Sunday, 7 October 2018
Prestonpans Mural Trail. The Dark Ages. Witchcraft Uncovered.
Prestonpans has more going for it than just a seafront boardwalk so I thought it deserved a second post in its own right. Originally founded on fishing, coal, sea salt, soap and other industries... in the modern era it had to find a way to reinvent itself. Like many post industrial towns and villages it went into a decades long decline since the 1960s-1980s and those traditional industries, mines and jobs dried up. Compared to some of the more upmarket neighbouring towns and villages it still retains something of a hard edge to it but that's never bothered me as I like character in a place and Prestonpans has plenty of that as well as many fine historic buildings.
I didn't realise quite how unique this pub chain was until, in the comments section, Russell pointed me in the direction of this link. Thanks R.C.
They also made bricks and earthenware pottery going by the examples on the totem pole. Totem Poles are all around us in modern day Britain. They advertise all the shops at the entrance to most retail parks.
A link to why its twinned with Barga here, The Vancouver island connection and other interesting local info.
According to the local info Prestonpans had its own trial of 81 witches who joined the long procession of others who were tortured, strangled and burned to death along with their cats and sometimes their children on this surprisingly savage coastline. Mostly women. Prestonpans apparently, for its modest size, was particularly good at finding witches and Satan in its midst- better than towns many times larger. Most of these unlucky souls were dragged off to Edinburgh to die within sight of the famous castle with crowds of spectators applauding A bit like X Factor or various Celebrity Punishment type programmes today. Popular entertainment for the time. All sanctioned by Mary Queen of Scots who apparently signed the Scottish Witchcraft Act in the mid 1500s so no tears should be sniffed over her fate. No wonder it was called the forgotten holocaust. The Forgotten War. And a purge against women in the main. Makes you wonder why? Are they so evil, these creatures of the night? Remember the lesson of the apple after all... Since Lilith first walked the earth no war has lasted longer than the Battle of the Sexes.
If I put a video on here I usually try and match it with the subject of the post. This is a perfect fit. I first heard this ahead of its time song many years ago and thought of it now as the words are so remarkable and well chosen. This popular Irish folk singer is still on the go, appearing in Glasgow and Edinburgh this winter and he should know the truth of the matter far better than me with his background and worldwide contacts. Picked this particular version as the lyrics are on it written down in full and well worth a look. An important song about a period that's been too long glossed over as its only very recently several memorials and pardons have been issued. Better late than never I suppose.
PS.... Enjoyed the recent series just ended called Back in Time for the Factory- about a group of South Wales workers in a recreated garment factory during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. All the Back In Time series like Back in Time for Dinner and Back in Time for the Weekend have been fascinating slices of recent social history, revealing many of the things folk of my age lived through but didn't necessarily connect- like the invention of fridge freezers and supermarkets allowing ordinary housewives the freedom to go out to work for the first time. Doh! I always wondered why I suddenly became a latchkey kid at 14 and came home every night to an empty house and a hungry dog.