Alzheimer’s Fundraiser and AGM Minutes

Felting For Fun

DSCN0085[1]Cath McGregor is running  special Felting Taster Sessions on Saturday 20th April at the Pop-Up Market in The Courtyard at Kenmore. The sessions are in aid of Alzheimer Scotland and Dementia Dogs, and in return for a donation to these good causes (£5.00 minimum), you can have some fun and make a piece of felt to take home. Call by The Courtyard any time between 10am and 4pm and unleash your inner creativity!

Other dates for your diary are the next FVA Pop-Up Coffee Shop (aka Coffee Morning), which is in the Hall at 10.30am – 12.00 on Tuesday April 23rd and the Annual Quiz Night, run by the Hall Committee, on Saturday 11th May.


The FVA’s AGM was held on 20th March this year, and the Minutes are below:

FVA Annual General Meeting and Business Meeting 2018-19

McLean Hall, 4pm on Saturday 30th March 2019

 Draft Minutes

 Annual General Meeting


The Chair welcomed Members to the 2018-19 FVA AGM and Business Meeting

Apologies: Jim Fair, Cath McGregor, Peter McKenzie

Approval of the Minutes of the 2017-18 AGM held on 17th March 2019

The Minutes, which were published on the Blog following the 2017-18 AGM, were approved by Julia Lane and seconded by Nic Grant.

Annual Report:

Financial Report and Approval of Financial Statement

The Treasurer reported that total income for the year was £1263.50, an increase of just under 5% on last year. In the latter part of the year, we raised the Coffee Morning price from £2.00 to £3.00 and this accounts for part of the increase – the rest being increased attendance at events.

Membership currently stands at 58. In recent years, a number of long-term members have moved away from the village, so we have created an Honorary Members category in order to keep in touch. There are 9 members in this group.

 Total expenditure for the year 2018-19 was £1,329, significantly up on last year’s figure of £797. The main reasons were a significant donation to the Hall and investment in better equipment for our events.

This year we made a donation of £500 to the Hall to help with the cost of the new kitchen and made our usual donation of £100 towards the Hall’s running costs from the surplus at the Mulled Wine and Mince Pies. The donations made, and the purchase of better equipment, meant that expenditure exceeded income by £66.13 in the financial year.

Jim Fair MCIBS was thanked for examining the accounts, which he found to be ‘correct and sufficiently vouched’.

It should also be noted that the generosity of Members resulted in £145.22 being raised in the Help for Heroes collection box at the Remembrance Day event, and £110 was put in the collecting box for the Air Ambulance over the course of the year. (Collection box donations do not go through our accounts.)

 Chair’s Report

Matters that affect or concern the village:

The Local Development Plan Review continues to be monitored at every stage. A submission was sent in response to the Supplementary Guidance Consultation supporting the Community Council submission.

 Planning Applications – it has been a quieter year. Instead, earlier planning approvals are becoming visible as work starts.

Boreland: The measures taken last year have proved effective and there has been far less disruption and anti-social behaviour in the village as a result. This year the focus has been on establishing a good relationship with the new manager.

Scrap and Land Management: There has been some improvement following the support we have had from Perth & Kinross Council through their multi-agency team. The team’s monitoring is on-going.

Social role:

Events – 10 events were organised. A trial ‘Soup and Rolls’ Saturday lunchtime event wasn’t sufficiently successful in terms of attendance to make it worth repeating. Although attendance at Coffee Mornings is variable month to month, it is fairly consistent over the year. The Remembrance Day Service, Strawberry TeaZ and Mulled Wine & Mince Pies continue to be well supported.

Staying Connected Directory: Jill Davies from Rural Wisdom found our Coffee Mornings a valuable point of contact and she has encouraged us in this mutual help and support initiative. A draft Directory, which is opt-in and open to FVA members, has now been compiled and a specimen copy was available at the AGM. Thanks to Nick, Fran and Fiona.

