THE Hillfoots is known for its earth tremors and earthquakes, as it sits on the Ochil fault line; however, it has been some time since a strong tremor has been felt.

In the early part of the 20th century, the area was fairly active and in 1908 one of the biggest quakes was recorded.

A family had moved to Tillicoultry three years previously and the locals told them about the seismic occurrences.

But many of them seemed to happen overnight in the wee small hours, so the head of the household thought it was simply people who had had too much to drink on the Saturday night.

His views on the matter changed on Tuesday, October 20, 1908.

At around 4.10pm, he was in his parlour flicking through a book when he heard what sounded like two very loud thunderclaps close together.

One sounded like it was coming from directly above the house while the other came through the floor.

The cottage rocked and his daughter Peggy, who was in the dining-room at the time, screamed 'O father, father, the earthquake!'

She described the room as having swayed 'bodily forward' then it fell back again. Cups rocked in their saucers.

In some properties, whole shelves moved, and crockery was broken.

Householders up and down the village ran from their homes into the streets.

The earthquake passed without doing much damage to property, but it was felt and heard in the factories over the din of the machinery.

Some children at the school were knocked from their seats and glass in a partition smashed.

The lids on ink wells clattered shut and some of the younger children were so scared, they ran home, despite efforts to try and calm them. Many of the teachers were also frightened by the event.

At Alva, it was reported three shocks were felt there. In a building full of heavy machinery, the sound was heard over the din of the wheels and the power was turned off immediately, the workers believing that a terrible accident had occurred. At all the mills, workers ran outside.

At Alloa, the shock was also felt, lasting just a few seconds, but more so in the west of the town, with some townsfolk believing there had been an explosion somewhere. Houses were shaken but there was no damage.

The earthquake was also felt in Dunblane and Larbert where furniture and crockery were shaken.

It was the main topic of conversation for a long time afterwards.