Sixty years of the Over 60s Christmas Dinner

Sixty years of the Over 60s Christmas Dinner

A wonderful time was had by all at the diamond celebration of Kippen Over 60s Christmas dinner. Mary Lawson opened the afternoon thanking all the organisations, businesses and individuals who came together to arrange this community event. Ellen Larson-Davidson said the grace. A delicious meal was provided by Cameron Skinner and his team with a musical accompaniment from pianist Annabel Gaywood. A special cake was shared, and entertainment followed. Graham Whyte also known as Silly Billy involved the guests in a fun cabaret enabling James Ballingham to read Sheila’s mind for the first time in 60 years of marriage. A splendid raffle ensued made possible by many generous donations. A commemorative mug designed by Julie McEachern and funded by a grant from Falck Renewables was presented to each guest and delivered to those unable to attend on the day. Music from Billy Hutton and Jim Burns was appreciated by enthusiastic dancers and the afternoon concluded with Auld Lang Syne. Anne Hillis gave a vote of thanks on behalf of the guests. Volunteer drivers, servers and hall decorators are thanked as are the many other supporters who made the day possible.

An album of photographs is being collated as part of Kippen heritage. A selection is presented here.

Tracy Hepburn

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Classics at Kippen

classics logo

The brainchild of Kathleen McKellar Ferguson, singing teacher at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, “Classics at Kippen” was born in 2012. Its purpose is threefold – to provide much needed performing experience for young music students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, to raise money for charity and to provide a high-class concert performance which makes for a lovely community event for the people of Kippen and further afield. To date “Classics at Kippen” has raised over £20,000 for charities including Crossroads,” Raucous Rossini”, Erskine and Kippen Parish Church.


The next Classics at Kippen Concert will take place in Kippen Parish church on Saturday 23 March at 7.30pm. This will take the form of a duet recital by two former students of Kathleen’s from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Soprano Hannah Sandison and mezzo soprano Annabella Ellis have both sung at Glyndebourne and are forging very promising and successful international singing careers. The concert will include light classics and some “fun stuff”! Tickets can be obtained via our website  , where you can also be added to our mailing list, or you can contact Kathleen at

unknownAward winning soprano Hannah Sandison is a graduate of The Royal College of Music International Opera School and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she won The Governers Recital Prize. She was the recipient of several awards throughout her studies, including from the AHRC, The Countess of Munster Musical Trust, and Help Musicians UK.

Hannah has since gone on to sing for English Touring Opera, Mid Wales Opera and most recently Glyndebourne Festival Opera where she made her debut as The Cockerel in The Cunning Little Vixen, and also covered the role of Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Other operatic roles include Fiordiligi (Cosi Fan Tutte), Micaela (Carmen), Drusilla (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), and Metella (La Vie Parisienne). As a busy oratorio and concert performer, recital venues include the London Handel Festival, The Oxford Lieder Festival, at the Pushkin House, London, and The Rachmaninov Hall, Moscow. She has performed Gala’s with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, two Gala’s in Corfu, and Mahler’s Second Symphony with the London Mahler Orchestra. Hannah has performed as a soloist at St. Martin’s in the Field, the Royal Festival Hall, The Sage, Gateshead and The Royal Albert Hall.

She has performed live on BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio 3 In Tune. She looks forward to several concerts including Elijah (Mendelssohn), and a Haydn Harmoniemesse. In 2019 she will sing Tatiana (Eugine Onegin) and Lisa (Pique Dame) with the Milton Keynes City Orchestra.

English bio

Annabella Ellis was born in Norwich, Norfolk. At the age of six Annabella commenced her studies at Central School of Dancing and Performing Arts, where she specialised in theatre and dance. She continued her education at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, gained her Master of Arts at the Royal Academy of Music, and completed her Master of Music in Opera Studies at the Royal Conservatoire Scotland.

