Arbroath Abbey Pageant 1951

Other names

  • Arbroath Abbey Pageant Festival Year 1951

Pageant type

Notes

<p>The organisation formally in charge of the pageant was the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society founded in 1947 following the first of Arbroath's series of pageants; however, the burgh council also took a keen interest in the pageant and some members of the Pageant Society were also sitting councillors.</p>

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Performances

Place: Arbroath Abbey (Arbroath) (Arbroath, Angus, Scotland)

Year: 1951

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 4

Notes

16–18 August 1951

Thursday 16 August 1951, 6.30pm; Friday 17 August 1951, 6.30pm; Saturday 18 August 1951, 2.45pm and 10pm1

  • Full dress rehearsal Wednesday 15 August.2
  • Two hours in total length.
  • The pageant took place within the ruins of the medieval Arbroath Abbey, which has long been roofless and open to the elements.
  • For the 1950 enactment of this pageant, the schedule was changed. Four performances had been given and the pageant was formally closed at midnight on Saturday 18 August when part of the Abbey was floodlit. This experiment was repeated in 1951 with the performance of the pageant itself taking place at night at 10pm under floodlights and allowing the 1951 event to close at the stroke of midnight. Even more elaborate illumination was provided.3

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Pageant Producer [Pageant Master]: Thornton, F.W.A.
  • Pageant Producer [Pageant Master]: Shepherd, George S.
  • Wardrobe Mistress: Mrs A.B. Mitchell4

Notes

The pageant producers remained unchanged from 1947; Thornton also wrote elements of the script and both producers also performed in the pageant.

Names of executive committee or equivalent

Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society:

  • Honorary Presidents: The Right Hon. The Earl of Airlie, KT, GCVO; The Provost of Arbroath
  • Honorary Vice Presidents: The Hon. Mrs Lindsay Carnegie; The Hon. J.S. McLay, MP; Dr Agnes Mure Mackenzie, CBE; Dr J.B. Salmond; Mr George Law; Mr E.J. Joss
  • Chairman: Mr A. Linton Robertson
  • Vice-Chairman: Mr T. Matheson
  • Hon. Secretary and Treasurer: Mr Eric B. Mackintosh, CA; Mr A. Cargill
  • Convenor of Finance Committee: Mr T.M. Paterson
  • Convener of Production Committee: F.W.A. Thornton.

Executive Committee:

  • Convenor: Councillor F.W.A. Thornton
  • Vice-Convenor: Provost J.K. Moir
  • Hon. Treasurer: D.A. Gardner
  • Other members: Mr W. Stark; Mr G.S. Shepherd; Miss M. Brodie; Messrs. A. Sandison; D.D. Wilson; D.L. Gardiner; Andrew Morrison; Rev. Colin T. Day; J. Donald; A.B. Mitchell; A.W. Aitken; Bailie R. MacGlashan; Bailie Eric B. Mackintosh; Dean of Guild D.A.S. Smith; Councillor James Keir

Notes

As well as overseeing organisation, some members of the executive continued to be heavily involved with the performance itself. The committee members continued overwhelmingly to be male.

Names of script-writer(s) and other credited author(s)

  • Milne, J. Crawford
  • Thornton, F.W.A.

Notes

The local poet J. Crawford Milne wrote the prologue and the pageant producer, F. W. A. Thornton wrote the scenario and commentary for the Signing of the Declaration scene.

Names of composers

  • Irvine, Jessie Seymour

The tune 'Crimond' which is often used as music for psalm XXIII is generally attributed as being composed by Jessie Seymour Irvine.

Numbers of performers

200

There were a large number of horses in the pageant.

Financial information

Total takings: £776.6

The pageant society lost £246 overall on the pageant.7

Object of any funds raised

Profit was intended to fund the pageant as an annual event organised by the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society.

