H&D editor visits Ulster for “the 12th”.

Editor (right) at Loyalist ‘True Blues’ mural in Portadown

H&D editor Mark Cotterill made a short trip over to Ulster last week, for the annual Battle of the Boyne Orange celebrations.
 
Leaving Manchester airport on July 11th, Mark arrived at George Best airport in East Belfast around 9pm – the flight being delayed for a massive three hours!
 
After a short bus ride to his hotel in the Queens University Quarter, he met up with a representative of the North West Infidels (NWI) from Blackburn. They ventured out for a quick pint, before watching one of the many bonfires (this one just off Botanic Avenue).
 
On the 12th, they met up with other patriots and loyalists from the mainland and watched – from an excellent vantage point at the top of Sandy Row – the massive Orange parade wind its way through South Belfast. The route is over six miles long. The parade heads back from “the field” around 4pm, and reached Sandy Row after 6pm, where the editor and friends watched it make its way into Belfast city centre.

The editor visiting the Ulster 36th Division memorial arch in Portadown

 
On the 13th the editor and his Blackburn NWI comrade travelled (by train) to the town of Portadown in County Armagh, for an H&D Ulster subscribers meeting, which proved very successful, with a lot of ideas being exchanged. They also had time to walk round and view a number of Loyalist murals and arches on one of Portadown’s Loyalist estates. In the evening the watched the local flute bands and lodges march back through the town, after returning from the Royal Black parade in Scarva, in County Down.
 
On the 14th, before the editor and his NWI comrade flew back to Manchester (thankfully this time the flight was on time!) they visited Windsor Park, the home of both Linfield FC and the Northern Ireland football team. Later that afternoon, Linfield would host Glasgow Celtic in a Champions League qualifier. Sadly they could not be there for the game, but they purchased programmes and other souvenirs from the club shop.

The editor visiting the Portadown mural commemorating the sacrifice of the 36th Ulster Division on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916

 
After a short drive from Windsor Park in the city centre, Mark  met up with representatives from the Traditional Unionist Voice party – TUV – in the famous Robinson’s Bar opposite the just as famous Europa Hotel (the most bombed hotel in Ulster!). Again, a lot was gained by both sides at the meeting, with ideas being suggested and discussed, on how Loyalism could go forward, now the Tory party and DUP have an alliance at Westminster.

Members of the Portadown chapter of the Royal Blacks marching on their return from the annual Royal Black parade in Scarva, on the border of Co Down and Co Armagh

 
So all in all a successful trip, with a number of new subscribers for the magazine.
 

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