AN ELDER at Clackmannan Parish Church received praise for his long service to the congregation when the moderator of General Assembly of the Church of Scotland was in the Wee County.

The town's Mr Robert Fleming received a certificate for 50 years of service when the Right Rev Dr Derek Browning marked the bicentenary of the church building last month with a meaningful and inspiring sermon on Sunday August 27.

The present building was originally dedicated by Mr Mylne, minister of Dollar, on August 24 in 1817 and the people of the church have been organising a series of events to mark the occasion throughout the year.

While Mr Fleming did not spend all the five decades locally, he did hold office as finance convener and more recently as session clerk for several years.

Also in attendance were the Rev Lynne Mack, moderator of the Stirling Presbytery, Rev Alex M Millar, interim moderator at Clackmannan, and Rev Ray Gaston, the locum minister, who all made a telling contribution to the service, well appreciated by the congregation.

In the three days leading up to the big visit, the Flower Festival took place thanks to the hard work and organisation of Elspeth Cuthberston and the flower ladies.

A range of floral arrangements and creations were on display, they depicted the old industries and businesses in and around Clackmannan alongside a selection of photographs and items.

Illustrated were the now gone Kilbagie Paper Mill, the Kennetpans Distillery, Cherryton Brickworks, the local mill of Patons and Baldwins, the village blacksmith, mining, W & J McLean's Joinery.

Others included farming, Joe Morrow's fruit and vegetables, the village school, community doctors and the village cobbler.

Some displays also paid tribute to the local heroes who never returned from the two world wars and the roll of ministers who had served the community not just over the past 200 years, but over the last eight centuries when it was noted that a church first existed on the same site as the present building.