We are looking for people who are interested in the history of Kippen and have good IT skills.
You would be involved in recording the history and heritage of Kippen and making this available to all those interested. This entails:
• Scanning and filing (in the cloud) a large number of photos and documents. The primary source for these is an archive spanning well over 100 years, which has been built up This contains several thousand items. A large part of this has already been archived, but there remains a sizeable task.
• Using this material to build a comprehensive website. This involves not simply transferring material (although that might sometimes suffice), but also building the material into a story in some cases – examples of this would be the smiddy, the big vine, the boatyard, the kirkyard. A small element of this phase has been done and awaits publication, but the vast majority remains to be completed.
Could anyone interested in becoming part of this team please contact Stuart Thomson at email@example.com, or on 07736 362011. Numbers permitting, we will then organise a team meeting to agree how to take this forward.
Kippen Old Kirk, with its iconic belfry, lies at the heart of the village of Kippen, but the Kirkyard gate is locked and the history that lies within is inaccessible to the public, and will remain so until funds can be raised to secure the dangerous masonry of the ruined Kirk. However, if we can save the Kirk, Stirling Council will stabilise the 19 memorials which are at risk of falling. But clearly, a considerable amount of work is required in order to allow the Kirkyard to be opened again to the community and to visitors.
The first stage of the work will be to make the Old Kirk safe. This involves removing the ivy and self-seeded shrubs which are destabilising the masonry, raking out all masonry joints, repointing in lime mortar, repairing the cracked lintel over the gable window and also the stone slabs forming the base and roof of the belfry. The ancient bell, which in fact predates the Kirk, will be carefully removed and placed in storage until such time as further funding can be raised to replace the eroded iron framework; it will then be returned to its place in the belfry, where it has been for more than 300 years.
Over the years, due to lack of maintenance, the Kirkyard has become overgrown and unsightly, creating a negative environmental impact in the centre of the village. However, a considerable amount of volunteer work has already been done to rectify this. Brambles and ivy have been removed to reveal memorials, many of especial historic interest, that have not been visible for decades. Many inform us of the various trades and occupations that existed in the village, and surnames such as Adam, Armstrong, Buchanan, Crawford, Dougall, Ewing, Forrester, Graham, Galbraith, Harvie, Leckie, Monteith, Rennie, Ure and many more, are still familiar to us in the village today.
There is also a rich Covenanting history in our surrounding countryside, and this too is evident in the Kirkyard where we have the grave of James Ure of Shirgarton, who raised a force of almost 300 locally, to fight for the Covenanting cause. There is also a memorial to Jean Key who, on account of her inheritance, was abducted by Rob Roy’s son Robin Oig MacGregor and forced into marriage, only to die at the age of 20, before Robin was executed for his crime.
It would be very sad to lose the Kirk and the history that lies in the Kirkyard, but unless something is done, and urgently, that unfortunately is what will happen. At the moment, the priority is to save the Kirk but, with the help of volunteers, Kippen Heritage have already begun to create a new archive; memorials are being photographed, inscriptions and histories recorded and ultimately, all information will be accessible on a Kippen Heritage web site.
Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford, who has been heavily involved in the local campaign, has praised residents in Kippen who have today won the case for the village to be a 20mph zone.
Mr Crawford has worked closely with the former Community Council, the Parents’ Council and Kippen Primary School, in taking the case to Stirling Council.
Confirmation from Stirling Council came following a petition of over 220 signatures in support of reducing the speed limit throughout Kippen.
The Council have accepted the case and have indicated that funding has been made available in this year’s budget, meaning that the necessary works to convert Kippen into a 20mph zone for traffic will be carried out this financial year.
Commenting, Bruce Crawford said:
“This is a win for the local community, who have worked tirelessly to secure safer roads throughout their village.
“From meeting with local Community Councillors, to speaking to local parents, and being sent a campaign video, made by the Primary 7 class, this has truly been a campaign with a diverse array of support across Kippen.
“The spirit of the community has been a demonstration of what can be achieved when local people work together for a common cause, and I am thoroughly delighted with this outcome.”
Environment Convener on Stirling Council, Councillor Jim Thomson, who has also backed the community’s campaign, said:
“The case has been made and officers are happy to proceed with making Kippen village a 20mph zone. Funding has been made available through the Council’s budget to pay for appropriate traffic regulation order advertisement. Residents will be pleased to know that this is now due to be carried out during this financial year.”
