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7. Walking MacKenzie shows Lord Mayor the Way to Win Battles

Love of History and this Battle Victory in particular

Peter MacKenzie was walking youngsters around the battlefield of Prestonpans long before he became the first SNP Councillor for the town - which was only 3 months ago. He first ventured forth when he was teaching in the local school. But his 'formal' invitation to any and all to join him to 'Walk the Battlefield' began some eight years ago on each annivesary - September 21st. Now, together with fellow walkers and supporters his early initiative has grown to the 'Battle Trust' intent on the creation of a year round Visitor Centre at Meadowmill - with a hoped for Grand Opening in 2011.

But that is then ... and for the moment those popular Walks go on, and much more frequently than once a year.

The printed Guide he created helps many walk at their own pace and at weekends the temporary portakabin of a Visitor Centre arranged by fellow Trustees Malcolm Scott and Kristine Cunningham is manned by volunteers with further information. But Peter is frequently on hand to greet and conduct parties not least the visiting Lord Mayor of Gothenburg on July 23rd [in the Pans to launch the Centenary Celebrations of the Prestoungrange Gothenburg.]

The Tale from Start to Finish

The Tale is told as the Walkers walk, starting from the Visitor Cente at Meadowmill, climbing the Waggonway beneath the A1 to Tranent towards Birsley Brae. Then back along the Waggonway to the point where it crosses the field of Battle. And here the Walkers pause to ponder the conveniently located thorntree [not the fateful tree of Colonel Gardiner's memory of course] and to gaze across the cornfield to Cockenzie Power station [Scottish Power today own the lands on which the Battle actually took place.] And all the while there is talk of the literature that flowered, of Scott's Waverley and Stevenson's Kidnapped and much more besides.

.... and this time as they walked the Lord Mayor reminisced of Scots mercenaries who had made their way two centuries ago across Norway to Sweden to establish permanent villages there and to continue their tartan traditions to this day. Some wandered even further to what is now the Czech Republic and their heirs will be returning this September 20/22nd to Bankton House grounds to fight again for The Prince's just cause.

click on all images to enlarge

Published Date: August 1st 2007

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