Gallery: Culture capital enjoys LundyTHE 324th anniversary of the Shutting of Londonderry’s Gates against the advancing Jacobite forces in December 1688 took place peacefully in the Maiden City on Saturday.
The cold conditions failed to have any impact on the day’s main attraction, the burning of the effigy of the notorious traitor Lundy, who, as ever, perished in a swathe of flames at the conclusion of the proceedings.
Spirits were high, as Londonderry prepares to begin its term as the first ever UK City of Culture next month.
If Saturday’s spectacle and the general atmosphere was anything to go by, 2013 will be special as all citizens of the historic city join together to celebrate this unique opportunity.
As Governor General of the Apprentice Boys, Jim Brownlee, told the News Letter: “Without the Shutting of the Gates, there would have been no Siege, no Glorious Revolution, no William III and no parliamentary democracy as we know it now, that grew and spread across Europe and replaced autocratic monarchies.
“It is arguable that without the Siege the French or American Revolutions would never have happened and it showed that 30,000 destitute and starving people could hold out against a king’s army. It was a true example of people power – of how tyranny could be deposed.”
More than 1,000 band members and between 1,500 and 2,000 members of the Apprentice Boys took part in Saturday’s historical and cultural events, with marchers attending from as far away as London and the Republic.
Siege Heroes Trail 2012: CommemorationsGenerally the first Saturday in December - commemorating the 7th December (OS*) anniversary of the Apprentice Boys’ Shutting of the Gates. *Old style calandar.
The Apprentice Boys of Derry Commemorative events begin at midnight Friday, on the eve of the next day’s commemoration, with the firing of a cannon. 1 shot and then 3 shots symbolises the Thirteen Apprentice Boys who shut the gates against the advancing armies of King James.
The Siege of DerryAt the centenary celebrations in 1788-9, the people of Derry wore Orange ribbons (just as people in England did at the time when celebrating the Glorious Revolution) and a red or crimson flag was flown at the Cathedral. The Roman Catholic clergy joined in the celebrations and "vied with Protestants in expressing, by every possible mark, their sense of the blessings secured to them by our happy Constitution".
Some facts about the Siege of LondonderryThe Siege proper lasted for 105 days but the citizens and the garrison were pent up by the presence of first the Earl of Antrim`s forces from 7 December 1688, and then by King James` forces, to 31 July 1689 a total of 236 days.
I haven't been to the Shutting of the Gates/Lundy Day in many a year but from all accounts it has turned into quite a pageant. i have however toured the walls on a number of occasions the most recent was with a cross community group, our guide for the day turned out to be a local SF councilor. TBF he was reasonably informant and eloquent but i had a little chuckle when he went into brit imperialistic overdrive as we overlooked the bogside! somewhat tragic that a historical guide didn't mention roaring meg while standing beside her!! 'Roaring Meg' comes back home - Local - Derry Journal
someday we will have a shared future, perhaps we should start with a shared history!