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Issue 12 January 2013

posted 17 Jan 2013, 12:45 by Ian Holmes-Lewis   [ updated 6 Feb 2015, 11:33 ]
Community Council Matters
November’s meeting was also the community council AGM. Jim Hensman stood down as chair after many years of service and John Crane accepted the post. John paid tribute to Jim’s outstanding contributions to our community and noted that he will continue to be involved in the future.
Jim then accepted his nomination for Vice Chair while Dave Quinney, Marie Crane and Donald Murdoch continued as Secretary, Treasurer and Minute Secretary respectively. John Crane and Donald Murdoch agreed to share the duties of Planning Representative.  
The situation at North Road/The Glebe continues to be controversial. The applicant has now applied for the condition restricting number of houses to be removed but appears to have submitted no reason for this request. The Community Council therefore agreed to oppose this application but has offered to help Fife Council to broker a solution acceptable to applicant and objectors.

Much of the meeting was taken up with a comprehensive feedback by Till Kroeber on his attendance at Community Energy Scotland’s Annual Conference. He had also attended the Joint Venture Conference by the same organiser. Well done there, Till!!

Till advised that 27 turbines over 100m were proposed in the vicinity of this area with others known to be in the pipeline plus the smaller scale ones already erected. He noted that the Scottish Government was committed to achieving 100% of electricity generated from renewables by 2020 with 3% owned by communities or landowners.

Till reported back that there were three ways in which communities could potentially benefit:

 Community Benefit Scheme: The Government has recommended that at least £5000 per megawatt should be paid into a community fund but there are no rules on how this should be distributed. For example, the company building the single turbine at Lockshaw Moss has decided to distribute in Blairhall while most impact will be experienced in Saline (however, when the application was discussed at Committee a condition was attached to divert the money to the West Fife Villages).

 Joint Ventures: Till gave examples from Neilston and Fintry where communities actually own part of a wind farm or of the generated profit. Renewable energy projects developed on Forestry Commission land, like the Blairadam one, are generally required to offer a stake of up to 49% available for community purchase. Communities need to secure funding for joint ventures, which is often possible but requires work and commitment.

 Complete Community Ownership: An example of Sunart in Lochaber was given.

The community council felt that the key issue is impact on the community, that it is vital to establish the community’s views and that a comprehensive consultation is required. It was therefore agreed that a steering group should be set up. It was noted that REG (proposers at Outhmuir) were setting up a first liaison committee of representatives of around eight communities and it was agreed that Till, Gareth Turner and John Crane should attend the meeting.

Saline and District Heritage Society

We have been successful with two funding applications, from Scottish Natural Heritage and the Blair House Trust. Both will help purchase equipment for our graveyard project.
The Ochil Hills Partnership are holding an event later on in January concerning the restoration of graveyards and other projects. People from Blair Logie will be there and some of Saline and Heritage Society committee members will be going along to network and find out how to clean the gravestones. 
The next speaker event is on Wednesday 30 January at 7.30pm in the Church Hall and will be on General Wade's Roads; all are welcome and tea/coffee is served from 7pm.

Church News
Scottish Night 
A Social Evening will be held in the Church Hall on Friday 25th January. Supper will be served at 7pm and entertainment will then be provided by the Crossford Music group. Tickets are £7 from Ann Easton (852 885) or Ada Cooper (852 209). All welcome.
At the morning service on 6th January the Minister dedicated a new Lectern gifted by Mrs Agnes Wilson in memory of her husband Bill who died last year. Bill Wilson had many friends in the village where his many practical skills and faithful service as an Elder of the Church were much appreciated.
The Rev Lesley Risby will be on leave until 20th January. During that time, the Session Clerk Peter Ball (852856) should be contacted regarding any pastoral matters requiring attention. 

Warm House Discount
If you are in receipt of “Guaranteed Pension Credit” you may be entitled to “Warm House Discount”.  This is a £130 voucher supplied by your energy company.
Have a look at

116th Fife Scout Group
We have places in our Scout Group for both boys and girls between the ages of six and eighteen years in the following Sections:
Beaver Colony - meets on Friday from 6 to 7.30 pm and covers the age range 5¾ to 8 years.
Cub Pack - meets on Thursday from 6.30 to 8pm and covers the age range 8 to 10 years.
Scout Troop - meets also on Thursday from 7.30 to 9pm and covers the age range 10 to 14 years.

