Arbroath Abbey Pageant, 1980

Pageant type


The pageant was an initiative of the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society set up in late 1947.

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

Year: 1980

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 8


The pageant took place within the ruins of the medieval Arbroath Abbey, which has long been roofless and open to the elements.

1–7 September 1980

Monday 1 to Sunday 7 September nightly at 9.15pm.

Daylight performance Saturday 6 September at 2.15pm.

This was the first time the pageant had been staged in September.

There was also a dress rehearsal on Sunday (31 August) in front of '1000 schoolchildren'.1

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Pageant Producer [Pageant Master]: Shepherd, George S.
  • Pageant Producer [Pageant Master]: Shaw, William D.
  • Musical Director: William Glover 2

Names of executive committee or equivalent

Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society:

  • Hon. President: The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Airlie, DL
  • Hon. President: The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Dalhousie, CBE, MC, LLD
  • Chairman: W. Shaw


  • Chairman: W. Shaw
  • Vice-Chairman: Miss A. Walker
  • Secretary: D. Langlands
  • Treasurer: K. Balfour
  • Production Convenor: G. Shepherd
  • Publicity Convenor: I. Lamb
  • Others: K. Heathfield; Mrs E. Heathfield; Frank Thornton; J. Riley; J. McGugan; A. Kerr; M. Scott; Mrs B. McLeod; J. Evans; Miss M. Simpson


Veteran pageant producer and performer George Shepherd, who had been involved with the Arbroath productions since the 1940s, was still in a leading role as co-producer of the 1980 pageant. Shepherd's co-producer was William [Bill] Shaw; he was also chair of the Pageant Society. Women were better represented on the executive than in previous years.

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

  • Thornton, F.W.A.
  • Milne, J. Crawford
  • Mackenzie, Agnes Mure


The poet J. Crawford Milne wrote the prologue; it had been used in many previous presentations of the pageant. The former pageant producer Frank Thornton wrote the script of the play The Laurel Crown as well as the commentary given during the Declaration scene. A further part of this scene was a recitation, in English translation, of the text of the Declaration of Scottish Independence. This translation was carried out by the popular historian Agnes Mure Mackenzie and had been used at every performance of this scene since 1948. Mackenzie was a long-time supporter of the pageant until her death in 1955.4

Names of composers

  • Glover, William

William Glover was a teacher of music in Angus and composed original music for the pageant as well as arranging some pieces that had been used previously.5

Numbers of performers


Around 90 players took part in the Declaration scene. In The Laurel Crown, there were around 40 players; this number included some women playing ladies of the court. A large number of horses were used.

Financial information

Income: £14763

Expenditure: £17117

Object of any funds raised

Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society


Although the Pageant Society was enthusiastic about fundraising when it planned the 1980 production and held a number of events for this purpose, the pageant was also heavily subsidised from statutory funds. Among those who contributed grants were 'Angus District Council, Tayside Regional Council, the Scottish Tourist Board and various Local Trusts and Local Commerce and Industry'.6 The local press reported that although the pageant lost around £2350 it was 'an artistic success' and that because a balance of £9100 'had been carried over from the 1970 pageant’, the Society still had 'almost £7000' in its account.7

A report on the pageant's accounts specified that ticket sales raised £10225; the main expenditure had been on lighting (£6549), scaffolding (£6325) and advertising (£1091).8

Linked occasion


Audience information

  • Grandstand: Yes
  • Grandstand capacity: Approx. 1000
  • Total audience: 5000


Advance reporting on the pageant indicated plans for a grandstand which held 750 spectators.9 However, a later report indicated a specially built grandstand able to hold 1000.10 Over 5000 spectators attended the pageant over the eight performances. The local press reported that on three nights the 1000-seater stand was full to capacity and that people were turned away.11

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest


Seats £7.50, £5 (limited numbers only), £3 and £2.

Half price for children and OAPs.

15% discount for bookings of parties of 20 or more.12

There is no note of whether a charge was made for attendance at the dress rehearsal held on 31 August 1980.

Associated events

A number of events took place on the anniversary of the signing of the declaration. These included a procession and 'proclamation' held at night (5 April 1980) at which the Rev. T. Gemmell Campbell (a long-time associate of the pageant) 'gave a stirring speech about the declaration and its links to democratic freedoms'.
In advance of the procession, the women of the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society prepared a 'pie and punch' event'. 

