Page last edited on: 07 Jun 2015

'Scottish Diaspora Tapestry' World Premiere in Veere

May 30 - July 26 Exhibition in Museum Veere, Scottish Houses Kaai 25-27 4351 AA VEERE The Netherlands Open daily 10.00 - 17.00 hrs. Entrance € 4,50 p.p. (including a visit of the Town Hall), children up to 12 yrs: free


SCOTTISH DIASPORA TAPESTRY: Telling tales to Scotland.

Mr. Neil Wallace (left) with the silver conservator's badge, given on loan by Mr. John Dermot Turing (right). Mr. Turing is a descendant of the Aberdeenshire family Turing, who lived in Veere and were active as merchants.
This magnificent and inspiring tapestry has been embroidered in 34 countries across the globe to which Scots emigrated to create their diaspora. This artwork is now touring outwith Scotland until 2017 and will eventually return to Prestonpans in East Lothian where it was designed and sponsored to provide both an enduring reminder of what millions of Scots achieved and a vital example of living history created for the young and old. The first complete exhibition of all 305 panels was opened on the 30th of May in Veere, in the presence of the British Ambassador to The Netherlands, Sir Geoffrey Adams, together with the Mayor of Veere Mr. Rob van der Zwaag and Veere’s honorary conservator Mr. Neil Wallace; see picture. This artwork will go on display until July 28th. This small Dutch town is unique in having a Conservator of Scottish Privileges in place to this day. There could be no more appropriate diaspora location. Veere has had in office since 1541 a Conservator of Scottish Privileges in The Netherlands although its commercial duties lapsed with the French Revolution in 1799. Click here for more information about the Veere panels. Scots have migrated all over the world and have often had a profound impact on the areas where they settled. This project will see 34 such communities documenting their Scottish connections on a series of embroidered panels. Their combined stories will pay homage to the incredible determination and courage of Scots over the centuries.


The Netherlands was a pivotal trade hub during the middle ages, and a profitable maritime commerce between Scotland and the Low Countries. In particular Scottish traders brought wool, hides, and coal. Such traffic not only generates money, but also an exchange of peoples. Dutch communities developed in Scotland (particularly on the east coast which faced onto the trade routes) whilst Scottish communities developed in the Netherlands. Veere, which gained the Scottish wool staple, became the most prominent of the latter, but there was also a considerable Scots presence in other places such as Rotterdam. Trade and commerce created a stable environment for the development of academic links, and there was a tradition of Scots students attending Dutch instituitions. Many Scots attended the university at Leiden, a centre of Law and Medicine, and Scots could even be found teaching there in the seventeenth century. Between 1572 and 1800, 1,460 Scottish students are known to have attended Leiden – a considerable number in the days before accessible travel. Post-reformation Scots had a particular empathy with the Calvinists of the Dutch Republic, and a Scots International Church was established in Rotterdam in 1643 and remains open today. Trade and education were not the only factors, which drew Scots to the Netherlands. As in many parts of the Diaspora, war played its part as well. For example, large numbers of Scots fought in the wars, which saw the Netherlands gain independence from Spain, and after the wars three regiments stayed on as the Scots Brigade. They continued to serve in the Netherlands, wearing British-style uniforms and recruiting in Scotland, until war broke out between Britain and the Dutch Republic over the latter’s support for American Revolutionaries. When ordered to incorporate fully into the Dutch Army, the Brigade instead returned to Scotland as the 94th Regiment.

Dr. Gordon Prestoungrange, chairman Scottish Diaspora Team presents the book of the tapestry to Mr. Neil Wallace, Honorary Conservator of the Scottish Privileges in the Low Countries, during the opening ceremony on Saturday, the 30th of May.
Peter Blom, left, chairman of the Scotland-Veere Organization, guides Mr. John Dermot Turing (center), loan giver of precious family heirloom and Mr. Neil Wallace (right), Honorary Conservator of the Scottish Privileges in the Low Countries, through the newly arranged Scotland-Veere exhibition in the attic of the museum.





