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Find current news, events and up to the minute happenings around the city on the updated Stirling News pages.

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december 2003
Red Kites back in Central Scotland
The RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage have reintroduced the Red Kite back to Central Scotland after 130 years. You can see these wonderful birds at the new red kite feeding station at Lerrocks farm on the Braes of Doune just north of Stirling. At this facility, you can watch these exciting birds without the risk of disturbing what is still a fragile population. You could also be lucky enough to see peregrine, kestrel, buzzards, sparrow hawk and hen harriers as well as a wide variety of smaller birds. A recent survey recorded over a hundred species on the farm.
The population of kites is still small and extremely vulnerable but it is expanding steadily. The birds are easiest to see during the October to March period.
See more details at days out around stirling >>

City of Stirling Hogmanay Celebrations
On Wednesday 31st December, Stirling is the best place to be at Hogmanay for all the family. The Hogmanay party on Stirling Castle Esplanade starts at 10.30pm and carries on through the bells. BIG BROTHER winner Cameron Stout is compere and there will be performances from Deacon Blue, Fiddlers Bid and the Royal Burgh of Stirling Pipe Band. Following the countdown to midnight there will be a stunning firework display.
There is an Early Bird ticket offer of only £12 a ticket if bought before Friday 5th December. Tickets are now available from the Tolbooth and Albert Halls box offices.

november 2003
Garden Birds DIY
The Countryside Rangers are organising a family ‘Garden Birds DIY’ event in the walled garden at Plean Country Park on Sunday, November 30, from 1pm to 3pm where people can learn how to help their feathered friends through the winter. It doesn’t cost anything to go along for a practical afternoon making lots of goodies for your garden birds such as bird tables, bird feeders, bird boxes and bird cake. Birds that stay in the Stirling area over winter spend their time facing the bitter cold and snow. There are no insects to eat and natural seeds may be covered with snow and the berries and other fruits have gone.

Stirling Christmas Lights Switch-On
The Christmas Lights Switch-On promises to be a fun evening of family entertainment. Up to 2,000 people are expected to gather in the pedestrian precinct at the bottom of King Street to join in the festive fun which will start at 6.30pm on Thursday 20 November.
The switch-on will be at 7pm and the Thistles shopping centre will be open until 8pm. Top tribute boy-band West-lives will get the crowd in a party mood with a string of Westlife hits. Lookalike celebrities Posh n Becks will be there and Callander band Recc will also appear. Bob the Builder, street entertainers, jugglers and Santa Claus, will mingle with the crowd adding to the party atmosphere.
Provost O'Brien promises: "the switch-on will be the biggest and brightest the city has ever seen". Port Street precinct will be closed to vehicles from 11am.
The event is in aid of the Strathcarron Hospice's 'Light Up A Life' Campaign.

october 2003
Clean up after your dog or Face the Consequences
Responsible Stirling dog owners have nothing to worry about but the new 'Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003', gives the Council and Police increased powers to issue £40 fixed penalty notices to dog owners who refuse to clean up after their pets. So, Bag it and Bin It. Dog Wardens and Council Officers from Parks & Cemeteries, Housing, Schools and Cleansing can issue the penalty notices by themselves - without a witness. Anyone refusing to give their name and address will be guilty of an additional offence.

Stirling's newest arts festival 13 to 17 October
the blast festival stirling A new festival for the City of Stirling for children, young people and families all through October. THE BLAST, Stirling's newest arts festival. There are some great things to do for young people that don't cost a lot and some are even free. Lots of things to do in the October Holiday 13 - 17 Oct. Activities will take place at the Tolbooth, the Albert Halls, the macRobert, the Smith and the Changing Room. Go to the in Stirling What's On Guide to see everything that's on.

Stirling Old Town Cemetery Restoration
A funding application is being submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund to help restore this 18th Century cemetery which atracts many thousands of visitors every year. Work to restore and repair many of the oldest headstones is already being carried out and the Valley cemetery contains three category B listed buildings - the Martyrs Monument, the Star Pyramid and the Church of the Holy Rude's Old Churchyard.
This is the next stage in the 1.9 m restoration of this historical site which, will include the creation of a community garden, family history project and friends group.

september 2003
Stirling Bingo Film Stars
The Carlton Bingo Club in Stirling is the star of a new award winning film. The 24 minute film is to be screened on Scottish Television later this year. The film crew set up in the club for a day to try and capture the spirit of the strong, independent working women who populate the country's bingo halls.
She Toon: City Of Bingo received the Saltire Society Grierson Award for the best short documentary at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

Cowie Sawmill Plans Rejected
Victory for the people of Cowie and the Cowie Environmental Action group. After a public hearing, plans for a new sawmill at Cowie were turned down. This panel hearing was presented with a petition containing 430 signatures and five letters of objection opposing the development. There were concerns that there would be an increase in traffic, noise and dust, the loss of Berry Hills as a recreation area and fears that the development would have a detrimental effect on the village.