During pageant week, there were other associated entertainments as follows:

  • 'The Jim McLeod Show' at the Webster Memorial Theatre (Monday 1 September, 7.30pm); tickets were £1.50 (80p for children and OAPs).
  • In the Arbroath community centre (Thursday 4 September at 7.30pm) there was 'Smokie Night Ceilidh’. This included music and entertainment by a comedian (George Duffus); tickets were £1.50 (80p for children and OAPs) and included provision of a 'supper dish'.
  • A 'Festival of Highland Dancing' (Sunday 7 September, 10.30am) in the community centre; tickets 30p. 
  • A local hotel (The Royal Hotel) held a 'Medieval Banquet' and advertised that 'Lords Randolph and Douglas' would attend (6.45pm on 4, 5 and 6 September); tickets were £8.50 and included 'Ale and Mead'. 
Also during pageant week, a 'Pageant of Scottish Fashion, Song and Dance' was held in the community centre (3 September at 7.30p,); tickets were £2 and in aid of the Pageant Society.
The opening of the pageant (1 September) was preceded by a reception hosted by Angus District Council and attended by 'representatives from national and local bodies which have given their support [to the pageant]'. 

The pageant procession through the town was also resurrected. This had been a regular feature at the annual pageants held between 1947 and 1956 but had fallen by the wayside in pageants held after that time. In 1980, it was organised by the 'Junior Chamber Arbroath'. Pageant cast members took part as did youth organisations such as the Girl Guides, Girls' Brigade, the Boy Scouts, Arbroath Lads' Club, army cadets and sea cadets, as well as community groups such as the Abbey Theatre Club. There is no note of which day during pageant week this was held, but it is likely to have been Saturday 6 September following the single afternoon performance of the pageant. It was well attended, and Arbroath instrumental band played.

Pageant outline

Opening Address (Monday 1 September 1980 only)

The pageant was formally opened by the then Chairman of the Scottish Tourist Board, Alan Devereux, who gave a speech.20


This was a verse written by the local poet, J. Crawford Milne. This was an established text which had been performed many times within the pageant. The former pageant producer, F.W.A. Thornton, had previously narrated the poem, but in 1980 Andrew Welsh, whose reading was pre-recorded, performed this. The verse extols the beauty of Scotland and praises the Scots of long ago and their fortitude. The poem then moves on to describe the start of the Wars of Independence and the emergence of Wallace as a heroic figure:

Yet was England's hammer made to know
That one Scot lived who held his manhood sure.
Within the heart of Wallace freedom stirred
And quickened to his country's need...

Pageant Play. The Laurel Crown, 1305

The pageant programme details that this play was written by F.W A. Thornton 'as a prelude to the great central fact of the pageant'.21 It had been performed many times within the Arbroath Pageant. The drama features the trial of William Wallace at Westminster Hall in London in August 1305 which preceded his execution. Together with Wallace (played by John Henderson), the central characters are Edward I (played by Jim Patterson), the Earl of Pembroke (Arthur Kerr), the Earl of Sussex (Eric Berry), the Lord Chief Justice of England, Sir Peter Mallory (T. Burns Mitchell), the Lord Mayor of London (Tony Place) and the Constable of the Tower (James Nangle). For the first time, a number of the supporting players were women; altogether, it had a cast of around 80. This was probably the largest ever cast that had been assembled for performance of this play. The dialogue was pre-recorded and the actors mimed their performance alongside the audio track.

The Scene of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence at Arbroath Abbey, 6 April 1320

This episode had been performed at every Arbroath pageant since 1947. F.W.A. Thornton wrote the scenario and voiceover narrative. Although small adjustments had been made over the years, it remained largely unchanged. A commentator sets the scene; following this, the Abbot and monks process into the arena. The arrival of King Robert the Bruce and an entourage of bishops, barons and soldiers disturb their devotions. The signing of the declaration then takes place during which time the words of the declaration are proclaimed. All the narration was pre-recorded and, in the case of the words of the declaration, a 14-year-old recording of Frank Thornton speaking the text was used.22 At the conclusion of this ceremony the Abbot blesses the King, after which the King and his associates take their leave. The scene ends with the Abbot and monks processing out of the arena. Religious music accompanied this drama, and a new score was produced for this in 1980. The main characters in the piece are Robert the Bruce (played by Jim McGugan), Lord Randolph (Brian Forsyth), Lord Douglas (Gregor Robson) and Abbot Bernard (Ian Spalding).

