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DECEMBER 2015 issue 64

circulation 4200 households

life on the banks of the allan water

Delivered to all the households in Dunblane, Kinbuck & Ashfield. Available in Bridge of Allan & Doune

King Street • Stirling 01786 461 166

Designer clothing for men and women

Hello & welcome to the December edition of theWire! Where has the time gone? Christmas is approaching FAST, so now’s the time to get organised! Get those last minute DIY jobs done - we have lots of local trades who advertise with us, so give them a call and get some things off your to-do list! Lots of the shops on our doorstep have plenty of wonderful gift ideas so before you sit in front of your computer and start ordering online, take a stroll up our local High Streets and see what they have to tempt you. 2016 brings some changes to theWire..... From January, we will become bi-monthly and change to a slightly bigger size (A5 to B5). Why? Well, largely because there is only one of me - (thank goodness!!) Over the last six years the magazine has grown hugely and, in addition to this, I also do a lot of design work such as flyers, brochures, business cards etc which I really enjoy too. So to cope with the workload, I either have to take someone on to help or change the way I work. As I could be called a little bit of a control freak, I would find it difficult to hand over my ‘magazine baby’... so changing my work pattern was the way to go! I’m hoping this will also overcome the ‘really, again?’ response to us delivering magazines seemingly so frequently that we have barely blinked before the next one arrives! I am consistently told that people keep the magazine until the next one lands on the mat, so slightly longer between issues will now allow everyone to read it cover to cover ;) All the new details and links to past issues are on our website, which also has a lovely new look. Go to So the New Year edition of theWire will be a combined January/February issue. Allowing for Christmas closures etc, it will be delivered through your doors during the first of January. It will go to print BEFORE Christmas so whilst I appreciate it is hard to focus on anything beyond that at the moment, please remember to send in your event details and news as soon as you can. The deadline for information is the 9th December. Thanks so much for your support during 2015 and I wish everyone a fantastic Christmas and a very healthy and happy New Year!

enjoy the magazine! Fiona (e:

Features & Editorials Cinema Releases P. 8 Which wine, with what? P. 14 Recipes P. 16-20 The Perfect Christmas Table P. 17 Spice of Life P. 19 Food Banks P. 22 4K TV P. 26 A Good Read P. 32 Which Christmas Tree? P. 34 Scarves at the ready! P. 38 Plant of The Month P. 41 -Biographies P. 44 Enjoy Christmas Stress Free P. 56 Stress Busting Christmas Tips P. 58 It’s all about variety P. 61 Child’s Pay P. 62 Play Time P. 63 School Jotters P. 64 & 72 Centre Newsletter P. 66-68 The Great Christmas Eve Countdown P. 70 Macrobert Christmas Appeal P. 74 Martin Lewis P. 76 The Wealth Chef P. 78 Self Assessment P. 80 Top Tips for Tenants P. 82 Community News P. 84 - 87 DDT P. 89 What’s On Guide P. 90-95 Useful Numbers P. 96 A-Z of Advertisers P. 98

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p. 70

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p. 26 Please mention thewire when responding to adverts



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SUNDAY 6th DECEMBER Victoria Hall Dunblane 11am - 4pm

Free Entry • Free Parking Merry Christmas to all our customers and stall holders

Marrkett ’ n ‘ t r A munity Ma

Supporting the Christmas Foodbank Collection

m Your Co

Dunblane Museum Winter Art Exhibition

Carols & Carillons Featuring Local Artists: Prentice Smy Sarah Spofforth-McOuat Fiona Clasen Sarah Bramley Susan Cook Jean Kirkpatrick Opening at Dunblane Museum on the evening of the 26th November from 5pm-8pm as part of the Dunblane Christmas Extravaganza and every Saturday morning up to Christmas from 10am to 12.30pm

Concert of Christmas music by Dunblane Cathedral Handbell Ensembles Guest Singers - Gargunnock Songsters Music to suit everyone

Sunday 13th December at 7.30pm in Dunblane Cathedral Tickets £5 available from ringers, Smallprint or at the door on the night. Ticket includes coffee & mincepies. Concession £4 Accompanied Children FREE

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CINEMA Latest Film Releases Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Ever since it was announced that Disney had teamed up with George Lucas to create a brand new trilogy, the internet has been buzzing with anticipation. When it was confirmed that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill were reprising their iconic roles, excitement levels went through the roof – the force was indeed going to return in a way not seen since the early 80s. Exact plot details have been kept under wraps to ensure that cinema goers will get the oldschool element of surprise, but we do know several of Hollywood’s hottest young talent has jumped on board the franchise. When the teaser trailer was released it was viewed over 40 million times within a couple of days! Can you imagine what the world would be like now if that asteroid had missed our planet 65 million years ago and the dinosaurs had survived? The Good Dinosaur explores that idea to great effect and follows the story of Arlo: a friendly and spirited dinosaur who becomes separated from his family and unwittingly befriends a human cave-boy named Spot. Arlo is an Apatosaurus, a species that has been around on earth for millions of years. So, naturally, he’s far more articulate and wellspoken than young Spot, who is a little bit more animalistic and feral. The two bond as they embark on a thrilling journey filled with self-discovery and manage to get themselves in a number of scrapes along the way, resulting in some hilarious consequences. Will Arlo and Spot ever find their families again?

A Christmas Star

Noelle O’Hanlon and her friends live in a quiet and peaceful village in Ireland. However, their tranquil country life is threatened when Pat McKerrod sets his eyes on their home for his new planned development. What Pat doesn’t know is that Noelle is no ordinary little girl. Born under a Christmas Star, she has a unique and special gift that means she can perform big miracles. Teaming up with her friends and a friendly woman from the village called Angela, Noelle decides to stand up for herself and risk everything to save her home. This charming festive film has an all-star cast, including Rob JamesCollier (Downton Abbey), Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster), Liam Neeson (Taken), Pierce Brosnan (No Escape), and Kylie Minogue (San Andreas). 8

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01786 825 244 91-95 HIGH STREET, DUNBLANE Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Sheriffmuir Inn

It’s the inn place out of town Wishing you a merry christmas A varied, seasonal menu & A wonderful specials BOARD

open 7 days for lunch & dinner For reservations call 01786 823 285 Visit our website for more information www.sheri


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Christmas at Charisma!

Beautiful Christmas gifts.... Gorgeous Christmas cards... and a little bit of sparkle thrown in! If you still haven’t found what you are looking for, we’re here to help you find it! Charisma, 2 High Street, Dunblane. Tel: 01786 825 256

Coming Soon...

Join award winning local suppliers at our new wedding event!

yourSTYLE Wedding Event Sunday 13th March 2016

12- 4pm Victoria Halls, Dunblane Featuring Hair & Make Up Demos , Red Carpet Gown Launch, Bridal & Grooms Wear Experts, Stationary Design, Venues, Catering Specialists ........and much more Put the date in your diary! Stands available but book early as space is limited For more information email Lesley on

Sponsored by Point Nouveau Bridal, 58 High Street, Dunblane t: 826725 Winner Best Bridal Retailer Scotland. The Bridal Buyer Awards, 2015 Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Wishing all our customers a merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Festive Opening Times: Closed: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day & Boxing Day Sun 27th: 10am - 4pm, Mon 28th - Weds 30th: 9am - 4pm Thurs 31st: 9am - 3pm New Years Day Closed Sat 2nd Jan: 9am - 5pm, Sun 3rd Jan: 10am - 4pm

Bright, airy, relaxed & family friendly…. Buttercup Café Open 7 days: 9am-4pm Sunday - Friday, 9am-5pm Saturdays 7 Main Street, Doune. FK16 6BJ 01786-842 511


Fantastic selection of gifts for you and your home A big thank-you to all our customers, wishing you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

54 High St, Dunblane 01786 826 823


Help your business BLOSSOM... Advertise in theWire Call Fiona on 07720 429 613 or email:

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Luxury Florida Vacation Villa with Pool The villa is situated in Kissimmee on the beautiful prestigious community of Terra Verde an award winning 5* community only 15 minutes from Disney. Rental includes free use of all Terra Verde facilities which include tennis, gym, additional community pool & basketball court. Our spacious, luxury 4 bed/3 bath villa is situated on a quiet corner plot opposite the resort tennis courts with pool deck overlooking woodland to the rear. The villa is beautifully furnished and fully equipped for your relaxation and enjoyment.

A superb holiday villa, ho ho ho S Clause

Thinking about a Cruise? Why not come along to our Cruise Event at Victoria Halls, Dunblane

Sunday 10th January 11.30am - 4pm Talk to our Thomas Cook Cruise experts or one of the Cruise company representatives for help and advice in planning your next trip.

Call in, phone or email for complimentary tickets Thomas Cook, 11/13 Murray Place, Stirling 0844 335 7674

thomascook-stirling1@ For further details and to view resort video go to or email Carol or Joe Holden at Booking now for 2016 Quote theWire for 10% discount on our published rates.

Featuring presentations from: P&O Cruises, Cunard, Princess Cruises, RCCL & Celebrity, Silversea, NCL, Regent Seven Seas, Scenic River Cruising plus many more!

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Angela Curran, Dunblane 07815 664 376

Which Wine with What? Choosing wine can be a bit of a minefield, and it’s all too easy to get it wrong. Follow our cheat’s guide to creating the perfect match. Fish course - Delicate fish dishes call for a delicate wine, such as Pinot Grigio. Rich sauces, however, require well-bodied whites like Chardonnay. Serving salty seafood? Champagne works surprisingly well. Spicy dishes - You’ll want a juicy, spicy wine to complement these dishes. Look for a Malbec or Syrah. Alternatively, a dry Riesling works well with spicy veggie recipes. Juicy red meat - Bring out a rich red, such as a Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon. Turkey - Choose a full-flavoured white, like a white Côtes du Rhône, or a delicate red, such as a Frappato.

Scottish Oven Cleaning Ovens, Cookers, Agas, Hobs, Extractors, Appliances

Veggie main - There is a misconception that vegetarian food should only be paired with white wine. In actual fact, medium reds work well with lots of veggie dishes, particularly tomato based recipes. Cheese course - There’s no easy answer here. Some cheeses go better with red, some with white. Sauternes and Stilton are a perfect match, while Chardonnay works well with brie. A dry Rosé is a good all-rounder. In general, the main rule is to pair the characteristics of the dish with the characteristics of the wine. Buttery sauces work well with buttery whites, for example. Have fun with your choices and enjoy! 14

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Christmas celebrations at The Westlands Hotel Specially created menus, full of choice & festive flavour.

Christmas lunch and dinner being served from 1st December

right through to Hogmannay. Starting from 2 courses at £14.95pp, up to 3 courses at £25pp. Phone to book now.

Christmas Day

Champagne and canapes at the fireside on arrival, full festive menu designed to reflect this special day of celebration. £55 per head. Numbers are limited, so phone to reserve your place.

01786 822 118 The Westlands Hotel Doune Road, Dunblane

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Eggnog Ingredients: • • • • • • • • •

700ml whole milk (I’ve tried it with semi skimmed and it works well too) 240ml double cream 3 cinnamon sticks 1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds removed 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish 5 yolks, separated 130g granulated sugar 175ml Dark Rum or brandy Cinnamon sticks for garnish

Drinking eggnog sounds cosy and Christmassy and very American. In fact eggnog traces its roots back to a 14th century English drink called posset. It remains the epitome of a festive drink – creamy and sweet; a Christmas cuddle in a glass!

Method • •

• •


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, and nutmeg. Bring slowly to the boil. As soon as it boils remove from the heat and leave to cool so the flavours can infuse. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick and ribbons form when the whisk is lifted. Strain the milk mixture then slowly whisk it into the egg and sugar mixture and continue to mix until everything is combined and smooth. Add the rum or brandy, and stir. Refrigerate overnight if serving chilled. The argument rages over whether eggnog should be served chilled or warm. Personally I like it warm but chilled is good too. Either way, serve and garnish with whipped cream if desired, grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick. To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e.

The Perfect Christmas Table Whether you are using new festive tableware or the dinner set you keep for special occasions, create a table to be proud of. Think about your colour scheme. Are you going for sophisticated white and gold, elegant white and silver, festive red and green or something more modern such as purple and turquoise? Are there some handed down family decorations that you want to include or are you going for the fun factor? Crackers and candles are traditional but you could also include Christmas table confetti and seasonal items such as Santa shaped cruet. For many Christmas Day is one of the few times when three or more courses will be served. If you are having soup, the spoon for this should be on the far right. A fish knife would be on the inside of the spoon with the main course knife on the inside of that and a desert knife closest to the plate. On the left side working inwards it would be the fish fork and then the main course fork. The desert spoon would be above the plate and facing left with the desert fork facing right and closest to the plate. Side plates go to the left and glasses are placed top right. Add candles or fairy lights and you’re good to go.

Christmas Pudding Ice Cream by Wendy Gudgeon (serves 8 to 10) 4 large egg yolks 110g caster sugar 300ml double cream, whipped 200g Christmas pudding 100g mixed sultanas, raisins and cherries 2 to 3 tbspn brandy or Grand Marnier • • • • •

Soak the fruit in the bandy overnight. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Break the pudding into small pieces and stir into the mixture. Add the fruit and cream and pour into a freezer proof container. Freeze until ready to serve.

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Sausage, Bacon and Cranberry Flans by Wendy Gudgeon

Ingredients: (serves 12) 450g short crust pastry 110g lean smoked bacon cranberry jelly Salt and pepper

Method: • • • • •

225g sausage meat 200g cranberries 40g caster sugar

‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to theWire readers and all my customers’ Wendy

Line a flan tray (ideally with 12 fluted loose base compartments) with short crust pastry. Place the sausage meat in the bottom, add the chopped bacon, a sprinkle of thyme and a little salt and pepper in each. Finally add half a teaspoon of cranberry jelly to each. Place in the oven 190C/Gas 5 for about 15 to 20 mins. Cool Meanwhile simmer the cranberries and caster sugar for about 20 minutes and allow to cool.

To serve:

Remove the flans from the tin and place on a baking sheet. • Top each one with a spoonful of the cranberry compote. • Warm gently in a low oven for 10 minutes and serve immediately.