Road sign: The ‘Slow Down’ sign on the Fearnan Brae stopped working. Thanks to Neil and Peter for trying it out and reporting the fault to Perth & Kinross Council. It was suggested that the matter should be raised by the Community Council with Cllr. Mike Williamson who has an interest in road safety. Action CC

Fearnan History: Items continue to be added to the Fearnan Archive.

 Fearnan Hall: The FVA committee has collaborated with the McLean Hall Committee over the renovation of the kitchen, and the improvements are much appreciated.

The website continues to be maintained. Thanks to Fiona for making it not only informative but very attractive.

Committee Membership: No changes to the committee but anyone who would like to join the committee would be welcome.


Pat Menzies reported that there were no call outs for the defibrillator and the machine is checked regularly and fully functional.


FVA Business Meeting

Approval of the Minutes of the FVA Business Meeting held on 17th March 2018

 Minutes of the last meeting were published on the Blog in March 2018. They were approved by Nic Grant and seconded by Julia Lane.

Matters Arising not covered elsewhere in the Agenda:

Scrap and Land Management: There has been an improvement. Not so many complaints received this year. The Multi-Agency Team continues to monitor the situation and the build up at Balnearn and Culderbeg has been reported to the Chair of the Team. A number of comments were made by members about the build up at Culderbeg.

War Memorial: The Council installed the new stone that holds the wreaths and the Chair thanked NB for installing the wire to secure the wreaths. The Memorial Cairn has been cleaned by the Council.  Cath McGregor was thanked for the excellent Poppy Project that generated 900 hand-knitted poppies. Members commented on the striking appearance of the Memorial on Remembrance Day, and it is intended that the poppies will be used in future years.

Ian McGregor’s Book: “Fearnan – the story of a Highland Village of northern Perthshire” by Ian McGregor has been reprinted and some will be used as gifts to guests at the Commemoration event on the 6th

Village Map: this idea has been dropped.

Staying Connected: Members had a chance to see a prototype of the Directory, which is now an opt-in directory for FVA Members, which makes the management of data easier. Once finalised, it will be distributed to those who opted-in.

Events Review

The Chair opened a discussion on whether we should make changes to the programme of events. For example, the Pudding Night was not so well attended this year and the question is whether it has reached the end of its useful life. Members were in favour of keeping the event, but it was agreed that the addition of a table of savouries (probably sandwiches and biscuits and cheese, plus any dishes that members wish to contribute in the same way that members contribute puddings to the main table). This will provide an option for those who are not particularly pudding fans, and for those who would like to balance things out a little.

The title ‘Winter Pudding Night ‘will be retained, but with a strap-line to indicate the broader offering.

Blog Report

  • We published 25 posts on the FVA Blog in 2018/19, and attracted visitors from around the world (UK, US, Canada, Russia, New Zealand, Spain and Germany being the sources of clicks on the site.
  • We aim to highlight the activities of the various clubs in Fearnan (Book Club, Bowling and Art Club);
  • We were able to spread information about the Poppy Project and it became more of an international project with Fearnan-connected people knitting for us in a number of overseas countries as well as across the UK.
  • The Blog featured a number of articles about Fearnan in the past, including the story of the Brydones family, and a first-hand account of the arrival in Fearnan of the news about the end of WW1.

The existence of the Blog has also led to the forthcoming Commemoration of the Air Crash, which is reported on later in the meeting.

Broadband: Fibre has reached Fearnan, although it is not yet operational. Some residents have been able to order the faster speeds from their provider.

Commemoration of the Cow Park Air Crash

The plan is to mark the 76th Anniversary of the air crash. This has all stemmed from an email, to the FVA Blog 3 years ago. It came from Anna Belorusova in St Petersburg who was researching a book about the Moscow Special Assignment Air Group based at Errol. Three members of the Group and a Czech colleague were killed in the crash in the Cow Park.

