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Issue 49 July/August 2016

posted 6 Jul 2016, 18:21 by Ian Holmes-Lewis   [ updated 10 Sep 2017, 11:51 ]

John's death marks the end of an era of dedicated service to our community. Even in the latter stages of his illness he was anxious that his work could carry on. He also prepared notes for his funeral and these can be seen in full on our website. The following is a summary of John's life as seen by him. Some additions have been added by friends but the words are essentially his.

John was born illegitimately in 1942 in Sheerness, Kent. He was adopted into a loving family and he said that was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Whilst working in Portsmouth, John was on detached duty in Altbea, a small village on the west coast, where he met Marie who was on holiday. They were married in 1972 and John took up a post in Greenock where their daughter Fiona was born; John later successfully applied for a transfer to Rosyth in 1977 and their second daughter Morag was born a year later. Fiona and Morag went on to get married and John was delighted with their choice of husbands. His joy was completed with the arrival of his grandchildren, Niamh in 2006, and Connor in 2010.

John started his involvement in the community when he became secretary of the PTA in the 1970s. In the early 1980s he joined the Horticultural Society. He was involved for over 40 years and held various positions including Vice President and Show Manager. In 1996 he joined the Community Council and spent six years as Secretary and then a number of years as Vice Chair and Chair. In 2001,he was one of the three founder members of Saline Environmental Group and in 2005, with a lot of local support, initiated the successful West Fife Villages Exhibition of Art and Photography and was the Show Manager for eight years.

John's activities were not confined to this community. He was a founder member of and active in the West Fife Villages Community Projects Group where he was Chair until his illness and the West Fife Villages Community Councils Forum, again with a period as Chair. He was a finalist in the West Fife Villages Citizen of the Year and in 2014 was awarded the BEM following nomination from the community. During this period he also gave talks on the history of the Saline area and published a number of books.

John then became a founder member and trustee of our Community Development Trust. He was active in the Communications Group as Vice Chair and, until his illness became too severe, helped Ian Holmes-Lewis to arrange printing and distribution of the Bulletin.

He helped other groups and his most enjoyable role was as the village Santa. The dram at the end was very welcome.

In 2013 John was diagnosed with bowel cancer that turned out to be terminal. Despite chemotherapy, he continued to be active but in late 2015 was told that he had six months left. Despite this shock, he soldiered on and maintained his customary good nature and would laugh about his situation. He told the family that he would lose his hair but that the doctor had said that he could have a wig. John gleefully told the story of how his grandson Connor got him a “See You, Jimmy” hat!

While John's activities are legend, he was the first to acknowledge Marie's support. She nursed him through his bad days and we should thank her for that. She has been overwhelmed by the messages she has received over the last weeks and has asked us to pass on her thanks to everyone.

Donald Murdoch 

The order of service for John's funeral on Friday is available as a PDF, further down the page


I had the pleasure of knowing John Crane for more than fourteen years. The community of Saline had a withering Community Council and few other events of note fourteen years ago. I got to know John after getting involved myself with the Saline Horticultural and Industrial Society, one Saline club that was just surviving but needed some rejuvenation.

John had joined the committee so our relationship began and I soon realised that John was not only on the Horticultural Society committee but he was also involved with the Community Council. In fact John’s name cropped up all over the place; he was clearly some sort of glue trying and succeeding to fix things and hold things together.

The community of Saline had no newsletter or any effective communication tool but John was soon to change that. Being a resourceful man, he singlehandedly went about finding funding and then with great determination and persuasion targeted individuals in the community to produce content for the newsletter. So the Saline News was launched, all as a result of the efforts and vision on one man, John Crane. The newsletter gained momentum and was delivered free to all Saline homes, giving people valuable community news, stories and details of events to come. As with all inspirational leaders, others follow and join in to help, so progress is made in starting to restore some community spirit.

John had a great interest in local history and somehow found time to research and write a book on local history and especially covering the West Fife Villages. I was clear that John’s motivation was simply to bring together information that might have otherwise been lost or forgotten for the benefit of others and future generations, not for personal gain or recognition. Perhaps through his research, John identified a number of amateur artists resided in West Fife Villages.

John made a proposal to the Saline Horticultural Society to hold an exhibition of artwork from these West Fife Village artists. John’s vision was to provide an exhibition space that would establish Saline as a host village and involving many other village residents. John was doggedly determined to hold an initial exhibition and again set about obtaining some grant funds, contacting artists and making necessary arrangements. He had this uncanny ability to rope people in to things. The first event was a huge success and is now in its tenth year and has become another annual event in the Saline calendar.

From small acorns grow mighty trees but it takes someone to sow those initial seeds and to look after the saplings. John Crane has planted seeds that are now growing into healthy trees, firmly planted with strong roots. In 2012 John had become unwell and required major heart surgery; even during this time when he was physically debilitated John maintained his involvement, attending meetings and dismissing his physical limitation as an inconvenience, much to the concern of his equally hardworking and supportive wife.

John Crane worked tirelessly for the community, not simply turning the handle of a well-oiled machine but taking a broken machine and fixing it up, getting it running again, and persuading others to come and join the fix and repair team.

John had vision, he was resourceful and he seeked no attention or recognition. John Crane has made a real difference to the community of Saline and beyond. His innovations; newsletters, annual art exhibition etc are not a flash in the pan but lasting and now well established events simply because of John Crane. John was a modest man; to me he was an inspirational role model, to others an ambassador for positive change.

John Crane was about real things, real relationships that last, doing things for others to enjoy. If you enjoyed anything associated with the Saline community or you value anything about the Saline community then you can thank John Crane and Jim Hensman for a lot of that.

None of us humans are eternal but people can and do leave legacies which others can continue to look after, care for and nurture for generations to come – we need those legacies to flourish and not to wither.

John Crane has done so much for this community: laid down good foundations, set up things that have grown and flourished, inspired others to get involved – so to listen carefully to what I’m about to say and to think about it.

The chances are that many of things we enjoy today in this Saline community would simply not be there or would not have happened without John, communities need people like John; nothing happens by itself, it takes effort from individuals but that effort is worthwhile. So be inspired by this man and ask yourself – what am I going to do?

John Crane BEM, we thank you for what you have done for us.

Gareth Turner 

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. 


Drumming the Inner Landscape - Saturday 3 September 2016 

Mark and Till at Cherry Tree Lodge in Saline are excited to offer this one day drumming adventure led by Ian Holmes-Lewis of Sambangra ( where you will be exploring using rhythm, indoors and in nature, as a tool for well-being and self-knowledge.

For more information, contact Mark on telephone no 851059, mobile 07940 421038, or on the web page


As some of you will be aware, a Scottish Government/Fife Council Task Force has been working on a plan for the future of the Longannet site. There have been limited opportunities for communities to participate but on Thursday 28 July the Coalfields Regeneration Trust is holding an Open Day for local people to contribute their ideas. The event is being held in Kincardine Community Centre between 10.00am and 2.00pm and lunch will be provided. 
 If you would like to book a place, ring CRT on 01259 272127 or email


Meetings will continue throughout the summer. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 12 July, then 26 July and so on; all meetings are at 2pm in the Church Hall. If anyone would like to join us, they will be most welcome.


It is good to be able to report some progress in establishing a settled ministry in the parish. The question of providing suitable ministry provision in the four parishes in West Fife has been a concern of the Church of Scotland Presbytery of Dunfermline for some time and at a recent meeting it was proposed and agreed that the link between Saline and Blairingone parish and Carnock and Oakley parish be severed and a new link formed with Tulliallan and Kincardine parish with the Rev Alex Shuttleworth appointed minister of both parishes. As the Minister and Kirk Sessions concerned are in agreement with this proposal, it will now be possible to go ahead with the administrative and practical details. However, it may take a few months before this new situation becomes a reality and there will be some changes necessary , not least being the timing of services . Nevertheless, everyone is looking forward to this new phase in our congregation's life. The plan is for the other two parishes concerned (Carnock with Oakley, and Culross with Torryburn) to each call a minister on a fifty percent basis.

Sunday services continue as usual over the summer months at 10.30am with provision for any children present in the Hall for part of the service. All are welcome to come for tea or coffee in the Hall after the service. The Church and museum are open on Wednesday mornings and the Wednesday Coffee Morning continues in the Hall each week. It is planned to have the Church open on Tuesday evenings between 6.00 -8.00pm when the Museum is also open.


The Beaver Colony enjoyed their annual Chip Shop Walk and all enjoyed the tasty snacks on offer.

The Cubs enjoyed a practical hands on evening decorating and firing mugs as Fathers’ Day presents.

