Some nuts and bolts details
It can be a bit difficult to get all the gritty details you need if you are planning to haul a clan association, banners, targes, flags, crests, maps, claymores, stags horns and such across the Atlantic ocean - or if you are just hauling yourself, your husband and three excited kilted kids for a trip of a lifetime. Thanks to the good services of the Inverness based Association of Highland Clan Societies we are now getting a few of the details of the Bannockburn 2014 experience from a participating clan perspective. Here are a few bits of practical nuts and bolts of the ‘clan elements’ of the Bannockburn 2014 event:
- Though there will be no Clan Village as such, there will instead be a large tent inside which each clan can have a table and a couple of chairs (this is the sort of arrangement that has been used in the past - particularly in Inverness - to overcome the vagaries of Scottish weather).
- The clans will pay a nominal charge for their pitch inside the tent, and for the use of the table and chairs - but will not be expected to meet all the costs of the hire.
- There will be free entry for the clan volunteers staffing the tables - maybe up to four per clan per day, and these will be interchangeable from day to day.
- There will be no restriction on what the clans can sell at their tables.
- There will be limited parking on the site, but there will be shuttle buses to and from Stirling.
- There will be security on site (details to be confirmed), so it will probably be safe to leave the tables set up overnight.
- There will be no other specific clan features or events during the three days (28, 29, 30 June) - so no clan march - but the organisers are promising a lot of exciting and attractive features (so far unspecified), in addition to the twice daily battle re-enactment, to make it a worthwhile day-out.
The overall Bannockburn 2014 event does sound spectacular and thus far has only received positive reviews. Especially for those of you who may be familiar with the existing and future Bannockburn site, here are a few of the details heard on the street from reliable sources:
- It is proposed that the Clan Village will be to the left of the walkway to the flag pole monument as you look at the site from the road. The grandstands for the actual battle reenactment area on the right hand side of the monument and from the base of the Bruce statue northeasterly from the monument. The heavy athletes to the right side of the walk just before the monument circle and the reenactment grandstands.
- The Scottish Vendors and performance stage on the right side of the walk between the Heavy athletes and the road.
- The existing visitor building removed and a new wedge shaped visitor building placed on the left side of the walk. Construction has already begun.
- Strategically placed plantings to be used to conceal the modern structures at the back of the monument site and to hide them from view…
- A key purpose and feature of the visitors experience to the Bannockburn centre will be concentrated on the historical significance of Bannockburn and how it shaped a nation. In the presentation of the history of the battle a creative, state of the art simulation using motion capture technology and the latest 3-D interactive simulation will give visitors a view of just how brutal and to some degree how bloody the actual battle was.
- And face it, this is the coolest part by far: Visiting Clans groups will be able to interactively battle each other in a 3-D simulation of the battle that does not have a set outcome.
We are told that if you have seen the new Culloden Centre then you have seen some of Bannockburn Project Lead David McAllister’s work as David was a part of the Culloden Centre team. He is an award winning architect in his own right and has been with the NTS for 13 years now and worked on several projects before being given the lead on the Bannockburn Project. Further information straight from the mouth of David McAllister of NTS can be heard and seen in David’s testimony before the Energy, Economy and Tourism committee of the Scottish Parliament hearing that was held in April of this year. You can also hear from Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs Convener Sir Malcolm MacGregor of MacGregor and representatives from Stirling Council and VisitScotland answering MSP questions about Bannockburn and Homecoming 2014 in general. Pretty interesting stuff. Check it out here: Scottish Parliament Bannockburn 2014 Hearing.
VisitScotland also has its new Homecoming 2014 website up and running: VisitScotland Homecoming 2014. There you can find first hand everything there is to know about what is happening in 2014 in Scotland. We are told that about 40% of the long list of activities planned for Homecoming 2014 are recurring events that are being “enhanced” for Homecoming 2014. The remaining 60% of the listed events are new - some to return in future years and some not. We are not told which are which but it all sounds fun.