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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThistleDown View Post
    I sincerely hope they continue to actively disallow Disney-ism at Culloden.
    Well said. There are plenty of outlets for that sort of thing elsewhere. I've never been to Culloden, but if I were to go, I would hope that the grounds would have an atmosphere of dignity and an appropriate level of solemnity. If it were to start attracting random people who want to dress up in costumes and share their own version of history in whatever bizarre manner they choose, it would tend to cheapen the entire thing.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThistleDown View Post
    No. They don't 'act', so they don't wear costumes. NTS is trustee for many properties representing a few thousand years in Scotland; it would be virtually impossible to dress staff and volunteers appropriate to all of those years or even eras. Occasionally there are events that encourage people to dress up, mind you.

    Near to forty years ago a few of us decided we needed to experience what survivors of Culloden experienced. NTS (and others) provided some funding and a lot of knowledge, dressed us well in tatters n' torn and away we enthusiastically went to Ruthven in Badenoch. We set a great 'escape' pace; some of us even made it all the way. I didn't, even though I knew the way well from years of hill walking and other activities :)

    NTS had a rather loose dress code for its volunteers at the time. I was almost always kilted anyway, but I certainly attracted more folk from overseas than did my colleagues in trousers. The NTS might think that through from a profit motive -- perhaps they have and have rejected it for valid reasons -- but I sincerely hope they continue to actively disallow Disney-ism at Culloden.
    I agree with your statement, but please understand when I talk about Living History, I am not really talking about acting. I am talking about a person who is dressed not in costume, but authentic attire, with correct equipment and is knowledgeable on the subject at hand. Living Historians do have a place in Historic Interpretation, and are NOT re-enactors. Only a couple of people need to be dressed in authentic attire, not the staff.

    Like you I have been part of an historical event, and did force marches and tried to experience the "experience". However, in prior life I have been in actual combat in Viet Nam. Doing these historic recreations do not come even close to the actual event for several reasons. As the person involved, you can look the part, dress the part, be equipped with all the correct gear, but you know in your mind it is make believe, you life is not on the line, you have a begin date and end date. You know the future. The actual event is something that NEVER can be replicated and it is for this reason I personally don't fell re-enactments serve any purpose except for those people who want to pretend. Living History only provide visual aides and facts, it keeps a person's interest for a few minutes and makes an impression.

    So we totally agree about Re-enactors and Living Historians... I was a re-enactor, but did it more to share experience with people having the same interest, but after a while, I felt like it was nothing more than an adult version of Cowboys and Indians, played with better costumes and equipment. My heart and soul is with learning the History and being able to explain it to another person who is interested to learn, and to keep the memory of those who sacrificed alive. My ancestors were Jacobites, with Clanranald. They paid the price after the uprising. My family never talked about this, but I want my future generations to know our family, their contributions, and to be proud of both my family's heritage and Scotland. I agree the DISNEYISC people who dress to play do not really do the justice for the memory of our ancestors, both Scottish and British. Again many thanks for educating me on the NTS and the Scottish perspective. I think we share more in agreement about this matter of re-enacting. I love learning about this and how the NTS operates, and so much similar to our National Park Service (NPS). Many more similarities then differences.... Like our Civil War Battlefield, Culloden is a hollowed ground that must be protected, and treated with the upmost reverence and dignity. Human life was lost and changed forever, this is not Disney.
    Last edited by CollinMacD; 21st April 17 at 08:49 AM.
    Thank you,

    Allan Collin MacDonald
    Old Dominion State, Virginia

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    Well said. There are plenty of outlets for that sort of thing elsewhere. I've never been to Culloden, but if I were to go, I would hope that the grounds would have an atmosphere of dignity and an appropriate level of solemnity. If it were to start attracting random people who want to dress up in costumes and share their own version of history in whatever bizarre manner they choose, it would tend to cheapen the entire thing.
    Well put and I agree, but please understand there is a world of difference between Historian Interpreters in authentic clothing and equipment, and the re-enactor. Visit some of your own local National Park Battlefields, places like Gettysburg, Antietam, Manassas, and so many others. Our NPS emphasis the dignity and solemnity of the hollow ground they are chartered to protect. Yet the NPS does sponsor Living History interpretation that allows the visitor to understand why this deserves the dignity and solemnity that you stated.

    History can never change unless people take it upon themselves to stretch the truth or lie. It happened. Living Historians assure, or at least should assure, the history is never altered to fit a current political climate. Whether in Scotland or the United States, there is not place for a SHOW or Entertainment at the expense of those who lived and died during an horrific event.
    Thank you,

    Allan Collin MacDonald
    Old Dominion State, Virginia

  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CollinMacD View Post
    Well put and I agree, but please understand there is a world of difference between Historian Interpreters in authentic clothing and equipment, and the re-enactor. Visit some of your own local National Park Battlefields, places like Gettysburg, Antietam, Manassas, and so many others. Our NPS emphasis the dignity and solemnity of the hollow ground they are chartered to protect. Yet the NPS does sponsor Living History interpretation that allows the visitor to understand why this deserves the dignity and solemnity that you stated.
    I've been to Gettysburg, as well as several other battlegrounds. I agree with what you're saying on the differences. Which is why I think it's important that these places have some sort of way to control who is doing what in their parks. I think we can both agree that it should not be completely open to every whacko who thinks it's his prerogative to come to the park every day and interact with the visitors as part of their experience.

    I'm all for the parks services putting on their own carefully controlled, scheduled reenactments or "living history" displays.

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  7. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    I've been to Gettysburg, as well as several other battlegrounds. I agree with what you're saying on the differences. Which is why I think it's important that these places have some sort of way to control who is doing what in their parks. I think we can both agree that it should not be completely open to every whacko who thinks it's his prerogative to come to the park every day and interact with the visitors as part of their experience.
    Added to that are two facts: Culloden is in Scotland with an entirely different cultural take on these things, and NTS is not a body of government but an independent legal trustee that creates rules for its more that 100 properties each in keeping with the nature of the property, heritage importance, and availability of staffing and volunteers.

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