The Scouts will be off next month to take part in the Satellite Camp which is part of the prestigious Scottish International Patrol Jamborette held every two years at Blair Atholl. This is Scotland’s premier international Scouting event.

In mid June the Explorer Unit took part in the District Week of Wonder events where some of the activities on offer including abseiling, waterskiing, orienteering and hovercrafting.

The Group broke up for the summer holidays at the end of June, giving the Leaders a well earned rest. Meetings will resume on Thursday 18 August for Cubs, Scouts and Explorers and on Friday 19 August for Beavers.

Peter Philp 
Group Scout Leader 
01383 852612 
116th Fife Scout Group 
Registered Charity Number SC031132 


Wonderful growing weather and the strawberries are ripe for Wimbledon. We hope by now you have received your Flower Show schedule and are thinking about which categories you would like to enter on Saturday/Sunday 3/4 September.

There are many areas to enter from Floral Arranging, Baking, Craft to all the many Vegetable, Fruit and Flower sections, while for the younger members there are many classes to enter. It is a great weekend for all and even if you do not feel like entering a class do consider coming along to view everything on show, so put the dates in your diary as a reminder. If you require any other information you can contact the Secretary Sheila Travers on 01383 852249.

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


There was a good attendance at May's meeting; a lot of ground and a number of issues were covered.

John Crane

David Chisholm paid tribute to John Crane who died recently. He remarked on John's warmth and generosity, sense of humour and the void that is left in our community. The event in the golf club in April had demonstrated the community’s appreciation of John's and Jim Hensman's contribution to village life.

It was noted that the curriculum at Saline Primary School encouraged children to develop as responsible citizens. It was therefore felt appropriate to commemorate John by establishing a Wider Achievement prize to be awarded annually to the child who has most displayed the qualities that John showed.

Roads and Flooding

Stewart Miller has been active on our behalf regarding the water leaking from the road at the Oakley Road/Main Street junction. He has established that the cause is not a leaking water main in the road but there may be a leak in the supply to the houses and shop on Main Street. The water is to be analysed and the source of the leak investigated.

George Duncan continues to be concerned about road safety through High Steelend and flooding of his garage. Phil Clarke and Ian Jones from Transportation will be contacted again.

Some people complained about grass verges not being mowed and of clogged up gulley pots. Ian Jones will be contacted about these problems.

Allanwater Development

The site agent has written to all neighbours to keep them abreast of developments, which was welcomed. He had been invited to this meeting but had been unable to attend.

There was some concern about large lorries unloading from the main road with possible safety implications. This will be investigated.

Street Naming

Fife Council has been advised of the names discussed at the last meeting, feedback from the playground consultation and other individual suggestions. Cllr Bobby Clelland indicated that he supported the proposal to acknowledge people who had contributed to the community but Cllr Kate Stewart spoke in favour of a name reflecting views of the Wallace Monument. If our four councillors cannot agree on names, the matter will be referred back to the Area Committee.

Some people suggested names after Fife Council's deadline but these will be taken into account in the naming of future streets.

Community Centre

It was felt that the recent meeting with Fife Council had been productive and that there is potential for better use of the centre. However, it was considered essential that a feasibility study is carried out and a business plan is prepared. To get a clearer indication of community interest, a questionnaire is to be prepared, distributed and collected over July and August. This should enable a considered response to Fife Council to be agreed.

Cllr Clelland confirmed that the Council's aim is to help communities make better use of centres and that closure is not currently an option. However, there is an election next year and a new administration might have different priorities.

People should take the opportunity to comment via the consultation pages on Fife Direct.

Bus Services

Linda Moyes and Cllr Kate Stewart had managed to arrange a meeting with Stagecoach through the Bus Users Council. Linda had given a presentation that had been well received although cuts had been hinted at. The recent consultation dates were not received in time; despite this, there was a big turnout.

Jean Alexander reported on the meeting to form an Action Group and the work that has been started. There followed considerable discussion on the effects of withdrawal of the No 6 service and how it is a vital lifeline for the community. It was recognised that Stagecoach only operate routes that are commercially viable, leaving Fife Council to subsidise routes that are not. However, Fife Council's budget is limited and a subsidy cannot be guaranteed. It was agreed that a meeting with Stagecoach and Transportation be sought with a view to improving the service and its viability.

