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Issue 8 June 2012

posted 2 Jul 2012, 10:05 by Ian Holmes-Lewis   [ updated 6 Feb 2015, 11:37 ]
Should we buy t
he Glen??

Saline Glen was identified as one of our major assets in last year’s Community Futures exercise. The Glen is currently up for sale and some people think that it should be bought as a community asset. If this is to take place, clear community support must be demonstrated. 

Mary Mitchell and Linda Moyes have volunteered to co-ordinate the canvassing of opinion but will obviously need some help. If you have a view on this matter and/or wish to help, can you please contact Mary on 01383 852279 or, and Linda on 01383 852817 or

Had it not been cancelled Mary and Linda would have been canvassing opinion at Saline Gala so please ring or email to give them the benefit of your views on this important matter. Meanwhile, please fill out the survey on the Home page if you haven't already done so.

copyright on this image is owned by Brian Innes

Heritage Society Mini Museum

The Heritage Society’s mini museum, housed in the old Session House at the gate of the Church, opened for the summer season on Jubilee day with free cream teas for everybody. We had a good attendance and were delighted that the weather was good enough for some to be served outside in the sunshine! This year's theme is the Jubilee and Coronation together with a look at how things were in Saline and Steelend in the 1950s.  The museum will be open on Sundays from 11.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Entrance is free

Saline Gala

As most people will be aware our dreadful June weather led to the cancellation of Saline Gala.  Some events will re rearranged.  Details will be posted on the website at

Up For Grabs

On Saturday 26th May three groups, Saline First Responders, Saline and District Heritage Society and Saline and Steelend Community Futures put themselves forward to bring to the community a £2,300 slice of £10,000 on offer from the West Fife Villages “Up For Grabs” fund. The purpose of the fund is about making the West Fife Villages a safe and attractive place to live, work and visit and supports the following:

> Children and young people
> Older people
> Environment
> Crime prevention and community safety
> Health and Wellbeing
> Involvement in your community

It was a lively day with 21 groups jostling for attention in a kind of “speed dating” environment.  It was very useful to network with other groups in neighbouring villages and find out what is going on.

Although the competition was strong the Saline and Steelend Community is £1,300 the richer for the effort put in by 12 community residents. The Heritage Society received £300 to buy the equipment needed to digitally record the oral history of long term residents of Saline and the surrounding area, to video life in the village today for the younger and future generations before their memories disappear forever. The Saline First Responders received £1,000 to buy a second defibrillator for use in emergencies. 

Communications Group

The development of the community website is continuing at a pace. Have you seen it yet? If not, take a look.

Saline First Responders are the first out of 30 groups and activities, which help to make Saline and Steelend a vibrant and lively community, to create their own page on the site. If you are running a regular group or activity within our community you can have your own page too – Who’s next? – Remember, if you are a group or activity leader you can also update the community calendar with planned events helping to maximise attendance.  

The regular paper bulletin can also be viewed online as the “e-bulletin”. We are inviting residents in the outlying areas to receive the environmentally considerate “e- bulletin” starting with Mary Mitchell’s distribution patch. The “e-bulletin” allows community announcements to be made in-between the paper editions. 

New to the site is:

“Mine Watch” – keeping an eye on Blair House open cast mine and the impact it may have on health, property and wildlife in the area.

“Saline Glen Survey” – would it be a good idea to buy the glen? Let the community council know your view by completing the online survey.

“Community Directory” – key contacts within the community (only visible to registered site users). 

"Saline Heritage Society" - local history and heritage group. Meets monthly. Page still under construction at time of going to press.

"The West Fife Villages Exhibition" - To promote our annual exhibition throughout the  West of Fife.

The "Links" page has several new additions.

Contacts for the website are Ian Holmes-Lewis on 851855 or Mark Baugh on 851059.

Art Exhibition

A Wash-up meeting was held on 29th May in the Saline Community Centre in order to review the 2012 West Fife Villages Exhibition of Art, Photography and Crafts held in Saline in April.

The number of exhibits in this year’s exhibition totalled 182 original paintings, 43 prints and 119 photographs. Additionally 500 items of artwork from the ten West Fife village primary schools were on display. In view of the space limitations, the amount of craftwork was minimal; however, the craft items on display were of an extremely high quality. The large number of exhibits from schools was discussed and it was agreed that we would need to somehow limit the number of these exhibits in future. Visitor numbers were again in excess of 400 over the two days of the exhibition.

All agreed that we should continue to hold the Exhibition and a  meeting to discuss the 2013 event should be held at 7 pm on 27th November in the Saline Community Centre.

Saline First Responders 

Hilary and Bill Warnock with Gail and Alistair Clark led our bid for funding at the Up For Grabs event.  They were awarded  £1,000 following a public vote and this will enable the group to buy an additional defibrillator.   Most of the group have now attended “shouts” and have therefore been able to provide assistance to casualties in the area. However, we cannot provide 24 hour support to the residents in Saline, Steelend, Oakley, Comrie, Blairhall, Carnock and Gowkhall until we have more volunteers from this area.   We had borrowed resuscitation mannequins from the Ambulance Service to give everyone a chance to try out their Vinny Jones technique at Saline Gala, but sadly it was rained off. It will be re-arranged.

 Please remember that we are not a substitute for the Ambulance Service.  Anyone calling 999 from our area will have an ambulance dispatched as necessary but if a First Responder is on call, they will be dispatched too.

The big difference that a First Responder can make is being able to reach the casualty before the ambulance, many life-threatening situations are extremely time critical.