                  Explorer Unit - meets on Thursday from 7.30 to 9pm and covers the age range 14 to 18 years.

The Group meets in Carnock Community Centre, Camps Road, Carnock.
Further details can be had from Leaders on meeting night or from Peter Philp (Group Scout Leader) 01383 852612.

A Saline Stag Party that Created Dunfermline
John Crane
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a book called “Dunfermline Abbey, a Poem” written by Andrew Mercer in 1819. The poem tells the story of a royal hunt undertaken by King Malcolm III, who reigned from 1057 until 1093. More popularly known as Malcolm Canmore, he was the husband of St Margaret. 
The first verse tells us that the hunt commences on Saline Hill:
On Saline Hill, in sore affright
The stag has left his lair;
The merry morn is ushered in
With cheerful shouts, and mingled din,
A Royal hunt is there.
The poem goes on to describe the hunt and a later verse relates:
O’er Bandrum’s sunny height they bound,
Now Luscar’s copse-clad downs they clear
True to the slot-mark of the deer,
That points him to his foe.
Eventually the stag leads Malcolm and his retinue to “the glen at Pittencrieff”. There, Malcolm kills the stag, having come close to being killed himself. The king and his party settle down to a picnic on a high plateau overlooking the glen. Malcolm surveys the surrounding ground:
 “This place much winneth me,” he said,
“In truth it is a pleasant glade,
With wood and water rich arrayed,
What steep ascents on all sides round,
Save one approach-----that narrow mound:
By nature strong, improved by skill,
T’would be a site just to my will.
A though has struck me-----on this spot,
Ere a period far remote,
I’ll build a tower, that shall convey
The memory of this lucky day.”
In a further verse Malcolm proclaims the name of his new settlement:
“Here, to the brim a goblet fill”
He cried and stood upright;
“This to our fort upon the hill,
Soon may it rise to sight;
Unblotted ever by its fame,
And ay Dunfermline be its name!”
So, according to the poem, the Saline stag was responsible for initiating the city of Dunfermline.
Andrew Mercer, the author of the poem, was also an historian who wrote “The History of Dunfermline”. At that time there was a well-known branch of the Mercer family living in Saline. In fact, they owned Kirklands and built the present house in 1842. Andrew could have been part of the Saline family. I will endeavour to find out.
The full poem can be viewed on and putting <Dunfermline Abbey+poem> in the search box. 

Speeding Cars

There have been several complaints to Fife Constabulary regarding speeding cars on North Road and the road extending from North Road to Blairingone. The police will be paying extra attention to roads around the community, particularly the above road, and have asked that people should note the numbers of any cars driving at an unsafe speed for the roads around Saline and report them to the police. Please remember that North Road and Oakley Road are now 20mph areas and that country roads (in particular the one running from North Road to Blairingone) are likely to have walkers, dogs, children, cyclists, horses, and farm animals and vehicles using them. 

To report what you consider to be dangerous or inconsiderate driving, contact Fife Constabulary on 0845 600 5702 or email for the attention of PC Stevie Harley.

The 2013 Horticultural Show committee has been expanded and hope to bring some new ideas to the Saline Flower Show.  
The Committee is listed below with contact details.The show will include all the usual features in addition to the gardening categories:
    Baking                     Jam-making               Flower arranging
              Art & crafts                  Photography
However, gardening in today’s world has changed from the traditional large expanse.  Many people are keen on the garden but lack the space to cultivate a big area.   Today as well as the traditional garden we see:
    Patio gardens               Hanging baskets              Containers 
                        Raised vegetable and flower beds 
This is great news. All give scope to bring expanded thoughts to the Flower Show and we hope to encourage more involvement from the children of the village. Additional support from anyone interested in being involved would be very welcome - please contact either the Chairman or Secretary. Thanks.
Sheila Travers

Horticultural Society Members


Honorary President                                                                                        Mr M Phelan


Honorary Vice-President                                                                              Mr G Davidson


