Corpach rail ticket, sold for £3.99!

fantastic fundraising – for local charity STAR for Harris

Fort William RC Primary (and thanks to their teacher too).


Signs of Spring

Toads also are a common road casualty in the area. These warty amphibians walk rather than hop, but are equally vulnerable. Toads tend to spawn a little later than frogs, and prefer moving water, wrapping strings of spawn around submerged vegetation. The tadpoles are notoriously difficult to Frog and frogspawn, Fassfern, March

page 9

The Nut Cracker

Upcoming events

On 24th January Mrs Jasmine Adams came into the school

On Tuesday 26th February 6 P7 pupils will be taking part in

and worked with the P4 pupils to produce a dance from the the annual Cross Country race at Nevis Range. Nevis Range Nut Cracker ballet. Everyone really enjoyed the day and

will also be the venue for the four day skiing/snowboarding

Miss Dolzyk even had a role to play.

which takes place between the 11th and 14th March for Primary 7 pupils.

Drum Fun On 31st January Steve came to the school with his drums.

Pupils from across the school will be participating in the

Every class had the opportunity to play and dance to the

Lochaber Music Festival from Friday 8th March until

rhythms created. It was brilliant fun and hopefully he will

Wednesday 13th March. Please feel free to come along and

be back to visit us again next year.

support the children from around the Lochaber area.

Shinty news

The school will also be holding its annual Hats and Eggs

On the 16

th

of February the Banavie Shinty team went to

competition and Easter Assembly during the last week of

the Nevis Centre to play in the BP Cup qualifiers. They

term. School closes on Thursday 28th March 2013 and

played all the teams twice. One was competitively and the

reopens on Monday 15th April 2013.

other half was for fun. The teams taking part were Inverlochy, Ballachulish, Lochaber and Glengarry. Banavie

Scott Lawrie and Ryan Boyle (both P7).

won the qualifier for the Lochaber area so on the 2nd of March we have the national final at the Nevis Centre. Mountain Biking On the 18th of February Primary 7 went to Nevis Range for an action packed mountain biking session. It was a lovely day up at Nevis Range for the pupils and thankfully the weather was sunny, but they had to wrap up warm as it was a cold day. We had to borrow some bikes for the pupils who didn’t have their own. Author Visit On the 18th of February an author came into the school called Stuart Reid. He writes children’s novels called Gorgeous George and the Zig Zag Zit Faced Zombies and Gorgeous George and the Giant Geriatric Generator. He also gave P5/6/7 a workshop on how to write a good story.

High Notes contd from previous page

The school’s Big Band is currently on tour in Lancashire and, during the Easter holidays, a group from the Geography department will be travelling to Iceland. Before the end of session, almost 100 pupils and staff will be spending a week in Paris. Great opportunities and great experiences which can only enhance the learning that goes on in our classrooms every day! Jim Sutherland

to Banavie School dancers for making the front page of Oban Times in January

wild about kilmallie

tell apart from those of frogs. As with frogs, the time taken for a tadpole to mature into a toadlet depends on several factors, including water temperature and food availability. Another common amphibian that is equally active in April is the palmate newt. This is our smallest newt, and the one most likely to be encountered in this part of the world. The rear feet of the males become webbed in the breeding season, hence the name, palmate. Males also develop a short, needle-like extension to the tail. We have also recorded common or smooth newts in our pond, and wonder if anyone else has seen these locally. These are larger, with the males developing crests and orange bellies during the breeding season. Newts tend to wrap individual eggs in the attached leaves of Do you keep a record of the first signs of spring in your local patch? If you do you are in good company, and indeed, there is submerged plants. The efts have external gills in common with a whole scientific field – phenology - devoted to the timing of other amphibians, but in newts these can appear quite feathery. The little newts hide in the water weed and prey on natural events. This includes a range of springtime events as, water fleas and small insects. for example, the emergence of the first snowdrop, the first date that the lawn needs cutting, leafing of buds of particular We do not see many of our summer migrant birds until trees, appearance of migrant birds such as the swallow and, of well into April. The wheatear is perhaps one of the earliest course, the production of the first clumps of frogspawn. Similar arrivals, particularly around the coast in the last week of events can be recorded in autumn, encompassing the dates of March. Sand martins could be seen perhaps even a week leaf-fall, last grass cut and the arrival of winter migrants such earlier than this along the River Lochy. It will be mid-April as redwings. These data, often assiduously collected by before the first swallows and cuckoos are seen and heard, individuals over several decades, are very important in although, again this can vary by a couple of weeks depending monitoring trends over time. Clear patterns have emerged on the year. In 2011 swallows were seen on the telegraph over time indicating that in general birds are nesting earlier, wires at Muirshearlich as early as 9th April, but it can be as late butterflies making an earlier appearance and trees retaining as 26th or 27th before they are seen in Glen Loy. Given mild their leaves for longer. All these provide hard evidence of the weather, flowers might offer the first opportunity to observe effects of climate change. The Woodland Trust has a website signs of spring. Lesser celandine and colt’s-foot are two to look dedicated to recording phenological records out for in February, along with the first primrose slightly later. www.naturescalendar.org.uk and here you can compare your In the meantime the whin has continued to flower throughout own observations with what is happening elsewhere in the the winter and can brighten up even the shortest day! country, and contribute local information to the national Jon Mercer picture. Glenloy Wildlife At a local level, as I write at the end of January, there is little chance of finding frogspawn in my garden pond, but records have already been submitted from the 13th January further south. Usually the first clumps can be seen in Glen Loy at the end of February – as early as the 22nd in 2012. Conversely, in the severe winter of 2009 no spawn was recorded until 17th March. This was not too surprising as everywhere was frozen solid until then. Usually we find that the peak of the breeding season does not occur until a couple of weeks after the first date. At this point we can stand in the garden and listen to an almost tropical frog’s chorus, as hundreds of males compete for the attention of any female brave enough to venture into the water. This is not said lightly; females are often grabbed by a scrum of males all trying to fertilise her eggs, and frequently are drowned in the crush. These mating aggregations often attract predators such as herons and ducks, but otters often take advantage of the bonanza, along with more unlikely culprits such as buzzards. Some frogs prefer to breed in roadside ditches and even pools on tracks, which tend to be rather shallow. The advantage of this is that there is less predation of tadpoles by fish, dragonfly nymphs or water beetles, but the risk is that the pools dry up and the tadpoles die. Frogs may travel a distance of several hundred metres to find suitable breeding pools, and it is at this time of year that they may be seen crossing the roads in large numbers. Please try and avoid frogs and toads if at all possible whilst driving in March and April – the Gairlochy road in the outskirts of Banavie is a particular blackspot.

congratulations

did you hear Ron and Jon Out of Doors on Radio Scotland in Feb? talking about wild boar...

page 20


congratulations to the dog club! Daycare. We have had fun outside and in, playing and learning with our fellow friends and playworkers. The house corner has had several transformations: our interests have evolved from creating a cosy cafe to a creepy castle in the Autumn, then our

of how our lungs, heart and ears work.

cooking timers and checking clocks, as well

festive fascination prompted a Santa’s

We have been making and eating healthy

as a desire to enter a bake off one day.

workshop where eager ‘elves’ became

snacks for our bodies to grow and function Our interest in caring for our bodies

expert at making ‘toys’ big and small. We

as best they should. We’ve made

developed into caring for small pets and

helped care for our environment by using

homemade granary wheat and rye bread,

animals. We set up a vet’s practice at the

rubbish to make decorations and our

cheese scones, vegetable and lentil soups,

house corner in mid-January. A special

advent calendar. Santa must have been so

stir-fried garden vegetables with sweet

thanks to the Pet Stop in Fort William for

impressed with our skilful play that he

and sour chicken and noodles. We have

providing us with some resources to use

visited in person at the Christmas party

been able to get out into our garden to

such as a pet carrier, grooming products,

to reward everyone with a gorgeous gift.

clear the flower beds and dig up the

posters and information on various pet

The New Year brought a healthy incentive

remaining vegetables for these tasty

foods and supplements.

to create a doctor’s surgery and hospital

treats.

Now after a recent delivery of new

ward at the house corner. Much was

We have also tried ‘new’ fruits on the

equipment and toys in a huge parcel, our

learnt about how our body works and how daily menu, like persimmons, cranberries,

interest in Postman Pat and indeed our

to keep it well and care for it too. Some

golden sultanas, Muscatel raisins and Galia

local postie, Alan, has inspired us to turn

experiments and activities gave us a

melon. Our baking and cake decorating

the house corner into a playgroup post-

chance to get some more understanding

has given us the chance to develop some

office in February. We have been playing

interest in numeracy, measurement and

and learning how different mail and

grasp some concept of time from setting

messages are sent around the World and some of us have told the other boys and girls about their first-hand experience of sending news by Skype, telephone and email to friends and relatives who live far away from Corpach.

contd overpage

L to R: Morag, Vicky-Ann and Kayleigh

class. During the Summer months the club also hosts outside activities which include Lure Coursing, Agility and Fly Ball as well as hosting a Breed Show in September which is always very well entered and a Companion Show for the more fun element. If anybody is interested in joining the club please contact Morag Mackell on 01397 772369 www.lochaberanddistrictcaninesociety.com www.facebook.com/lochaberdistrict.caninesociety

Last year it was pleasing to see that about 80% of the boxes had occupants, predominately great tits and blue tits. Two were designed for special needs: one has a side entrance and was hoped to attract tree creepers, and another has a letter box opening which it was hoped would maybe interest woodpeckers, or something bigger? Two years ago, locals who live close enough to the When you are on your daily jog round the Oak and Pine woods in Corpach became aware of woods (!!!!) have a look for these boxes (about 'hammering noises' in the woods? sixteen in all split between the two woods) for any No, this was not an invasion of woodpeckers, activity. We hope that they will all be in use this although there are occasional visits from that year as there is 'no benefit' in having empty species. Thanks to the donation of a pile of new rooms !! nest boxes, from local member Colin Gray, and the We would be pleased to accept more boxes late Willie MacKay of Claggan, we had an attempt from enterprising house builders . to get them into position for that season, all facing North and high in the trees. Roddy Mainland 01397 772348

Uptake of new houses in Kilmallie?

locheilnet

more owls about

after the mild winter... expecting more bunnies again too...

months at Kilmallie Playgroup and

Chris Pellow sends us info on significant progress with broadband for Locheilside

After a delay due to gales and treacherous weather conditions, the weather gods were with us and the pilot project could finally go ahead. The main relays were installed and 10 houses connected to a broadband ADSL line hosted by Marine Harvest, throughout the communities of Ardgour, Loch Eil and Glenfinnan. The antennae to be installed at the houses are tiny and the installation of the equipment is simple and straight forward.

We have also received the feasibility study with the costings for the total project. The cost to get all the houses in the communities connected: Ardgour (120 houses), Loch Eil (130), Achnacarry (42), Glenfinnan (45) is £122,000. We know that most of you would like to be connected sooner rather than later.

Chris Pellow

Next step: get funding For this we will need YOUR support. We’d like to invite volunteers to sign up and become members of the “funding committee”, in We have been monitoring the speed and reliability over the past order to get a core group who can focus on looking for possible week and these are our findings so far: funding, fill out funding applications, help with fundraising activities, etc. So, if you have experience in  we are getting a download speed of around 2.85Mb – 3.15Mb fundraising, or know of potential funding during most of the day which drops to 2Mb late at night. This sources for our project, please e-mail us speed allows us to communicate via Skype, watch video clips on at funding@locheilnet.co.uk - the sooner the news channels/YouTube, and download big e-mail files in we have the initial funding, the sooner we no time. The difference, even at this small speed increase is can start. incredible

Helping Santa in his workshop

We experimented with balloons to help us understand how our lungs work

Caring for and feeding our pets.

the connection is stable

email: info@locheilnet.co.uk website: www.locheilnet.co.uk

bird, bat & bug boxes from Caitlin, Neilie, Reba, Drew and Rowan

Much has been happening over the Winter

Excited barking heard all across Kilmallie! Morag Mackell together with Vicky-Ann Tompkins from Claggan and Kayleigh Buchanan from Upper Achintore travelled to London recently to collect two prestigious awards from the Kennel Club. Lochaber & District Canine Society won first place in the General Canine Association category and was also chosen as the overall winner of the Good Citizen Dog Scheme (GCDS) Award at a ceremony on 8th Feb. “To come first in our category was a great thrill, but then to win the Overall Best Club was quite overwhelming,” said Morag. “We are a fairly small Club with about 70 members and we cover a wide geographical area, so to win something like this means we are getting it right with our various activities” The dog club has a wide range of activities from Puppy Classes, to GCDS Bronze, Silver & Gold as well as a General Obedience

page 19

beautiful

page 10


paws for thought

did you know

Glenloy collies reached New South Wales!

Thanks to local vet Lorna, from Banavie, who shares her hints and tips on buying a dog. Adding a dog to your family, either for the first time or after having had a dog already, is a major commitment that deserves thought & consideration. As the well known phrase says “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas”. In this disposable society of ours a dog should not be bought on a whim but given thought, commitment & ultimately love. Before buying a puppy or a dog you should ask yourself a few questions: Can I afford to have a dog, taking into account not only the initial cost of purchasing the dog, but also the ongoing expenses such as food, veterinary fees and canine insurance? As a very rough estimate a dog can cost £25 a week, that’s £1300 a year! Can I make a lifelong commitment to a dog? - A dog’s average life span is 12 years. Is my home big enough to house a dog? Do I really want to exercise a dog every day? Will there be someone at home for a dog? - dogs get lonely just like humans. Will I find time to train, groom and generally care for a dog? Will I be able to answer YES to these questions every day of the year? If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the above, you should think again before buying a dog. Size Does your choice of dog, in relation to its size, suit your home, car, children and exercise plans, and suit friends or family that might look after it during the holidays? Large dogs generally have a shorter life span, and cost more to feed, kennel, insure and medically treat than smaller ones. Coat length and type Do you mind spending hours grooming and cleaning your dog and your house, or do you want a low-maintenance breed? Some dog breeds have a strong smell; others dribble a great deal! Can you live with these things? Dog characteristics to consider: Energetic and lively or couch-potatoes Strong-willed and ambitious or easy-going and indulgent Friendly with humans or reserved with strangers Playful or disinterested in toys Friendly to other dogs or disinterested or incompatible Friendly to cats and other pets or disinterested or incompatible Affectionate or aloof

A Corpach resident has asked us to highlight the problem of dog-fouling. She says “Most dog owners are responsible and “pick up” but some are not! Several walk their dogs round the Station Road / Corpach shops loop and along the shore road on a daily basis and the mess is disgusting!” Next issue we hope to feature the Green Dog Walkers’ Scheme

If you pick a strong-willed dog such as guarding or terrier type then you will need a strong personality to be able to control that dog. If you are a more easy-going person then think of a gundog if you are into exercise & training, or a toy breed as a house companion. Hounds like to run off after sights or scents & husky types just like to run & not stop for anyone! For a high-drive dog for doing fun things with then a collie might suit you best. If you are unsure then do ask your local dog training club or veterinary surgery for advice, they’ll have a wealth of experience & information and are always willing to help.

Kilmallie Playgroup contd

Centre. We also thank John and Jane at

will keep you posted in the next

We plan to have a visit along to Kate in

JJ’s Cafe, Lochybridge for allowing us to

newsletter of the winning place and tell

our Corpach post-office to see directly

visit them last term and sample some

you all about our visit there. In the

how everything is run on a daily basis. We

lovely baking.

meantime we will continue to get out and

have thoroughly enjoyed all our visits out

We have all been thinking about where we

about regularly on foot to walks in the

and about with the playgroup. To date we

want to visit next in and around Fort

nearby Corpach woods and notice the

have taken different public transport by

William. We put our preferred choices

change in season and new growth and life

bus and train to visit the soft play area at

down and filled in a questionnaire. We will of Spring.

