Prince Charles Edward Calls at the Visitor Centre
Bonnie Prince Charlie Visits and Raises His Battle Flag ..
As the picture shows, it was a folorn day in the midst of what passes for Flaming June this year in The Pans....but Prince Charles Edward, re-enactor Arran Johnson, was more than ready to make sure his Battle Flag fluttered in the wind atop the Battle Bing at Meadowmill. It will fly from now till end September and the Trust's modest yet very significant temporary Visitor Centre at the foot of the bing will be open each weekend from 11am - 3pm, and on high days and holidays, or by special arrangements - phone 07904 520640 or 01875 819922. [Keen observers will note that the normal directional interpretation boards that attach to the standing steel are away .. being restored by East Lothian Council. They are certainly expected back shortly but the Guides available at the Centre tell the story as well.]
Already a pleasing number of enquiries have been received and Dalkeith receives the honour of bringing the first school visitors to the Centre by special arrangement.
Kris Cunningham, Executive Trustee responsible for getting the Centre in place, has been receiving offers of volunteer assistance ever since the word first went out. Her thanks of course go to one and all who have volunteered ... but keep getting in touch. There are still a few slots needing volunteers. All the volunteers are also helping keep the site as neat and tidy as possible. Pictured below are Gillian Hart and 3 year old son Alex with Shirley Adams, three of the volunteers to staff the Centre at weekends.
What to Expect ...
The Centre has no admission charge and is absolutely there to see just who comes along, why and and what most interests them. It's also there to encourage visitors to become active Supporters of the Campaign for a much more extensive conservation and interpretation of the battle site and all that Prince Charles Edward's Victory meant 262 years ago, as well as its enduring message for today and tomorrow of Hope and Ambition. All who sign up can then be kept in regular touch via the website.
But the Centre is a deliberately and necessarily modest start by the Trust, knowing that oak trees from acorns grow. It has only been possible because fellow Trustee Malcolm Scott made arrangements for the portakabin for the summer period. Specifically the interior of the Centre offers:
- details of the Trust's formal Dream for a £7 million Visitor Centre attracting 70,000 + visitors every year - which has just been assessed as a wholly realistic proposition to achieve after a thorough study by one of Scotland's leading tourism experts;
- narrative interpretation boards recounting the battle's details;
- a 3D model of the field of battle and identification of the movements of the armies made in 1995 for the 250th Anniversary Celebrations;
- historical analysis and a Walkers' Guide that shows the routes taken by the Prince on September 20th/ 21st and the fleeing Hanoverians on September 21st;
- a beautiful souvenir porcelain cup/ mug of the battle scene and the Prince himself bearing the Trust's motto - Victory Hope and Ambition- and other items of interest.
click on press cuttings to enlarge
P.S. There are no toilet or catering services at the Centre and having seen the exhibition boards and discussed issues with the volunteer staff, the advice to one and all is: 'Climb the bing to the Battle Flag at its summit to review the whole area and then follow the Battle Walk'.
Published Date: June 23rd 2007