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Fun and festivity at Stanley Mills

12 May 2008

Stanley Mills, Historic Scotland’s newest visitor attraction and education centre, is holding a special free event for the local residents of Stanley and the surrounding areas. The Festival of the River on Sunday 18 May promises to be a fun-filled event for the whole family.

With a stunning setting on the River Tay, this free event is inspired by the water and river activities. The Rangers will help visitors discover all about local creatures of the deep with pond dipping and an expert gillie will demonstrate the art of casting. Everyone is invited to contribute to the giant fish art collage, prepared by one of Historic Scotland’s artists-in-residence, while children can be transformed with face-painting and take away a memento from their day with balloon modelling.

There will be the chance to meet with former workers from the mills, who were integral to the completion of the Stanley Mills visitor centre project by providing oral histories and relevant artefacts. Visitors can even dress up as former workers themselves with replica costumes from the past.

There will be Scottish music and dance with a ceilidh band performing on an outdoor stage and the local school will demonstrate ‘the Stanley dance’, giving visitors a real insight into what life was like at the mills outside working hours.

Gillian Urquhart, Assistant Events Manager, said;

“This is the first ever public event we have held at Stanley Mills and we are really looking forward to welcoming people on the day. With such a fantastic setting we have used this as the inspiration for the day, making sure there are activities for people of all ages to enjoy.”

“We also hope to recreate a very special photograph with all the people who attend the event. In our collections we have a photo with hundreds of workers standing outside the mills. Our aim is to recreate this moment in history and celebrate the lives of the people who worked at the mills.”

To find out more about the event people can text FESTIVAL to 84188 or for more information on Stanley Mills visit

Notes for editors

Stanley Mills is situated seven miles north of Perth, off the A9. Postcode: PH1 4QE. Tel: 01738 828 268.

Entrance to The Festival of the River is free. The event will run from 11.30 to 16.00.

The former water mill complex harnessed the power of the River Tay for cotton spinning. The first mill was built in 1786 and the last commercial operations ended in 1989.

In 1995 Stanley Mills was purchased by Historic Scotland with financial assistance from the HLF. The buildings are category A listed.

The Bell Mill and part of Mid Mill now form a new visitor attraction which tells the story of Stanley Mills and provides an education centre and a venue for community use.  This opened to the public at Easter 2008 and over 7,000 people have already enjoyed a visit. The HLF provided £2.1 million of the £4.7 million cost of this latest phase.

The project to create a visitor centre has involved keeping and emphasising many of the original architectural features. The main contractors in this project were Mansell.

Historic Scotland has worked with a number of local groups and former workers to gather information and conserve items associated with the mills. Memories of the workers have also been collected in an oral history project.

The visitor centre includes an education area which has been designed to allow schools and educational groups to carry out a wide variety of study projects linked to the Curriculum for Excellence.  

Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit:

Historic Scotland’s mission is to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

For further information

Laura Adamson
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959 or 07769 630 763