Orange Walk in Wishaw on Saturday, July 10
AROUND 40,000 people are expected to visit Wishaw this Saturday for an Orange Walk – and police are asking people to stay out of town if possible to avoid any traffic chaos.
Over 300 officers will be on duty for the parade which will leave Waterloo Park at 12 noon and go through the town centre until it arrives across from Wishaw General Hospital at Beltane Park around 2.30pm.
Police have been planning the operation for months and although “no stone has been left unturned” the public are still being warned to expect heavy disruption to traffic.
Anyone visiting the hospital this Saturday, July 10, could face delays although patients needing emergency treatment will be given a police escort.
Chief Superintendent Graham Cairns, Divisional Commander for North Lanarkshire, said: “A considerable amount of time has been invested into the planning of this parade and we have left no stone unturned to ensure that it passes as smoothly as possible.
“It is our aim to minimise the disruption to local residents during the event, however, clearly traffic will be heavily disrupted. If at all possible I would ask that you avoid travelling through Wishaw Main Street or allow more time for your journey.”
Any vehicle parked on Main Street from 8am onwards this Saturday will be removed to let the parade move smoothly. Traffic will be allowed up Main Street and Stewarton Street towards Waterloo as far as Greenhead Road, but no vehicles will be allowed to go in the opposite direction on the route the parade will follow.
It is expected that the two-mile procession will take two-and-a-half hours to reach its destination. Police are anticipating 10,000 marchers will be watched by 30,000 spectators.
Chief Superintendent Cairns added: “We will have over 300 officers on duty during the parade and we will be taking a zero tolerance approach to street drinking and disorder. Anyone found to be drinking alcohol in a public place can expected to be reported to the Procurator Fiscal.
“Keeping our local communities safe is our priority and we will robustly police all aspects of criminality to ensure that anyone stepping out of line will face the consequences of their actions. To this end we will be closely scrutinising the behaviour of the participants and followers of the parade itself.
“With the cooperation of local residents and those involved in the parade I am confident the day will pass without major incident.”
The County Grand Orange Lodge of Central Scotland has this year picked Wishaw for its annual parade to commemorate the 320th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne.
Charles Cefferty, the County Grand Master of the County Grand Lodge of Central Scotland, will be at the head of the march with his guests and the Wishaw lodges.
He said: “There are around 20 lodges in Wishaw, and as the march is in Wishaw they will become the hosts.
“We’ve put a lot of work into this, we have great relations with North Lanarkshire Council and Strathclyde Police and it takes nine or ten months to arrange an event like this.
“The message is we want people to come along and enjoy the free show, enjoy the atmosphere. We’re looking forward to an event-free day and we strenuously support the police and authorities. Our members have strict instructions on how to behave. Anti-social behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated.”
Once the parade reaches Beltane Park an address on the Scottish Reformation will be given by Reverend Ron Johnstone, Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church.
Mr Cefferty added: “Reverend Johnstone will be delivering an address on the Reformation and what role it still plays in today’s society.”
Before the main walk at noon, Wishaw Orange and Purple District Orange Lodge No 16 will gather at 9.45am at the District Hall in Dryburgh Road. Then, 16 lodges accompanied by eight flute bands will move off towards Waterloo at 10am via Dryburgh Road, Main Street, Stewarton Street, Wishaw Road and Overtown Road to Bartonhall Road.
Next, the main event begins at 12 noon when 123 lodges and 90 bands from Lanarkshire and Stirlingshire will leave Waterloo via Overtown Road, Wishaw Road, Stewarton Street, Main Street, Glasgow Road, Belhaven Road, Marshall and Alexander Street into Beltane Park, to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation.
Later that night, at 5pm, only the Wishaw District Lodges will parade from Low Main Street via Cleland Road, Glasgow Road, Main Street, Wishaw Cross, Kirk Road, Ryde Road, Waverly Drive, Dryburgh Road and Roberts Street for dispersal at Wishaw District Hall. Following the parade there will be a dance hosted by LOL 208 and LLOL 3 from 7.30pm until midnight. Entertainment will be provided by Alison Dunn on keyboards, admission is £3 and everyone is welcome to attend.
A spokesperson for NHS Lanarkshire said: “Patients and staff are urged to take extra consideration over their journeys to Wishaw General Hospital this coming Saturday.
“The hospital could be subject to travel disruption as a result of the road traffic restrictions associated with the Orange Order march in and around the town on Saturday, July 10.
“The march leaves Waterloo Park at 12 noon and follows a route which ends in the public park directly across from the hospital at 2.45pm. This then is followed by a rally which will finish at 4pm.
“It is anticipated that the march will have a total of 10,000 participants and 30,000 spectators.
“The Scottish Ambulance Service are fully aware of the potential disruption. Patients who require urgent access to the hospital will be escorted by the police.”