All things Scot at anniversary

JESSICA MADDOCK
Last updated 12:17 24/07/2013

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Bagpipes, haggis, kilts and all things Scottish will be on display when Bannockburn commemorates the 700th anniversary of the battle at its namesake next year.

The two-day battle - on June 23 and 24, 1314 - between the Scottish and the English was won by the Scots and is considered to be one of the most decisive battles of the First War of Scottish Independence.

One of the organisers of the commemorations, Terry Emmitt, said a five-day festival was proposed from June 20 to 24, which coincided with the 2014 Queenstown Winter Festival.

The owner of Cromwell's new Highlands Motorsport Park, Tony Quinn, was of Scottish descent and was keen to support the festival. It was likely some of the events would be held at the park, with others taking place at Bannockburn, Mr Emmitt said.

Five days of activities had been proposed, but organisers wanted to hear community members' ideas. These could be emailed to info@cromwell.org.nz, Mr Emmitt said.

Among the events proposed was a "battle" between Scottish and English "soldiers," using flour bombs and paper swords and carrying flags and banners.

It would be preceded by traditional Highland games, including haggis hurling, caber tossing, stone carrying, mead sculling and goblet obstacle racing. The significant influence Scottish writers and poets have had on the modern world would be discussed at a traditional Scottish high tea, and The Longest Scottish Table Lunch was proposed, with a haggis ceremony, highland dancers and porridge wrestling.

Two permanent monuments commemorating the battle were also being considered - the National Trust for Scotland had developed a logo representing the battle, where each letter of the word Bannockburn reflected an aspect of the fight. Mr Emmitt said adding the logo to the existing Heart of the Desert sign at the Bannockburn Bridge had been proposed.

There was also a suggestion to copy a monument at Dunedin's Signal Hill Lookout, where a brass plaque on a rock reads "This stone, hewn from the rock on which Edinburgh Castle stands, was given as a centennial memorial token by the people of Edinburgh to signify the bond which forever binds the cities of Edinburgh and Dunedin. Auld Lang Syne. 3 April 1941".

Mr Emmitt said organisers hoped to get a rock from Bannockburn or Stirling Castle and place it beneath the Heart of the Desert sign.

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- The Mirror

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