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Issue 43 December 2015 - January 2016

posted 11 Dec 2015, 18:38 by Ian Holmes-Lewis   [ updated 10 Sep 2017, 11:58 ]

Most people will know of Bandrum Care Home, tucked away in the woods at Cowstrandburn, but how many appreciate that with 120 staff it is far and away our largest employer, or are aware of the considerable investment made in recent years to upgrade and extend the range of accommodation available for more than 80 residents from across the age range and with a wide variety of care needs? Established in 1985, it is still a family-owned business.

For many years the Friends of Bandrum has operated on a voluntary basis to provide a range of additional services to residents, taking them out on trips or organising entertainment and other activities. Last week the Friends of Bandrum group won the annual award for Volunteer Group of the Year at the Scottish Care Awards in Glasgow.

Now the group are looking to put themselves on a more professional footing by reconstituting as a Scottish Charities Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) which will provide them with the benefits of charitable status. This is the legal vehicle adopted by Saline and Steelend Community Development Trust, and trustees and Community Council members were pleased to attend a recent meeting with Bandrum staff and volunteers to share experience and to talk about how we can work together to deliver services to Bandrum residents, and to elderly and others with care needs living in their homes across our community. The benefits to the wider community will be a key factor in achieving charitable status and Bandrum staff have copies of the Community Action Plan to refer to. One issue shared by Bandrum residents and many living alone in their own homes is loneliness. A particular initiative might be an extended befriending project.

The meeting took place in the extremely attractive and newly-completed café which, once it is fully operational, can be used by local groups for meetings and gatherings. If you would like more information or feel you could contribute to these ambitious plans please contact Patricia Payne on 853340.

Job Opportunity

Vacant positions at Bandrum Nursing Home:

Call us today
01383 851 030
Or visit


Advent and Christmas Celebrations

Sunday 13 December, 10.30 am, Advent Service (3) 

Wednesday 16 December:
2.00-4.00pm, Church open for quiet time
7.30pm, Carol Singing at the Golf Club

Thursday 17 December:
9.30am, Saline Primary School Service
2.00-4.00pm, Church open for quiet time
6.00-8.00pm, Church open for quiet time

Sunday 20 December:
10.30am, Advent Service (4)
3.00pm, Family Christmas Party

Thursday 24th December:
6.30pm, Christmas Eve All Age Service
11.30 pm, Watch Night Service

Friday 25 December, 10.00am, Christmas Day All Age Service

Sunday 27 December, 10.30am, Morning Service

Church Guild

Fortnightly meetings resume on Monday 11 January with Quiz Night at 7.30pm in the Church Hall, followed by a talk on The Iona Community Peace-Promoting Projects by the Rev Isobel Whyte on 25 January.

Coffee Morning

This continues in the Church Hall on Wednesdays at 10.30am-12noon. There will be Traidcraft goods for sale on Wednesday 9 December.


It is planned to hold a Ceilidh in the Community Centre on Saturday 30 January; full details will be publicised in due course.

Editor's Notice

The Editor reserves the right to refuse, edit or factually correct all items submitted for publication. All views expressed in this Bulletin are purely those of the author of the item concerned and are not necessarily those of the Editor or of the Communications Group as a whole. 


Saline First Responders are now providing event cover. We recently provided First Aid cover for Comrie Fireworks and are looking forward to being able to provide this service primarily for the villages of Blairhall, Comrie, Oakley, Carnock, Gowkhall, Saline and Steelend but we are also willing to travel further if required. We can be contacted on or call Hilary on 01383 852797. A minimum donation will be discussed and agreed prior to event cover being provided as we have no other means of income and we are hoping that the income from event cover will help support us in our role as First Responder volunteers with the Scottish Ambulance Service and with community training and awareness sessions.

Seasonal greetings

As we won't be sending cards this year, we wish all our neighbours and friends in and around Saline 
a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016. 

Frae Betty and Graham Thomson 


We have now been fortunate to recruit an Assistant Beaver Leader to help run the Beaver Colony. Unfortunately the outdoor evening activity planned for the middle of the month had to be cancelled due to the inclement weather. It is hoped to have this in the near future. Towards the end of November the Beavers had a joint activity evening planned with the Cairneyhill Beavers to complete the Scottish Beaver Scout Challenge. They are also looking forward to their Christmas outing to the cinema.

