NT2573 : Returning the Blue Blanket

taken 4 years ago, near to Edinburgh, Great Britain

Returning the Blue Blanket
Returning the Blue Blanket
The Lord Provost returns the Blue Blanket to the safekeeping of the Edinburgh Trades after the Riding of the Marches ceremony at the Cross.

It seems to be an Edinburgh speciality to re-invent historical traditions overnight. I can't help feeling it has something to do with extending the tourist season once the Festival ends.

This ‘Riding of the Marches’ was a colourful and fun event, but required a certain degree of kiddology to enjoy it fully. I was standing next to a group of ladies from Worcester, up in Edinburgh on a weekend break. They wanted to know more about the ceremony, so I explained that it was based on the Scottish tradition of town councillors checking the positions of boundary markers defining their town's territory and ensuring it was free of encroachments. Edinburgh's perimeter was clearly defined historically by a defensive town wall, but there were occasional that took in a wider radius of land beyond the walls.

Anyway, no sooner had I admonished the Worcester ladies for their ancestors having chased our king up a tree in 1651, when the crowd was solemnly asked to observe a minute's silence for the town's dead at Flodden five centuries ago. The assembled spectators dutifully obeyed, and I had to admire the restraint of all the polite English present for not shouting out, "Maybe you shouldn't have invaded us in the first place!"

At the end of the ceremony the Captain held the Blue Blanket aloft and told the Lord Provost and all those gathered, "I have inspected the Flodden Wall from the West Bow to the Netherbow Port and can report that it is in good order." Although he obviously hadn't noticed that about 90 per cent of it was missing, we all sighed with relief and made our way home, confident we could sleep safely in our beds that night.
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NT2573, 5255 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 8 September, 2013   (more nearby)
Monday, 14 October, 2013
Geographical Context
People, Events 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2577 7359 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:56.9752N 3:11.4134W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NT 2576 7362
View Direction
South-southeast (about 157 degrees)
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