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Time to Make the Battle of Prestonpans a Heritage' Visitor Attraction

RSA Coffee House Challenge at The Goth focuses of The Battle of Prestonpans

June 29th saw more than a score of community leaders and the RSA Scotland Chairman, Bob Porrer, taking coffee at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg. They were one of more than 100 sets across the UK taking part in the 2006 Coffee House challenge sponsored by the RSA and Starbucks.The notion is simple: get community leaders and interested individuals to debate a topic and see what might be done about it!

The topic selected for debate in Prestonpans, following the earlier presentation by Alexander Bennett from the National Trust for Scotland's Culloden Project was: 'How Can We Better Interpret & Present the 1745 Battle of Prestonpans" for indwellers and vistors alike.

The Main Conclusions Reached ...

The main conclusion was that whilst all manner of appropriate initiatives can and will improve the present modest presentation of the history of the Battle, nothing short of a fully accessible year round Interpretation/ Visitor Centre will enable visitors and indwellers to gain a thorough and proper understanding.

The Edinburgh Evening News picked up this element of the story, and whilst giving no credit to the RSA's Coffee House Initiative which got things rolling, certainly brought it to the attention of Historic Scotland. And kindly pinpointed the fact that the Battle is unanimously seen as a most significant event not only in the '45 Campaign itself but also as demonstrating many human virtues and aspirations.

Click on all images to enlarge

Click HERE to download the high resolution .pdf file

The community's many ideas as gathered together at the RSA Coffee House Challenge from the 5 x 5 sets of participants on June 29th have now been coordinated by the Arts Festival and the recently established Heritage Trust. From these a comprehensive proposal for world class year-round interpretation and presentation of the battle will be made public on the 261st anniversary this coming September 21st.

Application Going Forward for a Starbuck's Award to Help Progress

The local RSA members will be applying to the RSA/ Starbucks for one of the several nationwide 2006 Coffee House Challenge Awards as they follow through on the ideas generated. All present believed that it was more a 'Scottish' even British heritage issue than one for Panners alone and that whilst Panners as a 'resilient community' should readily take the lead in ensuring the goals are achieved, they should rightly look for national support from the outset.

To view the entire pdf (280kb) click HERE

Published Date: June 29th 2006

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