Pedigree dogs Each pedigree dog breed has its own characteristics and with over 200 different breeds there is certainly an ideal breed for everyone. If you match these characteristics with your personality and lifestyle, it is more likely that you will have a happy and fulfilling relationship with your dog. Each breed has been developed over many years to have specific looks as well as temperaments. Thus you have a good idea of what you will get when you purchase a pedigree puppy. Research the breeds you are interested in before making a decision so that you find the one which suits you best. Make sure you go to a responsible breeder who has completed all the relevant health checks for that breed. The Kennel Club & Breed Societies are very useful sources of information about specific breeds.

the local playgroups to have fun and

Crossbreeds In addition to the pedigree dogs there are also crossbreeds to consider. These dogs often display a mixture of their ancestors’ traits. So it is important to take this into account. If you know the mix of breeds this may help but otherwise find out what you can about the parents. The looks & temperament of the dog will be less predictable, crosses are often larger than either parent, and the coats of the poodle type crosses can be more difficult to manage. Rescue dogs It can be a very satisfying exercise taking on a rescue dog and giving it a good home. Just take care that you are not just being landed with someone else’s problem dog that they couldn’t cope with and you may not be able to manage either. Retired greyhounds can make lovely relaxed easy-going pets. Having put some thought into what type of dog you want to get you will be much more likely to have a fulfilling relationship with a loving lifelong companion. Lorna Ungoed Thomas Useful contacts:The Kennel Club 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB Telephone: 0844 463 3980. Fax: 020 7518 1028. www.thekennelclub.org.uk Lochaber & District Canine Society, Morag on 01397 772369 or Vicky-Ann on 01397 701704 www.lochaberanddistrictcaninesociety.com or look on Facebook Crown Vets Fort William, 01397 702727 www.crownvetsfortwilliam.co.uk also on Facebook

Spectrum in November and December. We count up the votes and make a tally chart linked with some of our peers in three of

to find out the most popular choice. We

page 11

Day care is open over the Easter periods and spaces are available so why not come along and join in the fun of Easter crafts

exercise in the soft play area at the Nevis

and activities. Posters will be displayed around the local area with details as well as on our face book page. 01397 772016 / 07876260967 email kilmallieplaygroup@hotmail.co.uk Carole

christmas lights survey

Thanks to everyone who filled in the questionnaire that we included with our last newsletter just before Christmas. The results were as follows:

Number of questionnaires completed (online and paper) 27 (about 3% of the total distributed). Where did people live? Corpach 16 Annat 0 Locheilside and Kinlocheil 1 Badabrie or Tomonie 0 Banavie 9 Camaghael 0 Muirshearlich or Glenloy 1 Did people want to see a CHRISTMAS TREE, decorated with lights, at Corpach and Banavie in years to come? strongly yes 14 yes 8 neutral 4 no 0 strongly no 1 yes or strongly yes 81.5% neutral 14.8% no or strongly no 3.7% Did people want to see Christmas lighting displays on the lampposts at Corpach and Banavie in years to come? strongly yes 12 yes 6 neutral 4 no 3 strongly no 2 yes or strongly yes 66.7% neutral 14.8% no or strongly no 18.5% Who did people think should organise the lights? new group set up for the purpose 14 an existing community group 11 other 1 not responded 1

11 people thought it should be organised by KCC or a subgroup of it, with help from volunteers. 1 person thought it should be organised by Kilmallie Community Company. Were people willing to help with fundraising and organising? yes 7 no 18 not responded 2

Comments included the following:  not able to organise eg raffles or jumble sales, but happy to help with eg grant applications  ?combine with the Christmas craft fair in the hall?  how about a permanent planted tree?  Suggest requesting donations via the newsletter next summer with a cut-off date. Also suggest approaching local businesses. Most people probably too busy to fundraise or organise, therefore a cheque or donation seems the simplest. If not enough money raised then so be it, no decs. If some or all raised, then request Highland Council to provide service and invoice Comm Council.  Will gladly give a donation towards the lights  I would think that British Waterways could contribute by putting lights at Neptune's Staircase. This would certainly enhance the festive feel to the area. Has the community council discussed this with BWS?  able to help with organising  would rather any monies were spent on floral displays. Most houses have xmas trees. As long as display continues in FW no need for trees in nearby villages  I feel that as I am not willing to help fundraise or organise it would be unfair to expect somebody else to do it for my benefit.  We would give a donation at co-op or at a party.

 If there was a New Year's Eve party at Kilmallie Community Centre, the tickets could be priced as such that money would be raised towards following year's lights. Alternatively donation boxes could be in Co -op with an advert in Community News to alert people.  not very able, but would donate to fund. Suggest planting a xmas tree and hope it would grow.  (not able to help) but happy to support anything organised  I would be happier to add money to the cause rather than organise fundraising events. Maybe have a pot and a tally in the co-op  Please keep flowers! Christmas tree looks good but we can do without  possibly able to help. Suggest trees are asked for from Forestry Commission or locals  collection box in co-op? Request donations from local businesses?  I feel that we should continue to use the Council to erect and dismantle as they have all the resources and no problems with the Health & Safety issues. Our community council should manage the arrangements for fundraising with volunteers doing "round the door" collecting etc  There could be year round collection tins at shops, pubs, hotels etc to raise money. A small amount every day would soon add up. This would raise awareness of who has to do the lights and that funding is necessary. Although we only had a small number of respondents, we were pleased we were able to give everyone in Kilmallie the opportunity to let us know their views, through the newsletter and the website. It was our first survey, and probably not the last. And we were delighted that it resulted in 7 people coming forward with offers of help (see page 2).

lochaber marathon along Loch Eil, 14 April

page 18


at www.tidetimes.org.uk/corpach-tide-times

tide timetables

PFD’s (personal flotation devices) This is in addition to our six dry suits and 11 lifejackets. New lightweight protective headwear is in the production process just now.

Public relations and community events included meeting Prince Edward, Training events already in place are Heather’s Walk and Safe Highlander for additional water rescue training at 250 Primary 7’s. Corpach and Torcastle in March plus Officer in Charge training in Oban also So what does 2013 have in store? in March. A major training event in Incident wise it could be anything at conjunction with Lochaber Mountain any time. Rescue is to take place in April - the venue will be Kilchoan. New equipment arriving this year to enhance our first aid commitment will If anyone has any concerns over local be more up to date first aid bags and a maritime matters or require advice on spinal board. water safety and lifejackets contact me on 01397 772122. A definite welcome addition to our existing kit will be three flood response Phil Wren suits and a full dry suit all with new Coastguard Sector Manager

HM COASTGUARD AT CORPACH First a review of 2012! A slightly busier year for your local Coastguard than 2011.

Pictures from 2012 water rescue training weekend.

Below is summary of the incident types we attended. 1 Provide assistance at helicopter landing sites

11

2 Vessels aground or adrift

6

3 Flare reports

3

4 Canoe/kayak incidents

2

5 Assist Police

7

6 Assist other emergency services

3

7

Missing diver

1

8

Fire aboard vessel

1

9

Hazardous incident report

1

10 Damage at aerial site

1

Persons rescued

6

Fatalities

3

Line dancing?

Threesome waltz? No, it’s safety and stability in numbers. The only way to cross moving water.

page 17

Thanks to Susie Calderan, Banavie, for this wonderful piece emailed from the Southern Ocean.

As I write, and glance outside, a massive iceberg the size of Battersea Power Station drifts past my porthole. I stop for a minute, just to gaze at it. Even though I have worked at sea for years, seeing vast blocks of turquoise glowy ice appearing on the horizon and floating lazily past my research ship still takes some getting used to. As does lying in my bed hearing the clunk and thunk of sea ice against the hull as we pick our way gingerly through the ‘growlers’ and ‘berglets’. Or watching as the sea temperature drops to -2C, and swathes of ocean visibly freeze before my eyes. But I’m not here just to marvel at the ice (although it never does seem to get dull). I’m here (along with Russell Leaper) as part of a team of scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division, to carry out research on Antarctic blue whales in the Southern Ocean. Antarctic blue whales, the largest mammal ever to have lived on the planet, were all-but wiped out by mid-20th Century industrial whaling. By the time commercial whaling for Antarctic blue whales was banned in 1964, there were probably just a few hundred animals left (from an estimated population of over 200,000). Populations have recovered somewhat since then, but we still have no clear idea of just how many there are, making it hard to plan for their future conservation. It’s a question we would very-much like to answer. However, finding, let alone counting, such a small number of animals in an area as large as Antarctica is not a straightforward matter, even if they are the length of Fort William swimming pool. So on this 7-week research cruise, we are pioneering a new way of finding Antarctic blue whales – by their vocalisations. Blue whales make very loud, very low sounds like moans and groans which can travel for hundreds of miles underwater. By using acoustic technology which detects these sounds and indicates the direction they are coming from, we can find far more animals than we have been able to before. And we have had some amazing blue whale encounters. As well as being very big, blue whales are also very beautiful. Their colouring is a mottled grey, but when they hang just below the surface of the water, they are an indescribably radiant shade of turquoise blue. When travelling, they are imposing enough. But when they are feeding, or checking out our boat, they are monstrously wonderful, with their huge structures of blow-holes that you could fit your head into (if you so desired…I’m not tempted…), flashes of tail fluke and pectoral fins when they skim through the water on their sides, and their amazing flexibility as they weave around each other. And that is just the blue whales. The productivity of Antarctic waters means along with the blue whales, every day can bring encounters with fin whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and hourglass dolphins, as well as clouds of seabirds such as petrels, albatrosses and penguins. Just a glance outside always bring a new landscape or wildlife experience. Not to mention another variety of wind or snow…and then of course there are those icebergs… Susannah Calderan Clockwise from top: icy foredeck, iceberg, Antarctic blue whale, Antarctic petrels, first year ice, crabeaters

We took part in other events involving further training and community PR. Some of the team successfully completed their 4 x 4 training in Inverness. The entire team gained a certificated qualification in water rescue whilst a few others qualified in rescue boat training with Lochaber Yacht Club.

Several shades of blue

did you spot KCC’s secretary on TV in Jan? - as an oarsman onboard the Viking replica ship Aileach

The new helicopter re fuelling site at Torlundy was up and running in May along with our new rescue vehicle in July.

page 12


Kilmallie Shinty Club’s home ground is at Canal Parks, Caol and has just recently completed the construction of a new community changing facility. The Club currently has 4 teams – Senior, Reserve, Under 17’s and Under 14’s. We also have 3 primary schools in our area where coaches are encouraging the participation in shinty - Banavie, Caol and Lochyside. This year the 1st team is playing in North Division 1 and the Reserve team is playing in North Division 3. There are also various cup competitions in which all teams play. Here are the following home games for March and April:

Training for the Club is held on a Tuesday and Thursday night at Lochaber High School and is for all ages. The training will move to the Canal Parks when the days get longer. Fundraising is an ongoing activity in the Club and we hope to have our kitchen open selling bacon rolls, soup etc for home games. We also do a collection at home games. We are also always needing volunteers so anyone who would like to get involved please get in touch with me on 01397 700800.

canal news

page 13

Great Glen Paddle challenge, 26. 27. 28 April

Kilmallie Shinty Club

Canal re-opens to boat traffic 18th March 2013 Opening Hours 2013 Winter 18th March – 22nd March (1 wk) 9am – 4pm

Linda Campbell, Secretary

Spring 25th March – 26th May (12 wks) 8.30am – 5.30pm Summer 27th May – 1st Sept (14 wks) 8am – 6pm With help from the Criminal Justice Service payback scheme and wood donated by BSW Sawmill, twelve raised beds have been prepared at the Rural Education Centre for this year's Seed to Supper Project. Seventy five pupils from Banavie, Caol, Lochyside and St Mary's Primary Schools will learn gardening over an eight

week period culminating in the Junior Gardening Show on the 31st August. Stagecoach also sponsors free travel for schools that can use the 31 bus. We need more volunteers, can you help us please? Phone Isabel 01397 703819.

Heather’s Walk

come and join the fun... in aid of Highland Hospice Sunday 26th May: contact Margaret Simpson 01397 772679 or Sarah Walker for details

green fingers

springtime Morag MacKell offers this useful advice to all of us who may have a garden: an urge to grow seedlings on a windowsill or in a greenhouse, or who may have the desire to plant out colourful bedding plants.

Getting started in the spring is wonderful! Firstly, get a bag of good Multi Purpose Compost; one that is suitable for seeds as well as potting on, you should first clean your seed trays and plant pots. It is not worth sowing the seed too thickly, we have done this but the seedlings tend to get crowded out and damping off (a disease causing the seedlings to die) is more likely. Keep the pots/trays in a warm place, keep them slightly damp and

watch them carefully. When they have germinated, let them form a pair of proper leaves and prick out to give them enough room to grow on; handle the plants by the tip of their leaves and not by their stems. We use salad bowl lettuce seed as you can plant them in a grow bag or a large plant pot and keep them near the back door, just picking a few leaves as you need them. Parsley is also good to have near the house. A chilli plant does well on a windowsill and looks really pretty. The supermarkets and garden centres sell bedding plants for flower beds, far too early in this part of the world and about the earliest you can safely plant in the garden is about the first week in June, otherwise they can get frosted. I guess most of the plants are grown in the south which has a much longer season. Roses need to be pruned and then fed and the whole garden needs a general tidy and scattering of a general fertilizer. The clematis get pruned as necessary and fed with Sulphate of Potash, forked in about 4 inches from the stem. Morag Mackell

Autumn 2nd Sept – 3rd Nov (8 wks) 8.30am – 5.30pm

Out of hours emergency number 0800 072 9900

Ros Crana arriving at Corpach, and on a still day at Banavie

We are now starting to prepare for the Summer Season and the Operational team’s focus changes from maintenance issues over the Winter to a more Customer service industry ensuring safe passage for boaters, kayakers, cyclists, walkers etc, making sure that anyone who visits the canal is safe and correct information is passed on to them and they enjoy the whole experience of visiting the canal, the Highlands, Lochaber - hopefully we can all be ambassadors for the area.

Outstanding Torcastle Aqueduct drain outlet. Electricity bollard Ocean Mist jetty Banavie. Now the nights are stretching and the weather gets warmer we are looking forward to seeing you all out on the canal bank remembering the guys love nothing better than having a chat and catching up with you all. (Part of being a lockkeeper!)

New for 2013 Additional Hotel Barge will be operating on the Caledonian Canal - vessel Ros Crana running the opposite schedule to Fingal of Caledonia hence when Ros Crana starts at the top of Banavie, Fingal will be starting from Inverness. Lady Kathryn operating from top of Banavie doing three trips during the day and early evening up to eight people : meals on board (more details to follow). Planned works for the summer Season. Corpach & Gairlochy Lighthouses painted & roofs fixed. Banavie flight edging boards replaced. Moy Farm area clearing toe ditches Towpath repairs Loy Sluices to Torcastle Aqueduct. Winter works completed3 Pontoons Banavie refurbished. Scrub clearance North Side Muirshearlich to MacBride’s field. Toe Ditch clearance Loy Aqueduct to Loy Sluices. Recess Corpach sea-lock - boards replaced.