Those invited include:

  • Russians who are travelling over for the event, and who will be headed up by the Russian Consul General from Edinburgh;
  • The Czech Consul General;
  • The Lord Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross and the Lord Provost of P&K;
  • UK nationals who have helped Anna in her research and who have a special interest in aviation history;
  • A group of 9 Czech descendants of one of the men who died;
  • Past and present residents of Fearnan.

We will have an Exhibition of Panels from the Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre in the Hall. One, about Fearnan and the crash, is for us to keep and 4 about the Russians who were based at Errol during WW2, will be on loan for the event.

The ceremony will start at 2.30pm, meeting at the Hall and walking to the Cow Park next to Clach-an-Tuic, led by a piper. The ceremony itself, will include a commemoration stone and the joint planting of a tree by Russian and Czech representatives, and Sue as chair of the FVA. Wreaths will be laid, including one from the people of Fearnan.

There might be a fly past by the Scottish Aero Club, and afterwards we will return to the Hall for tea and refreshments.

There could be up to 70 people attending, and we are looking for on-the-day volunteers to help with parking, traffic management, helping in the hall afterwards, looking after guests etc. Fran is organising the Hall side of things, and Neil is organising the logistics side – managing the flow of people, parking etc.

All village residents will receive an invitation early in April.  The Hall Committee was thanked for waiving the hall charge and for purchasing extra crockery for the event.

Food Hygiene Course

The Hall Committee have commissioned a certificated Food Hygiene course, which will cost £75.00 a head and will be on a weekend day. The minimum number required is 6. The FVA is considering participation in order to be up-to-date with new rules and regulations. Anyone else interested should contact Karen Bennett.


Christmas Lights: A proposal to install Christmas lights on the tree next to the Hall front door was put forward and met with agreement. The FVA will purchase the lights and investigate power sources. Keith Brockie volunteered to put the lights up. Action FVA Committee

 Additional Hall Equipment: the FVA has requested 6 small square tables to compliment the new large tables in the Hall.

Forthcoming Events: The Hall committee gave details of 2 events they are organising – the Annual Quiz Night will be on Sat 11th May and will include a 2-course meal. The Games and Curry Night is on Sat 12th October. FB agreed to put them on the Blog.

Access: it was reported that access to Culdermore had been restricted, with the gates being locked and a camera put on Culdermore House ground. Fran Gillespie is investigating this. If not resolved, the matter should be passed to the Community Council.

Fiona Ballantyne,

Fearnan Village Association, 04/04/19



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April Update

Last Saturday marked the official opening of the 2019 season at the Scottish Crannog Centre near Kenmore on Loch Tay.  The Crannog itself is a reconstruction of Oakbank Crannog – one of two that lie off shore at Fearnan, and given this Fearnan connection, it was perhaps not surprising to find some familiar modern day Fearnan faces amongst the staff, providing hands-on demonstrations and interpreting life in the Iron Age for visitors.

Frances was busy in the iron-age kitchen preparing a meal using some of the ingredients that would have been available to crannog dwellers.  Split pea, fennel and swede soup was bubbling in the pot, there was flat bread cooking in the pan and she was preparing a piece of salmon for cooking – in between rushing off to chop more wood for the stove. No handy little knobs to turn to control the heat here!


Unknown-18Jason is continuing the textile project that he started last year.

Inspired by the spindle-whorls and a beautifully preserved piece of Iron Age fabric, all found at the Oakbank Crannog excavation, he has been researching and experimenting with plant-based dyes and methods of working with wool that would have been available when the crannogs were occupied.

So far, his work really challenges the idea that Iron Age clothes were dull. Lichen, for example, gives rich tones of pink through to deep purple.



Graham is the chief teller of tales, retelling the myths and legends that have been handed down to us from previous generations.

Although we cannot know for sure what stories were told around the fireside in the crannog , it is reasonable to assume they would have been early versions of the stories that have come down the centuries to us today.

