Community Affairs

Annual Railton Scott Cancer Appeal

Friday 3rd February was the date of this year’s Annual Whist Drive in the Village Hall, which marked the culmination of the annual Appeal for Cancer Research. Once again, the village folk came up trumps and the magnificent sum of £6,442 was raised.

There were 35 tables of whist and the hall was the usual buzz of concentration, the clatter of chairs as people found the right way to move between games and the merry clinking of glasses and tea cups when the playing was all over.  This year we decided to reduce the number of hands to 20 instead of the usual 24 and it was generally agreed that this was a good idea. The rapid-fire drawing of the raffle, with Ricky Muir-Simpson in charge allowed us to finish the evening before everyone wilted!

It was lovely to see Cecelia Bishop, Dr Railton Scott’s daughter, back in Kippen for the occasion and she concluded the whist evening with the vote of thanks.

Ellen, our Minister, who was Chairman this year, did a wonderful job.  With her running shoes on she sped round the hall delivering prizes to the lucky winners in the raffle, and ably entertained her invited guests to tea. She promises to come back next year and attempt the whist!  Ellen kept us all on our toes at the Committee meetings and many a laugh was had.

As always, a very big thank you to the Collectors for all their hard work in pounding the streets selling raffle tickets. £3,694 was raised from the door to door collection, so very well done – we couldn’t do without you!

In writing this piece, I am struck by the exceptional generosity of this village. Since November last year, this small community has raised over £20,000 for charity, with the Erskine Concert in November, the Cancer Appeal in February and last weekend, the Concert for Syria. This is a wonderful achievement and shows what can be done when small communities pull together for the good of others. Well done Kippen.

Naomi Hirst


Community Affairs

All the Fun of the Fayre!

This year’s Kippen Street Fayre, which takes place on Sat 10th June 2017, is shaping up to be one of the biggest and best yet.  As well as a wide range of stalls lining the main street you can look forward to parades, entertainment, a fun dog show, demonstrations and tastings.

This year many new organisations and local businesses are taking part and there will be great raffle prizes, lots to see and do – not to mention eat and drink!

Stall bookings are going fast but there’s still time to book a place so, if you have something to sell or promote, please email for a booking form.  We already have some great shopping lined up with everything from bespoke jewellery, gorgeous designer cards & prints to fabulous textile sculptures and gifts. So if you are looking for something special, individual and local then this is the place to come.

The Street Fayre opens at 10am and there will be events throughout the day until 4pm. While this is definitely one of the main events in the Kippen calendar we would love to welcome visitors from the surrounding villages and further afield. So please save the date in your diary and tell your friends and family.

You can also keep up-to-date with the latest news and info on our Facebook page  ( search for The Kippen Street Fayre) or visit the website for updates and details of the final programme.

Elsbeth Campbell

Community Affairs

Kippen Community Woodland Group

The Kippen Community Woodland Group had a productive year in 2016, with the most notable achievement being the path improvement work reported in the last issue.

On 4th June we plan to lay some finer material on the surface of the main path between the pond and the Gun Club road and would welcome a few additional volunteers to supplement our regular attendees. We are also keen to widen community involvement and would encourage anyone interested in finding out more about Burnside wood to come along to one of our woodland mornings. These are held on the first Sunday of the month except for July.

We meet up at 10.00 at the football pitch and tend to continue until 13.00 hours. Sturdy footwear and warm/well-worn clothing advised. Equipment, instruction and light refreshments provided. For further information, please email or find us on Facebook.

Paula Watson, Secretary

Community Affairs

Stirling Marathon for “Contact the Elderly”

Marathon runners are super fit and determined – and a little bit off their heads! Well I don’t qualify for the first attribute but at the age of 62, running my first marathon, I’ll need both the others in abundance!

Amazingly, I have always wanted to run a marathon but the time and motivation were never right!  My daughter Katie, has entered and suggested it was something I could do in my retirement if I was bored! As if…!! But when a Facebook post popped up offering places to represent Contact the Elderly, at the Stirling Marathon on 21st May 2017, I took it as a sign to finally take the plunge!

I am registered as a volunteer driver and host for this wonderful charity. It gives lonely, isolated older people the chance to meet up monthly for a cuppa and a chat in the safe, secure environment of an afternoon tea party. New friendships are made and old ones rekindled over tea and cake – a simply brilliant idea!