The Cub Pack this term have been learning all about various disabilities; this will lead them to gaining the Disability Awareness Badge. They also have been completing their Personal Challenge Award started last term.

The Scout Troop has been very busy recently with a camp at Fordell Firs so that they could participate in the Jamboree on the Air and on the Internet. They also had a visit and discussion with a Local Councillor. Future events will include survival skills for winter camping.

The Explorer Unit, along with other Units from Dunfermline District, have had an eventful month. First of all they had an all-night session at Laser Quest closely followed by a ‘Mission Impossible’ task where in teams they had to see how far they could travel in one day using limited funds and resources.

The Scout Christmas Post is now well underway and all are reminded the last day for posting is Tuesday 8 Dec at 5.00pm. Deliveries will start from Saturday 12 December. 

Peter Philp 
Group Scout Leader 

116th Fife Scout Group 
Registered Charity Number SC031132 


Highland Dancing classes are now finished for 2015; they will be resuming on Tuesday 12 and Thursday 14 January in the Session Room at the Church Hall.

Highland Dancer Awards:

Carmen Thomson - Pre Bronze
Katie Bath - Bronze
Katie Birse - Bronze
Hayden Thomson - Bronze.
Sally Buchanan - Gold Bar 2
Leah Thomson - Gold Bar 2

Sally and Leah also achieved Bronze in the Village Maid, Scotch Measure, Heilan' Laddie, and Earl of Errol, Bronze Bar in Sailors Hornpipe and Irish Jig, and Silver in the Flora and Barracks Johnnie.

Well done, dancers - and now onto the more difficult steps !


All contributions for inclusion in the Bulletin are welcome and should be submitted to Jacquie Clapperton on 
or by telephoning 852367. 


There was another welcome good attendance at the November meeting with some lively discussion and at least one newcomer.

Chair's Opening Remarks

John Crane took the chair and, in addition to procedural matters, remarked on the high number of recent funerals. Sadly, some were relatively young people and our thoughts are with family and friends.

Vacancies Filled

The last Bulletin asked for people interested in filling the vacancy caused by Dave Quinney's death to come forward. Unfortunately, another vacancy has occurred as Martin Cairns had to resign due to work and family commitments. However, Jean Morris and Melanie Mitchell volunteered and have been elected. Jean brings years of service to Steelend while Melanie brings a welcome link to younger people to the Community Council.

Updates from October

The community minibus is now operational, is based in High Valleyfield and arrangements will be made for use by other settlements. However, volunteer drivers are required and anyone interested can contact Aileen Aitken for details.

It has been agreed that £50 will be committed from the Community Council's budget to help Cubs celebrate their centenary in 2016. They are still seeking sponsorship so please give some thought to contributing.

Solar Farms

Contact has been made with the company promoting the Muirmealing project with a view to ensuring that local businesses can benefit from the works. The company sees the benefits from using skills and will make more information available once the planning situation is clearer. A planning application has also been submitted for a similar project at Bogside while another is anticipated near Comrie Colliery. This potentially creates a flow of work for local businesses. As indicated in the previous issue, it would be useful if businesses could provide details of the type of services they could provide.

Kingdom Housing Association, Oakley Road Development

Progress has been made with Fife Council agreeing to amend conditions attached to the outline consent. This allows the association to incorporate some protected trees into gardens and to alter the specification of the path through the Oakley Road Park to one that reflects the views of local residents and the police. Importantly KHA is still on course for a start in 2016.

Allanwater, Oakley Road Development

While participants at Community Council meetings were reasonably happy with Allanwater's revised proposals following the Area Committee's intention to refuse the original proposal, there was disappointment that this did not include any affordable homes. However, Fife Council insisted on this requirement being met and, importantly, will be providing the first number of homes. These will be offered via the Fife Housing Register so, if you are interested, please ensure that you have registered.

Anyone noticing activity west of Oakley Road should be aware that this is NOT Allanwater starting in advance of planning permission. These will be works to construct the SUDS ponds required for the Allanwater and Kingdom sites. This was given planning permission earlier this year.

The Glebe

The proposal to erect nine houses to the rear of The Glebe continues to concern residents in the area. They dispute the applicant's claim that it is an infill site and are concerned about the form of development. They are particularly worried about access being via a former garage drive and about poor visibility at The Glebe's junction with North Road. These views are reflected in the Community Council's submission to Fife Council.