Office Bearers


President                         Gareth Turner                   852887     

Vice President                 Sheila Anderson               852639     

Secretary                         Sheila Travers                  852249     

Treasurer                         Christine Turner               852887     

Show Manager                 John Crane                        852698    

Assist. Show Manager     Cath Curle                        850021     

Show Secretary               Muriel Phillips                   852755      



                                         Bill Phillips                    852755     

                                         Irene Wardell                852683      

                                         Lorna Jack                    723522      

                                         Brian Shepherd             851009                 

                                         Margaret Grainger        830029                                                    

                                         Sharon Buchanan  01577 840218   

                                         Elsie Hannah                852509     

                                         John Anderson             852639      

                                         Mark Baugh                  851059      


Auditor                             Stuart Miller

The Saline Gorilla
Have you seen the Saline Gorilla? If not, the next time 
you drive into Saline from the M90 motorway or from Kelty
 on the B914, keep an eye out.
As you approach Red Craig Toll crossroads, look up to the right and on the ridge of the hill you will see the “Saline Gorilla” (See the photo on the parish website, )

Saline Glen
Saline Glen is private land and the local community is very lucky indeed to be allowed to use it – please take care of it and take your rubbish home! There is a bin by the entrance – surely it’s not too hard to put your rubbish in your pocket until you get there? Let’s look after the Glen to say thank you for the immense privilege of being allowed to use it as our own. 

Outhmuir Wind Turbines Community Liaison Group 
Till Kroeber
Outhmuir, between Knockhill and Loch Glow, has been identified by REG Wind Turbine developers as a potential site for up to eight 115m high turbines. REG has submitted a scoping exercise with Fife Council and aims to hand in a full application later on this year. REG followed guidelines by setting up a local Community Liaison Group which met for the first time on 4 December. It is chaired by an external facilitator and is attended by REG, John Crane, Marie Crane, Garreth Turner and myself representing Saline District. Knockhill Racing Course staff and councillors from surrounding districts are also present.  Membership of the group does not prevent members being able to object to the project. The purpose of the Liaison Group is to support communication between REG and local communities and to put a scheme in place that allows distribution of any community benefit payments, made by REG, should the project go ahead.
As you will be aware, the Outhmuir project is only one of several schemes that are being built or being considered. For further information you can join the Wind Turbine Discussion Forum on I will also hold an informal meeting at the Saline Golf Club on Wednesday 23 January from 7pm to 8pm to discuss any issues concerning current turbine projects with anybody who is interested. Alternatively you can e-mail me on or ring me on 07834 596727. The topic will also come up at future council meetings held on the last Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm in the Community Hall, i.e. 29 January.
Already, a 125m wind turbine will be built about 2.5 miles west of Saline this year. Turbine projects will impact on our environment. I know the Community Council will want your views on this. Make up your mind!

Dark Nights, Light Clothing

Just a wee reminder to all of us that, with the nights still long and dark, we should make sure that we are easy to see when walking around in the gloom; even the sodium lights in the villages aren’t all that bright and the shadows are deep. Wear or carry something light so you can be seen, or – even better – something reflective. There are cheap reflective vests available for walking your dogs and nifty matching coats for your dogs to keep them safe too. Stay safe on the roads – be seen!

Birds of The Parish
by Jay Cee
One of my neighbours told me a few weeks ago that she had, for the first time ever, spotted some redpolls feeding in her garden. We kept an eye out and a few days later we witnessed a pair of them feeding on our nyjer seeds.  At first I thought that they were juvenile goldfinches as the males have a distinctive red cap but referring to my AA Book of British Birds soon confirmed that they were indeed redpolls.   
 Nyjer seeds will certainly attract a better class of customer to your garden. The seed is very fine and a special type of feeder is necessary. The cheapest place where I have found the seed is the pet shop in Oakley. Seldom do I look out of the window and not see a siskin or a pair of goldfinches feeding on the nyjer seed. Today I noticed that the redpolls were again in the garden. Here’s hoping that they become regular visitors. We also get fleeting visits from a family of long tailed tits from time to time.
Finally can I remind all kitchen window bird watchers to consider our feathered visitors on cold frosty mornings? A container of fresh unfrozen water on the lawn or patio will be very much appreciated.

