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Day of colour, drums and pageantry mark Twelfth festivities

By Amanda Poole

The sun was shining as people enjoyed the colour, pageantry and music of the Twelfth in Belfast yesterday.

Around 250,000 people took part and lined the city's streets in what is traditionally the largest Twelfth procession, to celebrate the 321st anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.

The Miller Memorial Flute band led around 70 bands from the Orange Hall at Carlisle Circus as the parade snaked its way along Clifton Street through Royal Avenue to Belfast City Hall.

Apprentice boy William Bell (54) and his wife Isobel from the Shankill said they love watching the Belfast parade each year.

"It's a fantastic day. I've been coming all my life and it's always great. The Twelfth is part of my history and culture, so it's great to watch the parade and then have a big family barbecue."

Mark and Claire Copeland from Glengormley brought their excitable daughters Megan (7) and Lucy (4) to watch the parade.

Claire said: "I've been coming every year since I was a wee girl and the atmosphere is great.

"Everybody is having a great time and the girls love it. They have been looking forward to hearing the bands."

Gina Frampton from the Shore Road in Belfast was enjoying the Orange festivities with her sisters, daughter and grandchildren.

"I come every year. It's a good day out. We go back to the house for a party and then back into town to watch them coming back."

Lynne Coulter (35), her partner Mark Neill and their daughter Tori (4) from the Shankill had a great day in Belfast.

Their son Ross was playing the drum in the Young Conway Volunteer Flute Band for the first time.

"We are very proud of him. For a second we thought we had missed him, but thankfully they hadn't passed. It's great to see the kids enjoy themselves and to meet up with friends."

A wreath-laying ceremony took place at the Cenotaph in the grounds of the City Hall before the parade proceeded via Donegall Square to the Lisburn Road, and onwards to the field at Barnetts Demesne.

In the field, hundreds were dressed in red, white and blue, and County Grand Master Tom Haire chaired the proceedings at a platform. Resolutions were read by Dr William Malcolmson, District Chaplain No 9 and Charles Cefferty, County Grand Master, County Grand Orange Lodge of Central Scotland.

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