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July 23rd 2003

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Battle Trust Memory Lane [30]: Both Armies encamped at Cuthill 2009

Much curiosity could be satisfied at the encampment ...

Batttle re-enactors are a highly professional army of volunteers from every walk of life! They come for the fun of it all and the manifest enjoyment they give to gongoozlers; but they also take the greatest of pride in their uniforms and the way they conduct battles with their weaponry. In other words, they are determined to be authentic. Interestingly this can sometimes pose a paradox for the organisers of any particular re-enactment because they may be looking for a cameo re-enactment that isn't quite in line with what the re-enactors actually want to do! The euphemism is that creative tension can arise.!

click on all photographs to enlarge throughout

Thus far in Prestonpans these past three years we have avoided any untoward difficulties although getting redcoats to Walk the Riggonhead Defile alongside Highlanders at 5 am could be seen as stretching a point! Indeed, the support re-enactor groups have increasingly provided has given the Trust's entire campaign an enormous fillip. 2009 saw as many as 100 make their way to our town to show their support for our goals. We do thank them most sincerely.

In particular, following the lead set at Bankton House by the 77th Mongtgomeries [who have come more than 1000 miles each September from the Czech Republic], 2009 was declared Encampment Year for All at the larger and more accessible venue of Cuthill Park.

So it was a delight that more than a dozen period tents with their campfires and period food in preparation appeared on Friday afternoon 18th and stayed on till Sunday noon 20th. And as was to be expected even encouraged, one and all from our local community came to the camp to meet with, talk with and above all question the re-enactors. The cannoniers were from the Glenbuckets, the Lancashire Militia, the Connaught Rangers and Glasgow University's Battlefield Archaelogy Unit. Their magnificent 1.5 pounders were precisely the same size as the six cannons used by Cope in 1745. Redcoats aplenty were also encamped from Lace Wars whose members come from right across the UK. And of course there were the Highlanders from our own Alan Breck Prestonopans Volunteers and the Montgomeries!

The pictures above and below capture just something of the occasion, which by popular consent seems likely to become a regular feature for the future. In presenting these photographs the Trust wish to thank and acknowledge those who took them - Garry Menzies, Robert of East Lothian Courier and Gillian Hart.

Published Date: July 11th 2020

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