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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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Stirling’s Hogmanay Event Cancelled

Sunday, 31 December, 2006
Stirling’s Hogmanay celebrations on the Castle Esplanade have been cancelled due to the severe weather “There will be a full refund for ticket holders if they return to the point of sale from Wednesday January 3, 2007 onwards.

Flog It! comes to Stirling

The popular BBC2 antiques programme, Flog It, presented by Paul Martin, is coming to the Albert Halls, Stirling later this month.
Flog It! - the major BBC2 antiques series - regularly gets an audience of 2 million viewers each weekday - around 25% of the television audience.

Albert Halls will be hosting the Flog It! Valuation Day. Rather like a treasure hunt, members of the public are invited to bring along the antiques and collectables they might be interested in selling. Once valued, the owner and team of experts decide whether it should go forward for auction. If the item is chosen it is sold a few weeks later - often with the owner making a tidy sum. Everyone who goes along to the Valuation Day will receive a valuation - even if their antiques are not chosen to go forward for auction.

Previous programmes have seen a small cream jug sold at auction for £1,300; a ceramic bowl, bought for £4 at a car boot sale, achieving £1,500; and a lady in Aberdeen sold a Shelley tea set for a huge £3,400! So if you've ever wondered how much those boot sale bargains or clutter in the loft might be worth, now is your chance to find out.

Presented by Paul Martin, Flog It! will be at the Albert Halls, on Sunday 26th November 06 from 9.30am until 4pm. The auction will take place on Thursday 18th Jan 07 at Thomson Roddick & Medcalf and will be broadcast as part of the fifth series later in the year.

isobel campbell at the tolbooth

Thursday 9 November, 8pm

Great things come to those who wait, in this rescheduled gig from September. The Mercury Music Prize nominee for the fantastic album, Ballad of the Broken Seas with Queens of the Stone Age singer Mark Lanegan, is quite simply a sensational songwriting artist. With a new album out in October, her first Tolbooth performance will certainly be something special and well worth the wait.

During her seven years as co-writer, vocalist and sometime cellist with Belle and Sebastian, Isobel also managed to release two albums under the name The Gentle Fields one of which, Swansong for you, was described by the NME as a giant leap forward in songwriting.

Her Mia Farrow looks and, often described, angelic voice give an air of vulnerability which belies the slightly darker and edgier feel to her music. She describes her own sound as kind of sun-bleached and psychedelic, with a little bit of folk or country.

See Full Listing of Tolbooth Events

Stirling Castle Launches Christmas Feasts

This Christmas, the Castle is inviting guests to come and experience delicious fayre as chefs serve up Christmas lunch for the first time ever in the intimate surroundings of the Unicorn Cafe.

On Tuesday 14 November, Santa will be heading along to Stirling Castle to entice local people and indeed visitors to book now for one of the most unique Christmas lunches they will ever encounter. Please meet at the castle drawbridge at 11.30am.

Elizabeth Strain, Historic Scotland Catering Contracts Manager said:
"We hope our visitors enjoy meeting Santa and trying out his turkey and Christmas pudding tasters, and that it inspires them to book their festive meal here. We also hope Santa doesn't get stuck up one of the Great Hall's five chimneys!"

Christmas Lunch at Stirling Castle is available for groups of 2 to 25, and will be served within the enchanting encasements in the Unicorn Restaurant. Entry to the Castle is included within the cost of the three course lunch which is £18.00 per person. The lunches are available from 16-22 December (inclusive). Booking is essential on 0131 220 4833

acoustic pleasures is back
Acoustic Pleasures will now be at Dr. Gormans from 8pm on Sunday nights. vivaMelodica will be playing at the launch night on Sunday 12th November with very special guests Bullit for Pablo..
live music from 9pm Pre Show DJ from 8pm
expect to hear some new stuff before the guys go back into the studio to start their debut album!!

Up and coming gigs include:
Sunday 19th November
Sunday 26th November
Sunday 3rd December
EWAN MACFARLANE (of The Grim Northern Social)
Sunday 10th December
Sunday 17th December


Art off the Rock

Few people in the community will remain untouched by an elderly friend or relative in care or with dementia, a stroke victim, or someone of any age dealing with enduring mental ill health or a learning disability, a prisoner or child who requires special support.

