Pageant of Inverness

Pageant type

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Place: The Islands (Inverness) (Inverness, Highland, Scotland)

Year: 1951

Indoors/outdoors: Outdoors

Number of performances: 7


3–8 September 1951

Each day there was an overture of pipe music at 8 pm and performance of the pageant commenced at 8.30 pm. The original plan was to stage the pageant between Monday and Saturday of the week beginning 3 September 1951.1 However, because of high demand for tickets, an additional performance was added to the six shows originally planned; this was held late at night on Friday 7 September.2

Children from the Highland orphanage, residents of the Isobel Fraser Home of Rest, and residents of Ach-an-Eas (an old people's home run by the local authority), attended the final dress rehearsal held on Saturday 1 September.3

The pageant took place on islands situated on the river Ness; the historic county of the city is Inverness-shire.

Name of pageant master and other named staff

  • Pageant Master: Groves, John F.
  • Stage Director: Douglas H. Hunter, Esq.,
  • Assistant Stage Director: Miss Jess MacDonald
  • Assistant Stage Director: Col. Bruce Watt
  • Assistant Stage Director: Ian MacAulay, Esq.
  • Assistant Stage Director: Thos. Chambers, Esq.
  • Art Director: Alexander Clyne, Esq.
  • Assistant Art Director: Miss Valerie Birkbeck
  • Notes

Names of executive committee or equivalent

Pageant Committee

  • Chairman: D. Scott Swanston, Esq., FAIA
  • Vice-Chairman: Rev. Canon R. E. Butchart
  • Other members: Miss M. O. MacDougall, FSA (Scot)
  • Rev. F. J. L. MacLauchlan (the Old High Church, Inverness)
  • Provost J. M. Grigor (Lentran House, Inverness)
  • Douglas H. Hunter, Esq
  • John F. Groves, Esq.

Secretary to the Pageant

  • George L. MacBean, Esq.


This is a relatively compact committee with a single woman member (who happened to be the scriptwriter). The Pageant Master, named as 'John F. Groves, Esq. of the S.C.D.A.' also sat on the committee, although he did not have an official designation on this. It is likely there were many sub-committees in overall charge of Inverness's Festival of Britain celebrations, but information about these has not been recovered.

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

  • MacDougall, Margaret O.


The scriptwriter, Margaret MacDougall, was deputy burgh librarian.4

Names of composers


Numbers of performers


Twenty horses were involved. These were provided and trained by the Highland Riding Club. The pageant's narrator was Callum Mill, who was Southern adviser for the Scottish Community Drama Association.

Financial information

Object of any funds raised


Linked occasion

Festival of Britain

Audience information

  • Grandstand: Yes
  • Grandstand capacity: n/a
  • Total audience: 11000


Seating was available for 1000 spectators.7 Most of this was on a raised platform but not all; the local press criticised seating arrangements for those spectators who had chairs in front of the stage where the view was said to be restricted.8 The Inverness Courier reported that over 11000 people saw the pageant. Two thousand attended the Saturday performance and 700 came to the extra performance given on the night of Friday 7 September.9

Prices of admission and seats: highest–lowest

5s–1s. 6d.

Tickets cost 1/6, 2/6 or 5s.10

Associated events

There was a civic reception following the first performance on the night of Monday 3 September. In attendance at this were Tom Johnson (former Secretary of State for Scotland and then chair of the Scottish Tourist Board) and representatives of the Arbroath Abbey Pageant Society, including its chairman (Linton A. Robertson) and vice-chairman (T. Matheson).11

Inverness was one of the places designated as an official festival centre during the 1951 Festival of Britain; the pageant was the biggest event put on but there were other contributions including 'an international festival of drama, an exhibition of local industry and culture, an agricultural show, piping contests and highland games'.12

Pageant outline


A procession of the pageant players preceded the staging of the first scene; the narrator described this as it took place.13

Scene One: King Brude's Castle at Inverness, AD 565

The Pageant Master, John F. Groves, produced this scene. The pageant programme describes the action as follows:

St Columba and his two companions, St Comgail and St Coinneach, come to the Valley of the Ness to preach the Word of God to the Pictish monarch, Brude, and his pagan subjects. Their reception and what befell them are the subjects of this scene.14

Link No. 1: Macbeth's Castle at Inverness, AD 1040

The Pageant Master, John F. Groves, produced this linking scene. The pageant programme describes the action as follows: 'This scene is a mime ballet and depicts the traditional story of King Duncan's murder, and is based on Shakespeare's "MacBeth." [sic] This scene is fictional.'

