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PITLOCHRY LIFE December 2018 Issue 343


The 'Magazine of Choice' For Pitlochry And Surrounding Area

Message Contents from the Features Team WIN Christmas Church Services Books For Christmas

Welcome to the December edition of Pitlochry Life. This year has really flown by and Christmas will soon be upon us. We have a very full magazine this month, with great gift ideas from Robertsons of Pitlochry, Taste Perthshire and some pointers from Sheila Drummond for all you gardeners out there. We also have some excellent book ideas - I couldn’t put the latest Robert Galbraith down. I also enjoy receiving vouchers for places to eat and stay – and with a plentiful supply of the best hotels and restaurants around, I am not going to be stuck for choice this year. Alan Clinch looks at why exercise can make us more cheerful and after reading, you might want to try our “Walk with Me”. Willie talks to his computer… and it talks back... Christmas is a really good time to support our local high street and independent retailers. Pop down and get your festive gifts locally where you can, it all helps to keep Pitlochry such a wonderful place. We have more than ten new advertisers this month – so a big welcome to them, and remember to let them know you saw their advert in Pitlochry Life. The support of all our advertisers allows us to give community groups free editorial space each month. So a big thank you to all our advertisers, our contributors and supporters. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope to see you at the New Year Street Party!


Recipe Pitlochry Tipple Garden Fitness Computer Walk With Me


45 86 90

14 16 24 30 34 58

Diary Get Out Politics Churches

4 8 36 70

Useful Numbers Index

88 94

Advertising Debbie - 07545299491

Art & Eds Willie - 07906375953 @PitlochryLife

Deadline for January Edition - 10th December

Please Re-Cycle ... Eventually!

Pitlochry Life Manse Road, Moulin Pitlochry PH16 5EP Office - 01721 720129 Sales - Debbie: 07545 299491 Artwork - Willie: 07906375953

Diary - What’s On, Out and About Summary See the Get Out Section for full details 1st December


Winter Wonderland Starts - Queens View

1st December


The Cascades play Old Mill Inn

1st-2nd December


Pitlochry Church Of Scotland Christmas Tree Festival

5th December


Pitlochry Ladies Club - Scotland's Hotel

7th December


Climate Cafe - HPCP, 23 Atholl Road, Pitlochry

7th December


Dull and Weem Parish Church Choir Advent Concert

7th December


Last Orders play the Old Mill Inn

8th December


Craft Fair - Kynachan Hall, Tummel Bridge

9th December


Blair Atholl Area Tourist Association Christmas Market

9th & 16th December


Persie Gin Afternoon Tea & Tour - Blair Castle

9th December


Heartland Film Society - Birks Cinema

9th December


Pitlochry & District Choral Society - Carols By Candlelight

10th December


Blair Atholl Senior Citizens Christmas Party

11th December


Pitlochry Litter Action Group - Recreation Ground Car Park

12th December


Pitlochry Flower Club - Pitlochry Hydro Hotel

12th-14th December


‘The Emperors New Clothes’ – Birnam Arts Centre

13th December


Pitlochry SWI - Aldour Hall

14th December


Coverdaddy play the Old Mill Inn

15th December


Headroom play the Old Mill Inn

17th December


Scottish Wildlife Trust - Tryst hall

18th December


Pitlochry Station Bookshop Christmas Fair - Festival Theatre

22nd December


Red Pine Timber Co play the Old Mill Inn

28th December


Jono plays the Old Mill Inn

29th December


The Tryst Walking Group – Bealach Walk

29th December


The Engine House play the Old Mill Inn

31st December


Last Orders play the Old Mill Inn

1st January


Pitlochry Street Party - Atholl Road

1st January


Red Pine Timber Co play the Old Mill Inn

7th January


Arthritis Awareness in Atholl - Moulin Hall

13th January


Alpha Coming To Pitlochry - Escape Route

26th January


The Killiecrankie Hall Burns Supper

Entries in our Get Out section and Diary are free to non profit, non commercial, groups and clubs. Just tell us by sending your entry to, or 01721 720129 by 12th of the preceding month and we will tell everyone else. 4 Pitlochry Life

For reservations please call 01796 473 248 Clunie Bridge Road, Pitlochry, PH16 5JY Email: Web:

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e v i t s Fe s Menu

A warm welcome awaits you at the Upstairs Restaurant Enjoy a festive cocktail great food, atmosphere & service

Christmas Menu Served: 7th - 22nd Dec New Year Menu Served: 31st Dec - 1st Jan Booking Advisable Tel: 01887 829 995

Festive menus now available on our website

visit -

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Get Out... with Pitlochry Life! Saturday 1st December - Winter Wonderland Starts - Queens View - 10.00am to 4.00pm. See page 7 for more details and how to book Breakfast with Santa! Saturday 1st - Sunday 2nd December - Pitlochry Church Of Scotland Christmas Tree Festival. See page 60 for details. Wednesday 5th December - Pitlochry Ladies Club - Scotland's Hotel - 7.00pm. Our Christmas Dinner - please remember your Secret Santa. Members will have booked and paid Nancy by now. The Club would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas when it comes. Friday 7th December - Climate Cafe - HPCP, 23 Atholl Road, Pitlochry - 7.00pm to 9.00pm. Our first environmental chat. All are welcome to drop in and find out what interests each other have and the actions they are taking. Tip #1 Take your own containers to the butchers to be filled. Friday 7th December - Dull and Weem Parish Church Choir Advent Concert – Weem Church – 7.00pm. The choir will perform a selection of Christmas carols and songs supported by solos, piano and organ pieces, Christmas readings and poetry. Proceeds will go to Bring Back The Smile To Nepal, which raises funds to help rebuild communities in Nepal following the devastating effects of a massive earthquake in 2015. The church has raised approximately £6000 this year which is currently being put to good use in Nepal, building new houses for local families who lost their homes in the disaster. Tickets costing £5, which include refreshments at the interval, are available from Wade Newsagents, Aberfeldy, from choir members or by contacting Frank and Margaret Yearsley on 01887 822998. Saturday 8th December - Craft Fair - Kynachan Hall, Tummel Bridge - 10am - 4pm. Stalls will feature hand-made Christmas decorations, needlework, jewellery, knitwear and much more! Teas, coffees and light refreshments will also be available. Free admission. All welcome! For more information please email Kynachan Hall is Scottish Charity SC034142. Sunday 9th December - Blair Atholl Area Tourist Association Christmas Market - The Village Hall 12noon to 3.00pm. See page 25 for info. Sunday 9th and 16th December - Persie Gin Afternoon Tea & Tour - Blair Castle - 2.00pm to 4.00pm. See page 11 for details. Sunday 9th December - Heartland Film Society - Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy - 6.00pm. ‘The Other Side of Hope’. See page 46 for details. Sunday 9th December - Pitlochry & District Choral Society - Carols By Candlelight - Fishers Hotel 7.00pm. See page 63 for details. Monday 10th December - Blair Atholl Senior Citizens Christmas Party - The Atholl Arms Hotel 6.00pm for 6:30pm. Any resident of Blair Atholl, of retirement age, is welcome to attend (women 60, men 65). Please contact any member of the committee if you wish to attend. Transport is provided to and from the venue. Mairi Macleod 481220, Janet Murdoch 481265. Tuesday 11th December - Pitlochry Litter Action Group - Recreation Ground Car Park - 10.00am. See page 44 for more details. Wednesday 12th December - Pitlochry Flower Club - Pitlochry Hydro Hotel - 12 for 12.30pm. Christmas Lunch will be served, followed by the Demonstration at 2.00pm. If you wish to attend the Lunch, please notify me. We are pleased to welcome back Linda Soutar as our Demonstrator. She has chosen 'Season of Magic' as her subject, and Club members are asked to bring their own little bit of magic to the Competition which is entitled, 'Show Stopper'.New members and guests are always welcome. Linzee Lindsay 01738 710777.

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( a l s o We d d i n g s a n d C o r p o r a t e )

A b e r f e l d y, P e r t h s h i r e , S c o t l a n d

C on t a ct : Jo hn Bu r ke T: 07850 857550 E : jo hn@d una l ui nn. c o m

w w w. d u n a l u i n n . c o m

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Get Out... with Pitlochry Life! Wednesday 12th – Friday 14th December - The Birnam Institute Players Present a Pantomime ‘The Emperors New Clothes’ – Birnam Arts Centre – 7.30pm. Two tricksters are in town, preying on the dim & stupid! Come along and cheer on our hero Tink, and his daughter Abigail, while they attempt to foil their dastardly plan to get rich quick, and shame the Emperor in his New Clothes! Fun for all the family; don’t miss this great opportunity to laugh & cheer the night away! Tickets £8/£6 under 16s. or 01350 727674 for more info.

Thursday 13th December - Pitlochry SWI - Aldour Hall - 7.15pm. Cheese and Wine Evening – Sponsored by Pitlochry Co-op. All ladies welcome. It’s £20 to join for the whole year and £3.50 for visitors on the evening. A great supper is promised and if you’re good at raspberry jam or crocheting a 4-inch square for a communal blanket, please bring them along and enter them in the evening’s competition...and please remember to bring your own cup! Monday 17th December - Scottish Wildlife Trust Pitlochry and Highland Perthshire Group - Tryst Hall - 7.30pm. There will be a talk,but at the moment the speaker and topic is unknown. Come for a surprise and mince pies! For more information contact Richard Horobin richardwhorobin@ Tuesday 18th December - Pitlochry Station Bookshop Christmas Fair - Festival Theatre - 12noon to 4.30pm. Fantastic selection of books, and remember, all proceeds go to our six charities. Come and snap up a bargain. Tuesday 25th December - Merry Christmas Everyone xx Saturday 29th December - The Tryst Walking Group – Bealach Walk – 9.30am. From Pitlochry we climb up the path towards Ben Vrackie and cross over the Bealach to Killiecrankie and hence back to Pitlochry. Height climbed 350m. Distance 8.5 miles. We are a friendly and informal group, based in Pitlochry, usually organising two walks per month. Visitors / new members are most welcome. For further details, contact George or Cathy Marshall on 01796 470575. Tuesday 1st January - Pitlochry Street Party - Atholl Road - 1.00pm to 4.00pm. See page 62. Monday 7th January - Arthritis Awareness in Atholl - Moulin Hall - 2.30pm. The speaker is Andy Walker and his subject is Alaska. Everyone welcome. Sunday 13th January - Alpha Coming To Pitlochry - Escape Route, 3 Atholl Road, Pitlochry 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Every year, churches across the world invite their communities to explore life, faith and meaning on Alpha. Pitlochry Baptist Church wish to offer the same opportunity to the local community with a 7 week course. Alpha is an extremely popular course which gives people the chance to freely explore the basics of the Christian faith through a series of interactive and stimulating sessions using videos and discussions more often than not accompanied by a meal. For details of how to register your interest please see the accompanying advert on page 57. Saturday 26th January - The Killiecrankie Hall Burns Supper - 7.00pm for 7.30pm. This is a popular event and tickets (£15) go fast. To avoid disappointment and missing a fantastic night please email or telephone James, 07947 068234 or Diane on 07817208143.

Entries for non profit groups are free. Send your entry for our Community/Get Out pages to Or call Willie on 01721720129 by 12th of the month. 12 Pitlochry Life

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Chilli Jam Not really jam, more of a sweet chutney, but it just goes with everything. How hot you make it depends on personal taste. This is hot enough to let everyone know it's made with chillies, however once you've tried it, you can add hotter or milder chillies next time. Or try leaving in all the seeds to be hotter or take them all out to make milder. Needs to be nippy though  • 2 tbsp soy sauce • 120g red chillies
 • 300g soft brown sugar • 2 large red peppers • 100ml white wine vinegar • 500g ripe tomatoes, chopped • 1 lemon, juiced • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
 • ½ tsp salt • 1 tsp grated ginger (2cm piece, peeled) 1.

Optional - for a nice smoky flavour. Heat a griddle pan over high heat and char the peppers and chillies, turning frequently for about 15 minutes. They should be well-charred all over so that the skins peel away easily. Transfer to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave for another 10 minutes or so. Once cool enough to handle, use your hands to peel all the skin away from the flesh, it should come off easily. Make sure you get it all, otherwise the jam will be bitter. Keep half of the chilli seeds, discard skins, stalks and rest of the seeds. If you don't want the smoky flavour, just remove the seeds and stalks from the peppers and chillies, chop them up and move on to step 2.


Blitz the peppers and chillies in a food processor until nearly smooth, then tip into a large saucepan and add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, soft brown sugar, white wine vinegar, juice of lemon and ½ tsp salt. Bring to a rolling boil. Put a saucer in the freezer.


Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 45-50 mins, stirring frequently, until the mix is a deep red-brown colour and most of the liquid has evaporated. The jam is ready when a spoonful placed on the cold saucer sets immediately and you can clear a line through it with a spoon. If it doesn’t set, keep boiling and retest every 5 mins, on a cold saucer each time.


Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 120 degrees. Wash 3 jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinse and put in the oven for 10-15 mins until completely dry. This sterilises them. The jars must still be hot when you add the jam.


Immediately and carefully spoon the jam into the jars. Seal the lids and allow to cool completely before adding labels. You can use the jam once cold, it will keep unopened for months in a cool, dark place. Once opened, keep in the fridge and use within 1 month.

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With Christmas approaching fast and the scratching of heads starting, I thought I would have a look at what new gift ideas we have at Robertsons. Starting locally, Badvo has just released a series of 20cl bottles of gin. The set of 5 depict various images up and around the distillery. There is a rumour too that Badvo Gin Jam and Marmalade along with a sloe gin and hamper will be appearing in Robertsons before too long. Wasted Degrees have released two new limited edition beers: Raspberry Porter at 4.5% abv and French Oak Matured Stout at 7.5% abv and are launching a wooden beer carrier and gift pack over the next few weeks. At Robertsons we have our latest Robertsons whisky bottling coming in which is from Blair Athol Distillery. It is single cask, natural colour, non-chill filtered and is bottled at 46% abv. This will be followed by a Tullibardine and a Teaninich which will hopefully be in for December. There is also a gift pack containing 4x5cl bottles from our ‘award winning ‘range of bottlings being released by December.

Moulin Brewery, Wasted Degrees, Cairngorm Brewery and Colonsay beers all have gift packs available and Orkney Brewery are launching a 5 litre mini keg for 4 of their beers. These can be pre-ordered in the shop or on our website.

For wines, we have a 6 bottle pre-selected wine pack which includes 2 red, 2 white, 1 rose and 1 Champagne. It is the perfect pack for a small dinner party or to accompany your Christmas dinner. There are also a selection of wine gifts, pouring sets and stoppers coming in. The latest books that we have which make great reading are; ‘The 2019 Whisky Year Book’ (which includes a review of Robertsons for the first time), ‘Whisky Classified’, ‘Whisky Obsession’ and ‘Sourced, a wee dram’, which is a photographic review of Scotland’s distilleries.

Robertsons gift vouchers and tasting vouchers, which make an excellent gift especially if you are posting, and are available from our website or Looking for some stocking fillers? We have a wide shop, and we have our ‘pick and mix’ gift hampers range of miniature whiskies, gins and liqueurs all of for you to personalise a gift for that special person. which will fit perfectly in your stocking, and can be added to your personalised gift hamper. Pickerings have launched their Gin Baubles again and are, as ever, proving very popular. Stocks are more limited this year, so don’t be disappointed. Gin liqueurs and flavoured Gin, Boe Violet for example, are very popular at the moment. Pour a small amount into the bottom of a champagne flute and top up with Prosecco for the perfect way to start your evening. Dundee gin have launched a ‘Dundee Cake Gin Liqueur’ which has all the essence of Christmas in it. It is sweet and spicy and quite moreish. We have very limited stocks of this so order soon if you like the sound this liquid Christmas cake. 16 Pitlochry Life

So where ever you are, take heart, have courage and think about what you would like to buy for Christmas, and follow the yellow brick road to Robertsons Of Pitlochry for the perfect Christmas gift.

Ewan McIlwraith Ewan McIlwraith is the owner of Robertsons of Pitlochry and The Bothy. Since 2013, Ewan has transformed the retail shop to now stock of over 450 whiskies and over 150 small batch gins. Ewan is also a judge for Scottish Field, judging the annual whisky and gin challenge competitions.

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The Pitlochry Garden December Gardeners love to get presents, so here are some suggestions for your Christmas shopping list; wrapping some of them will be a challenge! There are plenty of gadgets out there but I’m going to stick to things that I know are really useful. My kneeling pad once blew away so I borrowed some knee pads: what a revelation! Knee pads will really make a difference for anyone with a bad back because they allow a much more natural movement and posture. Quality hand tools are always good presents: a good pair of stainless steel hand tools will last forever; they make jobs like planting bulbs and weeding the borders much easier. Clean them up after each use and rub the wooden handles with an oiled rag at the end of the year. Another important small tool is a good pair of secateurs: there are covetable brands like Felco and Niwaki but less expensive ones work just as well if you keep them sharp and clean. My favourite tool is a good small pocket knife and the sharpening stone that should come with it. A gardener will use this little tool hundreds of times – opening bags of compost, carefully slitting open seed packets or taking cuttings. Keep the knife dry so it won’t get rusty and always keep it sharp.

and need to feel the plant and the roots coming away. The other kind of glove is thicker, usually lined and impervious to thorns and prickles. These are expensive but invaluable if you have a lot of pruning to do, especially roses or berberis. It is important to protect your hands not just to keep them clean but to avoid small wounds which can easily become infected. Some people also react badly to fresh compost and whenever you use a product like blood, fish and bone, or hoof and horn, you should cover your hands. When you finish work and come in for a cup of tea it is really lovely to be able to wash your hands thoroughly with gardener’s soap and then apply a soothing hand cream. That’s a present I wouldn’t mind getting every year! Other good presents: a bird feeder or a bee house is a good idea, a nice trug for bringing in garden produce or cut flowers, a lightweight wheelbarrow (that’ll be fun to wrap), a window sill propagator or a really nice watering can. Gardening parents and grandparents can give a present too: encouraging kids to grow things and showing them how to make a garden is a present that will last and last.

The RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers and Merry Christmas! the RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening are still the most useful references. Any old version will do but Sheila Drummond add between three and six weeks to any schedule. Portland Garden Design There are two kinds of gloves that are useful: 07905 397185 thinner and cheaper ones that you use up quite quickly but these are handy when you are weeding 24 Pitlochry Life

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FITNESS with Alan Clinch

Reasons Why Exercise Makes You Happy I make no apologies for this – everyone has heard on countless occasions that physical activity or exercise is good for us in general, but research suggests that it can also make you happier…. here’s the evidence: It releases chemicals into your brain which give feelings of happiness.

this is almost always for the better. People report feeling happier with how they look, stronger, more independent, and more confident after an exercise or physical activity programme. It can help to ease anxiety.

Research on the effects of exercise show that in people suffering from anxiety, the immediate These chemicals are called neurotransmitters – mood boost from exercise is followed by longerone of the main ones that influences our mood is term relief, similar to that offered by alternative known as Dopamine, and it’s necessary for feelings therapies such as relaxation, meditation, and of pleasure and happiness. There is some evidence discussion. to suggest that stores of dopamine diminish as we It can help in combating insomnia. age, and an effective way to increase the brain’s Staying active and exercising on a regular basis has dopamine production is to do physical activity. We been shown to improve a wide variety of sleeping produce other neurotransmitters such as serotonin, disorders. (I wrote a column on this a couple of and noradrenaline which have a similar effect. years ago) It helps to reduce stress. It can help improve the immune system. Physical activity helps to ease stress in the short It’s been shown that mild/moderate exercise term by taking your mind off any immediate improves your immune system. On the other worries. In the long term, regular exercise will hand heavy, unaccustomed intense exercise help you to deal with stress more effectively can lower immunity. Physical activity can help that’s because physical activity and/or exercise remove bacteria from the lungs and airways due to is actually a low-level form of stress: it causes increased frequency and depth of breathing, which increases in heart rate and triggers a variety of in turn may reduce your chance of getting a cold, hormonal changes (for example the production of flu, or other illness. Exercise causes white blood adrenaline). Dealing with the stressful demands cells (which fight disease) to circulate more rapidly, of physical activity helps us adapt better to the which may result in earlier detection of illnesses general stress that occurs in most of our lives. and infections. At the same time, the rise in body It makes you feel more energised. core temperature during physical activity may help All of us have days when we simply don’t feel up the body fight infection better. to doing exercise or physical activity, however The aging process is less of a problem. when you put in the effort and do something Many things become harder with increasing age you’ll switch on all of the senses and hormones – this is basically due to the fact that the body associated with activity – that in turn will make you deteriorates. Exercise has a number of beneficial feel less tired, and you’ll probably feel better for effects such as helping to maintain a healthy the rest of the day. weight, retain spinal mobility, and keep strong It can help to improve your self-confidence. muscles that are able to react to your surroundings It's annoyingly easy to develop a lack of confidence and help you undertake all of the activities of daily in ourselves. Physical activity will definitely cause living without difficulty. a transformation in the way you look and feel, and 30 Pitlochry Life

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Willie’s Wonky Computer Factory Hey Cortana….. I’m in love with Alexa! Our Amazon Echo Show is used on a daily basis and Alexa is now part of our family. She reminds me of where I’m supposed to be, what I need at the shops, keeps me updated on the football scores, the news and weather, plays any music I ask for, provides recipes, controls my heating and even connects with video to friends and family. All with an underlying wicked sense of humour. (Santa!!!!)

on. All recent laptops and Windows tablets have a built in microphone, if yours has a webcam it most certainly will have. If using a desktop, you may find your keyboard or even monitor will have one. If not, they are available in any computer shop for as little as a fiver. If you don’t have the search box on your taskbar, right click on the taskbar, select Cortana, then ‘Show search box’.

Depending on what version of Win 10 you have, Alexa was created by Amazon, being inspired by the screens may look different, but the message ‘Computer’ in the old Star Trek TV series. (From is the same, so… the “Hang oan a minute captain, I dinnae think Click in the search box. Then click the Settings the engines can handle it” era.) icon in Cortana’s left-hand navigation panel—it’s Alexa is a ‘voice-controlled intelligent personal the cogwheel. If Cortana isn't activated, you’ll assistant’ and she’s not unique. Anyone with have to follow the steps that appear to turn it on an iPhone will be familiar with Siri, she appears before you’ll see the standard Cortana interface. across the range of Apple phones, laptops and Click on the search box again and this time the Mac. Siri was developed by Dag Kittalaus, click on the Notebook icon, it’s the one under a Norwegian, it means “beautiful woman who the Home icon at the top. On the notebook leads you to victory" although now often screen, click Settings, then in the Settings panel, referred to ‘Speech Interpretation and turn the slider to On under the “Hey Cortana” Recognition Interface.’ Apple snapped up the heading. Once you’ve done that a new option software for around 200 million dollars to will appear called “Respond best.” Here you prevent anyone else having it and although Steve have the option to allow Cortana to respond Jobs didn’t like the name, ended up keeping it as to anyone or only your voice. If you choose the no one could dream up anything better. latter, by clicking ‘Learn my voice’, Cortana will Microsoft quickly caught on to the concept ask you to repeat six different sentences to get and started developing Cortana in 2009. She is to know you. named after a synthetic intelligence character in Now that you’ve got Cortana voice activation their Halo X-Box game. In 2015 she was released working, try asking her anything, just start with with Windows 10, but also appears in Win 8.1. “Hey Cortana”, followed by your question, you The early release was a bit clunky, lacked don’t need to pause for her to open. “Hey intuition (and humour) and didn’t really set the Cortana say something funny”. There’s no limit heather alight. However subsequent updates to what you can ask, you will always get an have brought huge improvements: she integrates answer, well, of sorts. with lots of Microsoft apps, syncs with other Personalise her further by going back into the devices and her voice recognition is very good. Notebook and add a 'place' by clicking on the If you are running Win 10 she really is a worthy pencil icon top left, then try ‘Manage skills’ and companion, but needs set up first. away you go. Ok, you can interact with Cortana by typing Cool? Wait until the future, when saying “Hey in the search box, bottom left on the taskbar. Cortana” will even be able to wake your PC from However it is the speech recognition that really sleep. brings her to life and for that you will need a Willie microphone… and to switch her voice activation 34 Pitlochry Life


