I’M not going to guess how Historical Environment Scotland will react to Arbroath Abbey’s 2020 anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, but I can tell you what happened at the end of last century, prior to the referendum for Scotland’s devolution.

A display urging people to use their democratic say for or against Scotland’s devolution was driven around the country. When the LibDems, with their federal inclinations, brought it to Arbroath, my friend and I (then active party members – though no longer that today!) stood by it outside the Abbey, proudly reckoning that we’d sought out the ideal, appropriate spot.

Within no time a Historic Scotland official approached us insisting we move off what he claimed was Abbey territory and saying therefore we had no right to be there. I seem to remember we crossed the road to the other side (just the first changing of sides I’ve done since then!).

I chose to become a member of Historic Scotland to further support for Scotland’s heritage. What now I wonder?

Catriona de Voil