Braehead 2017 Pumpkin Festival


On Saturday 28th October 2017, Braehead Community Garden will be holding its second Pumpkin Festival – and you and your family are invited to join in the fun.

Pumpkin Carving Workshop.  11am-1pm

img_1919If your carving skills stop at triangles for noses and circles for eyes, then bring your pumpkin to our PUMPKIN CARVING WORKSHOP between 11am and 1pm.  We’ll have carving kits, templates and some artistic volunteers to help you create a pumpkin lantern to impress.

The event is FREE for Garden Access Pass holders and their children, £2 for non-members.  Don’t forget to bring your own pumpkin!

Pumpkin Cookery Workshop.  1pm-2.30pm

img_1934Ever wondered if you could do something with the leftover pumpkin after a carving session?  Come along to our cookery workshop and get some inspiration for recipes and then help creating delightful dishes!  Free for members, £2 for non-members.  Places are limited and this event MUST be booked by emailing 

Pumpkin Show (entries to be submitted at Community Garden between 1.30pm and 3pm)

img_1936Enter your carved pumpkin into our PUMPKIN SHOW and you could win a prize in one of our show categories.  Hand your entry into the garden and we’ll judge the best, before showing all pumpkins in the evening lantern show.  All pumpkins can be picked up on Sunday 30th between 1pm and 2pm.  You can enter in any or all of the following categories:


  • Scariest Pumpkin
  • Funniest Pumpkin
  • Best Pumpkin that references a Movie
  • Best Pumpkin carved by a (supervised) under-10 year old
  • Best Pumpkin carved by a (supervised) under-15 year old

The winners will be announced and on display at the lantern festival.

Pumpkin Lantern Festival.  6pm-8pm

Come join us in the garden for a dazzling pumpkin lantern show.  All of the pumpkins entered into our show will be lined up and lighting up the darkness in a spooky show of the best and scariest pumpkins in Stirling.  We’ll also be dooking for apples and having some other fun Halloween activities in our Polytunnel.  Entry is by donation.  Teas, coffees and home baking will also be available.


Kerse Road Bridge Closure Gets Go-Ahead

Kerse Road Bridge
Kerse Road Bridge

Network Rail have cleared a significant hurdle in their plan to fully replace the bridge over the rail tracks at Kerse Road.  Stirling Council’s “Environment and Housing” Committee voted 4-2 to grant a “road closure” order, adding to the Planning Permission Network Rail were granted last month.  The order was granted subject to the successful conclusion of a programme of works to mitigate the effects on road safety and community inconvenience during the closure.  Kerse Road Bridge is on one of the city’s main arterial routes, accommodating around 22,000 vehicle movements every day.

2018 timetable for works

A temporary bridge will be built to ensure pedestrian and cycle access will be maintained at all times.  Motor vehicles will face the following restrictions:

  • January – March 2018:  the route will be reduced to one lane, accommodating traffic heading OUT of the city.
  • April – September 2018:  the route will be fully closed while the current two lane bridge is replaced with a new three-lane bridge
  • October – December 2018:  the route will reopen to two way traffic, with narrow lanes and speed restrictions
  • Christmas 2018:  All restrictions will be lifted and the route will be open.  There will be two further weekend closures to allow finishing work including road marking, and to remove all of the equipment associated with the project.

Official Diversion Route

Stirling Council are legally obliged to designate an official diversion route for all traffic.  This route must start and finish at the closure point.  For illustration, the official route would require drivers who wish to get from Aldi to Waitrose to travel out of the city to the motorway junction roundabout (the one with Granada Services) and then travel down the Glasgow Road and onto the Burghmuir Road.

Mitigation Measures for Braehead & Broomridge

Everybody, including council officials, recognise that drivers with local knowledge will use their own diversion routes, meaning some roads are expected to see a significant increase in traffic volumes.  This includes the Pike Road-Broom Road-Linden Avenue corridor.  Stirling Council and Network Rail have been working closely with the local Community Council and have agreed the following mitigation measures:

  • Pike Road:  Speed activated signs warning drivers going faster than 30mph to slow down.
  • Broom Road:  a new zebra crossing to link the two bus stops at Carrick Court
  • Linden Avenue:  a new zebra crossing near to the junction with Afton Court
  • Linden Avenue:  a new zebra crossing near to the junction with Valleyfield Place
  • Pike Road & Linden Avenue:  more prominent signage informing drivers that there is a 7.5 tonne weight restriction meaning only vehicles making deliveries within the area over this weight may use the roads.