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Murdo Fraser MSP - Mid Scotland & Fife Regional Member - Conservative I’d like to wish everyone in Pitlochry and Highland Perthshire a Merry Christmas and hope that readers are able to spend some time with friends and family over the festive period. There is always a buzz around Pitlochry during this season and visitors are still pouring into the town from across the UK and further afield. Christmas shopping can be worth up to a third of a small retailers annual turnover and I would encourage residents to continue to support their high streets and shop local over the festive period. Staying on this theme, I know many retailers will have put additional support from Government high on their Christmas wish list. Back in November, a report from PwC revealed that businesses were still exiting the high street at significant rates. This is nothing new, but this continuing trend is concerning for small towns like Pitlochry that have a high percentage of independent retailers. I firmly believe that we need to do more to support the sector. This includes a new tax structure to incentivise traditional bricks and mortar businesses whilst ensuring e-commerce retailers pay their fair share of tax. This is something that I will continue to do and make a priority of advocating for in 2019. In November, we commemorated 100 years since the end of the First World War. Nearly 150,000 Scots died in the Great War, and Perth and Kinross, which is home to the Black Watch, was significantly impacted by this conflict. This year I took part in a remembrance service at the Bowerwell Memorail Home in Perth and then a wreath-laying at the war memorial in Blairgowrie. The high turnout at such events underlines the tremendous strength of feeling and public support for our veterans. In December, I paid visit to our hard working posties at the Royal Mail depo in Perth. At this time of year Royal Mail handles over 130 million letters and parcels, and sorting offices across the country have to take on additional staff to meet demand. The last posting dates before Christmas is the 18th of December for second-class mail and the first of December for first-class post. I would encourage residents to send your cards and packages early to avoid any possible hold-ups or delays. Over the winter months I have also been encouraging residents to take easy steps to keep their home warm. This means making sure your boiler is serviced, using a carbon monoxide alarm and checking that central heating is working before the worst of the weather hits. I have also been encouraging residents to apply for smart meters that can help monitor energy usage in addition to using comparison websites to get the best tariff. When taken together these measures can help ensure homeowners pay less for their energy and have a trouble-free Christmas As ever Murdo appreciates the feedback of constituents and can be contacted at the Control Tower, Perth Airport, Scone, PH2 6PL or via email at or via telephone at 01738 553990.

John Swinney MSP - Perthshire North - SNP I would like to wish all readers happy Christmas when it comes. I hope that the winter won’t be as harsh as the last one. I welcome the news that local organisations - Locus Breadalbane Limited and Friends of Breadalbane Academy have been successful in applying for National Lottery funding. The groups have received a share of funding totalling £17,500 after applying to National Lottery Awards for All Scotland. I am delighted that these worthwhile groups are to receive funding. Both of these organisations play an important role in enriching their local community and I am sure that they will put their awards to good use. I would also encourage any eligible groups in the Highland Perthshire area to Continued on page 38 36 Pitlochry Life

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consider applying for National Lottery funding. National Lottery Awards for All Scotland gives groups a chance to apply for a National Lottery grant of between £300 and £10,000 for projects that aim to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. National Lottery Awards for All Scotland awards grants to community, arts and sports groups on behalf of Big Lottery Fund Scotland, Creative Scotland and sportscotland. Further information is available at I recently heard from Transport Scotland that they have updated the plans for the dualling of the A9 at Killiecrankie. Whilst the A9 dualling is an essential project for Scotland’s future, it is also important that we pay due respect to our past. Accordingly, I am pleased that efforts are being made to reduce land take on site of the Battle of Killiecrankie. Killiecrankie is a site of significant historical interest, and I am, therefore, hopeful that Transport Scotland will continue to engage with the local community in order to ensure that a satisfactory outcome can be reached for all parties. I recently visited the Corbenic Camphill Community to meet with staff, volunteers and residents of the community. The community, which was set up near Dunkeld 40 years ago, is comprised of approximately 100 people, 38 of whom are adults with special needs. Set in 100 acres of land, it is made up of six households and a variety of workshops. Residents live and work side by side with voluntary co-workers and employed staff. Corbenic Camphill Community is a Perthshire institution, which has enriched the lives of countless individuals for four decades. It is an organisation centred around faith, dignity and respect, which aims to nurture the individuality and talent of all those living within the community. I am delighted to be able to offer my support to such a worthwhile organisation and to meet those who are instrumental in its success. I will be holding surgeries in Highland Perthshire on Friday 14th December at the following times and places- The Locus Centre, Aberfeldy- 11am- 12 noon, The Atholl Centre, Pitlochry- 1pm-2pm, Birnam Arts Centre- 2.30pm-3.30pm. If any constituents wish to make an appointment or need to contact me, I can be reached by email at, you can call 01250 876 576 or write to 17-19 Leslie Street, Blairgowrie, PH10 6AH.

Pete Wishart MP - Perth & North Perthshire - SNP The school review process has been the defining feature of the council administration. As the second tranche of reviews gets up and running communities across Perth and Kinross remain concerned about the future of their schools. We know how important rural schools are to our fragile rural economy. For many people, the school is the hub of the community. It is where people gather to meet and in many of our communities, it is the only community meeting place left. When we are considering these closures, we mustn’t look simply at the school roll, or the condition of the building, we really should be considering what community good the facility also provides. With Schools like Pitlochry High School and Grandtully Primary on the line, it really is important that parent’s voices are heard loudly and clearly. I know that many options have been put forward by parents regarding the future of Pitlochry High and it is important that we take time to consider what will have the greatest chance of success to ensure that there is a high school in Pitlochry for generations to come. I would like to wish all readers a very merry Christmas when it comes. As ever, this has been an eventful year.

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John Swinney, Councillor Mike Williamson and I recently arranged a meeting with SSE, NFU Scotland, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, as well local tourism businesses, distilleries and hotels. The meeting was chaired by John and was used as a forum to discuss, around the table, challenges to their individual businesses and sectors, and to see if this married up to the experiences of other people in the room working in various backgrounds. Rural recruitment is a challenge that is affecting every line of work in the area, and it is, therefore, right that as a community we come together to try to solve some of these wider problems. Our meeting was positive and productive, and I am hopeful that we can continue co-operating for the benefit of Pitlochry as a whole. I was struck by the sense of community in the room, and the shared desire to see the town grow and prosper. What is absolutely clear, is that Pitlochry cannot afford any further service cuts. The loss of RBS was a body blow to the town, but any attempt to close Pitlochry High School will be rightly seen as an attack on the local community and have a chilling effect on young families moving to the area. This is not a problem that will be solved overnight, rather this is the first meeting of an ongoing process, but I am hopeful that over time meaningful action can be taken to help the businesses of Pitlochry. If any reader needs to contact me, I can be reached at 17-19 Leslie Street, Blairgowrie, PH10 6AH, by email at or by phone on 01250 876576.

John Duff - Councillor Highland Ward, Conservative As much of the country fell silent on Remembrance Day, just as the guns had 100 years previously, it was a privilege to represent Perth and Kinross Council at my local Service of Remembrance. The large turnout of members of the public at war memorials across the county and the country was testament to the debt of honour we owe our armed services over the last century and on into the next one. From now on, whenever I see a member of the army, navy or air force, I’m going to go over and say a quiet “Thank you”. The Council’s new £1.2 million Community Investment Fund has now opened for grant applications. If you are a constituted community group, Community Council, Parent Council, registered charity, social enterprise or similar, you may be eligible to apply for a grant between £3,000 and £50,000 to address inequalities in Highland Perthshire. These inequalities may be due to a wide range of reasons – age (young or old), disability, rural location, mental health, ability to access local services, language skills, employability, etc, etc. Each Council ward has a fund of £100,000 over two years and applications for the first £50,000 can be submitted up until 15th February 2019. Application forms and guidance notes can be found at together with a contact phone number and email address should you have any questions. The types of community-led project which the fund could be used to support are many – for example, community management of a local facility, making improvements to a community building, purchasing equipment for community use, running a community event or activity, community training programme. Remember, this fund is about tackling inequalities so your group will need to identify the inequality you want to tackle and explain how your project will make a difference to the community. Once the closing date is past, a local grants panel will assess the applications and put forward its priorities for the fund. The Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee will thereafter approve the selected applications and monies will be distributed before the end of March. You will have read that Etape Caledonia has been licenced for the next five years to a sports event company called Limelight. The Council has approved the transfer of the various road closure orders to Limelight. The new company representatives have met with local elected members and

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many of the Community Councils in Highland Perthshire. They have heard quite clearly the issues and concerns of the community and appear willing to listen and act on these concerns and to have much improved communication and engagement with local residents and businesses. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all residents, businesses and visitors within Highland Perthshire a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous and healthy New Year. I hope we can all find time to enjoy a nice, relaxing family time over the Christmas season. As always, I would be delighted to hear from constituents on any matter and can be contacted on, Office Tel: 01738 475095 or Mobile: 07826 908542.

Xander McDade - Councillor Highland Ward, Independent November saw the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting in the Great War. This was supposed to be a war to end all wars, and sadly despite the devastating loss of life if did not achieve that hope. It is therefore more important than ever that we take time out of our busy lives to come together and remember those who gave their lives so that we may have the freedoms we enjoy today. Across Highland Perthshire there was, as there always is, a good turnout on Remembrance Sunday, and I was honoured to represent the Council at the ceremony in Pitlochry. There were also a number of special projects locally linked to remembrance. In Pitlochry, the Churches Working Together in Atholl Group knitted over a thousand poppies - which were displayed by the War Memorial for the Remembrance service before being included in an exhibition at the theatre. I was also very pleased to attend the opening of the reflection garden in Aberfeldy as part of the regeneration project of the Lower Birks - a fantastic initiative by the local Move2Improve group. November also saw the first informal consultations of the school estate review of Pitlochry High School, Logierait Primary and Grandtully Primary. There has been a huge demonstration of community support for these schools and for anyone who has not managed to make it along to one of the informal consultations you can still have your say by emailing or writing to the Council or using an online survey on the Councils website. At the Parent Council and the local councillors request there will be one final session for Pitlochry High School that will be held in Blair Atholl Village Hall on Thursday 6th December 2018 between 3:30pm – 7:30pm. Anyone is free to attend and all members of the community are encouraged to engage in the consultation. At the October Lifelong Learning Committee I raised concerns about the attainment levels across Perth & Kinross, particularly in relation to children who have been in care. The Councils Digital Strategy for Education and Childrens’ Services was also presented at the Committee. I asked the Council to speed up the implementation of new technologies, particularly things like video conferencing which would allow us to expand our subject choice across Perth & Kinross, especially in our rural areas. I also encouraged the Council to open up its schools in rural areas after the school day has finished to allow young people studying to utilise the resources and internet facilities within school buildings. I expressed my view that the Council also needs to get better at quickly repurposing former school buildings for other uses of benefit to the local community - such as for affordable housing or community venues where appropriate - and I was given reassurances that this is being looked at. My December surgeries will be held on Saturday 15th, in Pitlochry Council Offices between 9:3010:10, in Blair Atholl Village Hall between 10:30-11:00, and in Breadalbane Community Campus between 11:30-12:10. No appointment necessary. As always I can be contacted on 01738 475028 or I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2019! 42 Pitlochry Life

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Pitlochry Library At the library this month we have a special autumn community morning. We also have a monthly Bookbug session for under 5s and a weekly fraud prevention and online security drop-in. Simply come along or get in touch if you have any questions. Fraud Prevention and Online Security Drop-in – every Thursday 14.30 – 16.00. Join Alec James, Community Banker for The Royal Bank of Scotland for help and advice about fraud prevention and online security at these free drop-in sessions at the library. Bookbug sessions – 10.30-11.00am (last Friday of the month). This is an under 5s activity session with songs, rhymes and stories. ICT facilities As well as events and activities at the library we also have PCs available for public access, as well as Wi-fi, printing, and scanning facilities. e-resources We have a full complement of e-resources including e-books, e-audio books and e-magazines. We also have e-reference resources which include Britannica, SCRAN, Theory Test PRO and Ancestry. All of these resources and instructions on how to download them are available from the Culture Perth and Kinross website ( On the website it is also possible to view the entire library catalogue, as well as requesting and renewing books. To make things even easier you can also download the library app. Books on Prescription As well as our extensive range of fiction and non-fiction books, we also offer Books on Prescription and on wellbeing to support various health and wellbeing needs. Books on Wheels For individuals who are unable to get out and about to visit the library we are able to offer a monthly home delivery of books in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS). This includes books in large print and audio formats. Recycling and dog waste bags Did you know that you can drop off your used stamps and batteries at the library for recycling? And you can pick up dog waste bags too. Pitlochry Library, Atholl Road, Pitlochry PH16 5BX Phone: 01796 474635 E-mail: Culture Perth and Kinross Libraries are part of a charitable trust. We enrich the lives of people in Perth and Kinross through culture, heritage, learning and creativity. Help us inspire people to lead richer and more active lives – donate online or in person at your local library.