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

All or most of the music was recorded (choral singing in the Declaration scene may have been live, but this is unclear). The pageant's Musical Director, William Glover, wrote a new, original score for the 1980 pageant. Unfortunately, no details have been recovered.

Newspaper coverage of pageant

The Arbroath Herald
The Scotsman
The Glasgow Herald
Scots Independent

Book of words


A Book of Words was not produced, although the script of the commentary in the Declaration scene was included in the Book of Words produced to accompany the 1970 Arbroath Pageant.23

Other primary published materials

  • Arbroath Abbey Pageant 1980, Programme, Price 40p (Arbroath, 1980).

The programme is a slight document and much of it consists of advertising.

References in secondary literature

  • Gladstone-Millar, Rev. W.E. 'The Abbey Pageant'. In The County of Angus, edited by William Allen Illsley. Arbroath, 1977. See p. 525 for brief mention of the pageants in The Third Statistical Account.
  • Hutchison, Isobel Wylie. 'Poets' Voices Linger in Scottish Shrines'. National Geographic Magazine CXII, October 1957, 437–87. The 1956 Arbroath pageant was featured in this travel article around literary shrines in Scotland.
  • Ritchie, 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.

The pageants held in Arbroath are discussed in these texts; however, none of these deal with the later pageants held after 1970.

Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • Arbroath Public Library: A copy of the pageant programme.
  • Angus Archives: Holds a selection of photographs taken at the 1980 pageant as follows:
  • Robert the Bruce & Bernard de Linton, Arbroath Abbey Pageant, photograph, 1980. MS747/18/1362.
  • Procession in Arbroath Abbey Pageant, photograph, 1980. MS747/18/1363.
  • Signing of the Declaration, Arbroath Abbey Pageant, photograph, 1980. MS747/18/1364.
  • Royal Court, Arbroath Abbey Pageant, photograph, 1980. MS747/18/1365.
  • Robert the Bruce, Arbroath Abbey Pageant, photograph, 1980. MS747/18/1366.
  • Robert the Bruce & Bernard de Linton, Arbroath Abbey Pageant, photograph, 1980. MS747/18/1367.

Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • Mackenzie, Agnes Mure. Translation of the Declaration.

The Translation of the Declaration from the original Latin was by Agnes Mure Mackenzie; this was first published in the 1949 souvenir pamphlet and was read in the performance of the signing of the document. It was reproduced in the 1980 souvenir programme and in many previous programmes.


Following the pageant held in 1970, which was an artistic success, its organisers, the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society, aimed to restage the event five years later in 1975. At the time, the former pageant master Frank Thornton objected to this plan: he thought it should be done earlier, in 1974, since that year would be the 800th anniversary of the founding of Arbroath Abbey. However, his fellow society members overruled his proposal. The perennial reason of lack of funds was stated as the main grounds for the extra delay; it was felt that more time was needed to raise enough money. However, a second justification was also stated, which was that a full five years was needed to advertise the pageant well enough in advance to overseas visitors. The pageant's co-producer at the time, Tom Walker, made this argument. He proposed that with sufficient funding and support the Arbroath pageant could become 'Scotland's Oberammergau'.24 The pageant had long been touted as 'the Scots pageant'; and the type of thinking expressed by Walker underlines the fact that the idea of the pageant as a national festival had indeed taken root. Certainly, its organisers did not see it as simply a local celebration; Walker further stated, 'we have a production and setting that is unparalleled anywhere is Scotland. We must be ambitious.'25 Unfortunately, the plans for 1975 came to nought and there was no pageant staged during the remainder of the 1970s. The economic uncertainties of these years in Scotland (the discovery of North Sea oil aside) perhaps accounts for this. In addition, Scotland experienced local government reorganisation in 1975 and, according to one pageanteer, this effectively 'wiped Arbroath off the map' as a venture worthy of financial assistance from this source.26 Moreover, the thorny issue of home rule for Scotland was once again on the minds of some politicians in the mid-1970s when the campaign for devolution had again become newsworthy. This too might have affected attitudes to holding the pageant, for it had sometimes been a focal point for arguments in favour of both home rule and separatism, causing the pageant to attract some negative publicity.