Park of Keir Golf Course Goes Ahead
Despite 58 letters of objection which included one from Historic Scotland, Stirling Council has given the go ahead for development of an 18 hole golf course and 150 room hotel on the Park of Keir estate between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan. The scope of the development over 270 acres woods of farmland will be restricted and subject to a section 75 legal agreement.

august 2003
The Sons of Scotland Pipes and Drums on Parade
sons of scotland in stirling Regular parades, concerts and TV appearances, have made The Sons of Scotland pipe band one of the Canadian capital's premiere music groups. On Thursday August 14 accompanied by members of Mesa Caledonia U.S.A. they entertained the crowds at Stirling Castle and outside the Thistles shopping centre.

While visiting Scotland to compete at the World Pipe Band championships this month, eight pipers and three drummers of the Sons of Scotland were accompanied by five dancers from the Katharine Robinson School of Highland Dance in Ottawa.
Established in 1896 in Ottawa, Canada, the Sons Of Scotland have provided instruction, support, and inspiration to generations of musicians, providing an environment for people of all ages to learn to play traditional Scottish music.
Pipe Major Bethany Bisaillion says:
"Stirling is one of those cities that inspires people to dream, to play better and to work harder. I have wanted to bring my band to Stirling for many years.
We would like to make this event an annual one in conjunction with our trip to the World Championships.
The Sons of Scotland would like to express our thanks to instirling.com for helping to organise our visit to Stirling."

A COMPLETE review of the Forthside city centre development is under way after Edinburgh-based department store Jenners withdrew its interest in anchoring the 30 million retail centre. The company had agreed in principle, to open a store at the Old Barracks at Forthside. Following a review of the company's strategic plans and its operations at Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch, Jenners decided that they had to withdraw from future developments.
Councillor Hendry said: "Jenners were over-reaching themselves and I'm grateful they didn't allow the situation to drag on any further.
Proposals for a multiplex cinema adjacent to the city centre site are now nearing completion and a planning application is expected in the next few weeks. Current plans for the 40-acre site also include a hotel, conference centre, office development and town housing.
A review group will be set up to look at the future development of the city centre, including Forthside, and local communities will take part in a consultation exercise in September.

Stirling Young Scot Centre Now Open
YOUNG Scot - the national youth information agency has opened a new centre in Stirling.
The Basement, beside the Central Library in Back Walk, is an information centre for young people where 12-25 year olds can sign up for the Young Scot card. Meeting space can be provided for youth groups and there will be regular drop-in activities in this valuable resource centre.
The Basement will be a home for the Dialogue Youth Campaign (which aims to forge partnerships between local councils and young people), it will be a home for the Stirling Young Scot Discount Team (who negotiate discounts with local retailers for Young Scot cardholders). The Stirling pages for the Young Scot website will also be compiled here.
Young people can drop-in on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 1pm and 6pm.
telephone: 01786 432258
e-mail: stirlingyoungscot@stirling.gov.uk.

Crowds Flock to Bridge Of Allan Games
stirling - Bridge of Allan Games Now over 150 years old, Bridge Of Allan Highland Games can still manage to attract thousands of spectators from all over the world despite the torrential rain which forced the games to be cancelled last year. Top comedian, Jonathan Watson was Chieftain for the day and the crowd was entertained by pipers, runners, cyclists, heavyweight wrestlers and more. During the 16 pound hammer throwing competition, Australian world champion Matt Sandford narrowly missed a group of highland dancers who were performing nearby. Luckily there were no injuries.

