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The Gask Ridge is an early chain of frontier forts, watchtowers and fortifications built by the Romans in Caledonia (Scotland). The Ridge comes close to Dunblane at the Ardoch Roman Fort in Braco, the Glenbank Fortlet, Doune Roman Fort, and Bochastle Roman Fort in Callander.

The fort system was built around 80 CE along the Highland Line, the boundary between Scotland’s fertile lowlands and mountainous highlands. Beginning at Glenbank north of Dunblane and finishing at Bertha, the Gask Ridge was one of Rome’s earliest fortified land frontiers. (Construction on Hadrian’s Wall wouldn’t begin for another 42 years)

The military centre of the frontier was the Legionary fortress of Inchtuthil overlooking the north bank of the River Tay. Inchtuthil was built for the forces of Governor Gnaeus Julius Agricola as the advance headquarters for campaigning against the northern tribes.

The traditional theory for the forts construction was to prevent invading Caledonians from raiding Roman-held lands. The value of the forts to block a larger mass invasion from the north is doubtful, as only Inchtuthil had the necessary soldiers and defensives to place a hurdle strong enough to fight a war along the chain.

Recent archaeological evidence has even shown, that depsite many of the forts on the Gask Ridge being rebuilt, sometimes twice, there is no evidence of destruction occuring through warfare. North of the Gask Ridge was a series of marching camps that the Romans constructed in the 1st century during their exploratory campaigning as far north as Inverness (and possibly further).
By 86 CE Rome established a policy of three standing legions for Britannia, and a military withdrawal south was declared. The Gask Ridge frontier, along with its fortifications was abandoned no later than 90 CE. Find out more

From the Stirling Observer 10 January 2017

More than a ton of goods was collected by Dunblane Boys' Brigade members in their bid to help Start Up Stirling.

Organisers were delighted with the response and say the amount collected was impressive as people responded to the request to donate toilet paper and feminine hygiene products- neither of which weigh much. Dozens of the boys helped over the three-hour public donation period and many assisted to unload the food at Start Up's new, larger depot in Stirling.

Captain of 25th Stirling (Dunblane) BB, Paul Christmas, said: "Although it is undoubtedly sad that the demand for the food bank continues to rise, we are pleased and proud to have a regular association with Start Up Stirling, who do so much to address the i problems being faced by many in communities around Stirling."

BB member Jack Robinson (16) added, "We have been helping out the food bank with big collections twice a year since 2011 and we have a monthly collection on our Friday night meetings but we do enjoy helping outwith these big collection nights and it's brilliant to see so many people coming in with donations." Donations came in thanks to support from schools and churches advertising the event plus appeals in print media. Members of Dunblane Cathedral helped by taking part in the Reverse Advent Calendar activity.

Officers and boys of Dunblane BB would like to thank everyone who helped spread the word or donate in anyway to the success of the event.

AndrewButchart

Sports - Andrew Butchart has been selected as one of the lead stars for the Scotland Commonwealth games team for 2018 having had another highly successful year in 2017.    In September, Jamie Murray and partner Martina Hingis won the US Open mixed doubles having previously won the same event in Wimbledon.  Meanwhile brother Andy and his wife Kim had their second baby girl.  Not to be out done, mum Judy received her OBE and rejoined Strictly for the Christmas special.  Many other Dunblane athletes took part in the Stirling Scottish Marathon with plans announced for a half marathon to join the full one next year.

 

 

 

 

DAVID BENNETTLife on the High Street - Our butchers - John Hill and Benetts continued to make it big in the world of PIEs with top awards being won.  Sadly, the Sherrifmuir Inn closed down but Juniper Restaurant started up in Old Churches House offering a menu that has been very successful in Tillicoultry.  In December, RBS announced that their branch in Dunblane would close, following in the footsteps of the TSB.  The streetscaping scheme around the station finished early in the year with the Allan Water Bridge re-emerging from the building work complete with raised flower beds.  For much of the year we had a chicane on the dual carriageway while part of the bridge was raised to allow for electric trains to Dunblane in late 2018 - early 2019.  Sadly if we went in to Edinburgh or Glasgow for a night out, it was a rather slow bus taking you home from Polmont or Croy.

 

  

Dougiemaclean

Culture and Events - The fling was a success again with Dougie McLean headlining the Saturday night in the Victoria Hall.   

