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Issue 65 March 2018

posted 8 Mar 2018, 08:17 by Ian Holmes-Lewis   [ updated 30 Mar 2018, 11:15 ]

The response from our community to the appalling weather over the past five days has been magnificent but, before we forget how bad it was, it is important that we review events and think about what worked well and what could have worked better. 

The Community Council has convened a special open public meeting at which these issues can be reviewed against the template for a Community Resilience Plan provided by Fife Council.  It will also be an opportunity to celebrate the work of everyone who struggled to keep us safe. The meeting is open to EVERYONE – adults and children!  Refreshments will be available.


There was a very good attendance for the recent talk on the Fife Coastal path and our next one is on Wednesday 21 March on Pictish and Roman settlements on East Lomond. 

I wonder if they experienced the heavy falls of snow we have had?

Tina is still looking for any old school photographs or stories for our summer exhibition. For instance, there was a transfer of pupils to Oakley to attend the new Catholic school? Does  know any more about that? Or do you know anything about the school at Steelend and Dunduff? All information is welcome.

We are looking for volunteers to man the museum on Sunday and Wednesday mornings, and on Tuesday evenings.


Kirklands Garden will open again on Sunday 20th May 2018 from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Sixty percent of the entrance fee (£5.00, Children free) will go to Saline Environmental Group who carry out sterling work around Saline and Steelend to improve our local environment.  The other 40% goes to Scotland Garden Scheme charities (Maggie’s, Perennial, Qnis, NTS). 
We have lived at Kirklands for 40 years and opened our garden for 25 years.  Each year we have a project – creating a new bit of garden or improving other areas.  Even after 40 years we still have many plans for new projects.  Next year we will be helped by the next two generations when our daughter and family will be involved. 
There is about two acres of garden including woodland garden, walled garden, herbaceous borders.  In May the bluebells are in flower and so are the meconopsis (blue poppies), tulips and rhododendrons.

Delicious cream teas will be served in the marquee and there will be a plant stall with plants raised in the garden so you know they’ll survive in our part of Fife!

If any village group would like a presence during the opening either with a stall or leaflets we would love you to be involved and we’re always looking for helpers.  Please call: 852737 or 07787115477 or e-mail:  
Check out our Facebook page: Kirklands House and Garden, Saline 
We would love to welcome you to Kirklands.


Thank you to everyone who has kindly made contact with us following the previous bulletin. We have a few things hopefully in the pipeline which I will share in due course. This week (26 February-2 March) our Primary 7 children have been braving the elements at Lockerbie Manor with the pupils from Inzievar Primary school as part of their transition to Queen Anne High School. It will definitely be a week to remember for many reasons!

Over the next few weeks P5/6 and P6/7 will be making a visit to the Poppy Factory in Edinburgh to make poppy wreaths. The children will start the wreaths and they will be completed and sent to the school in time for Remembrance day with our school badge on them.

Primary 4 and Primary 7 will be hosting assemblies soon to share their learning. P7 will share their experiences from their residential stay at Lockerbie Manor on the morning of Friday 9 March and P4 will be sharing their learning about famous Scots, Glasgow and the models they have made on the afternoon of Thursday 15 March.

Finally our new school office is taking shape and we hope to make the move in the next week or two. We will have a grand opening and would welcome visitors, especially those with links to the school. Details will follow as soon as we can confirm a date and time. This move will free up our current office space which we hope to turn into the new school library. Our Parent Council have kindly offered to help us with soft furnishings and will supply us with a small amount of new books. I hope to source further funding and involve the children in fundraising activities for more books. That's all for now folks! 
Mrs Alexis Perkins
Depute Head Teacher

Higher English Prep

Until recently I ran this Easter course at Perth College, and it was very successful, usually raising candidates’ grades by at least one step if not two.   I’m retired now, but if there’s enough demand I could run a version of this course in the Easter holidays – for no charge – for candidates in Saline and Steelend.  

This is not just more practice; it clarifies the demands of the exam and provides simple routines to meet those demands – something which, regrettably, often seems to be left out of the school course.

If there’s enough interest, then I’ll see about obtaining a space in the Community Centre or the church hall.

