Video: Controversial Protestant march to go ahead for the third year
PUBLISHED: 16:26 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:32 05 May 2010
A controversial Protestant march through a small town s streets is to go ahead again this year. This will be the third successive year that the Luton and Bedford Browning Club and Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABOD) have held the march in Stotfold. It is to c
A controversial Protestant march through a small town's streets is to go ahead again this year.
This will be the third successive year that the Luton and Bedford Browning Club and Apprentice Boys of Derry (ABOD) have held the march in Stotfold.
It is to celebrate what will be the 320th anniversary of the shutting of the gates of Londonderry in 1688 which ignited the greatest siege in British history, the siege of Derry.
This year's march, which will be on Saturday, December 13, was posted on the ABOD website and was noticed by a Stotfold councillor who informed fellow councillors.
And to fuel the controversy further ABDO claimed it will again burn an effigy of Colonel Robert Lundy in a nearby field, something it did in 2006. Last year it only laid a wreath at the local war memorial.
Lundy, a governor of the city, attempted to persuade the inhabitants of Londonderry to surrender to the surrounding forces of King James II and was considered a traitor by the Protestants.
But one man who is helping to organise the event again, John McAdam, denied claims that any effigy of Lundy will be torched, saying the potential for a disaster was too high.
"We have just not got the manpower to make sure any burning of an effigy of Lundy can be carried out safely," said Mr McAdam.
"As we can only carry out any burning on a small piece of land there is going to be a potential for a disaster and we don't have the manpower to marshal this kind of thing.
"At the last meeting I attended I understood the plan would be the same as last year and we would hold a service and a wreath-laying ceremony at the war memorial."
ABOD members hope this year's march will be a bigger and better than before.
Stotfold town councillor Jane Hyde said: "A lot of people will again be very unhappy that the march is being held here yet again but we are powerless to stop it.
"Every time the march is held a lot of town folk are upset and complain but neither us nor the police can do anything to prevent it going ahead.
"There has never been any trouble in the past and hopefully it will pass off peacefully again this year."
It is understood the police are aware of the march and will once again have a presence at the event to make sure it is trouble-free.
Last year one man was spoken to by police after he appeared wearing a hooded top with the bottom half of his face covered with a scarf and flashed his Sinn Fein T-shirt at marchers.
The march is held in Stotfold because local resident John Roberts is the Luton group's president.