Air Guns To Require Licence from July

Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Perthshire South & Kinross-shire, has highlighted a Police Scotland amnesty on unlicensed air guns – and urged those who do not intend to have their weapon licensed to make use of the amnesty, which runs until 12 June. The scheme, launched on 23 May , has already seen more than 2,000 weapons handed in to police stations across Scotland.

The Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act comes fully into force in December this year and will make it an offence, from July 2016, for a person who owns an air weapon not to have a licence for it. This broadly follows the existing principle and practices of firearms legislation and will protect public safety by ensuring that only a person fit to obtain a licence can own an air weapon.

Speaking today, Ms Cunningham said:


“I am encouraged by the response from the public to this air weapon amnesty, which has led to 2,000 weapons being taken off our streets. 


“From the 1st of July this year new legislation will require everyone who has an air weapon to have a licence to keep it.


“I know that there are many, particularly in the rural parts of my constituency, who own air weapons and who use them responsibly.  This legislation does not alter their ability to do so, it simply seeks to ensure that they are only ever in the hands of responsible owners and the amnesty enables people to get rid of unused and unwanted weapons which might otherwise find their way into irresponsible hands.


“I would encourage anyone who owns an air gun, but does not intend to license it, to take advantage of this amnesty and hand the weapon in to the main Police Office in Barrack Street, Perth.”


Tax Scammers Come Out About Now

It’s that time again.  End of the financial year and time for all the scammers to send the emails telling you that you have a tax refund coming to you.  I got one a couple of days ago, from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the subject was HMRC Refund Confirmation,  the email looked great however if I hovered over the sender when I was looking at my inbox – it was from – So over the next weeks and months, please be careful of any emails telling you that you are getting a tax rebate.  I am pretty sure the real HMRC does not send emails to let you know such things.

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Cold Callers Selling Property Coating Products

It seems there are some cold callers going about Auchterarder, specifically in the Muirton area. They are selling some sort of coating for your property that is supposed to keep it clean etc. The coating is pretty much the same as something you could buy off the shelf and the guarantees are pretty much the same as the shop bought product. Be careful and don’t sign up for anything before you have researched it. If anyone knows friends or family in the Muirton area, please let them know so they can be aware


Donate To Those Affected By Floods In Lancashire

I am sure we can all agree that the devastation the recent floods brought to the North of England is something we didn’t expect to see. Those who have been evacuated to rest centres are yet to see just how much damage has been caused to their homes. Others already know that the water level has been in feet not inches.

Sitting here in my comfortable home, I thought what I could do to help. It is not at first obvious how to do so, which made me decide to go look. After an hour or so I found the Lancashire Churches Together group and phoned Canon Ed Saville and explained that I wanted to be able to help and know it was going where it was needed.

Canon Saville advised me that there is a fund specifically set up to co-ordinate what is needed and sent me the web address.

This is a bona fide fund set up as an offshoot of the Community Foundation For Lancashire which is supported by many organisations in the area. So if you are looking to offer some help to those who have been victims of the recent flooding then I am confident that this is a suitable fund to receive donations and ensure they are used to their best advantage.

I have seen many on Facebook and Twitter mentioning about helping our own, well now you can, please feel free to donate whatever you can to help those who have been left with scenes of devastation in their homes.

Thank you.


Banking Hours Slashed

As from 7th December the Bank Of Scotland in Auchterarder will no longer be open every working day.  From that date the bank will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am until 4pm.

Although reported originally in national media in September, it is worth reminding everyone now that banking habits will have to change, especially for businesses used to banking most days.   A night safe is to be available for those who may need it.

In less than 4 weeks the town will no longer have full time banking available.

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Barbara Nesbitt Performs In Craigrossie Hotel on Halloween

The Craigrossie Hotel in Auchterarder is delighted to welcome Barbara Nesbitt to perform on Halloween.

Winner of awards for songwriting, acoustic performance and nominated for some of the most prestigious acoustic awards in America Barbara Nesbitt is a Folk music performer admired by other performers.

Based in Austin Texas and currently dividing her time between The Whiskey Sisters (which she helped form), Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe and her “solo” project simply called Barbara Nesbitt.  Barbara is well known on the music scene in Texas and has gained much acclaim for her various collaborations.

So why not drop in and enjoy the sound of true Americana on Halloween?

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Future Plans For Auchterarder

To keep up to date with local plans for Auchterarder check out the Charrette Report here


Any Budding Novelists Out There?

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. 

On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm, determination, and a deadline, NaNoWriMo is for anyone who has ever thought about writing a novel.


If you would like to know more, head for NaNoWriMo


Auchterarder Teenager To Represent Scotland

Auchterarder Community School pupil, Marcus Nicol, Aged 13, is producing some great scores around the Clay Pigeon Shooting circuit. Marcus started shooting on his 12th birthday, so has only been shooting for just under 2 years. His interest was encouraged by his dad, Ken Nicol, who is a qualified APSI Instructor. Marcus first took up the sport at County Clays, Dunkeld, and Clark Taylor, Proprietor, continues to be of great support.