Come and hear about the kelpies, and the urisks; about mischievous acts and heroic deeds; and other stories of times past on Loch Tay.


Last week, the Aberfeldy Gaelic Choir were on site providing some beautiful and atmospheric singing, especially for the opening event.  There were more familiar faces, with Fran and June amongst the singers.


Although it was much enjoyed by the audience, there was one local who came to heckle, and had to be chased away!


Check out the Crannog’s Facebook Page to hear choir soloist John Duff singing the Loch Tay Boat Song.

(The Loch Tay Boat Song sung on the shores of Loch Tay?  What more could you possibly want?)

Fearnan Art Club

The Fearnan Art Club had a successful visit to Kenmore, where the sports pavilion proved to make an excellent and bright art studio.


The Art Club’s next outing is on Monday 15th April, for some daffodil painting.

Fearnan Bowling Club

Lesley Raeburn reports:

“Another very enjoyable Bowls season has just ended.  An exciting and competitive League Competition saw Acharn retain the trophy.

 In our Club competition, Alastair Kininmonth beat Lesley Raeburn to lift the Singles trophy. Angela Kininmonth and Jardine Robertson were the winners in the Doubles competition beating Frances Brace and Alastair Kininmonth in the final. 

The new season starts on the 1st Monday in October. New members will be made very welcome.”

Well done to all the winners!

Dates for Your Diary

The FVA’s Pop Up Coffee Shop will be in the Hall on Tuesday 23rd April at 10.30 am.  Join us for some Easter-themed baking, fresh coffee and tea and a chance to socialise with friends and neighbours.

The Hall Committee have announced 2 dates: the Annual Quiz Night will be on Sat 11th May in Fearnan Hall and will include a 2-course meal in the ticket price, and the Games and Curry Night is in the diary for Sat 12th October.


Please note that, unless otherwise stated, the copyright of all text on this website is held by the writer of the article, and the copyright of all photos is in the ownership of the person that took them.

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March Update

Well, March certainly came in like a lion, in the form of Storm Gareth – let’s hope it obeys the old adage and leaves like a lamb at the end of the month.

Air Crash Commemoration 6th May

Preparations are continuing for the Ceremony of Commemoration on 6th May, which will start at 2.30pm on the day. Details of the ceremony and the arrangements will appear on the Blog as they become available.

Information linked to the 1943 crash continues to emerge.  Four men died when their plane crashed in the Cow Park and, although we have learned quite a lot about the 3 Russian airmen over the last 3 years, the fourth man – Czechoslovakian Frantisek Drahovzal – remained something of a mystery.  We had no photograph of him and no biographical information.

Only in the last week or so, Frantisek’s family in Czechoslovakia have been traced and we now know that he came from the area around Trutnov where he lived with his German wife and family.  After the German invasion of Czechoslovakia and their disbanding of the country’s army, he crossed the border to join the Czechoslovakian army which had been recreated in exile. As a result, the family at home faced intimidation by the Gestapo and suffered, first hand, the deprivations of a brutal war.

After the war, the family continued to be persecuted because of their German heritage and, in the spring of 1946, all Germans were forcibly banished from the area. Frantisek’s family were taken to an internment camp and subjected to very tough conditions. The Drahovzal family managed to survive thanks to the help of their grandmother, who was not interned, and able to supply them with food.

Although their father had died in 1943, it was not until 1946 that his son, also named Frantisek, learned of his father’s death.  The news was made even more difficult for the family by the mystery surrounding his death and why, having been President Benes’ chef in Czechoslovakia, he came to be working as a cook at RAF Errol and why he was in the plane that crashed outside Fearnan.

Members of the Drahovzal family are planning to attend the Ceremony on the 6th May, and Fearnan looks forward to welcoming them.


A very big thank you to Josef ‘Joe’ Vochyán of Czech RAF Crew*, who managed to trace the family and obtained the photos above .

