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Beyond The Viewings ... the Tapestry Gala!

R&R for Tapestry Viewers

It was tiring if exhilarating work viewing the Prestonpans Tapestry. So much detail and a bit of a melee inside the marquee. Oh for Our Grand Pavilion at Morrison's Haven where air conditioned luxury and sedentary rest-places will ameliorate the visitor's inevitable tiredness ... two minutes a panel x 104 = 3.5 hours start to finish ...

Fortunately for our 'own' Private Viewing on July 26th The Prestoungrange Gothenburg, the Glenbuckets and Alan Breck's Prestonpans Volunteers, with their Pipes & Drums and Colonel-in-Chief Martin Margulies, were on hand to provide R&R. Fine outdoor catering for lunch and for supper was forthcoming from the Goth's Head Chef Andrew Laurie and table-front leaders Anne Taylor and Carol Black. They won great applause as ever.

The photographs throughout are from Tony Marsh - be sure to CLICK TO ENLARGE EACH OF THEM

Our artist Andrew Crummy was the day's hero, hoist to their shoulders by stitching ladies reputed to be more familiar with a PL rugby scrum than ... well .. a Stitchers Gala.

The entertainment varied from the Campbell Family Pipes & Dancers of Tranent to John Lindsay, Prestoungrange's Poet Laureate, presenting 11th & 21st century tapestry vaudeville theatre. Coreen Scott sang beautifully with her ever supportive Laverocks Alasdair Morrison on guitar and Aislinn Faulkner on harp, and Fiona Campbell and Carolyn Wilson played fiddle too.

Many of us were introduced for the first time to the simple beauty of bells played by stitcher Lysbeth Wilson from Dunblane accompanied on electric piano by her son Malcolm. And before the Prince served his Drambuie and we all sang Auld Lang Syne there was a final Gaelic song from Rhona Morrison of Denny [herself a contributing stitcher] - Tha e tighinn ... 'He is coming'

In the footsteps of Napoleon I in 1804?

All the entertainments are pictured above with one exception. So just a wee word of added explanation for the Tapestry Vaudeville. Our Poet Laureate resolved to present his satire from Norman times with himself as The Bastard and Andrew Crummy as Bishop Odo - the religious Earl of Kent - in whose new-build cathedral at Bayeux the eponymous tapestry, of deliberately inferior length if of greater seniority, was first displayed. As folklore has it, the Bishop had a liking for young stitchers and fortunately Andrew is not to be disappointed as young Kelly Ross weighs up her opportunities to tarry with him in our tapestry's groves.

But first we are reminded of the stitchers home life these last several months with husbands, represented by Tom Ewing, getting the blues as they iron their way to a clean shirt. Gillian Hart vows to renounce photography and embroidery for ever and Adele Conn as a steadfast embroiderer clearly shows the signs of projected image tapestry overlay on her anguished face. William the Conqueror attempts to master the art of trumpet blowing but with no success. The only players to escape satirical scrutiny from the Poet Laureate seem to be Dorie Wilkie's Panel Beaters - from who everyone runs scared anyway!

What a day. What memories. Whatever next? ...... "No more bright ideas from the Baron thank you," chimes Gillian Hart!"

P.S. Radio Alba - Lunchtime Friday July 30th .... also told the Tapestry tale with stitcher Catherine Morrison talking with Cathy MacDonald .....

Published Date: August 5th 2010

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