There was an Ulster-Scots and Liverpool influence on Saturday as the four Apprentice Boys Clubs from the Portadown area made their way to the North-West to commemorate the opening of the gates at the 1688-69 Siege of Derry.
Five members of the ‘Boys’ from Ayrshire joined the members from the area – the Clounagh, Brackagh, Portadown and Baker Clubs. The Scots were – Trevor Folis, Scott Barr, Stephen Harding, Kenny Redpath and Robert Coughtrie.
Among the bands accompanying the clubs was Cantril’s Glory Accordion from Liverpool, sporting their new uniforms. The parade left from Carleton Street at 9am, and after laying a wreath at the War Memorial, they made their way to the buses at Edenderry, arriving in the Maiden City at around 11.30am.
In Londonderry, they met up with the city’s Clubs, after the men from the city had completed their march around the Walls of Derry and had their traditional service in St Columb’s Cathedral.
Then, along with Clubs from various parts of Northern Ireland, they made the planned march around various parts of the city centre, including Craigavon Bridge and the Waterside area, under the commend of District Governor Jim Brownlee.
The march is around six miles, and one member measured the number of steps at 24,000, given the stop-start (and smaller steps) nature of the parade.