In order to continue and to expand their activities, reaching out to new clients and working with new media, the major fundraising event: Art off the Rock is held every two years. This year, Art off the Rock takes place in the Albert Halls, Stirling, on Sunday 12th November, 6.00-9.00pm and it is hoped to beat the £16,000 raised in 2004.

Tickets cost £15 and are available from Carol Seymour:
Tel: 07050 151547
email: info@thorntreebarn.co.uk

The Handsome Family

The husband and wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks comes to Stirling for the first time. One of America’s finest songwriting partnerships, hailed by Greil Marcus as "the Beatles of the folk world" - The Handsome Family will be appearing at the Tolbooth on Friday 13 October.

Rennie’s lyrics plough a deep vein of (super)natural happenings in everyday American life, with their latest album Last days of Wonder continuing an eerie examination of the ordinary but twisted goings on in the lonely bus stations of America.

"They come from Hell’s ditch, armed with love."

See Full Listing of Tolbooth Events


The story of a community that works is being told in their own words and with images at a new exhibition at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum. RadioRaploch is presenting tales from the past as well as news of opportunities in the future and everything in between.

The exhibition at the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum consists of recordings of tales of working folk illustrated with photos and artefacts.
Former employers featured include Alexander’s buses, the mining business and Duncan’s lemonade factory, while future bosses include the developers of the planned new housing. Alongside recordings, illustrations and artefacts will be a series of lunchtime talks under the banner "a lunch and some inspiration". Speakers include artist Peter Mccaughey who helped develop the shape of the public spaces and Colin McKercher, radio producer at BBC Scotland.

Raploch Works at the Smith runs until Sunday, November 12, 2006.


Stirling Doors Open Day

Forty-four countries will take part in the celebration of European Heritage Days this year, providing free access to a whole range of buildings and places of heritage interest for people to learn more about their history, architecture and culture.
Stirling’s Doors Open Day event on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September, combines with Scottish Archaeology Month to provide an exciting and varied programme highlighting the wealth of heritage in Stirling and the surrounding area.

You will find full details of all buildings opening, walks, talks and tours at
Stirling Heritage Events
Admission to all of the buildings and events in the programme is FREE.

Buildings are normally open from 10.00am until 4.00pm unless otherwise stated.

Briarlands Amazing Maize Maze

Go on Safari near Stirling and find your way through the amazing Maize Maze.
The whole family will enjoy a visit to the newly opened Briarlands Farm. The main attraction for many will be the amazing Maize Maze, specially designed for Briarlands Farm by Adrian Fisher Mazes, who have now created over 500 mazes in 23 countries. The naturally grown maze covers an area of 5 acres and reaches a height of over 6 feet, creating pathways that will enthral, disorientate and infuriate.

After conquering the Maze you can visit the Family Fun Area and try the Jumping Pillow, Straw Mountain, Tyre Maze, Hay Bale Maze, Sand Pit, Football Skills Game, Puzzles and Mazes.
There is a Farm Shop stocked with the farm's own and local seasonal produce and you can enjoy a tea or coffee with a selection of delicious home baking from Mary’s Kitchen.

A great place for a day out or birthday party.
Briarlands Farm is just off Junction 10 of the M9 - 4 miles from the city of Stirling. Right next door to Blairdrummond Safari and Adventure Park.

Read more about Briarlands Farm

Bark in the Park

Bark in the Park on Sunday, August 13, is organised by Stirling Council’s Countryside Service and Top Dog Training. This is a free event promoting responsible dog ownership and is set to provide fun for all from noon.

Entertainment in the main ring kicks off with an obedience display from Top Dog Training, Trossachs Search and Rescue dogs, Husky dogsled pulling and the novelty dog show.

There will be lots of free give-aways including doggy bags and name tags. Throughout the afternoon there will be fun challenges for family pets including agility tests and fastest retrieval. Stirling Council Countryside Service will provide information on rights of access to the countryside for dog walkers. A vet nurse from Struthers and Scott will provide health checks for pets. Owners will have the chance to enter their pets in the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Dog Scheme bronze award.

Various charities will be there on the day such as the Blue Cross, Britain’s pet charity. German Shepherd Rescue and Give a Greyhound a Home (GAGAH).

