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Culture and Tourism Minister Climbs the Battle Byng and Listens Carefully

Minister Patricia Ferguson MSP Sees for Herself

It was good to see Scotland's Minister for Culture and Tourism back in The Pans for the second time in only six months. Last August she attended the Global Murals Conference and commended community initiatives that had brought 61 towns from around the world to Scotland to talk of their socioeconomic regeneration through the arts. This time on February 28th she was hearing of another community initiative - to create in Prestonpans a conservation, interpretation and presentation of our national heritage at the 1745 Battle site.

Up The Byng With Peter Mackenzie

Trustee Peter MacKenzie is the history teacher who has taken visitors walk about around the battle site for the past 5 years and more, and this time his audience included the Minister and officers from Historic Scotland. Also with the party were John Home-Robertson, retiring East Lothian MSP and retiring East Lothian Provost Pat O'Brien [who is also however a most welcome Trustee].

click on all images to enlarge

As is all too normal on these occasions a 40 mph wind was ablowin' which certainly tested the Trustees' flagmanship. But the purpose was served and the opportunities available for the Heritage Trust well comprehended.

And windswept, all retreated for an indepth discussion of the plans [and tea and scones of course] at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg. The respite also afforded an opportunity to agree a joint press release [put to good use below first by East Lothian Courier and later by East Lothian News] which included the Minister's observations as follows:

“The Battle of Prestonpans was a very significant event in Scotland’s history and one which every schoolchild learns about. I fully support moves to preserve the site for future generations and to develop it in a way that will create employment and training opportunities and attract additional tourism to the area.

“I’m especially impressed with the level of community support for this proposal and the local commitment to be worthy custodians of this part of the nation’s heritage.”

Published Date: March 8th 2007

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