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Feedback from readers

Write to us at the address below or e-mail us on feedback@the-twelfth.org.uk
We welcome comments, criticism and response from our visitors.  We reserve the right to publish these unless you clearly indicate otherwise.  We will not publish hysterical abuse or personal attacks on individuals. 


I HAVE to say that this issue of The Twelfth is another success.  It’s very informative both for members and non-members of the Order.

I will distribute them at our next Lodge meeting and also encourage members of the Rangers Supporters clubs that I'm associated with to buy a copy.

With your permission I would also like to use some extracts from The Twelfth so that I can write into the local papers and put across to the English what the Order & the marching season is really about. 

I also want to let them know how the Protestant cause changed the course of European history and gave us our freedom, which we all enjoy today. There are so many ill-informed people who view the Orange Order and Protestants in general as sectarians and bigots.  It's publications like The Twelfth that can put across a simple message of truth instead of the hate filled propaganda produced by the republicans which most people seem to readily accept.




WALK ON BY – Images and impressions of the Twelfth in Ulster

THANKS for the copy of Walk On By.  I found it very interesting and I hope you can keep up the good work.  I am not actually in the Orange Order myself, so don't think I can add much to what has been written.

John Jenkins (who wrote the Preface) and Dave Thomas (who wrote the Introduction) are right in saying that we must win this PR battle.  For far too long we have been out-PR'd by the Catholics.  For some reason, we let ourselves get painted as dangerous buffoons who are  living in the past.  I think the problem today is that the UK Government is so desperate to get out of NI, that they will agree to anything and just walk away and leave the Northern Irish Protestants in the lurch.

John L

New Jersey, USA


I ENJOYED the first edition of Walk On By.  The article by the Dutch loyalist (Niklas van Tran) was very interesting and helped dispel many of the misconceptions and stereotypes the Twelfth and loyalists are labelled with.  I appreciated that he took the time to find out for himself the truth.  The returning Ulster marcher (Garry Mills) summed up the ‘pull’ that Ulster and the Twelfth has to people throughout Britain and beyond.

I asked a mate for some feedback on Walk On By.  He also said he enjoyed the article by the Dutch loyalist and found it very interesting.  It gave him a sense of pride that a Dutchman could understand, appreciate and adopt the loyalist/unionist culture.

 Andrew H,

Glasgow, Scotland

THANKS very much for your positive comments.  WALK ON BY – Images and impressions of the Twelfth in Ulster is the first in a series of booklets – relating to the Twelfth and other Loyal Order and Band parades – that we intend producing.

Walk On By is a 20-page A5 booklet.  It features two written articles and a photo-essay.  

The first article is by Mr Garry Mills is entitled The Twelfth – what it means to me.  Originally from Newtownards in Co. Down, he is now the Provincial Grand Master of the Metropolitan Province of the Loyal Orange Institution of England.   Mr Mills has been a member of the Orange Institution for 32 years.  His devotion to the Orange almost takes the form of a religious ‘calling’.  Indeed, on one occasion he travelled all the way from Cyprus to attend the Ards mini-Twelfth celebrations.  The Twelfth – what it means to me is a fascinating look at folk and family traditions associated with the Twelfth.

The second article is by Mr Niklas van Tran.  It is entitled The Twelfth – Ulster’s most important day.  Mr van Tran hails from Rotterdam in Holland.  He is studying in Vienna, Austria, where he is also a well-known member of the Vienna True Blues RSC.   He became fascinated by the 12th celebrations through his interest in Rangers FC.  He lived in Glasgow for a while to be closer to Rangers.  His article illustrates the interaction between sport, identity, religion and politics.

The photo-essay features bands, Orangemen and supporters from Ulster and Scotland. Those bands pictured include: 

Pride of Govan FB, South Belfast Young Conquerors FB, Parkinson Accordion Band (East Belfast), Cambusland Volunteers FB, The Sandyhills FB (Glasgow),
Sons of Ulster FB (Glasgow), Millar Memorial FB (Belfast), Pride of Ardoyne FB (North Belfast)
and Star of David Accordion Band, Portadown.  Is your picture in it?  Get a copy and see!

