Derby's Annual Re-enactments Tell the Story Again!
Derby has a unique place in Jacobite history. It is home to the Exeter Room where the Chiefs egged on by Lord George Murray resolved to turn back to Glasgow, Falkirk and the Highlands, to abandon their outstandingly successful '45 campaign. Home to What if?
That was then, but Derby is still unique as the only city in the world with a statue to The Prince with his horse pointing north but mounted The Prince still gazing south.
It's also unique as the city with the longest running continuous celebrations of the '45. Established in 1990, this year saw its 21st celebrations. Our Alan Brecks were there in Highlander strength. In comparison we in Prestonpans only commenced our continuous run in 2007, just 5 years ago, although in 1995 for the 250th Anniversary we did provide a grand spectacle.
Derby celebrates twice each year, both occasions factitiously bringing their story to a wider audience.
On Saturday it sees Swarkestone Bridge captured from a handful of redcoats by the Highlanders - in the presence of the Chairman of South Derbyshire Council; on Sunday the Lord Mayor of Derby is brought from his hiding place in a pub to turn his coat and watch battle on Cathedral Green - where The Prince's statue stands today. It was in that very cathedral The Prince attended service in December 1745.
We in the Pans owe a special debt to Derby's stalwart re-enactors, the Charles Edward Stuart Society. Along with the 77th Montgomeries from the Czech Republic, and the Glenbuckets, they showed us the way in the Alan Brecks in 2007 and have been in support in Prestonpans every September since.
In modest thanks, each year the Battle Trust lays a wreath at the Swarkestone Cairn erected in 1995. This year ornamental cabbage and carnations provided the tribute, white roses from Fassefern being unavailable!