Saturday, August 29, 2009

Black Saturday

It's the last major parade of the summer marching season today- Black Saturday or the Last Saturday in August. Sir Knights from Royal Black Preceptories from across Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic will gather to parade at six county demonstrations. County Antrim are parading in Lisburn, County Londonderry are in Castlerock, Armagh and East Tyrone will gather in Killylea, West Tyrone are in Castlederg, County Down are going to the small village of Crossgar in the Lecale District, and Belfast Blackmen are on their way to Ballymena. (County Fermanagh hold their RBP parade on the same day as Derry Day to commemorate the Battle of Newtownbutler won by the Enniskillen men at roughly the same time as the boom was broken by the Mountjoy on Lough Foyle to lift the siege of Derry.)

A couple of weeks back we heard the Apprentice Boys leaving from Tullycarnet, and this morning at 7.30 there was the sound of drums as the East Belfast RBP set off from the Old Dundonald Road. An early start as they move to Ballymacarrett Orange Hall then off to the trains for Ballymena (passing the Short Strand on the way).

I'll not be at the parades today as we have lots of stuff to be getting on with, but no doubt someone will have photos on Flickr later on.

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