All profits from the sales of Walk On By will go towards producing King Billy’s Colouring Book.  This ground breaking book is intended to introduce very young children to a unique aspect of their heritage, history and culture.

 (Editorial Staff)



The Twelfth 2003 DVD

Have just flicked through the 2003 12th July DVD. The parades are typical second generation video - worth the price just for that. But there are also excellent 'extras' with a history section, a brilliant Jukebox and lots more. If you want a decent all round loyalist entertainment DVD - this is it!  

One little mistake - the Wirral (as opposed the 'Worral' on the DVD) is where William III left England en route to Carrickfergus.
The Jukebox is perhaps something that could be enhanced in the future.  A really good idea. I'll have the first copy with 2,000 loyalist songs!  

Liverpool Loyalist

WE ARE PASSING all feedback to the young producer of the 12th July DVD and Video.  He hopes to incorporate any ideas and suggestions in next year’s version.  We understand that he wants to provide commentary for next year’s 12th and that he intends to cover next year’s Sham Fight in Scarva on the 13th July as well.   

DVDs are an exciting new educational and cultural tool.  We can use them in the PR war to put across the truth about the Twelfth.  You won’t see the hatchet-faced marauders of republican mythology.  This is no ‘hatefest’.  We show people enjoying a great day out with lots of colour, music and – at least this year – bright sunshine!  See the bands!  See the crowds!  See the bright sunshine!  Maybe even see yourself!  Get a copy of this DVD today!  Relive the memories.  Now every day can be the twelfth of July.  For those interested in purchasing a copy of this DVD, click here.

We realise that not everyone has a DVD player.  VHS video may be on its way out in the long term but it’s still very popular.  For this reason, if you prefer, you can relive the Twelfth 2003 on VHS video.  There’s no music jukebox on the video, though, but it is still well worth getting.

 (Editorial Staff).


Truth on our Side

SINN FéIN are good at propaganda because they’ve had years of practice.  We’ve sat on the fence and have done nothing.  We are now light years behind.   The one thing that we have got on our side is the Truth.  If we use it wisely we can win the PR battle.  But we must start sooner, rather than later.   

Also, in some situations I think we’ve only ourselves to blame.  Look at the Ormeau Road situation.  If the UFF hadn’t killed those Roman Catholics in the bookies, the Orange would probably be still walking down the road.  

However, after years of planning on how to discredit loyalist communities and institutions (and using the media to do it) Sinn Fein are wining hands down.  

But there are ways to discredit SF propaganda.  For instance, how can the Orange institution be racist when it is a world-wide organisation with members in Togo and Native Americans?  

The question has to be asked: Why is it down to people like us to fight the Orange Order’s corner?  To deflect a lot of criticism, all they (the Orange) have to do is do what the Lord Mayor of does, which is to collect money for different charities during each and every parade.  Then publish in all the relevant paper how much went where.  

It really is so simple that even a fool could do it!  Let’s be honest, how hard would it be to choose a baby unit or an old people’s home that needs money?  Baby units and old people’s homes help the whole community.  How could the Orange Order then be described as ‘racist’, ‘sectarian’ or ‘triumphalist’ (a belief that a particular set of dogma is universal and eternal)?  Indeed, if only we believed that we were eternal!

I think if the Orange supported such worthy causes, we could stand back and watch republican propaganda go into free fall.

Richard H,

WE AGREE with your analysis regarding Public Relations.  Pan-Irish national chauvinists are way ahead of us in PR terms.  That is because unionist and Orange leaders have never sought to explain their position.  Their attitude is that if someone doesn’t know what’s going on then it’s that person’s fault.  This is wrong!  We need to be pro-active in all of our educational and cultural outreach programmes.