Wendy Gudgeon Tel: 01786 824 487 18

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Little Mincemeat Puffs If you want something smaller than a mince pie these make a great alternative. Ingredients: 200g puff pastry 100g icing sugar 1 star anise 2 cloves 200g mincemeat Handful of plain flour for rolling Pop the star anise, cloves and icing sugar into a blender or grinder and blitz until the herbs are mixed in with the sugar. Get the oven on to 180°c/160°c fan Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle 30cm x 20cm and spread out the mincemeat over the top. Take each of the longest sides and, one at a time, roll carefully into the middle. Put into the freezer for about 15 minutes until firm. Slice into 1cm thick slices, sprinkle with the spiced sugar and bake for 12-15 minutes.

The Spice of Life – Anise This spice is more commonly known as aniseed or otherwise Pimpinella Anisum and is an effective remedy for various ailments particularly for the digestive system. It grows in Europe, East Asia and North Africa and it is the seed which are used for food flavouring. In cooking, Anise is a commonly overlooked spice with a similar taste to fennel which has a milder, sweeter taste. It has a slight liquorice flavour and is common in sweets. It can be used in many different dishes including biscuits and cakes but also savouries - soups and stews, poultry and stuffings. It also works extremely well in dishes which include eggs so try some in an omelette or lasagne. In Eastern dishes fennel and star anise are more easily available and actually more popular but note that in Indian cuisines no distinction is made between anise and fennel and the same name is usually given to both of them. Also used for: Treatment of menstrual cramps & toothache In essential oils Flavouring drinks such as absinthe and ouzo Deter pests from crops Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Run out of time to make your Christmas cake? Try this gorgeous fruit cake made with pineapple instead! Ingredients: 6oz caster sugar small tin of crushed pineapple 4oz cherries 12oz mixed fruit (with cranberries) 8oz self raising flour 4ozs margarine 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Method: • Put the sugar, cherries, mixed fruit and margarine in a pan and bring to the boil. Give it a good stir and then let it cool. • Mix the beaten eggs and flour into the fruit mixture and bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours at 320 oF. • and that’s it! It’s moist and beautiful and even freezes well.

Kindly provided by Rosina at Neroli Beauty Salon


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Festive Menus at Dun Bhlathain Brasserie and Wine bar Enjoy our festive menus throughout December

3 course Christmas Lunch with Coffee £19.50pp 3 course Christmas Dinner with Coffee £24.50pp 4 course Hogmanay Dinner £50pp Enjoy a glass of prosecco on arrival

Christmas private dining is available for groups of 20-50 people To make an enquiry or reservation please call us on 01786 825 142

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Food Banks Hunger and poverty. Many of us won’t associate these problems with our own society but it’s a fact that 13 million people in the UK live below the poverty line. Five years ago food banks had scarcely been heard of, but today more than a thousand operate across the UK, giving assistance to people in need of basic supplies to survive. People need to use food banks for a variety of reasons: redundancy, illness, benefit delay, changes in benefits, unexpected bills, underemployment and family breakdown to name a few. In today’s world of zero hours contracts and steadily rising food and fuel prices, an increasing number of people are finding themselves in need of help. The Trussell Trust – the UK’s largest network of food banks – fed nearly a million people in 2013-2014, over a third of which were children. Typically, clients are referred to food banks by front line care professionals such as doctors, social workers, health visitors and the police, who are trained to identify individuals in crisis. They issue vouchers which are exchanged at food banks for emergency food.

To advertise in the individuals like you and me, but partnerships are also formed with schools, churches and businesses. Large collections are made during Harvest Festivals and there are also collection points in many supermarkets available throughout the year. To donate is easy. All you need do is purchase a few extra items with your weekly shop, then drop them off in the collection boxes situated near the checkouts. Most people decide on an amount they want to spend and keep on buying until this is reached! If you purchase budget brands, your money can go further and help more people. Items purchased should be non-perishable and in date - so anything in tins, packets and jars. You can also make a cash donation, which can be done online in many cases. Once food is received at food banks, it is sorted and packed into boxes by volunteers, who also guide clients to agencies able to help them with longer term problems. None of us can do everything to solve the social problems around us, but all of us can do something and donating to a food bank is a great way to help.

To get more involved contact our local food All food donated to food banks comes from bank: Start-Up Stirling members of the public. This could be from 22

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Wishing you all a merry Christmas...

ALTAL PLUMBERS DUNBLANE All plumbing work undertaken Installation of bathrooms and showers Replacement of water storage tanks Drains & Pipes unblocked, high pressure jetting if required Installation, repairs & cleaning of gutters and downpipes

07970 228 248 or 01786 822 525 • Over 38 years experience • All trades supplied

Iain Wilson

Property Maintenance & Improvements For all your DIY & Maintenance Jobs from fitting a shelf, or replacing a tap washer to installing a kitchen or painting a house. Work Recommended by Local Clients & Estate Agents Call for a free no obligation quote

Dunblane 01786 821335 07890 948 359

Platinum Builders Scotland Ltd Joinery Plumbing Electrical Plastering Painting Tiling Full house restorations & extensions Free quotations

61 Buchan Drive, Dunblane 01786 826 726 or 07841 405 774 Old Doune Road, Dunblane


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John McLaren Approved Electrical Installer Established 1965 John, Willie & Craig wish to thank their customers and wish everyone a very happy Christmas and look forward to helping with all your electrics in the New Year. “lang may yer lum reek� John, Willie & Craig

t: 01786 823 533

Willie: 07899 877 822 Craig: 07436 815 247 e:

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4K TV, also known as Ultra HD or UHD, is the next evolution in television picture quality. With a picture composed of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels - more than 8 million in total - it has four times the amount of HD (high definition) sets. More pixels mean greater image clarity, finer detail, better texture and improved colour resolution. The net result is images that look incredibly lifelike and so detailed that at times they feel almost 3D – without the need for funny glasses! The first wave of 4K TVs were large – very large – with 84 inch panels and £20k price tags to match. Prices have now dropped along with screen size, and you can buy entry models for under £1,000 from all the big brands such as Samsung, Panasonic, LG and Sony. You can also pay many thousands of pounds for monster sets! Generally 4K TV screens are at least 40 inches. Some say you shouldn’t view on anything less than 55 inches. This is because the advantages of pixel-dense display diminish as the screen size shrinks. Big really is better! Similarly 4K TV is best viewed close up (ideally at a distance 1.5 x screen height), though practically most homes cannot accommodate viewing from closer than 2-3 metres. The technology for crystal-clear viewing may be with us, but currently there are no 4K TV 26

channels being broadcast. The main source of 4K content is the internet, from sites such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Instant Video, and to successfully stream you would need a consistent broadband speed of at least 15Mbps. That said, UHD TVs do a remarkable job of upscaling HD and standard definition pictures to 4K pixel count, so ‘everyday’ viewing such as Freeview HD TV, Blu-ray movies and DVDs can be boosted to near 4K picture quality. However be warned that some models are better at doing this than others. 4K technology is still work in progress. In future, it may also extend to higher frame rates (HFR), greater contrast and wider colour spectrum. The BBC has plans to offer 4K programming by 2016 but only in a limited form and although BT and Sky are rumoured to have plans, nothing has been finalised. It will be 2-3 years until most video content becomes available. So, if you want the absolute best that TV has to offer and don’t mind waiting to enjoy the full benefits of your 4K TV, then go ahead and buy now. But purchase from a top tier manufacture for the best chance of futureproofing your set and also make sure that you buy a model with two HDMI 2.0 ports.

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c h a r te re d a rc h i te c t s

building y our d r e a m s 01786 825 575 info@ 102 High Street, Dunblane

Wishing all our customers a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Curtains By Elaine


Install and Service of Boilers, Cookers and Gas Fires including LPG Gas and Oil Boilers Gas Safety Checks & Legionella Risk Assessments (Tailored Landlord Packages) Domestic & Commercial Gas Repairs

t: 01786 842 225 e:

3 Murchison Park, Stirling Rd, Doune

Curtains, Roman Blinds, Pelmets, Cushions & Throws

Free advice at your convenience for design, manufacture and fit. Supply a wide range of fabrics & matching wallpapers, curtain poles/tracks and tie backs. We refurbish homes, room by room at your pace. Contact Elaine for advice

01786 823340 or 07867 754702 Thanks for all your custom this year and Merry Christmas

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Ocean Reef Bathrooms

Wishing everyone a merry Christm as & a happy New Year!

Renovations, Design Service, Tiling & Decoration Plumbing & Installation by own qualified fitters

Call John for more information or come & visit our showroom

01259 928 283 or 07967 647 433 18 Bridge Street, Dollar

Mackie Electrical Services Electrical Contractor & Minor Plumbing Work (not gas) Mobile 07770 516 463 or Phone: 01786 841 852 Approved Electrical Installer All work guaranteed, tested & certified • • • • • • • •

Member No: 13023

All types of electrical work carried out Domestic & Commercial New build & extensions Rewires & alterations Fault finding and repair Condition reports for landlords and home reports Bathroom updates & Shower installation Electrical & plumbing work on new kitchen installations

Visit for more information Tam Mackie email: 8 Leny Road, Deanston, Doune 28

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Carpet Master of Stirling Floor Covering Scotland since 1993

Family Run Business, Specialising in Quality & Service. Great Value For Money & Satisfaction Guaranteed. For your FREE no obligation, measure & estimate call Isobel or James

01786 451 376 Fantastic range of Carpets & Vinyls from all leading manufacturers. Specialists in Karndean, Amtico & Marmoleum Large selection of Roll Stock Remnant Warehouse Carpet Binding Facility (for Rugs & Runners to your specifications)

Wishing all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year from the Carpet Master team

36 Weaver Row, St Ninians, Stirling, FK7 9AS Please mention thewire when responding to adverts



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Kevin MONAGHAN Slating Tiling Gutters - cleaned, renewed or repaired General Building & Property Maintenance Cement Pointing Mastic Pointing Plastering All types of roofing Roofs De-mossed

Phone Kevin on Dunblane

07866 032 954

• LED, LCD & Plasma screen wall mounting. • All types of aerial and satellite work.

Call James on 07979 354 440 or email

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A Good Read Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R Tolkien Mention Tolkien and you will undoubtedly think of his epic adventures - The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. But as father to four children Tolkien had a softer more whimsical side. Each December over the course of their childhood he wrote and illustrated detailed letters from Father Christmas; letters populated by a cast of characters which included elves, goblins and a clumsy polar bear. Through these letters, Tolkien entertained his children with stories of high-jinks at the North Pole. It’s true the language can seem a little formal and stilted at times by today’s standards, but they were written in the 1920s and 30s and Tolkien is as much a product of his time as any author. His affection for his children shines through every page regardless. As they were written for real children the reader receives an insight into what the interests of the Tolkien children might have been: prehistoric cave paintings, fireworks, the night sky and animals to name a few. All the letters are lavishly illustrated with fantastical intricate pictures, and these bring the stories to life. Even non-Tolkien fans should love this charming book. It’s wonderful for reading alone in front of a roaring fire with a cup of hot chocolate, or for sharing with your own children. Perfect seasonal fare.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss Long before Jim Carrey took the character to the big screen, this book had captured the hearts of generations of children. It’s a marvellous story of seasonal redemption in the best tradition. It’s every bit as timeless as Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The lonely Grinch hates Christmas; the noise, the feasting, the singing. His loathing of the festivities is focussed on the merry little Whos, who really know how to throw a Christmas party. He decides that this year he will put a stop to the proceedings and sets about wrecking their big day. Will he succeed? Well it’s no secret to say that happily his plans are thwarted in the nicest way possible, as he discovers that the most important thing about Christmas is love, friendship and sense of belonging to a community. This is Seuss at his best; a riotous rhyming adventure and an adorably grumpy anti-hero. 32

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A Dunblane based business offering a wide range of services • Internal/ external painting and decorating • • • • • •

Plastering and tiling Pointing and render repair Gutter cleaning and repair Removal of moss from roofs General DIY Seasoned hardwood logs for sale

Call now for a FREE quote on 01786 826 992 or 07882 040 613 or email

Wishing all our customers a merry Christmas & happy new year.

Stephen Crosbie

Plumbing & Central Heating Engineer Merry Christmas . Merry Christmas . Merry Christmas Prompt & efficient service, FREE estimates Competitive prices & all work GUARANTEED

01786 825 344 or 07860 246 736 • • • • • • •

Plumbing & Heating Installations & Boiler Servicing Central Heating Power Flushing Bathrooms, Showers, Ceramic Tiling Landlord Safety Certificates Electronic Flue Gas Analysis & Efficiency Testing Drainage CCTV Inspection / Jetting / Repairs 24hr emergency plumbing & heating service 8 Grant Drive, Dunblane

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56825 33

Which Christmas tree? When we were kids my brother christened our properties. It’s trickier to grow well than rather sorry old artificial tree the Silver Lurch, most other trees so expect to pay a bit of a premium. on account of its colour and list. Artificial trees have improved enormously since then but most gardeners do prefer the real thing. There’s something magical about bringing a bit of the outside indoors at this time of year. Unfortunately trees were not meant to live in centrally-heated sitting rooms. It puts them under a lot of stress. So which trees survive Christmas best?

The Nordman Fir (Abies Nordmanniana) runs the Noble Fir a close second. It is easily available now as many tree growers invested heavily in the species. They are generally cheaper than the Noble Fir so a good choice if cost is an issue. The Fraser Fir and the lemonscented Douglas Fir are also worth seeking out.

