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Cradle of Past Industry/ Cradle of Future Hopes?

Exploring whether the Battle Trust's Living History Centre might be located at Prestongrange Heritage Museum

Followers of the Battle Trust's campaign to get a national Living Hstory Centre for the Battle of Prestonpans 1745 located in the town will know that one of the possible locations is at Prestongrange Heritage Museum. First thoughts are starting to take shape in sketches - below the Trust's architect has sketched how the iconic Miners' BathHouse might be rejuvenated and an associated 'donut' created to the east to house the 103 metre Prestonpans Tapestry. You'll see he's suggested a Thorntree in the central open space to commemorate local redcoat hero Colonel Gardiner of Bankton House.

click on all images to enlarge

HOWEVER ... opines the Trust ...

... frankly it is out of the question to attrempt to locate a world class Living History Centre at the Museum site unless a comprehensive plan for its total development is agreed upon. As it stands today, pictured with Travellers encamped on the old pottery kilns [who have since departed], it's a complete eyesore. A 'No-Go' area for the Battle Trust.

But it's not all bad news ... never is for the Pans! Positive thinking is the watchword, even if results take for ever.

There is some most encouraging thinking going on at the 3Harbours/ Coastal Regeneration Group chaired by East Lothian MSP Iain Gray and supported by all three Community Councils, the Arts Festivals, Yacht Club, Bloomers and many many more. There's a determination to get a local community-created plan into shape for the whole coastline from West Pans to Longniddry. And that obviously includes the aforesaid eyesore Museum as well as the Auld Fowler's HQ, the future at Cockenzie Power Station, Battlefield conservation, harbour renewal, restoration of Prestonpans Town Hall ... the list goes on.

The land on which the Museum stands is the history of Prestonpans. Ever to pretend it's just 'another museum place' is frankly an insult not to us today but to all our ancestors hereabouts since the 12th century. Come on .....

So, neglect is not acceptable, and our local communities are getting together, uninvited, to write their own 'dream' scenarios.

Published Date: March 26th 2010

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