Runrig & Van Morrison at Stirling Castle in August
Tickets are still available for Runrig's 30th Anniversary Concert on the esplanade of Stirling Castle on Saturday 23rd August. It will be a night of celebration with many special guests. Phil Cunningham and Ally Bain are already signed up as support - More to be announced later.
Tickets are £28.50, with a special half price concession, subject to availability, for children under the age of 12.
Although the 30th anniversary celebrations will be centered around this show at Stirling Castle, this month is the actual date of the first Runrig show in the upper rooms of the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, in 1973. So by the time the lads take the stage in Stirling they will be into their fourth decade!
The following day on Sunday 24 August, the legendary
Van Morrison will appear live at Stirling Castle.

Visit our Where To Stay Directory to find accommodation for your weekend in Stirling. Book Stirling hotels through expedia.

july 2003
Scribblers Picnic Success
Football legend Tommy Gemmell blew the whistle to signal the start of the charity football match and the second annual Scribblers Picnic. The Royal Burgh of Stirling Pipe Band, Highland Dancers and Line Dancers put on displays while people milled around the 40 charity pitches and a car boot sale.
A variety of groups and musicians appeared, performing a variety of folk, rock, pop and punk. There were appearances from school groups Organized Khaos and Scruffy Kid, local bands Crossroads and The Jack Daniels Experience. The highlight of the day for many was the appearance of ex-Cream, bass guitar legend, Jack Bruce. His son Malcolm was on guitar and on drums another legend, Ted McKenna from The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.
Although there were heavy showers the crowds flocked in and everybody had a great day. It is expected that around £14,000 will have been raised and will be shared between five cancer charities. Plans are already being made for the event to be bigger and better next year and The Scribblers Picnic looks set to become an annual event on the Stirling calendar.

june 2003
The Reading Maze
stirling reading maze For some great fun over the school holidays, The Reading Maze is open from 16 June till 30 August. Get down to your local library to join the Summer Reading Club and as you read and enjoy books over the Summer, collect maze sticker sheets to put in your Maze Collector folder. Don't worry if you haven't got a library card - you can join at the library and it's free.
Collect all 6 sheets of stickers and you will receive a certificate and medal. Each sheet of stickers also gets you a FREE visit to The Rainbow Slides, Stirling, McLaren Leisure Centre, Callander or Balfron Campus leisure Centre for a free swim or
King's Park, Stirling for a free session at one of the seasonal activities, National Swimming Academy and National Tennis Centre for a free swim or game of tennis.

Britain's Oldest Woman Living in Stirling
Lucy D'Abreu has just celebrated her 111th birthday in Stiring and is now the oldest woman in Britain. Lucy Victoria D'Souza was born in Dharwar, India in 1892 and given the middle name Victoria after Queen Victoria. She lived in Waterford, Ireland for 60 years with her husband Dr. Abundius Joseph D'Abreu who died in 1971. She moved to Scotland in 1985 at the age of 93 to be near her family. She has five daughters, 13 grandchildren, scores of 'great' and 'great great' grandchildren scattered around the world.

Celebration of Stirling Arcitecture
The life and work of Stirling architect John Allan, who created some well loved and important buildings around Stirling, is being celebrated in the first of a series of leaflets to be produced by Stirling Council planning service. The leaflet includes a map which shows the location of buildings designed by Allan including the Wolf's Craig building, 29 - 31 Friars Street which was Hay's Music shop, 42 Albert Place, Abbey Craig Park House near the Wallace Monument, Batterflats and the pedestal and cage for the beheading stone on the Gowan Hill. Allan was born in Fife in 1846 and died in Stirling in his house at Cliffbank, Albert Place, Stirling.

The Wolf's Craig was the first building in Scotland to be built on a steel frame, had its own generator and was the first major building to be lit by electric power. People travelled by train from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Port Street in Stirling, to see the 'illuminations'.
The leaflets are available from libraries, local offices and tourist information centres.