Well there are several species available to the Once you have your tree, make a fresh cut British public. The main choices are between across its trunk and give it a good drink of tepid water before bringing it inside. Secure pines, spruces and firs. The traditional Christmas tree is Picea Abies, it properly in a specially made base which the Norway Spruce. Most popular they may is the right size for your tree! A toppled six be but they are actually least suited to the foot tree, a couple of gallons of water and a conditions inside the average home. Spruces hundred or so baubles make a seriously large are much more prone to shed needles than mess...I know this to be true because several Christmases ago I was the person clearing firs or pines. it all up at 2 in the morning...don’t make my Pinus Sylvestris and Pinus Contorta are mistake! Merry Christmas! respectively better known as the Scots Pine and the Lodgepole Pine. Their longer needles hold well but do make hanging decorations Eco-Friendly? a bit tricky for small fingers, which is worth For true eco-friendliness buy Britishnoting if your children like to help. If that’s not • grown trees. an issue the widely spaced branches show off Most councils offer a Christmas tree larger baubles very well. The Corsican Pine • shredding service. The shreddings are (pinus Nigra Laricio) is not as common but has then composted. similar properties. • Artificial trees are generally nonFirs are the best choice for a British Christmas. biodegradable. If you want the best, and you can find one, • Christmas tree farms act as a carbon plump for Abies Noblilis, the Noble Fir. In sink, fixing environmental carbon its perfect form it’s hard to beat: uniform in dioxide shape with more open branches on the top, its flat, short needles have amazing retention 34

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A Tree-mendous Idea...

Why not get your Christmas Tree direct from the Farm & cut out the middle man for a freshly cut tree? Feddal Estate is a local tree farm supplying Christmas Trees at Wholesale prices – offering Nordman Fir, Fraser Fir & Norway Spruce in a range of sizes. Trees are available from 1st Dec between 10am & 4pm From Dunblane – take B8033 through Kinbuck for 2.5 miles past Feddal Lodge, take the next left at the top of the hill & follow the tree signs. Logs for Sale. Ton bags - Soft Wood £40 & Hard Wood £50 ex yard. Feddal Estate, Braco, Dunblane, FK15 9RA Email: Tel: 01786 880 383 (opening times only)

* Extensions * Loft Conversions * Garage Conversions * Renovations * Kitchens * Bathrooms * Flooring * Double Glazing * Window Repair * Fencing * Small Building Work * Maintenance Work

Call us today for a FREE Estimate

07792 056 857 or 07920 511 705

9 Ardoch Crescent, Dunblane

GARDENING SERVICES Garden Maintenance & Landscaping

Snow Clearing and Gritting Services Tree & Hedge Cutting Green Waste Removal Moss Removal (Roofs, Paths & Walls) Fencing & Decking Slabs Laid Pressure Washing Gutter Cleaning

Best wishes for Christmas & Ne

w Year

For an affordable quote contact Blyth on Dunblane 07926 963 081 Argyle Grove, Dunblane Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


DOUNE WOODYARD Find us at: Unit 2, Lochil Industrial Estate, Doune, FK16 6AD

01786 841 204

Fencing Decking

Hardware Supplies

Logs & Kindling

Sheet Materials

Rock Salt Hours of Business: Mon - Fri 8am - 5pm (closed for lunch 1-1.30pm)


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UPVC Fascias, Soffits & Cladding

UPVC Windows & Doors • • •

A rated window system as standard. Low E glass, arrgon filled sealed units with warm edge spacer technology. Internally glazed glass units for additional security. Our UPVC doors have a 70mm reinforced outer frame. Each door has a multipoint locking system operated by your traditional lever handle. Whilst composite doors offer the appearance of solid timber doors, our exclusive range are made with steel reinforcing, a high density efficient polyurethane core and an external UPVC skin to create a maintenance free product.

Re-Roofing • • • •

From a roof repair service to a full re-roofing installation. We take great care to assist you, from initial planning and design to full completion of all works. Massive range of tile finishes to choose from. All installed by our own quality tradesmen.

Seamless Guttering • • • •

Seamless Guttering means NO leaks! Ten times stronger than UPVC Recessed brackets give a clean look, protecting the beauty of your home. Cut precisely on site to fit your exactly.

For more information call Freephone 0800 1577 555 or Dunblane 823 611

Head Office: 17 Braemar Park, Dunblane Offices at Unit 8, Phoenix Estate, Springkerse Industrial Estate, Stirling, FK7 7SG Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Scarves at the ready December is perhaps the one month where, in the build up to Christmas with roaring fires and shorter days, even the hardiest of gardeners may struggle to get out there and do the necessary for their plots. December often means hard frosts and you need to harvest your winter cabbages, celery and cauliflowers this month. Parsnips and swedes are pretty hardy so if you are a bit overrun with your crop you can keep these in the ground until you need them. If bad weather is forecast then keep some straw handy to cover them over and stop the ground from freezing them in. Make sure that you check your stored crops for any sign of disease and remove any that look problematic. If the ground isn’t too sticky then this is also a great time to get out your hoe and work between your vegetable crops. Look out for any plants which might have been lifted by frost and press them gently back into the ground. Keep an eye on your Brussels too - these should be starting now so try cooking them in different ways in your meals before the ‘big day’ (adding a spot of garlic can make all the difference) until you find something suitable to go with the bird. You don’t just have to eat them on Christmas Day you know! Be mindful of any snowfall this month or in future weeks and help out your plants and 38

shrubs as best you can by brushing off any settled snow. This helps to prevent any damage with branches breaking under the weight. Just make sure you if you have small children they don’t take this as an opportunity to flick snow everywhere otherwise your quiet gardening time could suddenly turn into an impromptu snowball fight! Birds at this time of the year need all the help they can get too. There are some great plants that you can introduce to help them as well as popping out the traditional feeders. These include hawthorn, holly, beriberi and indeed your holly can double up as a craft project for indoor decorations over the festive season. If you are planting these types of shrubs for our feathered friends then do try and put them somewhere quiet in the garden where the birds won’t be frightened off. Sit back at your window and watch them feed contentedly whilst you enjoy the view. Why not get out a few gardening books, grab a cup of tea and imagine how you’d like your garden to look next summer? More or less vegetables? Bigger shrubs, more colour? Whatever you choose, pat yourself on the back for all the hard work you’ve done this year and think how green your fingers really could be!

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Landscaping, Design & Construction

Kare Gardens

Complete, professional garden care service from a local company * planning * designing * creating * maintaining * landscape supplies

01786 825 442 or 07801 445 028

Wishing all our customers a merry Christmas and Happy New Year

In Stock now... Christmas trees & stands. Holly wreaths. Christmas planters and baskets made up. Hardwood logs, coal, kindling & burning peat.

01786 821414

Open to trade and public - 7 days Stockbridge Nurseries, Kilbryde Rd, Dunblane (just off the bypass, on the road to Doune) Please mention thewire when responding to adverts



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Plant of the Month:


A hardy plant enjoying full sun and partial shade, this winter-flowering shrub provides a bold and colourful backdrop to many garden borders. With its richly coloured leaves that grow up to 40cm long, this plant provides bright yellow blooms by spring which smell like Lily of the Valley. The shrub is closely related to berberis but can be defined by its larger, bolder leaves which are glossy and evergreen. This shrub makes an ideal choice for a gardening beginner or one with little time as they are slow growing and don’t need much further care. They tend to be left alone by pests too because of their glossy leaves.



Traditional Drystone Walling: Dykes & Features

Small charge for local delivery or phone ahead to collect at the farm

07523 294 689

£5 per bag or 5 bags for £20 Tel: 01786 841 373 Niall: 07967 416 973 Tom: 07815 557 184

Lerrocks Farm (Red Kite Centre), Argaty, Doune

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Wishing all our customers a merry Christmas Paving & Landscaping Specialist All types of Paving, Slabbing & Monoblocking Driveways, Patios, Paths & Surfacing Work Garden Walls, Fencing and Property Maintenance. Garden Clearances Contact Bryce for more information

01786 823862 or 07753 434007 1 Caledonian Place, Dunblane


All types of joinery work undertaken, internal and external. Fitted kitchens, DIY furniture etc. All types of plumbing work undertaken. Installation of bathrooms, showers and ceramic tiling, storage tanks & pipes unblocked Cleaning of gutters and downpipes, drains unblocked. Special reduction for OAPs Scaffold can be supplied and erected for maintenance to soffits, fascias, gutters, chimneys etc.

Contact us on 01786 824 478 or 07749 023 484

no job too small ... we do it all! 42

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Word Search

Planting the Seed LANDSCAPE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION LTD From initial consultation and full colour design to complete garden build... all under one roof!

angel bells boots bow box card carols chimney eggnog elf family festival fireplace fruitcake garland gift goose holly hope

icicle ivy kings manger Noel party rejoice Rudolph scarf Scrooge sleigh snow toys tree winter wonder wreath yule log

Full design package Stone work Timber work Garden features ArtiďŹ cial lawns supplied & laid Turf supplied & laid Drainage 01786 841 719 01877 339 993

Registered Member

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Auto-biographies by Tim Barnes-Clay Motoring Writer at

New Jeep Cherokee 2.2 Diesel Jeep is celebrating its most fruitful year in Britain ever. It is a vital market for the company because we Brits buy more Cherokees than anywhere else in Europe or Africa. The American auto maker aims to echo this success in 2016. But how is it going to do it? Well, one way is to give the admired Cherokee line-up more ‘oomph’. So, that’s why the good-looking Jeep is now obtainable with 185hp and 200hp outputs. It offers an appreciably wider spread of pulling power from low revs, giving greater bang for your buck. But it isn’t just about enriched performance, the 2.2 Cherokee oil-burner now offers better fuel economy than the departing two-litre 170hp automatic lump. Available only with Jeep’s smooth changing nine-speed automatic gearbox, and paired to the company’s Active-Drive four-wheel-drive systems, the all new Cherokee 2.2 versions are inundated with equipment. The range now has more spec as standard, including an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, an automatic anti-dazzle rear-view mirror with built-in microphone and an electric tailgate. Perhaps more significantly, though, all Cherokees score highly with safety – achieving the maximum 5-stars in Euro NCAP’s tough tests. But back to the new engine under the bonnet. It is assembled for our market in the Pratola Serra plant, near Avellino, Italy. Armed with the 4x4 Jeep Active Drive I system, the Cherokee 2.2 MultiJet II 200hp reaches a maximum speed of 127mph. It accelerates from zero to 62mph in 8.5 seconds, has a typical combined fuel consumption figure of 49.6mpg and CO2 emissions of 150g/km. 44

The Cherokee 2.2 MultiJet II 200hp with Active Drive II and low-range has a top speed of 126mph, 0-62mph time of 8.7 seconds, and a combined fuel consumption of 46.3mpg, with 160g/km of CO2 emissions. Finally, Longitude and Longitude+ trim levels are provided with a 2.2 MultiJet II 185hp variant, in combination with 4x4 Jeep Active Drive I and the nine-speed automatic transmission. Prepared in this way, the Cherokee reaches a maximum speed of 125mph and gets from zero to 62mph in 8.8 seconds. Combined fuel economy and emissions are 49.5mpg and 150g/km. Behind the wheel of the quickest diesel – the 2.2 MultiJet II 200hp Limited 4WD automatic with Active Drive I - I found everything rapid enough. Certainly, the more commanding motor is a real step-up from the unit it supersedes. You no longer have to work the engine like a dog to make spirited progress. It is even quite soothing when you’re not pushing the pace. Undeniably, one of the Cherokee’s fortes is its ride. For a mid-sized sport utility vehicle (SUV) with off-road know-how, the Cherokee handles adeptly. The only time you notice the Jeep get a little unsettled is if you throw it in to a bend. Then there is perceptible body roll. The new 2.2 MultiJet II engine certainly places the Jeep Cherokee towards the crest of the mid-size SUV class for pace, poise and proper efficiency. It is no BMW X3 but it brings the fight to the likes of Honda’s CR-V – and is sure to put the fabled motor manufacturer on track for even more success in the United Kingdom next year.

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D & S TAXIS 01786

Stirling’s Garage Door Specialists



82 10 10 Evenings Only *NEW*

7 seater available on request

Est. 1940 • • • •

Residential Iron Gates Wrought Iron Gates Driveway Gates Agents for: SCAFELL, WINDERMERE & BUTTERMERE

t: 01786 474 709 Kay Garage Doors, Unit 1Phoenix Ind. Est., Springbank Rd, Stirling FK7 7SG

Dave Anderson Dunblane School of Motoring Grade 6 Instructor Over 30 yrs Experience Block Booking Discount Free Motorway Lesson 01786 82 52 82 07767 355 411

Window Cleaning

Est 1999

Commercial & residential window cleaning in Dunblane, Bridge of Allan, Stirling and surrounding areas

High reach water fed pole system

07801 584 301

Fully Licenced and Insured

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You looking at me?

Then so are your customers...

From everyone at Struthers & Scott, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year! Our Festive Opening Times are: Christmas Eve: 9am-4pm : Christmas Day: Closed Boxing Day: Closed 27th December: Closed 28th - 30th December: Open as normal 8am-7pm 31st December: 9am-4pm New Year’s Day: Closed 2nd January: Closed 3rd January: Closed 4th January: Open as normal 8am-7pm

Find out how to put YOUR business on this page and get yourself noticed in theWire Call Fiona on 07720 429 613 46

Struthers & Scott’s own Vets and Nurses will be available throughout the festive period when the practice is closed for emergencies on our normal number 01786 841 304 e: 70, Main Street, Doune 01786 841 304

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Dog Grooming Service

top coat & tails

Linda Aitchison

All breeds catered for in a quiet, friendly environment. Clipping, Bathing & Shampooing, Nails clipped Contact Linda on 01786 822 421 or 0759 290 8043 Glencairn, Doune Rd, Dunblane

Caring dog grooming by Katie O’Donnell, Dunblane All breeds welcome bathing • trimming • clipping hand-stripping • ear cleaning nail clipping • tick removal

Call 07831 488 432

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release your inner sparkle!

Find the 3 hidden phrases


5.30pm & 7.30pm The Braeport Centre Dunblane

For more information, call Kay on 01786 824 885 or 07828 095 012

SRC Landscapes Ltd Dunblane based company, est. 1997

Now available: Natural Door wreaths Cemetery Wreaths Wishing all our customers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year Contact Steven for more information

t: 01786 823 738 or m: 07767 605 135 48

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RHONA GEDDES, Optometrist

We send you our warmest best wishes for the Festive Season. 70 High Street Dunblane FK15 0AY

01786 825826

HOME FITNESS EQUIPMENT HIRE Motorised Treadmill 4 weeks hire £50 Club Style Air Rower 8 weeks hire £35 Exercise Cycle 8 weeks hire £35 Elliptical X-Trainer 6 weeks hire £40 Gravity Walker 8 weeks hire £25 Special offer: Vibration Plate 4 weeks hire £50 GETS AN EXTRA 6 WEEKS FREE! Home delivery available to the Dunblane area on Wednesday evenings

CALL 01236 767 211

Helen McLean Podiatry BSc Hons, MChS, HCPC Registered A home visit service within Dunblane & the surrounding areas, specialising in general foot care and biomechanics.

