Monthly Jotter


Last month we had the second talk of winter series (Ecclesiastic architecture by Simon Green), which was well attended and very interesting. Sadly, a well respected committee member tendered resignation because of a move of house to another area away from Stirling.


Last month we made contact with the deputy headteacher for Stirling High School regarding the Sculpture Adoption Scheme and also the possibility of trying to establish a small civic project for a group of students to identify, and implement an achievable project that would enhance the urban or rural environment. We are now waiting for a response.


In the last month we eventually succeeded in establishing guest speakers for the months of February and March. Simon Green will give a talk on ecclesiastical architecture, ancient and modern, in the Stirling area and Jonathan Louis (Forth Rivers Trust) will talk on river restoration in and around the Stirling area.

Dates and times will be advertised in the Press and other publicity posters, and in this website.


Last month was largely taken up with preparations for the AGM, which was held on 5th November and which, after the business was completed, featured guest speakers from The Guardians of Scotland Trust. This topic was obviously of interest to others in the community, because we had a good turn out on the evening and we had significant questions in the Q and A part of the evening, and the turn out also bolstered our cash position.

The other very significant event was a response from our efforts to establish participants in the “Adopt a Sculpture Scheme” – a pilot scheme involving Stirling schools will be started to try and involve secondary schools in this scheme and the work of Civic Trusts to enhance the community in general.


The past month has seen us establish a very interesting speaker and topic for the evening of the AGM, on 5th November and although the other 2 speakers have not been agreed yet, a further intimation will be made when this is known. We had a display in the Church of the Holy Rude for Doors Open Day over that weekend, but hope to be back in Cowanes Hospital for the 2020 event. We are currently working with Stirling Council on further location of works of art for the “Adopt a Sculpture” scheme.


More time has been spent on supporting the Sculpture Placement Group and possible additions to those already advised include The Engine Shed and selected sites of empty high street properties. At the last committee meeting (21st Aug.), four possible topics were put forward for the upcoming series of winter/spring talks and these possibilities are now being contacted to establish talk dates which will be identified in the intimation for this years AGM.


This month a second summer tour and talk has been organised at the Bridge of Allan Parish Church for 11am on Tuesday 10th September. The main points of interest are the features designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh which attracted significant news some years ago when it was confirmed that he was the designer.

Secondly, a new Scottish group has been formed called the Sculpture Placement Group who are seeking to establish public sites around the country that are willing to display sculptures by artists, giving them publicity that they otherwise might not get. The Scottish Civic Trust have agreed to assist this endeavour and we have participated locally by passing on contact details to Stirling sites including the new Community Hospital, the Thistles Centre and the three major supermarkets in the city.

The next executive committee meeting will be held this month to discuss possible topics for the coming winter/spring series of three talks.


This month we contacted two potential venues for the  Sculpture Adoption scheme, the new Community Hospital site in Stirling and the Thistles Shopping Centre and both expressed interest in the scheme and both were given contact details for proceeding further with the possibility. Other locations are being considered. We also established a suitable location for our second summer outing, and details will be published in our autumn mini-news. Our location for this year’s Doors Open Day has been confirmed as the Church of the Holy Rude.


In the month past we’ve been active in trying to find a suitable site for our second summer outing and only had limited success. There was no support from the membership for an outing to a Charles Rennie Mackintosh site, but there is a possibility that we could visit visit a Bridge of Allan Church which has a specific feature of his design. Another area of activity that has been initiated is the recently established “Sculpture Adoption Scheme” which is attempting to place sculptures for exhibition in public places throughout Scotland, and we are contacting possible sites in the Stirling area.

Summer mini-newsletter 2019

Dear member, Welcome to this Summer mini-newsletter with updates on the activities of the executive committee.

1 With reference to the proposed new link road near Old Viewforth and Langgarth House, the planning sub-committee decided there was no need to make representation to the Planning Department, and also submitted a letter to the Stirling Observer explaining this decision.

2 Suggestions were considered for two summer outings this year and the first one has been booked for a visit to the Stirling University art and sculpture gallery on Wednesday 5th June at 10 am, and the guided tour will last approximately one hour. Places will be limited so please contact me as soon as possible if you wish to attend. Details for a second outing have not been settled but there is a proposal for a visit to either “House for an art lover” or “Hill house”. This will entail a 12 seat mini bus at a cost of approx. £30 per person. Again, you should get in touch with myself regarding a booking. The next mini news will detail the eventual choice.

And still on this subject, any timely suggestion from the membership for a summer outing will be given every consideration!

3 The committee have requested that the Civic Trust should be invited to participate in any Council meetings with Stirling residents/Community Councillors regarding what amenities would they like as a move towards “Living in a better place”.


