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Bayeux 'Openers': Pictures Tell the Tale ...

Hard work, actually, but really most enjoyable!

That seemed to be the verdict.

Most of 'The Openers' had opted to fly Edinburgh/ Paris and travel by minibus on Friday night to the Chateau du Mollay ... but the Paris Peripherique is not an enchanting space on a Friday evening. We all eventually arrived around 10 pm - the only good news was that Chateau the bar was open till midnight. The Briefing was postponed till 8am Saturday followed by an excellent Continental breakfast.

Then it was off to the Museum and immediate action. The Laverocks sang, the Craws crawed, Highlanders looked elegant and offered good advices. The remainder toured the street cafes distributing flyers and ere long the Laverocks were busking in the cafes too.

All this before 11.30 am when the Inauguration was scheduled followed by a reception in The Chapel.

Lunch was either with the Maire-Adjoint for Culture or al fresco but immediately afterwards busking resumed. The queues at the Museum were more than a hour long by mid-afternoon.

5.30 pm was time to head back to the Chateau and prepare for the Norman Banquet at La Ferme Authentique, in Mollay Littry. Jean Migrenne and his wife Michelle had made the arrangements and it was frankly magnificent. Mme Sylvette Lemagnen, Curator of the Bayeux Tapestry, was our Guest of Honour and whilst we sang and recited the night away it has to be conceded that Colin Cruickshank's Address to The Camembert Cheese was the highlight.

And the Menu ...

Kir with Bayeux cider; Rillette de saumon frais et fume; Trou normand (a dram of calvados to prepare your stomach for the next item on the menu); Croustillant de colin à l’estragon; Assiette de fromages ... et du vin.

Sunday was not to be a day of rest. The morning was more Scottish singing and recitations in Bayeux before half the party headed back to Paris by minibus.

The rump continued to emphasise its Scottish credentials until 5.30pm, followed by a quiet evening at the DDay Beaches or at a local café before heading back across the Channel on Monday morning.

What Did We Learn?

We learnt first and foremost that it was possible to create a fair level of Scottish awareness both at the Museum and in the town for our artwork. And in the media. That had been one of the primary purposes of 'The Opening.'

We also learnt a great many other lessons that Fiona Johnston is co-ordinating, for our use as we continue to tour and eventually house The Prestonpans Tapestry in The Pans. Full details will be published here after 'The Closers' have been to Bayeux at the very start of November.

Footnote: Confirmation of radio interview ....

The Conservator at the Museum was interviewed by a journalist of France Bleu Basse-Normandie, a radio with a very large audience. The introduction gave the facts that the Prestonpans Tapestry was still in Bayeux for 2 further week-ends. "I answered questions about the Prestonpans Tapestry itself : what it tells and who embroidered it ... duration some three minutes".

Published Date: October 15th 2013

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