Community Affairs

Kippen Playgroup, Babies and Toddlers

We must start by thanking everyone who came to, and helped with, our Christmas Market again this year – the amazing array of stalls, the delicious selection of home baking, the magical Santa’s Grotto and the record-breaking raffle helped us to raise over £3,600. We are an independent group who get all our money from fundraising, so this amount will be critical to help us continue into the next decade!

Despite the obvious celebrations at this time of year – our Hallowe’en party, Christmas party and visit to the Cumbernauld theatre – our kids have been equally excited by animals and mud in the last few months.

Our Playgroup children have formed close bonds with animals around the village and during a trip to Castle Rednock (whether the animals wanted it or not!) – ponies, donkeys, chickens, birds and, obviously, the dinosaurs of Kippen woods. Any wildlife residing in the woods or Church garden has been disturbed quite regularly on Tuesday and Friday mornings with games of hide and seek, rolling down hills and investigating their habitats. In other news, mud depths reached new heights recently and easily managed to breech welly boots, much to the delight of the kids (and horror of those cleaning them up afterwards). Hosepipes had to be used….

With increasing amounts of research being published about the benefits of outdoor play, we are so grateful our kids can enjoy exploring the natural environment, with the support of Morna and Pam. If your 2-5 yr old would like to join the fun on a Tuesday and/or Friday (9.30am – noon), please get in touch via KippenPlaygroup@gmail.com to arrange a free taster.

Babies and Toddlers welcome anyone under 5, with their parent or carer, to come to the Village Hall on a Thursday (10.15am – noon) to explore new toys, have a healthy snack and give their adults a break from any cabin fever that might be setting in, over tea and cake. Please join us!

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Community Affairs

Primary School

P1, 2 and 3 Nativity

The 2019 Kippen Primary Nativity was called ‘Everyone Loves a Baby!’ Pupils had lots of fun performing this upbeat Christmas Nativity and enjoyed learning the lyrics, lines and dance moves. They told the story of six children who live with their parents, two kind innkeepers who have just had a new baby. The children were also involved in designing programmes, posters and tickets for the performance. We are very proud of all the pupils who worked hard for many weeks before it. Thank you to all who attended. We hope you enjoyed it!

I liked all the costumes, especially the camel costume. (Jamie)

The nativity was really good, and we all tried to sing nicely. (Emma)

I really liked the innkeeper song. (Campbell)

I was a bit nervous first but then I felt just fine. I liked being on the stage and doing all the actions. (Isla)

Nativity Photo

Primary 2/3 investigate owl pellets

As part of our work based on the story, ‘Owl Babies’, Primary2/3 dissected and investigated owl pellets.

We got to use magnifying glasses and microscopes to find out just what the owls had been eating. Using our identification chart, we think we spotted the jaw of a vole, some mouse bones and lots of other bits of fur and feathers. These were hungry owls!

“I enjoyed digging into the pellets and finding out what different things were in it.” – Harry

“It was great using the magnifying glasses. It made it easy to see all the little bones.” – Cara

 

Primary 3/4

P3/4 had a new class member this term – The Butterfly Lion! After reading the story, the children wrote to the lion keepers at the Safari Park to ask how to look after lions. As soon as the lion cub arrived, the children wrote instructions to explain how to take care of him. Having such an important, and cuddly, member of the class inspired the children to write poems, stories, posters and dances. They wrote news reports and carefully considered their own opinions about aspects of the story. Finally, they made models of the lion in clay to celebrate the end of an exciting term!

P3-4 Butterfly Lion 2P3-4 Butterfly Lion 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In P5/6, our topic this term has been the Titanic.

We have been learning all about what life was like in 1912, how the Titanic was made, what happened on the journey, how the Titanic sank and what happened after the sinking.

We have investigated these questions through a number of activities such as building circuits to practice Morse code, creating timelines of the journey, re-enacting the journey through drama and even writing our own survivor diary entries. We have even had Titanic memorabilia sent to us from the Belfast Museum to help us understand how some passengers may have dressed.

Our favourite part of our topic was being able to build a 3D replica of the Titanic by designing our own shoe boxes to represent parts of the Titanic.

P6/7 Topic: The Global Village

We have been learning about our world through our topic ‘The Global Village’.

