Did You Know


Re-engage_master_RGBA charity that has been combating loneliness in West Stirlingshire for more than 20 years has issued an urgent appeal for more volunteers.

Re-engage, formerly known as Contact the Elderly, tackles social isolation among older people through regular Sunday afternoon tea parties and other activities.

The monthly events are usually held in a local host’s home and guests are chauffeured to and from the gatherings by volunteer drivers – a crucial service that solves any transport worries for those who have difficulty getting out and about.

The West Stirlingshire group is one of more than 140 in Scotland with more than 1000 guests whose lives are often transformed through this simple solution of some kindness and company over a cup of tea. The group, which covers Balfron, Fintry, Drymen, Buchlyvie and Killearn, has been going for more than two decades but is currently experiencing a shortage of drivers.

Lorna Dunbar, the charity’s support officer for the area says: “Social isolation is one of society’s biggest problems, especially among the older generation, but we see the huge difference social events like ours can make to someone who perhaps doesn’t have the chance to interact with others as much as they would like.

“We believe everyone should have the opportunity of a social life, no matter how old they are, and we’d really love to hear from locals who can help us enrich the lives of the older generation in their communities.”

Drivers are asked to devote just a few hours one Sunday a month to the charity.

“It’s really not much to ask if you’ve got a spare Sunday afternoon and for anyone new to volunteering it’s an ideal way to get involved,” said Lorna.

“Guests are usually over 75 and our volunteers are generally much younger so it’s also a great way to bring the generations together. I’m confident locals will step forward to help us out and I can guarantee they’ll get as much out of it as the guests – it’s just so satisfying to see the difference you can make to the life of someone who is feeling isolated.”

To find out more about becoming a volunteer or guest of Re-engage, please contact Lorna Dunbar at lorna.dunbar@reengage.org.uk   or tel 01738 730249


Did You Know

Your Stirling: You Decide Update

your_stirlingThe Your Stirling You Decide Participatory Budget exercise is now within the final stages of the process, and there have been decisions made by a number of communities on their final choices, following community engagement and voting events throughout Stirlingshire.

You can access your community’s choice and others on the Stirling Council website at https://www.stirling.gov.uk/ysydprogress

Your Stirling: You Decide is Stirling’s version of participatory budgeting, an initiative that gives local people a direct say in how a portion of our budget is spent. During 2019 citizens across Stirling’s seven electoral wards had the chance to influence how to spend £100,000 in each of the seven wards, of public money. This year the money could be used

for infrastructure and the environment, for example – roads, pavements, parks playgrounds, outdoor gyms and public spaces to name a few.

During the month of January we will be announcing the remaining communities’ choices on the Stirling Council Website and local social media sites.

Did You Know

FollowIt App


On the 9 December 2019, the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre officially launched the FollowIt App, a mobile app to record incidents of stalking.

The innovative mobile app was created with and for women experiencing stalking. It is designed to help women record and securely store what’s happening to them. Through the app you can create a log of stalking incidents that can be used to report this crime to the police.

Full details are available at their website: www.followitapp.org.uk

Find out more about the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre at                                         www.scottishwomensrightscentre.org.uk

Did You Know

Scottish Government’s National Walking Strategy & Action Plan to get Scotland walking

A country where more people choose to walk more often will be healthier, happier, greener, safer and more prosperous. We can all do our bit to get Scotland walking. Watch this new animation to find out more https://vimeo.com/358006632

And to talk about what you can do to get Scotland walking contact walkingstrategy@pathsforall.org.uk

The National Walking Strategy is the Scottish Government’s ambition for a nation that walks more every day. More people walking will improve physical, mental and social health, create safer, friendlier and less polluted communities, and boost local economies through increased footfall and healthier, more productive staff.

To see the strategy and the action plan, revised earlier this year, visit:

https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/mediaLibrary/other/english/186.pdfand https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/mediaLibrary/other/english/final-walking-strategy-action-plan-10-sept-2019.pdf


Did You Know

Poppyscotland Touring Exhibition on Wheels – Bud hits the road


Poppyscotland’s ‘Bud’ is an 18-tonne truck that transforms into a contemporary exhibition and interactive learning space, designed to teach communities across Scotland about the importance of remembrance and the heritage of the poppy.

Bud is travelling around Scotland to schools, community spaces and events over the next 4 years sharing Poppyscotland archives, veterans’ stories and the poppy’s history. It aims to be a catalyst for challenging assumptions, creating conversations and allowing the public to gain a deeper understanding of remembrance and the poppy’s role in modern Scottish society as a symbol of unity and hope.