*Czech RAF Crew is a civic association that was formed to honour the memory of the 2,500 Czechoslovakian airmen who served in the RAF during WW2, and to promote them as role models who fought not just for the freedom of their country but for the future of later generations.


Coffee Time!

This week, Fearnan’s very own Pop-Up Coffee Shop (a.k.a. the coffee morning) popped up for the first time this year.  Two days earlier, it had been St Patrick’s Day, so this was sufficient excuse for some Irish-themed bakes and, indeed, for one participant to adopt, in full, the colours of the Irish flag!

It was an enjoyable and sociable occasion, and the Coffee Shop will pop up again just after Easter, on the 23rd April at 10.30.  (Cue fluffy chicks, hot cross buns and simnel cake.)

Fearnan Art Club

The Art Club also met for the first time this year, with a visit to Kenmore.  After a tasty lunch at the newly opened Paper Boat coffee shop, the group found some sheltered spots around the village for sketching.

The next Art Club outing is at 12.30 on Monday 1st April, starting at Kenmore Sports Club.

Fearnan Book Club

We’re doing catch-up here, with 2 Book Club reports, February and March.

In February, the Book Club discussed The Wardrobe Mistress by Patrick McGrath, which was shortlisted for the Walter Scott prize for historical fiction. Set in 1947 in post war London, it is a multi-layered book which, although not highly rated by the group, was successful in generating a high level of discussion with extensive and enthusiastic conversation and varied opinions. A few didn’t find it particularly enjoyable due to the number of strands and characters but most persevered and wanted to keep reading to see how it would develop.

Joan, the wardrobe mistress of the title and recently widowed, presented an interesting juxtaposition – she was struggling to make sense of the past and trying to construct a future, and all the while re-evaluating her life with a husband that she thought she knew. The revelation that her husband was a fascist while she was a Jew evoked sympathy, although we found this not quite plausible. She also had to contend with a turbulent, neurotic daughter (albeit a brilliant actress) while cultivating a relationship with her husband’s understudy, who took over his role both on and off the stage!

Detailed descriptions of plays and events painted a rich picture of the seedy glamour of the theatre world and the fascist unrest in London at the time. We found the dramatic ending unexpected.

The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz was the book for March, and the discussion was much shorter than usual, and not as polarised as some have been.

The book was mainly enjoyed for the fact that it was cleverly constructed in an unusual format – a book within a book.  Many of the group enjoy both traditional and modern murder mysteries so this allowed us to buy one, get one free! It was absorbing and character-driven with an unusual style and red herrings aplenty!

Some found it annoying to change stories midway and others preferred the traditional strand to the modern one. There were many links to other well know fictional detectives, and homage paid to the work of Agatha Christie as portrayed in the old-fashioned murder mystery.

As always, all was finally revealed and both motives and solutions pulled together in the end in classic whodunnit style.

The book for April is A Case of Doubtful Death by Linda Stratman.


The Fearnan Village Association’s AGM will be held on Saturday 30th March at 4pm in the Hall. All members are welcome.




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A Date and a Time for Remembering

Commemoration of the Fearnan Aircrash – 6th May 2019

We are delighted to be able to let you know about an important event that will be happening in the village on 6th May 2019.

It is nearly 76 years since the air crash at Fearnan that killed 3 Russian airmen and a Czechoslovakian colleague in the Cow Park on 29th May 1943.  The airmen had been based at Errol, training with the RAF. About 3 years ago, the Village Association website was contacted by Anna Belorusova, whose grandfather had served alongside the men who died.  She was researching the history of the Russian unit  – the Moscow Special Assignment Air Group – that was based at Errol, and has since published a book, which includes a significant section about the crash – and, indeed, about Fearnan.

Anna has become a friend of the village and has visited us on 2 occasions. She and other descendants of the Russian airmen from Errol are keen to commemorate the crash and those who died, and it is also an important piece of Fearnan’s history.