Through our topic, we explored numeracy, including fractions, percentages and graphs. We found out a lot of interesting things about the world we live in, and the similarities and differences between different countries.

“I liked doing all of the bar graphs. We all got a different topic such as religion, age, language etc. Mine was religion and I found out that there were many more religions in the world than I had thought.” Lomond

“I really liked doing my line graph because I had never done a graph where you could compare something over time and see the patterns as easily. Some of the results were quite shocking. There are a lot of chickens in the world!” Ailie

We even used our lines graphs, which showed sunset and sunrise over the year in Kippen, to create an art project which showed our changing seasons and how the world outside changes across the year.

We also used science to help us to explore challenges in some countries, such as finding fresh water.

“We had very dirty water and we all had to get into groups to make the water clean by making filters from different materials. The materials which worked best were the cotton wool and paper towels. I think that this was because they didn’t have any big gaps in them, so they caught all the dirty bits in the water.” – Emily

Through art we explored diversity by creating our own versions of the ‘Diversity Hands’ painting.

“We had to look at our hands and try to copy them in pencil. After that we created a good copy and added detail, then coloured them in using lots of different colours of pencil. I think that the message of this was that you are the same no matter what colour you are.”

p67 water filtration

 

 

 

 

 

Community Affairs

Rainbows

RainbowsLast October Rainbows has started in Kippen. For those who are not aware of what Rainbows is, it is part of the Girlguiding organisation and is for girls age 5 to 7. The meetings are held in the Village Hall on Wednesdays, during school term time, from 4.30pm until 5.30pm

From the beginning there has been a strong interest from girls in the village, the group has already got 9 members and we are hoping more girls will join us in the new year.

During the meetings the girls work towards badges. This first term we have been working and completing our Drawing and Storytelling badges. A few of the activities the girls have undertaken have been drawing a big Rainbows banner, drawing themselves full size and making sock puppets to tell stories.

Rainbows would not be possible without the support of the girls’ parents and guardians helping at meetings and behind the scenes. I would like to thank everyone who has helped so far for their help and support to make this first term a success.

We have got loads planned for next term and if your daughter might be interested in joining Rainbows please contact me at any time via email kippen.rainbows@gmail.com

I have started this Rainbows group by myself and am very grateful that I now have two young helpers joining me in making Rainbows in Kippen a success. However, the group would really benefit from a regular adult volunteer who would like to become a unit helper. Please contact me if you would like to discuss what this would involve.

Jolanda McNeill

 

 

Community Affairs

Kippen Community Woodland Group

It has been a productive end to the year for the Kippen Community Woodland Group.

At our Annual General Meeting, Keith Maplethorpe was welcomed as our new Chair. We are grateful to Keith for being willing to take on this role and for Karen Dekker and Paula Watson continuing as Treasurer and Secretary respectively.

The last woodland morning of the year saw us installing marker posts for the Primary School Easy Orienteering Course. This should enable the School to build on the success of their October orienteering event. It is intended to install the remainder of the posts in Burnside Wood in the New Year.

For those who would like to join us, we will continue to work in Burnside Wood on the first Sunday morning of each month, meeting at the football pitch at 10.00. Gloves and tools are provided, just wear something that you do not mind getting muddy. A WhatsApp group has now been established to make it easier to arrange ad hoc work with those who find it difficult to make the Sunday mornings. Please let me know if you would like to be added to the WhatsApp or work morning email group.

Paula Watson

Secretary, Kippen Community Woodland Group

191208

Community Affairs

Kippen Over 60s Christmas Dinner

A large party- 69 guests and many volunteers – gathered in Kippen Village Hall on Monday 2nd December for the 61st Christmas Dinner.

Mary Lawson and Ellen Larson Davidson opened the afternoon. Cameron Skinner and his team once again provided a much- appreciated banquet, catering for various dietary requirements. John Burns and Billy Hutton provided the entertainment and dancing was enjoyed. The Diamond Anniversary commemorative photo book and slide show were on display. A huge raffle took place and the afternoon ended with Auld Lang Syne and a vote of thanks from Liessa Allan.