October saw the E-Bicycle event take place. 

We're not getting quieter, with Holmehill, Park of Keir and Hillside housing developments all continuing to generate strong views in both for and against camps.

 

And Finally - Dunblane's population stands at 8,830.  It is the second biggest settlement in the Stirling Council area.

 

Have a great 2018!

Update 18 December 2017

Scottish Rural Action seeks your views

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The Royal Bank of Scotland is to close its branch in Dunblane & Bridge of Allan

RBS website

STV website

BBC website

 

Update Sunday Lunchtime 3 December

Dozens of people including lots of children have been out on the Laigh Hills today planting fruit trees - a great success!

laigh orchard Alan Ter

Help Plant an Orchard on the Laigh Hills
We will need help planting fruit trees on the Laigh Hills. So if you can help please come along on Sunday 3rd December (weather willing) to dig a hole and plant a tree or three. If you are a child, please bring along an adult. If you are an adult please bring a spade and a hammer and join in the fun. We will be having a try out of the planting scheme on Saturday 2nd December so if you want to do a little more and maybe help groups who come along to plant on Sunday 3rd December please contact Alan Booth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call on 01786 824791.

Improving Access to the Laigh Hills

Members of the Laigh Hills Park Masterplan Steering Group have managed to secure a significant sum of money from the European funded Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) to Improve Public Access to the Laigh Hills. Almost 2km of improved paths and steps with drainage, seats, signs and fingerposts will be constructed by Stirling Council’s in house team from early November

An Orchard in the Laigh Hills

Thanks to a grant obtained by the Laigh Hills Steering Group from Tesco’s Bags of Help fund, we hope to plant some 300 fruit trees in early December. This time we will need help from the wider community to help plant the trees Further details will be posted closer to the planting dates. The fruit trees will include a Scottish Apple Collection, a Plum Collection, Modern Apples – Dessert (eaters) and Cookers, a Scottish Pear Collection, Damsons and other fruits

Some Background : A Community Orchard was alluded to in the Laigh Hills Park Dunblane Strategic Landscape Master Plan 2014. This document and process had wide community support.  The development of a "heritage" orchard or orchards on the Laigh Hills -- particularly on the sites that have bracken problems at the moment -- would be the first phase of the Community Orchard development.

The orchard will provide free fruit for walkers and encourage active recreational use of the Park whilst enhancing the biodiversity of the area. The community, through a friends group, would be involved in planting and maintaining the trees.

The orchard will focus on establishing heritage fruit trees, including apples, pears and plums and suitable varieties of bare rooted stock will be obtained from a local fruit tree nursery. Tree will be staked and guards will protect the young trees from deer, voles and rabbits. The trees will be planted by volunteers from the community and from local schools and expert site visit and advice and will also be used to ensure that the orchard is successfully established. As well as providing fruit, the orchard will be an attractive feature in the Park and will attract more wildlife to the area.

For the really interested the list of varieties planned, follow these links

Join the ‘Friends of the Laigh Hills

It was always intended that a Friends of the Laigh Hills group would maintain the orchard and there has been a good number of folk who have expressed an interest. However this phase of the works on the Laigh Hills calls for more community involvement so if you would want to become a Friend of the Laigh Hills and help in some way please contact Alan Booth at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call on 01786 824791.

Play Facilities?

The play facilities at the Laigh Hills are due for improvement by Stilring Council – this from funds provided by developers over the years. More news shortly.

 

Participants of the Dancesing classes held in Dunblane, Bridge of Allan, Killearn and Glasgow are the backing singers to a charity single fronted by Stirling's Greig Taylor.  All proceeds of the single, which is a cover of Bruce Springsteen's rock classic "Dancing in the Dark", will be donated to the mental health charity SAMH.

Natalie Garry, owner and fitness coach at Dancesing, is keen to encourage good mental health through singing and dancing. Recent studies have shown that singing as part of a group can boost mental health. 

Launched last month live at Oran Mor in Glasgow, the single can be downloaded on iTunes or Amazon now.

More info on the Dancing in the Dark Project can be found here.

Dancesing classes are held at the Victoria Hall during term time on Fridays at 10am. More info on the Dancesing website.

dance sing vic hall

The Royal Bank of Scotland is to close its branch offices in Dunblane & Bridge of Allan

RBS website

STV website

BBC website

 

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