Colin Stuart   852587


February has been a bit of a slow month for the Beaver Colony with a half term holiday in the middle of the month. Despite a few members dropping OUT, another two have joined the Colony, keeping the numbers fairly stable. Having recently completed their Animal Friends' badge they are now working towards their Cooks' Badge; this not only covers cooking but also learning about a balanced diet, kitchen hygiene and kitchen safety. Other badges planned are Gardener and Disability Awareness just to mention a couple.

The Cubs have taken part in the District Safety Competition coming a creditable third equal out of nine teams. Well done to those who took part. The Cubs are now looking forward to their visit to East End Park to watch Dunfermline play Livingston. Here's hoping they will not be disappointed. In the longer term they have the District Camp at Nineacres in May to look forward to.

The Scout Troop held its first camp of the year at Fordell Firs and despite the atrocious weather which resulted in lots of mud, they all enjoyed themselves. I will not mention the Leaders’ comments. They are due to camp again early in March, so lets hope the weather is kinder. Meanwhile the Leaders are applying on behalf of the Scouts for places at the Satellite Camp at the Blair Atholl Patrol Jamborette which takes place in July.
The Explorers at the end of February were off to the District Explorer Scout Quiz; as I write we are eagerly awaiting the results. At the moment the Explorers are finalizing their future programme, more of which will be listed in forthcoming editions.
Peter Philp
Group Scout Leader
01383 852612
116th Fife Scout Group
Registered Charity Number SC031132

The walk to the High Valleyfield Snowdrop event was held on 25 February. The guided tour was very interesting and covered many aspects including the history of the rise and decline of the Valleyfield estate. On view was the walled garden, canal and orchard. The estate has many beautiful and interesting walks throughout them as well as the illustrious carpet of snowdrops. Definitely worth a visit! 

The next event will be held on Friday 13 April at 7.30pm in the Church Hall.

This will be a talk by Tara Proud from the Marine Conservation Society. It will focus on the wildlife that exists in the Forth Estuary and the environmental concerns that surround all marine life. There will be coffee, tea, soup and cakes. Everyone is welcome. Please come along.


On behalf of the trustees of the charity, I would like to thank Michelle Graham for all the hard work put in over the last year, getting the café up and running so successfully. Michelle has now moved on to pursue a career elsewhere and we wish her every success for the future. 

Susan Smith, who has been assisting Michelle, will step in to keep Brightside Community Café open for business as usual – Wednesday to Saturday 11.00am till 3.00pm. Whether it’s soup, baked potato, salad, panini, toastie or just cake and coffee, you’ll be made very welcome. The menu may be restricted on some days and we hope you will support Susan whilst we recruit new staff. 

We are looking for a café manager (16 hours a week) and café workers to cover four three-hour shifts. If these posts would interest you, please ask for an application form.  
Once the new café manager is in place, Susan will be concentrating on her new role as manager of Friends In Deed, the charity’s befriending service.

The befriending service has been set up to provide residents at Bandrum Nursing Home who don’t have regular visitors with a friend who makes a point of visiting them, sharing memories and helping them make social connections. Do you have an hour or so to spare once a week or fortnight? If so, we are currently looking for additional volunteers and we would love you to join us by becoming a befriender. Training and ongoing support will be provided. Email Susan at the address below or pop in to the café where Susan will be happy to chat with you.

Facebook: Brightside Community Cafe


The Register of Interest to get a hutting site at Carnock has now closed. There was a huge response and if you registered you will be hearing soon about our Carnock Coming Alive event in Dunfermline on 19 May. This event will also feature other hutting sites around Scotland.

If you didn’t apply but live within three road miles of the Carnock Woods site, you can still apply for one of the two hut sites allocated to local people. Please Email me at giving the following information
   1. Name
   2. Address
   3. Phone
   4. Email address
   5. Why I would like a hut at Carnock Woods (50 words max)
   6. How often I would use it
   7. What activities I am interested in

We will be holding a separate ballot for the two sites at the same time as we hold the ballot for the remaining ten sites. This will be a fully transparent and honest process (honestly).
After that, the Thousand Huts team will meet the twelve successful Carnock hutters on several occasions to guide them through forming a constituted group and negotiating the lease with Forest Enterprise Scotland. It will take a bit of effort but after that hut building can begin.

On other fronts, the campaign held a very successful Hutters’ Rally in Edinburgh in November. The simpler form of Building Regulations for huts is now enshrined in law and we hope to be publishing a Good Practice Guide to guide you through it, in the near future. 

