Subsea Expo

The voice of the UK subsea industry

Inspectahire Flying The Flag

05 December 2012

Aberdeen-based Inspectahire has helped to protect a unique piece of Scottish heritage at one of the country’s most iconic battlefields.

Inspectahire, a remote visual inspection firm that carries out work in the oil and gas and energy industries, was approached by the National Trust for Scotland to survey the imposing 120-foot tall flagpole at Bannockburn to determine its condition.

The structure – a listed monument – has stood on the battlefield since 1870 and its location commemorates the spot where the Scottish army stood in 1314 to await the approaching English forces. The lower section of the flagpole is made of riveted wrought iron and the upper section is constructed of wood. Because of fears that the metal may have rotted and the structure would not be able to support a flag, one has not flown from the pole for a number of years.

The survey is part of a £9.1million project to redevelop the Stirlingshire site ahead of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in 2014. A new visitor centre is being constructed as part of the project, which also involves restoring existing landmarks on the battlefield, including the 1964 statue of Robert the Bruce and the rotunda.

Described as one of the most important historical monuments at Bannockburn, the 132-year old flagpole was constructed at a ship yard in Dumbarton and erected by Dumbarton and Stirling Masonic Lodges.

Inspectahire used a range of Non-destructive testing (NDT) equipment to assess the flagpole’s condition, which will aid its restoration. Ultrasonic equipment was used to measure the thickness of the metal section of the flagpole and identify areas of corrosion.

Cailean Forrester, Inspectahire managing director, said: "Bannockburn is the site of one of the most iconic battles in Scottish history and it helped to define Scotland. The flagpole is a very visible part of the battlefield and like anything which is exposed to the elements for a prolonged period of time it can deteriorate.

"The results from the work that Inspectahire has carried out will allow the National Trust for Scotland to take steps to preserve this very impressive and important monument. Now that the flagpole’s exact condition has been identified, work can be carried out to allow a flag to once again fly high above the site. It has been an honour to have been involved in this historic project.”