Old Images of Stirling, Scotland

Categorised as Stirling
Stirling Scotland UK old photos historic film

Discover what the small city of Stirling in Central Scotland used to look like, thanks to free-to-view videos and vintage film you can watch from the comfort of your own home.

Old Photos of Stirling

Let’s start with a lovely collection of old photos brought together by Tour Scotland, covering a wide range of decades and locations.

Old Photographs Stirling Central Scotland – tourscotland on YouTube

Next, Valerie Forsyth put together a fantastic selection of titled photographs, interspersed with other items showing a snapshot of local life in the olden days.

Old Stirling / Scotland’s History – Valerie Forsyth on YouTube

Stirling’s Historic Streets

In 2014, Colin McGregor took a walk from the station up to the top of town via King Street, Baker Street, and Broad Street. He describes people and places of interest, and we see a small city centre going about its business. In addition, old photographs of each location appear, allowing the audience to see how the streets have changed over time.

Old Stirling past and present – on YouTube

Archive Films From the 1920s & 1930s

1926

Claude Friese-Greene originally filmed ‘The Open Road’ in 1925 & 1926, and is all the more exceptional for being in colour.  The BFI National Archive recently re-edited and digitally restored the film, and uploaded this short clip to YouTube. 

Stirling, Scotland (1926) – BFI on YouTube

A Family in 1926

You don’t see much beyond the family, but it’s worth watching the thirty second historic footage to see the little laddie.

Duke’s Pass near Stirling, Scotland (1926) – BFI on YouTube

Amateur Film 1935

Restrictions mean we can’t show the thumbnail for the next video. But if you click the link, it takes you through to the National Library of Scotland, to see a short vintage film called “SCOTS’ SOCIETY’S TRIP TO STIRLING, CRIEFF AND LOCHEARNHEAD”.

In 1935, a Scots Society trip to Scotland visited Stirling, Gleneagles, Crieff, Comrie and Lochearnhead. One of the party took this 16mm film. Being amateur, it’s often a bit shaky or lopsided, but includes real life rather than just carefully shot empty buildings.

The first few minutes show roads in and around Newcastle, including the Tyne Bridge which looks foggy and deserted compared to today.

1935

From the British Pathé archive comes this short film lasting just a minute and a half, waxing lyrical about Stirling as the Gateway to the Highlands.

It was an age when guides pointed out things to note using their walking stick.

Stirling (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube

Road & Rail Network 1936

Restrictions mean we can’t show the thumbnail for the next video. But if you click the link, it takes you through to the National Library of Scotland, to see a short vintage film called “ROUTES AND CENTRES”.

A “panel of Scottish schoolteachers” collaborated on this 1936 film showing the principal centres in Scotland for road and rail networks. Includes Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Stirling & Torbrex 1938

Restrictions mean we can’t show the thumbnail for the next video. But if you click the link, it takes you through to the National Library of Scotland, to see a short vintage film called “Full record for ‘STIRLING: GATEWAY TO THE HIGHLANDS’ (0512)”.

A black and white silent film from 1938, in 3 reels. 

The first two reels capture different locations around Stirling, while the third visits the village of Torbrex in Stirlingshire.

Stirling Charities Day 1939

Restrictions mean we can’t show the thumbnail for the next video. But if you click the link, it takes you through to the National Library of Scotland, to see a short vintage film called “”Full record for ‘STIRLING CHARITIES DAY’ (0521)”

13th May 1939, and the Second World War is less than four months away. But the crowds enjoy charities day, raising money on behalf of STIRLING Royal Infirmary in pre-NHS times. Lots of people, entertainers and events shown.

Town And Gown In The 1970s

1972

Restrictions mean we can’t show the thumbnail for the next video. But if you click the link, it takes you through to the National Library of Scotland, to see a short vintage film called “Full record for ‘ROYAL STIRLING’ (2379)”.

Colour footage of the area from 1972. The narrator outlines some of the area’s history. Includes lots of families enjoying a day out at the zoo.

University of Stirling 1973

Restrictions mean we can’t show the thumbnail for the next video. But if you click the link, it takes you through to the National Library of Scotland, to see a short vintage film called “Full record for ‘UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING, the’ (6067)”.

This 1973 film examines the foundation and activities of the University of Stirling

Because it was presented by first Principal and Vice Chancellor Tom Cottrell, who appears to have died sometime between filming and final editing, the first couple of minutes are dominated by a sad, mournful poem.

The decision to include scenes of dissecting fish was a brave choice. But so were some of the lecture scenes, which are a sobering reminder that university isn’t all fun and clubbing!

“The lecture can only end inconclusively”.

None of the staff, students or activities shown are bursting with the enthusiasm of marketing videos universities churn out today.

But then, the students dress so conservatively it’s surprising they’re not wearing ties. It’s sometimes hard to figure out who the students are and who the staff are. Though there are a lot of hilarious hair and sideburns on display, not to mention the occasional necktie!

King’s Park Steam Spectacular 1976

Restrictions mean we can’t show the thumbnail for the next video. But if you click the link, it takes you through to the National Library of Scotland, to see a short vintage film called “STEAM SPECTACULAR”

Silent, colour footage from 1976, showing the gigantic Steam Spectacular held at King’s Park. Lots of adults, children and vehicles appear. 

The 1980s Vision Of The Future

FutureWorld Stirling 1984

Launched in July 1984, this film explains Stirling District Council’s plans to regenerate the Top of the Town and turn Stirling and Stirling Castle into a tourist destination. 

It’s presented by the journalist and historian Magnus Magnusson (1929 – 2007). And oh my, what a gem this is.

The recurring snippets of 80s electronic music creates an atmosphere of creepy dystopia.

Probably my favourite moment was 4.38 in. A quiet, peaceful green, surrounded by woodland and cheeping birds, is to be tarmaced over for a giant transport interchange.

Then, visitors will be snaking up and down the hill thanks to self driving electric cars – remember, this is the year before even the doomed Sinclair CV5 launched and playing a simple computer game involved loading data from a cassette for 20 minutes – and a two way glass-covered escalator! 

FutureWorld Stirling 1984 on YouTube

Digitised by Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, this is a great summary of the city’s history and a chance to look back to well known locations in 1984.

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