The huts are coming!
Donald McPhillimy


Holy Week and Easter Services 
As in previous years we will be joining with several other congregations in West Fife  for special services during Holy Week.
Sunday 25 March, 9.30am, Palm Sunday Service and Celebration of Holy Communion, Saline Parish Church. 6.30pm, Praise Service, Oakley Parish Church
Wednesday 28 March, 7.00pm, Stations of the Cross, Saline Parish Church
Thursday 29 March, 7.00pm, Communion Service, Culross Abbey
Friday 30 March, 7.00pm, Good Friday Tenebrae Service, Tulliallan Parish  Church
Sunday 1 April, 9.30am, Easter Service, followed by rolling eggs and Family Brunch
Swap Shop
Friday 9 March, 7.00pm in the Church Hall. £3, including light refreshments. Proceeds to the Church Restoration Fund. Come and find a bargain and enjoy the company.

Monday 19 March at 7.00pm in the Church. Entertainment by Bruce Davies. Tickets (including light refreshments) £5, proceeds to Guild Projects. 


A Message from the Chair of the Community Council

At the February meeting of the Community Council, as the heavy snow began to fall, I commented in my introductory remarks to the meeting on what I perceive to be a noticeable strengthening of community spirit and social cohesion, indicated by increasing numbers of
individuals and groups stepping up to the plate to help deliver the aspirations contained in our Community Action Plan.

Forty-eight hours later as we struggle under a thick blanket of snow, this impression is reinforced by reading about the individual acts of kindness and generosity described in posts on the villages’ Facebook page, Saline, Steelend & District Community Futures. They are truly heart-warming. This post by someone who is new to Saline sums it up:

“To all of you amazing people, we just moved here in the summer so are experiencing our first Saline winter. I’m so impressed and touched by the community spirit here! From helping people in and out with 4x4s (some in life-threatening situations), to picking up groceries for others, planning snowman-building competitions, and even sharing toilet rolls, it has been incredible to read all that is happening.

"To all that are helping, want to help and are supporting the best way they can - thank you.
It means the world to someone and a lot to many. Stay safe guys, God bless."

David Chisholm
2 March 2018

More than 30 people fought there way through blizzards and deep snow to attend February’s Community Council meeting.  

In his introductory remarks, the Chair, David Chisholm, mentioned the ‘walkabout’ that he and Donald Murdoch had had with Alexis Perkins, deputy head of Saline PS, as a follow up to her attendance at the January meeting.  During the ‘tour’ various opportunities for outdoor learning were pointed out. Of particular interest was the ‘community orchard’ on the Forestry Commission land behind the Allanwater development and only a short walk from the school once the proposed path towards Bickramside is constructed.

Blair House Open Cast Restoration
David went on to introduce the evening’s keynote speaker, Robin Caldow from the Scottish Mines Restoration Trust, who was attending with two colleagues from environmental consultants Ironside Farrar to explain their initial proposals for the restoration of the Blair House open cast site.  Robin explained that over the last four years their wholly owned operational arm, Mines Restoration Limited, had been operating care and maintenance contracts, addressing health and safety aspects, together with environmental and geotechnical management issues.  Now that Fife Council have succeeded in their legal battle with Royal Sun Alliance to recover the £3.1m bond, work on the restoration of the area can commence.  SMRT are committed to working with communities to develop detailed proposals for the site and Saline and Steelend CC can expect to have representatives on the consultative group. 
Unfortunately, because of the time it has taken to force Royal Sun Alliance to pay out, it has cost money to maintain the site and the technical challenges for the restoration have grown. Consequently, there is no longer enough money to carry out all of the work originally envisaged. Most significantly, it will not be possible to remove the bing. Also, ground water levels have risen as a consequence of the closure of Longannet and some bodies of water will have to be retained. However, using the budget that is available 1,000,000 m3  of spoil will be removed from the bing, reducing the height by 6/8m. Some of this will be used to recontour the margins of the bodies of water to make them safer and more attractive and to introduce a more ‘natural’ appearance to the terrain. Since mining operations ceased, the number and variety of species has increased significantly. The site now provides habitats for newts, bats, otters, badgers, water voles and red squirrels. Settling ponds will be reconfigured to create wildfowl and wetlands areas.  Grass seed will be spread to accelerate the ‘greening’ process and woodland trees will be planted on around 80% of the site. Bridle paths and footpaths will be reinstated. The timetable is tight but if everything goes smoothly the work could be complete by September 2019 at which time ownership would transfer to a new body, for example Forestry Commission Scotland.

The presentation provoked a large number of questions and comments, particularly from Cowstrandburn and Kinneddar Park residents. These included ‘what is the site to be used for’.  Robin suggested it was probably best thought of as a publicly-accessible wildlife reserve. Several people asked whether there was any intention to introduce commercial uses or any activities that might contribute to economic growth or provide opportunities for local employment and training. The long-term maintenance of the site might provide opportunities. The possibility of an outdoor activities or water sports centre was suggested. 
Other concerns included the implications for animal health of water courses becoming contaminated by dog urine and faeces and where car parking for visitors will be located.  It was also suggested that there should be a ‘walkabout’ for local people before the proposals are finalised. Robin thought there could an opportunity to involve local school children in the project. Questions were asked about working hours and how noise nuisance would be managed. It was acknowledged that allowing the contractor to work longer hours would reduce the overall length of the contract.  

Robin and his colleagues were thanked for attending the meeting.

Action Plan Review and Community Centre Acquisition 
Ian Holmes-Lewis has had offers of assistance from several people to carry out a ‘talking tables’ style review of the 2011 Action Plan.  It was hoped this might take place in early summer. In the meantime, efforts would continue to obtain funding to appoint a consultant to carry out a full review and prepare a feasibility study and options appraisal for the possible acquisition of Saline Community Centre .

Housing behind The Glebe
Conditional planning permission has been granted for the reinstatement of the double garage at 3 The Glebe which was demolished some years ago to create access to the land-locked site behind The Glebe.  The latest planning application for five houses on this site has still to be considered by Fife Council.

North Road Play Park and Saline Smilers
Nicola Smith reported that the outstanding issues preventing the restoration work going ahead are almost resolved and it was hoped that it would be completed by the summer. A ‘grand celebration’ is being planned! Efforts to keep Saline Smilers toddlers’ group going are continuing.

Snow Clearing 
David reported that he had spoken to Ken Smith in Fife Council’s transportation team who has responsibility for gritting and snow clearing. The Council’s priorities are set on their website. The general intention is to clear both roads and pavements in the village centres but if pavements are narrow or obstructed the machines can’t do their job.  

Street Naming 
David is in touch with Allanwater about the intention to name one of the small streets in their development after John Crane, with a view to arranging an unveiling ceremony.  The developer is expecting to be on site for at least another eighteen months.

Saline Shop and Post Office
Following the announcement at the previous meeting that the owner of Saline Shop is keen to retire, David has, as requested, been in touch with the Coop to establish whether they would be interested in opening one of their stores in Saline.  In previous discussions with them three years ago it was learned that they look for a population of between 1500/2000.  Once the new homes under construction are completed this figure would be achieved.  Two sites have been suggested – the vacant site across the road from the shop, and, more ambitiously the inclusion of a store in a complete redevelopment on the Community Centre site which would also include new community facilities.

David also reported an item that appeared in FifeToday regarding a small community in north east Fife, Dunshult, that has been awarded nearly £100k from the Scottish Land Fund to acquire their village shop which has been closed since in 2016, and to run it as a community trust.

However, since the last meeting it has emerged that a local couple are in advanced discussions with the owner to obtain a lease to run the shop from April. Steve and Will were at the meeting to explain their proposals which include an enhanced range of products and produce, a small café, and hot food takeaway.  They will also open up the front of the shop to make it more attractive and improve access. A cash machine and enhanced postal service are planned.  Their initiative was welcomed by those present.  More details can be found on the village Facebook page, Saline, Steelend & District Community Futures.

Firework Display 
David was able to report that the Golf Club are happy to host the village firework display on Friday 2 November at 7.30pm.  See further details elsewhere in this Bulletin. 

