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2018 Annual General Meeting Tuesday 10 April

April 04 2018

The Association's AGM will be held on Tuesday, 10th April at 7.00 p.m. in the Committee Suite, Municipal Buildings, Falkirk, FK1 5RS.

Instead of bringing prizes for a raffle, you are requested to bring along contributions for the Bottle Stall at Airth Highland Games in May - any sort of bottle is acceptable, alcohol, soft drinks, shampoo, bath foam, etc. 

You are welcome to join us.

Report of OA Meeting 13 March 2018

March 17 2018

At our meeting of Tuesday, 13th March, Elaine Mitchell, Chairperson of Falkirk District Twinning Association,  (FDTA) and former Secretary of the Odenwald Association, came along with three other members of the FDTA, Councillor Pat Reid, Ian Burt, and Laura McEwan, to talk to us about the twinning link with Créteil, a large town to the south-east of Paris. The Métro takes only 40 minutes to get from Créteil into the centre of Paris, and Eurodisney is not far away, which proves especially popular with the high school pupils.

Elaine gave us a short overview of the town, with its 95,000 inhabitants of mixed ethnicity, and showed photos of the old town and the newer, very modern buildings. Other photos showed exchange visits to Falkirk and Créteil.

Pat then told us about the history of the twinning link, which began in the early 1980’s, and was intended from the start to involve the ordinary people from both communities, as well as more official representatives. Since then, there have been all sorts of exchanges with disabled groups, sports teams, dancers, musicians, schools, and even two marriages!

Ian shared some amusing personal anecdotes with us and emphasised the benefits of twinning for all concerned, e.g. friendships and language development, for adults and children alike.

Laura, Modern Languages teacher at Graeme High, told us how her twinning experiences began as an exchange student, and all about the five visits she has since led to Créteil, for occasions like the popular Fête de Juin. She is hoping for even stronger links in the future as a result of the new initiative between the Scottish Parliament and the Institut Français.

The Wee Tree Theatre will be heading over there soon, and a staff member from Denny Library will be visiting the new Médiathèque. During questions from the floor, Councillor Spears took the opportunity to point out that twinning organisations like ours are in a good position to promote Falkirk as a tourist destination, and that tourism brings quite a lot of money into the area.

Our Chairman, Walter,  thanked Elaine and the team for a most interesting and insightful talk. Members then enjoyed a mix of French and German snacks, including crusty baguette with garlic cheese, and madeleine cakes.

2018 OA Meeting Tuesday 13 March

March 11 2018

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday 13th March at 7.00 p.m. in Room A, the Committee Suite, Municipal Buildings, Falkirk FK1 5RS. 

Our speakers will be Elaine Michell and other members of the Falkirk District Twinning Association  (FDTA), who will talk about their twinning link with Créteil in France.  There will be refreshments and a fund-raising raffle.   

We look forward to a good turn out of members for this talk about Falkirk's other Twinning partnership.

Talk by Christine Bell: Cycling Without Age

February 14 2018

 Christine Bell gave us a very informative, emotive and uplifting talk about the charitable project Cycling Without Age.

Cycling Without Age, Falkirk, grew out of another organisation, Communities Along the Carron, which was set up originally to clear a short stretch of the River Carron of litter in 2008.  With encouragement from Falkirk Council, the group began to tidy up along the whole river, and now works to educate the local community, especially schoolchildren, about the dangerous effects of litter on wildlife, and by involving them in projects like bridge improvements and re-stocking the river with fish, teaches them to respect their environment.

After receiving funding for a special project, and wishing to include older residents in the river improvements, the group heard about Cycling Without Age which had been set up in Copenhagen in 2012 by Ole Kassow to take elderly care home residents out and about on a trishaw.  From this small beginning has blossomed a movement which now operates in 37 countries.  Christine and her team liked what they found out about it and decided to set up a similar project in Falkirk.  Residents at Carrondale Care Home agreed to act as ‘guinea pigs’ for an initial trial which proved to be a great success.  One young volunteer in particular , Fraser, was instrumental in setting up the scheme and received a lot of valuable media attention as well as a Pride of Britain Award.  

With involvement from the Scottish Government, the Falkirk team are now helping other towns in Scotland to set up their own programmes, some of which should be up and running by April 2018.  They can help with insurance, risk assessments, buying and maintaining the bikes which come from Copenhagen and cost about £7,000.

The Falkirk branch now has about 40 volunteers, some of whom have never volunteered before.  Christine’s talk, which she illustrated with slides and videos, emphasised the benefits for passengers and volunteers alike, the opportunity to get out into the fresh air and feel the “wind in your hair”, stimulating company, sharing stories and songs, and feeling part of the community once more.

There is always room for more volunteers.   Anyone interested should contact

2018 13 February, Notice of Meeting: Change of Venue

January 23 2018

The next meeting of the Association will be on Tuesday, 13 February 2018 at 7.00 p.m.

We are delighted to have Christine Bell from "Falkirk Cycling Without Age", to give a talk on this exciting new initiative. 

Please note that the venue, for this meeting only, will be, The Tolbooth Tavern, Tolbooth Street, Falkirk FK1 1NL. (Beside The Steeple)

2018 January: OA Annual Dinner

January 10 2018

Instead of a formal meeting, 17 members of the Association enjoyed the Annual Dinner held in The Cladhan Hotel, Falkirk.  The combination of good food and good company ensured an enjoyable evening and successful start to the New Year for the Association.

See Gallery

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, 13th February. More details later.