Ben Nevis from Corpach office

Waterways Trust Planting of trees 3rd & 4th March 2013 - Over 1,000 trees, bushes to be planted in the West District. In conjunction with the local community we have identified areas where it would be beneficial to plant trees (see page 14). All information available on www.scottishcanals.co.uk John Stafford

all through the night -

congratulations to our sponsor Nevis Bakery, world champion bridie and steak piemakers!

page 16

23rd March – Kilmallie Vs Inverness (1st team) 30th March – Kilmallie Vs Lewis (2nd team) 6th April – no home game 13th April – no home game 20th April – MacTavish Cup Quarter final – Kilmallie Vs Beauly/Strathglass (2nd team) 27th April – Sutherland Cup 2nd round – Kilmallie Vs Lochaber/Skye @ 12 noon (2nd team); Kilmallie Vs Caberfeidh @ 3pm (1st team)


FOCAL

We saw in the press that Scottish Canals and the West Highland College are planning a 3 month project to look at ways that tourism could be improved along the Caledonian Canal.

bus stops on the Blar

now you see them, now you don’t!

For more details go to the Lochaber News article online at

NEWS?

and bring benefits to the local economy.” News has also reached us that Scottish Canals held a public consultation on their “Draft Heritage Strategy 2013 -2038” between 19 Nov and 21 Jan. Unfortunately they didn’t circulate any details to the Community Council or FOCAL about it, so we didn’t have a chance to comment.

http://www.lochaber-news.co.uk/News/ Study-aims-to-boost-tourism-on-Caledonian You can see the draft strategy online - click -Canal-01022013.htm on the pdf link at the bottom of the page at http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/history-Steve Dunlop, Scottish Canals’ Chief heritage/draft-heritage-strategy/ Executive, is quoted in the article saying “This is an important project which we hope introduction will identify exciting new opportunities to grow tourism around the Caledonian Canal

Scottish Canals say they will analyse all the consultation responses and finalise the strategy accordingly. They say a Consultation Report will be available online in February 2013 - we haven’t seen it yet but we will look out for it. FOCAL (Friends of Caledonian Canal Lochaber) is a subgroup of the Kilmallie Community Company. For more info please contact Jan MacLugash, 01397 772383 email: janet.maclugash@gmail.com

page 15

HOORAY!!!... LOCHABER RUGBY CLUB’S MINI RUGBY HAS STARTED BACK AFTER ITS WINTER BREAK IT IS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS P3 – S2 10AM -11.30AM EVERY SATURDAY @ THE CLUBHOUSE BANAVIE (FIRST LEFT AFTER THE MOORINGS) NEW PLAYERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME TO COME AND JOIN IN THE FUN

As far as we can tell, there is no specific mention in the Strategy of the Caledonian

For further information check out our website www.lochaberrfc.co.uk or search for us on Facebook.

3T - three thousand trees

FOCAL and KCC were both delighted to support The Waterways Trust’s great project to plant 3000 trees along the Caledonian Canal with the help of families, schools, groups and individuals. Two great days so far locally - An Cala planted around the foot of Neptune’s Staircase on 27th Feb, followed by a family day on 3rd March. If you walk along the Caol side of the canal you’ll easily spot all the trees we planted - about 200 in all so far, staked and sleeved (the rowans, oaks, hazels, willows, hawthorns and wild cherries, or just staked (Scots pine and holly). Huge thanks to everyone who turned up but especially to Stephen of the Waterways Trust for setting up and organising the project with such energy and enthusiasm. The Rotary Club are collaborating with Stephen for another planting day on 23rd March (contact Clive Talbot, Banavie for details 01397 773142, clive.talbot4@btinternet.com). Stephen still has more trees available - if you would like to plant some trees in March or April, either as a group or as a family outing, please contact Stephen direct and he can arrange it with you and supply the trees. Why not join in this great project and watch your investment grow over the years! Contact Stephen at stephen@scottishwaterwaystrust.org.uk tel 01463 725561, mob 07917 676786 See more photos at www.kilmallie.org.uk and www.scottishwaterwaystrust.org.uk

Corpach in Colour

Banavie Blooms

By the time you read this, there should be a fine display of spring flowers around Corpach. As a result of our plea at the 2012 Flower and Garden Show a few more volunteers came forward, some of whom helped to plant the bulbs now flowering.

Daffodils coming out as we go to print. Thank you to the stars of Banavie Floral Improvements, Sheena Ron and Joanne, and also a thank you to Hugh and Margaret Ryan who kindly allow them to use their water supply for watering in the summer.

The railway station at Corpach is a new addition to Corpach in Colour. Neatly planted tubs at Corpach station in There were 3 tubs on the platform late winter - by now they will be in full already and another 4 have been colour added. Further along a piece of waste ground has been transformed into a rockery. The station had received a bronze award in 2012 – hopefully it may get silver or even gold in the future! Please go along and see what we’ve done there. The Flower and Garden Show 2013 will take place on SATURDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER in Kilmallie Hall. This show is for Banavie, Corpach and Locheilside and there is something for everyone - either in the schedule or just by coming to see what goes on. It’s a great day out with teas, coffees and home baking available. There will be another reminder in the summer newsletter. The 2 Margarets

since the rugby club opened its first clubhouse

WHAT

Canal between Corpach and Gairlochy, apart from a reference to The Waterways Trust’s oral history project, and a mention of Telford House at Gairlochy.

25 years

page 14


FOCAL

We saw in the press that Scottish Canals and the West Highland College are planning a 3 month project to look at ways that tourism could be improved along the Caledonian Canal.

bus stops on the Blar

now you see them, now you don’t!

For more details go to the Lochaber News article online at

NEWS?

and bring benefits to the local economy.” News has also reached us that Scottish Canals held a public consultation on their “Draft Heritage Strategy 2013 -2038” between 19 Nov and 21 Jan. Unfortunately they didn’t circulate any details to the Community Council or FOCAL about it, so we didn’t have a chance to comment.

http://www.lochaber-news.co.uk/News/ Study-aims-to-boost-tourism-on-Caledonian You can see the draft strategy online - click -Canal-01022013.htm on the pdf link at the bottom of the page at http://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/history-Steve Dunlop, Scottish Canals’ Chief heritage/draft-heritage-strategy/ Executive, is quoted in the article saying “This is an important project which we hope introduction will identify exciting new opportunities to grow tourism around the Caledonian Canal

Scottish Canals say they will analyse all the consultation responses and finalise the strategy accordingly. They say a Consultation Report will be available online in February 2013 - we haven’t seen it yet but we will look out for it. FOCAL (Friends of Caledonian Canal Lochaber) is a subgroup of the Kilmallie Community Company. For more info please contact Jan MacLugash, 01397 772383 email: janet.maclugash@gmail.com

page 15

HOORAY!!!... LOCHABER RUGBY CLUB’S MINI RUGBY HAS STARTED BACK AFTER ITS WINTER BREAK IT IS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS P3 – S2 10AM -11.30AM EVERY SATURDAY @ THE CLUBHOUSE BANAVIE (FIRST LEFT AFTER THE MOORINGS) NEW PLAYERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME TO COME AND JOIN IN THE FUN

As far as we can tell, there is no specific mention in the Strategy of the Caledonian

For further information check out our website www.lochaberrfc.co.uk or search for us on Facebook.

3T - three thousand trees

FOCAL and KCC were both delighted to support The Waterways Trust’s great project to plant 3000 trees along the Caledonian Canal with the help of families, schools, groups and individuals. Two great days so far locally - An Cala planted around the foot of Neptune’s Staircase on 27th Feb, followed by a family day on 3rd March. If you walk along the Caol side of the canal you’ll easily spot all the trees we planted - about 200 in all so far, staked and sleeved (the rowans, oaks, hazels, willows, hawthorns and wild cherries, or just staked (Scots pine and holly). Huge thanks to everyone who turned up but especially to Stephen of the Waterways Trust for setting up and organising the project with such energy and enthusiasm. The Rotary Club are collaborating with Stephen for another planting day on 23rd March (contact Clive Talbot, Banavie for details 01397 773142, clive.talbot4@btinternet.com). Stephen still has more trees available - if you would like to plant some trees in March or April, either as a group or as a family outing, please contact Stephen direct and he can arrange it with you and supply the trees. Why not join in this great project and watch your investment grow over the years! Contact Stephen at stephen@scottishwaterwaystrust.org.uk tel 01463 725561, mob 07917 676786 See more photos at www.kilmallie.org.uk and www.scottishwaterwaystrust.org.uk

Corpach in Colour

Banavie Blooms

By the time you read this, there should be a fine display of spring flowers around Corpach. As a result of our plea at the 2012 Flower and Garden Show a few more volunteers came forward, some of whom helped to plant the bulbs now flowering.

Daffodils coming out as we go to print. Thank you to the stars of Banavie Floral Improvements, Sheena Ron and Joanne, and also a thank you to Hugh and Margaret Ryan who kindly allow them to use their water supply for watering in the summer.

The railway station at Corpach is a new addition to Corpach in Colour. Neatly planted tubs at Corpach station in There were 3 tubs on the platform late winter - by now they will be in full already and another 4 have been colour added. Further along a piece of waste ground has been transformed into a rockery. The station had received a bronze award in 2012 – hopefully it may get silver or even gold in the future! Please go along and see what we’ve done there. The Flower and Garden Show 2013 will take place on SATURDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER in Kilmallie Hall. This show is for Banavie, Corpach and Locheilside and there is something for everyone - either in the schedule or just by coming to see what goes on. It’s a great day out with teas, coffees and home baking available. There will be another reminder in the summer newsletter. The 2 Margarets

since the rugby club opened its first clubhouse

WHAT

Canal between Corpach and Gairlochy, apart from a reference to The Waterways Trust’s oral history project, and a mention of Telford House at Gairlochy.

25 years

page 14


Kilmallie Shinty Club’s home ground is at Canal Parks, Caol and has just recently completed the construction of a new community changing facility. The Club currently has 4 teams – Senior, Reserve, Under 17’s and Under 14’s. We also have 3 primary schools in our area where coaches are encouraging the participation in shinty - Banavie, Caol and Lochyside. This year the 1st team is playing in North Division 1 and the Reserve team is playing in North Division 3. There are also various cup competitions in which all teams play. Here are the following home games for March and April:

Training for the Club is held on a Tuesday and Thursday night at Lochaber High School and is for all ages. The training will move to the Canal Parks when the days get longer. Fundraising is an ongoing activity in the Club and we hope to have our kitchen open selling bacon rolls, soup etc for home games. We also do a collection at home games. We are also always needing volunteers so anyone who would like to get involved please get in touch with me on 01397 700800.

canal news

page 13

Great Glen Paddle challenge, 26. 27. 28 April

Kilmallie Shinty Club

Canal re-opens to boat traffic 18th March 2013 Opening Hours 2013 Winter 18th March – 22nd March (1 wk) 9am – 4pm

Linda Campbell, Secretary

Spring 25th March – 26th May (12 wks) 8.30am – 5.30pm Summer 27th May – 1st Sept (14 wks) 8am – 6pm With help from the Criminal Justice Service payback scheme and wood donated by BSW Sawmill, twelve raised beds have been prepared at the Rural Education Centre for this year's Seed to Supper Project. Seventy five pupils from Banavie, Caol, Lochyside and St Mary's Primary Schools will learn gardening over an eight

week period culminating in the Junior Gardening Show on the 31st August. Stagecoach also sponsors free travel for schools that can use the 31 bus. We need more volunteers, can you help us please? Phone Isabel 01397 703819.

Heather’s Walk

come and join the fun... in aid of Highland Hospice Sunday 26th May: contact Margaret Simpson 01397 772679 or Sarah Walker for details

green fingers

springtime Morag MacKell offers this useful advice to all of us who may have a garden: an urge to grow seedlings on a windowsill or in a greenhouse, or who may have the desire to plant out colourful bedding plants.

Getting started in the spring is wonderful! Firstly, get a bag of good Multi Purpose Compost; one that is suitable for seeds as well as potting on, you should first clean your seed trays and plant pots. It is not worth sowing the seed too thickly, we have done this but the seedlings tend to get crowded out and damping off (a disease causing the seedlings to die) is more likely. Keep the pots/trays in a warm place, keep them slightly damp and

watch them carefully. When they have germinated, let them form a pair of proper leaves and prick out to give them enough room to grow on; handle the plants by the tip of their leaves and not by their stems. We use salad bowl lettuce seed as you can plant them in a grow bag or a large plant pot and keep them near the back door, just picking a few leaves as you need them. Parsley is also good to have near the house. A chilli plant does well on a windowsill and looks really pretty. The supermarkets and garden centres sell bedding plants for flower beds, far too early in this part of the world and about the earliest you can safely plant in the garden is about the first week in June, otherwise they can get frosted. I guess most of the plants are grown in the south which has a much longer season. Roses need to be pruned and then fed and the whole garden needs a general tidy and scattering of a general fertilizer. The clematis get pruned as necessary and fed with Sulphate of Potash, forked in about 4 inches from the stem. Morag Mackell

Autumn 2nd Sept – 3rd Nov (8 wks) 8.30am – 5.30pm

Out of hours emergency number 0800 072 9900

Ros Crana arriving at Corpach, and on a still day at Banavie

We are now starting to prepare for the Summer Season and the Operational team’s focus changes from maintenance issues over the Winter to a more Customer service industry ensuring safe passage for boaters, kayakers, cyclists, walkers etc, making sure that anyone who visits the canal is safe and correct information is passed on to them and they enjoy the whole experience of visiting the canal, the Highlands, Lochaber - hopefully we can all be ambassadors for the area.

Outstanding Torcastle Aqueduct drain outlet. Electricity bollard Ocean Mist jetty Banavie. Now the nights are stretching and the weather gets warmer we are looking forward to seeing you all out on the canal bank remembering the guys love nothing better than having a chat and catching up with you all. (Part of being a lockkeeper!)

New for 2013 Additional Hotel Barge will be operating on the Caledonian Canal - vessel Ros Crana running the opposite schedule to Fingal of Caledonia hence when Ros Crana starts at the top of Banavie, Fingal will be starting from Inverness. Lady Kathryn operating from top of Banavie doing three trips during the day and early evening up to eight people : meals on board (more details to follow). Planned works for the summer Season. Corpach & Gairlochy Lighthouses painted & roofs fixed. Banavie flight edging boards replaced. Moy Farm area clearing toe ditches Towpath repairs Loy Sluices to Torcastle Aqueduct. Winter works completed3 Pontoons Banavie refurbished. Scrub clearance North Side Muirshearlich to MacBride’s field. Toe Ditch clearance Loy Aqueduct to Loy Sluices. Recess Corpach sea-lock - boards replaced.

Ben Nevis from Corpach office

Waterways Trust Planting of trees 3rd & 4th March 2013 - Over 1,000 trees, bushes to be planted in the West District. In conjunction with the local community we have identified areas where it would be beneficial to plant trees (see page 14). All information available on www.scottishcanals.co.uk John Stafford

all through the night -

congratulations to our sponsor Nevis Bakery, world champion bridie and steak piemakers!

page 16

23rd March – Kilmallie Vs Inverness (1st team) 30th March – Kilmallie Vs Lewis (2nd team) 6th April – no home game 13th April – no home game 20th April – MacTavish Cup Quarter final – Kilmallie Vs Beauly/Strathglass (2nd team) 27th April – Sutherland Cup 2nd round – Kilmallie Vs Lochaber/Skye @ 12 noon (2nd team); Kilmallie Vs Caberfeidh @ 3pm (1st team)


at www.tidetimes.org.uk/corpach-tide-times

tide timetables

PFD’s (personal flotation devices) This is in addition to our six dry suits and 11 lifejackets. New lightweight protective headwear is in the production process just now.