For full details of Bark in the Park contact Stirling Council Ranger Service on 01786 442541

Bridge of Allan Games - chieftain Andy Gray

This year's chieftain will be comedian and actor Andy Gray.
Attracting crowds of between 10,000 and 15,000, Bridge of Allan is one of Scotland's premier Highland Games. There will be a full athletics program including the crowd pleasing heavyweight competitions, nearly 200 highland dancers, approximately 1500 pipers, wrestling, tug-of-war, cycling, over 40 trade stands, 2 large bars and a huge funfair that will run from the Wednesday before the Games until Games Day.

The Mighty Moscow State Circus

the moscow state circus stirling kings park The Mighty Moscow State Circus returns to Stirling Kings Park by public demand bringing with it a sensational mind blowing show.

The Moscow State Circus brings with it a 35 strong cast of Russia's greatest and most flexible circus performers. Many of the award-winning acts are pushing the boundary of human physical ingenuity to its limits.

Stirling Kings Park
Tuesday 4 to Thursday 6 July
Tuesday and Wednesday
3pm and 7.45pm
2pm and 5pm
Telephone Ticketline 0870 833 0001

New Landmark Bridge

The Planning Panel today agreed that listed building consent be granted and the application be referred to Historic Scotland for a new £4 million bridge to provide pedestrian access into the heart of Stirling’s 40-acre £100 million new city quarter at Forthside.
The new bridge will span rail lines to the south of the railway station from the city centre into Forthside. The cost of the bridge will be met by Scottish Executive and European funding.

Wilkinson Eyre Architects/Gifford & Partners, who recently completed the successful Gateshead Millennium Bridge, designed the winning proposal for the bridge. The unique design is based on a traditional structure derived from established engineering principles. The bridge will be bold and dramatic, but visually light. The Bridge will include lifts for disabled access at each end and be open 24 hours every day. The bridge deck height will be approximately 6 metres above ground level supported by masts of varying height at either side of the deck.
The bridge will include exciting lighting proposals, which will make a striking feature against the night sky.

Historic Scotland has no objections to the bridge but are recommending appropriate control of finishing materials and colour to make sure they are compatible with the Listed Railway Station buildings and townscape.
A planning application for the bridge will now be considered following the receipt of Network Rail’s consultation response.

Live at the Tolbooth May 3

vivamelodica at stirling tolbooth Stirlings Tolbooth plays host to the launch of vivamelodica's second single 'How To Fall Apart' on Wednesday May 3.

The single is due to be released on 8th May and can be ordered from www.vivamelodica.com and at HMV.co.uk - but your first chance to get a copy into your hands will be at the Tolbooth.

itunes (Europe and USA) as well as Napster will be selling How To Fall Apart (and all other tracks from the single) from June (a digital release date is to be confirmed).
How To Fall Apart has already been heard on BBC Scotland's Tom Morton Show as well as Xfm Scotland's Jim Gellatly show.

Tickets from the Tolbooth box office 01786 274 000

at the Tolbooth May 26, 27, 28
Le Weekend 2006

With the ninth year of le Weekend approaching, Stirling continues to play an important role in Scotland's experimental music festival scene. With activity bubbling away in music spaces across Scotland, 2006 is a pivotal year for Le Weekend.
With a new director in place, the ninth Le Weekend festival, will continue to rage against the storm of indifference.

'Christmas day 2005 saw the death of Derek Bailey, one of music's acute pioneers of a non-idiomatic approach to music making. Derek's open approach to music is reflected in the range of people that have already paid homage to him, many of whom have previously played at Le Weekend, and it was this unswerving commitment to the music which Le Weekend will hope to honour at this year's festival.'
Alasdair Campbell (Artistic Director at the Tolbooth)

SEE le Weekend and Tolbooth events

Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April
Big in Falkirk

Big in Falkirk was established in 2000 to provide a dynamic and accessible millennium event to be located in Callendar Park, Falkirk. Since then the event has grown to become one of the largest cultural events in Scotland, attracting audiences in excess of 100,000.

Midge Ure returns to Scotland to headline on Sunday night. The former Ultravox frontman will close the festival with a plethora of hits.
The two-day FREE festival sees two of the biggest Ska legends of the 80’s - Neville Staples from The Specials and The Beat take to the stage on Saturday 29 April for a weekend of rock, soul, reggae, pop and punk.

Big in Falkirk brings world class theatre to the heart of Scotland. The 2006 Festival has commissioned four of the most exciting British outdoor theatre companies in Britain to provide a showcase of work that will subsequently be toured across the UK and mainland Europe.