Notes

The total takings for the 1951 pageant was £5 down on the previous year's event.8

Linked occasion

Festival of Britain

Audience information

  • Grandstand: Yes
  • Grandstand capacity: n/a
  • Total audience: n/a

Notes

The floodlit performance was sold out.10

A larger audience than had attended any previous opening performance was reported for the Thursday evening staging.11

A newspaper report stated that overall since its first staging in 1947 and subsequent pageants held in 1948, 1949 and 1950 altogether 40000 people had seen the pageant.12

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest

4s. 6d.–2s. 6d.

Grandstand (all performances): 5s.
Area A 16 and 17 August: 3s. 6d.; 18 August: 4s. 6d.
Area B 16th and 17 August: 2s. 6d.; 18 August: 3s. 6.13

In previous years, areas A and B were unreserved seats but there were also standing only tickets priced at 1s. A note of the number and price of standing tickets has not been recovered.

Associated events

Monday 13 August 1951:
  • A Scottish Country Dance, 8pm, in the Drill Hall, Marketgate, tickets 2s. 6. The Scottish Country Dance Society sponsored this.
Tuesday 14 August 1951:
  • A Country Dance, 8pm, in the Drill Hall, Marketgate, tickets 2s. The Fit o' the Toon Social Committee sponsored this [fishing community].
Friday 17 August 1951:
  • 'Festivities at the Fit o' the Toon With the Fisher Folk at a Social Evening and Dance' starting 8pm.
Saturday 18 August 1951:
  • 'A Grand Historical & Industrial Procession Through the Town' at approximately 5.00pm.'
The procession was ordered as follows:
  • Aberbrothock Pipe Band
  • Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland (played by A Linton Robertson),
  • Followed by Bruce's 'mounted cavalcade', then all of the characters in the pageant
  • The Barons of the Realm of Scotland
  • Foot Soldiers
  • Cross Bearers
  • Acolytes
  • Bernard de Linton, Lord Abbot of Aberbrothock
  • Bishops of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Aberdeen
  • Canons
  • Bearer of the Banner of St Columba
  • Monks.
  • Then:
  • The cast of The Laurel Crown.
  • Then historical tableaux mounted on vehicles as follows:
  • Arms of the Royal Burgh of Arbroath (Arbroath Herald Ltd.);
  • Founding of Arbroath Abbey (Messrs Innes Henderson and Co., Ltd);
  • Saint Ninian Preaching in Angus (St Ninian's Church, Arbroath);
  • The Stone of Destiny at the Abbey (Arbroath Co-operative Society);
  • Mary Queen of Scots at Arbroath Abbey (British Red Cross Society);
  • Countess of Buchan Crowning Robert the Bruce (Arbroath Women's Citizens Association);
  • Marriage of the Thistle and the Rose (Arbroath Business and Professional Women's Club);
  • Escape of Queen Mary from Loch Leven (Arbroath Merchants' Association);
  • Signing the Covenant at Greyfriars (Arbroath Housewives Association);
  • Jenny Geddes (presented by Arbroath Branch British Legion Women's League);
  • Bombardment of Arbroath (Arbroath Boys' Brigade);
  • In the industrial section were:
  • Messrs Alex Shanks & Son Ltd., Dens Iron Works, 'showed the development of their lawn mowers for the past 100 years';
  • Messrs. Innes, Henderson & Co., Ltd. women engaged in the sewing of knitwear at their Arbroath factory;
  • Arbroath Fisherwomen's Association, fisherwomen at work;
  • Arbroath Junior Agricultural Club, reaping through the ages, from the days of the cutting of the grain by scythe and binding by hand, to the combine harvester and bailer of the present day.
  • Also taking part were, Arbroath Instrumental Band, and Angus Accordion College Juvenile Band, Dundee.
The parade was marshalled by members of the committee: 'Messrs A. Sandison, J. Donald and J. Tollerton'.

Sunday 19 August 1951:
  • Pageant Thanksgiving Service, 3pm, in the Abbey. Conducted by the Rev. W. E. Gladstone-Millar, MC, BD, and Address by Rev. D.B.M. Mellis, MA, Moderator of the Synod.
  • Although arrangements had been made to hold the service in Hopemount Church if the weather was bad, the afternoon must have begun fair and the service held open-air at the Abbey went ahead. However, it had to be abandoned midway because of the arrival of heavy rain and a subsequent power failure which put paid to amplification. 

Others Events:
Various other social events during the week included an enactment of a traditional fisher wedding organised by Arbroath's fishing community. Fishing boats also provided a sail along the coast on Saturday afternoon, although due to the weather, the journey was said to be 'choppy'.
Robert the Bruce's sword was put on display in St Ninian's Church in Arbroath. This was loaned during pageant week by the Earl of Elgin, a direct descendant of the Bruce.

Pageant outline

The National Anthem.

Introduction

The pageant was introduced and chaired by different persons at each performance as follows:

Thursday 16 August in the evening: Chair: The Earl of Southesk
Friday 17 August in the evening:Chair: The Countess of Dalhousie
Saturday 18 August in the afternoon: Chair: The Earl of Airlie, Lord Lieutenant of Angus
Saturday 18 August at night: Chair: Mr G.W. Dunn, Secretary of the Arbroath Pageant Society

Address

A different invited speaker gave an address at each performance as follows:

Thursday 16 August in the evening: Principal D.N. Wimberley, Dundee University College
Friday 17 August in the evening: The Countess of Errol, Hereditary Lord High Constable and Knight Marischal of Scotland
Saturday 18 August in the afternoon: The Earl of Selkirk
Saturday 18 August at night: Dr Agnes Mure Mackenzie

Prayer of Dedication

This was conducted by local Ministers as follows:

Thursday evening: unknown clergyman
Friday evening: Rev. Andrew Kerr, Princes Street Church
Saturday afternoon: Rev. W.W.M. Bell, Hopemount Church19
Saturday night: unknown clergyman

Psalm XXIII

At each performance, following the Prayer of Dedication, the 'assembly' were asked to sing verses 1 and 5 of the 23rd Psalm to the tune of Crimond.

Fanfare.

Prologue

This remained unchanged from previous years and was a verse written by the local poet, J. Crawford Milne. It was delivered by F.W.A. Thornton.

The Laurel Crown, 1305

Written by a local town councillor and pageant organiser, F.W.A. Thornton, this play was first staged at the 1948 Arbroath Pageant and reprised in 1950 and 1951 as a prelude to the main Declaration episode. The play was concerned with the trial of Sir William Wallace. Thornton described it as 'a reasonably convincing impression of what led up to the noble declaration'.20 The cast of the play remained largely unchanged, with the players being as follows:

King Edward of England (played by Edward J. Joss)
Earl of Pembroke (John Eddie)
Earl of Sussex (John Chisholm)
Sir Peter Mallory, Lord Chief Justice of England (R.B. Brown)
Lord Mayor of London (J.K. Moir)
Constable of the Tower (Andrew Stewart)21
Sir William Wallace (Ian Spalding)22

There was a larger cast of supporting players who are not named.

Fanfare

Main scene. The Signing of the Declaration of Scottish Independence [1320]

This performance continued largely unchanged from previous years (there may have been small adjustments that have not been detailed in news reports). It had a cast of around 50 main and supporting players, plus the Arbroath Male Voice Choir who played the parts of a choir of monks (around 18 choir members) and many others playing the roles of foot soldiers (number not known). The cast of main characters was as follows:

Abbot of Aberbrothock (played by George S. Shepherd)
King Robert the Bruce (A. Linton Robertson);
Lord Douglas (S.E.S. Burnett)
Lord Randolph (Walter Burnett)
Bishop of St Andrews (Tom Matheson)
Bishop of Dunkeld (D.L. Gardiner)
Bishop of Aberdeen (David Goodwillie)23
Bearer of the Banner of St Columba' (Douglas B. Lowe)

With the exception of the Bishop of Aberdeen, the same actors who had taken these roles in previous pageant years played the same parts.

