A special light show is taking place at Dunbar today to mark the 371st anniversary of the Battle of Dunbar which changed the course of Scottish history.

The lights at the DunBear sculpture will switch between blue and white to commemorate the battle that was fought between the English New Model Army, under Oliver Cromwell, and a Scottish army commanded by David Leslie, on September 3, 1650 near Dunbar.

The battle resulted in a decisive victory - a rout, really - for the English. It was the first major battle of the 1650 invasion of Scotland, which was triggered by Scotland's acceptance of Charles II as king of Britain after the beheading of his father, Charles I on January 30, 1649.

Cromwell’s forces went on to conquer the rest of the country, and he installed General George Monck as governor of Scotland which Cromwell incorporated into his new Commonwealth – the first Union which nobody talks about.

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The five-metre high DunBear steel sculpture, designed by Andy Scott, most famous for designing the Kelpies, was erected in 2019 and is the focal point for the DunBear Park low carbon mixed-use development located beside the A1 at Dunbar.

The bear was erected as a tribute to John Muir, the Dunbar-born naturalist and conservationist who emigrated to America with his family.

He travelled extensively throughout the country, later helping to form the Sierra Club which has gone on to be one of the largest environmental organisations in the world.

The statue is lit up at various points throughout the year, including the birthday of Muir in April (blue and white), Remembrance Day (when it is illuminated red) and St Andrew’s Day (blue and white).

Muir petitioned the President and Congress to form National Parks and through this Yosemite and other National Parks were eventually established.

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Ken Ross from Hallhill Developments Limited commented: “Being in such a prominent position at the gateway to Dunbar, the stunning DunBear sculpture provides the perfect opportunity to commemorate key events such as the Battle of Dunbar.

“The DunBear has become a much-loved piece of public art, well-loved by the community and drawing visitors to the area and into Dunbar itself to find out more about John Muir, the pioneering naturalist and conservationist which it is a tribute to.

“It not only celebrates the work of one man, but also reminds us that we can each make a positive contribution to climate change and reduce global warming for future generations.”