Annabella has participated in Masterclasses with Dimitr Vdovin, Elizabeth Vidal, Jennifer Larmore, Irina Gavrilovici, Kathryn Harries, Helmut Deutsch, Christoph Prégardien, Rachel Nicholls, Benjamin Luxon, Edith Weins, Susan Youens and Emma Kirby.
In 2012 Annabella is awarded First Prize in the Competition “Norfolk Young Musician”, in 2014 she is a finalist in the Maureen Lehane competition and obtains Second Prize in the English Song and Third Prize in the Isabella Jay Aria competitions at the Royal Academy of Music.

From the opera repertoire she has performed Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Orlovsky (Die Fledermaus), Fiordiligi (Cosí fan Tutte), Mrs Coyle (Owen Wingrave), Mercédes
(Carmen), Tonina (Prima la music e poi le parole), Sirene (Rinaldo), Drusilla/Amor (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Belinda/ Second Witch/ Sailor (Dido and Aeneas) in festivals like Dorset Opera, Longborough Festival Opera, British Youth Opera or Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

In the realm of the symphonic repertoire she recently made her French début singing alto solo in Mozart’s Requiem at the Halle aux Grains in Toulouse and has also appeared as alto solo in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Bach’s C Minor Mass, amongst others. Notable recital performances include performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, in the Sighisoara Music Festival, Britten 100 and at the Wigmore Hall.


Dr Railton Scott Annual Whist Drive

The annual Whist Drive to raise money for Cancer Research will be held in the Village Hall on Friday 1st February at 7pm. This year, entrance money will be collected as you arrive (£3 per head with no charge for those hosting tables). If you would like reserve a table please contact Stuart Thomson on 01786 870529, 07736 362011, or This is a great village occasion with a long history of raising money for this very worthy cause.

There will be some practice Whist sessions in the Reading Rooms on Tuesdays 15th, 22nd and 29th January at 7.30pm. Come and learn how to play or have a brush up session. All are most welcome.

Naomi Hirst


Burns Supper

Tickets are selling well for the Village Burns Supper in the Village Hall on Saturday 26 January, and a capacity audience is expected. The event is hosted as usual by the Friends of Kippen Kirk Trust which helps to maintain the building and fabric of the Village Kirk.

There’s a great slate of speakers and performers. The Immortal Memory will be proposed by Ian Young of Campsie Glen; the Toast to the Lassies will be proposed by Duncan McEwan of Arnprior and the reply on behalf of the Lassies will be given by Baroness Goldie, whose hilarious replies have won her a place on the international circuit of Burns Suppers. After the Selkirk Grace by Rev Ellen Larson Davidson, the Haggis will be addressed by Kippen’s Richard Patten and Neil Benny will give his own unique recitation of Tam O’Shanter. Local lad Murray O’May, who piped so impressively at the Armistice Day Service in the Village, will be piping, and Kathleen McKellar Ferguson is organising the musical programme. Award-winning singers Daniel Barrett and Karla Grant from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland will be singing. Cameron Skinner is catering the event.

Tickets, price £22.50, are still available from Micky or Naomi Hirst (870283), David Jenkins (870434) or Moira Turner (870705).


Classics @ Kippen “Summer Serenade”

On Friday 27th July we were delighted to welcome 8 singers and a pianist from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to the beautiful Kippen Kirk for an evening of light classical music. It was indeed a ‘Summer Serenade’ with music from opera, classical song, Scots song and music theatre wafting through the Church and raising the rafters! Wine was served at the interval, and it was delightful for our audience of around 170 to mill around outside on a balmy Summer evening.


I am thrilled to announce that we raised a total of £2600 on the evening, which included a generous personal donation from a London friend of £500. (The powers of FB!) This will be fund- matched up to £2500 from The Friends of Kippen Kirk Trust, to whom we are gratefully indebted, making a grand total of £5100. This will enable us to buy most of our own staging for future concerts in the Church. To say that I am thrilled is an understatement!

