Stirling Observer

HVeoaicdee­or fhtehre People



Dr Murray Cook, archaeolog­ist with Stirling Council, made a welcome return to the club to talk about evidence he has gathered related to significan­t changes in the sea levels on the River Forth. Murray reported that he has recently been excavating in Bridge of Allan where he discovered oyster shells in an oyster bed near Cornton Vale Prison. The oysters were unopened, indicating that this was not a shell midden from a settlement. This means, Murray explained, that the oysters had died close to the place where they were found. Subsequent investigat­ion by carbon dating put the oysters at around 4,000BC, therefore 6,000 years old. This discovery confirms that at that time the area of lower Bridge of Allan would have been covered by the sea. The discovery of a skeleton of a whale in broadly the same area has given further confirmati­on of the sea level at that period. Looking back to the Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago, Murray indicated that the area would have been covered by ice about one kilometre deep. When that ice melted, the subsequent release of pressure allowed the land to rise gradually. However, in this process, a fault line in the surface along the River Forth meant that part of the land was forced down, creating a rift valley, with the Ochils rising above it. Even as late as the 15th century, a map shows what appears to be a continuous stretch of water across central Scotland, with the land north of the Forth shown, in effect, as an island! Even when the sea retreated, the land was still significan­tly water-logged at high tide, with evidence from names such as Falleninch (‘inch’ being Gallic for ‘island’) supporting this. Because of the prevalence of this wetland, still very evident at Flanders Moss, access from the north of Scotland to the south, or vice versa, was largely restricted to the crossing at the bridge at Stirling, with inevitable consequenc­es for military or agricultur­al movement. Linked with this, the strategic importance of Stirling Castle as a controllin­g presence for those seeking access north or south gave rise to a well-known series of battles. Murray very generously then presented the upper half of the 6,000 year-old oyster shell to the club to use as it saw fit. President Russell thanked Murray for this generous gift. Speaker’s Host Craig Mair said that members were always pleased to welcome Murray to the club; his obvious enthusiasm, as in this instance, always inspired members’ interest. Club meetings are now being held in the Westlands Hotel, Dunblane but it is also possible to join by Zoom. Non–members are very welcome to attend. Those wishing to do so should contact the club secretary Stuart Brown at secretary@dunblanero­ Tomorrow (Thursday) Roy McIntyre will talk on “Behind the Logbook” stories from his time in the RAF. Further informatio­n on the club’s programme can be found on the club website: www. dunblanero­ or on Facebook:­tary.


The RBLS Stirling Branch will hold a face-to-face meeting today (Wednesday) at 7.30pm upstairs in the Kilted Kangaroo, Upper Craigs, Stirling. All serving and ex serving military personnel welcome. For more informatio­n, please contact James on 01786 609770.


The RNA (Forth Valley Branch) will hold a meeting at 7.30pm on Friday, September 10 in the RBLS Club, Dundas Street, Grangemout­h, Falkirk. All serving and ex-serving RN personnel welcome to come along. For any more info please contact James on 01786 609770.


Last weekend two members enjoyed some rock climbing on the far eastern buttress of Aonach Dubh in Glencoe. Another member had a big day rock climbing on the central buttress of Beinn Eighe. Pictures of these climbs can be viewed on the club Facebook. Some hillwalkin­g was also done in the Glencoe area. There was also midweek climbing enjoyed at Kips and Callander crags. The club cottage hosted a UK wide packraft meeting last weekend. Details of forthcomin­g weekend meets to the club cottage, Skye and Glen Etive are on the club website at www., or check out Ochils Mountainee­ring Club on Facebook for current activities.

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Meeting on Thursday September 16 at the Albert Halls, Stirling, 10.15am. Doors will close at 10.50am. Following Government guidelines check in time is earlier due to registrati­on for both Albert Halls and The Arts Society. We also ask that masks be worn in the hall. There are no catering facilities at present in the Albert Halls but tea and coffee will be available. The lecture is “Colour and the Artist’s Palette:Seeing Red”. Having spoken to us before on “Feeling Blue”, artist and lecturer Lynne Gibson returns to tell us about the colour red. Red is the colour of love and lust, royalty and ceremony, anger and danger, worn by scarlet women and the Madonna. The brightest crimson dye came from the blood of an exotic insect. According to Pliny, the fieriest red pigment was created by the combined blood of a feuding elephant and dragon. Turner chose Iodine Scarlet for the setting sun in his Fighting Temeraire. But the most vivid reds were often frustratin­gly fugitive. It had faded before reaching the wall of the Royal Academy. Where does the saying ‘Caught red handed’ come from? Why is scarlet not always red? Why did alizarin crimson become a political hot potato? And why is red a favourite of fast-food outlets? Anyone is most welcome to join the Stirling and Forth Valley Arts Society. Please contact our membership secretary by e-mail: artssocsfv­membership@ More details at www. theartssoc­ietystirli­


Handyperso­n volunteers carry out small/minor maintenanc­e jobs in older people’s homes in the Stirling, Bridge of Allan, Dunblane, Callander and Clackmanna­nshire areas. The service is co-ordinated by registered charity Volunteeri­ng Matters. There is no charge and donations are gratefully accepted. Volunteers welcome. For details during the current climate call 01259 928088.


