From the Stirling Observer 13 March 2019
The remarkable story of life in Dunblane over 2,000 years was revealed in drama, song and movement to delighted audiences in Dunblane High School's theatre.
A total of 130 children from the three local primary schools of St Mary's Episcopal, Newton and Dunblane told the tale in rapid scenes that transported the audience back in time to meet real characters from the local past.
The children all aged nine to 10 years gave an outstanding set of performances that had the audience laughing and surprised in equal measure. The story was backed by more than 200 powerpoint images and facts which showed the evidence of the history being revealed. "I am absolutely stunned," said Dunblane Primary head teacher, Lorraine Slabbert, as she thanked the cast in public after the evening performance. "I cannot believe what I have just seen. You have taught me so much that I didn't know and you were so polished and slick."
The show was researched written and directed by Tapsalteerie Theatre led by David and Jackie Smith, with lan Turner on sound.
"We were quite overwhelmed by the audience's emotional response," said David who is also the learning officer at The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.
"People were queuing up to tell us how impressed they were by the performances and by the amount of information they had picked up in just 75 minutes.
"Repeated remarks included 'What away to learn about your past!' and 'I wish history had been that much fun when I was at school"
The list of astonishing characters who have visited or lived in Dunblane is one for other towns to envy. Featured in the production were the early Picts, Britons and Vikings who all fought in the area. They followed on from the great Roman General Agricola who also visited.
Then there was St Blane who settled on Dunblane's Holmehill around the seventh century and is likely to have given the town its name; Oliver Cromwell on his [literally] burning mission through Scotland came to Dunblane; Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed in Dunblane in 1745 and his father's failed campaign ending with Sheriffmuir had the final chase of the battle through the streets of the town.
Robert Louis Stevenson was a best friend of Thomas Smith, a Dunblane man from Glassingall who founded the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and became the hero and idea behind Stevenson's classic novel Kidnapped. Robert Burns stayed in Dunblane in what is now the Riverside Hotel and secured his last exciseman job in Dunblane, but sadly died before moving to live there.
Other great visitors included Frederick Chopin, Edward II (who pinched the lead off the cathedral roof), Edward VII and Elizabeth II.
The children also celebrated Reo Stakis, who is the father of modern hotel chains, Andrew Butchart, Olympian and British 5,000 metres champion as well as ex pupil "and top of the tree" Sir Andy Murray.
Read the The National article
February 2019 : Publication of Consultation Report
January/ February 2019 : Work to Trees on Holmehill
The new owners of Holmehill have received permission from Stirling Council to remove 18 trees and undertake surgery work to a further 27 trees. The work has started in early February 2019 and is due to last around a month.
Stirling Council have allocated money for one–off grants of up to £2,000 to support new or existing third sector initiatives who will provide activities and food provision during the Easter school holidays 2019. (1-12 April) The fund is now open for applications.
View the application pack with notes on how to apply and the application form. The closing date is the 27th February 5pm. The Panel will meet shortly after this date and decisions will then be made as soon as possible.
Stirling Council proposes to extend the 20mph speed limit to numerous streets in Dunblane (and other locations) : See the notice here
Comments to Stirling Council at the address in the notice. NB it is already 20mph in High St, Cathedral area, Braeport, Ramoyle, etc.
Dunblane Medical Practice has become the first health centre in Forth Valley to be awarded a dementia friendly certificate. The award was presented by NHS Medical Director Andrew Murray who is pictured with practice manager Sue Lawson, chair of Dementia Friendly Dunblane, Breda Seaman and Patient Participation Group member Richard Duckworth, together with practice staff.
All practice staff have undertaken the online Dementia Friends Scotland training and an environmental audit of the premises has resulted in new flooring, brighter lights, redecoration of patient areas, signage and a key-pad assisted door.
According to Breda Seaman, who has also helped set up the Braeport Memory Cafe in the town, many people with dementia, especially those with Alzheimer’s, have difficulty in interpreting what they see. “For example, they may think that a shiny floor is wet or slippery. They may also struggle to understand unfamiliar environments so providing simple, cost effective dementia-friendly design features will help reassure then whilst they are in the health centre”
NHS Forth Valley Medical Director Andrew Murray added: “The proportion of people with cognitive problems and dementia accessing primary care services is increasing. If health centres are designed to be dementia friendly it can significantly improve the experience for people with dementia by reducing agitation and maximising their independence and engagement in their care.”
More than 90,000 people in Scotland have dementia with more than 5,000 of them living in Forth Valley. Patients may be reluctant to discuss their concerns about memory loss or other cognitive issues due to stigma and fear of dementia. The goal of a dementia- friendly community is to make sure that people with a diagnosis of dementia can continue to stay connected with and access their communities.
On 23 September 2018, the new owners of Holmehill held a Consultation day which was attended by over 250 people.
A written report of the Consultation is due to be published early in 2019.
Bill Carmen and Keith Hunter have invited anyone interested to join them on Holmehill on Sunday 3rd Feb 2 - 4pm for a communal path survey and decision making session. All welcome for as long as you can spare.
Letter From Keith Brown is reprinted below
Scotrail's customer website is now up and running, providing information for customers and seeking feedback, including on the proposed May timetable – it can be accessed here: https://www.scotrail.co.uk/plan-your-journey/timetables-and-routes/proposed-timetable-improvements.
I write to update you on the meeting yesterday between Keith Brown MSP and the Operations Director of Scotrail. A number of issues were discussed regarding the issues currently facing rail passengers in Mr Brown's constituency, and a note of the discussion to various points covered is summarised as follows:
* Ongoing cancellations and disruptions – unacceptable levels of service for customers served by Alloa, Bridge of Allan and Dunblane stations.
The delay in delivery of the type 385 electric trains and the training of drivers to operate them has seen disruption to services continue. Industrial action (now resolved) also affected timescale to complete this necessary driver training. 100 train cancellations occurred on Monday, down to 34 on Tuesday, but this is clearly unacceptable. Training is proceeding on a daily basis which will see incidences of cancellations and disruption continue to reduce.
* December timetable – promised benefits to customers using these stations following the considerable period of disruption caused by electrification work is not being realised in the new timetable, and in some instances services offered are worse.
The delay in delivery of the type 385 electric trains has adversely affected the ability of Scotrail to deliver a timetable that provides regular services at necessary peak times, and reduce journey times whilst increasing seat capacity. 31 of the type 385 trains have now been delivered, and the issue affecting their full deployment to deliver the December timetable is that of trained drivers, which is being rapidly addressed. A further 39 type 385 trains are due to be delivered in the next few months, which will provide the capacity to deliver a much more advantageous timetable in May.
The May timetable will shortly be consulted upon with customers – the dedicated webpage for this, which will include an email address for customers to feed in views, should be established and live within days. Those comments will be considered in context with information from other stakeholders on the needs of other communities in the corridor and also their views on how best to attract customers from private car to public transport.
* Responsibilities on Scotrail where the last service of the day is cancelled or stops early, eg at Stirling.
Scotrail is responsible for providing alternative transport where services are cancelled. This includes taxis where this is appropriate. In answer to point about alleged instances where no staff are available to arrange this: this should not be happening. Mr Brown to write formally to Scotrail about this issue
I hope this summary of meeting notes is helpful. Scotrail have undertaken to provide further information to us, and I will forward on any such further information Mr Brown receives on this matter, including details of the dedicated website when this is launched by Scotrail.