The date is the 6th May in the afternoon. A number of people will be travelling from Russia for the occasion and our guests will include the Russian Consul General, the Lord-Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross, and others.

The plan is to lay a memorial stone and plant a tree (an Alder) near to the site of the crash. We hope that as many residents of Fearnan, past and present, as possible and others from the wider network of Fearnan’s friends, will be able to come to help mark a piece of joint history between ourselves and our guests from Russia.

Plans are at an early stage, and we will provide regular updates here on the Blog.

You can read the full story of the crash, published on the Fearnan Blog in 2016, here.)


Winter Pudding Nights first came to Fearnan in 2009 and, apart from 2010, there has been one every year since.  Last week’s event was, as ever, friendly and relaxed with live music (from Doug, Hilary, Audrey and Keith), and quite a lot of puddings.



Many thanks to all the bakers who made puddings for the evening, and to all those who came to help eat them.



Social Events 2019

Dates for the Village Association’s social events for 2019 are now on the What’s On page of this blog and are:

FVA AGM: Saturday 30th March 2019, 4 – 5 pm. All members welcome.

Coffee Mornings –  Join us for freshly brewed coffee and tea and some delicious home baking from 10.30 to 12.00 in the Hall.

  • 19th March
  • 23rd April
  • 21st May
  • 18th June
  • 17th September
  • 22nd October

In addition, there will be a number of seasonal events.  These are:

  • Saturday 20th July at 3pm: Strawberry TeaZ: Cakes, tarts, scones, ice cream and more – all made or served with strawberries. Live music.
  • Sunday 10th November: Remembrance Sunday 10.50 at the Memorial and after in the village hall for tea and coffee.
  • Saturday 7th DecemberMulled Wine & Mince Pies 3-5pm: Enjoy seasonal goodies and good company.



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Diary Dates for 2019

This is a summary of some of the diary dates on the Blog’s What’s On page which has been updated.  There is a link to the page, where there is more info and contact details, in the black bar immediately under the header picture at the top of this page.

All events are in the village hall, unless otherwise stated.

Our first event of the year is the world famous Fearnan Winter Pudding Night 2019 on Saturday 23rd February at 6pm. It’s the perfect antidote to wintry weather – convivial evening with the best choice of puddings you will find anywhere, EVER! Whether you prefer childhood favourites like treacle pudding, jam roly-poly or rice pudding, or more sophisticated tarts and sweets, there’s something here for everyone.  Live music. Come hungry!  It costs £7.50pp at the door.  School age children £3.50, and under 5s are free, and BYOB.

Next up is the Coffee Morning on Tuesday 19th March. Join us for freshly brewed coffee and tea and some delicious home baking from 10.30am to 12.00. 

The FVA’s AGM is on Saturday 30th March 2019, 4 – 5 pm. All members welcome.


Regular Classes and Clubs in Fearnan

If you have a creative hobby, or would like to develop your artistic skills, the Fearnan Art Club meets every Monday – sometimes in the hall and sometimes at other venues to paint and sketch.  Details of  this year’s programme will go on the Blog’s What’s On page as soon as they are available.

If you enjoy a good read, the Fearnan Book Club gets together on the second Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm to discuss their latest good read and the Mobile Library visits Fearnan Hall car park on alternate Tuesdays between 4.00 and 4.30 pm. (See below for the Book Club’s latest update.)

On Monday evenings there’s an open invitation to everyone to come and play Carpet Bowls from 8 – 10pm. There’s also a chance to play competitively in the Leagues.

And it’s also open house at the hall to play Table Tennis on Friday mornings from 10.30am.

Thai Chi Classes take place in the hall at 10 – 11am on Wednesdays. The cost is £3.00pp.


Community Council

The Glen Lyon and Loch Tay Community Council meets every 2 months.  The meeting dates and locations for the next 2 meetings are:

  • March 14th – Molteno Hall, Fortingall
  • May 9th – Bridge of Balgie

There is a full list of CC meetings for 2019 on the What’s On page.


