Clan Hay was positioned at the heart of the week-long celebration of the 700th anniversary of Scotland's great victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, an iconic engagement that confirmed Scotland's freedom and where our Hay ancestors played a valiant part in securing our independence from alien rule.
The anniversary of the battle itself, which took place over 23rd and 24th June 1314, was celebrated locally with wide involvement from local communities, in particular from the schools of the area. But we had to wait for the following weekend to experience the main events of this magnificent celebration of Scotland's nationhood.
A weekend of celebration began on Friday 27th June with Pipefest Stirling, a parade of pipe bands, dancers and Clan societies which made its way from the historic Royal palace of Stirling Castle to the King's Knot, the park below the castle rock that is the site of the magnificent knot garden created by King James IV in the 15th century.
The Clan Hay Pipe Band was one of many bands privileged to take part in this event and their impressive performance has resulted in an invitation to participate in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2015, an iconic event that is broadcast all over the world and is viewed by millions.
The band was most grateful to be presented with a new bass drum by our generous American member Henry (Hank) Lafayette Collins III during the event.
Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June saw Bannockburn Live, a spectacular event held on (or very near) the site of the battle, at the newly refurbished Bannockburn Heritage Centre. Clan Hay took its place in the Clan village with about 40 other families and we were delighted to welcome Hays from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and continental Europe as well as native Scots.
The event was a pageant of 14th century history and included re-enactments of the battle itself, performed by experienced battlefield groups and reconstructed medieval villages featuring 14th century crafts including armourers, medieval food and drink and a festival of Scottish music, literature and story telling.
A truly memorable weekend.