Falkirk college reflects on 50th anniversary of its opening

Guests were invited to celebrate 50 years for the college's Falkirk campus
Guests were invited to celebrate 50 years for the college's Falkirk campus
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Students joined faces from the past as Forth Valley College’s Falkirk Campus celebrated its 50th anniversary.

The half-century milepost, commemorating the first full academic year of 1963/64, attracted more than 120 former students and staff as well Falkirk Council Chief Executive Mary Pitcaithly.

The celebration on April 29 also included an exhibition of old photographs, documents, cuttings, plans and prospectuses – provided by The Falkirk Herald and Falkirk Community Trust Archives - and a film featuring former students and staff reminiscing on their college memories.

The event also saw the launch of Forth Valley College’s Alumni organisation.

Dr Ken Thomson, Forth Valley College principal, said: “The Falkirk Campus under its various titles has been an intrinsic and essential part of the Falkirk community for the past 50 years, and we are proud of the role it has played in educating generations of Falkirk Bairns and many, many more people from further afield.

“We have come a long way since the campus’s first full academic year in 1963/64, and the transformation from offering training in local trades to being one of Scotland’s leading Modern Apprentice trainers and offering five full degree courses in partnership with three universities shows how important the college has become for the town.

“Forth Valley College is determined to make even more progress over the next 50 years and make the town even more proud of its further and higher education facility. We are looking at plans for a brand new Falkirk Campus which would be a worthy successor to the present one which has served us all so well for the last half century.”

Originally Falkirk Technical College, the campus was officially opened by then Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Noble on September 6, 1963.

In the mid-70s, the college was renamed Falkirk College of Technology and went through another name change to Falkirk College of Further and Higher Education before its merger with Clackmannan College in 2005, resulted in the present day Forth Valley College.

Local historian Ian Scott, a former assistant principal of Falkirk College of Technology said: “I think it has been absolutely fantastic to bring together colleagues and former students from different eras to celebrate this 50th anniversary.

“The college has played a tremendous role, not only in the economic development of Falkirk but also in the cultural and social life of the town.”