What’s On Nearby

 We’ve added a new section to the What’s On page, to highlight other events and regular classes that take place in the area.

The Big Shed runs a regular programme of events, including Yoga on Friday mornings 10.30 – 12.00.  Check out forthcoming events at

If you’re looking for your inner sylph, there’s a Fitness Class every Tuesday morning 10.15 – 11.15 in the Molteno Hall, Fortingall. Sessions cost £4.50 and include cardio, muscle strengthening and mat work.  For further information, call 01887 830575 or just come along.

The Heart of Scotland Herb Society (aka The Herbies) meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month in Aberfeldy Town Hall.  Their forward programme is:

  • Wednesday 20th February 2019: “Foot Care at Home” with Joanne Taylor at The Town Hall Aberfeldy 10.00am – 12 noon
  • Wednesday 20th March 2019: “Heart Warming Soups” with a Polish Twist. A cookery demo by Mariuz of The Tay Café; 7.30pm at The Town Hall Aberfeldy

The rest of the programme is on the What’s On page.


Book Club Update

Linda writes:

There was a full turnout at our January meeting  and a lively discussion around the book Excellent Women by Barbara Pym, and its related themes.

Written in 1952, it is a comedy of manners that studies the social activities of, and characters related to, the Anglican Church. During our discussion, we had to remind ourselves of the context of the post war period in which it was set – a period when few women had careers.

We felt the characters were well portrayed and the atmosphere of the time was beautifully drawn. Some found that Mildred, the main character and a “do gooder”, was indeed “too good to be true” – even “nauseating” for some! Others felt that it was light and airy, humorous and a comforting book, nostalgic of a way of life long gone. Mildred was a great observer of the human race and presented unrequited feelings of women for men.

Comparisons were made between the roles and expectations of women then and now, and we discussed our personal experiences of how life has changed for women in our own lifetimes.

The book for February which was carried forward is The Wardrobe Mistress by Patrick McGrath

The next Book Club meeting is on the 13th February.

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2018 Review

It will not have escaped your notice that most of the mainstream media are marking the end of the year with Reviews of 2018.  ‘Well, why not?’, thought the Fearnan Blog, so here is a selection of our highlights from the last year:

In January, the Fearnan Poppy Project was launched with a simple knitting pattern and the thought that we might perhaps get 100, or possibly even 200.


In February, the annual Pudding Night nearly didn’t take place on account of a power cut two hours before the start of the event i.e. just about the time a lot of puddings were being popped into the oven to cook! Happily, the power came back in time for us to welcome our guests with an excellent selection of (fully cooked) puddings.

By March, we were all a bit fed up with the miserable weather and disruption caused by the snow. There may have been bare supermarket shelves at one point, but there was plenty on offer at the first coffee morning of the year. And we had a total of 200 poppies.

In April, we featured the story of an old Fearnan family, the Brydones, who lived in Fearnan in the first half of the 20th century, James Brydone being one of the WW1 servicemen who survived the war.

Outside Tom Darroch

Outside Tom Darroch: James, Jessie, Hamish and Detta Brydone taken late 1930s

Snow made one final appearance in time for the April (Easter) Coffee morning; the lambs arrived at Ewetopia; there was a well-attended Fearnan Quiz Night; and the Bowls Club met for one last match of the season and to present the Cup to the winner of the Singles Final (Alastair).

Meanwhile, Peter (a.k.a. Spiderman McKenzie) was abseiling down the front of the Birks Cinema to help raise funds for the refurbishment of the auditorium and cafe bar.

The weather took a definite turn for the better in May, and the Art Club were out and about sketching. In June they held an Art Club Open Day, and a Coffee Morning rounded off the month.

It was Friends Reunited in July, when the Blog gave a name-check to one of our poppy knitters in British Columbia and, through the wonders of the Internet, her name was spotted by a long lost friend (also in BC) who asked to be put in touch.