Discussion of The Glebe application highlighted poor drainage in the North Road area but concerns have been raised by residents in Upper Steelend and Steelend. Recent flooding at Upper Steelend caused a number of vehicles to leave the road with one driver having to be freed by the Fire Brigade. While Fife Council has reacted fairly quickly to the situation at Steelend, the North Road situation has now dragged on for some time and people are demanding action. While Fife Council Transportation does not necessarily have responsibility for addressing all of these issues, the Community Council will be contacting the service initially to at least identify who does have responsibility.

Traffic and Road Safety

A decent number of people attended a meeting in Saline Golf Club with Phil Clarke from Transportation. Issues of flooding, speeding through Kinneddar Park and Steelend, Main Street parking and congestion around the school were discussed. While some issues were outwith his remit, Phil will try to progress some road safety initiatives and will also investigate some ideas raised by those present. The meeting hopefully marked better understanding between the community and Fife Council, leading to working together to mutual benefit.

Christmas Tree

Once again, Jim Evans from Cowstrandburn will provide the Christmas tree that will be sited in the Church grounds. When the lights have been switched on, there will be carol singing in Saline Golf Club.

Broadband “Service” (LOL)

There is considerable disquiet at BT's progress (?) towards providing a reliable broadband service. A snail seems to move faster than this company. People, particularly those dependent on broadband for business, explained that they only want the speeds that others have experienced for years not the ultra superfast speeds being trumpeted by BT executives. At present, this area is promised speeds of 4.5-7Mb but small print shows a minimum of 1.5Mb. A check on the BT web site shows that Oakley Exchange is enabled for Superfast Fibre but our cabinets are not ready yet. This is programmed for completion by March 2016. Don't hold your breath though; completion was estimated for March 2015, 2014 etc previously.

Date of Next Meeting

Meetings continue to be well attended and are covering more issues relevant to people in our communities. It was nice that a new resident has remarked on how much he and his wife enjoy life here. The Community Council and Saline and Steelend Community Development Trust can take positive action to make our community better for all but need more people to contribute. Why not give it a try? Meetings are informal so why not come along on Tuesday 28 January 2016 at 7.30pm in Saline Community Centre. This will also be the AGM.


Museum Report: Update 2015

The topic for the museum presentation this year was ‘Through the Keyhole - Houses and Shops ‘. The venue was once again the Session House of the Parish Church.

The museum was open on Sundays 11:30am-1.00pm and Wednesdays 10.00am-12.00noon. It had been agreed to try an evening session, Tuesday 6.00-8.00pm, in addition to the two regular ones.

There were ten volunteers able to provide a total of 41 planned sessions. The museum was also opened on Saturday 27 June to support the ‘Opening of the Graveyard’.

There were over 200 visitors this year.

As well as people local to the area visiting there were several who have specific links to the village among the visitors to the village who were able to gather more information about their ancestors, houses and shops.

Donations were gratefully received.

Thanks must be given to all volunteers who gave of their time and enthusiasm over the summer. I hope the volunteers enjoyed their sessions as much as I did. The good weather experienced this summer made the opening of the museum much more pleasant.

Thanks must also be given to the people who lent items for the display and for those people who were able to provide photographs and histories of their houses and some of the local shops.


As part of the collection this year we were able to pull together several folders of hard copy photographs of both Saline and Steelend (High and Lower). These have been saved to disc and are available for future use. People continue to find photos they are happy to share and they will also be included in the folders. Several photos of groups are being investigated and local people are assisting in gathering names for individuals in these photos. This can be an ongoing project which will ensure names can be linked to faces, and people to houses. 

Winter Programme

Our winter programme is well underway with a great range of talks. The photograph folders compiled during this year will also be available at each talk.

If there are any photographs of Saline and Steelend houses, shops, events and residents still lurking in drawers, I would be more than happy to receive copies to add to our collection.

Museum 2016 – Games, Sports and Pastimes

The theme for our 2016 museum event is GAMES, SPORTS AND PASTIMES, related to our area. This gives us great scope for involving lots of people in the villages and looking at clubs, sports and other activities of both the present and the past! 

We are looking for all clubs and associations in the area to give a short resume of their history and activities which could also be useful in attracting new members. There have also been many clubs in the area which have now disappeared but hopefully people will still know about them and have information and pictures to share. If you are not aware we’ve had several sportspeople representing Scotland and Great Britain at major world events, including the Olympics.