Dunblane 01786 609 706 07795 836 400

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Ian receiving his new SEIKO watch


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RHONA GEDDES Optometrist

Congratulations to Ian Gill who won an elegant gent’s watch in the SEIKO monthly, nationwide prize draw. SEIKO watches and spectacle lenses offer the same degree of precision. Each benefit from SEIKO being a global leader in the design and manufacture of the latest technology. In a nutshell, to wear them is to love them.

Rhona Geddes, Optometrist 70 High Street, Dunblane, FK15 0AY

01786 825 826 Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Is a perfect smile on your Christmas list?

We can help...

Phone or email NOW for an appointment on 01786 832 331 or

1 Union Street, Bridge of Allan 12 14 16 18 20 21 23 24 Down 1 2 3 4 5 6 10 13 15 17 19 22

Horrified, shocked (6) Compel, coerce (6) Perishes, succumbs (4) Complications, obstacles (8) Famous boys’ boarding school (4) Italian hard cheese (8) Type of bike (5) Titbit, goody (5) Bolting, racing (7) Fourth month, girl’s name (5) Female deer (3) Team sport played in a swimming pool (5,4) Popular team sport, mostly played by women (7) Fungus used in bread-making (5) Memo pad (9) Metallic grey poisonous chemical (7) Acrobat, tumbler (7) Bury, place inside a tomb (5) Feudal lord (5) Decompose, deteriorate (3)

Across 1 4 7 8 9 11

_____ Dahl, wrote Matilda (5) Breezy (5) Most furious (8) Streetcar (4) Large passenger aeroplane (8) Lowest female singing voice (4)


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DunblanePodiatry Podiatry 19 High Street Dunblane FK15 0EE Our Treatments include: • • • • • • • • •

Routine Chiropody/Podiatry Nail Surgery with Local Anaesthetic Diabetic Foot Assessments Paediatric/Teenage Podiatric Assessments Biomechanical Assessments Treatment of foot, ankle and knee Pain Treatment of Sports Injuries Foot and ankle manipulations/ mobilisations Lower Limb Acupuncture Connie Gribbon D.Pod.M, MChS, HCPC Scott Gribbon MSci, BSc(Hons), MChS, HCPC

Contact us for an appointment

01360 440 009 or 07824 097 616

December Deals..... ‘Limited Edition Express Energising Radiance Treatment’ from Katherine Daniels ‘This treatment will deliver energising and firming mineral and increase moisture levels to plump the skin, giving wrinkle reduction of up to 27% and a translucent radiance you never thought possible in just 40 minutes’. This is an ideal pre special occasion or party facial or as an express skin overhaul... Only £38 Back by popular demand is our cute piggy lip gloss £2.99 each or 4 for £10

A Party Season must have St Tropez Shower & Glow for only £12

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our amazing clients a Merry Christmas & a Very Happy New Year. Thank you for all of your support throughout the year...

25 High Street, Dunblane

01786 823 832

Stay beautiful with Alaska Beauty.. xx Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Throughout December we will be offering you limited edition warm oil Christmas massages.

You can choose from spiced apple or warm gingerbread. Back,neck & shoulders is £25/ Full body is £45 To complement these treatments you will receive a non alcoholic mulled wine and a mince pie after your treatment. Get 20% off on the 26th & 27th for the Dunblane Christmas extravaganza

Find out more & book your appointment now

Neroli Beauty Salon

01786 821 818 9 Stirling Rd, Dunblane

For a complete hearing assessment offering a bespoke service contact HASS Hearing & Audiology Services Scotland Home Visits or Surgery times to suit Practising at: BMI Kings Park Hospital, Stirling & Emma Drewery Optometrist, Bridge of Allan BUPA network provider


David Willis M.B.S.H.A.A. Consultant Audiologist & Registered Hearing Aid Dispenser tel: 07940 811 264 or email: 54

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Kindly provided by Francine at Orrganise It is really hard to believe that it is only a • couple of short weeks till Christmas. Everyone is panicking, rushing around buying gifts, planning food, making arrangements with family about Christmas dinner and who is going to be round the table on the big day. Many of us are already thinking about 2016 • and how we can make it our year. It seems like only yesterday that we were all taking down decorations and promising ourselves that this would be the year when we achieved all those resolutions. We would; • • • •

The first and most important tip is to ensure that our goals are achievable and realistic. No one is going to be able to reverse years of unhealthy habits in one month and setting unachievable goals can just leave you feeling down and disappointed in yourself. Tell the right people. Your friend from work, who you huddle outside with in the smoking shelter, is not going to be the most supportive person in your quest to finally kick the habit for good. Unless, of course, they want to stop smoking too. Don’t think that you are suddenly going to be going for a run every evening in January when it’s dark and cold. Why not build healthy habits in to your day? You could have a walk at lunch- time. Even ten minutes outdoors will boost your energy levels for the rest of the afternoon. Above all, write your goals down in your nice shiny 2016 diary and mark them off every week as you move closer to achieving them.

Give up smoking for good Lose that stubborn weight Go to the gym Actually see those friends we promised to spend time with • Make more time for us • New Year’s resolutions have always been prominent in people’s minds over the Christmas period. This is especially true for those people who see the festive period as January doesn’t have to be dark and leave you an opportunity to eat, drink and make merry. feeling blue. if you can encourage yourself to Post-Christmas guilt about overindulgence stay motivated it really can be the gateway to and overspending can lead to renewed the future you want to create for yourself. determination when the New Year strikes. We tell ourselves that this is going to be the year If you want to achieve your goals in 2016, when we become our very best selves and whether it’s feeling less stressed or getting achieve all those things we promise ourselves support to stop the habits that undermine you. Why not invest in yourself this Christmas are just around the corner. and find out how hypnotherapy and coaching So how come most people have abandoned with NLP can help. their resolutions by the third week in January? Don’t agonise...Orrganise There are some key techniques we can all use Practising at Neroli, Dunblane to help ourselves to achieve our goals in 2016. and Woodside Pharmacy, Doune 56

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Mairi’s Hair Design We will create a style that makes you look and feel absolutely GORGEOUS. Your journey starts the moment you walk in! Sit back with a glass of bubbly while your hairstylist gets to work to create the perfect look for you. If you have dreamed of having luxurious long hair we are now offering hair extensions in the salon as well as specialising in party hair ups, long curly blow drys and all aspects of professional hairstyling.

Gift Vouchers Available

For an appointment call 01786 824 077 9 Springfield Terrace, Dunblane

Achieve your goals this year with the support of Hypnotherapy and NLP


Orrganise Orr For more information contact Francine on 07772 401 634 or email

Don’t Agonise....Orrganise!

Do you suffer from back pain? A Stiff neck? Headaches? Or a niggly knee or shoulder? If so….. Isn’t it time you got it sorted? Causewayhead Chiropractic is a vibrant, friendly and professional clinic run by local experienced chiropractor Allison Macdonald 11 Alloa Road, Causewayhead (next door to Corrieri’s)

01786 430 054 Registered with all major health insurance providers. Making you the best you can be…

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Lorna Clarke

BSc Pod, MChS, HCPC Registered

Rosie Brown DSM Therapeutic Massage Don’t put up with pain... Therapeutic massage can help tight shoulders, headaches and aching backs.

Chiropodist & Podiatrist

Go to for details on how I can help you

Clinic & Home Visits

Vouchers available for Christmas

Tel: 07976 666 003

Rosie Brown DSM 07812 049 590

Clinic is now located at 1 Sinclair’s Street, Dunblane

1 Sinclair’s Street, Dunblane

Stress-busting festive tips. Plan ahead and include plenty of ‘me time’. Spend time doing what you enjoy most. Have fun. If you’re overloaded, learn to say no in the nicest way possible! What stresses you? Be aware of your own personal triggers. Don’t ignore them, deal with them. Talk, take advice, think things through, make decisions and you’ll feel more in control. Don’t be a victim. Deal with your anger. Recognise it and devise ways of politely walking away from confrontations so you can calm down, using deep breathing (in and out to the count of 5, at least 3 times) and positive thinking. Natural remedies. Homeopathic and flower remedies are excellent for anxieties, as are Vitamin C and the B Vitamins. Some aromatherapy oils, especially lavender and orange are very relaxing. Enhance their effects by booking an aromatherapy massage. Exercise. Regular, mild aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming and dancing, strengthens the heart and encourages a steady flow of mood-boosting hormones. Don’t rush your food. Try to relax when eating. No more 5 minute lunches at the desk. Eating under stress confuses your metabolism. High cortisol levels causes blood to flood the muscles rather than the intestines, which is where it should be for healthy digestion. 58

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! As a thank you for all your support, please come in to the salon to receive your £10 OFF voucher to be used during Jan & Feb 16* Have 5 cut & colour services and receive the 6th one FREE*

01786 824 445 Hair Chair • 50 High Street, Dunblane • Please mention wire 429 when responding to adverts To advertise in the wirethe t. 07720 613 e. 59 * Terms & Conditions apply

Gary McIntyre

Joiner & Building Contractor All types of Joinery Work • Specialists in Hardwood Floors • UPVC Double Glazing, Windows & Doors • Roof Repairs • House Extensions

01786 826 702 or 07831 137 900 2 Montgomery Crescent, Dunblane

wishing everyone a merry christmas and a happy new year

Hammer & Clout

Property Maintenance and Handyman

All aspects of: General Renovations/Decorating House Clearances Minor Building/Joinery Works Plumbing/Bathroom Re-fits Gutters/Driveways Cleaned Flatpack Assemblies White Good Installations Garden Tree Work Fencing/Decking

Contact Craig 01786 358 825 or 07787 312 497

Family Run, Dunblane Based Business. Free Quotes


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Rotary members getting involved with Big Noise!

Bridge of Allan and Dunblane Rotary Club It’s all about variety! The Rotary Club Thursday evening meetings offer a surprising variety of topics: sometimes it’s in the subjects chosen by after-dinner speakers; on other occasions it can involve visits to interesting places. Subjects this Autumn have included: bats, micro-distilling, the Uphill Trust, the Big Noise, and a report from a young participant in a worldwide education conference named Round Square. Looking to the work of local industry, there has been a visit to the Highland Spring factory at Blackford. More recently there has been a talk by Colin Renwick, Minister of Dunblane Cathedral; an historical investigation of the Battle of Sherrifmuir given by the Club’s own expert, Ranald Shepherd, which coincided with the three hundredth anniversary of the battle; and a talk on the work of Dunblane in Bloom. But lest it be thought that Rotary is centred round evening meals and speakers, members have also been out and about supporting the community through its work at the Dunblane Centre’s annual birthday celebration. On this occasion, it was the renowned crêpe-making group, whose efforts provided a contribution towards the work of the Centre. A similar effort at the Braeport Centre helped support the Firewalk which was raising funds for an Alzheimer charity. The Club has also involved local schools and the Boys’ Brigade in the annual Shoebox Appeal. The young people and their families fill shoeboxes with presents and useful household items, and these are then distributed to severely deprived areas of Europe. Towards the end of November, there is an event for the older members of the community. This takes the form of a party, organised by Rotary in Queen Victoria School, with a ceilidh band and with dancing and piping by the students. And it’s not all serious: we have a crazy whist evening, a wine-tasting event, a Christmas dinner, a Burns supper, and a visit to the Pantomime, with later in the year a barge cruise. It’s a great variety of activities, with a sense of fellowship and fun linked to the desire to support and enhance the community. We welcome visitors to our evening meetings, without any obligation, and we are also pleased to meet anyone who might be interested in joining Rotary. In either case, please contact the Secretary, Iain Fraser, whose contact details are: tel: 01786 822751, or any member of the Club. Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Anyone for snowball?! What better way to get in the festive spirit and indulge the senses than with some Christmas baking? Mince pies would probably feature near the top of most people’s yuletide lists but for my brothers and I the annual tradition was creating a stocking-shaped mincemeat tart.

of Satsuma’s and whole nuts at Christmas provided a welcome contrast. Christmas food was exciting and plentiful with sherry trifle and snowball pudding both family traditions. Over 30 years on I can still recall making snowball, a heady mix of dried cherries, fruit, nuts, sponge and sherry. This was shaped in a pudding bowl and left in the fridge overnight before inverting and covering in whipped cream to represent its namesake.

Cut to fill a large baking tray and complete with crimp-edged ‘stitching’, this life-size golden puff pastry stocking was a real highlight. That’s probably why a whiff of mincemeat is all that’s needed to transport I’m not suggesting that baking should be me back to my childhood. confined to seventies throwbacks, what’s Our sense of smell and taste are linked to important is cooking together to create the oldest parts of the brain which is why traditions for the future. Traditional Christmas the smell or taste of something can evoke dinner is not just an exercise in precision memories of bygone days. When all of our timings but a sensory smorgasbord on a senses are stimulated our memories are even plate, from the enticing aromas to the visual more vivid. spectacle, the sounds to the multitude of Cue another festive favourite, making textures from creamy to crunchy and most delicately shaped marzipan sweets. textures in between. Moulded into miniature oranges, bananas and pineapples, the squishy feel of yielding marzipan, distinctive almond smell and visual delight of the finished ‘fruit’ was a feast for the senses, as well as making great gifts. A seventies chocolate log was also a must have. We baked and rolled our own swiss roll, which as I recall was springy and bouncy to the touch. Mounted on a foil covered board this was then encased in bark-ridged chocolate icing, dusted with sugar and topped with holly leaves. From memory this was more about the making than the taste, but that was back in my pre-chocolate loving days! Brought up in a ‘you can’t get down from the table until you’ve finished’ sort of home with no snacks between meals, an inviting bowl 62

And then there’s the pudding. With tummies almost full the thick stickiness of a Christmas pudding, heady aromas of spice and rich taste of brandy butter and cream complete the sensory experience. Be it my retro Snowball or making your own edible Christmas Tree decorations, cooking with children helps create delight and vivid unforgettable memories. So dust down your cookbooks and get baking as surely that’s what Christmas is all about?