Community Council Matters

John crane chaired the May meeting in Jim Hensman’s absence, and a fine job he did too. Members noted Joan Featherstone’s discussions with Development Services on the Saline Hotel site and The Glebe. They were concerned that our request for a meeting to discuss The Glebe had been denied and felt that a meeting would have helped reach an amicable solution. Accordingly, Dave Quinney is going to contact Fife Council again.

John Crane congratulated the four successful candidates from the recent election. Cllr Bobby Clelland outlined the changes to the administration of the council and described the arrangements for councillors attending community council meetings. Bobby will be attending future meetings and was congratulated on this merited appointment as chair of our Fife Council Area Committee.

Billy Archibald from Saline Golf Club described the arrangements for the club’s centenary and Queen’s Jubilee. The community council agreed to make a donation to these worthwhile events.

Mary Mitchell reported on the Participatory Budgeting exercise at which Saline First Responders and Saline Heritage Society were successful.
We have noticed that there are some new residents in our community and would extend a welcome to them and hope that they can join some of the community organisations. The community council has a Welcome Pack with useful information and, if you are a new resident or have new neighbours, please contact John Crane on 952698 or at 

Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill

Many of us experience frustration and sometimes anger over the perceived unwillingness or inability on the part of those in authority to engage with local people in a meaningful way over matters that impact significantly on our every day lives.  Sometimes people feel they could run facilities and services better than the Council does.

Well … the Scottish Government recognises this and has drafted a Bill that could make it easier for communities to use buildings, land or resources that are not being used.  It also wants to help people get involved in decisions about the services in their community.

Between now and the 29 August they are inviting organisations and individuals to provide their ideas and comments.  The consultation document and a simple questionnaire is available on the Scottish Government website at


Previous Bulletins have reported on Saline Environmental Group’s efforts to progress the much needed path to Oakley through a bid to the BIG Lottery. We are now looking for help. Don’t worry, we are not looking for folks to carry out physical works, although volunteers would be welcome, but rather that we need people to identify how the path could best meet their individual needs.  Our key objective is to create a path that can be used by people of all age groups and abilities but we need to demonstrate to the BIG Lottery how this will be achieved.

We have a lot of feedback from previous consultations that is extremely helpful but we need more input from those who are disadvantaged by mobility problems or those who find bus fares to Oakley a drain on scarce resources. We want to hear from everyone but particularly from disabled people or their carers (remember that disability covers more than wheelchair etc use), teenagers and families with young children.

Dunfermline and West Fife Local Plan

The Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Directorate has completed its examination of Fife Council’s Dunfermline and West Fife Local Plan and has published its Report.

Of particular interest to many local people is what it says about sites identified in the plan for new housing in Saline.  Although the Reporter has reservations about the marketability of a 70 house development on the Kinneddar Mains site on Oakley Road he has rejected objections made to its inclusion in the Local Plan.  He believes that the private housing investment it would bring will contribute towards the regeneration of the village.

However, he has accepted the Community Council’s concerns about the visual impact that development on the North Main Street site would have and has asked Fife Council to strengthen the developers’ requirements in the Local Plan.

Blair House Opencast

It has taken a little while to set up the into Blair House Opencast Trust and to register it as a charity and many thanks are due to Marie Crane for her hard work in this connection.  

At the Saline and Steelend Community Council meeting back in April, questions were asked about the amount of money being paid Community Fund and how was this money being checked against the amount of coal being extracted. To date was 97,459 tonnes of coal has been removed and the trust fund has received £18,943.47.  Further amounts will be paid each quarter

Cllr Bobby Clelland commented that as a Trustee of the Community Fund, his knowledge of coalmining procedures and familiarity with the rules laid down by the Coal Authority¸ he could confirm that the records of coal extraction were true and accurate. Anyone with any further questions on this matter should contact Cllr Clelland.

Architecture and Placemaking policy

With the possibility of significant new development in and around our villages in the next few years, many people are concerned to ensure that the character of the area is respected and that new buildings and alterations to existing properties enhance the attractiveness of our built environment. These concerns exist in towns and villages across Scotland and the Scottish Government has just launched its consultation for a Policy on Architecture and Placemaking. The consultation document is available at It invites responses to a variety of questions but two questions are of particular relevance.  How could an architecture policy encourage design processes that better meet the needs of individuals and communities? How could the policy help build successful and resilient communities?

We will be encouraging the Community Council to submit a response but if you would like to make one too, download the documents from the website.


As a few of you may know, I am interested in the local history and people born and connected with Saline parish.  Recently, whilst searching for some additional information on previous  ministers  who were called to Saline, I came across an article about a Scottish missionary and a descriptive statement by a Church of Scotland historian that reads  “Perhaps no minister of the Church of Scotland had a more varied or romantic career”.

The minister in question served overseas for most of his 51 years service as a Church of Scotland missionary.  During his time as the chaplain to the Indian forces he was involved in the Indian mutiny and was present at the surrender of Lucknow. Born in Saline in 1821, the son of George Ferguson and Mary Keir, the Rev. William Ferguson sounds an extremely interesting character worthy of some in- depth research. If anyone has any information or connection with this minister or his family, please give John Crane a call on 852698.

Forthcoming meetings and events

There will be no meetings of the Community Council or Environmental Group in July.  The next meetings will be in August.

Saline Environmental Group
Tuesday 28 August
6.30pm Saline Community Centre

Community Council
Tuesday 28 August
7.30pm Saline Community Centre

Steelend Gala and 
Gala Dance
Saturday 28 July
Gala Dance 9.00pm – 1.00am
Admission strictly by ticket: £3

Steelend Club
Domino and pool competitions every Friday from 9.00pm

Children's Holiday Club
Monday 6th - Friday 10th August in the Church Hall 
10am - 12. 30pm each day.  Stories, songs, games, fun and food for Primary School-age children!