Cultural field at Scarva a big hit with the crowds

Period dress actors brought a new dimension to the 13th at Scarva this year as part of the new cultural field enterprise.
Period dress actors brought a new dimension to the 13th at Scarva this year as part of the new cultural field enterprise.

A new cultural field set up at Scarva for the Thirteenth has been such a great hit that plans are already being made to expand it for next year, organisers say.

Sandy Heak, Chairman of the Royal 13th organising committee in Scarva, said the concept was intended to enhance the annual celebrations and create greater understanding of the traditions of the loyal orders.

A young flautist gets some pointers during a workshop at the new cultural field at Scarva

A young flautist gets some pointers during a workshop at the new cultural field at Scarva

The Buller family who own the estate granted a new field to base the event in, each feature in its own tent.

“One had a Lambed drum workshop, demonstrating the structure of the drum and how it is made,” Sandy said. “They explain where the skins come from, how they are made and how they are put onto the drum.

“They also had two smaller Lambeg drums. The kids were going wild for them.

“The organiser said he would definitely bring more of the smaller ones next year.”

This years annual sham fight at Scarva offered an added cultural experience for visitors. Pictured with highland dancers, Jodie Turner and Sarah Henderson-Curran, ahead of the flagship event are Sandy Heak, chairman of the Royal 13th organising committee (centre), King William (John Adair) and King James (Colin Cairns)

This years annual sham fight at Scarva offered an added cultural experience for visitors. Pictured with highland dancers, Jodie Turner and Sarah Henderson-Curran, ahead of the flagship event are Sandy Heak, chairman of the Royal 13th organising committee (centre), King William (John Adair) and King James (Colin Cairns)

Experts were also on hand to teach children how to play the fife and drums and there was also a drum major workshop.

In a separate tent, teams were on hand to teach younger girls Ulster Scots dancing.

And a traditional mini-fairground was housed in a further area, with old-fashioned boat swings and vintage-style electric motorcycles.

A range of traditional Ulster Scots bands also took to the stage to entertain the thousands of people who attended the cultural field, he said.

Another new feature this year were 18 actors in period dress - adults and children - who roamed around the demesne in character.

“With the great interest there was, we will definitely be expanding it next year to make it bigger and better,” Sandy said.

“Anybody we were talking to thought it was great. The parents loved it, because they got photos of their kids learning all the various instruments.

“It made it clear to people that although so many aspects of life are modernising, it is easy to forget the roots of your culture.”