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A Scots bandsman comes to Belfast

WHEN YOU get up on the morning of the Twelfth and the uniform goes on there is nothing quite like it. Only twenty miles to parade today. Your band strikes up the first tune and the hairs on the back of your neck immediately stand to attention and you are off. Two tunes later and the sleepyheads in the lodge are still falling in as you have wakened them from their slumber.

The crowds cheer you through the city centre and all along the Lisburn Road .  Old friends and new call out your name as you pass and you march that bit straighter. The shoulders get thrown back and the chest sticks out just that bit more.

The field. Thank goodness for the field: and a chance to rest your weary bones, take the boots off and drink a bottle of water in one go to quench your thirst. Then the speeches from the Orangemen.  A cheer or two from the crowd as they tell the world that we are British and proud to be so.

Then the parade moves off and we marshal up.  There’s a cheer from our Ulster brethren as we pass by;  a small Scottish band but as loud and proud as they come. Back along the route of the parade to a welcome of sorts from our Republican neighbours in the New Lodge Road area as we pass them on our way to Clifton Street . We don't even see the missiles these idiots fling because we are celebrating OUR cultural heritage today. Our day has come.  

We disband at Clifton Street Orange Hall and make my way quickly back to Ballynafeigh just in time to see the parade coming safely through the " Holy Land ". The loudest cheer of the day for my fellow bandsmen in number 10 District comes as they cross the Ormeau Bridge and walk with dignity and decorum up "the road". The National Anthem at the Hall and it is over for another year but it's only 364 days till the Twelfth you know.


Newtown Defenders Flute Band 


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