Annual Gathering 2006 

Thursday August 31 to Sunday Sept 03

 

The venue of this year's Annual Gathering was the Grange Manor Hotel, Glensburgh, Grangemouth. Members who took accommodation in the hotel arrived at their leisure in time for dinner at 7.30pm.

Friday dawned fairly bright and after breakfast our first visit was to Stirling Castle.  Perched high on a volcanic plug of rock the castle dominates the town and the River Forth. In 1745 the only land crossing over the river was that of Stirling Bridge, directly under the guns of the government garrison holding the castle. On his advance south Bonnie Prince Charlie's army was marching from Perth and in order to pass through this narrowest part of the British Isles and so approach Edinburgh the Forth had to be crossed  upstream from Stirling. The places chosen are known as The Fords of Frew, crossing points where the river was shallow and the banks not too steep for men, horses and carts. Once across the river the only remaining obstacle preventing a march to the Scottish capital was Stirling Castle.  South and east of the Fords of Frew are the Gargunnock and Touch Hills and the Jacobite army had to decide to either skirt around these hill to the west and perhaps advance on Glasgow or run the gauntlet of the narrow strip of land between the hills and the R. Forth and continue towards Edinburgh. This route to the south is dominated by and under the guns of mighty Stirling Castle. 

Prince Charles decided to chance it and marched towards Stirling. His army hugged the Gargunnock Hills and fortunately for the Jacobites the 1,000 yards or so separating them from the cannon on the ramparts of the castle were sufficient. The guns fired but the balls fell short. Charlie's army was safely through and on its way to Edinburgh.

Cannon: Stirling Castle

 Pity about my thumb!

                         

                    Jacobite Advance South from Perth   Christopher Duffy

After lunch our party moved on to Doune Castle. Much smaller than Stirling, of course, Doune was in Jacobite hands and was a useful garrison from where patrols could operate over the upper Forth.  The castle was particularly useful during the Jacobite withdrawal north when many government troops were imprisoned there after the Battle of Falkirk. Later in the afternoon we visited Dunblane Cathedral and Balhaldie House. where Prince Charles Edward stayed the night of September 11, 1745

 

Balhaldie House

 

The AGM was held on Friday evening in our hotel. Much business was discussed and we decided that the venue for the 2007 Gathering should be Inverness to coincide with improvements to the battlefield site and the opening of the new Visitor Centre at Culloden.

Saturday's weather was not so good but nonetheless we made off for Linlithgow Palace, Callendar House and the site of the Battle of Falkirk. The Battle was partially fought over the land of the Bankastine Estate. The house standing there in 1746 is gone now but three windows depicting Prince Charles Edward, Lord George Murray and The Duke of Perth were saved and are now displayed in the Howgate shopping centre in Falkirk. Our tour did not have time take in this interesting artifact but I mention it just in case you happen to be in Falkirk one day

James, Wanda and Malcolm at Stirling    Castle

A stroll Around the Fountain at Linlithgow

 

Was it filled with claret or Burgundy?

 

Fountain in Linlithgow Palace

     
 

Dr Duffy explains the finer points of the Battle of Falkirk

Bankastine Windows

FIRE!!

Christopher Duffy gives the  up To the Jacobites at Falkirk

OK, so I know it's in the wrong place

Monument to The Battle of Falkirk Send Lewie a Picture

The Annual Dinner was taken  in the hotel on Saturday evening when Dr Elspeth King, Director of the Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling proposed the Toast to The Royal House of Stuart and spoke lucidly and informatively on  The Jacobite Families of Stirlingshire.

No strict dress code is obligatory at the Gala Dinner but the evening was enhanced by many members wearing Highland or evening dress. A grand time was had by all.

A rather special ceremony was performed at this year's Gala Dinner. Miss Christian Aikman, our Secretary has splendidly organized the Annual Gathering for the last twenty-four years. Next year she is winding down by taking on some help and hopes to stand down from the job completely the following year. In recognition of her magnifcent service to the 1745 Association, Chairman Brigadier John MacFarlane presented Christian with a cheque. Quite what she will spend it on is not yet known but we may be sure it will be well spent and in the Jacobite cause.

 

Pictures of 1745 Association members & guests at the 2006 Annual Gala Dinner

Dinner Table

=

Thanks Christian

All Smiles

Doune Castle

 Courtesy Maureen Lipscomb

 

 

Will ye tak a wee dram after supper?

The Annual Gathering ended after breakfast on Sunday morning when we said our farewells to friends we have know for many years as well as new ones recently met. We are all  looking forward to next year's Gathering.

Take a look at the Gathering of 2008

Or the 2007 Gathering

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