Pitlochry Litter Action Group (part of Pitlochry in Bloom) Visitors come to Pitlochry in winter partly because it is an attractive place. Litter and dog poo on the streets do not give a good impression of our lovely town to the visitors so do join our friendly litterpicking team for the monthly clean-up. All equipment is provided including gloves and grabbers. Litterpicks take place on the second Tuesday of the month and we meet at 10.0am in the Recreation Ground carpark. The next litterpick is on december 11th. The dates for litterpicks in Continued on page 46 44 Pitlochry Life

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2019 are as follows: January 8th, February 12th, March 12th, April 9th, May 14th, June 11th, July 9th, August 13th, September 10th, October 8th, November 12th and December 10th. For further information contact Roger West ( 01796 474255 or Catherine Holmes ( 01796 473400.

Pitlochry Path Group Contact Jeannie on 07788 190876 or Frank on 07775 792279 for details of date, task and location. We are a small group of volunteers always looking for new members to assist in keeping the path network in and around Pitlochry in a good condition. All tools, material and tea/ coffee provided.

Pitlochry & District U3A U3A stands for University of the Third Age, a world-wide organisation for people who are no longer in full-time employment, with no lower age for membership. There are hundreds of U3As throughout the UK. Sometimes perhaps people are put off by the “U” part of U3A, thinking that there are formal classes; there are no classes, no teachers, and everything we learn or participate in is organised by ourselves. Don't be put off by the “3A” part; we are all older than we were but we have experience and skills that we’ve gained during our first and second ages, ready to share. For more information, get in touch with Meg Ross: or 01796 483281.

Heartland Film Society at the Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy Sunday 9 December 2018 6.00pm: The Other Side of Hope Wikström, a former travelling sales rep embarks on a new career as a restaurant owner. He befriends Khaled, a young Syrian refugee and the two help each other to navigate the unfamiliar and often baffling new worlds they encounter. Kaurasmäki’s humane comedy, full of hilarious sight gags, poker-faced one liners and a toe-tapping rockabilly soundtrack, offers us a bittersweet tale of human kindness in the face of official indifference. Winner of Silver Bear in Berlin for Best Director. 2017 Finland 100 min Cert 12A Dir: Aki Kaurasmäki . Information and online booking or phone 01887 822845. Anyone is welcome to HFS screenings. Become a member any time for just £10.00 / £5 for 15-18 year olds and get 12 months of reduced prices on all HFS films at The Birks plus free DVD loans of HFS films and all the benefits of belonging to a friendly film society. and Facebook ….talking of which Season’s Greetings to all and a very Happy film filled New Year!

Could you be a host for HOST? Would you be interested in hosting a student from overseas for three days at Christmas or New Year or for weekends at other times during the year? Through the charity HOST UK we have hosted two students for each of the last few Christmases and found them all delightful. They have come from Taiwan, Sri Lanka, America, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong and other places. Most of

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them have been post graduates studying for a year at Scottish Universities. Without exception they have been intelligent and interesting and always willing to help in the house. The Christmas and New Year periods are difficult for these students who are living in University accommodation a long way from home. They really appreciate our hospitality and we enjoy having them. The HOST organisers seem to be very good at matching host and students for interests and pastimes. If you would like to know more please contact Catherine and Andrew Holmes 01796 473400 or or leave a message on

Aberfeldy Gaelic Choir Quartet Success At the Royal National Mod held last month in Dunoon, four members of Aberfeldy Gaelic Choir hit the high notes with their quartet, Buidheann. Competing against keen opposition from across Scotland, the four – Gilliain MacDonald, Mairi Simmons, John Duff and David Morton – sang the choir’s arrangement of Soraidh (pronounced ‘sorry’ which means Farewell) and walked away with a clean sweep of the three trophies up for grabs – the Iain Crighton Trophy for highest marks in Gaelic, the Marshall Stormonth Trophy for highest marks in music and the Stornonway Gaelic Choir Cup as overall winners. Aberfeldy Gaelic Choir also did well coming second in its main competition, the Margrat Duncan Memorial Trophy and a very creditable xth in the Puirt a Beul. Next year’s National Mod will be in Glasgow followed by Perth in 2021. Photograph - Graham Hood Photography: L to R: John Duff, Gilliain MacDonald, Mairi Simmons and David Morton at Dunoon, with their three trophies.

GrowBiz – Enterprising Rural Perthshire GrowBiz provides a community-based enterprise support service throughout rural Perthshire. Our ‘Enterprising Rural Perthshire’ programme, with funding support from LEADER* provides support to anyone who is considering becoming self-employed or starting (or growing) a small business or social enterprise. This is regardless of your age or experience – in fact, it works right across the community to include people from all backgrounds and sectors All of our services are free and confidential. These include 1-1 meetings, peer support, learning sessions, mentoring, training and networking opportunities. If you are thinking of starting an enterprise, or expanding an existing business, in rural Perthshire, more information is available at the GrowBiz website: Or email on to find out more, or make an appointment. We regularly hold Learning Sessions on a range of topics, as well as networking events, throughout Perthshire. Our events are informal and relaxed and anyone is welcome to attend regardless of where you are based in Perthshire – and whether you already run a business, have just started up, or are only at the stage of thinking about it. GrowBiz celebrates becoming Scotland's first officially accredited Business Mentoring Programme We are delighted that our award-winning business mentoring programme has become the first in Scotland to achieve the Scottish Mentoring Network Quality Standard. The mentoring programme

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Pitlochry Life 53

also received a number of awards at the conference, including the Scottish Mentoring Network’s Business Project of the Year 2018 - the third year in a row that the programme has received this award. GrowBiz mentoring coordinator and enterprise facilitator Clair Smith received a highly commended award in the employee category and GrowBiz client Emma Arblaster was highly commended in the mentor category. For further information on the mentoring programme please contact Clair Smith on We wish all of our clients, partners and supporters a very Merry Christmas, and an Enterprising New Year - If you are thinking about setting up or expanding a business in rural Perthshire, make it your New Year's Resolution to get in touch with us! Follow us on social media for news and updates - Facebook (@GrowBizPerthshire) and Twitter (@ Grow_Biz) – you can also sign up to our Newsletters on the website. * The Enterprising Rural Perthshire project is supported by the Rural Perth and Kinross LEADER Programme 2014-2020: The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas. For more on LEADER go to

Pitlochry Station Bookshop If December seems a bit frantic, please remember that the Bookshop can offer an oasis of calm as well as solving some gift problems. One of the attractions of a second-hand bookshop is that you can find unexpected volumes which have long disappeared from the shelves of town book stores and will delight a reader because of their rarity. We will be working beyond the shop in December, too. We shall have a stall at the Pitlochry Christmas Festival on Saturday 1st December and we will follow that with our own Bookshop Christmas Fair at Pitlochry Festival Theatre on Tuesday 18th December from 12 noon until 4.30pm. Our Bookshop Gift Vouchers are on sale at £5 each and would make an excellent gift. They do not have to be spent all at once and can be exchanged in £1 segments. So one voucher can produce five books; an excellent return for a small gift. Over the Festive Season we shall be closed from Monday 24th until Wednesday 26th December (inclusive) and from Monday 31st December until Wednesday 2nd January (also inclusive). As always, each penny you spend with us goes to our six charities. Happy Christmas.

Vale of Atholl Pipe Band It was with great delight that on Tuesday 23rd October, Graham Clark, the managing Director of Land Rover Experience Scotland came to our band practice in Pitlochry High School to announce the sponsorship from LRES to help the band with a teaching and development programme, starting from the learners taking them through the stages to competing and through the different Grades in the band. This is great news for the band and we have got some more tutors on board. I’m sure we’ll have happy times ahead with LRES. Remembrance Day started early with pipers playing “The Battle’s Over” at 6am as part of a Nation’s Tribute. We had pipers playing all over the country, then just before 11am we led the Continued on page 56 54 Pitlochry Life

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British Legion and youth organisations to the Pitlochry War Memorial. It was a lovely service, with a very large turn out and it kept dry! We’d just like to thank the Pitlochry Bowling Club for our lovely soup and crusty bread. It’s always greatly appreciated after the march up the hill and it heats us up nicely!! The children entertained us on the pipes for the “Sandy Spence Chanter trophy” and this year it was won by Wallace Mackie, a young piper from Madderty. On 30th November we head down to the Britannia (again) and Beat the Retreat at 11pm and the following day, the 1st December, we play at the Aberfeldy Christmas Lights in the morning and the Pitlochry Christmas Lights in the afternoon. We’ll also be having our usual fundraising stall in Pitlochry all day on the Saturday so please look out for us!!! Then it’s off down to Perth on the Sunday to play at the St. Andrew’s Day celebrations down there. Who said it gets quieter in the winter……. And before we know it, we’ll be celebrating Hogmanay and playing at the New Year Street Party on the 1st January. If you would like to learn to play the pipes or drums, (primary 3 upwards) the practices are held during term times in Pitlochry High School. Please contact either the Grade 4 Pipe major, Ross McNaughton on or me on details below. Wishing you all a very merry Christmas, when it comes and a “Happy New Year!!!” Gillie McNab 07733152223

Edradour Pitlochry & Blair Atholl Pipe Band The band were very honoured to lead the 100 year anniversary Remembrance Day Parade with the Atholl Highlanders to the short service at the War Memorial in Blair Atholl. Many thanks to all the parents, committee, Atholl Highlanders and the local community who contributed food and refreshments back at the village hall, it was great to see so many people there. Next month we will be playing at the Senior Citizens Christmas party at the Atholl Arms Hotel. We have 4 magnificent Christmas Hampers this year and tickets are only £1, on sale from any committee or band member. We will make the draw at our last practice before Christmas. If you require any further information on the band or our practices on a Wednesday night, please contact Pipe Major Christy Kelly 01796 472692 or Secretary Claire Scott 01796 481456.

