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For the first time in five years, The Prestoungrange Gothenburg was back in use – its proper use for eating and drinking. Some 70+ Fellow Goths and Friends of the Arts Festival at large received the Invitation indoors; and those from the 400 who could not be accommodated found refreshments served atop the seawall by Linda Duncan’s Coffee House team.

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The buffet lunch saw all also sampling the Glenkinchie, the Cairnbrae white wine, the Inniskillen red, Swedish beers aplenty and as they certainly wished Fowler’s Wee Heavies. Prestoungrange was on hand to give away the beverages, the Swedish beers having been ferried all the way from Goteborg by George Thompson pictured below with microphone and Iain Turnbull, a fellow microbrewer. The Town Crier and Lord Mayor were drinking too but also savouring the eats.

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Richard Powell, who is restoring the woodwork of the bar, and the tiles and fireplaces, to their former glory prefers the Cairnbrae Sauvignon Blanc whilst Colin and Ann Boyd relax with the Dempster, Anne Taylor. (Colin is a senior Steamie at the Prestongrange Heritage Museum and has just published No. 15 in the Historical Booklet series on their own restoration story.)

Michael McVeigh, currently Artist at large with the Arts Festival, is to be seen in black and white and colour, firstly with Andrew Crummy the muralist and latterly with Matthew Boffin, the Prestoungrange Webmaster.

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...and as for the children including Prestoungrange’s grand-daughter Eleanor, they seemed to be at home with what was on offer, and not missing the tablecloth!

Opening the Lord Mayor’s Bar

After the luncheon was truly digested, and the contented happy buzz of the whole celebration told that, there was a wee architectural teach-in. It was in The Park Lounge ( as it will henceforth be known in honour of the present Baron’s grandfather James Park who worked as a miner at Prestongrange Colliery at the beginning of the 20th Century) and given by Stephen Larcombe (left) of Purple Design in Lichfield, the long suffering designer of the restoration and extension work. He was supported by Bill Robertson (right), the equally long suffering builder.

Then it was outside, and upstairs to the to be newly named Lord Mayor’s Bar, which was officially dubbed as such by Jorgen and Lisbeth Linder themselves. (Clever photography there from Linda Sneddon our official photographer throughout and a former photography classmate of the Dempster.)

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As may be observed, the Lord Mayor’s Bar is not yet decorated or even restored and certainly not functioning! But Jorgen and Lisbeth could take anything in their stride, and leapt onto the pile of plywood without a further thought. The Goteborg City flag and a City Shield were kindly presented to The Prestoungrange Gothenburg to hang for the future in The Lord Mayor’s Bar. Until the Bar is ready, the flag was entrusted to Lady Prestoungrange. ( The electric cable hanging served as an unintentional reminder of the Lord Mayor’s most recent previous visit to the United Kingdom when he turned on the Christmas lights in 2002 for Newcastle-upon-Tyne.)

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What a Day in the Life of...

Prestoungrange looked pleased – sporting the Arts Festival tie and a Queensland yachtie’s blouson. The Dempster’s Mum and Dad looked proud too of their daughter’s outstanding management from Go to Whoa as they stand affront Janice McNab’s Miners Bath House painting commissioned by the Baron Courts on their re-establishment in 1998.

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But the Last Word goes to Dean Tavern

And why not? We promised the Lord and Lady Mayoress a proper understanding of Scotland’s Goths, and the Dean Tavern is the finest example of success living for 110 years already. So that was the final destination for Jorgen and Lisbeth Linder, and they fitted in a surprise welcome from the Provost of Midlothian at the Scottish Mining Museum at Newtongrange en route.

Wilma and Geoffrey, as Trustees of Dean Tavern, welcomed their guests and Geoffrey Craythorne in particular, 24 years Secretary to Dean Tavern, told out its history. Wilma, a miner’s daughter and from a family of miners, told the miners’ story too and of life on the final picket line in the great confrontation with the government of Margaret Thatcher.

It was a fitting and enjoyable end to a fine and memorable day. Thank you Dean Tavern both for that conclusion and for keeping The Gothenburg ideal alive for Prestoungrange to pick up again where it dropped the baton as long ago as 1919 when it sold out to the English.

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Published Date: July 23rd 2003

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