Public relations and community events included meeting Prince Edward, Training events already in place are Heather’s Walk and Safe Highlander for additional water rescue training at 250 Primary 7’s. Corpach and Torcastle in March plus Officer in Charge training in Oban also So what does 2013 have in store? in March. A major training event in Incident wise it could be anything at conjunction with Lochaber Mountain any time. Rescue is to take place in April - the venue will be Kilchoan. New equipment arriving this year to enhance our first aid commitment will If anyone has any concerns over local be more up to date first aid bags and a maritime matters or require advice on spinal board. water safety and lifejackets contact me on 01397 772122. A definite welcome addition to our existing kit will be three flood response Phil Wren suits and a full dry suit all with new Coastguard Sector Manager

HM COASTGUARD AT CORPACH First a review of 2012! A slightly busier year for your local Coastguard than 2011.

Pictures from 2012 water rescue training weekend.

Below is summary of the incident types we attended. 1 Provide assistance at helicopter landing sites

11

2 Vessels aground or adrift

6

3 Flare reports

3

4 Canoe/kayak incidents

2

5 Assist Police

7

6 Assist other emergency services

3

7

Missing diver

1

8

Fire aboard vessel

1

9

Hazardous incident report

1

10 Damage at aerial site

1

Persons rescued

6

Fatalities

3

Line dancing?

Threesome waltz? No, it’s safety and stability in numbers. The only way to cross moving water.

page 17

Thanks to Susie Calderan, Banavie, for this wonderful piece emailed from the Southern Ocean.

As I write, and glance outside, a massive iceberg the size of Battersea Power Station drifts past my porthole. I stop for a minute, just to gaze at it. Even though I have worked at sea for years, seeing vast blocks of turquoise glowy ice appearing on the horizon and floating lazily past my research ship still takes some getting used to. As does lying in my bed hearing the clunk and thunk of sea ice against the hull as we pick our way gingerly through the ‘growlers’ and ‘berglets’. Or watching as the sea temperature drops to -2C, and swathes of ocean visibly freeze before my eyes. But I’m not here just to marvel at the ice (although it never does seem to get dull). I’m here (along with Russell Leaper) as part of a team of scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division, to carry out research on Antarctic blue whales in the Southern Ocean. Antarctic blue whales, the largest mammal ever to have lived on the planet, were all-but wiped out by mid-20th Century industrial whaling. By the time commercial whaling for Antarctic blue whales was banned in 1964, there were probably just a few hundred animals left (from an estimated population of over 200,000). Populations have recovered somewhat since then, but we still have no clear idea of just how many there are, making it hard to plan for their future conservation. It’s a question we would very-much like to answer. However, finding, let alone counting, such a small number of animals in an area as large as Antarctica is not a straightforward matter, even if they are the length of Fort William swimming pool. So on this 7-week research cruise, we are pioneering a new way of finding Antarctic blue whales – by their vocalisations. Blue whales make very loud, very low sounds like moans and groans which can travel for hundreds of miles underwater. By using acoustic technology which detects these sounds and indicates the direction they are coming from, we can find far more animals than we have been able to before. And we have had some amazing blue whale encounters. As well as being very big, blue whales are also very beautiful. Their colouring is a mottled grey, but when they hang just below the surface of the water, they are an indescribably radiant shade of turquoise blue. When travelling, they are imposing enough. But when they are feeding, or checking out our boat, they are monstrously wonderful, with their huge structures of blow-holes that you could fit your head into (if you so desired…I’m not tempted…), flashes of tail fluke and pectoral fins when they skim through the water on their sides, and their amazing flexibility as they weave around each other. And that is just the blue whales. The productivity of Antarctic waters means along with the blue whales, every day can bring encounters with fin whales, humpback whales, minke whales, and hourglass dolphins, as well as clouds of seabirds such as petrels, albatrosses and penguins. Just a glance outside always bring a new landscape or wildlife experience. Not to mention another variety of wind or snow…and then of course there are those icebergs… Susannah Calderan Clockwise from top: icy foredeck, iceberg, Antarctic blue whale, Antarctic petrels, first year ice, crabeaters

We took part in other events involving further training and community PR. Some of the team successfully completed their 4 x 4 training in Inverness. The entire team gained a certificated qualification in water rescue whilst a few others qualified in rescue boat training with Lochaber Yacht Club.

Several shades of blue

did you spot KCC’s secretary on TV in Jan? - as an oarsman onboard the Viking replica ship Aileach

The new helicopter re fuelling site at Torlundy was up and running in May along with our new rescue vehicle in July.

page 12


paws for thought

did you know

Glenloy collies reached New South Wales!

Thanks to local vet Lorna, from Banavie, who shares her hints and tips on buying a dog. Adding a dog to your family, either for the first time or after having had a dog already, is a major commitment that deserves thought & consideration. As the well known phrase says “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas”. In this disposable society of ours a dog should not be bought on a whim but given thought, commitment & ultimately love. Before buying a puppy or a dog you should ask yourself a few questions: Can I afford to have a dog, taking into account not only the initial cost of purchasing the dog, but also the ongoing expenses such as food, veterinary fees and canine insurance? As a very rough estimate a dog can cost £25 a week, that’s £1300 a year! Can I make a lifelong commitment to a dog? - A dog’s average life span is 12 years. Is my home big enough to house a dog? Do I really want to exercise a dog every day? Will there be someone at home for a dog? - dogs get lonely just like humans. Will I find time to train, groom and generally care for a dog? Will I be able to answer YES to these questions every day of the year? If you have answered ‘no’ to any of the above, you should think again before buying a dog. Size Does your choice of dog, in relation to its size, suit your home, car, children and exercise plans, and suit friends or family that might look after it during the holidays? Large dogs generally have a shorter life span, and cost more to feed, kennel, insure and medically treat than smaller ones. Coat length and type Do you mind spending hours grooming and cleaning your dog and your house, or do you want a low-maintenance breed? Some dog breeds have a strong smell; others dribble a great deal! Can you live with these things? Dog characteristics to consider: Energetic and lively or couch-potatoes Strong-willed and ambitious or easy-going and indulgent Friendly with humans or reserved with strangers Playful or disinterested in toys Friendly to other dogs or disinterested or incompatible Friendly to cats and other pets or disinterested or incompatible Affectionate or aloof

A Corpach resident has asked us to highlight the problem of dog-fouling. She says “Most dog owners are responsible and “pick up” but some are not! Several walk their dogs round the Station Road / Corpach shops loop and along the shore road on a daily basis and the mess is disgusting!” Next issue we hope to feature the Green Dog Walkers’ Scheme

If you pick a strong-willed dog such as guarding or terrier type then you will need a strong personality to be able to control that dog. If you are a more easy-going person then think of a gundog if you are into exercise & training, or a toy breed as a house companion. Hounds like to run off after sights or scents & husky types just like to run & not stop for anyone! For a high-drive dog for doing fun things with then a collie might suit you best. If you are unsure then do ask your local dog training club or veterinary surgery for advice, they’ll have a wealth of experience & information and are always willing to help.

Kilmallie Playgroup contd

Centre. We also thank John and Jane at

will keep you posted in the next

We plan to have a visit along to Kate in

JJ’s Cafe, Lochybridge for allowing us to

newsletter of the winning place and tell

our Corpach post-office to see directly

visit them last term and sample some

you all about our visit there. In the

how everything is run on a daily basis. We

lovely baking.

meantime we will continue to get out and

have thoroughly enjoyed all our visits out

We have all been thinking about where we

about regularly on foot to walks in the

and about with the playgroup. To date we

want to visit next in and around Fort

nearby Corpach woods and notice the

have taken different public transport by

William. We put our preferred choices

change in season and new growth and life

bus and train to visit the soft play area at

down and filled in a questionnaire. We will of Spring.

Pedigree dogs Each pedigree dog breed has its own characteristics and with over 200 different breeds there is certainly an ideal breed for everyone. If you match these characteristics with your personality and lifestyle, it is more likely that you will have a happy and fulfilling relationship with your dog. Each breed has been developed over many years to have specific looks as well as temperaments. Thus you have a good idea of what you will get when you purchase a pedigree puppy. Research the breeds you are interested in before making a decision so that you find the one which suits you best. Make sure you go to a responsible breeder who has completed all the relevant health checks for that breed. The Kennel Club & Breed Societies are very useful sources of information about specific breeds.

the local playgroups to have fun and

Crossbreeds In addition to the pedigree dogs there are also crossbreeds to consider. These dogs often display a mixture of their ancestors’ traits. So it is important to take this into account. If you know the mix of breeds this may help but otherwise find out what you can about the parents. The looks & temperament of the dog will be less predictable, crosses are often larger than either parent, and the coats of the poodle type crosses can be more difficult to manage. Rescue dogs It can be a very satisfying exercise taking on a rescue dog and giving it a good home. Just take care that you are not just being landed with someone else’s problem dog that they couldn’t cope with and you may not be able to manage either. Retired greyhounds can make lovely relaxed easy-going pets. Having put some thought into what type of dog you want to get you will be much more likely to have a fulfilling relationship with a loving lifelong companion. Lorna Ungoed Thomas Useful contacts:The Kennel Club 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB Telephone: 0844 463 3980. Fax: 020 7518 1028. www.thekennelclub.org.uk Lochaber & District Canine Society, Morag on 01397 772369 or Vicky-Ann on 01397 701704 www.lochaberanddistrictcaninesociety.com or look on Facebook Crown Vets Fort William, 01397 702727 www.crownvetsfortwilliam.co.uk also on Facebook

Spectrum in November and December. We count up the votes and make a tally chart linked with some of our peers in three of

to find out the most popular choice. We

page 11

Day care is open over the Easter periods and spaces are available so why not come along and join in the fun of Easter crafts

exercise in the soft play area at the Nevis

and activities. Posters will be displayed around the local area with details as well as on our face book page. 01397 772016 / 07876260967 email kilmallieplaygroup@hotmail.co.uk Carole

christmas lights survey

Thanks to everyone who filled in the questionnaire that we included with our last newsletter just before Christmas. The results were as follows:

Number of questionnaires completed (online and paper) 27 (about 3% of the total distributed). Where did people live? Corpach 16 Annat 0 Locheilside and Kinlocheil 1 Badabrie or Tomonie 0 Banavie 9 Camaghael 0 Muirshearlich or Glenloy 1 Did people want to see a CHRISTMAS TREE, decorated with lights, at Corpach and Banavie in years to come? strongly yes 14 yes 8 neutral 4 no 0 strongly no 1 yes or strongly yes 81.5% neutral 14.8% no or strongly no 3.7% Did people want to see Christmas lighting displays on the lampposts at Corpach and Banavie in years to come? strongly yes 12 yes 6 neutral 4 no 3 strongly no 2 yes or strongly yes 66.7% neutral 14.8% no or strongly no 18.5% Who did people think should organise the lights? new group set up for the purpose 14 an existing community group 11 other 1 not responded 1

11 people thought it should be organised by KCC or a subgroup of it, with help from volunteers. 1 person thought it should be organised by Kilmallie Community Company. Were people willing to help with fundraising and organising? yes 7 no 18 not responded 2

Comments included the following:  not able to organise eg raffles or jumble sales, but happy to help with eg grant applications  ?combine with the Christmas craft fair in the hall?  how about a permanent planted tree?  Suggest requesting donations via the newsletter next summer with a cut-off date. Also suggest approaching local businesses. Most people probably too busy to fundraise or organise, therefore a cheque or donation seems the simplest. If not enough money raised then so be it, no decs. If some or all raised, then request Highland Council to provide service and invoice Comm Council.  Will gladly give a donation towards the lights  I would think that British Waterways could contribute by putting lights at Neptune's Staircase. This would certainly enhance the festive feel to the area. Has the community council discussed this with BWS?  able to help with organising  would rather any monies were spent on floral displays. Most houses have xmas trees. As long as display continues in FW no need for trees in nearby villages  I feel that as I am not willing to help fundraise or organise it would be unfair to expect somebody else to do it for my benefit.  We would give a donation at co-op or at a party.

 If there was a New Year's Eve party at Kilmallie Community Centre, the tickets could be priced as such that money would be raised towards following year's lights. Alternatively donation boxes could be in Co -op with an advert in Community News to alert people.  not very able, but would donate to fund. Suggest planting a xmas tree and hope it would grow.  (not able to help) but happy to support anything organised  I would be happier to add money to the cause rather than organise fundraising events. Maybe have a pot and a tally in the co-op  Please keep flowers! Christmas tree looks good but we can do without  possibly able to help. Suggest trees are asked for from Forestry Commission or locals  collection box in co-op? Request donations from local businesses?  I feel that we should continue to use the Council to erect and dismantle as they have all the resources and no problems with the Health & Safety issues. Our community council should manage the arrangements for fundraising with volunteers doing "round the door" collecting etc  There could be year round collection tins at shops, pubs, hotels etc to raise money. A small amount every day would soon add up. This would raise awareness of who has to do the lights and that funding is necessary. Although we only had a small number of respondents, we were pleased we were able to give everyone in Kilmallie the opportunity to let us know their views, through the newsletter and the website. It was our first survey, and probably not the last. And we were delighted that it resulted in 7 people coming forward with offers of help (see page 2).

lochaber marathon along Loch Eil, 14 April

page 18


congratulations to the dog club! Daycare. We have had fun outside and in, playing and learning with our fellow friends and playworkers. The house corner has had several transformations: our interests have evolved from creating a cosy cafe to a creepy castle in the Autumn, then our

of how our lungs, heart and ears work.

cooking timers and checking clocks, as well

festive fascination prompted a Santa’s

We have been making and eating healthy

as a desire to enter a bake off one day.

workshop where eager ‘elves’ became

snacks for our bodies to grow and function Our interest in caring for our bodies

expert at making ‘toys’ big and small. We

as best they should. We’ve made

developed into caring for small pets and

helped care for our environment by using

homemade granary wheat and rye bread,

animals. We set up a vet’s practice at the

rubbish to make decorations and our

cheese scones, vegetable and lentil soups,

house corner in mid-January. A special

advent calendar. Santa must have been so

stir-fried garden vegetables with sweet

thanks to the Pet Stop in Fort William for

impressed with our skilful play that he

and sour chicken and noodles. We have

providing us with some resources to use

visited in person at the Christmas party

been able to get out into our garden to

such as a pet carrier, grooming products,

to reward everyone with a gorgeous gift.

clear the flower beds and dig up the

posters and information on various pet

The New Year brought a healthy incentive

remaining vegetables for these tasty

foods and supplements.

to create a doctor’s surgery and hospital

treats.