NAE SMA' BEER Art Exhibition by Brewer's Group
Officially opening at 12noon on June 7.
This exhibition commemorates the closing of Maclays Thistle Brewery which is soon to be demolished and also the long history of brewing in Alloa. The work of local artists will be on display along with Bill Robertson's photographs of the deserted brewery.
At one time there were fifteen breweries in Alloa. The Thistle Brewery was built by James Maclay in 1871 and the beer which was brewed won awards in Vienna, Newcastle and Paris.
For further information visit www.brewers-group.co.uk
Sunday June 7 to 29
open Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm until 4pm at Maclays Thistle Brewery, East Vennel, Alloa.

may 2003
Runrig & Van Morrison at Stirling Castle in August
We can announce that Runrig's 30th Anniversary Concert will take place on the esplanade of Stirling Castle on Saturday 23rd August. It will be a night of celebration with many special guests. Phil Cunningham and Ally Bain are already signed up as support - More to be announced later.
Tickets will be £28.50, with a special half price concession, subject to availability, for children under the age of 12.
Although the 30th anniversary celebrations will be centered around this show at Stirling Castle, this month is the actual date of the first Runrig show in the upper rooms of the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow, in 1973. So by the time the lads take the stage in Stirling they will be into their fourth decade!
A day later on Sunday 24 August, the legendary
Van Morrison will appear live at Stirling Castle.

april 2003
Big In Falkirk 2003
big in falkirk 2003 Big In Falkirk 2003, Scotland's National Street Arts Festival is back for an unforgettable weekend of world-class Entertainment. This year the event will take place on Saturday 3rd May and Sunday 4th May in Callendar Park and at various locations throughout the Falkirk area.
As with previous years, there is an exciting full programme of live music, international street theatre, visual spectacle, a community parade, craft fair, busking competitions, children's activities and something for all the family.
See photographs from last year's spectacular performance of
Sticky by Improbable Theatre...included in the Observer's 10 Greatest Theatre Moments of 2002

Free Weekend Tours in Stirling
wallace monument The City of Stirling is celebrating it's first birthday. On Saturday April 5 & Sunday April 6, you will be able to take a free tour on the open-top, city sightseeing bus and get free entry to top historic attractions.
The Old town Jail, Stirling Castle, Argyll's Lodging and the Wallace Monument will be opening their doors. The weekend has been organised by Stirling Council, Historic Scotland, Stirling District Tourism Citysightseeing Bus Tours and the Tourist Board.
Free car parking will be available at Viewforth.

Tolbooth Sound Orchestra Performance
stirling tolbooth sound orchestraOn Sunday 30th March, the Tolbooth Sound Orchestra performed an excerpt of their work in progress.
The orchestra includes a variety of local musicians of all ages and abilities who are already committed to this project. This unique experiment may deliver a new musical composition but just as important is the process itself and allowing the music to grow from the participants. Some of it was loose, some of it was noisy but something special was happening.
Brian Irvine (New Music Fellow at the Tolbooth) has inspired and started to draw something from these people. You could see their enthusiasm and that they were working together.
Stirling Tolbooth is leading the way with this innovative community project. Keep your eye on the orchestra in coming months.
13 April is the last date for new players to enrol for this round of rehearsals as the orchestra concentrates on preparation for their gig at the le Weekend festival in May.

march 2003
Free Swimming in Stirling
snow in stirling From Saturday 5 April to Saturday 12 April, you can take part in the Easter Swim School at the National Swimming Academy, University of Stirling.
Every day, there will be a variety of free sessions to suit all ages and abilities. You can go to as many or as few sessions as you like.
The sessions are for:
Children over 5 - beginners, improvers and stroke development
Non-swimming adults
Stroke technique for adults
Club Swimmers
Children and adults with disabilities
Telephone 01786 466520 NOW to take part

Who set fire to Ayr Race Stand ?
International Women's Day Saturday 8 March 11.00am
Who set fire to Ayr Race Stand in April 1913, causing over £2000 worth of damage? No arrests were ever made and until now, the family of the woman concerned have kept her deed in the cause of women's rights a close secret.
The woman was Kate Taylor, a cinema cashier from the Gorbals and her name is revealed for the first time in an illustrated talk on the Scottish Women's Suffrage Movement by Elspeth King. Reflect on, and celebrate the achievement of the women, named and anonymous, who took up window breaking, arson, acid throwing and bombing to win Votes for Women.
The talk accompanies the Stirling Girls Exhibition, which looks at aspects of women's history and art in Stirlingshire, and runs until 25 May 2003.

Admission to the talk is £3.00 including refreshments.

february 2003
Fun in the Snow
snow in stirling Almost everyone had given up on dusting down their sledges this Winter but February began with more snow than Stirling has seen for a while.
There was some chaos on the roads, a few school closures but there were a lot of people having a good time.

stirling smith 2003 For Valentine's Day, visitors and Friends of the Smith surrounded the Smith with love, by bringing a copy of a love poem (or a poem they love) and tying it to the trees around the building with red ribbons.
The use of the trees in this way is taken from the 'Clootie Well' and 'Raggy Tree' phenomenon of the past, when people tied pieces of their garments (or those from a sick relative) on trees beside a healing well, either for good luck, or to effect a cure.

