2018 Horticulture Show A Great Success


Horticultural Show Prize Winners 2018 (Pauline Roberts, Alasdair Forsyth, Jim Clark and Kay Wilson with Provost Christine Simpson and Show Coordinator Rosa Huczynska)
Horticultural Show Section Winners 2018 (Pauline Roberts, Alasdair Forsyth, Jim Clark and Kay Wilson with Provost Christine Simpson and Show Coordinator Rosa Huczynska)

Nearly 150 local residents and competitors braved the wettest day of the summer to attend the third annual Braehead Flower and Horticultural Show on Sunday.   Provost Christine Simpson visited the event, which was held under the cover of the Braehead Community Garden Events Polytunnel, to present the prizes.


Show Winner Jim Clark gets cup from Provost Simpson
Show Winner Jim Clark gets cup from Provost Simpson

Braehead resident Jim Clark, who is a member of the Community Garden, was the overall winner with 58 points from entries spread across multiple categories.

FS3Over 250 entries were received across multiple categories, including best home baking, best onions, best photograph, best floral display and more.

Other winners on the day included Alastair Kerr for most points in the fruit section and Alasdair Forsyth successfully defended his “hottest chili” growing title for the second year.  Jennifer MacKay won the homemade section, while Lucy Brown was the winner in the children’s’ section.

some of the produce for sale at the show
some of the produce for sale at the show

Garden Manager Aileen Hall said,

“It was great to see so many people brave the weather to visit and appreciate all the hard work from growers around Stirling.  We’re doing our bit here at Braehead to reintroduce simple gardening skills and give people the confidence to try growing their own food and then have fun sharing and showing what they’ve produced.  

The Braehead Community Garden Beekeepers took first place in the honey category, with a jar of the first ever honey produced from the small apiary on the Broom Road site.

the home baking went down a storm!
the home baking went down a storm!

Visitors to the garden were also able to buy honey, along with eggs from the garden’s flock of hens and vegetables from educational “kitchen garden”.

The Community Garden’s next public event will be the annual Pumpkin Festival in October.  For more information, or to arrange a visit or find out more about membership, log onto www.braehead.org


Braehead Horticulture and Flower Show 2018

Braehead Community Garden has put a call out for growers and gardeners all over Stirling to compete in the third annual Horticulture and Flower Show on Sunday 26th August.

The event is open to the public – both to visit or to enter one of the many categories. Click here to download an event schedule.

There are 100 categories to enter, spread across seven sections:  Vegetables, Flowers, Fruit, Homemade and Childrens’, photography and chilies.  The produce must be home grown, home cooked or home made.

Elaine Lewis (holding son Connor) receiving the "Braehead Cup" from Provost Christine Simpson at last year's event.
Elaine Lewis (holding son Connor) receiving the “Braehead Cup” from Provost Christine Simpson at last year’s event.

Returning this year will be the “hottest chilli pepper” category.   Last year one of the hottest chilies on the planet, the Carolina Reaper, was cultivated in the garden’s polytunnels.  This particular chili is hotter than the pepper spray used by police all over the world.

BHCGFLOWERS172Categories in the popular “photography section” this year include “A Stirling Scene” and “Patterns in Nature”.

Garden Manager Aileen Hall says,

“If you’ve got a cabbage that you’re particularly proud of, or indeed think your scones are better than anybody else’s, we want to see you enter our show on 26th August.  This event captured the local imagination and competitive spirit last year and was great fun.   This is a fantastic opportunity for everybody to come together and show the results of their summer labours in gardens all over Stirling.”

Braehead’s Flower and Plant Show Organiser Rosa Huczynska says,

“Last year’s show was a big hit with both members and the public and this year’s event will be bigger and better.  This year we’ve a whopping 100 categories across seven sections, ranging from photography to cakes.  I grew up in Buchlyvie and regularly entered the Kippen Flower Show as a child;  it’s great to see the spirit of these village shows growing in Braehead.  If you enjoy either gardening, baking, crafts or photography, there’s a category for you at the Braehead Horticulture and Flower Show.”

