On the hoof to keep tryst

A painting of cattle being driven to the tryst
A painting of cattle being driven to the tryst

Back in 2010 I was delighted when two big iron cows were installed in the new shopping centre in Stenhousemuir.

It was an overdue reminder that the village had been, for over a century, the centre of the greatest livestock fairs in Britain, maybe even the world.

Tens of thousands of cattle, sheep and horses, most driven on the hoof from every corner of Scotland, were sold at the Falkirk Trysts on the second Monday and Tuesday of August, September and October.

The tryst ground was the huge flat area bounded by the Main Street, Bellsdyke Road, Muirhead Road and Muirhall Road and enclosed by a stone wall with a number of entry gates.

At its height over 200 acres were used to accommodate the sale animals as well as the hundreds of drovers with their ponies and dogs, buyers from all over England and Scotland, and a huge tented village with all the major banks, food stalls, sideshows and all manner of entertainments.

You can read the full stgory in this week’s Falkirk Herald.