His dad, Ken Nicol said, “It was clear from his first few attempts at clay pigeon shooting that Marcus had a keen eye and a natural ability to understand shooting concepts and disciplines”.

However, in the past few months, he has turned to shooting National Skeet. In a short period of time his scores have continually risen. A few weekends ago saw him shoot his best ever score at Kippen Gun Club – where he is a member – with the result he has been moved from Competitive C Class to B Class in a period of 8 weeks. He shot 95/100 in 2 rounds of 50 – a 21 & 24 and then 2 straight 25s. Marcus has been inspired by and has appreciated the great encouragement he has been given my Max Jeffries of Kippen Gun Club, who represents Britain in the Double Trap discipline.

Ken said. “There were claps and cheers as he came off the shooting ground as he outshot most of the adults there, the top score being a 98!

He then went on to win the Junior Cup and was in the team who picked up the 40 Bird Flush Cup at the Strathendrick RFC Charity Shoot. He then followed this by winning the BASC Junior Sporting Shoot at County Clays, Dunkeld, and came 4th equal in the Sporting Challenge at the BASC Scottish Game Fair the first weekend in July. Even on holiday this past couple of weeks has seen him come second in the only national Sporting Championship in Bulgaria!

His desire to improve and succeed is evident in his attitude. Even when he does not perform as well as he wishes, he stays calm and does not show any frustration or temper. He is a slightly built teenager but his consistent and continual progress over the year has been inspirational.

His hard work and dedication has paid off and Marcus got news a couple of weeks ago whilst on holiday that he had been selected to shoot for Scotland in the Home International on the 21st/22nd August at the Mid Wales Shooting Centre in Trefeglwys,

Marcus said. “This is a great honour and fantastic achievement in such a short space of time shooting in this discipline. It involves two days practice and then 2 day’s competition which is very intense, and will be my first experience of national competition. I am really looking forward to it.”

When asked about the future, Marcus said “My desire is to continually improve in order to reach the top competitively; I would like to make shooting my career and continue to be a great ambassador for the sport and to encourage young shooters like myself. I know I have some way to go but I have found a sport that I love and will continue to dedicate the time required to achieve my goal”.

This weekend saw him pick up the Juniors Cup at the Scottish Captain’s Shoot held at the Scottish Clay Pigeon Shooting Centre at Leuchars, shooting an impressive 93.

Marcus’s dad, Ken Nicol said, “We are hugely grateful for the sponsorship we have received from Trevor Brister of Trev’s House of Tattoos in Perth and also to Alan Harris of Alpa Joiners in Denny, as shooting is such an expensive sport. We are also in the process of approaching cartridge companies for further sponsorship as to compete at this level Marcus requires a lot of practice, firing around 1500 cartridges a month. If anyone reading this article can assist Marcus, he would be delighted to be contacted via the publication.


Beware False Broadband Promises

Living in such a rural location, I have not expected much from my broadband connection.  Really I have been quite happy that we have had broadband.

So when the Ryder Cup was announced and there was all the publicity of how the local area communications network would be upgraded I was looking forward to an improvement in what was available.

There was no doubt that Auchterarder would be the first to benefit and that myself being based in Aberuthven may not see the benefit for some time.  So you can imagine my excitement when we started getting leaflets through the door inviting us to sign up for BT Infinity.

Not being with BT I went onto the website of my broadband and phone supplier and checked what was available.  Sure enough, fibre broadband was available, what excitement, no more yelling at each other to close down windows on the computers.

I waited a few weeks to make sure that we had a day off for the engineer to come and upgrade the telephone wiring in the house.  Once this was sorted, off I went to order my new fibre broadband package.

Funny, it didn’t seem to be available by my supplier anymore.  No matter, we could still get BT Infinity, it said so in the leaflet, addressed to me, not just the householder.  I called BT and asked about upgrading to fibre.  “Oh, that’s not available”.

It seems that the “area” has fibre, however as we are cabinet 3 it may still be some time before it is upgraded.  The operator advised me to call in the middle of this week to check.

I decided to check online and was delighted to find that I could get fibre once they had checked my line.  Having checked prices, BT were very close to my providers price so I decided just to order from them right away.

I filled in all the forms, had the lines checked again etc and was just about to hit order when out of the corner of my eye, I saw the expected line speed.  1-3Mbs.  This was my speed at the moment, this was not a fibre broadband speed.

So it seems that BT were going to allow me to change providers and charge me for fibre broadband and I would gain nothing from this move.  It could be that I would have received a call or email saying they were unable to improve my speed at present, however I wouldn’t like to take bets on that.

So beware false broadband promises, as Plusnet my own provider had also taken my order and only because I wanted to check with BT that it was really available did I cancel that order before giving final card details.

How many I wonder have ordered an upgrade but are still stuck with a slow speed as the cabinet hasn’t been upgraded yet?  It may be worth checking your deal if you still have a slow internet speed, certainly it was the difference between £2.50 per month for standard broadband and between £13 and £15 per month for fibre.