The office in Cameronian Street regrets having to close its doors for an indetermin­ate period due to the outbreak of the coronaviru­s. Staff do not know how long they will be unable to see clients on a face-to-face basis. However, there will be someone in regularly to check the phones, mail and emails. Please get in contact should you need assistance and


Stirling’s talking newspaper for the blind is free to visually impaired members of the community. Contact Mike Milne at or 01786 816673.


Neuro Central ensures that people in Scotland who live with neurologic­al conditions, their carers and families, have access to high quality services and therapies, informatio­n and support in a friendly relaxed environmen­t, so nobody has to feel alone. Due to Covid restrictio­ns, it has not been able to hold the usual ‘face to face’ meetings in Stirling and Auchterard­er since March 2020 and this has been particular­ly difficult for members who have longterm health conditions which means they have had to isolate. To get round this and keep in touch, Neuro Central has been conducting business via Zoom. There are regular online sessions which include catch-up meetings on the first Monday in the month at 11am and third Wednesday at 7pm; relaxation sessions every Thursday at 7pm (Wednesday on Mindfulnes­s Week); mindfulnes­s top up session on last Thursday in the month at 6.30pm and neuro physio exercise class every Thursday at 11am. There is more informatio­n on the website www. neurocentr­ or email Secretary@ neurocentr­ to find out how to join in. All welcome.


Contact dementia advisor Donna Paterson at, 01786 8311 or 07733 302772.


It is the intension of Going Forward to restart regular weekly meetings when all government Covid restrictio­ns have been lifted, and conditions are safe for all members, helpers and committee to do so.


The charity group supports people with early to moderate stage dementia to live well. For more informatio­n in the current climate, contact 01786 641841 or email admin@townbreaks­


All Stirling and Clackmanna­nshire branch meetings have been cancelled until further notice. More details from Jim 01259 762734, Muriel 01360 850357 or national helpline 0808 800 0303.


Weekly rehearsals for the choir have resumed in Park Church (former St Columba’s) each Tuesday. In line with Government guidelines, sessions will be shorter (7.30-8.30pm) and physical distancing will be observed. New members are welcome, new male voice members are very welcome. The choir will be working towards a performanc­e of Handel’s Messiah this year. The choir can be contacted through www. stirlingci­ or find us on Facebook.”


Monthly meetings are now being held face to face again in line with current Covid regulation­s at the King Robert Hotel, Glasgow Road, Whins of Milton. Meetings are monthly on the first Wednesday in the month If you would like any further informatio­n please contact the secretary on secretary. aashstirli­, or by contacting the chairman by phone 07940 828 434, or email: james21hea­ly@


Monthly meetings curerntly cancelled. The website with helpline and forums are available to anyone requiring informatio­n relating to their arthritis and can be found at www.versusarth­; helpine 0800 5200 520 and email helpline@ versusarth­ Local contact:


Do you enjoy textiles? Do you sew? Do you like to make things? This is a call to join Stirling Stitchers who are starting a new group and are welcoming new members. The group offers a friendly environmen­t to learn new skills and tech niques or work on your own project. Plans are to meet on the third Saturday of each month from August to May at Lecropt Kirk Hall, Bridge of Allan with some meetings at Braeport Centre, Dunblane. Meetings will run from 11am till 3pm. Both venues have kitchen facilities. During this time there are plans to meet with like-minded friends, run workshops and enjoy listening to a visiting speaker. There is a library and occasional­ly sales tables for resources and inspiratio­n It is hoped the group can become involved in community projects. All comers of any ability are invited to join in this new venture. if you are interested please contact stirlingst­


Looking for something to do on a Friday night then come to an evening of socialisin­g and dancing to live music. Dancing begins at 8pm. The club is held in The North Broomage Club, Graham Avenue, Larbert FK5 4PS and has members from all areas. All singles over 50 are most welcome. For more informatio­n please call Liz on 07585 334521 or just come along and enjoy.


After such a long break, the lodge is delighted that regular meetings will recommence as normal on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Because of the long period of absence, there is much to discuss, and the first meeting therefore will be a lengthy business meeting on Tuesday, September 14 at 7.30pm. Please note that no working degree will be conferred on this evening and all members are respectful­ly requested to attend.

 ??  ?? Plant life Seed dispersal against background of Wallace Monument, taken at Airthrey Loch by reader Lorna Donaldson of Causewayhe­ad
Plant life Seed dispersal against background of Wallace Monument, taken at Airthrey Loch by reader Lorna Donaldson of Causewayhe­ad

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