Bud will be on the road for more than 220 days a year and will visit all 32 local authority areas in Scotland over the course of the next 4 years.

Visitors will hear moving stories from veterans and learn more about the work carried out by Poppyscotland since the charity’s inception through films and stories from those who have served, those still serving and their families. Each visitor will also have the chance to make their own poppy, using the same techniques used by veterans who work tirelessly each year to make five million poppies ahead of the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Poppyscotland Chief Executive Mark Bibbey said: “At the heart of every poppy is someone’s emotions, opinions and stories, and that’s why we created Bud. This is not about imposing a particular view on visitors; quite the opposite in fact.

“Through contemporary conversations about the poppy and our heritage, we hope to better understand the significance of remembrance and its importance to society. We aim to challenge assumptions and create conversations, and, ultimately, engage with a more diverse audience.

“Over the next four years, Bud will play an important role in exploring the history of remembrance, through the eyes of veterans and ex-service men and women. It will be an absolute privilege to travel the length and breadth of the country, welcoming everyone on board to explore the space for themselves.”

More than 50,000 Scots are expected to engage with Bud over the course of the campaign. It can travel anywhere in Scotland, attending events of all shapes and sizes.

If you want to discuss Bud attending your events you can book at https://poppybud.org.uk/ or contact Sandra Comrie, Bud Volunteer Support Coordinator on 0141 473 6221 / 07808 261076.

Bunty's Thoughts

Surprised Bunty got a visit from Indi and Fitz… dressed in Santa suits for her 95th birthday

Miniature horses dressed as Santa got into the festive spirit with bells on when they visited a 95-year-old neighbour for a birthday surprise.

The Falabella horses, which wore red-and-white coats, hats and legwarmers as well as strings of bells which jangled as they walked, are father-and-son Indi, aged eleven, and Fitz, aged four years. Tiny Indi stands at just 29 inches tall – the size of a Great Dane. They belong to owner Ali Thom, who brought them to visit an elderly neighbour as a surprise treat.

Photographer Katielee Arrowsmith recorded a video which went viral on YouTube… so much so that Bunty received a phone call from her son-in-law to say that he saw her on TV… in Germany!

YouTube: https://youtu.be/Z0ypXkQnB8w


Police Report

Police Report


Community Engagement and Reassurance

PC Steven Graham and PC Gary Martin are based at Balfron Police Office and can be contacted on 101 or at ForthEndrickCPT@scotland.pnn.police.uk. It is recommended that this email address is used by the local community for email contact.

I think Kippen is an absolutely beautiful place.  I do know it fairly well as I spent a lot of time in the village in my 20s, many moons ago!  I would regularly spend my weekends in The Skinner’s Butchers helping out Cameron and his father Roy.  The shop was always absolutely spotless but Cameron was not a great fan of cleaning the trays so I would help through the back of the shop.  It took me a few months to realise though, as I was up to my neck in washing up liquid, Cameron would be out the front of the shop chatting to anyone that would listen to him, he did like a blether!  Back then it felt like a very close community and now when I attend the Community Council meetings and just being back in the village in a Police capacity it still feels the same today.

It has been a fairly quiet few months in the village through the winter months which is good news for villagers and Police alike.


The summer months saw an increase in housebreakings and thefts in the Forth and Endrick area however fortunately Kippen was probably the least affected by these incidents.

Enquiries in relation to these crimes are still ongoing with several positive lines of enquiry and persons have been identified as being responsible for numerous crimes.

Look out for your neighbours!!  On many occasions’ housebreakers are immediately apprehended due to a neighbour acting quickly in relation to something they may have witnessed from their address.  There is no issue if anyone contacts Police and it turns out to be a false alarm.  Also, if you do see a crime being committed, contact us on 999, it is quicker than the 101.  All incidents in relation to suspicious persons or vehicles are welcomed and Police will attend to all these incidents immediately.  We urge people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious.

As the evenings are darker earlier at this time of year please consider the following:

  • Use timer switches on lights and radios to make it look as if your home is occupied.
  • Ensure all doors and windows are secure when you leave and when you go to bed.
  • If possible, use secure lighting at the front and back of your property.
  • Make sure all garden tools and ladders are locked away when not being used. Don’t give the thieves the tools to break into your house.
  • Use a good quality lock on any garden sheds and outhouses.
  • Make a note of all makes, models and serial numbers of expensive items in your home.
  • If your house is fitted with an alarm then please use it. This is a good deterrent should thieves manage to force entry to your house.

There are guides on the Police Scotland website giving other ideas to protect property in rural areas:


It is also of note that there was a recent theft of a motor vehicle from a village in the area whereby it would appear the perpetrators have placed wire or similar through the letter box and removed the keys from within. Please bear that in mind when leaving keys around the house.

