The Rennie family’s Smiddy at the Cross was open to the public on Street Fayre day for the first time in many years. There was an excellent attendance due largely to the inclusion of the Smiddy in this year’s National Trust Handbook. The Smiddy has many unique features in particular its rare double forge, two anvils and lots of the blacksmiths tools.
The Smiddy will be open again on Flower Show/ Heritage weekend (2pm to 5pm 19th and 20th August 2017) and will be part of Stirling Council’s Doors Open weekend (again 2pm till 5pm) on 16th and 17th September 2017.
Also open on Flower Show and Doors Open weekends will be the Kippen Boatyard in Shirgarton Lane, courtesy of Mrs Jane Wilson, where from 1937 lifeboats were built for World War 2 battleships and after the war smaller boats for fishing clubs. This is a rare opportunity to visit this fascinating part of Kippen’s (relatively recent) history which still retains many elements of the boatbuilder’s trade.
Kippen Heritage is most grateful to Jane for her cooperation.
The Kippen Reading Rooms on Main Street will be open from 2pm till 5pm on Flower Show/ Heritage weekend (19th and 20th August 2017) to display a huge collection of photographs of Kippen people and buildings from the present day back to the early 20th century. Every year this event attracts visitors of all ages to the village who want to trace family connections or even see pictures of themselves as schoolchildren. What, however, they find most valuable is the opportunity to reminisce with other people born and brought up in the village. In recent years, we have lost Willie Dougal, Ian Denovan and Cathie McQueen who were always on hand to chat to visitors about the Kippen they had known throughout their lives. There is no substitute for “live” history and it would be great if other “Kippenites” felt able to come along even for a short time on those days to share their knowledge and experiences. No invitation needed – just come along.
Again, on the weekends mentioned, Margaret Oswald has drawn up a Heritage Trail see pages 16 -17 for people to follow – starting at the school and ending up in the boatyard. Copies will also be available in shops just before Flower show weekend – it will be most useful if read alongside the existing Kippen leaflet always available in McNicoll’s Country store.
Margaret Diamond, Chairman Kippen Heritage