THE 2014 Year of Homecoming has barely started and already one of the central events – Bannockburn Live – is nosediving towards catastrophe.
It is supposed to commemorate a profound turning-point in Scottish history, when King Robert routed a vast army of invading English and dispossessed Scots.
Yet two years of planning comes up with nothing but a pitifully small battle re-enactment, with a few dozen horses and 300 men, plus some stalls selling crafts and burgers. And then they have the nerve to charge £60 for tickets.
This is not a major event, it’s a modest one. You don’t get into the new visitor centre – and I for one am losing confidence about how good that will turn out to be. Scotland can surely do better than this. If not, we face becoming a laughing stock.
As I see it, there are three choices:
• Beef up the whole thing to make it worth the money;
• Make it free so people can enjoy the event without feeling ripped off;
• Bin it and spend the money on something better.
One thing’s for sure, unless huge changes are made then there will be a final casualty for this 700-year-old battle – Fergus Ewing, the minister presiding over this sad, small and expensive folly.