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Did you see this? Mary Beard "a Prestonpans' Loser" - BBC FrontRow Late Friday 28th September on BBC2

mary beard @ wmarybeard

She likes history the way we like history! In its timeous context and she came along to the Encampment [the Bar] and the Re-enactments on September 16th at Greenhills. After that ...

Mary tweeted ."This Friday September 28th on BBC FrontRow Late - BBC2 (11.05pm in England) I get a walk-on part (well almost) in the battle of Prestonpans 1745 on losing side!"

BBC2 cameras and re-enactors at large did great credit to the occasion

and it included good follow up comments and it was reassuring to hear novelist Kate Mosse articulating as well as any of us can the significance of attending re-enactments. She shared vivid memories of thousands of arrows from longbows humming through the sky - unforgettable she said and impossible to imagine. Ditto a blood curdling Highland Charge.

Not so perhaps for Mary Beard who "had fun" but opined: "The only real re-enactment is in your own imagination ."

Mary also expressed anxiety that the horrors of war, and of the 400+ who died at Prestonpans, are not highlighted or even remembered at the end of the re-enactments. The dead arise to applause and everyone goes home. She echoes the point made earlier this autumn in correspondence by Dougie Matheson

That was a tad unknowing of her in our particular case where the remembrance of those who died is always the first item on the agenda, with wreath laying at the town's memorials. And of course this year with the dedication of two new Memorial Tables to those who died placed on the Waggonway. Each century in Prestonpans has raised its own memorials - Colonel Gardiner's Obelisk, the Cairn and Thorntree Stones and now the two Memorial Tables.

The 1745 Battle Trust is neither an anti-war nor a pacifist organisation. It is established to protect, conserve and interpret the battlesite so that our community will forever be aware of where, why and how the battle was fought; and through our several memorials to remember and honour those who fought and died in the causes then so ardently in dispute.

Published Date: September 29th 2018

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