Heartland FM Our official new studio opening was marked on the 26th of October, when Deputy First Minister John Swinney cut the ribbon of our new facilities. During a live interview he recollected the times he opened the original studio at The Curling Rink, the move to Alba Place, and completed the hat trick of openings at Atholl Road. He said that those who set up the station, which broadcast only part time, would never imagined 26 years later we would be broadcasting 24 hours a day, and could be heard around the world via the internet. He also complimented the new studio facilitates as being better than some of the BBC studios he had been in recently. Our open evening on November the 1st at the Atholl Centre in Pitlochry, gave us an opportunity to showcase our highlights from the last few months. We provided music and entertainment before the Pitlochry Fireworks on the 5th of November. Heartland FM will be broadcasting Live from the Christmas Market , on the 1st of December from the front of Cafe Calluna. We have launched our winter schedule with Bruce Patterson taking over

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Walk With Me…

Pitlochry Fish Ladder and around Loch Faskally. Distance - 3.25 miles. Time - 1.5 - 2 hours. Ascent - 100m, with some steps. This is a good family walk with children and perfect for a dry chilly day. It is over well defined paths and some minor roads with lots to see and some stunning scenery along the way. Take some bread to feed the ducks. The walk starts in Pitlochry’s main street (Atholl Road) at Ferry Road, this is lowest point in the main street where you will see Victoria’s on the corner. Turn down Ferry Road, past Fern Cottage, under the railway bridge and follow the road as it curves left. You will then pass the sports field and turn down a path, on the left, sign-posted for the Festival Theatre and Fish Ladder, then cross the bouncy Port-na-Craig suspension bridge, where the kids can count the ‘love-locks’. (Port-na-Craig means ferry by the rock, see if the kids can spot the rock) Over the bridge turn right past Portnacraig Inn, the Festival Theatre will be above you on the left. The Explorer’s Garden is at the rear of the car park at the entrance to the theatre. Keep on this minor road, pass the Theatre and you will come to the hydro-electric dam which has created Loch Faskally. There is a fantastic new visitor centre here as well as observation chambers for the salmon ladder which allows the fish to swim upstream through a number of tunnels to bypass the dam. If lucky, you might see one pass through. An electronic counter records how many fish pass through each year and is usually in excess of 4,000. Climb up the steps next to the fish ladder to the top of the dam, then keep left up a few more steps to start the path around Loch Faskally. Soon head right at a fork to some steps down to the shore and follow the clear path. At one point you will go down steps, cross a bridge and climb a longer flight of steps up the other side. The path now climbs away from the water towards the A9. Stay in the woods and you will pass a house at Balmore before emerging onto a minor road. Turn right there and follow 58 Pitlochry Life

this road downhill, under the A9 bridge then immediately turn right down a path leading to a footbridge signposted for the Boating Station. Over the bridge turn right to follow the path around the other side of the Loch. You will soon reach the Boating Station, don’t forget to feed the ducks before heading up the road, back towards Pitlochry, passing the Green Park Hotel on the right. Then take the next right, Lagreach Brae (a new housing estate) where in the bottom right corner there is a signed path on the right that leads back down to the loch and the dam. Always keep to the main path near the water and ignore any other paths and tracks coming in from the left. Go through a gap in the fence and down steps towards the dam. Cross the minor road, climb steps on the far side and continue through woodland. The path emerges onto grass and then continues between the river and some houses before reaching the path leading down to the suspension bridge with the padlocks. Turn left here and retrace your steps back to the main street.

For more walks, keep an eye on our website at


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the Breakfast Show 6am to 10am over the winter period, allowing us to react immediately to any winter weather issues and broadcast disruption immediately. Myself, Alistair Smith, will move to doing a live programme 10am - 1pm, bringing you music, competitions and interviews. We have a pilot programme on Health and Well Being planned for early December, and hopefully this will develop into a 52 week series in the New Year, The Badger and Graham Howie will be live from 1pm to 4pm. Our New Christmas Song Celebration will be broadcast before the Christmas Holidays with all the Primary Schools in Highland Perthshire taking part. Once broadcast, we will add them to our website so you can hear the songs when friends and family visit over the Festive Period. We are looking for people to help us with programme production for our new Health and Well Being series, and anyone who would like to write stories and articles for our new online magazine for 2019. Please get in touch with myself via email, alistair@heartlandfm. I hope will be able to catch some of programmes over the Festive Period. Have a very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year from all the team at Heartland FM.

Pitlochry Bowling Club A Happy Christmas and a good New Year to all our members, friends and families and all potential members whom we hope will be joining us in droves ready for next season. Until our opening day in April 2019 you can join and play short mat bowls in the clubhouse or enjoy a game of darts, dominoes or bingo or just come along for a drink and a chat. Why not try it, or if you are looking for a special Christmas present what about a gift subscription? Special events during the winter will be publicised in the clubhouse once the dates are fixed. You can contact us or get further information on any of these numbers: 01796473459, 01796472226, 07703442802 or 07483246936

6th Annual Christmas Tree Festival 2018 Pitlochry Church of Scotland 1 - 2 December 2018 Saturday 1st December 10.00am – 4.00pm, Sunday 2nd December 2.00 – 4.00pm Carol Concert Sunday 2nd December at 6.30pm At Pitlochry Church of Scotland we will again be holding our popular Christmas Tree Festival. A Christmas Tree Festival is our invitation for local businesses, voluntary organisations, charities, families and individuals to provide a real or artificial Christmas Tree which they also decorate in a way which advertises or promotes their interests or a particular Charity. The Trees will all be displayed inside Pitlochry Church of Scotland over a period of two days. There will be a Christmas Carol Concert on the evening of 2nd December to celebrate the end of the Festival and reveal the winner of the Best Tree Competition and details of the monies raised for our Charity Partners: ‘Help for Heroes’, supporting serving and veteran members of the Armed Forces and their families; and ‘Penumbra’, one of Scotland’s largest mental health charities, working to promote mental health and wellbeing for all, prevent mental ill health for people who are ‘at risk’, and to support people with mental health problems. Come along and visit the church and enjoy what should be a magical, colourful, interesting and Continued on page 62 60 Pitlochry Life

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R.W.Bell provide a complete Project Management Service for all projects big and small. We provide ALL trades required to fulfil your dream project. Extensions Renovations & Refurbishments Conservatories Roof & Leadworks Loft Conversions Velux window installation Garages & Outbuildings Kitchens Bathrooms Rewires Renewable Technologies TV & Satellite Installations Electrical & Plumbing Installations Decoration, Tiling & Plastering or call us today 01796 472263 Pitlochry Life 61

innovative display of decorated Christmas trees, all illustrating different themes captivating the hearts and imaginations of children and adults alike. In the Church of Scotland Tryst, there will be a Festival Craft and Produce Market, Refreshments, and Children’s Crafts, on Saturday from 10.00am – 4.00pm.Santa will be dropping in for a visit too! Find out more at Or contact: The Tryst Office, Church Road, Pitlochry, PH16 5EB. Office hours 9.00am – 1.00pm Tel: 01796 474010.

Pitlochry New Year Street Party 2019 Well, we are getting close now to the Annual New Year Street Party on 1st January The fun starts at 1pm and ends at 4pm. The organisers have been working on it for some time already especially as this is the 20th Anniversary Party. This regular feature in Pitlochry’s calendar is mainly funded by the sale of raffle tickets, and when these go on sale in December, we’d encourage all Pitlochry residents to buy their share of tickets to ensure the success once again of this wonderful event which brings so many visitors to the town. Local businesses have been staunch supporters of this raffle, and the prizes seem to get better each year. Outstanding prizes again for this year. We also rely on local people to volunteer their support on the day as stewards, ticket sellers, mulled wine & soft drink dispensers etc. It’s vital that we have enough volunteers on hand to cope with everything needs to be done, and anyone who can help should please contact Cathy Joss (01796473987 ) or Calum Maclellan (01796 472123). Facebook page: @PitlochryNewYearStreetParty

Neighbourhood Watch News, December 2018 Security over the Festive Season Your local Neighbourhood Watch would like to remind you about some basic measure which could be taken to ensure safety of your self, home & possessions over the Christmas & New Year period. Whether you’re out Christmas shopping, enjoying a festive night out, or at home, these salient points should be considered:• When you’re out for the evening make sure someone knows where you are going and when you’ll be home • Avoid walking home alone and never with someone you don’t know • Drink responsibly and arrange for a member of your group to be a designated driver • Never get into an unlicensed taxi • Don’t leave presents under your Christmas tree if they are visible from windows or doors • Keys should always be kept out of sight and not left in doors or in view of windows • Make your house look occupied, use a timer switch to operate lamps as it starts to get dark • Never keep large amounts of cash in your home • Shopping with children? Make sure they learn to go to a store assistant or security guard if you get separated • If you have presents in the car, keep them out of view in the boot, lock car and keep receipts with you.

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• Don’t leave your car unattended and unlocked whilst defrosting • Remember to look out for vulnerable neighbours and support your neighbourhood by keeping footpaths / access routes, snow and ice free Have a safe Festive Season! Your local Neighbourhood Watch If You wish to be added to the NW e-mail distribution list to receive regular updates please contact NW secretary, Cathy Marshall on 01796 470575 or

Pitlochry Ladies Club Our Christmas Dinner will be on Wednesday 5th December at Scotland's Hotel at 7.00 pm - please remember your Secret Santa. Members will have booked and paid Nancy by now. The Club would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas when it comes. Then on Wednesday 9th January, again at Scotland's Hotel at 7.00pm, we will have our Beetle Drive. The cost of this evening will be £12, which includes a light supper with coffee to follow. The charity we are now supporting is Marie Curie and there will be a raffle in aid of it. We are a sociable friendly club, new members are very welcome at any time. For more information, call Carol MacGill (Chairman) on 01796 473026 or Lynda Gardiner (Secretary) on 01796 472157. This winter, to help with catering arrangements, members are requested to let Nancy Tamblin (07813 539882, know no later than the Monday before the meeting if they are intending to come to a meeting - other than the Christmas Dinner which should have been booked and paid for at the November meeting.

Cards for Good Causes Thanks again to Cafe Biba, Pitlochry, Cards for Good Causes will be selling Christmas cards and goods from Tuesday 6th November until Friday 14th December. Opening times are Monday to Saturday 10am - 4 pm and Sunday 1pm - 4pm.

Local Christmas Card Delivery Service – December 2018 It’s always nice to get a card and even better if it helps a good cause. The local Christmas card delivery service helps raise funds to keep our Senior Citizens’ Bus on the road. We will be at Victoria’s Restaurant on: Monday 10th to Thursday 13th December: 10am to 4pm and Friday 14th December: 10am to 11.30am Local volunteers will sort and deliver your cards in and around Pitlochry, from Greengates to Aldour; Kinnaird to Port-na-Craig; Donavourd, Croftinloan, West & East Haugh, Dalshian, Dalcapon; and the Logierait-Dunfallandy Rd (including Murray Terrace). The suggested donation is 25p per card. We look forward to seeing you with your greetings cards at Victoria’s. Continued on page 66 64 Pitlochry Life

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Blair Atholl Senior Citizens Christmas Party The party will be held on Monday 10th December in The Atholl Arms Hotel at 6.00pm for 6:30pm Any resident of Blair Atholl, of retirement age, is welcome to attend (women 60, men 65). Please contact any member of the committee if you wish to attend. Transport is provided to and from venue. Mairi Macleod 481220, Janet Murdoch 481265.

Pitlochry Senior Citizens Bus Wednesday Shopping Trips The bus operates a shopping trip to Pitlochry Coop Store on Wednesday mornings of each week throughout the year. Passengers are collected from and returned to their own homes. Fare £1.00 For further details please call our Driver Coordinator, Ian Moyes, on 01796 472425. Volunteer Drivers Required To maintain and develop the service we provide to local senior citizens we wish to increase our pool of volunteers to drive our Mercedes Minibus. We operate seven days a week all year round taking our passengers to club and society meetings, shopping trips locally and to Perth, to Church, to the local day care centre, and on many trips and social gatherings. If you have a few hours to spare each month and have a clean driving licence, why not join our team. Full training will be given. Please call Ian Moyes, Driver Coordinator (01796 472425) or Sandy MacGill, Secretary (01796 473026) for more details.