Stirling East Councillor Chris Kane says,

“Network Rail initially presented a totally unacceptable thirteen month full closure of the bridge. Through a lot of hard work from Stirling Council officers and intense lobbying by Braehead Community Councillors and elected councillors, this has been negotiated to a six month full closure with significant mitigation measures on affected roads.

Road safety is my number one priority and the proposed series of mitigation measures will go a long way to securing this, as will the clear commitment from Network Rail and Stirling Council to spring into immediate action if something unexpected happens. 

This will have to be monitored extremely carefully and regular, meaningful communication with communities and affected businesses throughout the closure.   Network Rail have been told that their level of engagement with businesses in Springkerse is not up to scratch and they have committed to an immediate improvement in communication.

While this closure will cause a huge inconvenience for local residents and Springkerse companies, it is important to remember that Stirling is open for business and ready to give our usual welcome to tourists and day trippers.  The further away from the closure you are the more time you’ll have to react to the diversionary signs.  Visitors traveling to or from the motorway network really shouldn’t notice much, if any, time added to their journey. 

Nobody thinks this is an ideal situation but at the end of the process we’re going to have a bigger, better bridge and an electrified railway with better, faster more environmentally friendly trains.”

Braehead Plant & Flower Show A Great Success


Over 200 people attended Braehead Community Garden’s Flower and Vegetable show on Sunday.  The second annual event saw both garden members and local residents showing the fruits of their labour over the last few months.  There were 100 classes of entry covering everything from cut flowers to trusses of tomatoes.




The 2017 prizewinners with Provost Christine Simpson

Alasdair Forsyth picked up the prize for most points in the new chilli section, winning with exotic sounding entries including the Peruvian lemon drop chilli, the nu-mex twilight chilli, the Bulgarian carrot chilli and the peach habanerao hybrid chilli.

Alasdair Forsyth receives his rosette from Provost Christine Simpson - check out the t-shirt!
Alasdair Forsyth receives his rosette from Provost Christine Simpson – check out the t-shirt!

Jim Kirk won the inaugural photography section (many of the pictures on this page are his creations!), although ten year old Katie Kane triumphied in the “portrait of a pet” category with a picture of her hamster Izzy.

Ten year old Katie Kane's prize winning shot of hamster Izzy in the "Portrait of a Pet" category
Ten year old Katie Kane’s prize winning shot of hamster Izzy in the “Portrait of a Pet” category

Overall, for the second year running, Garden member Elaine Lewis won the “Braehead Cup” for the most points accrued over all categories and classes.

Elaine Lewis (holding son Connor) receiving the "Braehead Cup" from Provost Christine Simpson
Elaine Lewis (holding son Connor) receiving the “Braehead Cup” from Provost Christine Simpson

Community Garden Chairperson, and Stirling East Councillor, Chris Kane, said

“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.  But more than that, we’re also showing that just as you don’t have to be a musician to appreciate music, you don’t have to be a gardener to appreciate a garden.  It’s been wonderful to see so many people visit and appreciate all the hard work and simply to soak up the atmosphere in what our members know is a wonderful, inspirational community space.” 

Provost Christine Simpson was on hand to present the prizes and talk with the winners.


The next public event at the Community Garden is the Pumpkin Festival on Sunday 29th October, with pumpkin carving workshops, pumpkin cooking workshops and a wonderful nighttime display of all the pumpkin creations.  The event is free and more details will be posted here nearer the time.


List of Winners

Overall Winner:  1st Elaine Lewis;  2nd Jim Clark;  3rd Aileen Hall

Vegetables:  1st Jim Clark; 2nd Elaine Lewis;  3rd Braehead Market Gardeners

Fruit:  1st Elaine Lewis;  2nd Barbara Anderson / Alasdair Forsyth;  3rd Aileen Hall / Jimmy McArthur / Wendy Mclean

Chillies:  1st Alasdair Forsyth;  2nd Alasdair Kerr;  3rd Anne Kerr

Flowers:  1st Elaine Lewis;  2nd Maureen McArthur;  3rd Wendy Mclean

Homemade:  1st Jennifer Mackay; 2nd Elaine Lewis;  3rd Aileen Brown / Rosa & Greg Huczynski

Photography:  1st Jim Kirk;  2nd Aileen Hall;  3rd Ailsa & Matty Power

Children’s Section:  1st Cora Lewis; 2nd Connor Lewis / Holly Power / Archie & Kirsty Anderson; 3rd Penny Rae