Scene set for re-enactment

Troops slug it out during the last Battle of Bannockburn re-enactment in Central Otago in 2002....
Troops slug it out during the last Battle of Bannockburn re-enactment in Central Otago in 2002. The event is being held in Bannockburn on June 22 to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the clash. Photo supplied.
Draw your newspaper swords and decorate the cardboard shields, the Battle of Bannockburn is nearing.

Scots and Englishmen are being called upon to stand for their homeland in the re-enactment of the famous battle, being held in the Central Otago town of the same name, to celebrate its 700th anniversary.

Cromwell Promotions Group secretary Terry Emmitt, of Bannockburn, said the group, which was organising the June 22 event, hoped about 200 people would attend to represent Scottish and English warriors in the mock battle.

A set of rules of engagement had been put in place for the battle, including restrictions such as a minimum age of 16, weaponry to be inflatable, or made from newspaper or cardboard, and a requirement to ''die'' ''gracefully, artistically and lingeringly''.

Singing and bagpipes were encouraged before the conflict, which would be held in a paddock across from the Bannockburn Hotel, Post battle, both armies would meet at the hotel for a haggis ceremony.

Participants would engage in pacifist warfare during the battle, to enjoy the re-enactment, which would eliminate ''killing, injuring, maiming, and other antisocial aspects''.

Mr Emmitt said the rules had been developed for the previous re-enactment of the battle, which was held in 2002 and had about 200 participants.

For the anniversary, a programme of events had been planned alongside the battle.

A joint effort between the Cromwell and Districts Community Arts Council and the promotion group, the celebration period running from June 20-24 would feature a whisky tasting, musical performances and history seminars which would be held in venues in Bannockburn and nearby.

Arts council secretary Peter Mead, of Cromwell, said the group wanted the celebration to acknowledge ''all things Scottish'', including literature and conflict over independence.

''I think they [the events] will be hugely interesting. There is something in there that should appeal to everyone.''

Those interested in joining the battle could sign up on the day, Sunday, June 22, from 11am-1pm, for a $2 entry fee.

Tickets for other events would be available from the Cromwell i-Site from June 4.

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