I hope to raise the profile of the charity during the run, and also raise much needed funds to keep providing the opportunity of companionship and conversation to brighten up otherwise solitary lives.

So when you see me “running” around the streets of Kippen, take pity on a slightly mad old bird on a mission! Give me a cheery wave and some encouragement. And if you feel inclined, I have a Justgiving page ( where you could make a donation, and make a difference.

This may be the triumph of hope over reality as my poor old body is objecting somewhat to the increased demands asked of it, but I am determined to complete this challenge on the same day I start. Pride and Contact the Elderly demand it!

Allison Stewart

Community Affairs

Kippen Parish Church Guild

“Be Bold, Be Strong” – “Go in Joy”

Guild members and friends have been invited to Killin Guild on Thursday 20th April at
2.00 p.m. –   Miss Angela Harvey will be speaking on “Christians against Poverty”.

The Stirling Presbyterial Council Annual Summer Rally will take place in Strathblane Parish Church on Thursday, 1st June at 7.00 p.m.

Please contact Joanna 01786 870681 regarding transport to any of the above.

The Annual Meeting of the Guild will take place in Dundee on Saturday,  2nd September.
This meeting is worth a visit.

Further information and free tickets are available from Joanna M. McPhail 870681 or

Community Affairs

Kippen Playgroup and Toddlers

Kippen Playgroup and Toddlers has had a great start to 2017 with surging numbers at Toddlers, a positive inspection from the Care Inspectorate and happy, thriving children walking out of Playgroup sessions every week.

The children at Playgroup have been busy cooking up a storm: making pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, Welsh cakes for St David’s Day and noodles to bring in the Chinese Year of the Rooster.  St Patrick’s day saw them dancing a jig, and in a nod to the Bard they created effigies of the lesser spotted haggis; which we’re sure still adorn many a mantelpiece around the village…!

Aside from all these fun activities, the emphasis at Kippen Playgroup is always on play.  Our fully qualified Play Leaders, Jane and Pam, know that by offering plenty of opportunities for self-directed play, the children are given the best environment for learning.  By focussing on their interests and ideas, our staff can stimulate and extend learning while the children are having great fun!

Most recently, pirates and construction have been the order of the day; interspersed with plenty of puzzles, drawing, books, toys and the climbing frame of course.

The benefits of outdoor play to a child’s development are massive, so at Kippen Playgroup the kids play outside in our sensory garden almost every session: rain, snow or shine.  Rather unsurprisingly everyone gets especially enthusiastic about the messy play; digging about in the gravel and filling and emptying receptacles with water never goes out of fashion.  But there’s so much more to it than getting mucky in the fresh air.  They don’t realise it, but even their eyes are getting a work out.

Indoors, horizons are fixed and lighting is mostly artificial, whereas outside their eyes have to adjust to distant horizons, shifting shadows and bright sunlight…sometimes!

Children who have the chance to play outdoors benefit from better coordination too.  Indoors they may have to deal with tripping over a toy or falling on the stairs, but on the whole it’s fairly unchallenging for little feet.  Outside they have to contend with slippy surfaces, bumpy surfaces, smooth ones, wet ones, muddy ones, slopes, steps, and everything in between.  Negotiating these allow children to build and adapt leg and foot muscles, as well as making them think about where they are putting their feet!  All great for coordination and confidence.

Our recent inspection by the Care Inspectorate was very positive; with staff awarded excellent, the highest possible rating, for their responsiveness to the children’s needs and creating an engaging environment that allowed for positive play and learning.  Kippen playgroup has been running for nearly 40 years and we are incredibly proud that this important resource is thriving and producing another generation of happy, confident Kippen youngsters.

During term time we run two Playgroup sessions per week: Tuesdays and Fridays 9:30-12pm.  Two years to pre-school welcome.  If you would like to enquire about a place for your child, please contact Jane Bain via

Lambing season is upon us again, and every year Rebecca and Duncan McEwan of Arnprior Farm kindly invite Playgroup and Toddlers down to meet some of the new, very cute, additions.  This is absolutely one of the highlights of the year for the children; there is categorically nothing better than stomping about a farm, in the mud, getting up close to the lambs and then maybe ogling some tractors!

