Made in Kirkcaldy - Fife film links Scottish and US landmarks

Rev. Witherspoon signs the Declaration of Independence
Rev. Witherspoon signs the Declaration of Independence

A new film which links the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 with the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 is being filmed in Fife by a local company.

Herald Films’ latest production, ‘Twa Declarations’ is a 30- minute film exploring the two vastly different, yet similar stories.

It tells how Reverend John Witherspoon, an emigrant Scots preacher, was instrumental in compiling the American statement of their newly-found independence, and his signature can be found on the original document.

Much of the source material for the film has come from the Scottish document and its statements of nationhood after prolonged strife with England.

The film, being produced and directed by Dysart-based Jock Ferguson, is intended for American audiences and, in the year of Homecoming and the anniversary of The Battle of Bannockburn, it is one of many links to the former colonies.

“We have been performing this live to varied audiences as a playlet for over ten years,” explained Mr Ferguson, who owns Herald Films.

“Although American audiences know their own Declaration of Independence, they are generally surprised by the Scottish inspiration for the 1776 work, something they hold very dear indeed.

“One audience member said to me after seeing the play, ‘Hey we ripped you guys off’ but I told him that they had only pinched from the best ... just like most good actors!”

Some filming has already taken place in and around Kirkcaldy, including the Merchant’s House in Kirkcaldy, which was used for the signing of the American declaration (pictured).

Other scenes feature Robert the Bruce and Bernard Linton, the Abbot at Arbroath, who wrote the Scottish document at the insistence of the King.