Thursday, 8 May 2014

Local History

I work in a cafe in Lanark and I've lived close to Lanark for 7 years. So when I made a bit of a gaffe recently I couldn't decide whether to be embarrassed or indignant.

My gaffe was to question why few of the local businesses have Wallace in their names. I really should have engaged my brain first but I didn't and it turns out that Lanark is a pretty important place for William Wallace and the statue looking up the high street from St Nicolas church is in fact Wallace.

Lanark is mooted as where Wallace first drew his sword to free his native land killing the English sheriff in 1297. It actually wasn't Wallace appears to have been a bit of a thug killing the English whenever he thought he would get away with it. Lanark is where Wallace met, fell in love with an possibly married, depending on which source you read, Marion Braidfute.

So why is more not made of this? I'm sure that the Lanark museum would tell me all this and more, but I'm a little ashamed to admit I've never really considered this as a way to spend an empty afternoon.

So why do we hide our heritage under a bushel?  Especially when Lanark town centre is on it's knees, desperately needing every penny.  Why are there not massive signs on every paving slap proclaiming "Wallace was here"? William Wallace went from an outlaw to a legitimate freedom fighter in Lanark following the murder of his wife/paramour Marion.  I lived 6 miles from Lanark for 7 years before I found this out.

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