The Action Group has been informally told that there is to be a new service routed via Wellwood but no details have been supplied yet. The Action Group are now in possession of the proposed new timetable which is an improvement on the current one.

Thanks are due to those who have given up their time to serve on the Action Group. Please give them your co-operation.

Housing Development at The Glebe

This proposal has been covered in previous editions, particularly how our councillors supported the objectors. The applicant has now appealed and the Community Council will confirm its position to the reporter. It was felt that the applicant's grounds for appeal have not raised anything that would change the Community Council's views.

Playground Group

Laura Chesby gave an update on progress. The group has agreed its constitution and is currently setting up a bank account. The consultation in the Church Hall had been productive and the priority project is the North Road play area but drainage improvements are still awaited. Cllr Stewart confirmed her support for the group. It was felt that the group's activities to date would enhance funding bids.

At a Community Council meeting in 2015 the Allanwater representatives had indicated that Fife Council required a contribution towards play facilities. The Community Council's view was that decisions on how this would be spent should be through a group such as the Playground Group that could generate external funding. It now appears that Fife Council no longer requires Allanwater to make this contribution, which resulted in considerable anger from those present.

Fife Communities Climate Action Network

The May Bulletin reported on the possibility of working with other communities through FCCAN and the possible opportunities for Climate Challenge Fund assistance.

Carolyn Bell who is working on the Sustainable Energy Climate Action Plan for Fife had been invited to speak to the meeting but, with the anticipated need to discuss ways forward on buses and community centre, this has been deferred until the August meeting.

Date of Next Meeting

Meetings continue to be well attended and are covering more issues relevant to people in our communities. 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 30 August 2016 at 7.30 in Saline Community Centre.


Edinburgh Airport has announced an Airspace Change Programme that involves a two-stage consultation. The first began on 6 June and ends on 21 September. The airport is now consulting on the potential impact of altering flight paths over Edinburgh. The feedback will be reviewed and used to determine the optimum flight paths in consultation with the National Air Traffic Service and Civil Aviation Authority . The second stage would be feedback on the specific flight path designs. 

Our area currently has two corridors over it. There are two options for north bound aircraft that may affect us. These can be inspected on the letsgofurther web site although there is no indication of the actual paths, height etc.

The Community Council has also been contacted by Edinburgh Airport Watch who claim that the consultation is inappropriate and that there is potential to play community councils off against each other. They suggest that community councils get together with others and their councillors to agree action.

The full versions of Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh Airport Watch's submissions can be inspected via these links:
The Community Council feels that there is insufficient information to assess the implications but is asking for observations from within the community. Please look at these documents and pass your comments to David Chisholm ( or Donald Murdoch ( This matter will be discussed at the next meeting in August.


Edinburgh Airport is redrawing its flight paths because they want to treat all its customers to a view of Saline and Steelend. They are conducting a two-phase consultation process on the potential impact that redrawing the departure and arrival flight paths could have on the surrounding communities.

They want us to submit our views on the issues that we think should be considered such as the decrease in property values, noise pollution and the like at . The deadline is 12 September.

The last plane in is around 10pm and the first plane out is 6am. To give you an idea of traffic volumes, there are 24 departures and ten arrivals between 8am and 9am.

Mark Baugh, T: 851059


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 

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.

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.

Community Council Meeting
30 August, 7.30pm
Saline Community Centre

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

Fitness with Lesley Halstead
Thursday mornings, 10.00 am
Saline Community Centre

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

Afternoon Craft Group
Every second Tuesday from 12 July
2pm-4pm, Saline Church Hall

Country Dancing
Mondays, 7.00pm
Saline Community Centre

Shieldbank Coffee Shop, North Road, Saline
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 9.30am-6pm
Coffee/Tea/Cakes/Lunch or Afternoon Tea
Vegetarians, Vegans and Coeliacs catered for
Meeting Place available for local clubs/groups
Venue available for Birthday Parties and Evening Functions
Home Baking can be ordered and carried out
Please let us know if you need transport.

Shieldbank Riding & Vaulting Club
Riding Lessons on Wednesdays - Sundays all year
Tuition in Small Groups or One to One
Child & Adult Beginners
Adults Coming Back to Riding
Summer Holiday Courses
Pony Days
Equestrian Vaulting for Children & Young People
Follow us on Facebook: Shieldbank Riding & Vaulting Club
Tel: 01383 852 874

This Community Bulletin is produced by Saline and Steelend Communications Group