Whatever caused this hiatus, the pageant was not resurrected again until 1980 when the fourteenth presentation was staged. Planning for this began in early 1979. While it is tempting to think that the initiative to get the pageant on track again may have had something to do with the politics of the time, for a long awaited referendum on Scottish devolution was held on 1 March of that year, such a conclusion would be misleading. Indeed the 1980 pageant seems to have attracted relatively little of this kind of attention.27 Moreover, the 1979 referendum ultimately failed to produce a vote for devolution, but the pageant went ahead, for another momentum was in fact behind it: tourism. The death throes of many traditional industries in Scotland were prompting interest in new types of economic activity, and tourism was one such enterprise. For the first time, the pageant seems to have had no difficulty in attracting no-strings-attached, generous funding from the local authority.28 It was also given a cash injection of £2500 by the Scottish Tourist Board to enable wider advertising of the event.29 This kind of investment would have been highly unlikely in the dark days of the mid-1970s when statutory funding for the arts was severely constrained.30 The town of Arbroath had once been a thriving tourist destination, but by the late 1970s the glory days of sunny Angus were over. By the end of the decade, however, an eagerness to inject new life into tourism across Scotland, by both local authorities and national government, was evident. The Arbroath pageant fitted this agenda. For example, in January 1980 an exhibition entitled 'Enjoy Scotland' organised by the Scottish Tourist Board was held in Newcastle. One of the attractions of this was the appearance of costumed actors from Arbroath's pageant.31 In the early years of the pageant, there is no doubt that the pageant did attract visitors, and it is a measure of its lasting reputation as a tourist draw that confidence in it was shown by the likes of the Tourist Board. For the first time too, the pageant was held in September rather than at the height of the summer; it may be assumed that this was an attempt to extend the holiday season. This timing also meant that it did not clash with the annual Edinburgh festival but conveniently dovetailed with the end of this.

The promise of external funding seems to have galvanised the Pageant Society, and it began a year-long publicity campaign, which opened on 6 April 1979 with 'principal characters in the pageant attired in the costumes they will wear next year' processing through Arbroath to the Abbey. At the head of this was pageant performer, Jim McGugan, dressed as the Bruce. Several churches rang their bells, and at the west door of the Abbey, the veteran Arbroath pageanteer Ian Spalding, in the guise of Abbot Bernard, met the party. The planned pageant was then 'officially proclaimed':

six hundred and fifty nine years ago this day, in the great hall above that arch yonder, the Estates of Scotland gathered under their king Robert Bruce, and sent forth a clarion declaration of the Scottish people's will to maintain their nation in freedom...

A crowd numbering several hundreds gathered to hear it, and the BBC filmed the occasion.32 This kick-started more events, most of them aimed at fundraising. As usual, much of this activity was organised by women with coffee mornings, fashion shows and jumble sales taking place regularly in the town. In addition, a golf tournament was set up; this was sponsored by a local business, 'The Brothock Jewellers'. Various members of local golf clubs took part in this on 29 August with proceeds going to the Pageant Society. Notably, the jewellers committed to sponsoring this fundraiser for a further two years.33

In 1980, there does seem to have been recognition that visitors coming to the town for the pageant might be good for the locality generally. At any rate, the mood in the town seems to have changed for the better. While earlier pageants had been met with some indifference among the wider population, in 1980 a lot more enthusiasm was shown. The 1980 pageant producer, Bill Shaw, commented that what the pageant showed was that 'Arbroath still had more than a spark of community spirit'.34There was a bigger cast involved than there had been for many years. The historical procession, which had once taken place in the town during pageant week and which had been well supported and attended, had fallen away in the mid-1950s and abandoned altogether during the 1960s, but it was brought back in 1980 and proved popular.35 Ninety local businesses each donated £10 to pay for bunting for the main streets.36 Commercial interests in the town incorporated the pageant in different ways. One example was a local hotel that opted to hold medieval banquets while the pageant was running. These were something of a fad at the time, but in Arbroath they came with the added attraction of a personal appearance in costume by Bruce's associates—Lords Randolph and Douglas. We have no note of whether the hotel made a donation to the pageant for this service or if the occasion was used to encourage dinner guests to buy a ticket for the pageant, but either or both cases are highly likely.