Put this Date in your Diary

Over recent years we have lost a number events from our community calendar,  most significantly Saline Gala, and the Bonfire and Fireworks and, sadly, this year there will be no Art Show. Happily, a small number of committed and hardworking people are endeavouring to maintain those we still have and revive those that have been lost. Consequently we are pleased to be able to announce that 2018 will see the return of the firework display. Saline Golf Club have agreed to host the event which will take place on Friday 2 November and include a professional display against the backdrop of the golf course hill at 7.30pm. It is intended that the fireworks will be preceded by activities and entertainment for families and children and there will live music in the clubhouse afterwards. Food and drink will be available throughout.  It is felt that a bonfire is too much of a challenge but it is hoped that there will be another torchlight procession and celebration around the legend of Michael Scot, the 12th century 'Wizard of Saline'.  The Community Council will be applying to Fife Council for funding towards the event and we will be selling raffle tickets after the summer holidays.  We are hoping that people will come and volunteer to sell them in their street or local area.

A working party is being formed to take these ideas through to fruition. If you want to be involved or wish to volunteer to sell raffle tickets please email

Blair House Open Cast Restoration Proposals
Saline Golf Club have very kindly agreed to allow the panels showing the proposals for restoring the Blair House Open Cast site, which you will have read about elsewhere in this Bulletin, to be displayed in the club house.  Scottish Mines Restoration are very keen to get as much feedback as possible and a comments book will be provided.  The panels will be on display from Saturday 10 March for two weeks.


Volunteers and members are springing into action for spring! 
There are two main improvement activities underway. The first is the upgrade of the lighting throughout the clubhouse to LED lights which will improve the environment and reduce the electricity bill by up to 50%. Many thanks go to the Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust and the Fife Council West Fife Ward Budget for supporting our grant application for this project.

The second project underway is the revamp of the practice area. As well as a general tidy up, the revamp will include the driving nets, putting green, safety fence and a seating area, making  a good fun and social space for all ages. We are grateful for the generous support from AllanWater Homes, Boys and Girls Club of Scotland and Scotmid to fund some of these improvements. Thanks also go to AllanWater Homes for providing new signage for the club.

New Golf and Social Members (£10) are always welcome. You can join at any time so please pop in and join us!
Follow us on Facebook at Saline Golf Club Official for the latest information on entertainment, volunteering and golf club updates.


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
Tuesday 27 March, 7.30pm
Saline Community Centre

Highland Dancing Classes 
Tuesdays 4.00pm-5.00pm
Thursdays 6.30pm-8.00pm
Tel Betty on 852610

Adult Badminton
Mondays 7.45pm
Wednesday 1.30pm and 7.30pm
Saline Community Centre, T: 852610

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

Saline & Steelend Heritage Society
Wednesday 21 March, 
Pictish and Roman Settlements on East Lomond 
7.00pm for 7.30pm, Saline Church Hall

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

Saline & Blairingone Parish Church
Afternoon Craft Group 
Every second Tuesday. Everyone is invited to join with any sewing, knitting or craft - and enjoy the blether! 2pm-4pm, Saline Church Hall.

Holy Week and Easter Services 
Sunday 25 March, 9.30am, Palm Sunday Service and Celebration of Holy Communion, Saline Parish Church. 6.30pm, Praise Service, Oakley Parish Church
Wednesday 28 March, 7.00pm, Stations of the Cross, Saline Parish Church
Thursday 29 March, 7.00pm, Communion Service, Culross Abbey
Friday 30 March, 7.00pm, Good Friday Tenebrae Service, Tulliallan Parish  Church
Sunday 1 April, 9.30am, Easter Service, followed by rolling eggs and Family Brunch
Swap Shop
Friday 9 March, 7.00pm in the Church Hall. £3, including light refreshments. 
Monday 19 March at 7.00pm in the Church. Entertainment by Bruce Davies. Tickets (including light refreshments) £5.
Shieldbank Riding & Vaulting Club
Telephone: 01383 852874   Website:  Also on Facebook.
Riding lessons for children and adults of all ages and stages.
Vaulting (gymnastics on horseback) instruction for 5-20 year olds.
Courses for Children in the Easter Holidays. 
Everyone welcome.
Just call or email to book.

Shieldbank Coffee Shop
Telephone: 01383 852621 Also on Facebook.
Open Tuesdays to Sundays 9.30 am- 6.00 pm.
Craft Group meet here on Thursday mornings 10.00 am until lunchtime. 
New: Group for Amateur Photographers meet on Friday evenings at 7.30 pm.

                This Community Bulletin is produced by Saline and Steelend Communications Group