It’s all Child’s Play

Feature by Sue Gascoyne of Play-Z Ltd

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HALL FOR HIRE The Centre, Kinbuck

(less than 5 mins from Dunblane)

Large hall suitable for parties etc. Badminton Court with equipment Small hall suitable for meetings Fully equipped kitchen Parking and disabled access

For details and availability please contact:

The Centre is run by Kinbuck Community Group who have a Facebook page

Scottish Registered Charity SC041759

Play Time Ricciarelli are biscuits which originate in Siena and are traditionally given as Christmas gifts in Italy. This recipe is not the traditional one but is simple and quick for young children to help with and you don’t need to worry too much about knocking the air out of the egg whites. Heat the oven to 160°, gas mark 4. In a large bowl combine 250g ground almonds, 250g icing sugar, plus extra for coating, ½ tsp. baking powder. In a separate bowl whisk 2 large egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them into the dry ingredients. Add a tsp. vanilla extract. Shape walnut-sized pieces of sticky, heavy dough into balls, and roll in a shallow dish of icing sugar to coat. Flatten the snowballs lightly between your palms and lay on a nonstick baking tray. Repeat with the remaining dough and bake for 10-15 minutes. Leave them on the tray to cool completely or they will stick to the tray. Kindly supplied by Wee Acorns Nursery

RAD & ISTD Grades & Vocational training SQA Part-time courses in Dance, Drama, Singing

Full-time HNC/HND Musical Theatre Funding available for students 16yrs+

t: 01786 451 244


Please contact us or pop in to find out more Perth Road, Dunblane 01786 826982

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School Jotters

Dumble the Dinosaur at Dunblane

Primary School The children in Primary 3A and 2/3 recently performed their musical about “Dumble the Dinosaur” to parents and the rest of the school. They wrote their own reviews about their performance which everyone thoroughly enjoyed. Our performance of “Dumble the Dinosaur” took place on Monday 26th October at 2pm. I played the part of a narrator and I really enjoyed it. My line was nice and easy. I enjoyed just being on the stage and doing the performance. My favourite part was when I did my bow. I felt very, very smiley and I really enjoyed doing the show. I liked Dumble’s costume especially the scales on it. In our topic, I learned a lot about dinosaurs and about how to speak slowly. It was very interesting learning about everything. Cameron Russell I played the part of “Sandy.” I enjoyed all the singing. My favourite part was when the baby dinosaur hatched and did his little dance. I felt happy because I was doing it to my mum, my gran and my auntie. I really liked all the songs especially “Choc Rock.” I learned all about dinosaurs and how friendly they are. Eve Harrington In our performance, my role was playing the part of “Flinty.” My words were “We must fight it and now we can all live happily together.” It was nerve wracking but after the show I was fine. My favourite part was when the baby dinosaur hatched. My favourite character was “Mrs Cobble” because she was funny and clever. It must have been fun for the musicians who were very good. The baby dinosaur and Mrs Cobble both looked good. The cave children in the story were called Pebble, Rocky, Stony, Flinty, Sandy and Chip. I learned that we can speak more clearly and slowly when performing and that the most important thing is to have enjoy myin favourite song which 429 was 613 “We are cave men.” Hannah Fitzpatrick To advertise thewire t. 07720 e. 64 fun and

Scholarship Week 1st-5th February 2016

At Beaconhurst School we offer scholarships which enable your gifted child to achieve their true potential. For a chance to see around the school and to ask about our scholarship process, contact us on 01786 832 146 Please mentionschool, thewire when responding to adverts Beaconhurst is an inclusive dedicated to developing EVERY individual 65

Dunblane Centre NEwsletter Message from Gemma, Centre Manager Happy December …. Christmas is slowly approaching – it’s great to see the high street getting festive. Trees are going up, letters to Santa getting perfected and mince pies bought in bulk. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support during 2015 – what a crazy busy year it has been. We’re not over yet, we’ve got lots happening in December:

Panto: Aladdin

We’re off to Peking for panto this year! Join Aladdin, Wishee Washee and the Genie as they join forces to defeat the evil Abanazer and win the hand of Princess Jasmine. With our fabulous cast of young people, our usual adult suspects and all the traditional panto chaos this promises to be our biggest boldest and brightest yet. Be prepared for 80 kids, an adult cast (and Bob!), glitzy costumes and dodgy jokes!


Tuesday 8th – Saturday 12th December:

7.30pm and Saturday matinée performance at 2pm Tickets cost £8 adult and £6 concession Tickets are available from the Centre or from Please call the Centre for up to date availability on tickets

Christmas, Choir, Cakes and a Cuppa

Friday 18th December: 7.30pm … £5 per person … BYOB The Choir has been hard at work this term perfecting some classics. Join us on Friday 18th December for some well-known, can’t-help-but-sing-along-to songs with a Christmas carol or two thrown in. There will be hot chocolate, teas and coffees and mince pies to get us in the Christmas mood or BYOB for some extra Christmas ‘spirit’. £5 per person and this includes a hot drink and mince pie


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Frozen Family Singalong- 3.30pm – 6pm Sunday 20th December

Join us for some Frozen Family fun. Watch the film, sing along, have your photo taken with your favourite Frozen characters. We’ll also have face-painting and have some frozen themed snacks. Tickets: £3 per child. Adults go free. Under 8 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Children’s Christmas Craft Club and Drop in Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd December 2pm-4pm

Looking for some time to yourself to complete your Christmas shopping or finish wrapping your presents? We’re offering a Christmas club and drop in for children; pre-school – P7 The afternoon includes • Craft activity: Decorate a ceramic plate for Santa and make some reindeer dust for Rudolph’s arrival • Parachute games • Choco-chino and snack • Christmas music and movies Cost: £5 per child BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL AS PLACES ARE LIMITED

Christmas Eve - morning playtime!

This year we’ll be having the soft play and bouncy castle session open on Christmas Eve, with a drop-in for the over 8s too. So bring the kids down and run off some of that Christmas Eve excitement! We’ll be open until 12 noon and there may even be a special guest ….

Youth Clubs and Saturday Night Project

Week beginning 7th December, Youth Clubs are off due to panto. The following week are the youth club festive parties then things return to normal from 11th January. Saturday Night Project finishes up on 5th December, and returns on 16th January. Merry Christmas to all our under 18s and we look forward to seeing you in 2016!

Festive Opening Hours: Christmas Eve: Christmas Day and Boxing Day: Monday 28th Dec: Tuesday 29th Dec: Wednesday 30th Dec: New Year’s Eve: New Year’s Day – 3rd Jan:

9am –12 noon CLOSED 9am-12.30pm and 6pm – 10pm 9am-12.30pm and 6pm – 10pm 9am-12.30pm and 6pm – 10pm 9am –12 noon CLOSED

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Dunblane Centre NEwsletter Buy a unique local gift this Christmas

Our special anniversary book - the Gift that Keeps Growing - can also be bought online at Amazon, and might be the ideal stocking filler for someone you know is interested in Dunblane but lives further away. We’re also offering gift vouchers for Centre activities, in multiples of £10, a more personal present than a book token for someone local! Contact the Centre to find out more.

22nd January 2016 Dunblane Centre Youth Burns Supper

£10 adult and £6 school age and under. Once again 20 young people will entertain the audience at the annual Burns extravaganza, with the immortal memory being given by a surprise special guest. Always a highlight in the calendar and 2016 will be no exception. To purchase your ticket contact Gemma at

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year

As always, you can keep up to date with everything we’re doing on our social media pages: or @DunblaneCentre

Contact us: 01786 824 224 e: Dunblane Youth and Sports Centre Trust is a Registered Scottish Charity SC027397 68

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Arnhall Nursery is a private day nursery that provides high quality childcare from birth up to 5 years.

Soak up the Christmas atmosphere at your local Christmas Fair Taking place at the St Mary’s Church Hall in Dunblane, on Saturday 5th December from 1.30-4.30pm, the annual Christmas Fair is guaranteed to be an afternoon of fun for the whole family. Kids and the young at heart will have the opportunity to enjoy Christmas themed craft workshops, face painting, two tombolas, one targeted at kids and another at adults, Christmas themed biscuit decorating, games and a lucky dip. The highlight will of course be Santa’s Grotto. All kids who visit the Grotto, will get quality time with the man in red and his elves and also receive a gift.

We have pre-school grant funded places available & have been graded Excellent & Very Good by the Care Inspectorate in our recent report; the nursery is set in the beautiful rural surroundings of the Keir Estate on the outskirts of Dunblane with ample car parking. Open all year round from 7.30am to 6.30pm All meals included home cooked by our in-house chef Fully qualified and trained staff For further details or to arrange a visit please contact the Nursery direct on 01786 822 391 Keir Estate, Dunblane, FK15 9NU

A tea room will be serving hot drinks and home baking and there will also be various stalls selling Christmas gifts, crafts, preloved toys and books, glűhwein, freshly made waffles and Indian snacks. Primary 7 students from St Mary’s Episcopal School will be running their very own enterprise stall - Crafty13 They will offer unique handmade decorations for your home. All products will be made by P7 and all profits will be donated to Start Up Stirling. The annual raffle, which will be drawn at the end of the fair, has various fantastic gifts such as a luxury hamper, a season pass to Scone Palace, a family pass to Blairdrummond Safari park, lunch for two at Gleneagles, a family pass to Landmark and many, many more.

make your message more EYE-CATCHING...

Organised by St Mary’s Episcopal Primary School Parent Council’s fundraising group, the event is aiming to raise funds to help enhance the learning experience of students at the school and nursery.

Call Fiona on 07720 429 613

theWire design service or email

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The Great Christmas Eve Countdown Whilst it’s not a public holiday, many people across the UK choose to take Christmas Eve off work to do last minute preparations and take part in special activities. Many Christians attend church services ranging from special family-based events, to the traditional Midnight Mass. In other countries, the opening of presents is part of the Christmas Eve celebrations along with a large meal enjoyed with family and friends. In the UK many spend Christmas Eve delivering gifts to friends and relatives, if of course they are not rushing round the shops perhaps having made a deliberate decision to buy at the last minute because many shops now start their sales early! Others will enjoy festive activities such as a visit to Santa’s grotto, skating on one of the special ice rinks that pop up in many towns and cities, or taking a trip to the local pantomime. Of course it’s wise to book Christmas Eve activities well in advance as it’s a popular time. Many choose to spend at least part of the day at home watching Christmas movies, listening to festive CDs and doing everything they can to ensure that Christmas Day goes perfectly. Most vegetables can be peeled and left 70

safely in saucepans of cold water overnight. Fiddly jobs such as wrapping bacon around the sausages for pigs in blankets and preparing stuffing and sauces can also be done. You can get your turkey oven ready too by placing an onion and oranges in the cavity, greasing the skin, wrapping with bacon and putting it in the baking tray with foil. Just make sure you keep it out of the way of curious pets! If you have a frozen turkey you will need to start the defrosting on Christmas Eve. This is also the time to bring any other items out of the freezer- such as pre baked mince pies. Just try to resist the temptation to eat them all the same day. Some starters can also be made and stored in the fridge, and for those not wanting Christmas pudding other deserts can be cooked and then reheated on Christmas Day. Many people take great delight in laying the table carefully. While youngsters may be out partying until the small hours, those in charge of the Christmas Day festivities and those with young excited children are well advised to get to bed at a sensible time; it is unlikely that you will enjoy Christmas Day if you are over tired and irritable. Only one more sleep until Christmas. Season’s Greetings.

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Quality Childcare and Education, from Birth - 11 years Open Monday-Friday, 8am - 6pm Call us to arrange your unique viewing!

Tel: 01786 821 950 (select option 2) Outdoor Education | Child Centred Approach Speech & Language Therapy | Sibling Discount & NHS Staff Discount Part-time/Full-time and Flexible Sessions

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School Jotters

Travelling by Tuba P.1-6

Our children enjoyed a wonderful morning listening to, learning about, and creating music from across the world with Travelling by Tuba. Our grateful thanks to the Dunblane Cathedral Arts Guild and Youth Music Initiative. “Travelling by Tuba was really good. My favourite part was when they played the Pink Panther!” Libby P.3 “My favourite bit in the Travelling Tuba performance was when they brought out the big long horn from Switzerland and played it. It was called an Alpine Horn.” Ruaridh P.3

Newton Primary School P.4 Right to Write

Thank you very much for books donated to P.4 classes appeal for Books Abroad. Children enjoyed a talk from Mr. Edwards, from Books Abroad, and he was able to share that our books will go to children in the Philippines. “I think it was a good project to do because we were helping children in other countries to read.”Jamie R. “I thought we were being really kind to other children.” Hannah “We learned what life was like for other children and how we could help them.” Emilie “I think it was good to do this project because some of the children we helped have never had any books.” Aiden

P.3 link up with Dunblane in Bloom

The boys and girls in Primary 3S and Primary 3D had a very interesting and fun visit from Mr. Matthews from Dunblane in Bloom. We learned that Dunblane in Bloom are trying to make Dunblane an even nicer place to live. The group have been building raised beds to plant beautiful and different types of flowers. They create hanging baskets and hang them from high poles around Dunblane. The volunteers who help Mr. Matthews fill huge tubs with lovely flowers. Flowers are grown from seeds and some young people doing the Duke of Edinburgh Award look after the plants and help them plant them out all around the town, including the train station. Mr. Matthews has been working at this for seven years. He would like us to help look after the plants and not damage them because everyone works so hard and they look so lovely. His favourite flower is a curly leucothoe. We were really pleased that Mr. Matthews came to visit us. We would like to help Dunblane in Bloom and we are all thinking about how we could do this. By Isla R., Ella S., Alex M.

