Community Affairs

Flower Tubs

Flower Tubs

The tubs have looked amazing this summer and we have had many admiring comments. It’s very satisfying when things work!! With our team of five helpers the tending and watering has been made much easier, and the good weather in June and July helped to give them a good start.  Hopefully as Autumn is upon us, the weather will be kind and the plants will last untill we have to remove them in November, prior to Remembrance Sunday.

As always, we are extremely grateful for the generosity of the villagers who put donations into the box in McNicoll’s.

Naomi Hirst


Community Affairs


On Sunday 4th August at Kippen Sports Field the new team representing the village, GSR Central Academy, hosted Bearsden YFC to compete for The Ronnie Mackie Memorial Cup Challenge.  GSR Central Academy will play in the Central League B Division this year and Bearsden YFC play in the Glasgow and Paisley B Division at Under 15 level.

Many spectators from the village were delighted to see football back in Kippen for the first time in over 2 years.  Over 100 spectators witnessed a very close opening 15 minutes before the Kippen based GSR Central Academy eventually ran our comfortable winners against a tiring Bearsden YFC. The game eventually finished with a convincing win 11-1 to the home side.  Ronnie’s Mum, Jean Struthers was on hand to present the Cup to the winning team who celebrated their first ever game in style.

GSR Central Academy is chaired by former Rangers, Hearts and Scotland internationalist Dave McPherson and is offering a pathway to players interested in combining an education with playing football full-time.  They are currently recruiting for players in a few positions and can be contacted on Facebook or by calling 07702 252519.

Paul Goodwin


Community Affairs

Reading Rooms

At last, we have a new coat of white stone paint on the front of our building!

This latest feature is but a symbol of a long and sometimes frustrating series of works which have spanned some 3 years or more.

Earlier this year, we were able to report the successful award of a grant from Windmill Funds which has provided the basis for a campaign to seek funding for our Kitchen Project. Funds will also be required to meet an extensive programme of expenditure necessary to ensure that the fabric of the Reading Rooms never again deteriorates to the extent to which the present committee has had to face.

Our extant research on further grant sources quickly revealed that the grant scene has changed in recent years. Some traditionally important Trusts have changed their policies. In particular, Brexit appears to have impacted upon the availability of the European Structured Funds which had been a primary fund source for Leader Funds.

One factor stands out – Charitable Status has become an important requirement from many grant sources. The Reading Room, together with the Mitchell Trust is currently studying the complications which we face on this subject. We are being helped by George Craig, a practising solicitor who lives in the village, to whom we are very grateful.

In a lighter vein, we are very pleased that the’ Kippen Cuppa’ has been launched, providing an opportunity for people to gather on a Thursday afternoon for a cup of tea and a social chat.

The Children’s Library also operates on the same day of the week, enabling children and mothers to meet in the cosy atmosphere of the upper rooms.

Both of these functions fit well into a general policy of social recreation and education, set out in our Trust Deed created in 1934 – not quite as outmoded as one might have expected!

Kippen Heritage has successfully moved into their new quarters upstairs and has taken charge of the superb collection of archives compiled over many years by Winnie Dunlop. The village owes a huge debt to Winnie for this monumental work, and the Heritage Committee, under the steady hand of Margaret Diamond, has expressed it satisfaction in being able to take on its custody in a pleasant environment.

As reported elsewhere in this edition of The Wee Vine, the County Archaeologist, Murray Cook has completed a draft of his formal report on a successful first dig at Keir Hill of Dasher. Displays of the dig and its results are to be seen on the walls in the Reading Room, presented by Irene Chapman.

The committee continues its work in preparing the Reading Rooms for service in connection with the Risk and Resilience plan for the village of Kippen and outlying areas.

Kippen Reading Rooms have long been a facility for the village. We have a great variety of users but we remain keen to encourage new initiatives and to listen to new ideas.

Finally, our all important Jumble Sale takes place on Saturday, 26th October – all contributions are welcome.

Jeremy Gaywood

Kippen Reading Room

Community Affairs

Woodland Group

Kippen Woodland Group

Thanks to those who stopped at our Street Fayre stall to find out more about what we do and to guess the number of tadpoles put into the tub.  It became apparent over the course of the day that there was an ever-decreasing number of tadpoles due to cannibalistic behaviour. Well done to the Fore Road resident whose guess of 63 tadpoles was closest to the number of 64 put into the tub.

