ARBROATH Abbey Timethemes - formerly Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society - may have to curtail its activities because of a lack of members.
The chairman, Geoff Bray, said this week: “Regrettably, the number of active participants is now at such a low that we consider it to be extremely difficult to offer an appropriate and fully costumed presentation of the historic signing of The Declaration of Arbroath, as staged in the past.”
He continued: “Over many years, Arbroath Abbey Timethemes has made numerous appeals and tried various initiatives in order to increase its following and membership.
“Acceptance of this situation has not been taken lightly, in that future performances may require to be scaled down, in line with the number of members available to take part.
“The committee is aware that this may cause some distress to our long serving members and supporters, some of whom hail from the 1947 inauguration. It is also very sad and disappointing that there appears to be little interest in the unique heritage embedded in Arbroath, which we have preserved and will continue to maintain, in a strictly non-political manner.”
He stressed: “Our events do not in any way reflect modern or current political opinion and I would request that no other party take or make political advantage over these activities.”
Despite the problems, at 13.20 hours on April 6, a group will gather at the Abbey forecourt, in costume or informal wear, to meet with the principals of that historic event - Abbot Bernard de Linton and King Robert Bruce - to hear a proclamation and reading of the magnificent Declaration.
Mr Bray went on: “Members of the public are cordially invited to join us on the Abbey forecourt to hear and see history come back to life. We would therefore ask for as many members as possible to come along and allow a fully costumed re-enactment to take place.”
A rehearsal will be held in St Thomas’ Church hall, Dishlandtown Street, at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday, February 24. Any non-members who would like to take a further interest are warmly invited to attend.