The Annual dinner took place on Friday 24th November courtesy of the Allan Park Hotel.
A new member Howard Allen was inducted into the Hammermen by Deacon Andrew McEwan prior to the start of the dinner.
Howard is shown opposite, receiving his Burgess Ticket from Deacon Andy.
The speakers for the dinner were Deacon Andy and Ken Dow.
Andy a Son of the Rock started off with an illustrated talk about trials and tribulations of the many Stirling Churches. He described their origins,who founded them, how the congregations split up and merged back again. A classic example being in the Holyrood Church where there was an East and a West church in the same building after a fall out within the congregation.
With the declining church attendance coupled with the movements of the population Andy explained how some fell into decline and were demolished while new ones were built (North Church in Braehead). It was a fascinating insight into their history and politics.
Ken another Son of the Rock, talked about Stirling as he knew it in his younger days before the re-development of the city centre. He talked about shops and characters much to the delight of the members present as to many it brought back fond memories or maybe memories through rose tinted spectacles!
What was clear that much had changed and not necessarily for the better. There was probably more of a community spirit present, which vanished as the out of town supermarkets and shopping centres appeared. Many of the places that Ken described had disappeared either through the redevelopment of the city centre, as technology changed (that killed off record shops) and multiple chain stores took over. Ken’s talk was delivered in his usual humorous style and a tremendous reminder of things past in Stirling even to the members who didn’t know Stirling well.
The evening finished with a vote of thanks to the two speakers and to the staff of the hotel for the excellent food.