P.7 Remembrance Assembly

Primary Seven led a very respectful and informative assembly about Remembrance on Thursday 5th November. Their careful and colourful art work and thoughtful poems lined the walls of the hall. Using poetry, song, film clips and facts they helped the younger children’s understanding of why we might wear red or white poppies at this time of year. (Picture byTo Oliver Brooks, advertise in P7) thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. 72

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As panto season kicks off at Macrobert Arts Centre, local businesses and individuals have been out in force to lend their support to the Arts Centre’s annual Christmas Appeal. The appeal, aims to donate almost 1,000 Panto tickets to local children and families who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to attend and spread Christmas cheer across the Central Belt. Menstrie-based consultancy Projects on Track have pledged their support to the appeal. Joe Cairney, Director, said: “Projects on Track are delighted to support Macrobert Arts Centre’s Christmas Appeal. It’s an absolute pleasure to be able to help bring such a wonderful Christmas experience to so many children and families, and we’re pleased to be able to support the work of some very worthwhile local charities. It’s a cause we feel very proud to be associated with.” Mackie’s of Scotland have lent their support to the appeal as sponsors, and have pledged to donate a free interval ice cream to everyone who attends the Panto thanks to appeal donations. Last year the appeal supported 18 charities across Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire, and the Arts Centre are already beginning the process of allocating tickets secured thanks to this year’s donations. James Marshall, Development Manager at Stirling Carers Centre, one of the charities benefitting from the appeal, said: “The Christmas Pantomime always proves to be a fantastic experience for our young carers, and we are delighted to be in a position to be offered tickets again this year”. Donations of £15 secure an Appeal panto ticket, along with an interval ice cream and a signed cast photo for each child and family. Kathryn Welch, Development Manager at Macrobert Arts Centre, said: “We’re absolutely delighted by the response to our Christmas Appeal. Companies and local people have been so generous already, and we’re hoping to donate more tickets than ever this year. The response to the appeal just goes to show how generous our local community is, and we’re asking everyone to get involved to help make Christmas really memorable for children and families who are struggling this year”.

Donations to Macrobert Arts Centre’s Christmas Appeal can be made at 74

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75 Feature by Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert

Christmas No we do not want Christmas songs, goods or fairy lights in September, or October, or even November. Christmas is on 25 December and that’s where it should stay. Yet, while it is far too early for celebration, it’s never too early for preparation. Many of the key Christmas must-dos to save money only work if you do them early enough. So now we’ve far fewer than 100 days to go, here’s my Christmas (or Chanucah or Eid) savers checklist.

peer-pressure filled obligation. And even those who want to be generous to those with less than them, remember by giving to someone that person often feel obligated to buy back which can do more harm than help. For my full ‘ban Christmas presents’ philosophy, go to

Not saved for it? Start now – then you can split the cost by four

A typical family Christmas costs around £820 – a huge amount from one month’s salary Earn 5% cashback on your Christmas alone. But if you haven’t started saving yet, there is still time.


If you’re going to be spending for Christmas, you might as well do it on a card that pays you every time you spend on it. The no annual fee Amex Everyday credit card pays 5% cashback on your first three months’ spending (maximum £100) followed by up to 1.25% after.

For example, put £200 aside from your September, October and November’s income, and it’ll spread the cost. Save what you can, but if you really can’t afford to, I’m afraid you’ll need to cut your cloth accordingly.

Not used it since last Christmas? Flog it

Walk around the house and examine everything – it’s time for your annual personal stock clearance. Many old items can be worth serious cash and if you’ve not used things for a year, whether kids’ toys, prams, coffee makers, mobile phones, gadgets, or even clothes, why not sell them? Have a look on eBay to see if any of your bits are suitable for sale. There are also lots of recycling sites that will pay you for old Agree to not give unnecessary mobiles and gadgets – just make sure you do your research first to find the one that’ll give presents Far too many people do tit-for-tat giving, you the most. and using the end result is tat. So now’s the Set up a Christmas cupboard, then moment to agree with friends, family and POUNCE on the biggest discounts colleagues to cut back on giving this year. Become a tactical shopper. Work out now Why not save it for just the immediate family? what you want to buy and then you can Too many people end up with goods they’ll pounce on it when there’s a code, voucher or never use, so why waste our cash out of some discount that’s cheaper Get it now and this falls during the high spend Christmas period. The cashback won’t be paid until a year later, but, then again, that’s a bonus for next Christmas. Set up a direct debit to repay IN FULL each month to avoid the 22.9% rep APR. There’s a full list of options at, plus an eligibility checker that tells you your odds of getting each card.


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Even better, as is part of many MoneySavers’ Christmas arsenal, once you by a present, bag it, wrap it, and pop it in a Christmas cupboard.

Plus every few months its ‘double-up’ scheme gives 2x value year-round on selected items instore and on Tesco Direct, including fragrance, toys and electricals. Tesco won’t confirm for sure when it’ll next be on, but it’s likely to be around the beginning of November.

Don’t borrow for Christmas - but if you’ll do it anyway, ensure it’s at 0%

Warning! Don’t ignore your household enquiry form

That said, if you’ll borrow anyway, at least do it right. The longest 0% spending credit card is at 26 months or PostOffice. at 25 months. Although these cards are over two years interest free, before they jump to 18.9% rep APR, aim to clear the card before next Christmas or you just perpetuate the misery.

It should arrive by November, and by law, fill it in and return it. So don’t mistake it for junk and bin it. When you get it double-check the info is correct and send it back by the end of Nov, even if there are no changes needed.

(my weekly email includes the hot ones

Xmas borrowing’s a bad idea. Far better to go, er, cold turkey, and have a more austere time (Christmas is just one day, after all).

Small cutbacks now can mean big savings

Small cutbacks now can save large when there are 90 days, 66 working days and 13 weeks left until Christmas. So, if you give up a £2 coffee every day at work you’ll save £132, or cut back on an £8 pack of cigarettes every week and it’s £104. I’m not saying you must give up everything completely, but make an active choice: would you prefer the cash at Christmas or the daily treat?

Don’t use Tesco vouchers for festive food

A £10 Tesco voucher is worth just £10 instore. Yet you can double or triple its value on items in its deals/ brochure (£10 becomes £30) on gift items such as Goldsmiths jewellery or Merlin annual theme park passes.

Every UK household is being sent a Household Enquiry Form from their local council to check the right people are registered to vote – and if you repeatedly fail to fill it in you can be fined up to £1,000.

Warning: Go quick if you want solar panels

If you’ve been thinking about getting solar panels then you need to act now to lock in the high earnings as a Government consultation’s proposing to reduce the amount those with panels are paid for generating electricity from January 2016 from £515/year to £135/year. So for many this will mean it simply won’t be worth it. But the rate you get depends on when you install the panels and register for the feed-intariff. From that point on, the tariff is set for 20 years and rises with inflation, so if you do that before January, you get the higher rate regardless of any announcement. If you’re contemplating it, I’ve a full guide at solar. @MoneySavingExpert

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My goal is to be filthy rich. Rich in adventure, in health, in knowledge, in laughter, in family and in love. Are you focusing on being NOT POOR? A sure way to guarantee never being wealthy will feel nothing about in days. Wham, Joe is is to focus on NOT being poor. Energy flows, straight back to where he started! Once again where focus goes. he feels poor and the cycle begins again. For most money cooks, it is much more Why is this? important to them to be NOT poor than it is to be rich. All Joe’s motivation to invest came from his desire to be NOT POOR. As soon as he feels At my live talks and workshops I often ask NOT POOR all his motivation evaporates. The people what they want. Over 95% will tell exact same cycle happens with people who me something they don’t want. “Ann, I don’t focus on being NOT FAT rather than being want to be poor”, “I don’t want to end up a bag slim or healthy. But this seems crazy. Why do lady”, “I don’t want my kids to have to support people do this? Because its more important me financially when I’m old.” So let’s see what to them to be NOT POOR, than it is to be happens. WEALTHY! Joe knows when he’s poor. For Joe, this is when he has only $500 left in his bank accounts. Joe doesn’t want to be poor, the thought of being poor makes him feel terrible so when his bank account starts getting near $500 he cuts back on his spending and puts some money into an investment. He is motivated. Yeah, I’m not poor.

Let me say that again. It’s more important to the money cook to be NOT poor than it is to be RICH. As soon as they have a little bit of money put away and starting to make money, they no longer feel poor. So all the motivation to be NOT poor is gone and they rob themselves.

Money cooks focus on being NOT POOR. A few months later, Joe sees his money is doing Wealth chefs focus in being RICH. exactly what it is made to do, it’s making more money. His bank balances are increasing and he is well above $500. Wow, Joe feels great, he is NOT POOR - he has achieved his goal. Off By Ann Wilson, The Wealth Chef Joe goes to buys something to celebrate, on sharing the recipes for wealth. credit of course or even better, he steals from himself by taking the money his money has Follow her on Twitter @thewealthchef made and spends it on something useless he 78

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Robertson Jones Wealth Management Ltd We care and have the patience to explain and explain again without jargon.

Guy Jones BSc (Mech. Eng), APFS

Chartered Financial Planner

We help you with: • Local, bespoke, confidential service. • Estate and Inheritance Tax Planning. • Retirement Planning. • Tax relief and tax effi ciency. • Long-term Care Planning • Investment growth and diversifi cation. • Protection.

To find out more, contact Guy on 01786 822 291

23 High Street, Dunblane

Cathedral Accounting Services We are a local accounting practice which specialises in assisting small / medium companies and sole traders report on the past and plan for the future. We can provide a full range of accountancy, payroll, VAT and taxation services to your business.

Phone Andrew Hemming on 01786 821 895 / 07971 769 851


Place the numbers so each row, column and box contain the numbers 1-9. Good Luck!

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Self-Assessment tax returns still need to be submitted on time You may have seen in the press or on the TV a couple of months ago, news stories that implied that it would be easy to get out of paying an automatic £100 minimum penalty for the late filing of a self-assessment tax return. The background to the initial news stories was the leaking internal memo of HMRC to its staff dealing with self-assessment penalties. A £100 automatic penalty charged if a self-assessment tax return is not submitted by 31 January. Individuals can successfully appeal against the penalty if they have a ‘reasonable excuse’. HMRC provide a list of what they regard as reasonable. Top of the list is ‘your partner died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline’, which provides an indication of extreme circumstances listed. Despite the automatic penalty system, around 900,000 people failed to submit their tax return on time for the 2013/14 tax year, the deadline for which was 31 January 2015. Many of these individuals appealed against the subsequent £100 minimum penalty causing a backlog of cases in HMRC. The internal memo explained simplified


approach to resolving penalties with the effect that HMRC would accept the taxpayers’s grounds for appeal in the majority of cases without questioning the tax payer and cancel the penalty. A subsequent press release from HMRC has made it clear that the deadline for appealing fines for the 2013/14 tax year has now passed. It did not state what their approach would be to individuals missing the 2014/15 tax return deadline which is 31 January 2016. The press release does say, in the longer term, HMRC want to move away from sending out penalty notices as a mechanical reaction to a single missed deadline. Instead they want to focus on those who persistently fail to pay or submit their tax returns online. It is good news, of course, that HMRC will use their right to send out fixed penalty notices in a fair and proportionate way. But it is far safer to meet the deadlines so please do contact us in plenty of time before the forthcoming 31 January to ensure that your self-assessment return does not run the risk of being filed late. Kindly provided by A9 Partnership Ltd

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don’t let your savings rate take a hammering... Deposit rates for savings continue to remain low, talk to an Independent Financial Adviser about protecting your wealth.

Contact Darren on 01786 845 599 e: RFL House, Unit 12, Anderson St, Dunblane

McIntyre FUNERAL DIRECTOR Established over 35 years

A Family Business providing a complete and caring 24 hour service. Floral Tributes & Monumental Masonry can be arranged.

Contact Joan directly on 07971 167 130 or 01786 825 050 7 Beech Road, Dunblane

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Top Tips Well now the nights are drawing in and the air has turned colder, we all want to hibernate and our homes become a cosy refuge against the harsher weather. Unfortunately, this is a time when many things can go wrong in a property. Minimise the hassle and expense of leaks, bursts, alarm call-outs and mouldy walls by following these tips for a stress-free winter season. • Turn off outdoor taps internally where possible and run the tap outside to empty the pipe of any water. • Make sure the gutters look clear and are draining well. Check for any leaks to prevent damp and water damage. • Check for leaking overflow pipes: the water may freeze and burst the pipe, causing a flood. • Make sure you know where your stopcock is in case of emergency: it is often under the kitchen sink or in the bathroom in older properties. If you can’t work out how to turn the water off, don’t be embarrassed to ask your landlord or agent. • Report any leaks to your agent or landlord in a timely manner. Small problems can quickly become big and expensive ones, so speed is of the essence. • If you’re leaving the property for any length of time, make sure the heating is left on and your incoming cold water mains stopcock is turned off. It’s also a good idea to let you neighbours know you are going to be away and give them contact details for you, your landlord or 82

Top Tips for Tenants

Kindly provided by Cathedral City Estates

agent. Make sure you bleed your radiators regularly to keep them working efficiently. • If you have an oil or biofuel boiler, make sure you have plenty of supplies to avoid having to wait a long time for a delivery if the weather turns nasty. • If it gets really cold, open the loft hatch for a while each day to allow the warm air in the house to circulate in the loft space: this will help to prevent any pipes from freezing. • Remember to ventilate your property well to prevent condensation and the spread of mould: use extractor fans in the bathroom and kitchen and keep the heating on. If your windows have trickle vents, keep them open. Don’t dry wet or damp clothes in cold rooms without any heat or ventilation. • Don’t leave Christmas lights or illuminated decorations switched on when you are not at home. It is also a good idea to check through the small print of your tenancy agreement for any extra measures that you must take during cold spells. If there is anything that is unclear, speak to your agent or landlord who will be happy to help. •

01786 821 012

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You are warmly invited to join us this Christmas For information on local church services and events for all ages, visit

DUNBLANE • COUNCIL • OF • CHURCHES Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Dunblane Scouts Christmas Post Monday 23rd November to Thursday 17th December The Annual Dunblane Scout Post begins on Monday 23rd November with Scout Post Stamps available for sale and Posting boxes which can be found in various locations across Dunblane: Dunblane Library, Dunblane Centre, Meldrums Newsagents, Marshall MacCallum Estate Agents, Beech Tree Cafe, Bannermans Pharmacy (opposite the Health Centre)

Cost of stamps: 25p each. Delivery areas: Dunblane within the 40mph sign & Ashfield only

LAST POSTING DATE: 4pm, Thurs 17th December Cards will be delivered weekend starting 19th December THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT & MORE IMPORTANTLY MERRY CHRISTMAS! 4th/85th Forth Valley Dunblane Scout Group. Registered Scottish Charity no. SC031040

Dunblane Library News Bookbug Sessions will be held on Thursday 10th & 17th December from 10.30am, a special Christmas storytime/Craft session will be held on 24th December from 10.30am-11.30am. The Library will close on the 24th December and reopen on Tuesday 5th January at 9am. This is the ideal time to stock up on Dvds as the loan period will be 11 days on all Dvds and up to 20 books can be borrowed on an Adult Library Card. The staff would like to wish all our customers a very Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2016. 84

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We are Scotland’s Health Charity Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland is looking for volunteers to help in their Bridge of Allan Boutique Store on Henderson Street. Money raised is used to improve the quality of life for people in Scotland affected by chest, heart and stroke illnesses through research, care, support and advice. Do you enjoy assisting customers and working with fashion on the sales floor? Or do you prefer to work behind the scenes in the stockroom processing clothing, books or bric-abrac? All training is provided. Come and join our friendly team for a few hours each week and help make a difference. Please pop into the shop for an application form – we’d be very pleased to see you.

