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National & local schools 'giving a hand' for 2018 Prestonpans re-enactments

Local schools asked to give a hand to unique Battle of Prestonpans Memorial Parade

Hundreds of handprints from children in schools in East Lothian and beyond will be given the chance to help create banners for a major new memorial event to mark the Battle of Prestonpans this year - September 15th to be precise!

The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust, with support from EventScotland’s Scottish Clan Event Fund, are putting together a spectacular Parade.

Streets throughout the East Lothian town of Prestonpans have been named after the Clans, as well as General Cope and Colonel Gardiner from the Government forces, who fought in the battle and it is hoped that those living on the streets or with corresponding surnames across the county [and beyond] will get involved in the event.

The procession will include members of clans that fought for the Jacobite cause in the 1745 battle alongside members of the British army, representing their opponents. The procession will progress through the streets of Prestonpans from Meadowmill to Greenhills where there will be a commemoration in honour of the estimated 450 men who fell in the battle.

Children from schools across East Lothian are being asked to contribute colourful handprints on textile squares. The squares will then be stitched together by volunteers into banners inspired by some of those which were carried in the historic battle. Representatives from each school will then have the opportunity to carry the newly created banner in the procession.

The schools confirmed so far include:
• Prestonpans Primary School, Prestonpans
• St Gabriels Primary School, Prestonpans
• Longniddry Primary School, Longniddry
• Dunbar Primary School, Dunbar
• Duddingston Primary School, Edinburgh
• Loretto Junior School, Musselburgh
• Hanover Street Primary School, Aberdeen - this school was selected because of its name and proximity to Aberdeen Harbour, where the Hanoverian army embarked before sailing south to Dunbar and thence to Prestonpans. The Aberdeen Express reports:

Two Commemorative Tables for the Clans and Regiments who fought on the day

The Trust has also commissioned two new stone commemorative tables which will be placed this year on the battlefield site. They will form the first memorial to all those who fought and for those who were buried on the field of battle. They have been sculpted by local artist Gardner Molloy.

Greenhills will again see the Re-enactments and Encampment with much for families all weekend

The memorial parade will end at Greenhills, Prestonpans where members of the public will then have the opportunity to continue to witness the re-enactments of the Battle of Prestonpans and explore living history encampments alongside an enhanced programme of food, drink and entertainment for all ages.

The parade is free, and those who attend can benefit from an early-bird discounted entry to the re-enactments events before 12 noon.

Arran Johnston, Executive Trustee of The Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust said: “This major commemorative event is a fitting and colourful tribute to the men who fought and fell at Prestonpans in 1745, honouring both sides in the conflict. It will be an event that has the local community at its heart and we hope it will bring the history to new audiences. I’m delighted by the enthusiasm we’ve encountered so far from local schools, and of course by the support of EventScotland through its Scottish Clan Event Fund.”

The Battle of Prestonpans was the first major battle of the last Jacobite Rising. The battle took place on September 21, 1745. The Jacobite army loyal to King James Francis Edward Stuart and led by his son Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) achieved a dramatic victory over the Redcoat army loyal to the Hanoverian King George II, led by Sir John Cope. The battle took place in fields between Prestonpans, Tranent, Cockenzie and Port Seton. The victory was a huge morale boost for the Jacobites, and despite their ultimate defeat the battle left an important cultural legacy.

For more information on the Battle of Prestonpans Memorial Parade and the Re-enactment of the Battle of Prestonpans, visit the Battle Trust's website



Media enquiries - please contact Martha Bryce; 07905761 525.

Ed: Already off the mark at Hanover School in Aberdeen, telling their story in the Aberdeen Express.

Published Date: May 16th 2018

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