Sunday, June 29, 2014

Bannockburn Live photos

I know it's probably the ultimate nationalist stereotype to attend a reenactment of Bannockburn, but I honestly wasn't planning to go until a couple of nights ago, when I had a look at the musical line-up and suddenly got a bit tempted.  It also struck me that I went to the reenactment of the Battle of Largs last September, and it would probably seem a bit odd on reflection if I'd gone to that one but didn't bother with the biggest one of the lot.  It's been ages since I was last in Bannockburn - oddly enough, I think the last time was in May 2007, just after the SNP originally took office, and on that visit I had the picture taken that I still use for my profile on this blog!

I was astonished at how many Yes umbrellas, T-shirts and flags were in evidence.  There was no sign at all of the opposition, unless you count a couple of half-hearted Union Jack brollies.  But perhaps that's understandable, because - on balance - Bannockburn wasn't really a 'No Thanks' kind of scrap.

Apologies as ever for the terrible picture quality - I'll get organised with a proper camera one of these days.  The musical acts are the Precious Penny Pluckers, Rura, Karine Polwart, Dougie Maclean, Rachel Sermanni and Saor Patrol.  As you can see, a sharp-suited Jean-Claude Juncker dropped by to catch a bit of Karine Polwart in the rain.  You might also just about be able to spot the Red Arrows in the picture of the Bruce statue.  They flew straight over Dougie Maclean's head as he started to sing - I think we can safely assume that wasn't an intentional salute for the writer of Scotland's alternative national anthem, but it was certainly a very dramatic moment, which unfortunately I wasn't quick enough to catch!

The very last picture is of Stirling in the evening as I walked back to the train station - presumably the combination of saltires and Union Jacks was a compromise for the armed forces event that was taking place at the same time as Bannockburn Live.

(Click to enlarge.)


  1. 14/14

    Big Parade, streets lined with 35,000 people?

    An awful lot of Peter Bradies?

  2. We were there yesterday as well. The crowd management was awful (a HUGE slow-moving queue going in. Folk buying on the day had to go up to the ticket office, get their ticket, and then go back to the end of the queue - t'would test the patience of a saint). Everybody seemed to keep in good humour though (even those with little kids). When we eventually got in the event itself was utterly fantastic. The story-telling, the music, the re-enactments (fortunately we went to the 12.00 one) and all the other stuff. I thought half of what was there would have been cheap at the price. Hope they managed to get the logistics sorted out today. And the rain... It was brilliant, though, and our wee lad drew us a picture of Robert the Bruce this morning.

  3. Yes, I had the same problem at the box office even though I was only picking up a pre-booked ticket. I naively thought they'd have a special window for that to speed things up, but no. The queueing for the reenactment was also a bit chaotic.

  4. I wonder if all the negativity in the press led the organisers to think they didn't need to gear themselves up to cater for a full house?

  5. Thanks for the mention of us and the photo. It was a really nice surprise to find us on your blog. Sounds like you had a great day! We caught Karine Polwart and Rachel Sermanni too and they were both tremendous! Nicola of the Precious Penny Pluckers.

  6. Sunshine on CrieffJune 29, 2014 at 7:53 PM

    I would have loved to have made it but I was working, and I had something else on today.

    Anyway, I attended the 700th year commemorations of the Battle of Methven in 2006, so I've kinda done my bit. :) The Bannockburn celebrations sounded very similar, albeit on a much, much bigger scale, but then Methven was little more than a ambush of Bruce and his men. And Methven itself only has 1,200 people and a village fair organising committee!

  7. I know it's probably the ultimate nationalist stereotype to attend a reenactment of Bannockburn,

    Trafalgar square in London is so British nationalist stereotype. Totally xenophobic anti-French/Spanish.

    I find it particularly offensive what with Mrs SS from Normandie.


    Hope yer no cringing there James. Doesn't matter who the Bruce / Scots were up against. Could have been them 'huns' and the battle / story would have been just as significant. The fact that some feel a cringe about bannockburn / decry it shows the problem with the union.

    In a respectful union, Cameron would have visited the re-enactment and enjoyed himself. Likewise, he'd have grabbed the other side of Salmond's saltire and held it aloft with AS when Murray won at Wimbledon.

    That would symbolise a partnership of equal nations.

  8. Nicola : Thanks, yes it was an absolutely lovely day (well, apart from the monsoon in the middle!) and I really enjoyed your music.

    Sunshine on Crieff : I think the Battle of Methven might possibly have got a little mention in the reenactment yesterday? It was either that or a battle with a similar name.

    Scottish Skier : No, I wasn't cringing, I was just making the point that I wasn't there for the obvious reason.

    Even if it would have been a mark of respect for Cameron to pop down the road yesterday, I'm glad he didn't, because he would probably have tried the Alex Massie tack of claiming Robert the Bruce as some kind of unionist hero. You know, the mind-boggling line of "Bruce made the union possible by averting conquest". (As opposed to Wales and Ireland, where conquest and union were apparently perfectly compatible with each other!)

  9. "because he would probably have tried the Alex Massie tack of claiming Robert the Bruce as some kind of unionist hero."

    Probably. Which highlights my point, which I think may have been missed.

    If the union was a happy one, then bannockburn wouldn't annoy anyone and AFD wouldn't be being politicised; everyone would have happily attended both.

    The same for Andy Murray. If the union was a happy one, then celebrating Andy's Wimbledon win as being a win for both Scotland and Britain would not be controversial.

    The fact that celebrating all things Scottish is decried by some / controversial suggests a very unstable union which is unlikely to last.

    But we know that don't we. ;-)

    Sorry, being slightly abstract.

  10. Sunshine on Crieff- You'll have seen me at Methven then, fighting on the English side with a spear. I recall the crowd wasn't so pleased when Bruce lost...

    Bannockburn was a frustrating mix of good and bad, overal merely average, but a few changes could have made it great. Everyone I spoke to enjoyed themselves, but some had harsh words about the organisers. We seem to have this tremendous ability in Scotland not to do our own history properly. IN this case it was the way the organisation got setup and mixed up that was a large part of the problem.