For the second year, Kippen’s 300 – year old Blacksmith’s Smiddy has opened its doors this summer, with permission from the National Trust for Scotland. Kippen Heritage manned the Smiddy in June on Street Fayre Day, welcoming in many visitors. This was followed by Flower Show weekend in August when, for the first time, we had a Kippen Trail to show some aspects of Kippen’s Heritage.
Starting at the Reading Rooms, where Winnie Dunlop’s fascinating collection of Kippen photographs and related articles were on display, it continued to the Smiddy at Kippen Cross to see that little time – capsule of a bygone age. Visitors could then pop in to see the beautiful Kippen Church and visit Kippen Flower Show in the Public Hall. The Trail ended at the Boatyard in Fore Road, which was generously opened for the first time to the public by Jane Wilson, the owner.
The Kippen Trail was followed again in September, at “Doors Open” weekend when we had even greater numbers visiting the village to see our heritage. Not only did our visitors remark on how fascinating and interesting these historical buildings and artefacts were, but local businesses said they also had benefitted from the greater numbers coming to Kippen.
Over the three weekends, the Smiddy had over 200 visitors enjoying the experience of going back in time. Andra’ Rennie would have been delighted! And the Boatyard, whose mere existence surprised many people – even locals – also had a steady stream of visitors over its two weekends, with many positive comments.