On Sunday 20th August 2023, the Battle of Prestonpans Jacobite museum was filled with colour, music and joy as it welcomed onto our stage the Katharine Robinson School of Highland Dancing – who had come all the way from Ottawa in Canada. Panels from the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry’s Canadian cohort were displayed on stage to make them feel at home!
The event began with an introduction by the museum’s curator Dr Arran Johnston, who explained the significance of the Raising of the Standard at Glenfinnan on 19th August 1745. Then Prince Charles Edward Stuart (played by Aidan Riley) symbolically planted his standard on the stage.
Following this, a delightful programme of dances was performed by the very talented team from Ottawa, each introduced with interesting contextual notes by Cathy Edwards. Visitors were then invited to take to the floor themselves, with the Prince leading by example, to learn and perform together. Local Gaelic singer Rena Gertz provided beautiful vocals throughout the event, which concluded with warm thanks and a mutual exchange of gifts.
The event concluded when the Prince unveiled a new commemorative banner for the museum, made from squares of fabric decorated by children who had visited the museum during its first year open. The flag will now be displayed in the museum’s kid’s camp, joining those previously made by school groups.
The museum, run by the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust, is now looking forward to its annual anniversary events in September. This year, they will be holding a family activity at the museum itself, as well as a walking tour of the battlefield led by Dr Johnston. Both will take place on Saturday 16th September. Follow the link below for more details: