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Prestoungrange Royal Lounge as Venue for Arts & Tourism Workshop

The Baron Courts held their first meeting in the Royal Room at Prestongrange House for nearly a century, at the invitation of the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club (RMGC) on September 19th 2000.

The occasion was the presentation by the Courts' guest, Canadian Karl Schutz, the world leader in Arts & Tourism from Chemainus, BC.. He was accompanied by Doris Bucklin from 29 Palms California. They described and discussed just how their two townships had transformed their local economies with Arts acting as a magnet for Tourism.

An excellent opportunity to view the wok of 29 Palms Arts & Tourism teams is linked here.

Those participating at the Workshop included RMGC President, Secretary and Treasurer respectively John Cunningham, Tom Hardie and John Henderson. Others were senior officers from the Museums, Leisure and Planning Divisions of East Lothian Council and authors and from the Prestoungrange 2000 Project. The Workshop was convened on the Courts' behalf by Jane Bonnar.

Karl Schutz and Doris Bucklin had earlier visited at the Prestongrange Museum and Foreshore in an extended appreciation of what has already been accomplished in Scotland for tourism.

The message from the guests was uncompromising. If the town willed it, a major growth in tourism could be triggered by outdoor art and sculptures as they had demonstrated in their own townships. In 10 years Chemainus had created a tourist destination attracting 400 000 visitors each and lately had added a Dinner Theatre. A steam railway connection with Victoria was now planned as well. 29 palms had been able to attract a growing proportion of the million annual visitors to the nearby National Park.

The Action Lines arising for the Courts are now clearly set down:


Gain all necessary consents for five murals initially, on the sea wall and on each face of the Bath House
Make contact with all known artists in the Lothians, and via the national media, to invite proposals for painting to begin to the tell the history out loud
Explore avenues for sculptures at Morrison's Haven

It is hoped that painting can begin in the Spring of 2001. There seem to be no blockages likely to delay that schedule.

Published Date: September 1st 2000


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