Swords and Santa!

This Saturday, we’ll be bringing some festive magic to The Battle of Bannockburn centre. We were delighted to be invited to help the NTS staff and visitors celebrate Christmas, and we aim to make this event a memorable one for all those who attend. We hope to see you there!

Paul.
bburnChristmas

Enquiries regarding copyright/intellectual property, factual inaccuracies and other errors to bigpaulclanranald@gmail.com. All other enquiries to info@clanranald.org

A Yuletide Thank You!

We’d like to thank everyone who braved the elements to visit our 2014 Yule event. With the icy wind, icy rain and then snow, we’re truly grateful that you left your cosy homes to spend the weekend with us!

Thanks again for attending our last official public event of the year. Our calendar of events for 2015 already has some additions – bookmark the page and visit it regularly for updates under our ‘Events’ tab.

Paul

Enquiries regarding copyright/intellectual property, factual inaccuracies and other errors to bigpaulclanranald@gmail.com. All other enquiries to info@clanranald.org

Page Update

We have added a new ‘Events’ tab beneath our page banner. Events will now be listed under this tab, simply hover your cursor over it to see what’s coming up!

Our official Facebook and Twitter accounts are also great ways to keep track of what we’re up to:

Facebook: (click link)
DunCarron Medieval Village.
Clanranald Trust for Scotland.

Twitter: (click link)
@duncarronfort
@clanranaldtrust

Enquiries regarding copyright/intellectual property, factual inaccuracies and other errors to bigpaulclanranald@gmail.com. All other enquiries to info@clanranald.org

A King, A Saint and Santa.

The King.

Well, it’s been quite a summer/autumn season for us at The Clanranald Trust for Scotland and Duncarron Medieval Village. The highlight of the summer has got to be our participation in the commemoration of the 700th anniversary of The Battle Bannockburn. The trust provided the battle re-enactment and medieval village, along with friends and colleagues from a range of organisations. Clan volunteers Roy Ramsay and Paul Gamble played the parts of Robert the Bruce and Edward II, respectively. The Bannockburn Live event drew in 20,000 visitors from around the globe and closer to home – including Scotland’s former First Minister, Alex Salmond. Other events included our Spirit of Duncarron festival, and our good friends The Dolmen travelled up to Duncarron to join Saor Patrol on stage, and The Sassenachs joined us from The Netherlands. We also provided a medieval feel to Dougie Maclean’s Amber Festival in October, along with our own Halloween event at The VIllage. Images of all these events can be seen in our Facebook albums HERE and HERE!

The Saint.

The big news of the moment is that we’re leaving our current head office in Kincardine to move into our new premises at Callander. The locals at Kincardine haven’t ran us off or anything, we’ve simply out-grown our premises there and were in need of a larger building. Enter the former Saint Kessogs church in Callander. As well as a church, the building has also served as The Rob Roy Visitor Centre and Scottish Tourist Information Centre, so it won’t be a stranger to an organisation that promotes the history and culture of Scotland! Not only will the building serve as our administrative centre and storage facility, but we plan to ‘give it back’ to the community. It is very much our intention that the building become a community hub for the village and the surrounding area. Comprising of retail space, a cinema and loads of storage space, the new building not only meets our current needs, but it should also meet our future needs, as well as opening up lots of new and exciting opportunities for us as an organisation. Images of the building can also be found in our Facebook albums, linked to above.

Santa.

If you would like to see us ‘in action’, our final official public event of the year, takes place on the 6th and 7th of December, 12pm – 4pm both days. At our Yule event at DunCarron Medieval Village, we hope to get visitors into the spirit of the festive season. With a cast of fairytale characters, including Father Christmas, we’ll take a look back in time to how people celebrated the season throughout history. This is a fun, family event and should bring joy to children young and old! We will also have some traders selling a range of quality gifts, hand-crafted in Scotland. Tickets for this event are available ‘on the door’ – but please note that we don’t yet have the facilities to accept card payments at The Village.

As always, we thank you all for your continuing support of our projects!

Paul
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note: If you have any enquiries regarding the content of this post, please contact me direct: bigpaulclanranald@gmail.com. All other enquires should be directed to info@clanranald.org

February Update

As February comes to an end, it’s time for our monthly review! February, being the shortest month, seemed have little or no effect on the amount of stuff we packed into it. We’ve been filming again this month – for the NTS, on Macbeth and, as you may have read yesterday, Charlie is in Istanbul filming on Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, The Water Diviner – by special request of Mr Crowe himself! And that’s just the filming we’re allowed to talk about at the moment.

This month also saw The Clanranald Trust for Scotland involved in the press opening of the new visitors centre. Members of the Trust were dressed in medieval gear and provided some excellent photo opportunities for the world’s press. Some of the guys who were involved in the motion capture filming gave interviews about how that worked. The trust will also be involved in the official opening of the centre this weekend. If you are in the area, you should definitely check the centre out – it’s an excellent experience, fun for all the family, while commemorating those who lost their lives on both sides of the battle.

Charlie announced that Saor Patrol would be appearing at the SxSW festival in Austin, Texas – one of the largest festivals on the planet. The Thunder of Saor Patrol will help spread the word about our DunCarron Medieval Village. project to an even larger audience than before. Speaking of DunCarron, work has continued on site – particularly with regards to roofing our roundhouse and the preparation for construction of an armoury!

The diary for March seems to be filled already, so it looks like next month will be as busy as ever. We hope that February found all our friends and supporters safe and healthy, and that it was as productive as our month was.

Paul, on behalf of the entire Clanranald Trust for Scotland team.

Image: Dr Tony Pollard ponders his next move on the Bannockburn centre’s battle strategy game, watched by members of the Trust and the world’s press.
Tony Pollard at Bannockburn Centre

A busy January for the Trust

The first month of the new year is coming to an end, and what a month it has been! This January, The Clanranald Trust for Scotland has:

  • Seen our Chief visit Australia at the request of friend and Trust supporter Russell Crowe.
  • Had our volunteers shoot a new advertising campaign for the National Trust for Scotland.
  • Seen us become involved in no less than ELEVEN new filming projects!
  • Seen work continue on the roundhouse roof at DunCarron Medieval Village.
  • And seen the release of Charlie’s Army on DVD!

Plus, on top of all that, we’ve been busy planning our part in the Bannockburn 2014 commemorations and looking ahead to our own ‘open day’ weekends at DunCarron Medieval Village.

So, not a bad start to 2014 with many more busy months to look forward to this year. We hope your year got off to as great a start as ours did.

Paul

Clan at work

Things that Go Roar in the Night – Duncarron Halloween 2013

It’s the weekend before Halloween and there’s an eerie feel in the air around Duncarron Medieval Village. Torches line the pathway, the crow’s cage creaks as it swings on its chain, the witches’ cave is a dark, expectant maw and the stall holders look to the trees for fear of what lurks within. Duncarron’s second Halloween event is about to begin.

For the 2013 event, the good people of Duncarron have called for help from the dwellers of the otherworld and the netherworld to protect them from the Troll and his orc army. Villagers have been disappearing for weeks and their children have been troll-napped. Elves, dwarves, rangers, goblins, witches, fauns and demons will join forces to defend the humans and their children from the evil that lurks in the surrounding forest. The Night Watch and the Non-Human Division are tasked with defending the pathways as members of the public make the brave journey to safety within the walls of the medieval village.

Some made the hazardous journey in daylight hours. Tame orcs, kept under control by children who led them on a chain leash, prowled the car parks. The orcs who lurked in the woods were not overly brave in the daylight hours. They tried to make a grab for the smaller humans but it turned out that small humans are courageous and, with the encouragement of the Night Watch and the NHD, they shouted at those cowardly orcs and sent them running into the forest. The small humans returned to the paths with protection charms from the witches and magic swords that they had bought in the village; those orcs never stood a chance. Always, though, always the threat of the Troll hung heavy in the air. Even the entertaining spectacle of orcs boom-boxing couldn’t lift the sense of dread that filled the hearts of all who knew of the Troll’s approaching power.

As darkness fell, the position became more dire, the small humans had been sent away for their own safety but still intrepid travellers made their ways along the paths to safety behind the palisade. The courage that had been bolstered by hot food at the welcome hut was soon scattered by the orcs who came roaring out of the dark woods. Fortunately the Night Watch were there to escort the travellers and they fought the orcs back to the treeline. In the dark, the witches’ nature becomes somewhat darker too. They were still there to offer protection to their human charges but the cackles and spells that they conjured around their fire held a sinister vibe that raised the hairs on your head. Each party of travellers was then checked by the Non Human Division to be sure that no orcs or troll-spelled children were sneaking into sanctuary and then, at last, they were in the safety of Duncarron’s walls.

The threat of the Troll still hung heavy in the night air. The gates were shut tight and the villagers wore false hope like an old cloak. A shout went up from the walls. The heroes were coming in at speed. Open the gates! In rushed the dwarf and the ranger, bringing the NHD with them. They delivered their message to the Village Chief. The Troll was coming and the Orc King was bringing his army. From the darkness the orcs appeared, sorcery had brought them within the palisade. Nowhere was safe. Screams of terror bounced around the walls as the Orc King and the Wraith appeared on the platform over the murder hole. A bright light shone out from behind the terrified villagers. Gasps of awe and renewed hope filled the air as the Elf Queen and her entourage made their way in a halo of magical light to meet the Orc King. A blast of elven magic brought the great Orc to his knees and he rose again with his allegiance to Duncarron. A great cheer went up which was soon silenced by the appearance of two troll-napped children.

Troll-napped children are able to speak for the Troll, they are detached from their humanity, slaves to his will. It was a devastating sight for the villagers who had lost so many of their children to the Troll’s power. His message promised death and destruction. The ground shook and thunder crashed as the Troll came to Duncarron’s gates. With a mighty roar the Orc King ran out to meet the terrifying creature. Steel clashed and howls rang out, then silence. All inside the palisade waited to see who would appear through the gate. At last the gate creaked open and the Orc King staggered through. There was cheering and rejoicing but the orcs within the palisade were not ready to surrender. A great battle ensued between orcs and heroes. The NHD protected the villagers and the courageous visitors. The Wraith almost conquered the Orc King but, in the end, victory belonged to Duncarron. Finally the villagers could celebrate. The surviving orcs were taken to the longhouse for all to poke fun at.

The intrepid travellers who had come to Duncarron for sanctuary were able to make their way home in safety… although the NHD were on the look out for a child or two as a donation for their supper pot, it would have been a fair reward, don’t you think?