Prayer of Dedication and Epilogue

This took place at the close of the final performance. It was planned that Mr Ian Finlay would provide an address but he was unable to attend. Agnes Mure Mackenzie took on the duty of this in his 'unavoidable absence'.24

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Wallace, Sir William (d. 1305) patriot and guardian of Scotland
  • Robert I [Robert Bruce] (1274–1329) king of Scots
  • Bernard (d. 1330/31) administrator and bishop of Sodor
  • Douglas, Sir James [called the Black Douglas] (d. 1330) soldier
  • Randolph, Thomas, first earl of Moray (d. 1332) soldier and guardian of Scotland Edward I (1239–1307) king of England and lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine
  • Valence, Aymer de, eleventh earl of Pembroke (d. 1324) magnate
  • Warenne, John de, seventh earl of Surrey [earl of Surrey and Sussex, Earl Warenne] (1286–1347) magnate

Musical production

  • Arbroath Male Voice Choir (choral music in Declaration episode).
  • There was organ music for the religious service relayed from the nearby Hopemount Church.
  • There were fanfares played but this may have been recorded music.
  • The tune 'Crimond' is usually attributed to Jessie Seymour Irvine (1836–87). Composed in 1872, this is commonly used for singing Psalm 23 ('The Lord Is My Shepherd') in Scotland and elsewhere. Ave Verum was sung during the main scene depicting the signing of the Declaration but the specific arrangement used is unknown.

Newspaper coverage of pageant

Arbroath Herald
Arbroath Guide
Dundee Courier
The Scotsman
The Times

Book of words

n/a

No Book of Words produced.

Other primary published materials

  • Arbroath Abbey Pageant Festival Year 1951, Souvenir Programme 1/-, (Arbroath, 1951).

References in secondary literature

  • There is a brief mention in The Third Statistical Account of Scotland, see Gladstone-Millar, Rev. W.E. 'The Abbey Pageant'. In The County of Angus, edited by William Allen Illsley. Arbroath, 1977. At 525.
  • Ritchie, J. N. Graham. 'Images of the Declaration: The Arbroath Pageant.' In The Declaration of Arbroath: History, Significance, Setting, edited by Geoffrey Barrow. Edinburgh, 2003. At 86–107.

Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Arbroath Public Library has 1 copy of the Souvenir programme. 394.5.
  • The NLS has a copy of Agnes Mure Mackenzie, On the Declaration of Arbroath (Edinburgh, 1951). 5.1542.

Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • Translation of the Declaration by Agnes Mure Mackenzie

The translation of the Declaration by Agnes Mure Mackenzie was first published in the 1949 souvenir pamphlet and was used in performance of the signing of the document. This was reproduced in the 1951 souvenir programme and in many subsequent programmes.

The use of words from John of Fordoun's (1320–84) Chronica Gentis Scotorum (c 1360) describing freedom as 'far beyond jewels' in value is often mentioned in press coverage of introductory speeches; Agnes Mackenzie was certainly fond of quoting from this and it is included in her Epilogue for the pageant of 1949. It is assumed the press reports reflect this constant reiteration.

Summary

In 1951, the fifth annual Arbroath Abbey Pageant was said to have reached 'perfection in festival year'.26 This pointed reference to the Festival of Britain, made many times in the local press, may have served two purposes. The first of these was to distance the pageant from accusations of excessive Scottish nationalism. In April 1951, the Stone of Destiny which had the previous year been removed from Westminster Abbey by Scottish nationalists, was found in Arbroath Abbey. It was known that members of Arbroath Town Council sympathetic to Home Rule had facilitated the discovery of the stone at Arbroath. These councillors included F.W.A. Thornton, who also produced and performed in the pageant. 27 Secondly, what was now an established annual event in the town had also in this year to count towards general Festival of Britain celebrations in Angus. The organisers were, nonetheless, determined not to be eclipsed by the many other pageants and celebrations held in Scotland in this particular year and made every effort to make it an even more attractive occasion than it had been in its previous incarnations. Indeed, the decision to go ahead and hold another pageant in 1951 and capitalise on the festival year was taken irregularly, ahead of the annual general meeting of the Pageant Society when this should have been discussed.28 The main thrust of innovation was to change the timetable of the performances and include a late-night, floodlit staging as the closing event. Some novelty of approach using special lighting had been applied in 1950 and had been judged to be a success, as the local paper underlined:

The culminating performance of the 1951 Pageant will be a wonderful experience for Arbroath. The success of the Saturday evening performance, which was an innovation last year, was followed by the flood-lighting of the Abbey as a spectacle for the townspeople from outside the fabric, with the symbolic lighting of the beacon at the ‘Auld Roond O’ on the approach of midnight.29 It made a thrilling conclusion to the Pageant of 1950, and the idea of developing this experiment on a grander scale for the 1951 Festival Pageant promises to be a highlight in deed and fact. The Saturday evening presentation has been timed for commencement at 10p.m., to conclude at midnight.30

The 'elaborate' lighting provided in 1951 was novel, creating the illusion of pillars, and giving 'a roofed effect' to the ruins of the Abbey.31 Moreover, in the context of mid-twentieth century Scotland, where pubs closed at 10.00pm even on a Saturday evening and then remained closed until Monday, the Saturday late night performance was indeed an innovation in itself. It also suggests that some relief from the austerity of these immediate post-war years was being felt. This was certainly the case in terms of the wider commerce of the celebrations; now that cloth was 'off the ration', one long-established Arbroath store advertised a cornucopia of pageant souvenirs including 'Table Runners, Table Centres, Tea Cosies, Handkerchiefs, Purses, Tea Pot Holders, Needle Cases...' and even 'Tobacco Pouches', alongside the inevitable head squares featuring an illustration of Arbroath Abbey.32

Head covering may have been needed, because unfortunately the pageant was a little unlucky with the weather in 1951. It rained throughout the performances and during the pageant parade which had been specially retimed as part of the week's events to take place later on Saturday afternoon. Wet weather certainly dampened the spectacle at the late night performance:

After the close of the Floodlight performance, a large concourse of spectators gathered in the vicinity of the Abbey to witness the firing of the beacon in the lancet window underneath the famous Round O. The materials in the fire-basket were so sodden with the evening's rain, however, that the beacon could not be lit at first, and only after a thorough drenching in paraffin did it flare out into the night sky. Even after this symbolic ending of Pageant Week, crowds still hovered around the Abbey where the ‘House’ lighting illumined the nave, and gave to those not fortunate enough to be present during the performance some inkling of the departed glories of an unforgettable night. 33

The effect must have been sufficient, however, for Arbroath consequently increased the numbers of performances in subsequent years and put a particular focus on holding more floodlit shows. Financial considerations likely also influenced this decision, as the late night staging sold out, although, overall, the pageant lost a significant amount of money. The Chair of the Abbey Pageant Society claimed that the event was 'not out to make a lot of money'.34 However, the losses must have been a concern for maintaining the pageant as an annual event. Although the Town Council had underwritten up to £200 of losses, there had been a warning delivered that the Pageant Society should in future years seek guarantors beyond the local ratepayers. This may have been because there was some dissent in the town about the pageant.35

Indeed, the Abbey Pageant Society itself claimed that there was a lack of interest in the town and more support was needed to keep up the momentum of the pageant, as businesses in Arbroath 'reaped the benefit' but without themselves making any special efforts.36 Some indication that the general population was getting weary of the pageant and had 'ceased to find it entertaining' is also evident in a letter sent to the Dundee Courier in reply to complaints about lack of interest in the town. The writer stated that more variety was needed in the programme to attract local people and suggested:

If people do not enjoy watching the pageant they will not come forward to help with its organisation... Why not choose a different event from Scottish history each year and portray it in the Abbey? Cut down the declaration scene and perform it as a sideline rather than the main theme. If need be, the pageant as it is now could be performed, say, every five years.37

The programme the pageant followed had changed slightly over the years, but with the signing of the Declaration remaining its centrepiece. In 1951, the content was the same as that played in 1950 and similar to that of 1948. What had changed was the staging, with even better audio and lighting techniques being used. These, however, were also more expensive to commission and doubtless contributed to financial losses.