T h r o u g h o u t December at The View Gallery in Dunblane Library there will be an exhibition of works by local artist and fisherman Tom McKenzie. Featuring scenes from the local area as well as the Highlands and Islands and also some new works based on Pitlochrys Enchanted Forest.


Trophies lurking in your house? Dunblane Curling Club celebrate its 200 years curling in February 2016. When we were gathering our trophies together we found that we were short of some items. Would anyone who has a piece of silver hiding in a cupboard relating to either Dunblane Curling or Dunblane Thistle Curling Club, please get in touch with Nancy McLaren 821 300 or Ian Tasker 833 651. We would greatly appreciate any trophy being returned.

Flocking Flamingos Boys’ Brigade Project Malawi We have all seen these strange looking flocks appearing on lawns but what are they doing? They are a novel fundraising idea from the Boys’ Brigade who are planning to take 16 boys over to Malawi in July. They are going to rebuild two primary schools in Psani and Nansoato. If you would like to host the flamingos then they are available in flocks of 10 for £25 or 20 for £50. We even have a Happy Birthday/Anniversary or Merry Christmas banner to celebrate a special occasion. Email us to book your date.

Christmas Donation Cards

We are selling Christmas donation cards to buy materials for the classrooms. You can buy some cement (£5), paint (£10) or timber (£20) or you can buy one of our special Thank You Teacher (£5) or Secret Sana (£10) cards. It’s a great way to give a Christmas present and also help out hundreds of kids at the same time. Email below with your orders

Contact Us: or 01786 822 955 Upcoming Events: 5th Dec Beetle Drive (£5) 23rd Jan Burn’s Supper (£10) 20th Feb Family Bingo (£5) 27/28th Feb Pantomime (£5) 86

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Photographic Exhibition: “Spirit of Palestine” Dunblane Cathedral, Fri 13 Nov to Sun 13 Dec Dunblane Cathedral is hosting an exhibition of photographs by the winners of a competition for Palestinian photographers run by the Network of Photographers for Palestine (NPP). The exhibition was first shown in Edinburgh in August this year during the festival. Phil Chetwynd, Scottish organiser of NPP, who arranged the exhibition in Edinburgh in August, is delighted that Dunblane also wants to show the talents of Palestinian photographers. He said the exhibition demonstrates how local photographers can convey the realities of life in the West Bank and Gaza in a very human way. Competitors were asked each to submit 6 photographs which would engage viewers and convey the spirit of Palestine. The competition included a junior section, with the prize donated by the Scottish Friends of Palestine. The Cathedral is open Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm, with last entry at 3:30pm. On a Sunday it is open 2-4pm with last entry at 3.30pm.

Dunblane Rambling Club The Club meet once a fortnight, on Sundays, and use their own cars sharing the cost of the transport. The winter programme normally has low level walks within easy travelling distance. In summer we go further and higher! Membership costs are as follows and are payable at the start of the season (May 1st): single £3, Family £5. It is club policy not to bring your dog on the walk. Questions about the walks programme, joining the club or any other matters, should be addressed to: the Chairman, Ray Kent on 01786 832 158 or the Walks Convenor, Eric Howman on 01259 742 889 Please mention wire 429 when responding to adverts To advertise in the wirethe t. 07720 613 e.


Come and meet Santa and his reindeer and soak up the Christmassy atmosphere at our mini Christmas market and vintage fairground. With carolers, hot chocolates, and lots and lots of festive cheer, Bridge of Allan welcomes you to celebrate Christmas with us.

Join us on Henderson St, Bridge of Allan, Sunday 13th December: 12 noon - 4pm 88

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Dunblane in Bloom

Volunteers make Dunblane .... AMAZING! Thanks to the volunteers who contribute their time and skills to the practical working groups of the Dunblane Development Trust – they make Dunblane amazing! We estimate that around 5000 hours a year are donated by local people in these groups – that’s the equivalent of three full time jobs, with a financial value of around £70,000. You probably see them all busy at work at various times in the year, making Dunblane amazing – but do you know that: Dunblane In Bloom group meets every Sunday morning and plants all the tubs and hanging baskets in town and at the Station, as well as developing and maintaining raised beds, the Rock Garden and the community garden. Summer is even busier, and volunteers often meet up in the evenings too. The Environment Group meets every Wednesday at 9.30am in the Haugh, and looks after playparks, paths and parks in an environmentally friendly way. Special projects are also undertaken including the Braeport garden with a wonderful crop of vegetables for children to enjoy.

The Environment Group

The Mid-week Group meets on a Tuesday morning and works to maintain and enhance the physical fabric of the town – repairing and painting benches and railings, paths edgings, play park equipment. And of course – putting up the Christmas lights to brighten Dunblane on winter days! The working groups all offer opportunities for volunteering, The Mid-week Group friendship and skills development, and welcome new members of all ages. No special skills required – just enthusiasm and time! Just turn up and join in, or contact the group leaders for information. We’d also welcome your ideas for projects that will make Dunblane even more amazing! Dunblane in Bloom – George Matthews. ( Environment Group – Monica Cessford. ( Tel: 822752) Mid week Group – Bill MacLean. ( Tel: 823737) Please mention thewire when responding to adverts


Whats On: during the week MONDAY: • • • • • • •

2284 Dunblane Air Cadets for boys & girls ages 13 to 18. Meet Mon & Wed 7pm to 9.30pm. For more information contact Ft.Lt. Peter Mulkerrins on email oc.2284@aircadets. org or 01786 825355 Bridge lessons will be restarting in September in Doune, days and venue still to be decided. Anyone interested in learning the game or updating their skills should contact Susan on 01786 842684/07778 506 406 or e-mail ST MARY’S BABY AND TODDLER GROUP every Monday (including holidays) 1011.30am at St Mary’s Church Hall. All parents and children aged 0-5 years are welcome, £2.50 a session. Dunblane Library, free beginners computer classes from a Forth Valley College lecturer every Monday from 9am until 12, offering a variety of flexible learning courses. Dunblane Fencing Club meets at D. High School & is for ages 8-18. Mon 5-6pm Beginners. 6-8pm Intermediate - Advanced. Contact Charity McArdle at dunblanefencingclub45@ or on 07881 025 664. Jazz Night from 8pm at the Westlands Hotel. Everyone welcome, admission free Dunblane Runners group run – 5 or 6 miles – meet at 7pm at Hydro gym

TUESDAY: • • • •

• • •


Doune & Dunblane Bridge Club meets at the Catholic Church Hall, 2-4.30pm. No partners required. Call 01786 824080 for further information. Beginner/Mixed Ability Run 6pm@Run4It, Bridge of Allan. Supervised by qualified Jog Scotland leaders and catering to those that want to start jogging for the first time through to intermediate runners. Free of charge Hills and Drills 7pm@Run4It, Bridge of Allan . Not for the faint hearted, it improves strength and endurance & lasts around an hour. Free of charge. St Blane’s Drama Group meets every Tuesday evening Sept to May in St Blane’s Church Hall at 7:30pm. We are a friendly mixed age group, members of the Scottish Community Drama Association and our membership is free and is open to all residents of the Dunblane and Stirling District. Enquiries to Tudor Rees 823716 Stirling Speaking Society warmly welcomes anybody who would like to build up confidence in speaking in public, whether to groups or individuals, through a supportive process of advice on techniques, practice, and friendly feedback. We meet in Dunblane Cathedral Halls on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7.30 for 8 o’clock. To find out more, please email, or go to our website at, or phone 0741 322 8050. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Army Cadet Force, 7pm till 9pm at the Queen Victoria School. Anyone aged 12-18 years old can just come along. Contact Vikki Paul by email: for more information. Nordic walks, Tuesday evenings 6.45pm – 8pm. Contact Tricia on 07557 439111 for details on training with Nordic poles and the meeting points for the walks. Poles will be supplied. Dunblane Fencing Club meets at D. High School & is for ages 8-18. Tues 6-7pm Beginners and Juniors. 7-9pm Intermediate to Advanced. Contact Charity McArdle at or on 07881 025 664.

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Whats On: during the week (Continued) •

Dunblane Community Preschool Rising 3s. 9.30am – 11.30am at the Braeport Centre. Open to children ages 2 - 3. A fantastic stepping stone between toddler groups and preschool, led by an early childhood educator with parent assistance. Please telephone 07920 249 631 for further information. The Chatty Crafters Club meet in Christian Fellowship Church (Next to the Victoria Hall) from 10am-1pm. All welcome. More details from Morag on 0777 055 2815

WEDNESDAY: • • • • • • • • • •

Tea n Toast - drop-in for parents with or without tots at St Mary’s Church Hall, 9 to 11am DPPA PARENT & BABY GROUP. 10am – 11.30am at the Braeport Centre. (Term Time Only) Open to babies from birth to 12 months. Drop in for a cup of coffee & a chance to meet other local parents. Please telephone 07920249631 for further information 25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade Anchor Boys (boys aged 5 up to P3), 6.05-7.10pm in the Cathedral Hall. Contact Rosemary McLellan on 825039 or anchors@dunblanebb. 2284 Dunblane Air Cadets for boys & girls ages 13-18. Meet Mon & Wed 7-9.30pm. Contact Ft.Lt. Peter Mulkerrins on 01786 825355 or e: Doune Bridge Club meets at 7.15pm in the Red Lion Hotel, Doune (back room). Small friendly club and welcome all standards, with or without a partner. Contact Derek on 01786 842224 Local walking group meet at Dunblane Cathedral at 10.30am for a 30-45min walk on good surfaced paths. Walks are free, no need to register in advance. Contact Tricia on 07557 439 111 or enquire at the health centre for more details. Dunblane Cathedral Society of Change Ringers. The tower bell ringers practice from 7:30-9:00pm in the Cathedral. For further information contact Judith Frye on 824779 or e-mail Dunblane Free Church. ‘Open Door’ session between 10 and 12 noon where we invite members of the local community to pop in and meet us. Robertsons of Kinbuck, Auctions every Wednesday at 11am, alternating between a general household sale & an antiques and collectables sale. Viewing is on Tues & Weds. Website address for pictures & catalogue is Dunblane Fencing Club meets at D. High School & is for ages 8-18. Wed 6-8pm Intermediate to Advanced. Contact Charity McArdle at dunblanefencingclub45@gmail. com or on 07881 025 664.


DPPA TODDLER GROUP. 10am – 11.30am at the Braeport Centre. (Term Time Only) Open to children from 6 months to 2 years. Drop in for a cup of coffee & a chance to meet other local parents. Children’s snack is provided. Please telephone 07920249631 for further information. Dunblane Whist Club meets every Thursday Lesser Hall, Victoria Hall 1.30 - 3.30pm. Come along to find out if this group is suitable for you. Ten players joined us last term forming new friendships. Ladies & gentlemen all welcome. Friendly tuition given if required. Information from Dolly Gemmell 01786 822 387. Last date before Christmas is the 3rd Dec - resumes 14th Jan 2016

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Whats On: during the week (Continued) • • • • • • • •

Bridge of Allan & Dunblane Rotary Club, at the Westlands Hotel at 6.00 for 6.30, visiting Rotarians or interested visitors should contact our Secretary Iain Fraser on 01786 822751. or email: Going Forward Stroke Group provides activities and entertainment for stroke survivors. 2-4pm in the Chalmers Hall, Bridge of Allan. New members are always welcome. Tel 01786 - 831608 or 832228 for information. Open Doors@Dunblane Christian Fellowship. The doors open 2pm-4m for anyone who is looking for a bit of company. There will be various activities on offer, tea and cake. More information from Helen on 01786 825 974. Dunblane Cathedral: Midweek service 11 – 11.30am Mixed Ability Run 6pm@Run4It, Bridge of Allan. Offering alternatives from 3.5 miles to 7 miles. This run accommodates all levels with certified Jog Scotland leaders accompanying each group. Meet at Run4It. Free of charge Dunblane Bowling Club Bingo, Eyes Down 7.30pm. All Welcome Oor Woollie, 7-9pm, Dunblane Cathedral Halls. Nutty on knitting or hooked on crochet or want to learn? Bring along your needles and yarn. Tea, coffee & biscuits are available. Contact Kate: 07904 440 491 or Lesley 01786 821 427. Dunblane Runners training session – 7pm – locations vary each week. See our Facebook page for info.

