702 Years on
The week long events to commemorate our National Hero came to a close at Elderslie yesterday. Crann Tara members joined other groups and members of the public in the Johnstone town square before setting of on the march to the Wallace monument situated in Elderslie, his birth place. Many well kent faces were present and the time before the march was spent catching up with those we have not seen for a while. The weather had cleared and it became quite hot in the sun. The march set off at 3pm sharp lead by a local Pipe band followed by the Society of William Wallace banner and a good crowd of 200 to 300 people with an array of saltires and group banners. As we marched down the route Bars emptied to stand on the pavement to watch the procession pass by. On reaching the monument we were met by a fair crowd who had already congregated at the monument.
Our compare for the day was the big man David R Ross wearing to our surprise his usual attire of Ross tartan Kilt and not a dress as was expected (only joking Davie J ). A tribute to Sir William Wallace written by Helen Allan was read by David Ross before a speech by Duncan Fenton of the Wallace society. An old SNP stalwart William Wolf was honoured by being gifted a Highland Dirk by the society he then replied with a speech in thanks for the gift. Then the surprise of the day when Madam Ecosse herself, Winnie Ewing took the stage and gave a heart rendering speech fitting to the occasion. It was an honour to be in the company of two great nationalists commemorating our greatest hero. Wreaths were laid which brought this part of the commemoration to a close.
The evening event took place in the Elderslie village hall. Ted (better than Elvis) Christopher took to the stage with his usual charismatic performance followed by Albannach, who thankfully, by early evening had been given the use of a Sat Nav to find the hall. What can I say about the Albannach performance that has not already been said? The sound of the pipes and drums echoed out the hall and down towards the site of the Wallace house. As usual when Albannach play their tribal sound the hall was bouncing. The evening came to a close with the crowd taking to the floor as Ted sang Auld Lang Syne.
By Bruce Ogilvie