Link No. 2: Before the Castle of Inverness, AD 1179

Alex Halley produced this linking scene. The pageant programme describes the drama as featuring King William the Lion during a time when he had 'established his headquarters at Inverness'. The King's plans were to 'strengthen his Royal authority and to build fortifications against the rebellious Clans in the North and West'.

Link No. 3: A Field in Inverness, AD 1233

Alice Mackintosh produced this scene which depicts the 'foundation of the Dominican Priory at Inverness, and brings to memory the long and active work done by the monks of the Priory for the education of the children of the Burgh'.

Scene Two: Before the Castle of Inverness, AD 1236

George Grant produced this scene, which depicts King Alexander II at Inverness. The king has come to hold a 'Justice Court' at the castle, and to 'subdue the rebels who lie in wait just outside the town'. The scene is described as showing 'some of the events which took place during the King's residence in the Burgh'.

Link No. 4: Before the Castle of Inverness, AD 1249

The Pageant Master, John F. Groves, produced this linking scene, which shows crusaders about to depart for the Holy Land. The crusaders 'have assembled to receive the blessing of the Church upon their expedition'. One of the onlookers is described as 'Count St Pol, a Frenchman, who has come to Inverness to have a ship built to take him to the Crusades.' The programme states that timber taken from 'the forests in the neighbourhood of Inverness' was used to build the vessel and that many Highland families sent representatives to the Crusades.

Link No. 5: Before the Dominican Priory at Inverness, c1264

The Pageant Master, John F. Groves also produced this linking scene, which shows two monks 'setting out for Norway' where they will attempt to negotiate for the transfer of the Hebrides from Norwegian governance to the that of the Scottish kingdom.

Link No. 6: Near Dunain, Inverness, AD 1297

Barbara Bruce-Watt produced this linking scene; it depicts Andrew de Moray, his 'lieutenant', Alexander Pilche, and David, Bishop of Moray, together with 'a band of Highland patriots as they lay 'in ambush' at Dunain (outside of Inverness). In the programme, this group are described as being 'in revolt against English invaders'. While in other parts of Scotland the revolt had 'fallen off', in the Province of Moray (described as including the modern counties of Inverness, Elgin, Ross and Nairn) it continued. The scene also depicts Fitzwarin who had been appointed Constable of Urquart Castle by the English in 1296.

Link No. 7: The Dominican Priory, Inverness, AD 1312

George Grant produced this linking scene, which depicts Robert the Bruce holding a parliament at Inverness. In attendance are representatives of the kingdom on Norway and 'prominent Scottish statesmen'. The scene shows the parliament ratifying the Treaty of Norway which ceded the Hebrides to Scotland.

Scene Three: The Exchange, Inverness, AD 1562

The Rev. Canon R.E. Butchart produced this scene. The programme explains that for the purposes of the pageant 'events that actually took two days have been linked together' in order to 'make a complete picture'. These events were: that initially, Mary Queen of Scots was barred from entering Inverness Castle, when she arrived there on a royal progress, but its governor later surrendered and allowed her entry. The scene shows Mary at the castle meeting with the town council of Inverness while 'chiefs, neighbouring lairds and their ladies wait upon their Queen'.

Link No. 8: The Exchange, Inverness, AD 1591

The Rev. Canon R. E. Butchart also produced this linking scene, which depicts the arrival of a charter granted by James VI. The drama shows the document's delivery to the Provost of Inverness.

Link No. 9: A Park in Inverness, 1644

Barbara Bruce-Watt produced this linking scene; it shows 'a picture of the 17th century "Home Guard" in training' as they await attack by the marquis of Montrose.

Link No. 10: The Exchange, Inverness, 1650

Alice Mackintosh produced this scene which depicts the arrival of the captive marquis of Montrose. The Marquis is passing through Inverness on his journey from Sutherland to Edinburgh where he will face trial and execution.