The Enchanted Forest Confirms Record Visitors and Charitable Contribution The Enchanted Forest has confirmed that just over 80,000 visitors attended this year’s sold-out show, which closed on Sunday, November 4, a 9% increase on the previous record-breaking year. Event organisers have also announced that its three official charity partners - Birks Cinema Trust, Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland and Blairgowrie Riding for the Disabled - have each received a donation of £5000. This year’s show Of the Wild captured the public’s imagination around the globe with international visitors one of the fastest growing audience segments. International visitor numbers have jumped from around 0.97% of audience share in 2014 to 2.97% of audience share in 2018, and with more than 85% citing the event as a reason for travelling to Scotland, they represented more than 28 different countries. It is estimated that The Enchanted Forest’s impact on the local tourism economy is around £3 million per annum with around 55.6% of visitors to the event this year choosing to stay overnight in the area on their visit and over 93.7% citing the event as their main reason for visiting the area this Autumn. The sound and light spectacular released a record 80,000 tickets for its extended five-week run Continued on page 68 66 Pitlochry Life

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from October 4 until November 4 and, as has almost become the norm, again broke all previous box office records and sold out midway through the show’s run. Ian Sim, chairman of The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, which operates the event, said: “Once again The Enchanted Forest Community Trust, the charity that runs The Enchanted Forest, is completely blown away by the response to the event. We’re delighted it has smashed yet another of its own box office records. This is very much an event run by the community of Highland Perthshire and the team behind it are really exceptional, from the creative team who devise the concept, our show producer Zoe Squair and brilliant operations team to the stewards who stand out in the woods night after night for five weeks. The Enchanted Forest’s success is testimony to their hard work and commitment to providing a top quality family-friendly experience for our thousands of customers.” The Enchanted Forest returns in 2019, tickets are available at

Rotary Club of Pitlochry Over many years the Rotary Club of Pitlochry has built up a close relationship with Pitlochry High School. Every year the club pays for scholarships to send two pupils on a week of outdoor activities to help them develop leadership qualities. Our art competition for Primary and Secondary pupils with its exhibition at the Atholl Centre is a well established part of club and school life. Club members assist the school in providing interview and work experience for senior pupils and in more recent times our Young Chef competition has helped many pupils to develop confidence as well as culinary skills. Our members were therefore seriously concerned to discover that the Secondary Department is under threat of closure. We are very aware that the school is at the heart of the community and as a community organisation we are very aware of the school’s pivotal role in helping our young people to identify with Pitlochry and the neighbouring villages. If our youngsters are moved away at such a young age that continuity will be lost. As a club we are always greatly impressed by the calibre of our youngsters and the sterling work which is being done at the school. If the Secondary were to close it would be a disaster for the whole Atholl area and in particular for our Rotary Club. One of the main priorities of the Rotary movement is to support young people in cultural and sporting activities. It was with this in mind that the Pitlochry Rotary Club, in conjunction with Pitlochry Golf Course, placed a bucket by the burn on the 18th hole on the course and invited golfers whose ball landed in the burn to make a contribution. As a result the Rotary club was delighted to hand over a cheque for £350 to Pitlochry Golf Club at their AGM in order to support their work with junior players. The picture shows Dougal Spaven the Vice-Chairman of the Rotary Club handing over the cheque to Roger Haworth and Duncan Munro the outgoing and incoming Captains of the Golf Club.

Isobel McLauchlan of Abbeyfield, Pitlochry Would like to wish all friends a Happy & Prosperous 2019 xxx Continued on page 70 68 Pitlochry Life

This Month’s Tricky Sudoko 5


How to play............


1 6




3 9


6 8

7 7





3 5





Fill the grid so that every row, column and every 3 x 3 box contains the numbers 1 through to 9 with no repetition. That’s all there is to it! Use reasoning and logic to solve the puzzle - there’s no maths or adding up. Look carefully for what numbers can go where and with a little practice it will get easier!

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Pitlochry Baptist Church Pastor: Rev David Barrie ( Youth Pastor: Rev Ken Naquin ( Church Office: 01796 470411 For more information, check out our website at and keep up-to-date with us on Facebook and Instagram Sundays: We have a full young people’s programme every Sunday from 11am. Coffee & Cake, Tea & Biscuits afterwards. Special Advent Events Sunday 2nd 11.00am - 1st Sunday in Advent when John Greenshields will preach on ‘Bethlehem: a place of Generosity.’ Sunday 9th 11.00am - 2nd Sunday in Advent when our pastor will explore ‘Bethlehem: a place of Anointing.’ 6.00pm - Service of Hope. A contemplative service, especially for those experiencing grief of sadness this Christmas season. Sunday 16th 11.00am - Church Family Nativity. Revisit and renew the wonder at the birth of Jesus as we retell the story together. Sunday 23rd 11.00am - 4th Sunday in Advent when our pastor will look at ‘Bethlehem: a place of Prophecy.’ 6.00pm - Christingle Family Service. Bringing together people of all ages. This wonderful festive celebrations tells the story of God’s love for us all. Monday 24th 11.15pm - Watch-night Service. Our joint service with and hosted at Pitlochry Church of Scotland. Live on HeartlandFM. Tuesday 25th 10.00am - Christmas Day Celebration. Celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas morning. Together till 10:40am. Sunday 30th 11.00am - Church Family Service led by Josh and Becky Deeks. Regular Events 5-a-sides Football - Tuesdays 7:30pm in the Atholl Leisure Centre. Contact Giles 07940716396. Friendship Hour – last Monday of the month at 2.15pm in the Aldour Hall. 10th Dec - John Greenshields ‘Christmas Special’. Contact Val on 473742. James Court Service - 4pm. Third Sunday of the month in James Court. Contact Maureen on 472004. Prayer Gatherings - Sundays 10am & 7pm. Wednesdays 7am. Contact Martin on 473085. Small Groups - Our small groups are designed to complement our gathered worship events and aim to be missional communities providing a place for people to belong. Contact Debbie on 473085. Sounds Inspirational – Tuesdays 7pm, repeated Thursdays 8pm. HeartlandFM 97.5 and online at 'Stay and Play' babies and toddlers group – Mondays & Wednesdays 10am-12pm. Contact Ken on 470261. WA (Welcome All) Soup Lunch. Friday’s from 12pm. Held in the Centre behind our church Continued on page 72 70 Pitlochry Life


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building. There is a £3 cost for the lunch. All Welcome. Contact Maureen on 472004. Youth Club - Last Friday of the month 6.00pm in PBC. For P4-P7. Expect lots of fun, invite friends and plan to come along! Contact Ken on 470261. Youth Group Gatherings - Dinner first Wednesday of the month at the Atholl Centre from 7-8:30pm. We also have various secondary aged small groups that gather during the week exploring the Christian faith and enjoying life together. Please contact Ken on 470261 for info about joining the group.

Scottish Episcopal Church - A Warm and Inclusive Welcome to All Rector: The Reverend Liz Baker 01796 472005: Email: Website: Facebook Page Holy Trinity Church, Perth Road, Pitlochry Contact - Mike Sharp - 01796 472214 Christmas 2018 17th – 24th December 10.00am – Morning Prayer. 9.00am on 23rdDecember 23rd December – 9.30am -All Age Communion with blessing of the Christmas Crib and Breakfast 23rd December – 7.00pm, A Victorian Christmas, step into a feast of popular Carols, Readings and Poems from the Victorian Era, with mulled wine and mince pies. Raising funds for Crisis in Scotland - Together we will end Homelessness. 25th December – 9.30am, All Age Christmas Communion (bring your presents) 30th December – 10.30 Holy Communion (a joint charge service) Kilmaveonaig (St Adamnan’s Church), opposite the Tilt Hotel, Blair Atholl. Contact - Mrs. Lavinia Gordon 01796 481230. Christmas 2018 23rd December – 4.00pm Service of 7 lessons and carols 24th December – 4.00pm A Christingle Service for the whole family. 25th December – 11.15am All Age Christmas Communion (bring your gifts) St Andrew's, Church, Strathtay, opposite the local shop. Contact - Ms. Lesley Whitwood 01887 840416 Christmas 2018 23rd December – 11.15am A service of 9 Lessons and carols 24th December – 5.00pm A Christingle Service for the whole family 24th December – 11.30pm Midnight Mass 25th December – 11.15am Christmas Communion (by Extension) All Saints' Church, Kinloch Rannoch Square Contact – Mrs. Rose de Sales La Terriere 01882 632314 or Mrs. Anne Pealing 01882 6342592 Christmas 2018 17th December – 2.15pm Christingle 25th December – 10.30am Joint with Church of Scotland 72 Pitlochry Life

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Pitlochry Church of Scotland Minister: Rev Mary Haddow (01796 472774) Website: Sunday Services – 10.30am. We invite you to join us, whether you live locally or are just visiting the area. Our services combine the traditional with the contemporary. Worship begins with a warm welcome, followed by a mix of music and words, ancient and modern. Refreshments are served in The Tryst after the service, please do join us. Tryst for prayer: We meet weekly for prayer time at 10.00am on Wednesdays in The Tryst. Prayers are offered for local, national and international situations. Please join us, or pass on prayer requests to the minister after a Sunday service, or email her at:, or drop a note in to the Church marked - ‘For Prayer’. Every personal situation is held in strictest confidence. Coffee and chat: Every Wednesday, at 10.30am, we serve tea, coffee and biscuits in The Tryst Lounge; a time to relax, catch up with friends and neighbours, and to meet new people. Everyone welcome – locals and visitors alike. We meet until December 12th, and then again, after Christmas from January 9th 2019. Tryst Talents Group: Meet every 1st, 3rd & 5th Wednesdays of the month, in The Tryst Lounge. Come along to The Tryst for creativity and fellowship, at 10.30am. Church Choir: Rehearsals are held every Wednesday at 6.25 pm in The Tryst Hall. Scottish Country Dancing: Classes are held, every Tuesday from 7.30pm, in The Tryst Hall. Table Tennis: The group meet weekly, in The Tryst, on Thursdays, from 2.00 until 4.00pm. Tryst Walking Group: See details of our walks on The Tryst Notice Board. Balhousie: A short service of worship takes place at Balhousie Care Home at 3pm, 1st Sunday of the month, with refreshments and a time to chat. James Court: Services of worship will be held in the residents’ Lounge at James Court, at 4 pm, every 1st Sunday of the month. Tea and coffee will follow each service. The Guild invite all to their Christmas Celebration, in The Tryst, on Wednesday 12 December, at 2.30pm. with Dunkeld Handbell Ringers. Saturday 1 December 10.00am – 4.00pm. Christmas Tree Festival + Craft Stalls & Refreshments. Sunday 2 December 2.00pm – 4.00pm. Christmas Tree Festival. Carol Concert in the church 6.30pm. A weekend of Festivity to raise funds for ‘Help for Heroes’ and ‘Penumbra 24/7’. Wednesday 12 December 2.30pm. The Guild meet in The Tryst Lounge. Come and join in with Festive spirit, with Dunkeld Handbell Ringers. Christmas Services: Wednesday 19 December 3.30pm. Quiet Service in The Tryst Lounge. A time set apart for peace & reflection, away from the expectations & busyness of the season. Monday 24 December – Christmas Eve 6.30pm. All Age Christingle Service. Celebrate the arrival of Christ the Light of the World. (Bring a Christingle, or a candle in a holder) 11.15pm Carols before 11.30p.m. Watch Night Service. Our joint service with the Pitlochry Baptist Church. (Bring along a candle in a holder (or a Christingle). Tuesday 25 December – Christmas Day! 10.30am. A short all age special Christmas Day Service. Come celebrate the birth of the Christ- child. (Bring along one of the cards or gifts you received) The Tryst Office - Open Monday to Friday, 9am - 1.00pm. 74 Pitlochry Life

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Autumn - Winter Hours 10am to 2pm

Scooters, Wheelchairs and Rollators for HIRE New - Hearing Aid Audiologist available for home visits.

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The Tryst Halls are available for hire for both charitable and commercial events. A great facility for classes, meetings, parties, lunches. For additional information please contact: The church office Tel no. 01796 474010. email:

St Bride’s Catholic Church Rie-Achan Road, Pitlochry PH16 5AL Also served by St Bride’s: St Columba’s, St. Mary’s Road, Birnam, Dunkeld, PH8 0BJ Our Lady of Mercy’s, Home Street, Aberfeldy, PH15 2AL Priest: Fr Edward Vella, Tel: 01796 472174, e-mail: Every Sunday we celebrate the presence of the Risen Lord amongst us during these Masses: •

St. Columba’s Birnam, Saturday Vigil Mass at 6.00 pm.

Our Lady of Mercy’s, Aberfeldy, Sunday at 9.30 am.

St. Bride’s, Pitlochry, Sunday at 11.30 am.

Holy Days of Obligation: Mass Times St. Columba’s, Birnam at 9.30am - Our Lady of Mercy’s, Aberfeldy at 12.30 pm. - St. Bride’s, Pitlochry at 7.00 pm. Weekday Masses: Tuesdays, Our Lady of Mercy’s, Aberfeldy at 9.30 am. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, St. Bride’s, Pitlochry at 9.30 am. First Friday of the Month After the 9.30 am Mass in St Bride’s Pitlochry, there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and prayer in silence, concluding at 12. 30 pm by Benediction. Everyone is welcome to come and pray in silence even for a short time. Also every first Tuesday of the Month after the 9.30 am Mass at Our Lady of Mercy’s Aberfeldy we will have a moment of Adoration during which Rosary is said and concluding by Benediction at about 10. 30 am. All are welcome. Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession): St. Bride’s Pitlochry

First Friday of the month

St Columba’s Birnam

First Saturday of the month 5.30 pm - 5.55 pm.

12.00 pm - 12.25 pm.

