At a Community Council meeting in April 2019, a Riverside resident brought attention to the centenary year of the "Homes Fit For Heroes" that were built on the area formerly known as Shiphaugh Farm.
These homes have significant historic value for Scotland as they became one of the first social housing developments in the country. The first houses were opened in October 1920.
It was proposed that Riverside Community Council commemorated this area in some way.
Discussion with Stirling Council about an event was started in July 2019, with various options being considered. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis any thoughts of having a big public celebration have been postponed.
A decision was made to plant a commemorative tree. Funding has been applied for, and if this is successful a beech tree, native to Scotland, will be planted in October.
After consultation with Stirling Council Land Services team it was identified that the best location for the tree is near on the grass opposite the junction of Queenshaugh Drive and Riverside Drive (see photo). This ensures the tree can be seen by many people enjoying the walk round Riverside, it is wheelchair accessible, and it overlooks some of the houses that were built as ‘Homes For Heroes’ . It also has plenty of space for the tree as it grows.
It is our intention to have an interpretation board made and placed near the tree and a local resident is writing a piece giving an outline of the history of the area that we hope to make into an information leaflet.
We'd like to offer thanks to Pam McNicol, a Stirling Council Archivist who has trawled through the archives and shared photos and documents with us which will be used to design the leaflet and the interpretation board.
Read more about the history of Stirling's homes for hero's in an online booklet about the "Local elites and social control: building council houses in Stirling between the wars here:
JAMES SMYTH and DOUGLAS ROBERTSON (2013). Local elites and social control: building council houses in Stirling between the wars. Urban History, 40, pp336-354 doi:10.1017/S0963926813000072
Images by courtesy of Stirling Council Archives