Link No. 11: The Exchange, Inverness, 1651

The Pageant Master, John F. Groves, produced this linking scene, which shows the arrival of 'the first contingent of Cromwellian troops and the reception they receive' at Inverness.

Scene Four: Dalneigh, Inverness, 1651

Alex Halley produced this scene, which depicts 'a re-construction' of the popular annual horse races held at Inverness.

Key historical figures mentioned

  • Brude [Bridei] mac Maelchon (d. c.586) king of Picts
  • Columba [St Columba, Colum Cille] (c.521–597) monastic founder
  • Comgall mac Sétnai (511/16–602) Abbot of Bangor
  • Robert I [Robert Bruce] (1274–1329) king of Scots
  • William I [known as William the Lion] (c.1142–1214) king of Scots
  • Alexander II (1198–1249) king of Scots
  • Alexander III (1241–1286) king of Scots
  • Murray, Andrew (d. 1297) patriot and soldier
  • Mary [Mary Stewart] (1542–1587) queen of Scots
  • James VI and I (1566–1625) king of Scotland, England, and Ireland
  • Graham, James, first marquess of Montrose (1612–1650) royalist army officer

Musical production

The Pipe and Drum Band of the 1st Cadet Battalion of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders played an overture to the pageant, and also played during the interval.15 No details of the items on this programme have been recovered. Further details of any music used during the scenes are not provided in the programme, but if this did feature alongside the voiceover narration, it is likely to have been recorded. There was amplification, and this was used by the narrator and by the pageant master during rehearsals of the pageant.16

Newspaper coverage of pageant

Aberdeen Evening Express
Arbroath Herald
Dundee Courier
Falkirk Herald
Inverness Courier

Book of words


A book of words was not produced but a copy of the original typescript can be consulted at the Highland Archives Centre in Inverness (see archival holdings).

Other primary published materials

  • Souvenir Programme: The Pageant of Inverness compiled by Margaret O. MacDougall, September 3rd to 8th 1951, The Islands, Inverness. Inverness, 1951.

References in secondary literature


Archival holdings connected to pageant

  • 1 copy of the Souvenir Programme, shelfmark: HP3.78.1416

    The National Library of Scotland

  • NLS Moving Image Archive has 20 minutes of silent, black and white film footage of the pageant (directed by James S. Nairn) ref: 6761

    The National Library of Scotland:

  • 1 copy of the Souvenir Programme, Ref: HCA/D189/1/8

    The Highland Archive Centre, Inverness

  • Booklet of typed directions and script for Pageant of Inverness, by Margaret MacDougall 4, ref: HCA/D390/7/2 

    The Highland Archive Centre, Inverness

  • Typed narration for Pageant of Inverness performed on Ness Islands, Inverness, written by Margaret Oliphant MacDougall and spoken by Callum Mill SCDA, 3 Sep1951-8 Sep 1951, ref: HCA/D390/7/1

    The Highland Archive Centre, Inverness

Sources used in preparation of pageant

  • Shakespeare, William. Macbeth.

Shakespeare's Macbeth was the clear inspiration for the first linking scene.


There have been few historical pageants in the Parkerian tradition staged in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, and the pageant of Inverness held in 1951 is by far the most significant of this small number. As the de facto 'capital' of the Highlands, the town was the obvious place to stage such an event. This highland pageant was a long time coming, but eventually three things prompted it. Firstly, and most obviously, 1951 was the year of the Festival of Britain, when pageants were taking place across the length and breadth of the UK. Secondly, there was the example of the highly acclaimed pageant of Arbroath Abbey that celebrated the drafting of the Declaration of Scottish Independence in 1320, and which had been held every year from 1947.17 Reputedly, this event had provided inspiration for the Provost of Inverness when he was invited to attend at Arbroath's in 1950. Thirdly, in the mid-twentieth century there appears to have been widespread petulance in the Highlands about alleged corruption of this region's history. In respect of this latter factor, it must be said that historical pageants may have taken some of the blame for this. Over-reliance on the romances of Walter Scott in many Scottish pageants meant that, for many, the Highlands were forever the land of heather, lochs and Jacobites—and not much else. While pageantry was a popular pastime in the north-east of Scotland, including in towns such as Arbroath, elsewhere in the north, small (and ever declining) pockets of population, transport difficulties and the sheer rigours of rural life in this part of the country, had militated against large-scale celebrations of the past. Where smaller scale events may have taken place, these have proved to be ephemeral in memory. Inverness aimed to right this wrong by putting on a much bigger pageant.