Our Toddlers’ group has been going from strength to strength with a growing number of Mums, Dads, Grans and Grandads seeking out tea, cake and company…and perhaps a sympathetic ear!  For the kids, this is the perfect place for the older ones to run off steam; the slightly younger ones to learn the ropes from their elders(!), and for the babies to have a safe introduction to a play setting.

We meet at the village hall every Thursday throughout the year, 10:15-12pm, and we welcome little ones from birth to pre-school.  Just drop in!

Suzanne Currie

Community Affairs

Revised B12 Bus Schedule

Many residents will now be aware of the cuts to the B12 Balfron to Stirling bus route that started in August 2016. Since then passengers have been trying to get two particular buses reinstated, the 10.10 Balfron to Stirling and the 16.05 Stirling to Balfron. These were two of the busiest buses on this route and are vital to people who have no other means of transport in order to access all manner of services in Stirling. This includes being able to do their shopping, access employment, meet friends and family, visit loved ones in hospital or care homes and vitally, being able to access healthcare themselves at the 3 separate hospitals that serve our communities.

The B12 route serves 9 separate villages and since the loss of these two buses it now means residents can leave home at 9am to attend a hospital appointment and depending on which village they live in do not return until 7pm that evening. If people miss the 14.15 bus from Stirling the next one is 17.38. This is very hard on our elderly and disabled residents who are trying so hard to live independent lives and maintain a degree of dignity.

Since August, First Midland Bluebird, local Councillors, Community Councils, MPs, MSPs and the CEO at Stirling Council have all been made aware of this situation.  First Midland Bluebird is a private company and at present has a monopoly in our area and they will not reinstate these two buses without a subsidy from Stirling Council.

At the 2017 budget meeting in February, extra funds were allocated for supported rural transport services. One of our local Councillors specifically asked at the budget meeting if a portion of this could be used to reinstate the two B12 buses and the answer was yes.

He tabled a further question the following week at the final meeting of the full Council to try to establish a timetable for the reinstatement of these buses. Unfortunately a definitive answer was not forthcoming at that meeting. However, it is a matter of record that the funding is now available to reinstate the 10.10 and 16.05 B12 buses.

At the time of going to print the task of reinstating the B12 buses has now been passed to Stirling Council Transport Officials who as a result of the extra funding have now started the procedure of tendering for these journeys. They have been made aware of the hardship that passengers continue to endure and as there can be a lengthy registration process we have urged them to treat this issue as a matter of some urgency.

Public transport is vital to the life of rural communities today and for the future. It’s not just for the elderly or disabled to remain independent and avoid isolation …or for young folks who cannot drive trying to meet friends or access employment……. no one knows when they or someone close to them may find themselves in the position of suddenly needing to rely on public transport.

As previously stated this is the position at the time of going to print. It has been a long campaign and we hope that passengers who are struggling with the current timetables will be encouraged by the fact that many people have worked together, from individual Councillors, Transport Officers at Stirling Council, Bus Users Scotland, Community Councils and residents from other villages and they will continue to support this case until it is resolved.

Valerie Brand

Community Affairs

Kippen Kids Community Cookbook

Kippen Primary School received money by way of a grant from the Scottish Government ‘Food for Thought’ initiative in order to improve and extend food education within the school.  One of our teachers, Mrs Stirling, has been very busy applying for and spending the grant, and now the school is much better equipped to do cooking tasks with the kids and any community members who would like to pass on their knowledge.

We purchased several induction hobs and a range of utensils, so that all the children can enjoy cooking in school. The pupils always enjoy having the opportunity to prepare food and as cooking is a necessary life skill, you’re never too young to start mixing and chopping!  In order to qualify for the ‘Food for Thought’ grant the school needed to show that we would be thinking about food in many ways, so the idea of a cook book was born!

We then asked the children, their families and some of the businesses and community groups in Kippen if they would like to submit a recipe.  We now have 50 contributions and the book is starting to take shape. One of our parents Polly Douglas who is also a nutritional therapist has helped to put the cook book together.  She says that in her private practice she sees many people with illnesses, who would like to change the way they are eating to help them feel better, but they have never learned to cook, and so struggle to make some basic changes.  Polly believes that ‘we are what we eat’ and that good health starts with a healthy diet, however if all you know how to cook is a ready meal, or processed foods, you will be missing out on vital vitamins and minerals, and not getting the healthy balanced diet that is recommended.

