A HERITAGE celebration for Alva last week helped mark the 90th anniversary of the Cochrane Hall's opening.

The two-day event was held at the hall, organised by Alva Development Trust and was an opportunity for many groups to chart their progress over the years.

They included The Cochrane Foundation, the Alva Games Committee, local Guides and Scouts, Alva Glen Heritage Trust, Alva Community Council, the local Age Concern branch, the town's churches and many more.

Clackmannanshire's Lord Lieutenant Johnny Stewart was welcomed by three pipers and fittingly opened the event on Friday November 29, as Walter JF Erskine, the 12th Earl of Mar and Lord Lieutenant of Clackmannanshire at the time, was the one to declare the hall open in 1929.

The Cochrane Foundation showcased its own history and that of the hall, which was gifted to the people of Alva when the successful Cochrane brothers returned to the town from Philadelphia.

The foundation's Eileen Leckie at the heritage celebrations presented Alva Development Trust with a framed photo of the very first event to be held in the hall: an old folks' treat on December 21, 1929.

Cochrane descendants May Duncan, her Brother Murray Cochrane and his son Connal Cochrane also visited the exhibition.

Other heritage displays focused on the town's past, including rarely seen photographs and illustrations of the old Alva Railway from 1923, the silver mine c 1715 and the numerous woollen mills which used to dominate the townscape.

More than 300 people took the opportunity to visit the displays during the five hours of opening, many enjoying a cuppa and a blether.

Sandra Rees, of organisers Alva Development Trust, said: "We were absolutely delighted with the interest from the community in their heritage.

"There was a lot of networking going on between exhibiting groups, for example, Craig Dunbar of Alva Games said 'he met two wonderful pupils from Alva Academy who have promised to consider ways of working in a closer way with the games in the coming years'."

Saturday, November 30, then saw a St Andrew's Day ceilidh with the Jack Delaney Band, which was the perfect way to end the heritage weekend.

Thanks went to the exhibitors for their efforts in researching their history and creating displays.