The blockade of the (which stopped Ballynafeigh Orangemen walking their traditional route into City centre) was part of a wider Orangeophobic campaign waged by pan-Irish national chauvinists.  However we agree that the shooting of Roman Catholic civilians in Sean Graham’s handed the 'moral high ground' to republican front groups.  The Orange Order were also badly let down by a few supporters and some of their own members whilst walking past the bookies.  Whilst these individual Orangemen and women were later disciplined, the whole affair turned out to be yet another PR disaster for the Orange.  (For more information about the Ormeau blockade click here.  For an interview with a Ballynafeigh Orangeman click here).    .  (For more information about the Ormeau blockade click here.  For an interview with a Ballynafeigh Orangeman click here).   

The Orange Order supports both its own charities as well as ‘external’ ones.  The best known Orange charity is the Lord Enniskillen Memorial Orange Orphan Society.  Additionally, every year a specific cause is nominated for the Grand Master’s Charity Appeal.  In 2003, Cancer Research NI (part of Cancer Research UK) was nominated.  We agree that the Orange don’t get the recognition they deserve for supporting such charities.  Again, we think that part of the problem is down to bad – or non-existent – Public Relations.  

(Editorial Staff).


Excellent Publication

LAST YEAR I distributed your broadsheet amongst a variety of colleagues and the reaction was favourable.  In particular amongst some lapsed/ill informed loyalists.  It certainly relaxed a few unfounded concerns some friends of mine had, and dispelled a number of myths.

I certainly enjoyed last year’s edition of The Twelfth and enjoyed the positive promotion of a pivotal moment in our shared history.

Congratulations on an excellent publication and I wish you continued success in the future.

Andrew H,
Glasgow, Scotland .

THANK S for your help in distributing The Twelfth.  Last year, issue 3 (2002) sold out in record time. This year we extended our print run – and had it available from mid-June.  It still sold out way before the big day itself!  Next year we’ll extend the print run again and hopefully have it on the streets for the first week of June.  

The income generated by sales of The Twelfth will help produce two new publications.  Walk On By will look at the parade’s issue.  It will feature two articles about the loyal Orders and a photo-essay on the 12th July Celebrations.  The other publication will be a colouring book for children.  It’s being produced in an effort to promote interest in heritage, history and culture for our younger generation.

Thanks also for kind comments regarding the positive nature of The Twelfth.  As well as promoting a proud, rich and vibrant culture, there’s a great need to accentuate the positive and to ‘sell’ the 12th July Celebrations.  To do this effectively, we need to build a media-sensitive and tactically astute PR machine. 

(Editorial Staff).


Roll on next Twelfth

I HAVE just received my copy of The Twelfth and really enjoyed reading the publication.  This is the first year (2002) I have read this and I’m looking forward to next year's!

 Leanne F.
Alloa, Scotland.

THANKS very much for your brief comments. We appreciate any feedback our readers can provide – good, bad or indifferent.  We’re glad you liked The Twelfth.   Issue 3 (2002) sold out in record time.  In 2003 we will have to extend our print run to cater for the extra demand.  In case you’re wondering where your money goes, no-one associated with The Twelfth is paid a penny in wages or expenses.  Therefore, all profits are ploughed back into the paper.  This year, all profits were used to completely upgrade our computer equipment and to launch this website.

(Editorial Staff).  

Gets the message across

THIS YEAR (2002) I saw The Twelfth for the first time and I must say it does get the message across.  I think the description of the 12th celebrations as the ‘Triumph of the underdog’ is a very apt interpretation of the victory that came out of the events of 1690.

I liked the two interviews with the Germans.  I also found the short article ‘You’ll never walk alone’ very interesting.  The Apprentice Boys of Derry were given the ok (to walk the Ormeau Road) while foot and mouth disease was about, but then a while later in the year the Orange Order are refused the same route.  And this year the AboD are refused!  What’s going on here?  Conspiracy – it stinks to high heaven of it!  And finally, name and shame Gerard Rice.  Nice move!