FRIDAY: • • •

• • •


Tea Dance at the Victoria Halls, 2-4pm. Admission £4, all welcome. Held on the 14th, 11th & 18th December DPPA TODDLER GROUP. 10am – 11.30am at the Braeport Centre. (Term Time Only) Open to children from 6 months to 2 years. Drop in for a cup of coffee & a chance to meet other local parents. Children’s snack is provided. 07920 249 631 for further information. Dunblane Woodies (Woodcraft Folk). Braeport Centre (term times) 4pm - 5.30pm. Woodchips 3 - 5 yrs and Elfins 6 - 8 yrs. All welcome to join either as a volunteer or young member. We’re also welcoming Pioneers aged 9-12 and Venturers 12-16. So come along and share your knowledge of the great outdoors or just have some good green fun Contact Lucia, 07796 268 695. WCF is a national youth organisation. At group nights we run activities based on the principles of co-operation, equality, respect, environmental sustainability, social justice and fun! With an emphasis on spending as much time as possible outdoors! Group nights are organised and run by volunteers 25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade Junior Section (P4-P6) 6.15 - 7.45pm in the Cathedral Hall. Contact Fraser Boyd on 821387 or 25th Stirling (Dunblane) Boys’ Brigade Company Section (P7-S3) and Seniors (S4-S6) Fridays 7.45-10pm in the Cathedral Hall. Contact Paul Christmas on 823192 or e-mail 1st Dunblane Girls Brigade Company: Explorer Section (P1-P3) 6-7pm. Junior Section (P4-P7) 7-8.30pm & Brigadier Section (S1-S6) 7-8.30pm. All meeting in St. Blane’s Church Hall. Contact Jacqueline Cassidy (Captain) on 07759 046 474. e-mail:

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Whats On: during the week (Continued) SATURDAY: • • •

Dunblane Runners social run – meet 8.30am at Cathedral car park Training Run 9am @ Run4It, Bridge of Allan - a longer training run. typically be at least 9 miles in length and are ideal for the aspiring half marathoner (and beyond!) - Meet at Run4It. Free of charge Squash coaching takes place at Dunblane Sports Club for ages 8 - 16years on Saturdays 3.30-4.30pm Beginners and 4.30 -5.30pm Intermediate to Advanced. Rackets and balls are provided. Contact Maureen Carroll at or 826775.


• •

St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Dunblane, 8.30am Said Communion; 10.30am Sung Eucharist with provision for children. See for more detail. Dunblane Cathedral Morning worship: 10.30am every Sunday Family service: 9am on the last Sunday of each month (in addition to the 10.30 service) Sunday school: 10.15am every Sunday morning (except the last Sunday of each month). All departments: 3 year old – P7. Crèche available for under 3s Religious Society of Friends [Quakers] Dunblane Meeting. Meeting for Worship, Sunday 10.30 am at The Braeport Centre. Children welcome. See www.quakerscotland. org/dunblane for more detail. Dunblane Cathedral Handbell Ringers, Cathedral Halls. Beginner adults from 6.307.30pm. Those of High School age, 5.30-6.30pm. Children in Primary 5-7 from 6.307.30pm. The adult group for experienced musicians rehearses from 7.30-9.15pm. For more info, contact Malcolm Wilson (t.825387) or e-mail Dunblane Folk Club meet at the Braeport Centre, 8pm. BYO bottle, everyone welcome. The Folk Club will close over Christmas and New Year from Sunday 20 December until Sunday 3 January.

Deadline for events in November will be the 9th December. Don’t forget to promote your club meetings and fundraisers or to share your community news

Deadline for What’s On info: 9th December

for the Jan/Feb issue

email: or send to 75 Old Doune Road, Dunblane, Fk15 9FH Please mention wire 429 when responding to adverts To advertise in the wirethe t. 07720 613 e.


Whats On: during the month • •

• •

• •


Spirit of Palestine Photographic Exhibition, Dunblane Cathedral until the 13th December Saturday December 5th, Dunblane Community Preschool Christmas Fayre: 12 noon – 3pm at the Victoria Hall, Dunblane. Come along for a fun afternoon to get you into the festive spirit! Santa’s Grotto, home baking, a variety of stalls to get your Christmas shopping done & lots of games for the little ones too. All welcome. Entry £2.50 for adults including tea, coffee, juice, mince pies & biscuits! Children free. Sunday 6th December, Art’n’Mart Community Market, Victoria Halls. 11am-4pm. Entry is free but we would ask people to make a donation to our local charity of the month as they enter the venue instead. This month it is Start Up Stirling. Monday 7th December, Dunblane Cathedral Guild meeting at 2pm in the cathedral halls the ladies will be crafting, knitting and being generally creative so come along and join in and use your talents or learn new skills to make items for a stall at our Table Top Sale in February. Wednesday 9th December, Scottish Women’s Institute meets for Christmas Festivities with entertainment by singer Leona. 7.30pm in the Victoria Hall. Everyone welcome. £3.50 for visitor entry. Thursday 10th December, Beaconhurst School presents its annual Carol Concert performed by the School Choir at St Columba’s Church in Stirling. 7-9pm. Funds will be raised for one of the local charities supported by Beaconhurst. Contact the School on 01786 832146 for tickets or more information. Friday 11th December, JAZZ AT THE RURAL. The Sue McHugh Quintet, featuring Konrad Wiszniewski, will be playing at the Rural Hall, North Lea, Doune from 8pm. Tickets are £10.00, available in advance from the Information Centre, The Woodside, Stirling Road, Doune FK16 6AB or on the door on the night. For more information tel. 01786 841269 Saturday 12th December, The Dunblane Wildlife Watch Group: Christmas Animals from Christmas tree worms to polar bears and penguins. Christmas games and activities crammed with facts about extraordinary animals. (Braeport Centre, Dunblane, 2-4pm). The Group is an opportunity for children to find out about our native wildlife and to get out and have fun exploring the countryside. Our indoor meetings are held at the Braeport Centre but we will often be out and about visiting local Nature Reserves and wildlife sites. The group is aimed at 8-14 year olds. For full details & to book a place, contact Debbie Spray: 01786 825 365/ 07527 046 444/ Sunday December 13th, Forth Valley Friends of Scottish Opera: Anthony Phillips Part 2: more on the Macrobert Centre, Prokofiev and Richter. For this month’s meeting we have invited back Anthony Phillips to tell us more about his experiences working in the arts. He was the first Director of Stirling’s Macrobert Arts Centre and later held a variety of positions in arts management, including General Manager of the Royal Festival Hall in London. He is fluent in Russian and has translated some of Prokofiev’s diaries and Shostakovich’s letters. As this is our festive meeting there will be mulled wine or a soft drink and mince pies in place of the usual tea or coffee and biscuits. All very welcome. 2.30 pm, Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling. Members £5, Visitors £6, Students £1, including refreshments. Sunday 13th December, Carols and Carillons with the Dunblane Handbell Ringers. 7.30pm Dunlane Cathedral. See page 7 for more details.

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Whats On: during the month (Continued) •

Sunday 13th December, The Round Table Christmas Tree Sale, Bridge of Allan. See page 75 for more information. • Sunday 13th December, Splendid Festive Family Fun, Bridge of Allan. Henderson Street Shopping Day. 12-4pm. See page 88 • Monday 14th December, Dunblane Arthritis Care Christmas Lunch 12.30 for 1pm at the Westlands. Information from Pat Anderson 822505. (2016 meetings start February 8th) • Monday 14th December, Dunblane Cathedral Guild are holding our Christmas party, complete with pass the parcel! Rev Ian Paterson is coming along too to tell us about his encounters with the Royal family whilst he was Chaplain to the Queen. Come and join us, all are welcome phone Dorothy Millar 824170 if you are not a guild member for catering purposes. The fun goes on into 2016 with our planned New Year party on 4th January at 7.30 pm. • Monday 14th December Dunblane Civic Society meets at 7:30pm in the Braeport Centre. Professor Robert Brown will talk on “The Global Crisis 7 years on” Professor Brown has worked in the area of financial crises for the Bank of England, the IMF in Washington and the EU Commission. A festive welcome awaits you! Visitors’ admission is £2. • Wednesday 16th December Dunblane Civic Society’s Christmas Lunch is at Dunblane Golf Club. Members are asked to arrive at 12:45 for 1:00pm. For further details, please contact Tom tel. 822400. • Monday 28th December, Victoria Hall Festive Family Ceilidh will take place at 7.30 in the Hall with Jack Delaney’s Band playing. This year there will be no Bar available so please bring your own bottle. Tickets costing £10 for adults are available from Smallprint in Beech Road. • Dunblane Accordion & Fiddle Club no meeting in December. Start back 20th January. See next month for details. • Saturdays through December - Dunblane Museum Winter Art Exhibition. See p.7 for more details. Dates for your diary: • Forth Valley U3A: Would you like to make some new friends and become involved in a new hobby or interest at the same time to brighten the winter days? That’s what U3A is all about! There are more than 50 groups which are very varied and include Current Affairs, Mandarin, Mahjong, Bridge, Spanish, Lunch club, Line Dancing, Scrabble and Poetry. We are holding our enrolment meetings on Friday 8th January, 10 – 11.30am in the Parish Church Halls, Bridge of Allan and 2 – 3.30pm in the Mayfield Centre, St Ninian’s, Stirling. You are warmly invited to come along to either session and discover more about what we do whilst enjoying a cup of tea or coffee with tasty home baking and chatting with some of the members. For further information please contact the Membership Secretary on 01786 822062 or the Interest Groups’ co-ordinator on 07803 419144 or visit www. • Saturday 10th January, Cruise Event at the Victoria Hall. See page 13 for more information.

NB. All the Church Services available over the Festive Period will be listed on our website. Go to Please mention wire 429 when responding to adverts To advertise in the wirethe t. 07720 613 e.


Useful Numbers Dunblane Police Station 101 Dunblane Health Centre 821777 Forth Valley Hospital, Larbert 01324 566000 Stirling Community Hospital 434000 Bannermans, High Street 823266 Bannermans, Anderson St. 822030 Dunblane Library 823125 Dunblane Post Office 825317 Stirling Council Local Offices 823300 Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages 823300 Scottish Gas Emergency 0800 111999 Hydro Electric Emergency 0800 300999 Scottish Water Emergency 0845 6008855 Floodline 0845 9881188 Scottish SPCA 03000 999999 Dunblane Primary School 822351 Newton Primary School 824484 St Mary’s Primary School 822740 Dunblane High School 823823 Dunblane Centre 824224 Kinbuck Centre 823183 Ashfield Village Hall 825419 Victoria Hall 822176


How to contact theWire email: or write to Fiona Jones theWire, 75 Old Doune Road, Dunblane, FK15 9FH or telephone: 07720 429 613

theWire cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies in advertisements nor for any consequences arising from this. theWire cannot be held responsible for damage or loss of copy or error in printing. All artwork used in theWire must not be published in any other media without permission. Opinion expressed by contributors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher.

ROBERTSON Funeral Director

The Robertson Family Caring for your family in your time of need Funeral parlour with viewing facilities Golden Charter pre-payment plans

01786 822 844

100 High Street, Dunblane 96

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Pie in the Sky Two’s company, three’s a crowd Born on the 4th of July

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A-Z of Advertisers A9 Partnership page 80 Alaska Beauty Salon page 53 Altal Plumbers page 24 Appliance Services page 31 Argarty Logs page 41 Arnhall Nursery page 69 Art’n’Mart page 7 Beaconhurst School page 65 Bennetts Butchers page 100 Bib’ll Fix It page 39 BR Gardening Services page 35 Bridge of Allan Dental page 52 Buttercup Cafe page 12 Carpet Master page 29 Cathedral Accounting Services page 79 Causewayhead Chiropractic page 57 Charisma page 11 Cruachan Landscaping page 43 Curtains by Elaine page 27 CWS page 81 D&S Taxis page 45 Daytime Paws page 46 DDT page 89 Doune Woodyard page 36 Dunblane Centre page 66 D. Community Pre-School page 6 Dunblane Driveways page 42 Dunblane Kindergarten page 71 Dunblane Museum page 7 Dunblane Podiatry page 53 Dunblane School of Motoring page 45 Eleganza Cakes page 14 Erskine Eyecare page 55 Feddal Christmas Trees page 35 Fitness Takeaway page 49 Francine Orr, Hypnotherapy page 57 Gary McInyre Joiner page 60 Glenn Murray Associates page 60 Graham Stewart page 9 Hair Chair page 59 Hammer and Clout page 60 Handbell Carols & Carillons page 7 HASS page 54 Helen McLean Podiatry page 49 Homeworx page 33 House of Blinds page 99 Iain Wilson DIY page 24 98

J&R page 42 James Cowie TV Installations page 31 John Hill Butchers page 2 John McLaren page 25 Jonno Rock page 41 Kare Gardens page 39 Kevin Monaghan page 31 Kinbuck Centre page 63 Kitchen & Bedroom Studio page 30 Linda Aitchison Grooming page 47 Lorna Clarke, Podiatrist page 58 Mackie Electrical page 28 Mairi’s Hair Design page 57 McIntyre Funeral Directors page 81 Module Architects page 79 Mo-Lawn page 39 Monument Dance page 63 Neroli Beauty Salon page 54 Number Eight page 1 Ocean Reef Bathrooms page 28 Old Churches House page 21 Orlando Holiday Villa page 13 Platinum Builders page 24 Point Nouveau Bridal page 11 Rhona Geddes page 49 & 51 RJ Wealth Management page 79 RN Robertson page 96 Robert Paul Architects [page 27 Roofline Advice page 37 Scottish Oven Cleaning page 14 Secret Garden page 10 SF Joinery page 35 Sheriffmuir Inn page 10 Slimming World page 48 SRC Landscapes page 48 Stephen Crosbie page 33 Struthers & Scott Vets page 46 Therapeutic Massage page 58 The Westlands Hotel page 15 Thomas Cook Travel page 13 Top Coat & Tails page 47 Tracks page 40 Unique page 12 Window Cleaning page 45 Wee Acorns page 63 William Kay, garage doors page 45 Wilson Gas page 27

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Full of festive flavour Fresh, naturally reared turkeys, our own delicious chipolatas and stuffings and our award-winning steak pies.

82 High Street, Dunblane. 01786 823 212 Try our Deli for Scottish cheeses, cooked meats, cake, sandwiches made to order and coffee to go. To advertise in thewire t. 07720 429 613 e. 100



Full of festive flavo

Fresh, naturally reared turkeys our own delicious chipolatas and stu and our award-winning steak pi

FO QUALITY C ORDE Try our Deli for Scottish cheeses, cooked meats, cake, sandwiches made to order and coffee to go. Please mention thewire when responding to adverts

82 High Stre 01786

www.bennetts 101

Profile for Fiona Jones

Thewireweb dec15  

Thewireweb dec15