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Fort George all set for its biggest ever event

12 August 2010

History's fighting forecs rally for one weekend only at Britain's mightiest artillery fortification for a great family day out.

The vast garrison fortress of Fort George near Inverness is putting the final preparations in place for its biggest ever event which takes place this weekend.

On Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th August, Britain’s mightiest artillery fortification will stage the ‘Colossal Celebration of The Centuries’.

Over 250 performers and re-enactors from all over the UK will be converging on Fort George to portray the military might of history’s eras - from Roman soldiers, to Covenanters and Redcoats, to the troops of the 20th century - in an exciting show offering an unmissable family day out.

This major event, which is being supported by The Highland Council, features a packed and varied programme.  Highlights including an aerial display by an original World War II Spitfire and parachute drops by the Golden Lions - Scotland’s only professional parachute team.

The two days of entertainment will feature stirring parades of soldiers from centuries past, dramatic combat re-enactments, fascinating battle camps and weaponry displays and vintage military vehicles exhibits.  In addition to the many and varied military-themed activities, there will be an authentic Medieval encampment to explore with craft demonstrations, Renaissance music and dancing to enjoy, and a bustling 1940s area complete with swing dancers and a ‘big band’.

Historic Scotland Events Manager Nick Finnigan said: “This major event, which is aimed at all ages, is our biggest for 2010 and we’ve really pulled out all the stops to ensure the ‘Colossal Celebration of The Centuries’ is one of the year’s unmissable highlights.

“We’ve recruited a huge cast of costumed performers and lined up an excellent programme so we’re looking forward to staging a really exciting and different show, with loads of entertainment for all the family.

“I’m sure visitors will enjoy the spectacle and drama of the event – and the Spitfire and The Golden Lions will be particular hits.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors from the region and from outwith it and hope that as many people as possible will come along to marvel at our ‘Colossal Celebration of The Centuries’ and explore the unique attraction of Fort George.”

The ‘Colossal Celebration of The Centuries’ is from 12 noon to 4pm on both Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th.  Ticket prices are: Adult £10.00, Child £6.00, Concession £8.00. Historic Scotland members do not require tickets; entry is free to members.

Tickets are available on the day.

The times of the chronological shows are as follows:

12 noon - Golden Lions Parachute Drop
                - Grand Parade and Introductions
12.30 - 134 AD - The Antonine Guard     
12.45 - 930 AD – featuring Carrick 800                 
1.00 - 1297 – featuring Historic Saltire Society   
1.15 - 1411 - Medieval Realm/Northern Alliance
1.30 - 1542 – featuring Fire & Sword
1.45 - 1650 – featuring Fraser’s Dragoones  
2.00 - 1745 – featuring Alba Adventure Company
2.15 - 1814 - 68th Society and Display Team
2.30 - 1914-18 – featuring Gordon Highlanders
2.45 - Display of Firepower
3.00 - Spitfire aerial display
3.15 - 1939-45 featuring VERA (Victory in Europe Re-Enactment Association)
3.30 - Golden Lions Second Parachute Drop
3.45 - Final Parade and soldiers’ salute to the crowd
4.00 - Event finishes

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  • Fort George is 6 miles west of Nairn and 11 miles north east of Inverness, off the A96.  Admission tickets are: Adult £6.70, Child £4.00, Concession £5.40; Historic Scotland Members free.

  • Positioned strategically on a promontory jutting into the Moray Firth, Fort George is the mightiest artillery fortification in the UK, if not Europe.  Built following the 1746 defeat at Culloden of Bonnie Prince Charlie, this impregnable army base was designed on a monumental scale, as the ultimate defence against further Jacobite unrest.
     
  • Completed in 1769, when the Highlands were peaceful, the fortress was maintained in readiness for action that never came and has remained virtually unaltered. With its garrison buildings, barrack rooms  and superb collection of arms, including bayoneted muskets, pikes, swords and ammunition pouches, it provides a fascinating insight into 18th century military life.

  • Highlights for visitors to Fort George include: the complex array of artillery fortifications on the landward side – the best in the British Isles; the regimental museum of the Queen’s Own Highlanders (Seaforths & Camerons) – the spiritual home of one of Scotland’s oldest and proudest regiments; the grand magazine – designed to hold 2,672 gunpowder barrels, and now housing the spectacular Seafield Collection of 18th-century arms and military equipment; the historic barrack rooms – graphically recreating soldiers’ living conditions in centuries gone by; the garrison chapel – designed probably by Robert Adam, whose family construction company built the fort; the dog cemetery – one of only two in Scotland, the resting-place of regimental mascots and officers’ dogs.

  • Fort George is one of 345 historic properties in the care of Historic Scotland. These range from prehistoric settlements to palaces, cathedrals and castles – including some of Scotland’s most famous and prestigious strongholds such as Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles.  For further details visit www.historic-scotland.gov.uk

  • Fort George is one of 345 heritage properties throughout Scotland in the care of Historic Scotland.  From the Highlands and Islands to the Borders, these range from prehistoric dwellings to medieval castles, and from cathedrals to industrial buildings. They include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country; some of the most popular are Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae. For further details visit: www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/places

  • Historic Scotland’s mission is: to safeguard Scotland’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

  • For further information on The Highland Council, which is supporting the staging of the ‘Colossal Celebration of The Centuries’ at Fort George, visit www.highland.gov.uk



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Ellen Drummond Ferroni
Marketing
0131 668 8685 / 07801 820757