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Courier Tells the Story ... some 2,500 + support The Prince

On September 21st 1745 some 2,500 Highlanders fought for The Prince at Prestonpans ... same number .. now there's a coincidence!

There's been an exhibition all month at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg of 2,500 soldiers for The Prince and 2,500 for Cope and King George II, Elector of Hanover. For the month too the 104 metre Prestonpans Tapestry at Cockenzie House has recounted The Prince's journey from Rome via St Nazaire to Eriskay, Glenfinnan, Edinburgh and Victory in Prestonpans. Visitor numbers at these two and at the Parade, Encampment and Re-enactments on September 15th/ 16th topped 2,500. More than 120 re-enactors made it the largest commemoration seen for many a day. Maybe you wonder why now?

Permanent Living History Centre is getting closer every year

The Trust has been committed since 2006 to creating a permanent Living History Centre in Prestonpans. It seeks to honour the community's history by ensuring all incomers as we grow and all visitors can hear and engage with the saga of Bonnie Prince Charlie's efforts in Summer and Winter 1745 to regain the thrones from which his grandfather and father had been usurped since 1688, first by the Dutchman William of Orange and then by the Hanoverian Germans.

It's a extraordinary period of Scottish and Union history to be understood and shared. The creation of the Prestonpans Tapestry and its successor artwork the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, have heightened the requirement for a permanent location.

Working to create a nationally Agreed Manifesto

Many will recall the Trust's first ambition, with ELC support, was to restore the BathHouse at Prestongrange Museum as its centre. The Heritage Lottery Fund advised against that but has currently made funding available to the Trust to [i] evaluate all that has been achieved since 2006; and [ii] evaluate what makes for successful, self sustaining battle and tapestry centres across the world. The conclusions from each strand will be brought together as a Manifesto to be shared locally and nationally so that an Agreed Manifesto can be arrived at.

Once that is in place, the Trust will invest the 100,000 it already has received as donations in an international campaign to implement the Agreed Manifesto. And this is all due to happen during 2019 hence the significance of the overwhelming show of support this year from Clan Chiefs, local community and visitors alike.

If we cannot make it happen then we must perforce find alternative homes for our great tapestries. These are the tapestries designed by Andrew Crummy and stitched by thousands of volunteers that have carried the name Prestonpans to nearly 750,000 visitors across the world in more than 60 exhibitions since 2010, including Bayeux itself. It is frankly impossible to contemplate that they might not find their permanent home in Prestonpans.

Published Date: September 22nd 2018

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