The Declaration – the letter of Liberty

Yesterday, had things been otherwise, I would have been up in Arbroath celebrating the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration. I’m sure that many of you would have been there too. And I’m sure that at some point we will be there enjoying a belated gathering.

In the meantime we have Lesley Riddoch & Charlie Stuart to thank for this film about the Declaration. And also to thank Patrick Doyle for the original score.

You can find out more about the making of the film in Lesley’s own blog post.

Other activities took place yesterday in the absence of the AUOB March. The IndyLive team worked with the AUOB team to produce a streamed event that observed the current Coronavirus social distancing restrictions.

Here is a Radio series which might be of interest: The Declaration  by Billy Kay.    BBC Radio Scotland April 6, 7 & 8 at 13.32  available on the iPlayer for one month. The series explores the history of the Declaration and celebrates its international legacy from Tartan Day in New York to quotations from Border Guards in the North Caucasus mountains.   Among those taking part are Brian Cox, Fiona Watson, Murray Pittock, Alexander McCall Smith and Dauvit Broun. 

And on April 6th the Scottish branch of PEN International are publishing an anthology of poems inspired by the Declaration and edited by Tom Devine. It’s called ‘Declaration on Freedom for Writers and Readers‘. We should declare an interest. One of the poems in it is by our very own Mary McCabe!

I don’t know about you but I was taught nothing about the Declaration of Arbroath at school. That was in the 1950/60s. I’m hoping it is different now.