Welcome to issue 2 of The Wee Vine

We would like to thank everyone involved in the production and delivery of our first issue. Also many thanks to everyone who contacted us with feedback we do appreciate your comments.

This edition has a foodie feel to it with a story from Kippen Primary School, a recipe from Mark Silverwood from the Inn at Kippen, report on Kippen Burns Supper plus an alternative take on a Clooty Dumpling recipe.

There is a special report on the concert given by Ayman Jarjour held in Kippen Parish Church plus Club News from around the village and of course The Kippen Street Fayre plus much more.

We hope as many of our readers as possible will enter the Kippen Seats competition.

Once again thanks for all of your stories and information as without it we would not be able to publish.

Our next issue is scheduled for the end of July and the deadline for inclusion is 30 June.

Special Feature

Music for Syria

On the evening of Saturday 4th March Kippen Kirk was filled almost to capacity with people coming together to enjoy a performance by a Syrian classical guitarist, Ayman Jarjour, a musician of world renown. Ayman has played with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra and the Syrian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also performed widely across many continents. He holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York and a Bachelor’s degree from the Royal Conservatory of music in Madrid. Having lived and taught in several countries Stirling is now his home.

During the set-up, John Fulton had the chance to imagine himself in concert.

The evening began by projecting powerful images of the reality of the horrors experienced in war-torn Syria, a refugee camp and finally the smiling faces of two young men now settling in the Forth Valley and volunteering as coaches for a young lads football team.

Ayman invited requests before embarking on his chosen performance which demonstrated his immense talent. He played pieces from a wide range of composers from many nationalities.

Refreshments were a wonderful taste of Syria, prepared by a refugee woman now living in Stirling and wishing to show her gratitude for the welcome, friendship and support that she and her family have received as they begin a new life in Scotland.

With the generosity of many villagers, and those from further afield who made donations, the sum of £2,641 was achieved. With the added value of gift aid this will make a significant contribution to two charities. Ayman is involved with many charities working inside and outside Syria, to help refugees and people remaining in Syria and affected by the war.

One third of the proceeds have gone to Stirling Citizens for Sanctuary. This new charity has been established to befriend and support those Syrian refugees now settling in our area. Medical Aid and Support for Syria is also a new charity which aims to get medical supplies to areas of need in Syria. Two thirds of the donations have gone to this cause.

Thanks to all who helped with organisation and to all who attended and contributed generously to a memorable evening.

June Waley


Kippen Football Club

The village football club has been running for over 115 years and has been a member of the Forth & Endrick Football Association since its beginning.  In recent years the club has enjoyed taking part in the Ronnie Mackie Cup.

Kippen FC are currently starting preparations for the upcoming season and would like to invite anyone wishing to play for us (16 and over only) or if anyone wishes to help with the running of the club please contact me through the village shop.

Craig McNicoll, Club Manager


Book Club

“So please, oh please, we beg, we pray
Go throw your TV set away
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall”   Roald Dahl

If you think of yourself as a reader you may well be a member of one of the book clubs which have been formed in Kippen over the years.  Book groups are not a modern concept. Since the early 1600s women have been gathering to discuss literature and other topical issues.  Some of the earliest “book clubs” were simple Bible study groups such as the one Anne Hutchinson of Massachusetts formed in 1634 to talk about the local minister’s sermons.  In the elegant salons of Paris before the Revolution women gathered to debate Robespierre.  In the 19th century, as women found themselves excluded from intellectual debate and most universities, they formed clubs to deal with professional and educational discrimination.  Whatever the venue or the topic women have used book clubs as a forum for reading, learning and making their voices heard.  As long as there have been books, people have gathered to discuss them though historically these groups have been dominated by women.

In the early 19th century book clubs became havens for many American women.  Hannah Crocker praised her Boston reading group for “cultivating the mind”.  For the educationally disadvantaged black women of this time, literary societies were a great resource for them.

Freedom’s Journal, the first African-American owned newspaper in the US advertised “a society to meet once a week to read works adapted to literary improvement”.  The Female Literary Association of Philadelphia took the book club concept a stage further.  Members wrote an essay (anonymous) for each gathering and these were distributed and critiqued by the group.   Thankfully, our modern day book clubs don’t go this far!

The “book of the month” concept was created by Harry Scherman in 1926 and is a formula used by many book clubs today.  The Chicago Women’s Liberation Union of the time issued a pamphlet with guidelines on forming a group.  No more than 12 members; meeting in a woman’s home if possible; come with questions about the characters, plot, etc.; give each person a chance to speak one at a time (difficult for some of us I think when we all get going).  However, this framework closely resembles the pattern that present day book clubs use.

From the early American settlers and European society women to Oprah Winfrey, book clubs have evolved.  The longest book club was started in 1877 in Illinois and still thrives today.  We now have online reading groups, radio book clubs and bookshop discussion groups and these have all been a positive force in women’s lives.   They are an enjoyable forum for like-minded people to meet, discuss and indulge – “what’s the point of having a book club if you don’t get to eat food and drink wine?” (“The Middlesteins” by J Attenburg)

Anne Jenkins


Bridge Club

In the last issue we described Cross Keys Bridge, whereby a select, but growing, few enjoy the twin delights of fine ale and a few hands of Bridge.   The offer to come and join us is still more than open – it’s even encouraged.  However, some folk have asked about lessons.

Having considered this a few of us, guided by our resident Guru – Stuart ‘broadband’ Thomson, are happy to run classes using the Scottish Bridge Union programme.   At present the best time for us would appear to be 7-9pm on a Thursday evening, and we could fit in a block of lessons in May and June, probably re-starting in mid-August.

