AN ALLOA teen had his garden transformed thanks to a wonderful gesture by staff from Stirling's Thistle Centre.

Ross Davison, who suffers from autism, saw a brand-new swing, seating area and a vegetable planter installed in his garden by a hard-working team.

Ross' support workers from Scottish Autism approached the shopping centre asking for prizes for a raffle to raise money for the garden transformation.

Instead, the Thistles team, led by Gary Turnbull, decided to volunteer and transformed the garden in one action-packed day.

A TULLIBODY woman who suffered a brain haemorrhage in 2005 finished university with a first-class degree.

Bernadette Syme graduated from Queen Margaret University as a mature student, having successfully completed her BA (Hons) International Hospitality and Tourism Management course.

Even before the haemorrhage, Bernadette, who also has six aneurysms in her brain and stents to treat them, didn't think university was a possibility for her.

However, she fought hard to turn things around and said: "It's an amazing achievement and something I never thought would have been possible."

THE 163RD Alva Games took place at a sun-soaked Johnstone Park and drew crowds from across the country.

Euan Smith, of Central AC, was named best local athlete of the day while Simon Bailey of Mercia won athlete of the day.

Tom Paterson, a former Alva Games Committee member known as the Voice of the Games across the country, was the guest of honour.

SENSATIONAL Duncan Scott came from behind in the men's 4x100m medley relay at the World Aquatics Championship to earn a gold medal for GB.

Duncan, of Alloa, swam the anchor freestyle leg with three others to win with a new European record of 3:28:10.

Duncan said: "I've got to put that down as my best swim. I always love representing Great Britain."


A WEE COUNTY strongman brought home a gold and set a new British record for deadlifting in the process.

Chris Beetham, of Tullibody, claimed the title in his 145kg class and took the deadlift record with an incredible 305.5kg.

Chris, who broke his back years ago, said: "To do it with my mum and dad in the crowd watching made it a special moment."

THE OCHILS Mountain Rescue Team sprung into action after receiving reports of a hillwalker with an injured leg near Dollar.

Forth Valley Police Division asked the group for assistance in dealing with the casualty, who was stuck on Seamab Hill.

A statement from the OMRT said: "Once the casualty was as comfortable as possible, they were transported by stretcher to our Landrover then drive off the hill to the awaiting ambulance."

AN ALLOA couple who were told their union would "never last" celebrated their 60th year married.

Thomas and Irene Allan wed on August 1, 1959, at St Andrew's Church in Alloa, now the base of The Gate charity.

Irene, 18, married Thomas, 21, despite her father telling her they would never last.

Irene said: "He was often wrong."

Thom mused his happiest memory was the day they got married before cheekily adding: "That was it though."


ALVA RESIDENTS teamed up with the Community Council to give local parks a much-needed deep clean.

Andrea Harkins, of Alva, approached the council asking what could be done to clean up the play areas which were in poor condition.

They organised a clean-up day and were thrilled with the response, with over 50 locals attending to help.

Sandra Rees, of the community council, said: "The hardy bunch worked together to wash play equipment and collect litter."

A TEENAGER who suffered a shock heart attack celebrated his recovery with a charity football match.

Kieran Mooney, from Alloa, endured what he described as the "scariest night of his life" when he collapsed after running aged just 18.

A year on from the incident, Kieran wanted to raise money for Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and organised the match at his beloved Alloa Athletic's Indodrill Stadium.

The match was made up by Kieran's friends and family and raised over £2,500, with Kieran also scoring the winner with less than minute to go.

Kieran said: "It has been a tough year and to end it at Recreation Park, which means so much to me, was great."


A RISING judo talent from Sauchie brought home gold to the Wee County after winning at an international competition.

Cailan Calder took the top spot on the podium at the Commonwealth Judo Championships in Walsall.

Cailan celebrated with fellow Espirit Judo member Gabriella Wood, who brought home a silver medal.

Cailan said: "The best thing about it was when I won it, I could see my dad's face, see how happy and proud of me he was."

ALVA ACADEMY continued their fantastic fundraising efforts with a huge Macmillan Coffee Morning at the school.

Children and staff welcomed visitors for what was described as their busiest event "without a doubt."

