‘Field’ trip 2011

Some of us will be out-and-about again on the 12th July.

I’ll be joining a small party heading to Clogher for Slugger’s first rural 12th visit, probably calling into Portadown on the way back towards civilisation.

As usual people are welcome to join us at any point during the day. We’ll be making an effort to capture and cover as many facets as possible; positive/negative, participant/spectator, supporter/opponent and whatever else comes up.

We aren’t asking people to park their bias at the door, just see what happens and give an honest account during and after.

Mick will update on some other aspects of Slugger coverage but if you want to join the merry band give me a shout (some of them are quite sane).

  • lamhdearg

    Clogher will be small but sweet, try killylea (the orange county one not killyleagh) on the way back to see a Grand day out. but then again, “on the way back towards civilisation.” with that view of the orange, maybe slugger and your good self would be better not going at all.

  • Mark McGregor


    There is no view of the Orange in that comment. It was as lighthearted as the title.

    Though this is a trip where everyone gets a baggage allowance if they want it. I’m not forcing a community outreach event on people but if that’s want they want, fine.

    It worked grand the last time – I take it you are going to snipe rather than join us 😉

  • Drumlins Rock

    don’t worry Mark, loads of civilisation still in Clogher, it is at least 3 miles to the border 🙂

    btw. Clogher was a city when Belfast was just a bog hole.

  • lamhdearg

    i will be elsewhere, maybe Comber. But to come back to civilisation first you must leave it, so your saying to go to an orange order demonstration is to leave civilisaion behind. hope to read your report starting with “in my biased view”, and make sure no one gets a pic of you enjoying yourself, bring M.P. with you he’s sure to get all the stuff that will show the day in a bad light, although even he will struggle to find juicy bad stuff in Clogher.

  • Well, civilisation just means living in cities. Throughout most of history, that meant suffering more disease and dying sooner. So “getting back to civilisation” can be a bad thing. Back to nature is better than back to cities.

  • Mark McGregor


    I ‘enjoyed’ several aspects when we/I last did this in 2009. From the lambeg drums at dawn in my home village to the relaxed field in Bangor.

    I hated loads of it too, mostly drunks and B&T in Belfast.

    I’ll see how it goes again this time, you seem to have prejudged how I’ll find an experience I’ve yet to have – you are first in with baggage.

  • Mark McGregor


    As I’ve said to you before, your key role on the day is identifying the best burger van at Clogher field for me!

  • Mark, is anyone planning to head to Scarva on the 13th??

    Rural and urban 12th’s are as different as chalk and cheese.

    What i would ask all budding Slugger ‘anthropologists’ to do is bear in mind the plethora of current social conventions/ patterns/ lifestyles/ traits that exist in the world and modern Northern Ireland society today as a whole. Theres far to many attempt to apply the worst of modern social excess purely to festival/ commemerative events (such as the 12th and others) as opposed to acknowledging that they exist everywhere in many many contexts.

  • Mark McGregor


    My family life (wife) wouldn’t accept two days away experiencing Orange festivities, especially when Antrim GAA are a welcome but regular demand of late.

    Maybe next year from me. It’s up to others if they have the time.

    You extending an invitation to those who might appreciate a guide?

  • lamhdearg

    Q, i intend to attend Scarva if its sunny. yes i am a fair weather fan.

  • Mark, anyone who wants to know more about ‘parading’ culture and lifestyle (because it is. Thats the core problem, some just cant understand its ingrained in the blood and fundamental to thousands. Not necessarily their fault for not understanding incidently) im more than open to help. That may even include being a guide on occasion. BUT………

    Scarva is my day out too!!!! Ive no holiday away, so this is your main day of the year- i want to enjoy it with friends and family!! And to be honest dwarfs every 12th parade in size, atmoshphere, experience, music and demeanor. My mum doesnt bother with the 12th anymore, but wouldnt miss Scarva for love nor money! And we would be what some would class here as ‘jaffas’- black on the outside, orange in the middle, and damm proud of it!

    Go to Scarva is my message!!!