If you would like to learn to play bridge or can play but would wish to undertake a structured course, all ages, all skills, only humour required,  please let me know ptr.singleton@tesco.net and if there is enough interest we will set something up, you never know it might involve ale and wine as well!

Peter Singleton


Kippen Golf Club

It was agreed at the A.G.M. in January that there would be four outings this year. Three will be single rounds and only one a 2 round day.

The outings are as follows:

Friday 19th May– a single round for the Cauldhame Trophy at Alloa Golf Club

Wednesday 21st June -a single round at Balfron Golf Course for the Robert Chapman Greensome Trophies played in pairs.

Saturday 22nd July – a 2 round day at Kinross. In the morning playing for the Denholm Cup on the Montgomery Course and the afternoon on the Bruce Course for the Millar’s of Falkirk Goblets in pairs.

Sunday 3rd September – a single round at Scotscraig Golf Club for the Jubilee Cup.

The usual detail for all outings will be forwarded to all members a month in advance of the due date.

The draws for the 2 Knock-out competitions have been made and are posted in McNicolls Country Store.

Alastair McCall


Kippen Cricket Club

Kippen Cricket club are gearing up for the coming season which we approach in the certain knowledge that the weather will be fine and good in the coming months.

We will be organising practice evenings with nets down at the Meiklewood ground (Near Gargunnock) once it is dry enough to play.

We have full programme of both Sunday and Wednesday games planned for the season. The first Wednesday evening game is planned for the 3rd of May. Full details for the fixtures are on the new joint Teamer list for Gargunnock and Kippen cricket clubs. Those players who are already registered on teamer should have access to this new list.

Kippen and Gargunnock will be working in the coming weeks to prepare the ground at Meiklewood for the season and work party days will be organised where players will be requested to come down for a few hours to help with the necessary work. Please watch your teamer e-mails and texts for dates and times of this.

For new players who are interested in joining the teamer please contact me on my e-mail kellykippen@btinternet.com or telephone 01786 870565 and I can arrange for an invite to join the team list on Teamer to be sent out. All new players are welcome, any age or gender, whether you have  previously played or are new to the game .

Sean Kelly, Kippen Cricket Club


Kippen Curling Club

The Club was founded in 1838 and admitted to membership of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in 1843, making it one of the oldest curling clubs in Scotland. In those days there were thirty players, all of whom were men, and today we still have around thirty members, although nowadays the membership is split fairly evenly between the sexes.

The original curling pond was at Crawfordston Farm and over the years, amongst other locations, the Club has played on the old curling pond on Kippen Common and on Loch Laggan, when the weather was suitably cold. Fortunately the game is no longer weather dependent and we now play at the Peak in Stirling, the season running from September through until March. In addition to our own Club matches we also take part in a number of the Forth & Endrick competitions and in the Forth Valley Bonspiel, as well as some other tournaments further afield.

We are always keen to welcome new members, irrespective of age and experience and for those interested in trying the sport the Try Curling classes held at the Peak are a great way to see what it’s all about. Further tuition is then available for those who get the curling bug. Contact kippencurlingclub@gmail.com for more information.

With the 2016/17 season now over, the AGM (to which all interested parties are invited) will be held in the Cross Keys on 11th May at 7.30 p.m.

Jim McGhie

Community Affairs

Kippen Kirkyard Project

Following the report in the first edition of the Wee Vine, anyone viewing the Kirkyard now can be forgiven for thinking things have taken a step backwards. This is mainly due to the upheaval caused by the masons who have been building the new bus shelter, using the grounds for storing stone, consent for which was given by the Council, but also for mixing cement! It also seems to have been deemed a suitable place for depositing superfluous wheelie bins!

In addition, the Council have carried out the long awaited risk assessment, and, in view of the dangers from unstable stones (19 in total) and also hazards underfoot, Barbara Docherty of the Council Cemeteries, has now decreed the graveyard “out of bounds” to the general public.

However, progress is being made, albeit behind the scenes!

A photographic copy of the 1873 lair plan together with a complete list of burials has been obtained from the Council Archives. This has brought to light many grave locations which are no longer visible due to the build-up of undergrowth. Surprisingly there are 232 lairs in total although it may be that the earliest burials do not have a memorial.

A date for the anticipated clearing of brambles, ivy and general undergrowth by the Council Rangers and local volunteers has been put back to October as birds have now begun to nest. This will enable an essential photographic record of the stones ‘before restoration’ to be completed, a task already begun, where possible, by June Waley. This will eventually be followed up by careful uncovering of the stones and records made of inscriptions. Murray Cook, the Council Archaeologist, has already met Kippen Heritage members in early March to advise on safely cleaning the gravestones.

Since the kirk and the adjacent Key grave enclosure are Grade B listed, the Planning Department had to be notified of any pending work and it was hoped that Planning Consent would not be required. A site visit with Catherine Malley, the Council Planning Conservation Officer, has now been held and thankfully she has advised that formal planning consent would not be required if a full specification and ‘method of work’ statement was submitted, not only for the complete restoration of the ruin, but also for the damaged grave enclosure. Unfortunately, this will substantially increase previously anticipated costs which were for simply making the stonework safe. Revised quotations are now in hand.

Through Fiona Clark, Kippen Heritage was delighted to receive a letter and photograph from Norman Wilson in Wales, whose great grandparents, James Kay and Janet Ingles, are buried in the Kirkyard. Mr Wilson was born at Fairfield where his father farmed. His grandparents lived at Woodside. The accompanying photograph was taken in 1989 and the effects of neglect can clearly be seen when comparing with a recent photograph of the same view! Mr Kay has kindly donated a sum in support of the project. His letter included the following eulogy written in memory of his forebear.

Irene Chapman, Kippen Heritage