Did you know that the golf club has been around for a long time and that there was a cycling club, cricket club and curling? As well as the football club in Steelend, there was a boxing club and a quoits field.

If you have ever scanned the list of activities listed in the Bulletin you will know that there are lots of activities at the Church, Saline Community Centre and Steelend Club.

It would be great fun if we were able to involve the primary school in researching games from previous years – such as hopscotch or peevers, yoyo, skipping, gird and cleat, footie, elastics, Meccano, dominos, computer ping pong, Pacman, Lego, and of course what children play today.

We will be sending out a letter to all the clubs we can identify as well as to the school requesting their help and involvement in gathering information. All the information, which hopefully will include photographs and newspaper cuttings will be gathered in folders to ensure we can keep the information safe for future generations. Hopefully there will be several topics which we can develop further and display in our museum when it opens in June 2016.

If you are looking for further information on the museum event or have any ideas about the theme please contact Tina on 852235 or at

Our Sponsor

This edition of the Bulletin is being sponsored by the Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust


The Exhibition Committee met on 24 November in the Community ‘Centre. The main purpose of the meeting was to decide if we should hold a Spring 2016 exhibition. It was decided that we should continue with this worthwhile project and a suitable weekend during May is being considered.

We will be holding talks with the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum managers to explore the possibility of acquiring the use of a vintage bus to transport visitors to the exhibition from our neighbouring villages.

The next meeting of the Exhibition Committee will be held at 7.00pm on 26 January in the Saline Community Centre.

Marylla Ferguson 
Exhibition Manager


Country Dancing restarts on 18 January at 7.00 pm in the Community Centre.


Last month Saline and Steelend Community Development Trust marked its second year of operation with its Annual General Meeting at Steelend Miners’ Club. The Trustees Annual Report and Financial Statements will be posted on the OSCR (Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator) at the end of December but we are reproducing here the report that our Chair, Gareth Turner, made to the meeting.

It’s an honour and pleasure to have served as the chairman of the SSCDT.

The trust continues to take its lead from the Community Council and I believe that we have now secured the trust of other community groups in terms of their ability and desire to remain autonomous but with appropriate cross communication.

The Saline & Steelend Community Action Plan is still very much the main point of reference when it comes to considering projects and project priority. As you are fully aware the Saline to Oakley path project had to be placed on hold due to facts beyond all of our control but this project will be re-established when the Forestry Commission planting work is complete and the site released by the contractors. Funding re-applications will be made in a timely way.

I’m pleased to report that the Public Information / Friends and Neighbours project has made good progress this year under the leadership for Liz Harvey and Marylla Ferguson, many of you reading this will have made tiles for this initiative. We look forward to moving to the next stage of this project early next year when the intended information boards and tile features can be installed.

The trust has also embarked on an exciting project to undertake a feasibility exercise with a view to bringing the Saline Glen into community ownership. It’s very early days but we have funding for a consultant who has been engaged to advise the trust on options and overall feasibility. This project would yield community benefit and will provide valuable experience for the SSCDT trustees and office bearers.

Membership numbers are still disappointing for a community the size of Steelend & Saline and I encourage all eligible residents to become identified members, it costs nothing and means you will directly receive SSCDT related information.

The trust is firmly established and the journey has begun but like many things in life the more people who become involved the greater will be the achievement and benefits for all, the SSCDT is a vehicle that has the potential to achieve many good things for Saline & Steelend so please do get involved so you can help define the course.

I would like to thank all those who worked so hard to get this trust set up for Saline and Steelend, those trustees and members who are leading projects and all the current office bearers. I feel a specific mention of David Chisholm, our secretary, is in order; David invests a lot of time on administration and other essential activities associated with the development trust. We also acknowledge the support provided by the Steelend Miners welfare club by allowing SSCDT to use their facilities.

Finally, whilst I do believe that I have some experience and perhaps a little expertise applicable to the position of Chairman I’m very aware that the amount of time I can and do invest in trust related work is very limited. It is vital that no project or activity undertaken by the trust is delayed or hindered by my limited availability so if anyone believes they are or they know of another individual who may be better suited to take on the role of Chairman then there will be no objection at any point from me.