Traditionally we learned to cook from our Mums and Grandmothers, but this seems to have been lost, and there is now at least one generation of people who have very poor cooking skills, and some are even scared of trying to cook. By putting the cooking back into schools, and showing children that cooking isn’t something to be scared of, but something to enjoy and have fun with, we hope that the next generation of Kippen Kids will be much more confident to try new foods and experiment in the kitchen.

Polly has added a few handy Top Tips pages and comments on to the recipes, just so you know why the food on your plate is good for you.  Hopefully these will help you to make healthier choices most of the time. As well as the cooking activities Kippen Primary School also encourages children to grow their own vegetable and there have been a number of food related trips and activities over the past year.  The school has a ‘grounds group’ who help in the gardens, and this year will be enjoying the new green house.  We hope that we will have an open day later in the year so that you can come and enjoy the gardens and see what we have been growing, and hopefully eat some of our produce, ‘Field to Fork’!

A huge thank you to all of the children, parents and community members who have contributed to the cook book.  It has been really interesting to see the types of recipes submitted and it›s lovely that you have chosen to share these with the wider community. We hope that you will be inspired to cook from scratch and try some foods you haven›t had before as we have a number of international flavours in the book too.  The cook book will be on sale at the Street Fayre this year, so you will be able to enjoy the recipes too.

Polly Douglas

Community Affairs

The Reading Room

Response from the village for the Reading Room Jumble Sales continues at a high level and we thank everyone for this essential support.

The committee are, subject to cost, planning to improve the ground floor layout by moving the kitchen to the rear of the building. An expanded kitchen, and better serving access will provide an upgraded facility for social events, for which the Reading Rooms are ideally suited (see picture).

Parties or other events for about thirty people fit well in to the main room, creating a great atmosphere.

Summer Ice, that rare and excellent game, has now been taken up by the Cubs, of which four troops have been heard, competing, amidst great shouts of laughter. Many thanks go to Ian Leith and Cameron Skinner for organising these events. We hope, also, that Kippen Primary School will be back next season.

Upstairs, there is a smaller room available for  meetings, and the committee are planning to refurbish three other rooms to provide accommodation for Kippen Heritage, Kippen Community Trust and for use by councillors, MP’s or other officials requiring space for ‘clinics’.

The Youth Club is, sadly, currently in abeyance, and the Reading Room continues to hold much of their equipment, presenting a storage problem. The continuing retention of this equipment is in the hope that the Club could be re-started. Any positive suggestions will be welcomed by the Chairman, Jeremy Gaywood, or Betty McAllister, our Secretary.

The booking diary is managed by Betty, and it is hoped that an on-line system might be devised, for the Reading Rooms, possible integrated with other village enterprises.

Jeremy Gaywood, RR Chairman

Did You Know

Make the most of your Minor Injuries Unit

Many local people with minor injuries automatically head for the Emergency Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. But did you know you can often be seen and treated more quickly at the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Stirling Community Hospital? This also frees up staff in the Emergency Department to treat patients with more serious injuries who require immediate care.

NHS Forth Valley’s MIU is staffed by emergency nurse practitioners who can provide treatment for a wide range of minor injuries including minor burns and scalds, infected wounds, sprains, cuts and grazes. Staff can also examine and treat minor injuries to the eye, ear, head and neck areas and can arrange X-rays for suspected broken bones.

Although the unit is based in Stirling, it offers treatment to patients over the age of one from across Forth Valley. No appointment is necessary and the MIU is open 7 days a week from 9am – 9pm. Babies under 12 months old with minor injuries should be taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

To find out more about the NHS Forth Valley Minor Injuries Unit visit

In summary:

The Minor Injuries Unit can treat:-

minor burns and scalds
infected wounds
sprains and strains
cuts and grazes
minor eye injuries
minor ear injuries (not infections)
minor head and neck injuries
suspected broken bones (staff can arrange X-rays and apply plaster, if required)

It can’t treat 

minor illnesses (including coughs, colds, sore throats)
back or hip injuries
babies aged under the age of one
injuries which happened several days ago
old injuries which have recently got worse 

If you are unsure whether you should attend the Minor Injuries Unit, then call first on 01786 434036 to check with local staff.

Elsbeth Campbell