Local Councillor Graham Lambie said:
“Local residents were clearly concerned about traffic safety through the village and mounted an impressive campaign. Today’s outcome is great news for the village and all those involved, and I would like to thank them for all of their work.”
Residents in Kippen have written to Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford with a petition, supported by 224 signatures, which calls for the speed limit in the village to be reduced to 20mph.
Mr Crawford has supported the local campaign to reduce speed limits in Kippen, having met with the members of the Community Council, the Parent Council and Kippen Primary P7s – who produced a campaign video highlighting the importance of safer speed limits outside the school.
The SNP Group on Stirling Council is supportive of introducing 20mph zones in residential areas where there is a clear desire for them within communities – and the Environment Convener, Councillor Jim Thomson, is supportive of Kippen community’s campaign.
Commenting, Bruce Crawford said:
“This is an excellent example of a community taking this matter into their own hands to make their views known.
“It has been proven that 20mph zones reduce the overall speed of traffic, making it safer for pedestrians – with children and vulnerable older people particularly at risk of fatal accidents.
“I have been inspired by the work of the local community in moving this campaign forward – and the P7 group in particular who produced a fantastic video highlighting their campaign.
“I’m grateful for this petition being passed to me. With over 220 signatures, it is a strong statement that the community wants action on safer speed limits. I will be writing to Stirling Council for an update on how this matter is being progressed and will keep my constituents posted.”
SNP Councillor for Forth and Endrick, Graham Lambie added:
“I too am hugely supportive of this campaign from the local community. I know that my SNP colleague Councillor Jim Thomson has been discussing the issue in detail with Stirling Council officers in order to turn the clear wishes of the community into a reality.
“I will continue to pursue this issue within the Council in order to achieve 20mph roads in Kippen as soon as possible.”
Kippen Playgroup & Toddlers’ annual Christmas Market was a resounding success again this year, managing to raise an astounding £3,000 to keep our service up and running. Our stall holders provided a cornucopia of beautiful products and gifts, our Santa’s Grotto had a serious upgrade and the cafe was fit to burst with everyone raring to get at the cakes! A huge thank you to the community for donating prizes, buying raffle tickets, baking delicious treats and coming down on the day to support us. It is greatly appreciated, we couldn’t do it without the help of the fine people of Kippen, so thank you!
With the Scottish winter in full swing, the Playgroup children have been busy, splitting their time between Monkey Camp, the orchard and the Village Hall. They’ve been using tools to cut wood, using ropes as fire hoses, lion traps and for “emergency rescues”, they’ve been climbing trees, going on treasure hunts and using our new mud kitchen. In the Hall there’s plenty of imaginative play and crafty stuff to be getting on with, so there’s never a dull moment and the children are generally tired, muddy and happy at the end of each session.
We recently had our inspection by the Care Inspectorate. They found that “children were developing their social and physical skills, confidence and self-esteem through a balance of organised and freely chosen extended play experiences”. The inspector noted our major strengths were the quality of learning, the quality of the children’s experiences and the phenomenal use of our outdoor environment. We scored “Very Good” on the two categories we were assessed on; the quality of care and support and the quality of environment. We are so proud, especially because we have radically changed our ethos this year to be more outdoor based. A big thank you to our Play Leaders Heidi and Pam for providing such a great learning and play environment for our little ones.
Unfortunately, we are having to say goodbye to Heidi as she is moving back to Auld Reekie for some more urban adventures! We wish her all the best and are forever grateful for all her hard work this year. Thankfully Heidi’s departure will not be disrupting things too much at Playgroup as we already have Morna lined up to take the reins. Morna has plenty of experience, having worked at Gargunnock Playgroup for some time, and is keen to continue with the same outdoor focus.
If you would like to support our service and get your little one booked in for a taster session, then please contact Morna via firstname.lastname@example.org. We run on a Tuesday and Friday (9:30-12pm), and we take little ones from 2 years old up to school age.
Toddlers is continuing to welcome the village’s youngest residents and their weary carers with open arms and lashings of cake and tea. We are hoping to start regularly inviting various baby and toddler companies to come along and entertain the little ones in the new year, as well as investing in some new toys and equipment, so please feel free to pop in and meet everyone. We run every Thursday (10:15-12pm) in the Village Hall.