Regardless of the blameworthiness of Scott or indeed, of pageants, and perhaps in a spirit of 'if you can't beat them join them', the Provost of Inverness persuaded his town to have its own pageant in 1951. The provost had an agenda, mainly to invite tourism to the area in the context of post-war regeneration, but there was also a genuine desire on his part to tell a more authentic story of the Highlands. Thus the intended audience was not solely the tourists who flocked there, but also a local audience, who it was claimed had been starved of authentic information about their own past. According to the historical advisor to the pageant, Dr Evan M. Barron, the pageant aimed to 'illustrate the real history of Inverness and the Highlands—not the romantic and sentimental stuff from which they had long suffered'.18 Again, perhaps taking a leaf out of Arbroath's book, the episodes chosen were highly selective, reflecting the local past where it had intersected in an obvious and significant way with national history. And like Arbroath, a contextual narrative was provided by voiceover narration, rather than delivered through stage-based dialogue.

The Inverness pageant had only four formal episodes. It began in the sixth century with an imaginative elaboration on the arrival of Christianity in the Highlands in the person of St Columba. But, perhaps a little unusually, it also included two other less well-known saints who nevertheless were important evangelisers in the Celtic world—St Coinneach [Kenneth] and St Comgail [Comgall]. Notably, both were given the Gaelic variations of their names in the pageant programme rather than the anglicised form. The conversion of the Pictish King Brude was dramatised in this scene. Alexander II's visit to Inverness in the thirteenth century was covered in the second scene; this monarch's legacy was the consolidation of royal power in Scotland, which involved subduing rebellions in the Highlands, so his relevance to the local and national history was the clear purpose of this selection. He had also been a thorn in the side of the unpopular English King John, presenting an opportunity to highlight an aspect of British history that was not often covered in pageants, even though John was regularly a featured monarch in England. Mary Stuart's fractious visit to the town featured in the third full scene; here the evident intention was both to provide good drama featuring an iconic figure from the Scottish and British past, but also to show the independent-mindedness of Highlanders. Mary was turned away on her arrival at Inverness Castle by order of the Earl of Huntly, an action that had terrible consequences for this noble family. The scene doubtless underlined one historical view of Mary, which was that she sealed her own terrible fate by the poor decisions she made throughout her monarchical career. A general depiction of Inverness during a holiday in the late seventeenth century was the final scene to receive fulsome attention. This, of course, accorded with general pageant tradition, but also showed that Inverness was not a cultural wasteland in comparison with the Lowlands, and that it had been a great gathering place for pleasure as well as warmongering.

In between each of these however, the progress of history was shown in eleven, shorter tableaux called 'links'. Between scenes one and two, three linking scenes were shown. A great many folk from the world of amateur drama seem to have been involved with this pageant, and so it is not surprising that Shakespeare made an appearance: the murder of Duncan from Macbeth was the drama shown in the first linking scene and this was presented as a 'mime ballet'.19 The programme was unambiguous about the fact that this was a fictional depiction, but of course, it made an excellent dramatic start to the pageant following the rather more usual and tame 'coming of Christianity' theme in scene one. The second link scene showed a Scottish pageant favourite, William the Lion. In this tableau, William is seen consolidating national power from his headquarters in the Highlands at Inverness, rather than from better-known sites in the south of the country that were beloved of medieval Scottish kings. Chronological narration continued through Link 3, which introduced the reign of William's son, Alexander II, during which time a priory flourished near the town. The scene almost certainly highlighted that Alexander was a generous benefactor of the church as well as a great martial monarch.