Calling All Local Societies and Groups
Are you the secretary or organiser of a local society or group? Would you like to attract new members or remind people of what is coming up? Or perhaps tell everyone of your achievements and activities?
To have news and reports of your group or society included in the monthly bulletin, contact Jacquie Clapperton on 852367 or

Forthcoming Meetings and Events

Steelend Club
Domino and pool competitions every Friday from 9.00pm

Every Monday 5.30-6.30pm

Saline Church Hall
Every Thursday 6.00-7.30pm

Every Thursday 7.30pm-9.00pm

Highland Dancing Classes
Tuesdays 4.00pm-5.00pm

Thursdays 6.30pm-8.00pm (Saline Church Session Room)

The Guild
Alternate Mondays, September-April, 7.30pm

Saline & District Heritage Society
Wednesday 30 January
7.00pm for 7.30pm,
General Wade’s Roads

Saline Community Centre
Saline, Steelend & District SWRI
Wednesday 6 February 
“Meet The Minister”

Over 50s Keep Fit Class
1130am-1230pm, Fridays in term-time

Scottish Night 
A Social Evening will be held in the Church Hall on Friday 25th January.
Supper will be served at 7pm and entertainment will then be provided by the Crossford Music Group. Tickets are £7 from Ann Easton (852 885) or Ada Cooper (852 209). All welcome.

Wanted – Distributors
The bulletin depends on the good offices of a few people to distribute it to every house in the Saline and   volunteering to do a small area? Perhaps your own street of a few houses? It would only take a short time once a month and the more people involved, the more likely the bulletin is to be distributed quickly to every house. It’s YOUR community bulletin – please help distribute! 
To volunteer, contact David Chisholm on

Community Cohesion
Here is a copy of a letter sent to the Dunfermline Press this week:

What Price Community Cohesion?

An area of activity that is causing the Saline & Steelend Community Council considerable concern is the proliferation and the cumulative effect of wind turbines, from the relatively small machines being erected by local farmers to the large 70 metre-plus wind factories being funded by specialist outside developers. Applications, scoping reports and projected proposals for over 50 wind turbines relate to our area; and a wide variety of sizes and manufacturers of machine apply.

In relation to planning applications one of the prime responsibilities of a community council is to represent the views of the community back to the local authority.  Unfortunately, with a community council area the size of ours, over eight miles from east to west and five miles from north to south, this is easier said than done.   With a variety of terrain, two villages, a number of hamlets and some 100 isolated farmsteads, country houses and cottages, the formation of a realistic and comprehensively true response to the local authority is frequently difficult.  As a general rule, the community council has not opposed small turbines erected by local farmers; but we have objected to applications for clusters of large turbines sited in inappropriate locations. We have also given support to local residents who have formed opposition groups, i.e. SCATT and SPOT.

However, what price community cohesion?  I have already experienced firsthand the dissension between land owners and their neighbours over contentious applications for wind turbines.  This dissension can only get worse as we foresee increasing numbers of such applications for Saline and its environs.   Folk who reside in the Saline area are obviously determined to defend their environment.  On the other hand, developers are offering considerable financial benefit to landowners and the general community.  Although community benefit should not have a ruling influence on planning application decisions, it would be naive to think that developers are proffering these inducements out of the goodness of their hearts, as such offers will tend to reduce the number of objections lodged.  

In a community such as ours, dissension and animosity could last as long as the turbine remains standing. A stark reminder of a battle lost.  Lasting unhealed sores.  I wonder if any amount of community benefit money is worth it.  What I do know is that a considerable amount of our time will be taken up with assessing, monitoring and responding to wind turbine planning applications - time that we would rather be using on the more important aspects of community life like engaging appropriately with and supporting our numerous local voluntary groups, helping to produce the parish newsletter, organising social activities such as the West Fife Villages Art Exhibition and the Saline bonfire and firework display; not to mention bombarding Fife Council with letters complaining about the poor state of the roads in our area.

Saline parish was once known as the “Paradise of Fife”.  Maybe its future nomenclature, unless a more rigorous approach is taken to the applications for the erection of turbines, will be “The Wind Farm Capital of Fife”.

John Crane


Saline & Steelend Community Council

This Community Bulletin is produced by Saline and Steelend Community Futures Group