A small number of trusty volunteers have been keeping the paths clear and boardwalks maintained over the past months.  It has been encouraging to see that limited litter is accumulating up at the “Fort” so thanks to those who headed our plea last year and continue to take their empties away with them.  Many thanks also go to those who have carried out additional tasks in between work days.  In particular, Gavin Cross for clearing a tree overhanging the Black Brae path, Wallis Weir for clearing a tree over the pond boardwalk, Donald Smith for treating Japanese Knotweed and Les Watson for cutting back vegetation along the sides of the paths.

We continue to work in Burnside Wood on the first Sunday morning of each month, with the remaining dates for 2019 being Sunday 6th October, 3rd November and 1st December.  Everyone is welcome to join us; just wear something that you don’t mind getting muddy and head down to the football pitch for 10.00 am.  Gloves and tools are provided as well as tea/coffee and biscuits during our late-morning break.

The Annual General Meeting of the Group will be held on Thursday 7th November at 8:00 pm in the Cross Keys.  All are welcome to attend, to contribute ideas or just to find out more about what we do.  Donald Smith is definitely standing down as Chair and we need to attract another office bearer.  The duties are not onerous as we only meet for a couple of hours every quarter, no particular skills are required and there is little to do in between times apart from participating in the occasional work morning.  We have plans, money in the bank and lots of tools to make use of.  With a new office bearer we can build on what we have and secure the future of the Group.

If anyone is interested in finding out more, please speak to Karen Dekker or myself or contact us via email ( or Facebook.

Paula Watson

Secretary, Kippen Community Woodland Group

Heritage News

Archaeological Dig at Keir Hill of Dasher

In the last issue of the Wee Vine we reported on the success of the archaeological dig held at the end of May when two Stone Age objects had been identified and we awaited the result of radiocarbon dating being carried out on a small piece of charcoal found in one of the trenches.

We now have that result, and that tiny piece of charcoal has now been confirmed as dating from around 983AD. This is very exciting news as it confirms activity at the Keir Hill at the time when Kenneth II of Scotland (Alba) was invading Strathclyde, the kingdom south of the River Forth.

Keir Hill of Dasher overlooks the Fords of Frew, which was one of the key strategic routes across the Forth Valley and which for millennia has acted as a funnel restricting movement of people and goods. The Chronicle of the Kings of Alba, which was written in Kenneth II’s time, records that in the late 10th century he fortified the banks of the uada of Forthin, which is generally taken to be the Fords of Frew (Watson 1926, 52-3). The Chronicle also states that he plundered Northumbria (which at that time extended as far north as the Forth) several times, reaching as far south as Cheshire. Coincidentally, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records attacks on Chester around 980AD.


It is of course all very tenuous; for example, we don’t know whether, by fortifying the Fords of Frew, Kenneth was defending his northern territories from raids from the south, or perhaps Strathclyde from further raids from the north, and we probably will never know but, whatever the answer, the dig has uncovered yet another aspect of Kippen’s early history. Kippen Heritage intend to continue the investigation with another dig planned for May next year.

Irene Chapman for Kippen Heritage










Kippen Flower Show

A great spectacle of giant vegetables, beautiful flowers, artwork and photography, baking and preserves was on show. A particularly large number of entries for the industrial section and handicrafts was greatly welcomed.

Many thanks are due to all those who supported the flower show this year. With the real threat of cancellation, Gillian Cassidy stepped in to rally the team of volunteers and Angus Hepburn signed up a host of bakers and helpers for the cafe. A wonderful spread of cakes was donated, and much appreciated by visitors. Thanks, are given to the judges and Walter? Surname for their specialist input and advice so generously and graciously provided year on year. Rhubarb and Lime, the Cross keys, the Inn at Kippen, the Woodhouse, Benview Garden Centre, McNicoll’s shop and Skinner’s butcher are thanked for raffle prizes. Above all, thanks are due to the exhibitors without whom there wouldn’t be a show. It was good to see many people entering for the first time and gaining confidence to make an entry also into the garden competition. Here’s hoping this wonderful, community event will go from strength to strength. Make a note in your diary for August 2020.

We would also like to give a special thanks to Shonah Escombe for all her hard work and dedication in making this show the success that it is.

Gillian Cassidy

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MacMillan Coffee Morning

M_white_mid_RGBAs part of a nationwide fundraising event, Micky and Naomi Hirst hosted a coffee morning at a Glentirran on Friday 27th September to raise money for MacMillan. We had a wonderful response from village folk and friends from further afield and raised over £1670. All those who came enjoyed the wonderful spread of goodies laid out on the kitchen table.

Once again, Kippen answered the call and I was very touched by the offers of home baking and produce which were donated. Thank you all so much. And thank you to my band of lady helpers who made tea/coffee, served at the tables and did a mammoth clearing up job.

Naomi Hirst