Following the second full scene, four more links were enacted. Link 4 took the story of the Highlands forward, showing that this part of Scotland had once enjoyed commercial vitality through the maritime skills of Highland shipbuilders—certainly a forgotten part of the area's history—and that it too had played a part in the nationwide quest to support Christianity during the Crusades. In a short essay included in the pageant programme, Barron, as historical adviser, provided some notes on the narrative of the pageant. In this, he purposely repeated the line 'it was to Inverness...' when he discussed each scene depicted within the pageant. This lyrical reiteration was an obvious attempt to show how Inverness—as the capital of the Highlands—had been unfairly left out of Scottish national history, and aimed to rectify this omission by putting the town centre stage. This historical recovery is most clearly seen in the attempt to insert the Highlands into the story of one of Scotland's greatest historical champions: Robert the Bruce. Barron's comments on the subjects of Links 5, 6 and 7 provide examples of this reiterative tactic, seen in the following extracts from the text of his essay:

It was to Inverness too, that Alexander III came in 1262, when Haco, King of Norway, was preparing for the descent upon Scotland that ended in the Battle of Largs... And it was from Inverness that an embassy, consisting of Friars from the Dominican Priory of Inverness, which Alexander II had founded, was sent to Norway after the failure of that invasion... It was with the aid of the burgesses of Inverness that the first successful blow in the war of Independence was struck in 1297, when Andrew de Moray of Petty and Avoch, a near neighbour of the town, with Alexander Pilche, burgess of Inverness, as his chief lieutenant, led a revolt which liberated the north and resulted in the Battle of Stirling Bridge. It was from Inverness and its neighbourhood that Bruce gained some of his earliest and staunchest adherents, and it was to Inverness in the crisis of his fate that he came in 1307... It was to Inverness, too, that Bruce returned in 1312 to meet the ambassadors of the King of Norway in order to ratify "The Annual of Norway," the treaty entered into between the Kings of Scotland and Norway in 1266, and to settle various matters outstanding between the two nations.20

Having brought the narrative up to scene three and Mary Queen of Scots' unhappy experience of Inverness, the remaining four linking scenes are mostly set at 'the Exchange', which, as the pageant's scriptwriter explains, was the 'main market place' for centuries in Inverness.21 The granting of a charter by James VI is dramatised in Link 8, and some of the exploits in the Highlands of the Covenanter turned anti-Covenanter, the notorious marquis of Montrose, comes next. The final linking scene shows the arrival of Cromwell’s supporters in Inverness, before the final full scene, set at a race day in the late seventeenth century, ends the performance on a high note. Of tragedy, there was plenty in this pageant; there was also, in keeping with tradition, a regular appearance by successive monarchs; but there were also some laughs. The local press commented that 'comedy has not been forgotten' and a small band of players apparently turned up in many episodes to represent the 'ordinary citizen'. These players were said to provide 'a really amusing' addition to the high drama inherent in the doings of the great and the good.22

Overall, this narrative strategy of including short linking dramas between main scenes seems to have worked well, for it provided some narrative continuity while making good use of a relatively small cast. Undoubtedly, the organisers at Inverness must have been aware of the criticisms repeatedly made of the Arbroath pageant in this area. At Arbroath, a small cast had meant that there was often little engagement with a chronological narrative over several episodes, and local people had grown tired of the main concentration being on one single scene enacting the signing of the Declaration of Independence—regardless of whether visitors coming from elsewhere to the pageant found this to be a sufficient spectacle. The chronology spanned at Inverness was limited, however. The story told here finished in the late seventeenth century, meaning that certain aspects of the past that might perhaps have been more contentious or open to 'less authentic' interpretations, were passed over. Not only was the Union of Parliaments avoided, so too were the Jacobites, and religious strife was certainly underplayed. The growth of ideas from the eighteenth century onwards of the Highlands as an idealised, primitive landscape; later Victorian Balmorification; and last but not least, the dismal effects of the Highland Clearances for de-populating the region, were all neatly sidestepped. Delving into later history without adding any sentimental gloss was perhaps deemed a bit too risky. This may have been a slightly irascible pageant—organised as part of a mission to put the Highlands on the national historical landscape—but there was clearly a limit to how far Inverness was prepared to rock the historical boat and perhaps risk upsetting the tourists. Having seen that a celebration of medieval history containing few episodes could be successful in the example of the pageants at Arbroath, Inverness followed this tried and tested path, with the innovative embellishments of the linking scenes.