Now after a recent delivery of new

ward at the house corner. Much was

We have also tried ‘new’ fruits on the

equipment and toys in a huge parcel, our

learnt about how our body works and how daily menu, like persimmons, cranberries,

interest in Postman Pat and indeed our

to keep it well and care for it too. Some

golden sultanas, Muscatel raisins and Galia

local postie, Alan, has inspired us to turn

experiments and activities gave us a

melon. Our baking and cake decorating

the house corner into a playgroup post-

chance to get some more understanding

has given us the chance to develop some

office in February. We have been playing

interest in numeracy, measurement and

and learning how different mail and

grasp some concept of time from setting

messages are sent around the World and some of us have told the other boys and girls about their first-hand experience of sending news by Skype, telephone and email to friends and relatives who live far away from Corpach.

contd overpage

L to R: Morag, Vicky-Ann and Kayleigh

class. During the Summer months the club also hosts outside activities which include Lure Coursing, Agility and Fly Ball as well as hosting a Breed Show in September which is always very well entered and a Companion Show for the more fun element. If anybody is interested in joining the club please contact Morag Mackell on 01397 772369 www.lochaberanddistrictcaninesociety.com www.facebook.com/lochaberdistrict.caninesociety

Last year it was pleasing to see that about 80% of the boxes had occupants, predominately great tits and blue tits. Two were designed for special needs: one has a side entrance and was hoped to attract tree creepers, and another has a letter box opening which it was hoped would maybe interest woodpeckers, or something bigger? Two years ago, locals who live close enough to the When you are on your daily jog round the Oak and Pine woods in Corpach became aware of woods (!!!!) have a look for these boxes (about 'hammering noises' in the woods? sixteen in all split between the two woods) for any No, this was not an invasion of woodpeckers, activity. We hope that they will all be in use this although there are occasional visits from that year as there is 'no benefit' in having empty species. Thanks to the donation of a pile of new rooms !! nest boxes, from local member Colin Gray, and the We would be pleased to accept more boxes late Willie MacKay of Claggan, we had an attempt from enterprising house builders . to get them into position for that season, all facing North and high in the trees. Roddy Mainland 01397 772348

Uptake of new houses in Kilmallie?

locheilnet

more owls about

after the mild winter... expecting more bunnies again too...

months at Kilmallie Playgroup and

Chris Pellow sends us info on significant progress with broadband for Locheilside

After a delay due to gales and treacherous weather conditions, the weather gods were with us and the pilot project could finally go ahead. The main relays were installed and 10 houses connected to a broadband ADSL line hosted by Marine Harvest, throughout the communities of Ardgour, Loch Eil and Glenfinnan. The antennae to be installed at the houses are tiny and the installation of the equipment is simple and straight forward.

We have also received the feasibility study with the costings for the total project. The cost to get all the houses in the communities connected: Ardgour (120 houses), Loch Eil (130), Achnacarry (42), Glenfinnan (45) is £122,000. We know that most of you would like to be connected sooner rather than later.

Chris Pellow

Next step: get funding For this we will need YOUR support. We’d like to invite volunteers to sign up and become members of the “funding committee”, in We have been monitoring the speed and reliability over the past order to get a core group who can focus on looking for possible week and these are our findings so far: funding, fill out funding applications, help with fundraising activities, etc. So, if you have experience in  we are getting a download speed of around 2.85Mb – 3.15Mb fundraising, or know of potential funding during most of the day which drops to 2Mb late at night. This sources for our project, please e-mail us speed allows us to communicate via Skype, watch video clips on at funding@locheilnet.co.uk - the sooner the news channels/YouTube, and download big e-mail files in we have the initial funding, the sooner we no time. The difference, even at this small speed increase is can start. incredible

Helping Santa in his workshop

We experimented with balloons to help us understand how our lungs work

Caring for and feeding our pets.

the connection is stable

email: info@locheilnet.co.uk website: www.locheilnet.co.uk

bird, bat & bug boxes from Caitlin, Neilie, Reba, Drew and Rowan

Much has been happening over the Winter

Excited barking heard all across Kilmallie! Morag Mackell together with Vicky-Ann Tompkins from Claggan and Kayleigh Buchanan from Upper Achintore travelled to London recently to collect two prestigious awards from the Kennel Club. Lochaber & District Canine Society won first place in the General Canine Association category and was also chosen as the overall winner of the Good Citizen Dog Scheme (GCDS) Award at a ceremony on 8th Feb. “To come first in our category was a great thrill, but then to win the Overall Best Club was quite overwhelming,” said Morag. “We are a fairly small Club with about 70 members and we cover a wide geographical area, so to win something like this means we are getting it right with our various activities” The dog club has a wide range of activities from Puppy Classes, to GCDS Bronze, Silver & Gold as well as a General Obedience

page 19

beautiful

page 10


Signs of Spring

Toads also are a common road casualty in the area. These warty amphibians walk rather than hop, but are equally vulnerable. Toads tend to spawn a little later than frogs, and prefer moving water, wrapping strings of spawn around submerged vegetation. The tadpoles are notoriously difficult to Frog and frogspawn, Fassfern, March

page 9

The Nut Cracker

Upcoming events

On 24th January Mrs Jasmine Adams came into the school

On Tuesday 26th February 6 P7 pupils will be taking part in

and worked with the P4 pupils to produce a dance from the the annual Cross Country race at Nevis Range. Nevis Range Nut Cracker ballet. Everyone really enjoyed the day and

will also be the venue for the four day skiing/snowboarding

Miss Dolzyk even had a role to play.

which takes place between the 11th and 14th March for Primary 7 pupils.

Drum Fun On 31st January Steve came to the school with his drums.

Pupils from across the school will be participating in the

Every class had the opportunity to play and dance to the

Lochaber Music Festival from Friday 8th March until

rhythms created. It was brilliant fun and hopefully he will

Wednesday 13th March. Please feel free to come along and

be back to visit us again next year.

support the children from around the Lochaber area.

Shinty news

The school will also be holding its annual Hats and Eggs

On the 16

th

of February the Banavie Shinty team went to

competition and Easter Assembly during the last week of

the Nevis Centre to play in the BP Cup qualifiers. They

term. School closes on Thursday 28th March 2013 and

played all the teams twice. One was competitively and the

reopens on Monday 15th April 2013.

other half was for fun. The teams taking part were Inverlochy, Ballachulish, Lochaber and Glengarry. Banavie

Scott Lawrie and Ryan Boyle (both P7).

won the qualifier for the Lochaber area so on the 2nd of March we have the national final at the Nevis Centre. Mountain Biking On the 18th of February Primary 7 went to Nevis Range for an action packed mountain biking session. It was a lovely day up at Nevis Range for the pupils and thankfully the weather was sunny, but they had to wrap up warm as it was a cold day. We had to borrow some bikes for the pupils who didn’t have their own. Author Visit On the 18th of February an author came into the school called Stuart Reid. He writes children’s novels called Gorgeous George and the Zig Zag Zit Faced Zombies and Gorgeous George and the Giant Geriatric Generator. He also gave P5/6/7 a workshop on how to write a good story.

High Notes contd from previous page

The school’s Big Band is currently on tour in Lancashire and, during the Easter holidays, a group from the Geography department will be travelling to Iceland. Before the end of session, almost 100 pupils and staff will be spending a week in Paris. Great opportunities and great experiences which can only enhance the learning that goes on in our classrooms every day! Jim Sutherland

to Banavie School dancers for making the front page of Oban Times in January

wild about kilmallie

tell apart from those of frogs. As with frogs, the time taken for a tadpole to mature into a toadlet depends on several factors, including water temperature and food availability. Another common amphibian that is equally active in April is the palmate newt. This is our smallest newt, and the one most likely to be encountered in this part of the world. The rear feet of the males become webbed in the breeding season, hence the name, palmate. Males also develop a short, needle-like extension to the tail. We have also recorded common or smooth newts in our pond, and wonder if anyone else has seen these locally. These are larger, with the males developing crests and orange bellies during the breeding season. Newts tend to wrap individual eggs in the attached leaves of Do you keep a record of the first signs of spring in your local patch? If you do you are in good company, and indeed, there is submerged plants. The efts have external gills in common with a whole scientific field – phenology - devoted to the timing of other amphibians, but in newts these can appear quite feathery. The little newts hide in the water weed and prey on natural events. This includes a range of springtime events as, water fleas and small insects. for example, the emergence of the first snowdrop, the first date that the lawn needs cutting, leafing of buds of particular We do not see many of our summer migrant birds until trees, appearance of migrant birds such as the swallow and, of well into April. The wheatear is perhaps one of the earliest course, the production of the first clumps of frogspawn. Similar arrivals, particularly around the coast in the last week of events can be recorded in autumn, encompassing the dates of March. Sand martins could be seen perhaps even a week leaf-fall, last grass cut and the arrival of winter migrants such earlier than this along the River Lochy. It will be mid-April as redwings. These data, often assiduously collected by before the first swallows and cuckoos are seen and heard, individuals over several decades, are very important in although, again this can vary by a couple of weeks depending monitoring trends over time. Clear patterns have emerged on the year. In 2011 swallows were seen on the telegraph over time indicating that in general birds are nesting earlier, wires at Muirshearlich as early as 9th April, but it can be as late butterflies making an earlier appearance and trees retaining as 26th or 27th before they are seen in Glen Loy. Given mild their leaves for longer. All these provide hard evidence of the weather, flowers might offer the first opportunity to observe effects of climate change. The Woodland Trust has a website signs of spring. Lesser celandine and colt’s-foot are two to look dedicated to recording phenological records out for in February, along with the first primrose slightly later. www.naturescalendar.org.uk and here you can compare your In the meantime the whin has continued to flower throughout own observations with what is happening elsewhere in the the winter and can brighten up even the shortest day! country, and contribute local information to the national Jon Mercer picture. Glenloy Wildlife At a local level, as I write at the end of January, there is little chance of finding frogspawn in my garden pond, but records have already been submitted from the 13th January further south. Usually the first clumps can be seen in Glen Loy at the end of February – as early as the 22nd in 2012. Conversely, in the severe winter of 2009 no spawn was recorded until 17th March. This was not too surprising as everywhere was frozen solid until then. Usually we find that the peak of the breeding season does not occur until a couple of weeks after the first date. At this point we can stand in the garden and listen to an almost tropical frog’s chorus, as hundreds of males compete for the attention of any female brave enough to venture into the water. This is not said lightly; females are often grabbed by a scrum of males all trying to fertilise her eggs, and frequently are drowned in the crush. These mating aggregations often attract predators such as herons and ducks, but otters often take advantage of the bonanza, along with more unlikely culprits such as buzzards. Some frogs prefer to breed in roadside ditches and even pools on tracks, which tend to be rather shallow. The advantage of this is that there is less predation of tadpoles by fish, dragonfly nymphs or water beetles, but the risk is that the pools dry up and the tadpoles die. Frogs may travel a distance of several hundred metres to find suitable breeding pools, and it is at this time of year that they may be seen crossing the roads in large numbers. Please try and avoid frogs and toads if at all possible whilst driving in March and April – the Gairlochy road in the outskirts of Banavie is a particular blackspot.

congratulations

did you hear Ron and Jon Out of Doors on Radio Scotland in Feb? talking about wild boar...

page 20


We’re delighted to bring you these beautiful poems from

page 8

page 21

Cameron, age 9, and Kyle, age 10, who are both pupils at

Our winter term has suddenly turned to spring and we’ve been able to enjoy magnificent views of The Ben, emphasising what a spectacular setting we have for our school. I doubt if anybody has ever thought that the Lochaber High School building has enhanced this view but, with contractors now tendering for the next phase of the ‘Lochaber 21’ refurbishment programme, a much more attractive façade will be appearing soon. The appearance of the building is not the only thing that will change – over the next two years, facilities for learning and teaching, social areas and administration will be significantly improved with a Highland Council investment of £11 million. The first step in the refurbishment is to erect a temporary canteen and some demountable classrooms. This will allow the demolition of the current canteen along with some teaching areas which are no longer used. Over the next two years, building work will provide us with a new ‘heart’ for the school: a central building will include a main entrance and reception; pupil social area, dining area and kitchen; library and resource area; main school office and offices for Head Teacher, Deputes and Admin Assistant; Sixth Year common room; staffroom and toilets. Re-cladding and over-roofing will be carried out on the three-storey blocks with new windows installed on the east elevation. Towards the end of this phase of building,

the current administration block will be demolished and the car park/entrance area landscaped. All of this will bring enormous improvements to our facilities and will, I am sure, help to encourage young people to learn and to take a pride in their school.

Also thank you to Ronald Cameron for translation.

Ròn

While we will work hard, in collaboration with contractors, to minimise disruption to school life, we are aware that our main hall will be out of action for almost a year. This will impact on some of our annual events and we will be seeking alternative venues for Christmas dances and other events. There will also be an impact for organisations that let the hall.

Beinn Nibheis Tòrr craobhan beag ‘s mòr

Le ciabhag a’ dearrsach anns a’ ghrian.

The school hall has recently been the venue for serious activity; the senior prelim’ examinations. Pupils in S5 and S6, along with some S4 pupils, have been sitting Intermediate, Higher and Advanced Higher prelims in preparation for the final examinations in May/ June. These assessments are evermore important as employment and higher education opportunities become harder to find.

A’ ghaoth a’ seideadh agus a’ gearan

Anns an uisge mar bata luaith

Cho fuar ri dèigh.

A dh ‘itheadh tòrr iasg a h-uile latha

Daoine a’ streap suas.

An creutair cho min ri sioda.

Our curriculum has been the subject of much discussion lately. The introduction of National assessments, which will replace Standard Grade and Intermediate qualifications in 2014, is only one part of the picture. A national move to making subject choices at the end of S3 (instead of S2 as at present) and a reduction from eight subjects in S4 to just six has provoked a great deal of debate. We have held consultation meetings with our Parent Council; held an open evening for S1 and S2 parents and – as I write – we are preparing to meet representatives from our associated primary schools’ parent councils. Whatever the way ahead, and whatever the timescale for change, I am confident that the young people attending Lochaber High School will have good experiences which will prepare them well for the future. One part of that preparation for the future is to extend horizons and, in Lochaber High, we are keen to encourage our pupils to travel. Over New Year, a group of senior pupils had a week of advanced snow sports in the French Alps. At the end of February, 92 Sixth Year pupils and staff travelled to London for a longweekend of sight-seeing, museum visits and entertainment with four West End shows to choose from. contd at foot of next page

Còmhdaich le sneachd Leacainn uaine, glas aig a’ mhullach

Le Cameron Welsh

Air sgeir creagach, dubh is garbh Na laigh air leabaidh feamain, Chi thu creutair glas, dealrach

Le Kyle Dignan

Seal On a rocky skerry, black and rough Lying on a bed of seaweed You can see a grey beast, shining With whiskers shining in the sun

Ben Nevis Covered in snow. Green slopes. Grey at the top Lots of trees, big and small The wind blowing and complaining As cold as ice People climbing up.

In the water like a fast boat Eating lots of fish every day The creature, as smooth as silk.

Room 13’s Inside Out Project Room 13 is participating in a global photography project called “The Inside Out Project’

where they were printed, and shipped back to us here at Caol Youth Centre.

www.insideoutproject.net

The next stage

This project is based around portrait photography which makes a positive statement about who we are, where we are from and our community. The aim is to portray the vibrancy of local life and in doing so promote solidarity, equality and community spirit through the portraits.

Over the next 2 months Room 13, with the help of Allround Signs, we will be installing these images in different locations around Fort William. Look out for friends, family or your own portrait displayed in the form of Bunting at the Underpass, in a small exhibit at Kilmallie Church or in our main Exhibition at Caol Youth Centre where we will be holding a public opening on the 18th March 2013 at 7pm.

Photography sessions were held by Room 13 Community studio where members of the community came and got the portraits taken by a number of volunteers. These images were then sent off to Inside Out project HQ in America

All Welcome. Sarah Hughes

spotted on ebay in Feb – a 50 year old Banavie to Corpach rail ticket, sold for £3.99!

fantastic fundraising – for local charity STAR for Harris

Fort William RC Primary (and thanks to their teacher too).


calling all kilmallie pipers KCC Chair, Maggie received this letter from the Northern Meeting Charitable Piping Trust

The Northern Meeting Charitable Piping Trust Please reply to Grant Milne 31 Old Distillery, Dingwall, IV15 9XE January 29, 2013

20 years since the building of the Erracht commemorative cairn

Highland Piping Survey Dear Margaret Mackenzie The Northern Meeting Piping Trust, working with the Highland Council, would like to gather information about the state of piping in the Highlands. We wish to find out from the piping community what developments or changes would be beneficial. To enable us to do this we would first like to make contact with all the pipers in your community. We already have contact information about the Highland Council's instructors, some private instructors and from several pipe bands. The attached document gives a list of the contacts we hold. If you know of any other pipers, pipe bands or other bands involving pipers please could you put us in touch, or pass on a copy of this letter and ask them to make contact.