See www.biginfalkirk.com for full details.


maher shalal hash baz, the tolbooth At the Tolbooth on Thursday 13 April, Falkirk born, musician and composer Bill Wells presents a package tour comprising of four of the most original, inventive and unique acts working in Japan today. The evening will also feature a collaborative set between Bill Wells and the Japanese musicians.

Maher Shalal Hash Baz is the main vehicle for Japan ’s ‘King Of Error ’Tori Kudo whose musical history stretches back to the late 70 ’s. Their music is based on spontaneity,melody and inquisitive experiment ation,with an ever-changing line-up that favours untrained over professional musicians.

Saya and Ueno,who are both former members of the above mentioned Maher Shalal Hash Baz,are the nucleus of the band Tenniscoats. Renowned as one of the most hypnotic and engaging live bands in Japan,their performances are impossible to predict in terms of instrumentation and material.

Kama Aima (Island Man)is the solo project of multi-instrument alist Takuji Aoyagi who uses a range of fretted instruments,keyboards and sampler and whose most recent release ‘Two Fingers ’ is so--called since all the pieces featured on it can be played with just two fingers.

Kazumi Nikaidoh is one of the most exciting and unconventional performers to emerge from Japan in recent years. A singer-songwriter who accompanies herself on guitar,she manages to combine passages of pure improvisation with haunting original melodies.

Make sure you get along to the Tolbooth. This promises to be the highlight of the year.

SEE Tolbooth events

St. Ninians Old Parish Tower Appeal

The ‘Streets Ahead’ project, for adults with learning disabilities, has donated £500 to St. Ninians Old Parish Tower Appeal. Although the restoration work to the historic 18th century tower is now nearing completion, donations are still needed.
The tower dates from 1734 and was the only part of the ancient church to survive an explosion in 1746, when the Jacobites used it as a powder store.

The total cost of the restoration will be around £80,000 and funding has come from Historic Scotland and a number of grant awarding bodies including the local Community Development Fund. Community Councils, local businesses and citizens have also given support but more cash is needed.

Tower donations can be sent direct to the Appeal Treasurer: Mr. John B.Watkins, 56 Kenningknowes Road, Stirling, FK7 9JG.

The Scribblers Stroll

Raising funds for 5 cancer charities, there will be a short sponsored walk from Stirling County Rugby Club via Albion Bar, Linden Inn to Tartan Arms, Bannockburn on April 30 .
More information and sponsor forms at www.scribblerspicnic.com

The Scribblers Picnic will take place at Stirling County Rugby Club grounds on June 18. From 12 noon there will be a full day's music, displays & entertainment suitable for everyone.
Bands already confirmed are Viva Melodica, Jack Daniels Experience, Jim Clelland Band. A Dukla Pumpherston charity football match and Alba Re-enactment Society demonstration are also confirmed.

The Beauty of Japan

From March 3 to 2nd April, an exhibition containing striking works of Japanese calligraphic art or shodo opens to the public on Saturday 4 March.
Important historical Japanese artefacts from the Stirling Smith’s own collections have been put on display for the first time in forty years.
Also on display are works of art held by GR Advanced Materials, a division of Ricoh, the only Japanese-owned company in Stirling.


Wharry Burn Bridge Reopened

A new bridge has been built over the Wharry Burn on the Darn Road, linking Bridge of Allan with Dunblane. The last bridge was washed away with a section of the bank during a storm in in August 2004.
The Countryside Team took eight weeks to build the bridge in a difficult location. With a single span of 24 metres, more than twice its original length, the new bridge has a life expectancy of 50 years and should be able to handle all the challenges the weather may pose in the future.

Port Street Environmental Improvement

Port Street Environmental Improvement Project will begin next week and should take around six months to complete. The centrepiece of the street will be the transformation of the junction with King Street and Murray Place, where a new ‘meeting place’ is being created. It is hoped that this will open up the shopping streets to visitors who may not venture beyond the Thistles Shopping Centre.

Construction will take place in three phases with the central section of the street being completed first, followed by the King Street junction and then Dumbarton Road junction.

After receiving city status in 2002 Stirling Council was awarded £1.9 million to carry out short, medium and long term public realm projects to improve the city centre. A number of smaller projects have already been implemented, including street lighting and tree planting, but this is the first major project to be undertaken.
The street will be completed and ready for shoppers and visitors at the end of June, in time for the peak visitor period of July and August.

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