The committee met on the !5th of March and the planned agenda was held over for a further meeting in April as Elaine Richardson from the Scottish Civic Trust attended the meeting to explain how the mentoring program will work if we can identify Stirling Community projects in which we could participate to achieve the desired improvement, be it urban or rural. Accordingly, we committed to establishing contact with Stirling Council who have allocated £700k for a number of projects this year spread around the region. There is also an opportunity to co-operate with the Council on the “Doors Open day”  which has its 30th anniversary this year.


During February, we attended the Scottish Civic Trust “Hooley” which was a networking meeting for civic societies  and stakeholders, held at Linlithgow Burgh Halls with the intention of bringing together interested parties to initiate the introduction of new projects, which will be mentored and supported financially by the Scottish Civic Trust for improvement of “Places and Spaces” in areas deemed to be eligible for such support. We found this to be very rewarding and this will be the main agenda item at the meeting of the committee due to be held on the 15th of March.


Spring mini-newsletter 2019

Dear member,

Welcome to this Spring mini-newsletter which is brought to you during weather very similar to “the beast from the east” which was ongoing at this time last year!

Over the past few months, the Scottish Civic Trust have been very busy introducing new plans for mentoring local Trusts around the country in recruitment and identifying projects which they might be able to carry out to improve the environment. Initial meetings will be held this month and we intend to take full advantage of this funded programme.

We are also being encouraged to use social media as a quick means of sharing ideas with other Trusts if they are applicable. As individuals the committee do not have this capability, so we are looking to recruit a new committee member whose soul duty this will be. Should you know such a person, please get in touch with the convenor.

The winter talks resumed on Monday evening 5th Feb. when we were addressed by two speakers from Friends of the Earth. Both talks this winter have attracted non-members, paying the entry fee, so we are cutting down the hiring expenses for the museum, and the last talk by a member of SEPA is set for Friday 22nd February.

The planning subcommittee are currently looking at the application for a new link road near Old Viewforth and Langgarch House, as described in the Stirling Observer recently, to decide whether to make representation to Stirling Council Planning Department.

Finally, as you may already know, we change the photograph on the homepage of our website monthly, in part to show we do regular updates and if any member cares to submit an appropriate picture, we will be happy to use it.

Best regards to all, Jack.                            05.02.2019

January 2019

Most discussion at the committee meeting centred on the link road. Mick took note of the points raised and will prepare a response. As yet, the expected application has not been made (04.01.2019)


The speaker for the Friends of the Earth talk had to call off due to an unforeseen problem and that talk has been rescheduled for February 2019 and will be advertised nearer that time. Stirling Council held drop in meetings for a proposal to create a new link road to keep traffic away from the city centre. The committee attended these meetings as individuals and will meet on the 3rd of December to formulate a response prior to the pending application notice.


During October, (with the help of Dr Murray Cook for local email advertising) we finalised our AGM plans including an entry fee for non members. and duly held the meeting on Nov 1st. Only three people from the public turned up – not great, but welcome all the same. The talk by Dr Susan O’Connor, Director of the Scottish Civic Trust, was a history of civic trust activities, going back to the 19th century and the Cockburn Association in Edinburgh, and was well received. The second talk in the series will address environmental topics and be held on November 28th.


We were able to complete the preparations for  the AGM, including details of the coming winter/spring period. See “news and events” for details.We also had a presence at the Cowane Hospital for the Stirling Doors Open weekend and had close to 400 visitors over the weekend, and enrolled a life member as a result.


We added Gartmore House pictures, from different viewpoints, to our photo library, which show the need for external restoration work and hope to make a return visit for views of the interior. We are still waiting for one body, Scottish Water, to confirm they will deliver one of the talks for our upcoming winter series, otherwise we are on schedule.


Mainly a quiet month, being spent trying to organise guest speakers for the upcoming winter/spring talks and hoping to be complete in time for annual members intimation regarding the AGM and other matters. Also started a library of photographs for display on this site and changed every month and confirmed a small Trust display table at the annual “DOORS OPEN DAY” in September at the Cowane Hospital.


Much the same activities as last month and with the hope that dates and topics for the winter talks can be finalised in July! The very disappointing news this month was the final approval for the developement at Park of Keir despite the fact that Stirling University has been confirmed as one of the two national coaching centres for tennis!  Jack and Johnnie Cuthbert attended the meetings in Edinburgh held by the new Scottish Civic Trust Director, Dr Susan O.Connor, who wanted to meet as many as possible representatives of the 127 Scottish Civic Trust regional groups to establish  a plan for the furtherment of the Scottish Civic Trust movement.



The first summer outing was to the “Smith” on May 25th, and the group were addressed by Elspeth King and taken on a conducted tour of the many interesting items, indoors and outside on a lovely sunny morning. Such was the level of interest, that the planned one hour for the talk extended to 90 minutes!

Following on from the committee meeting of 8th May, (refer to the minute’s actions on that webpage), emphasis has moved on to establishing guest speakers for the winter/spring talks and 2 speakers have agreed they can do a talk, but we are still examining further possible talkers at the present time.

Lastly, as you will probably be aware, there is national interest in demonstrating compliance with the DATA PROTECTION ACT and we are establishing a simple procedure for ensuring the Trust members data (contact details) is stored safely on a home computer system and can only be accessed by a nominated committee member.


This past month has been spent in organising details of two summer outings.The first is to the Smith Art Gallery and Museum at 11 am on Tuesday 22nd of May, and the second is to the Stirling Council Archives department at Springkerse at 10 am on Friday, 7th of September. Both venues are limited in respect of space, so please contact the Convenor ASAP if you wish to attend.

The other major topic being addressed by the committee is the financial status of the Trust and various options are being considered for generating more funds to support the activities planned on an annual basis. Details will be advised before the 2018 AGM.


During this month we have been circulating ideas by email for this year’s summer outings and winter talks and these will be discussed at  the next committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday 3rd April. the subjects listed included

Summer outings

1 Doors open day venues

2 Historic Building of interest

3 New building of interest

4 New conversion of interest

5 New restoration of interest

6 New carbon neutral construction

7 Wind farm

8 Solar farm

9 Other committee suggestions

Winter talks (3 topics or a set with 3 sub topics)

1 Two architects and Simon Green (HES)

2 Stirling Regional New Deal

3 Stirling Archives visit/talk

4 Stirling’s water supply

5 Wind farms/Solar farms/Tidal energy

Other suggestions should be submitted to the Convenor.


This month, the Scottish Civic Trust announced the winners of the 2017 MY PLACE competition – sadly our entry was not in the top three but it will be seen in the yearly publication, later this year. At the first meeting this year of the executive committee on 27th February the committee agreed to carry on with publicity features in the Stirling Observer and the hunt is on for suitable candidates for the title of Unsung Hero. We are also looking at the possibility on undertaking a small project that could benefit the city or it’s environs and suggestions will be discussed at the next meeting. Finally, it was also agreed the the home page should be updated every month with a suitable photograph to demonstrate regular website updates.


This month, we sent text and pictures to the Scottish Civic Trust explaining the new smart touch screens that Stirling council have situated around the city and the environs.This submission was the only item accepted for the first issue of 20018 of the E-BULLETIN. The logo for the Stirling Civic Trust is prominently featured at the top of the “home” page of the screen.


This month, we entered the annual “My Place” competition held by the Scottish Civic Trust. Our subject was “The Engine Shed” and the submission took the form of 6 pictures of the building, inside and out, with supporting text describing the project and why we thought it should be considered for this award.

This month also saw some more publicity for the Trust, when the Council agreed to include our “UNSUNG HERO” features in the new interactive digital terminals they are installing around the city to enable visitors to access tourist information about the city and its environs. Future features will be submitted simultaneously to the Observer and the Council.

Jack attended the Scottish Civic Trust’s annual conference held in Glasgow at the Trades Hall ( a magnificent building by Robert Adam), in November. The morning session, 6 speakers, was very interesting and a copy of the presentations will be made available in due course.

The second talk of our winter series, by Dr Murray Cook, was very interesting and entertaining at the same time. There was a large attendance, ~60 people, reflecting the interest in Stirling City’s history from early Roman times to present day.


The first talk of the winter series was held, dealing with preservation problems arising from new planning applications such as electrification of the main railway line at Stirling station. This station was deemed to be the most attractive of all the stations James Miller designed. James was the first subject of our “Unsung Hero” features on people of interest, who were born in Stirling or have close connections to Stirling. Unfortunately, the evening attendance was very poor and the committee’s main goal continues to be bringing Trust activities to a wider appreciation by the public.

October problems

With the exception of audited accounts, the AGM intimation along with other relevant documentation will be sent out on October 4th to all Trust members. Publicity posters will be distributed by October 3rd and email notifications will be sent to relevant Community councils, Stirling Councillors and the Provost of Stirling, advising the dates and topics for the winter talks. Notifications will be sent to the Stirling Observer in timely manner advising the details of the winter talks. Audited accounts will be issued at the AGM.


This month will see us visit the Church of the Holy Rude on Wednesday 6th at 6.45 pm.

