A Coleraine man who lives in Yorkshire, has been involved in the set up of an Apprentice Boys’ Derry Club in his home town of Northallerton.
William Sugden a former solider and fourteen other members of the Club took part in their first parade last Saturday.
The annual celebrations mark the ending of the Siege of Londonderry, the longest in British military history, and also remember the sacrifice of those who perished.
The Yorkshire visitors accompanied the local Blaugh Mitchelburne Club to Londonderry.
Speaking to The Times this week, William, who is a brother to East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden, thanked the members of the Blaugh lodge for their hospitality.
“We have fifteen members in the branch now,” he explained.
“There’s myself from Coleraine, a few Scottish members and the rest are from the Yorkshire area.
“We were officially initiated as Apprentice Boys on Friday night.
“That involved us going to a special installation at the Memorial Hall in Londonderry.
“For many of the members it was their first time in Londonderry, for others who served in the army, they were pleased to return to the City in a more enjoyable capacity.”
Speaking about Saturday’s main parade, William went on: “It was a great day and the members really enjoyed it.
“The hospitality of the Blaugh members was second to none, and many new friendships have been formed.
“We are already planning for next year.”
William explained that he is a member of an Orange Lodge in Yorkshire: “We have our own Orange Lodge and Black Preciptory over here, but the Apprentice Boys is a new Club.
“We are planning a parade later this Autumn.
“It will see Apprentice Boys and members of the Orange Order parading side by side.
“It’s a bit of a novelty for the locals, but they are starting to realise that the Orange and Apprentice Boys are also part of their history and culture.”