This proved to be a clever strategy: as well as providing education on forgotten aspects of Highland history, the pageant was extremely successful; yet this success would not necessarily have been predicted from the start. In 1950, when plans were first mooted to put on a Festival of Britain programme in Inverness, these were met with some scepticism. One local councillor stated that the Festival was widely seen in Inverness as something that was being foisted upon them by a governing class in London which was 'spending thousands of pounds on an attempt at glorifying themselves' and that 'there was little interest being taken' in it by 'the people of Inverness'.23 Rumblings about the neglect of Scottish interests and the remoteness of Westminster from Scottish affairs were in the air in this period, and were an undoubted influence on the continuance of an annual pageant at Arbroath. But the reverse seems to have been the case in Inverness where, at least initially, some local politicians were decidedly cynical about whether the town should collude with an uncaring government by putting on any celebration in 1951, never mind one as lavish as a historical pageant. Although opinion was divided, the supporters of the celebrations won out in the end. One commentator in the press in November 1951 urged the Highland capital not to listen to the naysayers and to go ahead with their celebrations, especially the pageant, for: 'Inverness has the setting and is brimming over with history. It also has some of the finest amateur dramatic talent in the country. Doesn't all that seem to call for a pageant? Think it over Inverness.'24

The point made about local dramatic talent is valid one. In order to change minds about the pageant, the Provost of Inverness cannily involved such people, both as part of the organizing committee behind the festival preparations and for its production and enactment. It seems he was able to count on the full cooperation of many people involved with amateur theatre in the north. No doubt they were talented, but they were also ambitious and energetic. Indeed, for Festival year local community theatre also put on a new version of Rob Roy written by Robert Kemp, one of Scotland's foremost playwrights in the post-war period.25 Local dramatists threw themselves into the show led by a Pageant Master who was a leading figure in amateur theatre in the Highlands as Northern adviser to the Scottish Community Drama Association.26 In addition, each scene included in the pageant had its own director, each of whom had a profile within local theatre groups. All of these factors helped make it a success, together with the money that was spent on its staging. Evidently, the provost of Inverness was able to wring some money out of his council: a new pavilion was built on the Ness Iilands and a stage was specially constructed for the pageant. This arena was said to have spectacular natural advantages, as overhanging trees provided both shelter from rain and a sylvan setting.27 This idyllic location provided a rural atmosphere in keeping with popular notions of the Highlands, yet one that was accessible from Inverness town centre. Special buses ferried pageant-goers, but for those so inclined it was also a pleasant walk of less than two miles. Many likely did walk, for after some rain on the opening night, the weather was said to be ideal.28

Unfortunately, we do not know the final tally of money made by this pageant, but it appears to have been a critical triumph. So much so, that an extra performance was organised to meet demand, much of which was local and came from people from outlying districts who had been unable to attend in weekdays. Most performances seem to have sold out; at the Thursday night performance, 200 people were turned away.29 However, this does not mean it necessarily made a profit. The experience at Arbroath was certainly one of lavish praise year on year, but ever-declining profit due to increasing expenditure on production. In Inverness, it was estimated that despite much of the work being wholly voluntary, expenditure had been 'well over four figures'.30 Given the initial antagonism to the festival celebrations, Inverness Council possibly did keep the accounts for the pageant under wraps—certainly away from the scrutiny of the press. Yet the novelty of a Highland historical pageant carried the day, and organisers at Arbroath must have looked on with envy at the full audiences and the clear demonstrations of local support. The provost of Inverness was given a standing ovation following the last performance.31 In his foreword to the programme, Provost Grigor stated that:

To-day we are fully conscious of the importance of modern economic conditions, and of the extent to which the continued success of Inverness depends upon the prosperity of the great Highland hinterland and the associated industries of Agriculture, Fishing, Hydro-Electric Development, Field Sports and Tourism. In my view, however, a full understanding of the Highland Capital's place in history—ancient and modern—is not possible without an understanding of the main historical happenings... It is my hope that all who see it will enjoy this Pageant, and help it to become established as a forerunner of many.32

The provost's hope that the pageant might be repeated was reiterated in the local press, but it was not to be. Though tourism remained extremely important to the Highland economy, the ongoing economic troubles of the Highlands probably militated against a repeat. Indeed, the Inverness pageant is a good example of just how far pageantry with an educational angle and a commercial interest might be pushed. The pageant and its attempts to re-write the history of the region in opposition to its popular status as a playground of the rich and idle, and a place of empty romantic landscapes, was all very well within the context of the frenzy of pageantry incited by the Festival of Britain—and the extra financial investment that came with this. Come 1952 it was doubtless back to business as usual, and Scotty dogs, granny's heilan' hame and tartanry continued to flourish as the main proponents of the tourist industry in this part of Scotland. The pageant of Inverness was never resurrected.