We  will also be starting the paperwork/publicity for the AGM. Dates and topics for guest speakers for the winter talks have been established and posters will be put out by 2nd October along with intimations to the membership.

We have decided our next “UNSUNG HERO” will be Annie Croall, founder and Matron of Whinwell Home.


Jack and his wife, son and grandchildren visited the Engine Shed in July and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it, something for everybody! The committee suggested that the members could go as a group outing in September and a date will be suggested in the forthcoming “mini-news”

Recent outing with camera

 Squinty Bridge Scene in a different light?



The committee has been busy over the past weeks establishing speakers and topics for the set of winter/spring talks, starting with this year’s  AGM. Dates have still to be set for events and another outing has been added to the calendar, a visit to The Engine Shed at Riverside. This is a brand new exhibition venue which features Scottish design and construction, building architecture, materials used and necessary crafts to achieve the end product. As well as conventional methods of presentation, there is a large elevated map of Scotland which locates sites of interest by using a user -friendly IT pad which displays text to explain the significance of the site.

Also Jack was invited to be a guest on Stirling City Radio and he duly had a 20 minute interview to explain what the Trust was all about and at times found himself a bit tongue tied but must have done something right because he was invited to return for another session. Stirling City Radio is a new broadcasting company which plays mainly popular music which appeals to the younger generations, and this seemed like a good opportunity to reach out to that group as possible new members who might like to join the Trust.


This month we will submit our third “Unsung Hero” to the Stirling Observer. We have chosen John Grierson, the “Father of the documentary” as our feature. He was born at Deanston, and went to school at Cambusbarron where his father was the head teacher. When a new school was completed to accommodate increasing new numbers of pupils in 1967, he was formally invited to perform the opening ceremony, and he was happy to return and perform that function.

Trust members are welcome to suggest names for consideration to be added to this series.


The visit to Bannockburn House could not have been much better! We were given a very informative tour by Willie McEwan and met other members  of the Bannockburn Trust, who were very enthusiastic about the project. We wish them every success for their efforts.The fact the the sun shone brilliantly for the visit was the icing on the cake.

Picture courtesy of Mick Stewart


Further efforts to find “unsung heroes” identified architect William Stirling 1, 1772-1838, and we submitted the second feature in our series, which the Stirling Observer printed on Friday, 28th April. Unfortunately for us, it was a busy week for news and our submission was somewhat truncated, missing out some details including a picture of GARDEN HOUSE which is situated on the East of Buchlyvie and is the residence of Sir James Stirling, no relation to William Stirling 1. The house is currently under repair and the picture is shown by kind permission of Sir James.


Following on from investigations and searches during February, the committee identified architect James Miller’s work as a good example of a person whose work should be recognised as having a positive effect on the Stirling environment, and on 01.03.17 the Stirling Observer printed our feature article on James Miller. We intend to compile further features for publication in the local press and will continue to identify other people whose work has been beneficial to Stirling or brought positive attention to the city in some way, that should be recognised.

Two summer outings have been established for this year. We will visit Bannockburn House on Wednesday, the 3rd of May for a guided tour and we have arranged a visit (including a talk) to the Stirling Church of the Holy Rude on Wednesday the 6th of September. If you require any information on these visits, please contact the Convenor.


The committee worked on topics sent by the Scottish Civic Trust described as “101 ideas” for ways to promote the Civic Trust movement throughout Scotland. The first focus was to try and establish persons, dead or alive, who had, in some way, brought about beneficial changes to Stirling and its immediate environment. That work is still ongoing, and will do so for some time.

A busy January!

Following on from committee meetings (refer to the web page for committee minutes), last November and January this year, the Convenor met up with Stuart Oliver, Stirling Council project leader for “The Regional Deal”, and his colleague, Steve McLeod. Among the points discussed, was the offer to the Council, for the Trust to participate in small projects to complement the larger projects being introduced. This will entail the committee identifying what is within our scope, sourcing funds and other resources and controlling the project to completion. This suggestion was well received by Stuart and Steve and will be developed as projects are released by the Council.

Another meeting was held with McGuire Design/Advertising who were awarded the contract for a re-branding project for Stirling City and its surrounding environment. This project will have a national project launch on 2nd March 2017 and will at points co-incide with aspects of the Regional Deal, but is a free standing project for the whole region in its own right. Similar to the proposal to assist the Regional Deal, the convenor suggested the Trust could assist by handling smaller local press advertising to back up the McGuire national publicity in television and press releases.

Finally the Convenor contacted the editor of the Stirling Observer* to explain these developments, and indicated the Trust would be submitting articles for publishing and care would be exercised to avoid duplication  of the Observer’s own press releases.

  • The convenor still has to contact other local papers and Journals.