Entries will be accepted on Sunday 26th August in the morning from 8.30am until 10am, judging takes place until 1.30pm, with the show open to the public from 1.30pm until 4pm.  Provost Christine Simpson will present the prizes to the winners at 3pm.

Provost Christine Simpson presenting the prizes at the 2017 Braehead Horticultural Show
Provost Christine Simpson presenting the prizes at the 2017 Braehead Horticultural Show

Community “Big Dig” to locate Stirling’s first ever swimming pool

School children and local residents in Braehead will get an opportunity to find out about Stirling’s first ever public swimming pool at the end of the month – but will first have to find it and then get their hands dirty uncovering it.

On Friday 31st August, children from Braehead Primary and Fallin Primary will be involved in a “Big Dig” on the site on the grounds of the former Millhall Colliery, where Stirling’s first ever swimming pool opened in July 1913.  Then on Saturday 1st September, local residents will get a chance to continue the investigation in the second of this two day event.

When it opened, the ‘Stirling Journal’ newspaper described the swimming pool as 25 yards long and 12 & a half yards wide and built of ‘nicely finished white glazed brick work’.  It was paid for by a donation from the Fallin Public House Society.

In August 1913 the first public swimming gala was held at the pool and 70 spectators watched a number of races and events.  Trophies were presented, including to H Miles, who won the first 100 yard race.  By 1917, the Stirling Observer reported that more than 400 people were paying an annual subscription to use the facility.

Poor industrial relations and low pay for miners in the 1920s meant that the facility struggled and eventual closed.  By 1942, it had disappeared from Ordinance Survey maps and slowly disappeared from the landscape and memories of local residents.

No pictures of the swimming pool are known to exist – could you or a relative have something in a box in the attic?

The local Community Council, along with Community Development Trustee and ward councillor Chris Kane, have teamed up with Guard Archaeology and Stirling Council Archaeologist Murray Cook to see what, if anything, remains of the swimming pool.

Councillor Chris Kane says,

“Part of me hopes that the pit owners simply backfilled the pool and it is still there, waiting for us to dust it off and fill it back up.  But with work going on at the colliery until the late 1950s, more likely the heavy machinery on the site will have churned it into rubble.    I’ll be happy if we find some fragments of glazed bricks.   More importantly we’ll have hundreds of school pupils and local residents finding out more about a fascinating part of our community’s social and industrial history.” 

Community Council Chairperson Wendy Mclean says,

A few years ago the Community Council produced the “Braehead & Broomridge Heritage Trail” which talks about our community connections with everything from the Battle of Bannockburn to our local World Champion Pipe band.   At the time we didn’t realise that we also had Stirling’s first swimming pool and so we’re going find out as much as we can and add it as a stop on our already packed and fascinating local heritage trail.”

Local interest in the swimming pool was rekindled when local historian Craig Mair published an article in the ‘Forth Natural Historian” journal, entitled “Fallin’s Gothenburg Public House and Stirling’s Forgotten Swimming Pool”.  You can access a copy of the article here (it’s in volume 34, page 145).

For more information on the Braehead & Broomridge heritage trail, click here.

Event Details

Date:  Saturday 1 September 2018 (note Friday is for school visits only)

Time:  10am-4pm

Start / End:  Millhall, bing, off Millhall Road (Springkerse side), Stirling

Directions:  Turn off the A095 Kerse Road at the “Arnold Clark Renault Garage”.  After garage, turn right just before “Action Lawn and Leisure” and follow road until you see a path with a security barrier.  The dig site should be visible approximately 30m beyond the barrier.  Conditions:  paved access to dig site.  Dig site is in a field, approximately 10m from paved road.  There is no toilet on site, with the nearest publicly accessible toilets at Springkerse Retail Park ¾ of a mile away.

Booking;  while you can simply turn up, it would be helpful if you could email if you would like to take part.

Former Millhall Colliery