Road Safety

There has been heavy rain and windy conditions in recent weeks in the Forth and Endrick area making driving conditions extremely hazardous.  On the A811 just outside Kippen, a lorry was even blown over into a ditch due to the extremely high winds.  Fortunately, no injuries were sustained, and no other vehicle was involved.

The Central Scotland Safety Camera Partnership have continued to operate on the A811 near to Kippen on an almost daily basis. There have been several drivers reported to the Procurator Fiscal in Stirling in relation to speeding since the last edition.


Prepare for the winter by keeping your vehicle well maintained before you take to the road.

Take special care that brakes, tyres, lights, batteries, windscreens and wiper blades are in good condition. In addition, washer bottles need to contain an additive to stop the water from freezing.

Tyres should also be checked weekly to ensure they are legal and at the correct pressure (consult your vehicle handbook). The minimum legal tread depth for cars is 1.6mm across the centre 3/4 of the breadth of the tread around the entire circumference. They should also be checked for bulges, cuts or tears which weaken the tyre. Failure to maintain your tyres could lead to a maximum of £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre.

Consider keeping an emergency kit in your car for severe weather, this should at least include:

  • An ice scraper and de-icer, shovel for snow, torch and spare batteries, warm clothes, boots and a blanket, some food and a warm drink in a flask, first aid kit, battery jump leads, map or device with offline maps for any unplanned diversions.

Be mindful of the road conditions when you drive; bad weather is often blamed for causing accidents however the real cause is often inappropriate driving for the conditions that exist.

Stay safe and please take note of any weather or travel warnings we post on social media.  Sites that provide good information in relation to this are @StirlingPol, @polscoccontrol and @trafficscotland on Twitter.  Updates are also posted on Facebook under ‘Forth Valley Police Division’

Any issues, staff are on duty 24 hours a day at Balfron, 7 days a week and we look forward to speaking with you when we are out and about.

PC335 Gary Martin

Balfron Police Office













Lawson Property Maintenance

tool_bagThis is a relatively new organisation set up by Andy Lawson, a recent arrival in Kippen.  Andy does not claim to be a qualified tradesman in any one specific area such as plumbing or roofing, but rather to have skills across the board, which allow him to address most issues which would cause homes, or businesses, problems.  He has 20 years maintenance experience in the retail trade and possesses Health and Safety Certificates.

As a handyman, he lists such items as:

  • Fencing
  • Decking
  • Shed Roof Repair
  • Grass Cutting
  • Gutter Cleaning
  • Painting
  • Papering
  • Shelving
  • Flat Pack Furniture Building
  • Loft Insulation
  • Loft Flooring

Prior to coming to Kippen, he had many customers in areas such as Kilsyth, who were happy to call upon his services as and when required. Contact 07904 222745




Without our supporters, there would be no Wee Vine. They offer support in a variety of ways. All essential.

Firstly, our financial supporters.  Printing and other costs are totally met through the support of a number of local organisations. Currently, these are (in alphabetical order):

Arnbeg Cottages (870926)

Arnprior Swimming Pool (870481)

Auchenburn Bed and Breakfast (870664)

Brian Reynolds Carpentry (870531)

Cameron Skinner, Skinner of Kippen (870203)

Central Auto Repairs (Glengyle) (870254)


Cliff Hewett – eMusic Tutor (870939)

Computer Division Ltd (469455)

Fallen Brewing Company (07500 906924)

Fusion Flowers Magazine (870204)

John Coubrough & Son, Joiners &Funeral Directors (870737)

Judyjamjar (870687)

Lawson Property Maintenance (07904 222745)

McNicolls Country Store (870237)

Pets Best At Home (0784 0270 132)

Rhubarb Lime (870077)

Stephen Paul Associates (870906)

The Cross Keys (870293)

The Inn at Kippen (870500)

The Woodhouse (870156)

Each of our financial supporters is entitled to use the magazine to publicise forthcoming events, or significant awards obtained. Anyone who would like to

offer support in this way, can do so by contacting us atenquiries@theweevine.org.

Secondly, many thanks to those who have supported this issue by contributing articles. The Wee Vine is for Kippen, about Kippen and by Kippen. We would like to know about events as they happen, and also those which are planned. Also, organisations, clubs and their programmes and activities. Plus comments, queries, photos and anything else that takes your fancy.

“Letters to the editor” on paper or electronically are welcome from all.

And finally, those who support by offering help in many ways, such as the delivery of the magazine round the village.

Stuart Thomson