There is no doubt that the scaling back of the Bannockburn 700 event in Stirling at the end of June is in part the result of the decision to stage the National Armed Services Day in the city on the same weekend. Given that planning for the Bannockburn event had been set in motion long before the armed forces decision was taken, there will be those who view this as a political decision to detract from the emotional impact of the battle in this year of the referendum.
To hold two major national events on the same day in the same relatively small city is at best a bad commercial decision with potential major logistical problems. Given that the military event has free entry while there is a cost element to enter the Bannockburn event, this introduces an element of unfair competition.
As a supporter of the armed forces, with whom I had a 30-year association, I am delighted that Stirling has been honoured to host National Armed Services Day – but could it not have been held in 2015, thus allowing Stirling businesses to enjoy two bites of the cherry?
I hope that both events will be well supported, but I would hope that as the two armies close with one another for the battle re-enactment at Bannockburn, they will not be overflown by the Red Arrows or the Battle of Britain Flight – that would be too incongruous to imagine!