Forth Valley Hospital
Stirling, with one of the fastest growing populations in Scotland may have lost it's chance to be the location for the new, Forth Valley Hospital after the local Health board decided it will be sited in Larbert. Potential sites at Corbiewood and Pirnhall had been suggested by Stirling Council as a site for the new 'super hospital' which is to replace Stirling and Falkirk Royal infirmaries.
Forth Valley Board members decided that disused mine workings and land ownership issues make the site unsuitable for development.
Stirling MSP Sylvia Jackson claims that Stirling has been given a raw deal and that there should be further investigation of the Stirling site.
List MSPs, Brian Monteith and Bruce Crawford support the Corbiewood and Pirnhall site and Mr. Monteith has raised the matter at the Scottish Parliament.

The Scribblers Picnic
At last year's Scribblers Picnich there were reggae, ceilidh, pipe bands, school and wedding bands and even the music of Jim MacLeod. This event which was held in memory of Stirling writer, teacher and musician, Graham Whitelaw, who died from cancer in 2001, will be held again this year. There will be side shows, a variety of demonstrations, Highland dancing, a charity football match and much more at this event which takes place at Bridgehaugh on Sunday July 20.
Money will be raised for CHAS, Marie Curie Cancer Care, MacMillan Cancer Relief, Maggie's Centres and Strathcarron Hospice. All charitable organisations are invited to take part and the organisers are hoping to create something along the lines of the Central Region Fete which used to be held annually at Viewforth - charities will be allowed to set up stalls and keep all the money that they make on the day.

january 2003
New Painting on show at the Smith
joseph denovan adam - craigmill house in stirling A Victorian painting showing Craigmill House in Stirling is the latest purchase for the fine art collection at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum.
The watercolour is by the well known artist Joseph Denovan Adam (1841-1896), who lived at Craigmill House between 1887 and 1895, where he ran a Country Atelier - a school of animal painting. The school attracted numerous art students at that time, including Edith Holden, who later became famous for her Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.
Read More >>>

Stirling Hero Billy Bremner Remembered
Billy Bremner is to be given pride of place in the new Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. He won 54 caps for Scotland, led Leeds United to 2 League titles, the League and FA cups, two victories in the Inter-City Fairs cup and was voted Footballer of the Year in 1970.
Born in the Raploch in 1942, his 16 year career at Leeds saw them rise from the second division to the European Cup final. This legendary player died just before his 55th Birthday.

Lanrick Laird in Court
In court this week is Alistair Dickson, who is accused of demolishing Lanrick Castle near Doune. He claims that soaked stonework, rotten lintels, falling masonry and collapse had made the building dangerous and that children had been playing in and around the structure.
Dickson ignored a warning that he needed consent to knock down the B-listed house. This former home of the Clan Gregor had belonged to Dickson's family for three generations.
After the castle was flattened, a structural engineer from the council was surprised at the quantity of sound timber in the rubble. This could indicate that the building may not have been as seriously damaged as was thought. If found guilty, Dickson could face a £20,000 fine and 6 months in prison.

Old Town Cemetery Restoration
Stirling's historic Old Town cemetery, is being restored and many of the oldest headstones repaired. Work is being carried out under Stirling Council's memorial Inspection and Repair programme which has already carried out 7,000 inspections and 600 repairs around the Stirling area.
A community consultation event where local people will be asked for their opinions and ideas, will take place at the Boys Club, St. John Street on Saturday, 18 January from 11am to 3.30pm.
There will be an accompanied tour and cameras will be provided so that people can photograph points of interest in the cemetery. A plan will later be produced as part of an application for Heritage Lottery Funding.

Hogmanay Bash at Stirling Castle
The city of Stirling saw in the New Year with a spectacular Hogmanay celebration at Stirling Castle. The host for the evening was comedian and Radio Scotland DJ, FRED MACAULAY, music was provided by LAST TRAM TAE AUCHENSHUGGLE and CAPERCAILLIE.
On a freezing cold night, the cloudless sky was the backdrop for the most spectacular fireworks displays yet seen on the castle esplanade.

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