As with the pageants of 1948 and 1950, the prelude to the signing episode was the play, The Laurel Crown, which dramatised Wallace's execution. As before, this innovation increased the running time of the entire pageant. The preliminaries of the event were also unchanged: local representatives (in 1951 mostly from the county aristocracy) presided and introduced the speaker who gave an address. In this particular year, the speakers ranged from hereditary peers to the well-known popular historian Agnes Mure Mackenzie.38 She had long been associated with the Arbroath pageant and had provided a new translation of the Declaration in English from the original Latin for use in the pageant. The religious formalities were adhered to with the same rigour, and local Ministers again led an introductory benediction. As well as providing an introductory speech for the innovative floodlit performance on Saturday night, Mackenzie was pressed into service to deliver the Epilogue at midnight when the arranged person was, at the last minute, unable to attend. In this year too, the Saltire Society published an analysis of the Declaration written by her.39 In this text, Mackenzie commented that in staging the pageant, the organisers 're-affirmed' rather than 're-enacted' the spirit of the document.40 It was Mackenzie's strong contention that the Declaration was 'as much to the point today, for all the world, as it was for the Scotland of six hundred years since.'41 With recent memory of total war clearly on her agenda, she stated:

The re-affirmation is national; and more... If many folk from other nations could hear those great words, as several from several nations have heard them lately, might they not pierce the poisoned lethargy that is betraying the world to slavery... many in our time, men, women, and children, have renewed the affirmation of Arbroath. Some acted from a reasoned philosophy, more from the deep blind instinct of humankind; but many and many gave their lives for freedom, as many and many of our fathers did, in century after century of struggle—struggle in war, harder struggle in the mind... here there is such an antidote to the poison, and it is our duty to give it to the world, because it is ours: to speak out, Scotland Yet, for Freedom Yet.42

Mackenzie's gift for rhetoric is evident in this work, the content of which almost certainly was derived if not in total, then in part, from her various performances at the pageant. In 1951, she proved herself the star of the show.

Bad luck with the weather and a certain amount of pageant fatigue on the part of the local population meant that the 1951 event was possibly not quite the triumph that was hoped for. Yet the stalwarts of the Pageant Society were undimmed in their enthusiasm. They clearly saw the possibilities of the floodlit performance for future success, giving, as it did, extra drama to the Abbey building itself and to the action of the pageant, which, although rich in pomp and ceremony, probably lacked the level of liveliness modern post-war audiences had begun to expect. 1951 was notable for one more thing: this saw the debut in a speaking role of a young Andy Stewart who played the role of a Constable in the play, the Laurel Crown. He had grown up in Arbroath and first trod the stage within the pageant. Perhaps one of the lesser known legacies of this event, Stewart would go on to become another famous Scottish (and Arbroath) export as an entertainer well known across the UK and, indeed, anywhere in the world where an émigré Scottish community existed.

Footnotes

  1. ^ Advertisement, Dundee Courier, 6 August 1951, 1.
  2. ^ Picture caption, Dundee Courier, 16 August 1951, 2.
  3. ^ 'Arbroath Abbey Pageant more Impressive than Ever', Arbroath Herald, 17 August 1951, 8.
  4. ^ 'Arbroath Abbey Pageant more Impressive than Ever', Arbroath Herald, 17 August 1951, 8.
  5. ^ Arbroath Abbey Pageant Festival Year 1951, Souvenir Programme 1/- (Arbroath, 1951), np.
  6. ^ 'Abbey Pageant Wants Town's Support', Dundee Courier, 28 September 1951, 2.
  7. ^ 'Arbroath Pageant a National Event', Dundee Courier, 7 November 1951, 3.
  8. ^ 'Abbey Pageant Wants Town's Support', Dundee Courier, 28 September 1951, 2.
  9. ^ Although by now an annual event in Arbroath, and the fifth time the pageant had been staged (with various alterations), in 1951, 'festival year' is regularly mentioned in newspaper reports and it was alleged that extra efforts had gone into the pageant because of this UK-wide celebration. See, for example, Arbroath Herald, 17 August 1951, 8.
  10. ^ Mentioned in a caption for an illustration of the floodlit performance, Arbroath Herald, 24 August 1951, 7.
  11. ^ 'Lessons of Past a Spur for the Future', Dundee Courier, 17 August 1951, 4.
  12. ^ 'Civic Chiefs at Arbroath Pageant', Aberdeen Evening Express, 6 August 1951, 2.
  13. ^ Advertisement, Dundee Courier, 6 August 1951, 1.
  14. ^ Arbroath Abbey Pageant Festival Year 1951, Souvenir Programme 1/-(Arbroath, 1951), np.
  15. ^ 'The Pageant Procession', Arbroath Herald, 24 August 1951, 8.
  16. ^ 'Abbey Crowd Dashes from Downpour’, Dundee Courier, 20 August 1951, 2.
  17. ^ 'Choppy Sail', Dundee Courier, 20 August 1951, 2.
  18. ^ 'Guard for Bruce's Sword', Dundee Courier, 17 August 1951, 4.
  19. ^ 'Thrilling Scenes during Pageant Week', Arbroath Herald, 24 August 1951, 7.
  20. ^ 'Programme for 1951 Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 17 August 1951, 8.
  21. ^ It is believed that a young Andy Stewart who later became a popular Scottish entertainer played this part. Stewart was then resident in Arbroath. He probably had more minor roles in previous pageants and would play a more significant role in 1953.
  22. ^ 'Programme for 1951 Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 17 August 1951, 8.
  23. ^ 'Programme for 1951 Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 17 August 1951, 8.
  24. ^ 'The Epilogue', Arbroath Herald, 24 August 1951, 8; the speaker who was unable to attend may have been the poet Ian Finlay but neither confirmation of this information nor the reason for his absence have been recovered.
  25. ^ See entry by Richard Watson in The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, ed. Ewan et al. (Edinburgh, 2006), 180.
  26. ^ 'Production Reaches Perfection in Festival Year', Arbroath Herald, 17 August 1951, 9.
  27. ^ 'Return of the Stone', The Guardian, 12 April 1951, 5.
  28. ^ 'Abbey Pageant Society', Arbroath Guide, 28 October 1950, 4.
  29. ^ The Round O is the circular window in the south transept gable of the Abbey; it became a landmark for shipping. Robert Stevenson, grandfather of the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson, rebuilt it in 1809. See short article at Historic Scotland site accessed 9/10/2015: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/index/places/propertyresults/propertyabout.htm?PropID=PL_013&PropName=Arbroath%20Abbey
  30. ^ ‘Highlight of 1951', Arbroath Herald, 17 August 1951, 8.
  31. ^ 'Arbroath Will Floodlight the Pageant', Dundee Courier, 11 August 1951, 2.
  32. ^ Advertisement for 'D. R. Macdonald 23–25 Commerce Street', Arbroath Herald, 17 August 1951, 10.
  33. ^ 'Closing Spectacle', Arbroath Herald, 24 August 1951, 8.
  34. ^ Dundee Courier, 7 November 1951, 3.
  35. ^ 'Chamberlain Warns Arbroath Council', Dundee Courier, 29 June 1951, 3.
  36. ^ A. Linton Robertson, Chair of the Abbey Pageant Society, quoted in Dundee Courier, 28 September 1951, 2.
  37. ^ Letter from R.B., Arbroath, Dundee Courier, 3 October 1951, 2.
  38. ^ See entry by Joan Morrison Noble in The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, ed. Ewan et al. (Edinburgh, 2006), 229; and William Donaldson, 2004, ‘Mackenzie, Agnes Mure (1891–1955)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004), online edn, accessed 22 October 2014, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/57342.
  39. ^ Agnes Mure Mackenzie, CBE, MA, DLitt, LLD, On the Declaration of Arbroath price 1/6 (Edinburgh, 1951).
  40. ^ Ibid., 24.
  41. ^ Ibid., 3.
  42. ^ Ibid., 24.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Arbroath Abbey Pageant 1951’, The Redress of the Past, http://www.historicalpageants.ac.uk/pageants/959/