The Hall and Christmas tree were beautifully decorated thanks to the parents and children of the Playgroup and Toddlers group. Many thanks to McNicolls Store, Sheree hairdressing, Rhubarb  Lime, the Woodhouse, Twine, the Cross Keys, the Inn at Kippen, Simon Littlejohn, Kippen Church and Balfron Church Lunch Club for donating supplies and raffle prizes, as well as all the local clubs and societies and individual donors, too many to record. The Hall Committee are thanked for use of the Hall, which was very cosy. The committee thanks all those who so happily served, washed dishes, organised the bar, transported guests, photographed the event, delivered invitations and fundraised throughout the year.

Lastly, thanks to the guests who came prepared to have a good time and make this such a wonderful community event.

Tracy Hepburn

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Events

Classics@Kippen Christmas Celebration

classics-kippenOn Saturday the 14th of December ‘Classics @ Kippen’ put on a ‘Christmas Celebration’ in Kippen Parish Church. After weeks of election mania and with the Christmas stress fast approaching it was so good for us all to take a bit of time out and have a change of focus! Such is our following that we now have a committed audience who come from all around and, despite foul weather and the lure of a cosy night in watching the final of ‘Strictly’ on TV, we were absolutely delighted to welcome over 200 people to this event. According to all reports, the audience was not disappointed and was well rewarded with a beautiful programme of Christmas words, music and carols presented by 5 singers, 2 readers, 2 brass players, a pianist and an organist all from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The church was beautifully decorated for Christmas, the stage was set and, for the first time, we were able to use our new theatre lights (which we bought with the proceeds of our last concert) which made a huge difference to the ambience and overall performance. The atmosphere was wonderful, and I think it’s safe to say there was something in the programme for everyone. The concert opened with classics from Handel’s Messiah and musically journeyed through some seasonal art song, favourite Christmas songs and audience carols finishing with the usual ‘cheesy’ Hollywood numbers which everyone loved. The readings brought an added dimension and were both thought provoking and funny ranging from Dickens and Pam Ayers to some very moving ‘Letters to Santa’ and culminating in the poignant ‘In Memoriam’ by Tennyson, which is surely in itself a message for our time. (Do look it up if you don’t know it). The audience had a great time but so did the students. They always love coming to Kippen. Not only are they fed incredibly well, (students will do most things for good food!) and spoiled rotten over the weekend, they also love having the opportunity to perform and a C@K concert is fast becoming a sought after and very desirable ‘gig’! We were also thrilled that the school really enjoyed using the staging after the concert for their end of term concert and church service and are delighted that the lighting and staging is a community asset for everyone.

We are so grateful to everyone who helped make this event happen. Thank you all so very much. You know who you are.

We are also delighted to announce that we raised £3200 for our designated charity which this time was the ‘Start Up Stirling Christmas Appeal’. This hopefully will have made a huge difference to those in our area who struggle to make ends meet, not only at this time of year but all year round.

People always ask me when the next event will be. I never know the answer to that but, rest assured, there will be something on the horizon in the not too distant future. Watch this space! If you want to be added to our mailing list, please do so via our website classicsatkippen.co.uk

Kathleen McKellar Ferguson (Coubrough)

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Events

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 7th February at 7pm.

Entrance money will be collected as you arrive (£3 per head with no charge for those hosting tables). If you would like to reserve a table please contact Stuart Thomson on 01786 870529, 07736 362011, or stuartsthomson@aol.com

Whist lessons or practice your skills will be held in  the Reading Rooms on Wednesdays 22nd and 29th January and 5th February at 7.30pm.

Naomi Hirst.

 

 

Did You Know

 The Average White Van Band

average_band

According to their manager: “The Average White Van Band is a tremendous acoustic band coming soon to a pub near you.  Provided you live in Kippen.”

The band consists of:

David Jones – guitar and vocals

Karen Dekker- fiddle, piano and hard stares.

Stewart Carnegie – lead vocals & “best kazoo player this side of The Mississippi”

Michael Flint – vocals, suitcase and percussion

Cliff Hewett – Ukulele & piano

As most good things do, the band started as a conversation after a few drinks:

Cliff: “We should form an acoustic band”

Karen: “Great idea”

Cliff: “We just have to work out how to make it good”

(…thoughtful pause…)

Karen: (wavering) “We’d have to be good???”

