Historic church wall hit by orchestra van now damaged by opera lorry

It is the second year in a row that St Mary's Parish Church in Haddington has been struck by a vehicle.

Historic church wall in Haddington hit by Scottish Opera year after being being damaged by BBC music company LDRS

The historic wall of a church which was damaged by a BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra van during a festival last year has been hit again, this time by a Scottish Opera lorry.

The stone pillar and iron gate of St Mary’s Parish Church in Haddington were damaged by a van last September when the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra were performing in the cathedral-sized church.

The concert, which was part of the Lammermuir Festival, is understood to have been recorded for broadcast.

This year’s 12 day-long festival brought Scottish Opera to the church for opening night last Thursday when they performed Massenet’s Therese.

It is understood the damage to the pillar was caused when a large lorry carrying the company’s equipment bumped into it, moving one of the new blocks out of alignment.

Although the damage is not as significant as last year’s incident, East Lothian Council, which is responsible for the wall, will have to carry out additional repair work.

An East Lothian Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of damage caused to the recently-repaired pillar at St Mary’s Church by a Scottish Opera vehicle.

“We are progressing this with our insurers as work will be required to rectify the issue.”

St Mary’s Parish Church is the longest in Scotland measuring 206ft from east to west and took nearly 100 years to build.

It is where reformist John Knox, who grew up in the town, trained as a priest.

The Lammermuir Festival is an annual summer event which sees classical concerts and performances take place across East Lothian in a variety of stunning locations.

A Scottish Opera spokesperson said: “We are troubled to hear there may have been an issue with a contractor bumping a gatepost.

“It is important to us that we treat all venues with great respect. We are looking into the issue.”

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