Our Lady of Mercy’s Aberfeldy First Tuesday of the month 10.00 am - 10.25 am. Fr Edward is available for Confessions or to talk to and can be reached on parish telephone number or by email. Aberfeldy Ladies Coffee Morning takes place every second Thursday of the month at the Watermill Café Aberfeldy at 11 am. All are welcome. The Mustard Seed Addition. The Mustard Seed Bible Group, formerly The Mustard Seed Prayer Group: Every last Thursday of the month at 7.00pm. You have the opportunity to learn more about the most important book ever written, the Holy Bible, by attending a Bible Study group run by Fr. Edward. Its purpose is to implant the seed of God’s Word and Love in our lives. The Lord is calling you. The Prayer Group will start meeting under its new form on Thursday 25th October in St. Brides foyer Pitlochry. Our Calypso Cave Charity Thrift Shop is now open in Burnside Road Pitlochry. Do call in and have a look at our wide range of items, many are brand new. Continued on page 78 76 Pitlochry Life

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We would like to wish you and all your family and friends a very Happy and Holy Christmas. May the light of Jesus always enlighten our lives and through us enlighten others. We also would like to wish you all a very Happy and Holy New Year. May Jesus always be our way, truth and life in the year 2019. We would like to invite you and everyone for our Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession Tuesday, 18th December at 10.00am (after Mass): Our Lady of Mercy’s Aberfeldy. Thursday, 20th December at 7.00pm Reconciliation service at St Bride’s Pitlochry: there will be a moment of preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation and afterwards Fr. Edward will be available for Confessions. Saturday, 22nd December 5.00pm (before Mass): St Columba’s Birnam. If you would like to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) and none of the above times are suitable for you, you can either ask Fr. Edward before or after a Sunday Mass or please contact him on 01796 472174 or e mail: Christmas Celebrations Monday, 24th December: Christmas Vigil Mass at Our Lady of Mercy’s Aberfeldy.

5.00pm Carol Singing

5.30pm Vigil Mass of the Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, 24th December: Night Mass at St Bride’s Church, Pitlochry.

9.00pm Carol Singing

9.30pm Mass of the Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The first part of the Mass will involve the singing of Psalms and listening to readings from Scripture and the Fathers of the Church, then the statue of Baby Jesus will be brought in for the veneration of the community.

After Mass, we will share some mulled wine, mince pies and shortbread in St Bride’s Church Foyer. Tuesday, 25th December: Christmas Day Mass at St. Columba’s Birnam.

9.30am Carol Singing

10.00am Mass of the Solemnity of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sunday 30th December: Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph – We will pray especially for all families in these masses: St. Columba’s Birnam

6.00pm Vigil Mass (Saturday 29th December)

Our Lady of Mercy’s Aberfeldy


St. Bride’s Pitlochry


New Year’s Celebrations: Solemnity of Mary Mother of God – Tuesday 1st January. How beautiful it is to end a year and start a new one in the Motherly embrace of Mary the Mother of God and our mother. Masses will be as follows: St Columba’s, Birnam:

6.00pm. Vigil Mass (Monday 31st December)

Our Lady of Mercy’s, Aberfeldy:


St Bride’s Church, Pitlochry:


Follow us on the: Parish Web-page; And Facebook; Continued on page 80 78 Pitlochry Life

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Blair Atholl & Struan Linked With Braes Of Rannoch And Foss & Rannoch Interim Moderator: The Rev Grace Steele Session Clerk Blair Atholl & Struan Session Clerk Braes of Rannoch Session Clerk Foss & Rannoch

Harold Ingram

01796 481275

Miss A M Phillips 01882 633228

Robert & Elizabeth Anderson 01882 632272

Morning Worship: Blair Atholl 11.15am. Braes of Rannoch 9.45am. Foss & Rannoch 11.30am. Tea, coffee and biscuits are served in all three churches at the close of worship. All are welcome. Coffee Corner meets every Thursday in the Church Hall, Blair Atholl from 10 - 12 noon with a short time of worship at 11.00am. All are welcome. 2nd December - Advent Service at 7.00pm in Blair Atholl Church. 24th December - Watchnight Service in Blair Atholl Church. 11.00pm Mince pies and Coffee, 11.30pm Service. Struan Church is now closed but all are welcome at the other churches.

Grantully Logierait and Strathtay Church of Scotland, linked with Aberfeldy, linked with Dull and Weem. Minister; Rev. Neil Glover. Contact by e-mail on Telephone 01887 820 819. Or at The Manse, Taybridge Ter. Aberfeldy. PH15 2BS Session Clerk; Professor Andrew Calder 01887 840209 Services in December 2018 will be at 10.30am in Logierait Church for the four Sundays of Advent, with the Children’s Nativity service on the 16th. Coffee/tea served before the service. Please note change of time. The service on the 30th is a joint service with St. Andrews Episcopal Church Strathtay time and church to be confirmed, see local notices. Christmas services within the linkage are A Candle Lit Carol Service at 8.00pm in Weem Church on the 24th. Carol Singing in Aberfeldy Parish Church at 11.00pm followed by a Watchnight Service at 11.30pm also on the 24th and a Family Service on Christmas Day in Aberfeldy Parish Church at 10.30am. The Sunday Club, with coordinator Mrs Sherriffs, meets from 10 – 11am. During morning service and during school terms. All Children welcome from nursery age to secondary school age. At present we are collecting post cards old and new for Mission Aviation Fellowship and the collection of used stamps is ongoing for Crossreach Thank you to the Sunday Club for their marvellous display and tribute to the RAF on Remembrance Sunday. Thank you also to Pitlochry High School for distributing the Perspex cut outs of the “ the one who is no longer here” to the churches in their area. Church Of Scotland Guild, GLS Branch The guild has finished for this session and will meet again in the spring of 2019. Contact is Isobel Cairns. 01796 482272 Coffee Group. 10.30 – 11.30 am every Wednesday morning in the John Kyd Hall, Strathtay Church. A warm welcome to anyone local or visiting the area to join us for a coffee / tea and a chat. Donations to charities local and national. Continued on page 82 80 Pitlochry Life


The Annual Tax Return clock is ticking!! DONT BE ONE OF THE 10,000 PEOPLE THAT SUBMITTED THEIR TAX RETURNS ON CHRISTMAS DAY LAST YEAR! JGBC PROVIDES FAST SIMPLE TAX RETURN SERVICES JGBC Ltd, Lagmhor Offices, Dunkeld, Perth, PH8 0AD. Tel: 01738 657230 Email:

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GLS Quilters Group meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month, from 7.00 -9.00pm in the John Kyd Hall, Strathtay Church. On 11th December we have a guest speaker postponed from earlier in the year. Sheila Gordon Director of Children’s Services at Crossreach will round off the “Year of Young People” by telling us about her work and receiving some quilts to give to children in Crossreach Care in time for Christmas. Anyone who is interested in this work is invited to join us for this meeting. Further details from Marie MacLeod on 01887 840769 or The Walkers Group. Information from Sandra Morrison. Further details are available on our web site where there is also a link to our face book page.

Tenandry Church Session Clerks: Judy Thorpe 01796 473252 and Marion Faulds 01796 472415. All are welcome at family worship every Sunday at 10.30am throughout the year. Communion is celebrated on the last Sunday of the month and is open to everyone. Tea and coffee are served after the service. From the B8019 take the road adjacent to the car park at the Garry Bridge. Christmas Services Sunday 23rd December: 10.30am - Normal service Christmas Eve: 7.00pm - Candlelit Carol Service (Please bring a torch) Christmas Day: 11.30am - Short service at Fincastle Chapel [Take the B8019  towards Loch Tummel, the chapel is situated approx 3miles from the Garry Bridge on the sharp corner at the turnoff to Glen Fincastle] Sunday 30th December: 10.30am - Normal service

Jehovah’s Witnesses As we end the year, you are welcome to hear the talk, ‘Overcoming Fear of the Future’, and the discussion of: ‘Maintain Inner Peace Despite Changing Circumstances’ on the 30th. All the meetings listed below are held in our Kingdom Hall, Moness Terrace, Aberfeldy. If you need a lift to the Hall, we’d be happy to help. Sunday 2nd December, 10.30am. A talk: ‘Real Peace and Security—When?’, and a discussion of: ‘Be Considerate and Kind in Imitation of Jehovah (Psalm 41:1)’. Thursday 6th December, 7.00pm. Short talks and discussions including: Acts 9–11, ‘A Vicious Persecutor Becomes a Zealous Witness’, ‘Why Are You Persecuting Me?’, ‘Jesus Silences a Storm at Sea’—a discussion of Matthew 8:18, 23–27; Mark 4:35–41; Luke 8:22–25. Sunday 9th December, 10.30am. A talk: ‘Stand Still and See the Salvation of Jehovah?’, and a discussion of: ‘Speaking the Truth (Zechariah 8:16)’. Thursday 13th December, 7.00pm. Short talks and discussions including: Acts 12–14, ‘Barnabas and Paul Make Disciples in Faraway Places’, ‘Pray for Fellow Believers’, ‘Power Over Many Demons’—a discussion of Matthew 8:28–34 Mark 5:1–20 Luke 8:26–39. Sunday 16th December, 10.30am. A talk: ‘God Comes First in Successful Family Life’, and a discussion of: ‘Teaching the Truth (Psalm 119:159, 160)’. Continued on page 84 82 Pitlochry Life

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Thursday 20th December, 7.00pm. Short talks and discussions including: Acts 15, 16, ‘A Unanimous Decision Based on God’s Word’, ‘Joyfully Praise Jehovah With Song’, ‘Healed By Touching Jesus’s Garment’—a discussion of Matthew 9:18–22; Mark 5:21–34 Luke 8:40–48. Sunday 23rd December, 10.30am. A talk: ‘Taking Time to Meditate on Spiritual Things’, and a discussion of: ‘Put Trust in Our Active Leader—The Christ (Matthew 23:10)’. Thursday 27th December, 7.00pm. Short talks and discussions including: Acts 17, 18, ‘Imitate the Apostle Paul in Preaching and Teaching’, ‘A Young Girl Lives Again !’—a discussion of Matthew 9:18, 23–26; Mark 5:22–24, 35–43; Luke 8:40–42, 49–56. Sunday 30th December, 10.30am. A talk: ‘Overcoming Fear of the Future’, and a discussion of: ‘Maintain Inner Peace Despite Changing Circumstances (Psalm 131:2)’. If you would like to enjoy a free study of the Bible at a convenient time and location, do get in contact with Jules and Elizabeth on 07 802 753 193 or At you can find the answers to life’s questions—even difficult ones.

Baha'i Faith As we come in to the Christmas season it seems appropriate to talk about the links between Christianity and the Baha'i Faith. In His writings Baha'u'llah frequently refers to Christ in glowing terms: "We testify that when Christ came into the world, He shed the splendour of His glory upon all created things...... Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him." And of those who rejected Him, that they deprived themselves of "beholding the face of God." The promises of the Bible concerning the return of Christ as the Holy Spirit are, claims Baha'u'llah, fulfilled in this day: "Jesus, the Spirit of God.... Hath once more, in my person, been made manifest unto you." Baha'u'llah does not ask for blind obedience but simply for a fair investigation of His stupendous claim that the Spirit of Christ has returned. This claim leaves no middle ground: It is either entirely false or absolutely true. It is for each human being "to consider His clear evidence." The test Christ Himself gave for any such claim is in Matthew 7:20: "By their fruits ye shall know them." No-one who calls himself a Christian can fail to investigate this claim. Baha'is believe that each religion originates with God and is suited to the age and place in which it is revealed; in essence, the religion of God is one and is progressively unfolding.: "This is the changeless faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future." Throughout history strife between religions has been a source of innumerable wars and conflicts but, though carried out in the name of religion, these are contrary to its true nature and purpose. Abdu'l-Bahá, the son of Baha'u'llah, states strongly: "If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it were better to be without it, and to withdraw from such a religion would be a truly religious act." As we sing our wonderful hymns and carols at Christmas time and long for peace shall we take it one step further? Shall we set aside doubts, scepticism, the preoccupation with the glitter and tinsel of the day, and find the renewal of the life offered by Christ? Is it worth investigating a message that claims now is the time for the spiritual re-awakening of humanity and for the uniting of all the peoples of the world? There are Baha'is in most parts of Perthshire you can quiz- just ask Hilarie on 07967 601423 or drop in for a coffee with her at The Chocolate Centre in Grandtully or browse the Internet at Baha' 84 Pitlochry Life

J&H Mitchell



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The Atholl Medical Centre Ferry Road, Pitlochry. Tel: 01796 472558 Mon - Fri 8.00am - 6.00pm (Doors open at 8.30am) Except Wednesdays Closed 12.15 - 1.45pm Out with Surgery Hours NHS 24 - 111 Prescriptions -

Pitlochry Community Hospital Ferry Road, Pitlochry. Tel: 01796 472052 Visiting Hours: GP Unit 2.00pm - 4.30pm and 6.00pm - 8.00pm MIIU Open 9.00am - 9.00pm seven days a week. Phone NHS 24 on 111 for an appointment .

