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 known as Shiphaugh.
These homes have significant historic value for Scotland as they are one of the first social housing developments in the country. The first houses at Shiphaugh were opened in October 1920.
It was proposed that Riverside Community Council commemorated the centenary in some way.
Images by courtesy of Stirling Council Archives
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 was successfully gained from Stirling Council's Community Pride Fund.
After consultation with Stirling Council's Land Services team it was identified that the best location for the tree is 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, is wheelchair accessible, and overlooks some of the houses that were built as ‘Homes For Heroes’ . It also has plenty of space for the tree as it grows.
Despite being slightly delayed due to COVID, on the morning of the 18th November the commemorative beech tree was planted.
An interpretation board has been commissioned and it will be installed near the tree. Two local residents helped with the content, design and writing of a leaflet which describes the history of the houses. These leaflets were delivered to all the houses in Shiphaugh. A copy can be seen below and downloaded here.
We'd like to offer thanks to the following people, their help has been invaluable.
Mr George Dixon
Mr A Lamb
Art Is An Option
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