I was struck by the contrast between the way The Twelfth and the media in England reports the ‘marching season’.  Why does the media report any parade as a ‘Triumph by Protestants over Catholics’?  I can’t understand the media’s one-sidedness and inaccuracies.  Who actually tells them what to say and how to say it?  Why do they let themselves be used in such a bigoted way?  What do they expect to gain from telling the world half-truths and lies?

I think the biggest hurdle is going to be convincing the English that they have benefited from what was achieved at the Boyne.  Here in England I'd be really hard pushed to find anyone I know to be an active church-goer and possibly even a believer.  Full stop!

And as far as culture and heritage goes that all started to die out when WWII ended.  First it was the Teddy Boys, then the Mods and Rockers, then the Hippies, Punks, Skinheads, Break Dancing, Grunge and Brit Pop.  Now it’s Big Brother ‘culture’ that has got everybody preoccupied with meaningless drivel instead of what is actually happening around them.  That is England’s cultural changes since the war and the vast majority of people are quite happy to live with it and let it continue.  To talk  about ‘The Good Old Days’ in England means to bore your audience to death.  It doesn’t come much plainer than that I’m afraid.  When my Grandparents have gone who’s going to tell my children about the past?  Not my Mum and Dad – and that’s a fact!

I must say I was surprised to read that there are people defecting from the church.  I’ve always seen Ulster as the ‘religious capital’ of the UK, inhabited by ‘Staunch Prods’.  I thought that this religiousness was due to the work of the Orange Institution and ‘Big’ Ian (Paisley).

However, Ulster can, in my opinion, pride itself with being the most British corner of the UK, where culture, heritage and history mean something.  In Ulster, the vast majority of the people are proud to be British and proud of the Union.  If  only I could say that about the majority of English people!  If this was true, maybe Ulster could have been saved many years of agony – instead of being abandoned by those who should have helped protect it.

West Midlands Loyalist.

THE TWELFTH is a special educational and cultural eight-page mini-broadsheet.  It seeks to present a positive side of the Twelfth celebrations and counter the lies and misrepresentations told about this extremely popular cultural festival.

Since the Drumcree crisis first erupted in 1995, Sinn Fein and a variety of associated front groups have engineered at atmosphere of confrontation around the annual Twelfth demonstrations.  The Twelfth views the 12th July celebrations as Ulster’s Mardi Gras and seeks to rescue the holiday from its negative connotations of religious bigotry and confrontation.

One of the main aims of issue 3 of The Twelfth was to expose the pan-Irish national chauvinist myth that Ulster Protestants form one intolerant monolithic block.

The description of the 12th July celebrations being the ‘Triumph of the underdog’ came from a look at a rural Twelfth.  Here a Co. Tyrone “country Twelfth” is looked upon as a “social, communal and commemorative” event.  The article which mentioned ‘defections’ from the church was written from an urban cultural Protestant perspective. 

  The article about the Ormeau Road - Let the Ballynafeigh Orangemen walk! - exposed the way Sinn Fein exploits the ‘marching season’ for its own ends.  Here SF have successfully twisted the English language (so that peaceful and traditional Orange walks are now viewed as ‘sectarian coat trailing exercises’) and have convinced the world that there is a ‘Lower’ Ormeau Road – a Catholic road in its own right!   

 (Editorial Staff)   

Grow Up!

YOU ARE just like wee laddies playing in a gang.  For humanities sake grow up!  Try to loose your inbuilt inbred hatred and build a better future for Northern Ireland and your children.

Mr. McVey.


THANK YOU for taking the trouble to express an opinion on our Twelfth website.  We do appreciate your feedback.  Our aims are to promote a better understanding and a positive view of the traditions surrounding the annual Twelfth celebrations and to wean folk away from inbuilt, inbred hatred.  Please try to tolerate it, even if you don't like it, or disagree with it.

(Editorial Staff).


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