The Denny & Dunipace Mills Oral History Project
The Denny area has been home to industry and mills of all kinds – corn, fulling, lint, pot barley, paper, chip, char, dyewood, carding, spinning wool and bleach – since 1200 A.D. In a 2004 historical inventory of mills in the East Stirlingshire area, John Reid recorded 112 mills of all types in the area from 1200 – 1980s, 34 of which had been located in Denny/Dunipace. (Calatria: The Journal of Falkirk Local History Society, Vol 21, pp 61-80). In 1841 alone, 11 mills and factories were located on the banks of the River Carron within 1.5 miles of Denny.
The Denny & Dunipace Mills Oral History Project focuses on the 200 years’ paper mill history of the Denny area which formed much of the foundation of this community since 1789, even as it currently exists in its mostly post-industrial era. The people of Denny and Dunipace regret that much of this history has been lost – many of our old buildings have been torn down, historic sites have never been identified or marked. Some of our older citizens who carried the history have died, but some are still with us and we decided, in the spring of 2009, that we should take advantage of that. Over the last few years, the Heritage Society has been in the process of recovering and securing as many artefacts and old photos as possible, and now we are linking those mementos with the knowledge and spoken stories of those who worked in the mills.
We believe that such oral histories are a critical element not only to preserving our heritage but instilling a pride that will help this community to go forward. To that end, we have engaged the youth of our community in this project to conduct the interviews, as most of them have previously had little understanding of the industrial background which created their community and underpins its culture, even to this day.
Please visit the pages of this website to learn more about the process of our oral history project, to see some remarkable photos, and to meet some of the participants. If you have more information, memorabilia, photographs to add to our project, please contact us. We see our history as a living thing and are always happy to expand our knowledge.
Project sponsored by The Denny & Dunipace Heritage Society in partnership with Community Green Initiative, Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund