Hello to 2018 – Fireworks, Gardens & Bridges

Stirling Castle Hogmanay Party

Stirling Castle Esplanade was once again the focal point for the city’s Hogmanay celebrations this year.  The weather behaved and it was a fantastic idea to have two parties so our younger children could enjoy the fireworks without having to try and stay awake until midnight.  I was delighted to stand in for the Provost to say a few words on stage to get the party started and my two kids had a blast at the event.  The family friendly fireworks at 9pm was excellent and I timed it at fifteen minutes long.  I thought it would be difficult to top that display, but the fireworks at midnight were simply outstanding.  The biggest display Stirling has ever seen was one to rival any city anywhere in the world and I was both proud and amazed as I watched the skies above the world-famous silhouette of Stirling Castle come alive in a blaze of colour.  Well done to all of the organisers – but you’ve set yourself a high bar to match in twelve months!  You can share your views with Stirling Council and help shape next year’s event by completing this short survey.

Braehead Community Garden Party

Bonfire Party at Braehead

After the family friendly event at Stirling Castle, I headed over to Braehead Community Garden with my family to watch the midnight display of fireworks at a good old fashioned community party.  Lots of my neighbours and friends turned up with some liquid cheer and we started our long-planned bonfire.  There was something simple and magical about sitting around on deckchairs at midnight watching the fireworks while being all toasty and warm thanks to the heat from the fire.  The kids had a great time running around in the dark and almost everybody turned up with a plate of food for the party.  First footing your neighbours is a tradition that’s dying off a little bit, so it was great to help keep it alive at Braehead.  I really do believe that communities that come together, thrive together – and our Community Garden project at Braehead is a huge part of the fabric of my community.  I can’t wait to see what develops and evolves there this year.  If you’d like to join the garden and grow with us in 2018, you’ll find membership information here.

Kerse Road Bridge

Kerse Road Bridge

After months of planning and preparing, Replacement work on Stirling’s Kerse Road Bridge begins next week.   Twenty Two thousand vehicles use this primary route every DAY and that traffic is going to be displaced on routes through Riverside, Braehead and St Ninians.  You can read more about the timetable for the work here, but broadly speaking from 8th January you’ll only be able to travel over the bridge away from the city centre for three months, before a six month total closure of the route.   We’re all a little anxious about what’s to come, but I cannot fault the preparations by Stirling Council ahead of the closure.  In Braehead, the speed activated signs on Pike Road are operational and we’ve got three new zebra crossings on Linden Avenue and Broom Road.  It’s going to be a tough few months for Stirling but we’re all going to have to play our part; whether that’s drivers being mindful of their speed and their surroundings or all of us continuing to support the businesses in Springkerse.  Now Network Rail must do their part, stick to the allotted timescale and get Stirling moving again as quickly as possible.