A huge thank you to all the very generous people of Kippen who helped with this event in so many ways……. setting up the church, catering, ticket selling, publicity, finances, photography and, not least, the most wonderful warm hospitality which the students loved. A very special thanks also goes to Kevan Leith at SAS Computing, who has very generously constructed our new website

Our next C@K Concert will be on March 23rd and will take the form of a duet recital by two former RCS students, Hannah Sandison and Annabella Ellis, both of whom are forging successful singing careers which began at Glyndebourne. This will be a high-class concert, not to be missed. The proceeds of this will enable us to buy the last bits and pieces of staging and some simple lighting for any future events in the Church.

Please get in touch via the website for more information, and to be added to our mailing list for future events.

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A New Season of Films to Enjoy at The Callander Cinema

At 7:30pm on Sunday November 11 we open the 42nd season of community cinema in Callander with a screening of Dunkirk.  We will screen a varied selection of 15 Award Winning movies with Oscar Winners, Comedy, Drama, Western, Horror, and Foreign films, and a Christmas Movie for the family. The season will run from November 2018 to June 2019 for the bargain price of £26, which works out at less than £2 per movie.


Due to flooding, remodelling and uncertainty about the sale of St Kessogs we will be moving our screenings to 7:30pm on Sunday nights at the Callander Youth Project at 6 Bridgend, Callander FK17 8AH.

We have received sponsorship from local companies: Julie Carmichael at Deli Ecosse, Gordon Esson at Man Cave Barber Shop, Dave McAlpine Construction,                     Callander     Youth Project, Gordon Halladay at Spirit of Callander and the Texas Hold Em Poker players at The Waverley.

Visitors and locals are always welcome.  It’s £5 at the door for non-members.

We are online at: 

See you at the movies.

Eammon O’Boyle (01877-339323)

Sun. Nov. 11  Dunkirk
Sun. Nov. 25  The Post
Sun. Dec. 9     The Death of Stalin
Sun. Dec. 23  The Man Who Invented Christmas
Sun. Jan. 13    Darkest Hour
Sun. Jan. 27    The Shape of Water
Sun. Feb. 10 Hereditary
Sun. Feb. 24      Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Sun. Mar. 17      Shoplifters
Sun. Mar. 31      Sweet Country
Sun. Apr. 14      The Guernsey Literary Society
Sun. Apr. 28      Lady Bird
Sun.  May 12 I Tonya
Sun.  May 26 Molly’s Game
June 2019 AGM – TBC.

15 Award Winning Movies for £26

Cheques payable to Callander Film Society.

Return to Aileen Dimmer, 7 Castle Grove, Callander FK17 8AZ.

Or Pay by BACS.  Callander Film Society.  Bank of Scotland, Callander.

Sort Code 800591.  Account Number 00242863.



Preparations are well in hand for the Village Burns Supper which will take place on Saturday 26 January 2019 at 7.00 for 7.30 pm in the Village Hall, Fore Road.  The Supper will be hosted as usual by the Friends of Kippen Kirk and catered by Cameron Skinner.


Ian Young, an old hand at Burns Suppers, from Campsie Glen will propose the Immortal Memory.  The Toast to the Lassies will be proposed by Duncan McEwan of Arnprior, and Baroness Goldie, an acclaimed and hilarious Burns speaker, will reply.  Neil Benny will recite Tam O’Shanter.  Kath McKellar Ferguson will be organising the evening’s musical entertainment.

Tickets will be priced around £20, and will be available from the FKKT trustees, Michael Hirst (870283), Barry Topping (870090), Mary Lawson (870202), David Jenkins (870434) and Julie McEachern (870635) and others.

You can book your tickets now and encourage your friends to join you for a great evening.

Sir Michael Hirst, Glentirran, Kippen, Stirlingshire FK8 3DY

Tel. +44 (0)1786 870283, Fax +44 (0) 1786 870679, Mobile +44 (0) 7885 627600