Letter from Holyrood: An invitation to the parliament

Now that summer is here most groups, Guilds, Rotaries, Probus clubs, all take a few weeks off. However this is the time when longsuffering Secretaries have to turn their mind to next year’s programme of speakers and events.

This column is a timely reminder then, that as your MSP I am always happy to fill one of those speakers’ slots and provide an update on what is happening in Parliament. For the more adventurous groups, why not think about a visit to the Scottish Parliament.

Many local County groups have come in to see the Parliament. Although the building itself is not everyone’s cup of tea, in my experience people often change their view when they see the interior which includes some stunning spaces, not least the Debating Chamber itself which I think is much more impressive in reality than on TV. (Some might think it is more impressive without the MSPs there, but I could hardly say that).

Touring the parliament with your MSP does mean you see some areas the official tour does not reach, will have one or two East Lothian connections pointed out, and maybe the occasional anecdote thrown in too. I always end tours with a chance for visitors to ask me any questions they wish. If your group would be interested, call my office on 01875 616 610.

Meanwhile, if you missed the fabulous Great Tapestry of Scotland when it was in Cockenzie House, it is back on display at the Scottish parliament until September 13th. Designed by County artist Andrew Crummy, with many panels related to east Lothian and many of the stitchers from here, it really is worth seeing. You may even get the opportunity to make a stitch in a new “People’s Panel” which is being created during the Tapestry’s stay.