Torchlit parade marks anniversary

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A TORCHLIGHT procession lit up Arbroath Abbey on Wednesday night to celebrate the Declaration of Arbroath.

Members of Arbroath Abbey Timethemes brought to life the signing of the document which was celebrating its 691st anniversary.

Key figures from that day in 1320 were on hand at the Abbey to inform visitors on the building’s past before the characters and members of the public held the procession which stretched from the Abbey down the High Street to Danger Point.

The torches carried in the procession are said to symbolise the light of democracy and this year they took on a more poignant role as it tied in with the Year of the Light Bell Rock bicentenary celebrations.

The annual event, which kicks off the Tartan Day celebrations also included a special concert, which was entitled ‘Declaration Celebration – Shining the Spotlight on Scotland’.

The concert, which took place in the recently refurbished St Andrews Church featured singers Layla Brown, Alan Mowatt and Dave Ramsay along with musical accompaniment from Ewan and Kerr Barrack and pianist Winnie Sangster.

Mark Masson also provided entertainment with comedy sketches.

Earlier in the day at the Abbey, at 1320 hours, staunch patriot Jim McGugan recalled Arbroath’s place in the foundations of Scotland’s history.

He mentioned the founding of the Abbey by King William the Lion, as a memorial to Thomas a Becket, his childhood friend, who was murdered on the alter of Canterbury Cathedral.

He then read a list of Scottish heroes, from history and from modern times. These included Abbot Bernard de Linton, Wendy Wood, Professor Malcolm Slesser and George S. Shepherd.