Back in 2002 documentary filmmaker Alistair Scott, (Director Screen Academy Scotland), working with cameraman, Douglas Campbell, spent a year in the Raploch housing estate on the outskirts of Stirling, producing a series of six half-hour observational documentaries for BBC Scotland. The programmes chronicled a year in the lives of a local residents. At that time the area had a tough reputation and, filming in the local schools and community centre, the series focused mainly on children and young people to find out about their aspirations for the future. The filmmakers went back five years later and made a one-off film documentary to follow-up the contributors and see how their lives had moved on.
Now 15 years after the original programmes Scott and Campbell have returned once more to find out how time has treated Raploch’s residents. Physically the area has been transformed with a programme of demolition and re-building many houses and a new community campus for both local primary schools. The fortunes of several of the youngsters who we followed first time round have also been changing. Twins Kimberley and Susan were filmed as enthusiastic members of the Tuesday Club support group at primary school. Susan is now a mum and Kimberley is expecting her first child. Another member of the club, Ashley, is pursuing a career as a campaigner while completing her university course. The documentary also catches up with Steven, who is beginning to turn his life around after decades of drug addiction, and with Archie whose love of the great outdoors has not diminished over the years. Meanwhile former primary school headteacher Anne Stewart, now retired, looks back with pride at her time at the heart of Raploch community. Several veterans of the original series, although still relatively young, have endured some hard knocks and challenges along the way, but their optimism lives on.
Raploch Stories: where are they now?(60 mins) is a Handheld Productions programme for BBC Scotland. 9pm Monday 18th September BBC 2