Where the performance itself was concerned, not much changed. It was staged open-air at the Abbey as always, the pageant play that depicted the trial of William Wallace was once again put on, and King Robert the Bruce and his entourage appeared, as they always had done, through the gates of the Abbey in the Declaration scene. The use of technical innovation to enhance the Abbey was to the fore, as it had been in the past, and this time even more spectacular lighting effects were used 'to create the effect of a giant roof over the Abbey'.37 Staff from Dundee University's audio-visual department also recorded a soundtrack of The Laurel Crown so that in 1980 the entire drama of the pageant was mimed to a pre-recorded audio track.38

Local press reports emphasised nonetheless that though the pageant had the most up-to-date technology in place to make it even more of a spectacle than ever, tradition was at the heart of the event. To this end, there was no criticism of the re-use of existing scripts; or of the fact that the pre-recorded soundtrack included a reading of the Declaration of Independence by the pageant's most loyal supporter, Frank Thornton, that was 14 years old in 1980: such adherence to custom was all part of the pageant's appeal.39 By this point, Thornton remained part of the Pageant Society but had bowed out of involvement with the performance. However, alongside a new pageant master, Bill Shaw, another long-time pageant associate—George Shepherd—was still at the helm as Shaw's co-producer. While Frank Thornton had many times complained in previous years that more innovation, especially within the script, was needed to keep the pageant going, the tide seems to have turned against this view. Overall, what the 1980 pageant demonstrated was that after three decades of existence, Arbroath had invested sentiment in established elements of the performance. Indeed, these had become sacrosanct traditions, and the pageant of old was now part of the identity of the town. From the cloak worn year on year by Robert the Bruce to the version of the English translation of the declaration used, many features of the pageant were the same as those employed in the late 1940s.40

Another less welcome Arbroath pageant tradition was once again a feature: the event did not make a profit; but by this point, this was what those who slaved to put on the show expected! The weather was generally good, audiences were full (indeed, full to capacity on some days) and the performance was accorded great praise, but still expenditure exceeded income. Yet contrary to Mr Micawber, misery was not predicted. Pageant organisers were buoyed by the commendations they received and by the fact that every indication was given by the Tourist Board that they would again support the pageant in 1981 if it was run again. The chair of the Scottish Tourist Board, Alan Devereux, was invited to officially open the pageant. He was new to the job and English born. In his speech at the first performance, he did not shy from stating what he thought were the merits of Scottish traditions for the wider economy nor from dipping his toes in political waters in order to underline this view:

The Arbroath pageant made an important contribution to Scotland's national heritage and to its modern industry of tourism. Whatever your political persuasion and whichever your country of birth, you cannot fail to be moved by the sheer beauty of Scotland, by the timeless traditions of its people and their courage in the face of adversity ... The world's images of the kilt, heather, clans and bagpipes are essential parts of the timeless traditions and the reality of Scotland. May we never feel any sense of shame in displaying these traditions in the shop window of the world ... Scotland is a nation, not in any narrow sense of some cobbled-together Devolutionary Act of Parliament, but in the greater sense of enjoying a unique history and a unique birthright of values. Much has been made of the Declaration of Arbroath. Let us now pledge ourselves to a new Arbroath. Let us affirm our faith in ourselves ... Our future does not lie in joining a queue of begging bowls in England but rather with building our own greater society free from the sleazy overcrowding of our neighbours—a future based on hope and optimism, increasingly free from the worthless bounds of centralisation. By all means revel in our history tonight, but tomorrow let us be determined to go forward to strengthen Scotland's economic might through its major industries of the future—the industries of tourism, banking and electronics.41

This statement really sums up the direction in which the pageant was being pushed, that is, to engage with the growing trend of investment in heritage as a commercial resource. Even if the pageant itself lost money, it worked within a larger tourism-driven machine in a Scottish economy that was increasingly based on service industries. What pageant organisers thought about this is not known, but it does not seem to have dampened their enthusiasm. In this frame of mind, and egged on by the Tourist Board, they decided to buck the trend which saw historical pageantry in terminal decline and reinstitute the pageant as an annual event. More outings for the Arbroath Abbey Pageant were planned—not only for 1981 but also 1982 to boot.