Back in the village, we bade a fond farewell to local lads Archie and Crannog, but we hear through Facebook that they are both well-settled and thriving in their new homes.

Archie and Crannog

In the same month, there was a splendid Strawberry Tea on offer from the FVA….

…. and Keith photographed two young ospreys that he had been monitoring, shortly before they fledged from their lochside nest.

By the beginning of September, we had some 500 poppies, and there were archaeologists at Boreland investigating possible links between land-based and crannog-based communities during the Iron Age. This is part of a larger project that is looking at whether or not the crannogs around Loch Tay were occupied simultaneously (which would suggest quite a busy landscape) or sporadically over a 400-year period (which would suggest small groups living in isolation).

Thanks to Aberfeldy museum there was a rare chance to see some early film footage of Fearnan in the 1930s ( And by the end of the month, our fantastic team of knitters had produced 650 poppies.

In October, work started on transforming the (by now) +800 poppies into panels for the war memorial.

The McMillan Coffee Morning raised a very respectable £250 and there was another, rather spooky, coffee morning at Halloween.

The November highlight was the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, and of the 8 war casualties from Fearnan, at our Remembrance Day Service. The war memorial looked amazing on the day, thanks to the Poppy Project. The final total was 935 poppies – knitted by local people as well as many from the Fearnan diaspora in Canada, America, France and various locations throughout the UK.

War Memorial 2018

The stories of the 8 Fearnan men who died in the war were further researched and updated in time for the anniversary, and can be read here.

December saw the last FVA event of the year – Mulled Wine and Mince Pies – which gave the attendees a chance to parade their Christmaswear.

And the final visitors of the year were flocks of Waxwings arriving in Fearnan, photographed by Keith.


Unknown-3The Book Club has met once a month over the last year, reading and discussing some 12 books. There was no unanimous winner of the Book of the Year award this year, but The Other Hoffmann Sister by Ben Fergusson received the most votes.

Those who voted for it felt that it was a well-paced story set within the historical background of colonial Africa and life between the wars in Berlin, when socialism was on the rise.


And as one year comes to an end, there is a chance to celebrate the start of 2019 in the Hall on New Year’s Eve:


Happy New Year to everyone!



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It’s Christmaaaaas – almost!

Mulled Wine & Mince Pies

The recommended dress code for our recent Mulled Wine and Mince Pies event was Christmas jumpers.  We certainly got Christmas jumpers – and Christmas socks, Christmas aprons, Christmas braces, Christmas headgear, a Christmas onesie and a green elf (or an elf in green, to be more exact). Clearly, dressing up boxes had been well and truly raided!


The hall was full of pre-Christmas cheer, and all in all, it was a warm and happy event.  The mulled wine slipped down a treat and, along with the mince pies, there were lots of Christmas-themed sweet treats to eat.  No pics of the food this time – the people were definitely the star attraction!


Something from the Fearnan Archive ……

Holiday brochures provide a pleasant distraction at this time of year.  What better way to counter the cold wind and snow and ice outside than to plan your summer vacation?

Some 50 or 60 years ago, would be holiday makers might have been considering a week in Fearnan, staying at the Tigh-an-Loan Hotel –

For those too young to know the decimal equivalent, dinner cost from 75p, breakfast was 35p, and lunch was 58p.  Bed and Breakfast? £1.75. Those were the days!

First Event in 2019

The FVA’s first social event of 2019 will be our world-famous Winter Pudding Night. Yes, it’s nearly that time of year again!  Choc-aholics, pudding fanciers, and all those born with a sweet tooth will be making their way to Fearnan Village Hall on the 23rd February at 6pm for this celebration of deliciousness. There are usually round about  30 puddings on offer. You don’t have to try them all (although some do!) but why not join us and come and taste a few?

And Finally ……..

It’s Happy Christmas from all of us, and from these 2 seasonal garden visitors.



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