The school have raised over one-third of a million pounds since 2004 and over £40,000 in 2019.

Teacher David Clifford, who is a keen support of the fundraising efforts, was thrilled with the day and said: "The place was just filled with laughter, smiles and the most positive atmosphere."

HARDY members of the Tullibody Walking Football Club enjoyed a trip to Portugal to compete in the Algarve Cup.

Tullibody took one over 50s team and three over 60s team to compete in the competition, which is in its fifth year.

The over 50s team finished highest, earning sixth place in their category, while the over 60s teams finished in a respectable seventh, ninth and 10th.

Coach Davy Reynolds travelled with the squad and praised the group for all the benefits the guys get outside of the game.

Davy said: "We don't just play football, we have a bit of banter.

"The guys miss the interaction they used to get at work…[so they] come along for the social side."


SAUCHIE Community Group's efforts to improve the town saw them rewarded with a prestigious accolade.

As reward for recent achievements such as setting up and opening the Sauchie Community Garden, the group received the It's Your Neighbourhood award from Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Craig Miller, a member of the group, said: "This is a fantastic achievement. The hard work over the past 12 months has transformed Sauchie."

ALLOA man Michael Wiseman was crowned world champion in taekwon-do after winning double gold at the world championships.

43-year-old Michael won gold in the veteran category for over 35-year-olds and also won gold in the male's pattern division.

Winning these two medals meant he was awarded overall veteran blackbelt male champion.

Michael, who has been teaching the sport for over 20 years, said: "I'm trying to lead by example.

"I wanted to prove to my students that age is just a number."

ALLOA ATHLETIC supporters took on the club's legendary players to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the club's finest achievement.

To mark 20 years since the Wasps won the Challenge Cup, ex-players took on fans at the Indodrill Stadium and raised £260 for the supporter's club in a six-goal thriller that saw the legends side win 4-2.

Martyn Hammond, chairman of Alloa Supporters Club, said: "It was a footballing lesson to be honest, we [the supporters] were chasing shadows.

"It was all great fun with a fantastic atmosphere."


A WEE COUNTY hair salon decided to give up their usual festive tips and gifts in an effort to give those in need a better Christmas.

Alloa's J&K Glam Bar, owned by Jaclyn McAulay and Katie Borek, asked their loyal customers to donate advent calendars and essentials as part of a charity drive for The Gate.

Jaclyn said: "We're collecting all our tips and they will be going towards advent calendars, food, toiletries and then it's a bonus if a client wants to make a donation (to our collection) as well.

"If it helps five kids I'll be buzzing. If it helps 50 I'll be even more ecstatic."

AN ALLOA hairdresser celebrated 30 years of business by treating their first ever client to a makeover.

Rhona McCallum and her team of stylists celebrated in style with a drop-in day that included bubbly and cupcakes for friends and family.

After opening in the Inglewood area of Alloa in 1989, they relocated in 1993 to a bigger location.

Rhona said: "My amazing team of stylists, which I am immensely proud of, is what makes the salon what it is today."

A TEDx conference at a Wee County school was followed by social media users across the globe.

The presentation took place at Lornshill Academy and its hashtag #TEDxClackmannanshire was the 17th trending topic on Twitter worldwide across the day.

A dozen inspiring speakers tackled issues around resilience, how society addresses problems and how things could work better.

One of the speakers was Shumela Ahmed who is managing director at the Resilience Learning Partnership in Bridge of Allan.

Shumela said: "The experience was just phenomenal, it really-really was.

"I really must take my hat off to the staff and pupils at Lornshill Academy. They should be so proud of themselves."

A GROUP of caring young children at a Clacks nursery club are tackling climate change in their own back yard.

Youngsters from All Stars, an after-school club part of the Little Stars Nursery in Alloa, planted a whopping 150 trees on site as staff look to foster a greater appreciation of the environment amongst their pupils.

The trees will take pride of place in their recently renovated back garden in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint.

Maureen Scott, manager of Little Stars, was thrilled with the addition of the trees and the lesson it will teach the kids.

Maureen said: "It's really important for children to learn about caring fore the environment and for their community."