  1. ^ 'Next Week's Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 29 August 1980, 20.
  2. ^ 'Next Week's Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 29 August 1980, 20.
  3. ^ 'Abbey Pageant Success', Arbroath Herald, 12 September 1980, 13.
  4. ^ See entry by Joan Morrison Noble, in The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women, ed. Elizabeth Ewan et al. (Edinburgh, 2006), 229.
  5. ^ 'Tourist Board Chairman to Open Abbey Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 8 August 1980, 18:
  6. ^ Arbroath Abbey Pageant 1980, Programme, Price 40p (Arbroath, 1980), 1.
  7. ^ 'Pageant in 1981? Yes If Funding Available', Arbroath Herald, 21 November 1980, 11.
  8. ^ 'Pageant in 1981? Yes If Funding Available', Arbroath Herald, 21 November 1980, 11.
  9. ^ '£4000 Grant', Arbroath Herald, 2 March 1979, 17.
  10. ^ 'Cheers for the Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 5 September 1980, 17.
  11. ^ 'Abbey Pageant Success', Arbroath Herald, 12 September 1980, 13.
  12. ^ Advertisement, Arbroath Herald, 15 August 1980, 6.
  13. ^ Arbroath Herald, 11 April 1980, 14.
  14. ^ Arbroath Herald, 11 April 1980, 14.
  15. ^ Advertisement for 'Arbroath Pageant Entertainment Sponsored by Angus Council', Arbroath Herald, 29 August 1980, 5.
  16. ^ Advertisement for the medieval banquet held at the Royal Hotel in Arbroath, Arbroath Herald, 29 August 1980, 5.
  17. ^ Advertisement, Arbroath Herald, 29 August 1980, 1.
  18. ^ 'Tourist Board Chairman to Open Abbey Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 8 August 1980, 18.
  19. ^ 'Abbey Pageant Success', Arbroath Herald, 12 September 1980, 13.
  20. ^ Under Devereux, the pageant had been given a grant by the tourist board. He had been appointed chair of the latter in March 1980 and went on to serve in this position for almost ten years and to become a well-known public figure in Scotland; see 'Devereux Bows Out in Good year', Glasgow Herald, 12 December 1989, 5.
  21. ^ Arbroath Abbey Pageant 1980, Programme, Price 40p (Arbroath, 1980), 3. 'Pageant in 1981? Yes If Funding Available', Arbroath Herald, 21 November 1980, 11.
  22. ^ 'Next Week's Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 29 August 1980, 20.
  23. ^ See The Scots Pageant: The Script of the Arbroath Abbey Pageant August 1970 (Arbroath, 1970), 31–33.
  24. ^ 'Next Pageant in Five Years' Time', Arbroath Herald, 16 October 1970, 9.
  25. ^ Ibid.
  26. ^ This view was offered by Jim McGugan, who played Robert the Bruce in the 1980 and 1981 Arbroath pageants, when he gave an interview to the reporter William Hunter; see 'Alms for A Nation', Glasgow Herald, 31 August 1981, 6.
  27. ^ It was advertised in the monthly nationalist newspaper; see The Scots Independent, August 1980, 3 and 5, and September 1980, 10.
  28. ^ '£4000 Grant', Arbroath Herald, 2 March 1979, 17.
  29. ^ '£2500 for Pageant Society', Arbroath Herald, 18 May 1979, 14.
  30. ^ See Angela Bartie, The Edinburgh Festivals: Culture and Society in Post-War Britain (Edinburgh, 2013), 215.
  31. ^ 'Bid To Attract Tourists', Glasgow Herald, 5 January 1980, 3.
  32. ^ 'Heralding the Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 13 April 1979, 12.
  33. ^ 'Golf Tournament', Arbroath Herald, 22 August 1980, 14.
  34. ^ 'Pageant in 1981? Yes If Funding Available', Arbroath Herald, 21 November 1980, 11.
  35. ^ 'Abbey Pageant Success', Arbroath Herald, 12 September 1980, 13.
  36. ^ Ibid.
  37. ^ 'Next Week's Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 29 September 1980, 20.
  38. ^ Other aspects of the pageant (for example, the narration provided during the Declaration scene) had long been pre-recorded, and indeed this technique may well have been pioneered at Arbroath in the 1950s. It is implied in press reports that The Laurel Crown was the exception and that dialogue for this had previously been performed live and was pre-recorded for the first time in 1980. See ‘"Laurel Crown" Sound Track Recorded', Arbroath Herald, 29 August 1980, 20.
  39. ^ 'Next Week's Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 29 September 1980, 20.
  40. ^ The translation used was made by the historian Agnes Mure Mackenzie who was a great supporter of the pageant until her death in 1955.
  41. ^ Quotation reproduced in 'Cheers for the Pageant', Arbroath Herald, 5 September 1980, 17. Devereux had previously been Chairman of the CBI in Scotland and in this position had been a vocal opponent of Scottish devolution.

How to cite this entry

Angela Bartie, Linda Fleming, Mark Freeman, Tom Hulme, Alex Hutton, Paul Readman, ‘Arbroath Abbey Pageant, 1980’, The Redress of the Past,