SCOTTISH DIASPORA TAPESTRY WORLD PREMIERE IN VEERE, The Netherlands May 30 - July 26 Exhibition in Museum Veere, Scottish Houses Kaai 25-27 4351 AA VEERE The Netherlands.

Open daily 10.00 - 17.00 hrs. Entrance € 4,50 p.p. (including a visit to the ancient Town Hall), children up to 12 yrs: free On the attic of the Scottish Houses the historical relations between Scotland and Veere are displayed. This newly established exhibition is worth a visit as well!



We strongly recommand to make a reservation through


May 30 - July 25 Every Saturday 14.00 hrs (start: Scottish Houses Veere):


Walk through picturesque Veere with an official guide. Historical highlights of the centuries-long relationship between Veere and Scotland. Dutch and English tour (reservations only through ) The tour will take about one hour. Afterwards, afternoon tea is served in the Campveerse Toren. Visit the exhibition before or after the tour. Price: € 18,50 p.p. Children up to 12 yrs € 5,- (visit exhibition and afternoon tea included)

June 13 Scottish Houses Veere :

A journey through time and place with Ewan McVicar, storyteller (English spoken)

  • 11.00 a.m.: Two left arms. Scottish author and storyteller Ewan McVicar explores surprising story and song linkages over 900 years between Scotland and Veere, and other Flanders connections.

  • 13.00 p.m.: The light of the world. Using original magic lantern images, Ewan McVicar tells of the long African explorations, exciting discoveries and dark troubles of Scot David Livingstone.

  • 15.00 p.m.: guided event A walk through time and place.

  • Scot Ewan McVicar leads a perambulation through the exhibition, telling tales and singing songs of the doings of Scottish people in many lands.


Ewan McVicar


About the artist:

Ewan McVicar  has done many things in his 73 years. He wrote a song that got into the Top Twenty in 1961, and then he was a boy banker in Africa, a guitar teacher in the USA, a psychiatric social worker in Scotland. He began to write books, mostly about aspects of Scottish traditional song. Then came the ‘Songmaker In Schools’-project, in which he began to visit schools, writing new songs with the kids. An artistic partnership with African artist Amu Logotse led to him becoming a storyteller and project organiser. Ewan has told stories or made songs in 200 schools, 50 libraries and 30 museums in Scotland, Russia, Holland, Sweden, Canada, the USA, Uganda and England.


June 27 Scottish Houses Veere: 

Theatre for kids by Poppentheater Koos Kneus from Amsterdam. Dutch spoken.

  • 11.00 a.m.: Waar is mijn die-da-doedelzak? (2 – 4 years)

  • 13.00 p.m. / 15.00 p.m.: Het monster van Loch Ness haalt de geest uit de fles (4 – 10 years)


Entrance fee: € 5,00 per child (drinks and children’s paint included). Parents: € 4,50 p.p.(visit exhibition included)   


July 4 and 5 Veere (free outdoor program): 

Scottish living history with re-enactmentgroup Campvere and folk music group Slag ende Stoot. Outdoor medieval campment, concerts and theatre, re-enactment of Scottish times in Veere.


July 18 Church ‘Kleine Kerk’ Veere, 20.00 p.m.:

Unique Diaspora concert by Brian McNeill, renowned Scottish folk musician. The Back O' The North Wind, audiovisual concert, about the Scots in America, combined with other diaspora related songs.


Entrance fee: € 15,00 p.p. (incl. coffee/tea)


© Daniel Costonm>

© J© Jacqueline France

About the artist:

A career spanning 45 years has established Brian McNeill as one of the most acclaimed forces in Scottish music. Brian was born in 1950 in Falkirk and has been described as ‘Scotland’s most meaningful contemporary songwriter’ (The Scotsman). For six years Brian was Head of Scottish Music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.    Brian is a multi instrumentalist – chiefly fiddle, bouzouki, mandocello, guitars and concertina. Brian’s audio visual shows, The Back O' The North Wind, about Scottish emigration to America, and the sequel, The Baltic Tae Byzantium, exploring the influence of the Scots in Europe, have won wide critical acclaim. Brian contributed to the official Scottish Diaspora CD, ‘The Music and The Song’.



July 27 Veere:

Closing ceremony; several festivities