They can do this by contacting our representative, Grant Milne, directly at the above address, at gmilnebagpiper@gmail.com or on 07745056630. We will then send out a brief questionnaire and ask those people to suggest any ideas that may help with the development of piping. We will also seek their permission to keep them informed regarding any piping developments. This project arises because in addition to organising its world famous solo piping competition, the Northern Meeting Piping Trust would like to play a role in strengthening piping and drumming throughout the Highlands. I would be most grateful if you could help us with this project. More information about the Northern Meeting Piping Trust is on our website www.northernmeetingpiping.com. Yours sincerely Nigel Campbell, Trustee Charity Number: SCO 2731. Trustees: Seymour Monro, Mark Tennant, Alan Forbes, Nigel Campbell

Northern Meeting Piping Trust - Highland Piping Survey Piping Tutors, Pipe Bands and Other Bands with whom we have Contact Piping tutors Mr Lewis Barclay, Inverness P/M Trevor Dear, Dingwall Mr James M Dow, Tain Mr Ian Ruari Finlayson, Kyle Mr Kevin Gunn, Watten Ms Louise Hay, Inverness Fr Mel Langille, Fortrose Ms Rhona Lightfoot, Inverness Mr Chris Macdonald, Inverness Pipe Bands Badenoch and Strathspey Beauly Firth and Glens Caithness Juvenile Dornoch Pipe Band Inverness BL Pipe Band Lochaber Pipe Band Other Bands which include one or more Pipers

Mr D E MacDonald, Inverness Mr J MacGregor, Dingwall Ms Carol-Anne MacKay, Ullapool Mr James MacKenzie, Dingwall Ms Margaret MacMaster, Fort William Mr Finlay MacRae, Dingwall Mr Niall Matheson, Inverness Ms Louise McBain, Inverness Mr John McDougall, Kincraig

Mr Iain MacFadyen, Kyle Ms Sue Mcintyre, Inverness Mr Gary Nimmo, Ullapool Mr Andrew Shilliday, Ullapool Mr George Stewart, Golspie Mr Niall Stewart, Kyle P/M Andrew Venters, Inverness Mr Sandy Wregg, Lairg

Lochaber Schools Pipe Band Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band Nairn & District Pipe Band Northern Constabulary Queen's Own Highlanders Association

Strathpeffer Pipe Band Sutherland Schools Thurso Pipe Band Ullapool and District Junior Pipe Band Wick RBLS Pipe Band

Culloden Ceilidh Band

Grouse Beaters Band

SPRING COLOURS FOR LOCHABER ART CLUB

Well known painter and skilled tutor BELLA GREEN will lead a painting workshop on COLOUR on 23/24 March at An Clachan, Rural Complex ,Torlundy. ‘’EXPLORING EXPRESSIVE COLOUR’’ will allow us to enjoy the world of colour in an expressive way via various stimulating exercises. Bella prefers acrylic paint for her workshops and a full list of required materials is provided. In April expressionist painter from Stirling and a regular visitor to Lochaber Art Club, LYS HANSEN will lead ‘’Land Art and Objects’’, a workshop combining landscape with personal objects in an interesting way. 20th – 21st April, An Clachan, Rural Complex, Torlundy. If you are interested in attending either of the above workshops please ring Catherine on 01855 841 231 for more details and to book a place. Cost is £45 for the weekend. No need to pay a sub to the club for your first workshop – just come along and try! Our AGM is on Wed 17th April 7pm at The Underwater Centre Fort William. Lorna Finlayson

Kilmallie Community Centre I had hoped that in this issue of the Kilmallie Community News that the modifications and addition to the disabled facilities would have been completed… alas, the builder has failed to keep his promise despite repeated visits and requests the work hasn’t even been started, the builder speaks with forked tongue! On the bright side the other business with the hall continues very well. Every weekday evening has a booking the last one being the Wednesday evening for badminton for which attendances are increasing every week and we welcome all ages and level of players. There has been an increase in enquiries regarding the facilities available which has also led to an increase in bookings for courses workshops lectures etc., long may it continue. We are presently upgrading the car park lighting to LED fittings instead of Halogen these being significantly cheaper to run and have a longer life. The surrounding hall grounds and pathways are requiring tidying up and we are open to constructive suggestions for better use of the grassed areas, one suggestion has been to create a fenced off play area for the Mothers and Toddlers Group, the small bike track to be re-visited and dressed up with a fenced area and possibly seating and perhaps some more picnic benches. A travelling theatre group has been contacted and we have requested that we be considered as one of their venues and it would be late spring or autumn. We hope we will be successful, they will contact us, alas this will lead to some maintenance on our stage equipment and lighting. The dressing rooms have been re-vamped and electric showers installed, these have been well used by the various hall users. Our main concern at the moment is that some groups are adjusting the radiators to a higher temperature setting and if it is not adjusted back this could be a danger to some of the toddlers and we would ask all hall users to refrain from altering the temperature settings. The hard working committee hope to continue to satisfy the needs of all the hall users. N.B, The next event on our calendar is the very popular Buttons and Bows musical evening which is on Saturday 23rd March 7.30 pm at a cost of £7.00 which includes tea and biscuits, tickets available from all committee members. Regards to all John Macdonald, Chairman Kilmallie Community Centre

fantastic facilities for all of us

page 7

Kilmallie Community Centre, Station Road, Corpach, Fort William, PH33 7JH Scottish Charity SC000604 CHAIRMAN Mr John Macdonald, Merchiston, Badabrie, Banavie, Fort William. 01397 772443 SECRETARY Mrs Norma MacLellan, 12 Hillview Drive, Corpach, Fort William. 01397 772597 TREASURER Mr James Smith, 13 Lady Margaret Dr, Corpach, Fort William.01397 772561

a Smaller Hall (but still sizeable) capable of accommodating about 100 people for meetings  a large Sports Hall, with a gallery classroom available too if needed  a Dance Studio  a Gym Hall  a large meeting room with projection facilities, for 40-50 In a change from our usual routine of meeting at Kilmallie people, with associated cloakroom/toilet utility space Community Centre, KCC held its February meeting at Lochaber High  various classrooms, suitable for meetings, classes or whatever School. We wanted to find out about the school’s great facilities All the facilities are available in evenings, at weekends and during that are available for use by the community. non-term time, though there are some restrictions depending on Isobel MacKenzie, one of the deputy heads, kindly agreed to the school’s needs during the day. meet us and show us round. She explained that work is about to There is a scale of charges for all the different venues, in three start on Phase 3 of Lochaber 21, an ambitious £11M project of new bands (community, semi-commercial and commercial). Prices are building and refurbishment to provide school and community extremely reasonable. If you are thinking of booking a room or a facilities fit for the 21stC. The school is already enjoying the fruits hall, you should contact the High School’s main office (01397 of the first two phases of work, including a Sports and Drama 702512 or lochaber.high@highland.gov.uk) to discuss your Centre which is envied in many schools across Scotland. Needless to say, we were dead impressed – lots of large light airy spaces full requirements and tentative dates and ask for a Let Form. All charges are calculated by the Education, Culture and Sports office of people every night of the week doing things like badminton, based at Camaghael. dance classes, archery, fiddle lessons, martial arts, the list is No-one would want these facilities to detract from the viability endless. of Kilmallie Community Centre - the two facilities can complement The facilities that are available for community use include:  a Large Hall (not many schools have a large performance venue each other really well to suit our community’s different needs. We like this) with stage and raked seating, capable of seating up to are so lucky in Kilmallie to have such a great range of spaces 200 people, or 400 (depending on event) if combined with the available for community use. Please use them both... we don’t want to lose them. adjacent Small Hall. The raked seating can be folded back to Many thanks to Isobel for giving up her time to show us provide a large open space suitable for weddings and a variety round. We have a High School to be very proud of. of other events.

six days trial 3 – 11 May

page 22


turf’’s been cut

for new police station on the Blar

KCC received the following update from Colin Graham, Development Manager of Miller Developments on 28 Jan.

"We have now almost completed our Phase 1 infrastructure works at the Blar - the new spine road, the new 5 arm roundabout, platforming of the Tesco & Police Station sites and all utilities into the site itself (power, telecoms, water, foul pumping station) and not forgetting our upgrade of Lochybridge, which everyone seems to agree has made a big different to the operation of the junction between the A82 and the A830. Practical completion of the Police Station site took place in the week commencing 21 January and completion of the Tesco site is due in mid-February. For the avoidance of doubt, both the Police and Tesco have both bought their sites and paid Miller for all the infrastructure works; work on the new Police Station is due to commence formally in the next few weeks but we have not been told by Tesco as to what their current programme is. Having bought the site from Miller, that is now in their control but having made a multi-million pound investment in the site thus far, we are hopeful that the opening of the new store is not far off.

road sign quiz

1

Why is Blar Mor always spelt wrong?

2

Why do they point to a superstore that isn’t there (and with no definite plans to be there soon)?

3

How many tourists will go looking for the superstore that isn’t there?

4

Why does the superstore mysteriously appear only when you’re travelling west? (spooky!)

5

Why is the road to the new police station restricted to delivery vehicles?

6

Why is the main road to Mallaig the least visually prominent direction on the whole road sign?

7

Why can only Gaelic speakers travel to Mallaig? (or is Malaig now the official English spelling too, in which case why can’t it be in white?)

Please send your answers, and any further questions, to KCC.

Hopefully our works have not brought too much disturbance to the residents of Caol and we look forward to a bright future for the Blar going forward." Regards Colin Graham Miller Developments And on 12 Feb we received the following brief info from Tesco’s Town Planning Manager in response to our invitation to tell us about their store development.

We have no date to start on site as yet so a feature on the Tesco development is perhaps premature. We will keep the community updated on a date for work to begin and at that time an article in your newsletter would be very useful. Regards Ben Train Town Planning Manager Tesco Stores Limited

community policing 2013 promises to be a year of change for Northern Constabulary and the other existing 7 Scottish Forces, as they merge into a single Police Service for Scotland on April 1st 2013. This will most certainly mean a large number of changes in operational and organisational structure, with a lengthy transitional period ahead of us. For example, the national launch of the single nonemergency number (101) will take place on the 25th February 2013. Other important changes in relation to how the new Police Service for Scotland will operate will be conveyed through our Media department in a timely fashion. However, the important message from a local policing perspective is that for Northern Constabulary and the Lochaber Area Command, despite the many changes and challenges that lie ahead, it will be ‘business as usual’. As a local area command we are keen to allay any fears that local policing will dispense with the community-based policing approach that Northern Constabulary has historically been proud of and which has worked so effectively. We still rely very heavily on the support, assistance and good will that the local public continue to provide and are dedicated to

retain this approach to the way in which we operate. Building work on the new Fort William Police Station at the Blar is due to get underway imminently and it is anticipated that the work will be completed by the tail end of 2013. As part of this building project, there will be a creation of a Trunk Road Patrol Group to be based at Fort William, comprising a sergeant and 12 constables which is a considerable uplift of staffing in the area. As we approach the springtime and going forward into the summer, we will be anticipating the usual influx of tourists and visitors to the area in support of events such as the 6 day trials and the World Mountain Bike championships. By this time the single Police Service for Scotland will be well underway and we are looking forward to dealing with these events in the same successful way as in previous years, as already intimated, “Business as Usual.” Andrew Bilton Police Sergeant Liaison Officer for Kilmallie Community Council Andrew.bilton@northern.pnn.police.uk Fort William Police Station, Tel 01397 702361

Peripheral oncology and haematology clinics, when consultant colleagues held their review clinics locally, was the next service to be overhauled and brought to Lochaber, again reducing travelling burden on patients and their families. At initially and had many challenges to times it has been difficult to maintain overcome in changing approaches to these services and unfortunately due to specialist Cancer and Palliative Care service pressure in Raigmore the highly nursing. Completion of my Cancer Nursing regarded Haematology review clinics at degree added some credence to the role Belford have had to be discontinued. This and helped enormously in building a good continues to be reviewed and when evidence base for suggested changes. possible it is hoped this service will be reinstated. Although much support was already in place for those having treatment for their I was offered the opportunity to join up cancer it was still necessary for all adult with specialist colleagues in other areas to patients at that time to travel to Inverness carry out reviews of cancer services or Glasgow for those treatments. Seeing throughout Scotland for the Scottish how these folks struggled in terms of Government. No task was turned down, coping with travelling and dealing with no distance was too far to travel! the, at times, horrid after-effects of their Gradually over a relatively short time my medications, pushed me to consider full time 9-5 job had become an allbringing chemotherapy services to Fort consuming 24/7 one. Thankfully at the William. Encouraged by the Consultant in end of 2002 the Scottish Government Clinical Oncology, Dr Elia and the released a tranche of monies for cancer Consultant Surgeons in Belford I took on services and Fort William successfully bid the appropriate course in Glasgow and for two new cancer nurse posts. The two months later started the service in Macmillan Team was born, my sanity and the Belford. Initially this only meant family life was restored and succession juggling a small number of patients having planning was firmly in place. their intravenous chemotherapy into my already packed workload but like all new Being involved in the steering group for services it grew and grew. The majority of the development of cancer information adult cancer patients in Lochaber now services for Lochaber in partnership with have all of their chemotherapy (antiHighland Council saw another innovative cancer therapies) in Belford Hospital project reach fruition in Fort William with where the chemo service is run one day a the development of the Cancer week housed in the Renal Unit. Information area in our local library. This has proved very successful under the lead The breast prosthesis fitting service for of Anna Strachan, one of the Macmillan those who had undergone breast surgery Team, alongside a small number of willing was the next innovation to be added to volunteers, and allows individuals local cancer services and has proved again (patients and carers/families) to seek help that patients need not travel quite so far and advice, including financial guidance, for expert advice and fitting by the local outwith the clinical setting. Macmillan Team. contd overpage

focus on folk Many thanks to Kathryn Hamling, who lives in Corpach, for telling us about her work as a nurse, leading up to her recent decision to spend 2 years volunteering in Malawi with her husband Peter.

