When Rona could have been Scotland’s own Devil’s Island

Devil’s Island, Robben Island, Asinara, Pianosa, Alcatraz – all prisons remote and with very little chance of escape... and little hope. But 150 years ago a small island in the Hebrides could have joined that list, its merit resting on the belief that it would “have all the terrors and none of the attractions of transportation to Australia”.

Debbie Clarke looks at the case put in 1852 for turning North Rona into a penal colony on Stornoway’s doorstep.

Lock 7 under construction, 1923. Photo: J.A. McDonald. Brock University Alan Sykes Welland Canal Collection.

Workers’ memorial group seeks details on canal’s tragic Scottish cousins

The Welland Canal in Ontario, Canada, links Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and forms a key section of the St Lawrence Seaway.

Last leg of cast iron trip down the mighty Carron...

Last leg of cast iron trip down the mighty Carron...

The last leg of my trip down the Carron follows the route taken for well over a century by the iron articles manufactured at Carron Works destined for the markets of the world.

Nostalgia 1
Larbert viaduct and the old bridge over the Carron

Dunipace to Carron: history all along the riverbanks

This week I am continuing my historical odyssey down the Carron to mark Communities Along the Carron Association’s recent Queen’s Award.


VIDEO - 100 years of the tank

Today marks the 100-year anniversary of the first use of the tank in warfare.

The new-look Sindy

Sindy doll returns with a makeover

One of the most popular British toys of all time is making a comeback.

Pupils will be taken back to Victorian times

School takes a trip down memory lane

Pupils at Falkirk’s oldest primary school will be taking a peep into the past and experiencing education in the Victorian age next week.

Centurions march on Falkirk during Roman Week

Legions will visit Falkirk for big week

Roman history runs deep throughout the Falkirk area and an ever growing festival is on the march again to celebrate and educate.

News 1
Following the history trail along the Carron riverbank

Following the history trail along the Carron riverbank

Last Wednesday I attended the presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the fantastic team from Communities Along the Carron Association, or CATCA as it is known to one and all.

Westquarter Glen's waterfall

A trip to the Glen was
a great
day out

Last Sunday members of the Local History Society paid a visit to Westquarter Glen.

Nostalgia 1
Queen Mary's marble tomb in Westminster Abbey

Mary’s visits merit at least a plaque

I was in London last week and took the opportunity to pop into Westminster Abbey to pay my respects at the beautiful marble tomb of Mary Queen of Scots.

Smellie and Weir's pictured in 1960

The three brass balls are making a comeback

Shoppers in Falkirk town centre can’t fail to notice the reappearance of a famous sign that was a familiar sight in my childhood years.

Nostalgia 1
The opening day at Grangemouth airport

Grangemouth Airport –memories of what might have been

It is over three years since the Grangemouth Air Cadets inspired the creation of the fantastic Spitfire Memorial on the Bo’ness Road near the site of the old airfield.

Fun times at the foot of Falkirk Steeple

Steeple cockerel sparks debate

The golden cockerel that has stood proudly at the top of the landmark Falkirk Steeple for centuries has been taken down for a well deserved makeover.

News 5
The Dobbie Hall in Larbert opened in 1901

Memorials in stone abound in Falkirk district

On Sir Christopher Wren’s tomb in St Paul’s Cathedral it famously reminds us that “if you seek his memorial look about you”.

Falkirk district 3
Imaginative portrait of Blind Harry by Alexander Stoddart.

William Wallace – the nation’s favourite son

Describing the people and events of the distant past is no easy task and it’s obviously more difficult the further back you go.

Nostalgia 1
High Street looking west 1960s

A stroll along the High Street of the 50s

This week I am continuing my stroll down the High Street of the late 1950s after a brief stop in the Pie Office in the shadow of the steeple where pubs abound.

Troops go over the top.

Somme – the largest military encounter in history

In the spring of 1916 over a million French and German soldiers faced one another at Verdun on the Western Front.

The Railway Inn at Dennyloanhead. a reminder thge villages were once linked by the Bonnybridge-Kilsyth railway

A look at life in the villages east of Banknock

Lying along the line of the main road west from Bonnybridge are several small villages which over time have merged into one continuous community.

Charing Cross with the library and Free Church. On the far right is the former Parish Church.

Charing Cross – a reminder of a King’s homage

Charing Cross in Grangemouth is one of those local historic hot spots I have written about often in this column.

Load more