Gareth Turner, SSCDT Chairman, Nov 2015 


Back in August, and in response to concerns raised by our Community Council and many other groups about the functioning of the planning department, Fife Council arranged an ‘engagement event’ to listen to the criticisms that people have. The meeting was attended by representatives of community councils from across Fife but interestingly the majority were from central and west Fife. Following the meeting the planning department customer focus team produced a spreadsheet detailing the issues raised together with an indication of how and by when they might be addressed. The 32 individual issues fell into three categories:

Online Planning System

Development Planning Policy

Communication and Social Media

It was also agreed that a small focus group would be established to work with planning staff on implementing the changes and improvements that have been identified. Two community council representatives from each of the three planning areas will be attending these bi-monthly meetings. Saline and Steelend is represented by the Chair of its Community Council, David Chisholm.

Much of the discussion at the first meeting at the end of November was about establishing terms of reference and other procedural matters but one important change was confirmed. Henceforth community councils will be deemed ‘statutory consultees’ on planning applications that are thought to have significant impact on a community, although how this is defined has yet to be established. However, we have begun to receive notifications and responses to representations that we have made that suggest that at the very least we are not being ignored!

It was also agreed that steps need to be taken to ensure that communities are meaningfully engaged throughout strategic planning and development plan-making processes, not just consulted when they are already completed.

Seasonal Greeting

The Bulletin Editor and the Saline and Steelend Communications Group would like to thank all their contributors, production team, printer and distributors for their hard work over the past year, and wish both you and our readers Blessed Yule, Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas and a joyful and successful New Year.

Forthcoming Meetings & Events: 

Steelend Miners’ Club

Zumba: Mondays, 7.00pm-8.00pm
Zumba Toning: Wednesdays, 7.00pm-7.45pm

Sambangra Drumming Group, Tuesdays, 7.00pm-8.30pm, £2 
Restarts 12th January

Saline Golf Club

First Saturday of each month: Family Night, 5-7pm
Tuesdays: Bingo Night, 7.30pm
Thursdays: Quiz Night, 8.30pm, entry £1/person
Sky TV and free wi-fi. Associate membership £10 per annum, £4 concessions
Q’zine Catering: also available for all functions.

Wednesday 16 December, 7.30pm, carol singing at the Club


Every Thursday 5.00pm-6.00pm
Saline Church Hall

Every Thursday 6.00pm-7.30pm
Saline Church Hall

116th Fife Scout Group
Beaver Colony
Every Friday, 6.00pm-7.30pm

Cub Pack
Every Thursday, 6.30pm-8.00pm

Scout Troop
Every Thursday, 7.30pm-9.00pm

Explorer Unit
Every Thursday, 7.30pm-9.00pm

Carnock Community Centre, Camps Road, Carnock. Open to both boys & girls

Highland Dancing Classes
Tuesdays 4.00pm-5.00pm
Thursdays 6.30pm-8.00pm
Saline Church Session Room

Adult Badminton
Mondays 7.45pm
Wednesday 1.30pm and 7.30pm
Saline Community Centre

Saline Smilers (Toddler Group)
Tuesdays 9.30am-11.30am during school terms
Saline Community Centre

Craft and Chatter
Thursdays 10.00am-12.00noon
Last Friday of month 7.00pm-9.00pm
Shieldbank Coffee Shop

Sambangra Drumming Group
Tuesdays, 7.00pm-8.30pm, £2
Steelend Club

Line Dance Classes
Monday 10.00am - 11.00am
Friday 10.00am - 11.00am
Saline Community Centre

Saline & Blairingone Parish Church
Sunday 13 December, 10.30 am, Advent Service (3)
Wednesday 16 December:
2.00-4.00pm, Church open for quiet time
7.30pm, Carol Singing at the Golf Club

Thursday 17 December:
9.30am, Saline Primary School Service
2.00-4.00pm, Church open for quiet time
6.00-8.00pm, Church open for quiet time

Sunday 20 December:
10.30am, Advent Service (4)
3.00pm, Family Christmas Party

Thursday 24th December:
6.30pm, Christmas Eve All Age Service
11.30 pm, Watch Night Service

Friday 25 December, 10.00am, Christmas Day All Age Service

Sunday 27 December, 10.30am, Morning Service

Afternoon Craft Group
Every second Tuesday from 8 September
2pm-4pm, Saline Church Hall

Community Council Meeting
28 January, 7.30pm
Saline Community Centre

Country Dancing
Restarts 18 January, 7.00pm
Saline Community Centre

This Community Bulletin is produced by Saline and Steelend Communications Group