Having been born and bred in Northern Ireland, I first came to Scotland to train as a midwife. I had by then completed my General Nurse Training (SRN) and staffed in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. The previous 4 years had been a trying time at the height of the Northern Ireland 'Troubles' and I longed for a time away from the violence and bigotry which shaped our every day. I had never been away from home so this seemed a big, brave step at the time. However, my initial home sickness being away from home was soon replaced by the joy and the freedom of really living - the ability to shop anywhere without being searched entering the shop; go out in the evening and then wander home eating fish & chips at 10.30pm; and knowing I no longer needed to throw myself to the ground as a sharp shot reverberated nearby - it was only a car back-firing! As my mother feared - there would be no going back. Post midwifery training I stayed on, then married and Scotland became my permanent home. Over the next 16 years I lived and nursed in Falkirk (as a midwife); in Strathcarron Hospice, Denny (my first work in Palliative Care - a job which was to be instrumental in shaping my choice of speciality); the Borders (General & Marie Curie Nursing); and in Sutherland (District Nursing and a return to Midwifery), all whilst having my 4 children and studying for the first of my academic degrees. In 1998 I found the job I had been waiting for - a Macmillan Nursing post in Lochaber - successfully interviewed and selected we up-sticks and moved the family to Fort William - it was the start of a great experience in every way. Lochaber’s first Macmillan nurse, Norma Burke, had been in post for some 3 years previous and had done much of the ground work in introducing Macmillan Nursing as a new entity in Fort William. However on leaving, the post had lain empty for a number of months so some of that footwork had to start again to reintroduce the service. These early months were a joy as I travelled throughout Lochaber meeting all the GPs and District Nurses in the widespread geographical area. I was welcomed by many but not all

page 23

Bike and Hike 4-5 May

contractors on the Blar

maggie’s monster

page 6


tertiary (specialist) settings in Highland and have formed close clinical and More recently I have undertaken a lead academic ties in doing so. I was very role in the further development of fortunate 5 years ago to be given the Outreach Day Hospice Services alongside opportunity of a part time secondment to colleagues in Highland Hospice. Our small the University of Stirling to carry out a group of patients meet fortnightly in the research project which has in turn led to a new Kilmallie Free Church – a bright open number of publications in medical and venue, having moved from its old meeting nursing journals and the opportunity to place of the Information Centre at the present that work at national and local library. Again this service allows local international Conference. This in turn led residents to access services previously to the award of the International Journal only available to those who lived in the of Palliative Nursing Palliative Care Nurse Inverness area, close to Highland Hospice of the Year, probably the greatest surprise and is another example of joint working of my life and certainly one of its high across the area. points! As Lead Macmillan Nurse I have had the One of the best parts of this job is the pleasure of working across Lochaber and ability to combine work such as research, Highland in driving cancer services teaching and leadership with the clinical forward and ensuring, where safe to do role. It is excellence in patient care which so, that there was equity of service for drives the job and motivates me to seek even those who lived in the more remote for improvement at every opportunity. I areas of rural Lochaber. The team is now a feel so lucky in my work life to have had strong, committed and cohesive one this. which covers all geographical areas of Lochaber and the Small Isles. We work In April of this year I am taking a break closely with all other health care from leading the Macmillan Team to take professionals both in primary up a two year volunteering opportunity (community), secondary (hospital) and with my husband in which I will be using

letters Hi again Maggie

I was just browsing the Kilmallie Community web page and came across the mention of a book called The Caledonian Canal by A D Cameron, published by Birlinn, 2005. I have a copy of the first issue from 1972, published by Terence Dalton Ltd, which was presented to my dad and signed by the author as a present to for the canal’s 150th anniversary. cheers Andy Goodwin Gothenburg Great to receive your letters. Please keep them coming. Thanks too to Andy for this old view of Corpach below. We wonder whether other sons and daughters of Kilmallie are reading the newsletter from afar?

all the skills I have learnt over the past 15 years but in a very different setting – that of Malawi. Palliative care is a very new entity there. Poverty, advanced disease and very limited resources will stretch all my knowledge and skills to their limit (& beyond!). I have much to learn as well as to give and it is a challenge I relish. I will be very sorry to leave those I care for so dearly within this community but I know now that the services built up over the last era will be carried forward by my team and the other amazing professionals I have been fortunate enough to work alongside over one of the best periods in my life. I look forward to our return to one of the most beautiful places in Scotland (the world!) to live and to sharing the experience of our next adventures. Kathryn Hamling If you’d like to make a donation to support Kathryn’s project in Malawi, please go to http:// www.everyclick.com/kathrynandpeter

Dear KCC I was interested to read Ronald Cameron's article about Mr Belford. Although he was 'greedy and grasping', Mr Belford, still provided the means for a hospital to be built in Fort William. Towns and cities across Britain benefitted from endowments from wealthy Victorian industrialists. These men may often have had highly questionable business practices. However, either through feelings of obligation to their society, or simply self-promotion, they used at least some of their wealth to establish hospitals, schools and other public buildings which enriched health, culture and learning for decades. Compare this to many of the wealth-makers of current times. Far from feeling the need to give something back to their society, they stash their cash in offshore accounts to dodge the taxes which are now desperately needed to build the hospitals and schools of today, choosing to ignore public squalor in favour of private wealth. Where are the Victorian philanthropists now when we need them? Susannah Calderan

our Highland councillors’ corner

page 5

In a change from our previous format, where our three Ward 12 councillors took turns to write something on any subject they wished, this time we asked all three of them to describe their role as councillors, what it actually involves them doing and what are the particular topics currently being discussed in the committees they're on? Here is what Allan and Bill said. Unfortunately Eddie Hunter was unable to get his piece to us in time for our copy deadline but we hope to include it in the June edition of Councillors’ Corner. Let us know if there is a question you’d like us to put to them all in a future issue.

Being proud to serve the ward of Caol & Mallaig which encompasses Kilmallie I welcome this opportunity to explain something I didn’t fully understand before I joined Highland Council... how it works! As an Independent councillor on Highland Council, over and above attending to the needs of constituents who contact me by phone, email, letter, or directly, I have specific tasks within the council. All councillors form the full council but at present only the councillors affiliated to political parties (the administration) decide policy and where the funds are to be spent. We as Independent councillors scrutinise and offer alternative views where necessary - not always easy or successful. As a group of Independent councillors we meet regularly to formulate this scrutinising policy and the alternate proposals. Various other committees then function within the Council in Inverness. My main one is TEC services which deals with all roads (except trunk ones), waste management, grass cutting, parking, toilets and a range of other technical services. Through this committee I also serve on Highland Licensing Board and Licensing Committee dealing with all aspects of licensing from pubs to street traders. Another sub committee of mine is Fisheries Piers and Harbours which meets at various ports around the Highlands. My second committee is Audit & Scrutiny which basically reports on all functioning aspects of the Highland Council making sure it complies with the regulations of public services. I am also able to attend all the other committees as a non-voting councillor when

time or subject dictates. I also have special responsibility for the islands, serving on the Board of Eigg Heritage, Rum Community Trust and Knoydart Foundation as Council nominee. Other directorships are the Outdoor Capital of the UK and I am an observer to Pubwatch and Caol Community Centre. On alternate Mondays we meet in Lochaber House with our area manager to be briefed by service directors, local leaders of industry or discuss various relevant topics and discretionary budget matters. I consider attending Community Councils an important part of my duties as I get a local perspective on Council matters. These are always held in the evening. My other local committees include the access forum (rights of way), transport forum (co-ordinating local transport) traffic congestion forum (lobbying Transport Scotland on local issues such as A830 link road, A82 partnership (upgrading), Fort William steering group, Fort William Golf Club, Lochaber Fisheries Board, Caol in Bloom, Lochaber Council on Alcoholism, Shopmobility, Lochaber Music Festival and Loch Sheil Jetties. I also write a regular Council corner for Westword, Kilmallie Community newsletter as well as regular features for the local press. Over and above this I have the privilege of Provost duties, representing the Council wherever, in Lochaber, or beyond.

It is worth noting that out of the 80 Elected Members of Highland Council, 22 Members plus the Leader and Depute Leader of the Council sit on each of the 4 strategic committees. The strategic committees are Adult & Children’s Services Committee; Finance, Housing & Resources Committee; Planning, Environment & Development Committee; and Transport, Environmental & Community Services Committee. There are also other committees and groups. The make-up of each of the strategic committees is based on the membership of each Political Group. SNP has 6 members plus the Leader of the Council on each strategic committee. LIB-DEM has 4 members plus the Depute Leader. LAB has 2 members. IND has 10 members. The Administration of the Council is made up of members of the SNP, LIB DEM and LAB Councillors. The Independents are in opposition. Invariably, as in any Political Council, voting runs along the political make up of the council. On 29th June, 2012 I was appointed to the Audit & Scrutiny Committee. Due to resignations, I was appointed to TEC Services on 25th October and the Gaelic Implementation Group on 12th December. I am also a member of the South Planning Applications Committee. Like all Councillors, I attend Highland Council and Group Meetings in HQ together with numerous meetings each month in the Ward. Non-committee members can attend other strategic meetings and can voice an opinion but cannot vote. I would attend such meetings particularly if there is a Lochaber interest. The remit of the Audit & Scrutiny Committee is to advise the Council in matters relating to the programme of internal and external audit work. The Committee also deals with matters arising from complaints to the Ombudsman and other complaints systems relevant to Council Services.

Transport, Environmental & Community Services Committee covers a whole range of public services too numerous to detail in a 600 word article. Trading standards, emergency planning, environmental health, food safety, road repairs, ferries, waste management, storm damage, flood prevention, street market policy, grounds maintenance and control of dogs are just some of the responsibilities of this committee. South Planning Committee is like all other Planning committees throughout the country. This is arguably the most controversial committee of all due to Councillors being in a position to make decisions that can affect the lives of applicants and objectors alike. It is imperative to consider each application from a Planning perspective. Councillors simply do not have the power to refuse an application against the Planning Officer’s recommendation of approval without submitting bona fide Planning reasons which are legally acceptable and support the decision to oppose the Planning Officer’s recommendation. To force a refusal without bona fide Planning reasons could result in the applicant appealing the decision. In the event of the appeal being upheld, costs would be awarded against the Council. Planning is the only committee where all Local Members in the Ward can both speak and vote on any application within their Ward. The Gaelic Implementations Group has been set up to promote and support the indigenous Gaelic language, heritage and culture of the Highlands and to oversee the implementation of the Gaelic Language Plan which is supported by all Political Groups within Highland Council. When you have 80 Councillors in a political democracy, you will always have differences of opinion. That is what democracy is all about.

Allan Henderson

Bill Clark

means hillock of the peat moss

contd from prev page

tomonie

have you heard

the CD “The Moons of Glenloy”?

page 24


a racehorse called Corpach won the Sussex Stakes in 1936 ridden by Sir Gordon Richards

Here’s more from Hugh Muir about the history of Locheilside. Lots more still to come from Hugh in future issues.

Achdalieu - the field of Da Lieu or St Lupus. Could have been a church here. Because of their support of the Camerons, the Cummings held this area for a couple of centuries until it was returned to the Camerons in 1843. In 1654 there was the Battle of Achdalieu when the Camerons attacked and defeated a party of soldiers from the Fort who had been on a wood-felling exercise. In 1885 the Lodge was built by Lochiel, designed by Sir Alex Ross and leased out to fishing / shooting clients. From 1903 some modifications and extensions were made to the Lodge. In the late 1800s the arable land here was farmed by Annat Farm. During the 1940s the Lodge was used as a "special training centre ". It is said that the main artifacts from Achnacarry were stored here while it was occupied by the Commandos. In 1952 the Lodge was opened as a Hotel by W Bremner. It is claimed that he was the first Hotel in the area to take coach parties! In 1964 the Dulverton Trust purchased the Lodge with the view of turning it into an outdoor centre. In 1965 it was assigned to the Outward Bound Trust. and in 1977 became Outward Bound Loch Eil.

focus on business This issue we have interviewed Stewart Leitch, owner of the Moorings Hotel. What is your company name?

keen to see you there on the day (part day) if possible. Voluntary Action Lochaber will produce a report on the event and any through the Wards Discretionary Budget to deliver a consultation information received through the consultation will be shared with event and produce a Sub Community Development Plan for the the relevant Community Council area. greater Fort William area. We are keen to work with the We are looking to roll this out throughout Lochaber in the coming Community Councils in Fort William to engage with communities months in partnership with local Community Councils and the and give them an opportunity to input to the priorities within the Association of Lochaber Community Councils. plan. If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact This piece of work requires to be completed by the 31st March 2013 me directly on 01397 706044 and I apologise for the short timescale we are working within. We have organised a drop in event in your area for Saturday the Flora McKee, 23rd March 10.30 a.m. – 3.00 p.m. in Kilmallie Hall. We would be Voluntary Action Lochaber

Voluntary Action Lochaber has been funded

Fassfern - the alderwood station. Home of the Camerons for centuries. Believed that the House was built by 1700 with major alterations and enlargement by 1770. There is a Bonnie Prince Charlie room here where he spent a night (the bed is in the West Highland Museum). He picked a white rose here which became a symbol of the uprising. One of the sons of Fassfern was Lieut. Col. John Cameron who was killed at Quatre Bras in 1815. He is commemorated by the Obelisk near Corpach old cemetery. Another son was Sir Duncan Cameron of Fassfern and Callart (Loch Leven). For a time he owned ground at the Fort and it became Duncansburgh. In the 1770s the estate had a kiln, a brewhouse and a meal mill - the lades can still be seen close to the carpark. In 1846 the estate had 20,000 sheep. Stone was quarried here for the Canal: the site is believed to be on the East side of the river close to the now bypass road. After the death of Donald Walter XXII the estates of Drumsallie and Fassfern were sold. About 40 years ago the then estate owner decided that his shepherds were spending too much time looking for sheep. He had a number of numbered large fields in the glen where all the sheep could be kept. The thinking was that the shepherds would spend more time looking after the sheep than looking for them! Hugh Muir

We run a 27 bedroomed Hotel with quality accommodation. We provide bar meals and restaurant food, we also cater for functions such as meetings and weddings. Our main aim is to maintain a high standard in all aspects of customer care. We are proud to have won an AA rosette for our restaurant food every year for the last 15 years and this year we were awarded a fourth star by the AA. How long have you been operating in Kilmallie?

Our company name is “Lochaber Hotels Ltd.”; when we set up this We have been operating in Kilmallie as Lochaber Hotels Ltd for 15 company in 1997 it owned “The Moorings Hotel” and “The Onich years since May 1997. I have lived in this area for the last 43 years. Hotel”. We also ran No.4 Restaurant in Fort William for 6 years How many people do you employ locally? until 2006, we then sold Onich Hotel in 2007. In 2001 we extended the Moorings Hotel adding 10 new superior We employ 42 staff in summer and 35 in winter, with 25 of these being full-time permanent positions. bedrooms and a function suite. We have since then added a Canalside meeting room and fitness suite. Where are you located?

We are located in Banavie beside the Neptune’s Staircase. If you are coming by car from Fort William town centre drive towards Inverness; turn left on to the A830 towards Mallaig at the roundabout. Go straight on at the next roundabout. Turn right after the canal bridge. This is the road to Gairlochy. The Moorings Hotel is on your right. What does your company do?

What do you and your business like about being in Kilmallie?

It is a great area! Lots to see and do, a good tourist area which of course is very important for our business. One of our guests summed it up when commenting on his stay in one of our superior canalside rooms ‘Where else can you see the Harry Potter steam train crossing the Caledonian Canal out of one window and boats going through the canal out of another with Ben Nevis in the background?’ We have lochs, glens, forests and mountains, a good community, good schools – a superb area to bring up a family and to do business in.

page 25

did you know Lochiel is a town in South Australia

locheilside

page 4


want to hear more about Lochaber Womens’ Aid?...they’re coming to our April meeting

Anita Maclean tells us about the valuable service that Lochaber Women’s Aid provide locally.

Lochaber Women’s Aid... Women Supporting Women Domestic abuse is any form of emotional, physical or sexual abuse carried out by one partner (or ex-partner) against another. Lochaber Women’s Aid is a local charity, affiliated to the national Scottish Women’s Aid organisation, which supports women, children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse. We have been providing confidential, sensitive support to women, children and young people throughout Lochaber for over nine years. During this time, we have helped over 400 individuals cope with the effects of domestic abuse. Despite this, many people remain unaware of the availability of our service and the support we can offer locally. We have a team of experienced workers who can offer women support with housing, legal and benefits matters. We also have dedicated children’s workers who support children and young people under the age of 18. The impact our support service has on individuals is illustrated in the following case study, written by a former client.