Undaunted by this initial clash of ideals, they started playing in 2018 and have since proved a popular hit.  In Kippen, anyway.

Playing a curiously successful mix of folk favourites, original songs and the occasional boogie-woogie piano the band notably features excellent vocal harmonies.  When asked for the secret of their success, their reply was:

David: “Dedication and hard work.”

Stewart: “Beer.”

Mike (waking up): “Did someone mention beer?”

Mike is American and spends most of his time dreaming up plans to get people to buy the band a drink.

Apart from beer, another of their secrets is to ditch the traditional P.A. system and play acoustically round a table.  Whilst generally making for a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, in a busy pub this sometimes leads to the band not being heard but this “doesn’t really matter” said the band’s manager. When asked why it didn’t matter that the band couldn’t be heard at all he added “Dunno. It adds to the mystery.  Now push off, I’m trying to chat up the barmaid.”

Currently recording their “Greatest Hits” album at Sun Room Studios the band confidently expect it to be a worldwide hit.  If so, there is no danger of the usual band fall-outs or arguments, as apparently, they have already had a serious, and surprisingly sober, discussion about any future royalties:

“Oh yes, it’s all been sorted out in a very agreeable and positive way.” says Cliff.  “They aren’t getting any.”

And with that sorted out, a gig at Wembley Arena is “in the pipeline” with just a couple of details “needing finalised” said their manager, a little unsteadily.

More details, including all the ways you can buy them a drink, can be found on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AverageWhiteVanBand

 

Did You Know

Bus News     

first-bus-logo

After much ado the new bus timetable started on October 21st and for once most passengers did manage to get a timetable prior to the start date.

Due to numerous complaints FirstBus backed down and restored the early morning buses to the timetable.

However, the rest of the timetable is still causing significant difficulties, particularly for residents living and travelling east of Balfron.

With longer gaps between buses and a Saturday service reduced to every 2 hours, residents without transport are struggling to go about their daily lives. To access Stirling, some Balfron residents are now using the much longer X10A route via Aberfoyle in order to keep appointments, reducing patronage on our X10 more direct service.

First have removed the busy 1pm bus from Stirling, which affects many residents from different villages who volunteer, work part time or attend morning hospital appointments.

This has been replaced by a 12 o’clock bus, ironically a service they withdrew in 2016 – allegedly down to low patronage. Not a valid excuse that can be used for withdrawing the busy 1pm service this year!

Our Saturday service has been reduced to every 2 hours despite maintaining an hourly service 6 days a week from Balfron to Glasgow with 5 services on a Sunday, as First continue with their Glasgow centric approach at the expense of residents needing to travel east to Stirling.

Of major concern has been the running of adapted school coaches on two X10 commercial services, once again, only on the Balfron-Stirling side of the route.

This vehicle has steep narrow stairs and very narrow aisles. Many elderly and disabled passengers are finding it too difficult to get on and off particularly if carrying bags, shopping trolleys or luggage. Those with mobility scooters and wheeled walkers are unable to board at all.

Even the fittest of residents are finding this bus a problem with some no longer prepared to use it in case they fall.

With so few buses available on this route, a vehicle that residents are unable to board is totally unacceptable.

In recent weeks the amount of delays and breakdowns on the X10 buses has been unprecedented, a true reflection of the age and condition of the vehicles operated from Balfron.

Along with the coaches, we have raised all these concerns with First, Stirling Council and local community councils. We urge residents to continue writing to Stirling Council themselves regarding any service causing a problem, especially this particular coach.

Letters can be addressed and posted to Public Transport Team Leader or handed into Stirling Bus Station or email info.stirling.gov.uk or alternatively contact FirstBus direct.

We should say that passengers contacting First direct have not been impressed with the response.

Please also make a point of reporting the usual issues of no heating, water ingress and dirty vehicles. If these are not reported both the Council and First assume all is well and, as we know, this is not the case.

As yet, no official word has been received regarding the provision of a regular Sunday Service, but we remain optimistic that the promised Pilot will indeed materialise. Like other pilots, its longevity will depend on residents using the service, and we hope, when implemented, it will be well supported.

Val Brand