Kinloch Rannoch Medical Practice The Surgery, Kinloch Rannoch. Tel: 01882 632216 The Reception is open Mon - Fri 8.00am - 6.00pm Surgery Hours 9-10.15am, 2-3pm and 4-5pm. For all urgent appointments please phone reception Out with Surgery Hours NHS 24 - 111

Pitlochry Post Office Within Premier Store 63 Atholl Road, Pitlochry. Tel: 01796 474301 Blair Atholl Post Office Tel: 01796 481233 Ballinluig Post Office Tel: 01796 482220 Strathtay Post Office Tel: 01887 840203 Kinloch Rannoch Post Office Tel: 01882 632347

Pitlochry Library 26 Atholl Road, Pitlochry Tel: 01796 474635 E-mail: Sun, Mon, Tues - Closed Wed 2.00pm - 4.00pm & 5.00pm - 7.00pm Thurs 10.00am - 12noon & 2.00pm - 7.00pm Fri 2.00pm - 4.00pm. Sat 9.00am - 1.00pm

Housing & Community Safety and Registration Services 26 Atholl Road, Pitlochry Mon, Tues & Fri 8.45am - 12.30pm & 1.30pm - 5.00pm Appointments arranged out with these days 01738 476000 (select option 2)

Registration of Births, Deaths & Marriages Mon - Fri: By Appointment 01796 474645

More Helpful Numbers to Hand Pitlochry Police Station


Perth & Kinross Council

01738 475000


0800 555 111

Adult Care Services

0845 301 11 20

Scottish Hydro

0800 300 999

Anti-Social Behaviour

01738 476173

Gas Emergency

0800 111 999

Council Housing Emergency

0845 301 11 10

Perth Royal Infirmary

01738 623311

Environmental Health

01738 625411

NHS 24


24hr Domestic Abuse

0800 027 1234

Infinityblu Dental Pitlochry

01796 470001

Infinityblu Dental Dunkeld

01350 729198

Citizens Advice Bureau

01738 450580


0800 917 0708

Roads & Flooding

01738 625411

Mental Health Services

0845 301 11 20


0845 909090


0300 999 999


0800 1111

Perthshire Women's Aid

01738 639043

Pitlochry Life is part of the Gala Life Ltd Group, SC 354155. Our Registered Office is at 57 Glen Crescent, Peebles EH45 9BS. Telephone 01721 720129. You can view our other publications at: 88 Pitlochry Life

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Whether you are looking to give as a gift, or just hoping for some peace and quite to curl up and enjoy a good read, Christmas is a great time for new books. Here's what's on my reading list and not a recipe book in sight!

Sarah Hollywood - The Cactus: how a prickly heroine learns to bloom

David Baldacci Long Road To Mercy

People aren't sure what to make of Susan Green - family and colleagues find her prickly and hard to understand, but Susan makes perfect sense to herself, and that's all she needs. Age 45, she thinks her life is perfect, as long as she avoids her feckless brother, Edward.

‘Eeny, meeny, miny, moe . . .’

She has a London flat which is ideal for one; a job that suits her passion for logic; and a personal arrangement providing cultural and other, more intimate, benefits. Yet suddenly faced with the loss of her mother and, implausibly, with the possibility of becoming a mother herself, Susan's greatest fear is being realised: she is losing control. When she discovers that her mother's will inexplicably favours her brother, Susan sets out to prove that Edward and his equally feckless friend Rob somehow coerced this dubious outcome. But when problems closer to home become increasingly hard to ignore, she finds help in the unlikeliest of places. For anyone in a family struggle at the moment it’s a relief to see how complicated other people families can be. Quick, witty and with a powerful punch it’s going to be a star of the future.

Heart-pounding first novel in the FBI Special Agent Atlee Pine series by best-selling author David Baldacci. It is thirty years since FBI special agent Atlee Pine’s twin sister, Mercy, was taken from the room they shared as young children. Notorious serial killer Daniel James Tor, was caught and convicted of other murders, and while there’s no proof, Atlee believes he knows what happened to Mercy. Tor still resides in a high-security prison in Colorado. Assigned to the remote wilds of the western United States, Atlee has never stopped the search for her sister, and, wracked with survivor’s guilt, she has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. She will always ask herself, ‘Why her, and not me?’. Now, Atlee is called in to investigate a case in the Grand Canyon when a mule is found dead with strange carvings on its body, and its rider missing. She knows about killers and perhaps understands them better than any profiler in the FBI, but it soon becomes clear that she will need to put her skills to the ultimate test in this investigation. It seems that Atlee will now have to confront a new monster... And face the one of her nightmares.

Amy Lloyd - The Innocent Wife. A Richard & Judy 2018 Book Club Pick. Recommended by Lee Child

Gripping psychological suspense from a brilliant new voice in crime fiction. You're in love with a man on Death Row in Florida, convicted of a brutal murder twenty years ago. You're convinced he didn't do it, and you're determined to prove it. You're part of a mass online campaign that picks holes in the case, uncovers evidence of police incompetence, and agitates for this miscarriage of justice to be overturned. Now you're married to him, and he's a free man, his conviction thrown out. You have the rest of your lives to spend together. You're overjoyed. After all, he's innocent. Isn't he? The book gets you hooked from the very beginning, and yet it's never predictable, you're in for some surprises until the very last page...

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Robert Galbraith Lethal White

The fourth in the Cormoran Strike series, by J.K. Rowling. When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike's office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. Trying to get to the bottom of Billy's story, Strike and Robin Ellacott - once his assistant, now a partner in the agency set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the back-streets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside. And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike's own life is far from straightforward: his new-found fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been. The most epic, gripping 'Robert Galbraith' novel yet.

Gary Barlow - A Better Me

David Walliams - The Ice Monster David Walliams continues to take the literary world by storm. His tenth novel, Bad Dad, was an immediate number one, following the triumph of The Midnight Gang, the biggest-selling children’s book of 2016. The World's Worst Children 2, spent four weeks at industry number one. David’s books are kids' favourites and have now exceeded 120 non-consecutive weeks at children’s number one, been translated into 53 languages, and sold more than 26 million copies worldwide. For 7 - 12 year olds, boy or girl, you will not find a more exciting and well received author as a gift. This is his biggest and most epic adventure yet. When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster - a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole - she’s determined to discover more… A chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, and sparks the adventure of a lifetime – from London to the heart of the Arctic! Heroes come in all different shapes and sizes!! The story is beautifully illustrated by the artistic genius Tony Ross, and available in a stunning hardback edition (perfect as a Christmas present!), ebook to download and read on any device, and as an audio CD narrated by David Walliams himself.

Gary Barlow is one of the most successful British musicians and songwriters of all time, but fifteen years ago, as he himself admits, he hit rock bottom - he was out of shape, out of work and depressed. Faced with an underperforming solo career, tireless media taunts and the other cruel twists of fate, Gary turned to food. For nine years, he struggled with his weight and went on every diet imaginable before eventually asking a doctor what the 'cure' for obesity was. That was when he realised that he would have to change his life dramatically. So how did he go from an obese, out-of-work pop star to becoming a hugely successful superstar of music and TV, as well an accomplished musical songwriter and producer who is full of vitality, fitter, happier and more successful than ever before? In this extraordinarily honest memoir, Gary tells of his journey back to professional success, as well as mental and physical health. A remarkably frank account of Gary's life. Pitlochry Life 91

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ADVERTISERS IN THIS ISSUE Abbeyfield Acarsaid Steakhouse Advertise and Save Alpha Course Andy Law Pest Control Appliance Repairs Atholl Palace Hotel Birnam Picture Framing Blair Athol Distillery Blair Atholl Garage Blair Castle Blair Atholl Xmas Market Books For Christmas Brodies Timber Care Dental Implant Clinic Christmas Postal Dates Christmas Services Christmas Tree Festival Churches Coach House Flowers Computer Services Councillor John Duff Councillor Xander McDade Dalwhinnie Distillery Darach Web Design Dun Aluinn Dunalastair Hotel Suites Duncan McLean East Haugh House Edina's Kitchen Elaine Burns Podiatry Everyone Communicate Ewan McAdam Fern Cottage Fitness Fonab Castle Frederik Demeyere Gatehouse Firewood Gatehouse Nursery Gaulds Funeral Directors Go Driving School GRM Podiatry

81 15 83 57 77 63 47,50 65 2 43 11 25 90 79 89 73 86 60 70 32 53 40 42 95 85 9 19 29 6 19 33 53 79 20 30 17 25 53 28 41 61 32

GrowBiz Hair by Reiss Hard & Soft Landscaping Hearing & Mobility Heartland Film Society Heartland FM Hettie's Tearooms Highland Travel Taxi Homefresh Cleaning Host for HOST InfinityBlu Dentist J & H Mitchell J W Lang Painter/Tiler JGBC Bookkeeping Jill Storstein John Swinney MSP K Allan Joinery Killiecrankie Hotel Lazlo DĂŠcor Lesley McLean Footcare Local Christmas Card Delivery Macintyre Wealth Management Malcolm Appleby MAP McKenzie Strickland Architects Morrison Joinery Murdo Fraser MSP Murthly Sawmill Omeworks One Twenty Eight Pete Wishart MP Pipe Bands Pitlochry Bowling Club Pitlochry Choral Society Pitlochry Garden Pitlochry Golf Club Pitlochry Hydro Hotel Pitlochry Hydro Leisure Pitlochry Library Pitlochry Life Tipple Pitlochry Litter Pitlochry Neighbourhood Watch

52,65 39 26 75 46 56 10 37 61 46 71 85 67,79 81 32 36 67 13,18 85 32 64 35 51 92 39 67 36 27 63 73 38 54 60 63 24 31 18 21 44 16 44 62

Pitlochry New Year Party 62 Pitlochry Station Bookshop 54 45 Portland Garden Design 25 Queens View Winter Wonderland 7 Recipe 14 Red Brolly 75 Reid Estates 55 Reid Tree Garden Services 28 Rotary Club 68 RW Bell Building Services 61 RW Bell Electrical 59 S Saint Electrical 67 SM Building Solutions 59 SR Taxis 45 Stevie G Roofing 59 Strowan Cemetery 41 Sudoko 69,75 Suthers Stonemason 85 Taste Perthshire 22,23 Tay Roofing 27 Terry Kirkwood 51 The Green Park Hotel 5 The Hair Studio 33 The Hardware Centre 25 The Loft 15 The Old Mill Inn 96 The Townhouse, Aberfeldy 6 Thistle & Orchid Beauty 33 TLC Laundry 33 TMD Cleaning 65 Tommy Garrow 26 Tree Maintenance Services 29 Useful Numbers 88 Victoria's 21 W & K Gerrie 69 Walk With Me 58 Wasted Degrees Brewery 81 Win 45 Wonky Computer Factory 34

Whilst every care is taken in preparing this magazine to ensure accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for loss, damage or omission caused by an error in an advert. Artwork is accepted on the condition that it is legal and copyright free and that the advert is and accurate. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of claims made by the advertisers or the views expressed 94 fair Pitlochry Life by contributors, nor do the publishers necessarily share such views. We reserve the right to refuse articles and advertisements. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Pitlochry Life December 2018  

Our FREE monthly community magazine, with up to 10,000 copies delivered to homes and businesses across Highland Perthshire. We have ALL the...

Pitlochry Life December 2018  

Our FREE monthly community magazine, with up to 10,000 copies delivered to homes and businesses across Highland Perthshire. We have ALL the...