  1. ^ Advertisement, Inverness Courier, 24 August 1951, 1.
  2. ^ Advertisement, Inverness Courier, 7 September 1951, 1.
  3. ^ 'Pageant of Inverness', Inverness Courier, 31 August 1951, 3.
  4. ^ Ibid.
  5. ^ 'Pageant of Inverness', Inverness Courier, 28 August 1951, 2.
  6. ^ 'Pageant of Inverness', Inverness Courier, 31 August 1951, 3.
  7. ^ 'Pageantry at Inverness', Falkirk Herald, 5 September 1951, 3.
  8. ^ 'Pageant of Inverness: Successful Opening Night', Inverness Courier, 4 September 1951, 3.
  9. ^ 'Success of Pageant of Inverness', Inverness Courier, 11 September 1951, 2.
  10. ^ Advertisement, Inverness Courier, 24 August 1951, 1.
  11. ^ 'Pageant Society Represented at Inverness', Arbroath Herald, 7 September 1951, 6
  12. ^ See 'Inverness Plans for 1951 Festival', Dundee Courier, 13 April 1950, 3.
  13. ^ Souvenir Programme: The Pageant of Inverness compiled by Margaret O. MacDougall, September 3rd to 8th 1951, The Islands, Inverness (Inverness, 1951), 3.
  14. ^ Unless otherwise indicated, all quotations in synopses are taken from Souvenir Programme: The Pageant of Inverness.
  15. ^ Advertisement, Inverness Courier, 24 August 1951, 1.
  16. ^ The pageant master's use of a microphone is mentioned in 'Bon Accord Gossip', Aberdeen Evening Express, 5 September 1951, 3.
  17. ^ The Arbroath Abbey Pageant was held annually from 1947 to 1956. Since then it has been revived many more times and to date there have been 18 historical pageants held with the last being staged in 2005.
  18. ^ Barron (1879-1975) was a newspaper editor and the author of some well-known historical texts in particular The Scottish War of Independence (First published Inverness, 1912) which was very influential for many decades. Barron was a supporter of the pageant and invited to open it on the first night. In the event, he was unwell and unable to attend, but his wife delivered his speech instead. See 'Pageant of Inverness', Inverness Courier, 4 September 1951, 3.
  19. ^ Souvenir Programme: The Pageant of Inverness, 5.
  20. ^ Evan M. Barron, 'Inverness in Highland History', Souvenir Programme: The Pageant of Inverness, 11-12.
  21. ^ Souvenir Programme: The Pageant of Inverness, 24.
  22. ^ 'Pageant of Inverness', Inverness Courier, 31 August 1951, 3.
  23. ^ The politician in question was Bailie W.A. Hardie and his remarks were made at a meeting on Inverness Council's Finance Committee on 23 October 1950; for quotations see the report, 'Festival is Glorification by Government', Dundee Courier 24 October 1951, 2.
  24. ^ G. Rowntree Harvey, 'Don't Give Up Your Festival Inverness', Aberdeen Press and Journal, 1 November 1950, 2.
  25. ^ 'Highlands to Run Own Festival', Dundee Courier, 18 August 1950, 4.
  26. ^ 'Pageantry at Inverness', Falkirk Herald, 5 September 1951, 3.
  27. ^ 'Pageant of Inverness', Inverness Courier, 31 August 1951, 3.
  28. ^ 'Pageant of Inverness', Inverness Courier, 4 September 1951, 3.
  29. ^ Noted in the Inverness Courier, 7 September 1951, 5.
  30. ^ 'Bon Accord Gossip', Aberdeen Evening Express, 10 August 1951, 3.
  31. ^ 'Success of the pageant of Inverness', Inverness Courier 11 September 1951, 2.
  32. ^ Souvenir Programme: The Pageant of Inverness compiled by Margaret O. MacDougall, September 3rd to 8th 1951, The Islands, Inverness (Inverness, 1951), 1.

How to cite this entry

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