A personal reflection on Domestic Abuse “I’ve put off writing this for a wee while… scared of the words that I put on this page. They will become stark evidence of how I’ve been feeling, how things have been for me for two years now. “I haven’t been too sure that I have the strength to see what I write, but I write them now with the knowledge that there are women out there that just know, just feel the same and just care. And for this, this simple knowledge that there are amazing women out there who support me… makes everything possible. “I know that I am here today because of the care and support of Women’s Aid. ALL of you in some way or another have helped to make this somewhat dark period of my life bearable. “The moment I walked through your doors, everything changed. I didn’t know how it did or for how long I would be going through this process...but it did. Maybe it was because finally I was allowed to let this change happen. I was presented with options that I never thought were possible, and allowed and supported to explore them to help build my life up for me, and my amazing and beautiful children. I guess it started really before then.

“Picking up the phone...the hardest thing possible at that time. The realisation that it was all wrong, my life, I couldn’t cope by myself in the set up that was destroying me and ultimately the happiness of my children. “I spoke to a woman in Inverness, and she put me in touch with Lochaber Women’s Aid. I spoke to B briefly, I had to cut it short because of the shouting in the house. She asked me to come in on a day, at a time. Broken, disorientated and scared I came in with my babies. D took the wee ones, B took me into the group room, one which was to become so familiar to me over time, over tears, laughter, rocking, hugs, friends, friends lost, Christmases, home baking, jewellery making, talks of divorce, alienation, love, hopelessness, strength, empowerment, fags, more laughter, more strength, another tumble into the void of despair, court… then support, support, support until clarity, self-belief, empowerment, attitude, love and bonding with my children and the love and bonding with other women alike happened. “And for this, I thank you...all of you. “You give hope to all of us that come through your doors.”

Once again, we are delighted to deliver the Kilmallie Community Council Newsletter to every house and business in the area – we hope you think that the production of this the 41st edition is a great community achievement! We hope it presents some of the resources that are available and gives you a few ideas on how you can spend your time both outdoors and indoors here in Kilmallie. The editorial team especially appreciate receiving updates from the regular contributors and our readers do look forward to hearing from them. We must thank all contributors for taking the time to write for us again. We are thankful too for the many additional articles, letters and photographs sent in. We are also extremely grateful to younger residents for taking the trouble to send something and of course to their parents and their teachers for encouraging them to do so! We hope that if you enjoy reading the newsletter, you too might like to write and tell us about your Kilmallie experiences… maybe about a favourite walk, or wildlife that you have seen or a

Then contact us for sensitive support and advice We offer 1-2-1 support sessions to help you make your own decisions. We are the only service providing specialist domestic abuse support to women, children and young people in Lochaber

Contact us on: 01397 705734 Lochaber Women’s Aid 3 Belford Road, Fort William, PH33 6BT E-mail: lwa@lochaberwomensaid.org A Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in Scotland No: SC330605 Scottish Charity Number SCO34484

Your newsletter team: Christine Hutchison Jan MacLugash Kshama Wilmington Mandy Ketchin

Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily the views of the newsletter team or of Kilmallie Community Council.

chairman@kilmallie.org.uk

Secretary Russell Leaper Canal House, Banavie, PH33 7LY

secretary@kilmallie.org.uk

Treasurer Jan MacLugash Salen, Banavie PH33 7LY

treasurer@kilmallie.org.uk

Associate member

Christine Hutchison Mandy Ketchin Kshama Wilmington Chris Pellow

on the web

772252 772383 772499

email us at newsletter@kilmallie.org.uk

Members of the public are most welcome at all our meetings. Meetings are held at 7:15pm, on the 3rd Wed of every month excl July and Dec. Next ordinary meeting dates are 20 March, 17 April, 15 May, and 19 June 2013. Next AGM is 19 June 2013. Meetings are normally held in Kilmallie Community Centre but check our website for any last minute changes.

Other members

Are you or is someone you know experiencing Domestic Abuse?

Christine , Jan, Kshama and Mandy

KILMALLIE COMMUNITY COUNCIL

Chairman Maggie Mackenzie, 42 Hillview Drive, Corpach, PH33 7LS

page 3

www.kilmallie.org.uk

coming up soon more history from Hugh Muir, The Kilmallie Image Library, scouting in Kilmallie, and maybe articles on fundraising in Vietnam, the steam train, the ramblers and more... let us know what else you would like to see in future issues

Thanks to everyone who submitted their Christmas lights survey online: it was a bit of a pilot run for us, so we were delighted that it worked so smoothly. Look out for more surveys in the future - it is an easy way for us to find out what you all think and want. Thanks to Martin Briscoe for lots of new stuff to put on our timeline, especially about WW1. If you’d like to add anything to the website, please get in touch with the team (Mandy, Maggie and Russell) at website@kilmallie.org.uk Martin Briscoe’s picture of the first train through the Corpach level crossing after the addition of the new barriers. Martin tells us: “There was a train at 17:15h on Sunday 27th Jan but the road was still temporarily closed, this is the 22:25h and the first normal operation of the barriers”.

level crossing gates officially opened by Dave Thompson MSP

spotlight

kilmallie community news

fundraising event you’ve been involved in. Photos are also most welcome. We also delight in hearing about individuals and groups who make the area such a great place to live in. We must say a big thank you to all the sponsors and volunteers for helping us this time yet again. Please contact us if you would like to help with the delivery of our next newsletter which again we will try and hand-deliver as much as possible. If you have any letters, please send them and any articles to newsletter@kilmallie.org.uk The deadline for the 42nd edition of the KCC Newsletter is 21st May 2013, for publication mid June.

corpach

page 26


feedback

From the Chair

Although I usually keep rather quiet in my corner, I just have to say how wonderful [the last] edition of the KCC newsletter is. Such a variety of information, something for everyone. I think it is the only newsletter I read from start to finish, even the messages printed on the side! I know how much work this is so I am in awe for the job you are doing  (CP)

why not come along

to a KCC meeting if you have any local concerns

Hello there and welcome to the March 2013 edition of the Kilmallie Community News. I am delighted that our terrific newsletter was one of three shortlisted for the Highlands and Islands Media Awards in the Community Newspaper of the Year category and although not winning the award it was Highly Commended. A massive thank you to everyone involved in the production, distribution and sponsorship of this great local resource; winners all!

Looks very professional! (CG) Congrats on another excellent news bulletin! (GM) I’ve let lots of friends in Fort William read it and they can’t believe how good it is. (LW)

You may remember that in our December issue we highlighted that 2012 would be the last year that the Highland Council would be providing Christmas trees and lights to the community and we asked you to complete a survey to ascertain the community’s thoughts on Christmas decorations. Whilst we received a response much lower than I personally expected, given the subject of the survey, I am delighted that a small band of potential volunteers have come forward to meet each other, and KCC members, at our meeting on the 20th March and consider whether the provision of these decorations in the community is something they will be able to take forward. We were saddened to receive recently the resignation of Jillian, particularly as it was her call to arms which brought us all together 2 years ago. We have such busy lives these days that sometimes something has to give and membership of a community council can be quite demanding of our time. We are now 6 members when our membership maximum can be 8 so we will shortly be considering how we can persuade more people in the community to come and join us. We held our February meeting in Lochaber High School— now that brought back some memories! How is it that I knew exactly where the tuck shop used to be! Great facilities, must go back and see them during the day when I am told there are fabulous views up to the Glen and Ben from the badminton hall and windows by the gym room. You can see some interesting school timeline dates on our website at www.kilmallie.org.uk/about-kilmallie/kilmallietimeline/. Some time ago I told you that I had set up a Facebook and Twitter page but had not started posting or tweeting yet... well I have finally got going with it; you can find us at Facebook.com/KilmallieCC and Twitter.com/KilmallieCC. We need to get some more likes on Facebook in order to get some useful statistics from it and it would be nice to have some followers on Twitter, please go and like us!! I have started with meeting dates but hope to make it more interesting as we go along. Give me some feedback, either by email or in our super new suggestion boxes, on what you would like to see posted. Maggie chairman@kilmallie.org.uk

Not only do you inform the Kilmallie Community but keep former Kilmallie residents up to date with what is happening back home. (AG) Thanks for another great newsletter ! Can I suggest a future article on the local SCOUTS. This is a great group which, I believe, few folk know exists. They don’t publicise themselves - and they have a leaky roof with little resources to fix. (HM) By coincidence we have a feature planned on the Scouts for next issue. Please get in touch if you want to tell us more about scouting in Kilmallie past or present.

We’re delighted to hear all your feedback, and please let us know what you’d like to see in future newsletters.

“some straight clues, some cryptic clues, some easy, some not so easy” 1

any suggestions? KCC are delighted to announce the arrival of our bright shiny smart suggestion boxes. They’ve already proved really useful when we did the survey of your views on Christmas lights, but you can use them any time if you have  ideas you’d like the community to pursue  concerns you’d like KCC to take action on  complaints or compliments about what what is happening locally or you can write to us, email us, phone us or come along to a meeting. Please put your name and contact details on any suggestions you put in the boxes, so we can get back in touch with you and let you know what action is being taken. The boxes are sited at our noticeboards at Corpach and Banavie - hopefully convenient for everyone.

2

7

3

8

4

6

9

10

12

5

11

13

14

15

16

Across 1 4 7 9 10 11 12 14 18 20 22 23 24 25

You have this when not alone (7) One of the 7 little people, and not very bright (5) This Miss is a Muppet favourite (5) Jumper. And old Singer car (7) Celebate harem dwellers (7) Not little Edward made sure it was logged (5) One of the female Spices (6) These get tossed(6) Engine is part of MOT or something (5) Cricket referees (7) Popeye’s favourite (7) Wear in the hero deed (5) It can be single, double, whipped or clotted (5) Altered diverse is altered (7)

17

Down 18

19

20

22

24

page 27

21

23

25 Thank you to Tony Whitelocke for another great crossword. Answers to this puzzle are on the website www.kilmallie.org.uk (follow the link on the RHS of the homepage) and will also be published in the next issue of the newsletter for people without access to the internet

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 13 15 16 17 18 19 21

Bobbies (7) She’s an example surrounded by man (5) Belief of cartoon bear with small and medium ending (6) They’re unclean, all twelve of them (5) Painter’s board (7) Give way (5) Sailing boat (5) Not in on flank. Also not in! (7) Fruit a bit of a cheap pledge (5) Put us in spend to hang (7) Writer (6) It sounds alright when it’s to my ears (5) Realm (5) Kitchen and lounge are examples (5)

Answers to last issue’s puzzle: Across: 1 OUTDOOR, 4 MEGAN, 7 EAGLE, 9 NORFOLK, 10 ABRIDGE, 11 HATED, 12 LUSTRE, 14 GLOSSY, 18 SCRAM, 20 ANIMALS, 22 NUMERAL, 23 GROOM, 24 ABYSS, 25 DENMARK Down: 1 OVERALL, 2 TIGER, 3 RANGER, 4 MARCH, 5 GROTTOS, 6 NAKED, 8 EIDER, 13 SCRUMPY, 15 LYING, 16 YASHMAK, 17 BALLAD, 18 SANTA, 19 MARKS, 21 ALOHA

your own puzzles, quizzes and wordgames to share in future issues

Kilmallie Community Council

Your newsletter is excellent and I do know how much work must go in to pulling it all together. (JS)

please send us

page 2


a huge thank you to our sponsors

Issue No 41, March 2013 delivered free to every address in Kilmallie

page 28

A huge thank you to the businesses who have sponsored us for 2012/2013. The cost of copying this newsletter has again been very generously donated by Lorna and Finlay Finlayson of Crannog Restaurant, Fort William. The paper for this issue has been generously donated by BSW Timber, Kilmallie

BOYD BROTHERS (HAULAGE) LTD

CLYDEBoyd Fort William Ltd

would you like to become a sponsor too? We rely on the contributions from our business community for the cost of printing and distributing this free newsletter to every address in our area. Without further sponsorship this year, we may not be able to meet all our costs. We welcome sponsorship from all businesses located in Kilmallie, or with principal key personnel resident in Kilmallie. If you would you like to see your name or logo in print supporting your community newsletter, please join with our current sponsors. All donations, big or small, are hugely appreciated. Please contact us at treasurer@kilmallie.org.uk for details.

KCC reports – p2 on the web – p3 community consultation – p4 councillors’ corner - p5 contractors on Blar - p6 road sign quiz - p6 community policing - p6 Community Centre - p7 fantastic facilities - p7 Lochaber High – p8 Banavie Primary – p9 Kilmallie Playgroup – p10 Christmas lights - p11 coastguard - p12 canal news- p13 FOCAL- p14 Waterways Trust – p14 Corpach in Colour - p15 Banavie Floral - p15 rugby club – p15 Kilmallie shinty - p16 Rural Education Trust - p16 Heather’s Walk - p16 green fingers - p16 shades of blue - p17 paws for thought - p18 dog club - p19 Corpach woods – p19 Locheilnet - p19 wild about Kilmallie - p20 Gaelic poems - p21 Room 13 - p21 calling all pipers - p22 Art club - 22 focus on folk - p23 Letters – p24 Locheilside – p25 focus on business – p25 spotlight ��� p26 feedback - p27 puzzles – p27

sponsors – p28

Jan, Kshama, Beryl, Libby and Christine, posing for the press!.

yet another giant 28 page issue!

inside

congratulations to us all!

You might have heard by now that Kilmallie Community News was shortlisted and Highly Commended in the 2012 Highlands and Islands Media Awards ceremony in Inverness on 1st Feb. We were delighted with the news, and also delighted that it got a lot of publicity, not only locally - in the Oban Times and the Lochaber News, including a second mention from our favourite Roamer, but - somewhat surreally it also got picked up by the BBC, and we were mentioned on their Highlands and Islands News webpage! So much fame and glory could go to our heads! But the truth is that everyone in the Kilmallie community deserves the commendation. Yes the newsletter team are quite chuffed, but the newsletter couldn’t be as good as it is without the brilliant regular contributions from the High School, Banavie School, Kilmallie Playgroup, John Stafford at Scottish Canals, Phil Wren our local Coastguard, Jon Mercer at Glenloy Wildlife, Hugh Muir our local history expert, Tony Whitelocke our crossword compiler, our three local councillors Allan Henderson Bill Clark and Eddie Hunter, Paul Biggin and Corpach Woods, Jimmy Smith and John Macdonald at Kilmallie Community Centre, Corpach in Colour, Banavie Floral Improvements, FOCAL (Friends of Caledonian Canal Lochaber), Green Fingers, the Rugby Club, the Shinty Club, Locheilnet, Andy Bilton our police liaison officer... and the cracking features from all our

occasional contributors too many to mention, plus our Gaelic translators, all the organisations who’ve been in our Spotlight, and all the Folk and Businesses who’ve been interviewed in our Focus... as well as all the people who’ve supplied photos, and written to us, and given us feedback. Our last issue had contributions from over 40 people all told, so it really is great teamwork. And then there’s all the people who have helped pound the pavements to deliver. And last but not least there are our sponsors - you can see them all on the back page - we are hugely grateful to them all as there could be no newsletter at all without their contri -butions in cash and kind. Special mention goes to Lorna and Finlay Finlayson of Crannog Restaurant for photocopying facilities, and to Andy Rogers of BSW for supplying the paper. The newsletters wouldn’t have been so good if we weren’t part of such an interesting community. We are a diverse mixture - people whose families have lived here for generations, people who’ve migrated from elsewhere in Lochaber, or other parts of Scotland, the UK and other countries. We all have a single common ancestor if we go back far enough, so we all have a lot in common, but also a lot of different experiences, interests and backgrounds. All of which makes for a great community newsletter. Sorry if this reads like an Oscar acceptance speech!


Newsletter 20130300 issue41 2013 march