    Enjoy Mr Red Hand. A great day.

    As they say “see you in Scarva” (thats a Proddy one!)

  • Mark McGregor


    Drumlins continually complains we don’t cover the 12th proper as we’ve never gone country. I’m keen to do that this year.

    I’ve Scarva in my 2012 diary already. The only thing I demand from you is direction to the best burger van when I do attend.

  • Mark McGregor

    btw: Drumlins is going to be busy most of the time we are in Clogher and I’m interested in hearing a bit about banners so if anyone has some knowledge and will be around let me know.

  • What is the twitter #tag

  • HeinzGuderian

    The sooner it’s over,the better.

  • Mark McGregor


    Mick had suggested #twelfth to me at one point. He is meant to put together a blog on this side at some stage.

  • Mark, never worry about burgers in Scarva. The ultimate delicacy is a plastic cup of hot milky sugary tea and a home made egg and onion sanwich. Im not joking!!

    (side point the days of decent tea and egg n onion sandwiches are coming to and end as farmers and other country folk are getting more and more worried about someone getting sick and taking them ‘up’!!)

    Back on topic – anyone who goes to the 12th with deeply ingrained perceptions and looking for something specifically to reinforce them will find it. The same goes for any event or experience.

    Try and sit back. See it for what those invovled see it as. Take it at face value, dont read into everything. And acknowledge that ‘unsavoury’ elements are simply a reflection of unsavory elements in everyday modern society.

  • Toastedpuffin

    “some just cant understand its ingrained in the blood”

    It’s ingrained in my blood and I don’t understand it. Just been out walking the dog, heard a local band getting into tune(ish) and toddled after the sound, couldn’t help it.

  • keano10


    With all due respect I cant help but wonder what is gained from this? Does it purge the political soul? Why should Nationalists embrace the total fictitious lie that is “Orange Fest”? Whats the point?

    I will be in Short Strand on the 12th and I could write the script in advance for what will happen when the drink-fuelled bandsmen pass St Matthews Catholic Church

    If your day out is about ‘healing’ then you cannot build bridges with an organisation that is inherently and constitutionally sectarian. What is the objective then? Aburger and a sense of self satisfaction?

    When petrol bombs are raining down on a Catholic Church next Tuesday we will see OrangeFest in all of its transparent glory…

  • Toastedpuffin

    Keano10, it’s nice to see someone who’s teetotal in this age of the Demon Drink!!!!

    Mine’s a stout.

  • keano10

    Toasted P,

    In that case you would just love the hoardes of Stout drinking older women, their kids on tow, giving the v salute while singing about being up to their necks in Fenian blood.

    Is that the kind of “ingrained in the blood” rationale that you allude to?

    Ps – Is Guinness your preferred tipple?

  • Mark McGregor


    Nope, it’s not about ‘healing’. It’s whatever people want to make it. I’m not running a funded group or seeking out ‘get-a-longers’.

    For me – I’ll turn up as an unrepentant socialist-republican bastard. I’ll see what happens and maybe give some thoughts after or during. I’ll experience it and develop my views further. I’d like to look at some banners, they remind me of the Labour banners that can inspire me – so similar but so different. I’ve had enough of perceptions being set by the realities of tiny groups of people living with interfaces or those consumed with bigotry – I’ll make my own mind up thank you very much, a mind that’ll be informed.

    It isn’t about ‘embracing’. Its about experiencing. I assume the experience in Clogher will not involve many petrol bombs (here’s hoping!)

  • Toastedpuffin

    Keano10, yes, because that’s what those nasty Huns are all about, isn’t it?

    We’ve got some of the most amazing cultural goings on in this country and all some people can do is focus on the negative. It’s like coverage of Glastonbury centering on the dead body in the portaloo.

    I love watching the Twelfth, love watching hurling, and love the odd (sometime very odd) wee item run by the Catholic Church. I could spend my existence here dwelling on the Bad Orange Order, the Bad GAA and the Bad Catholic Church, rattle on about sectarianism, violence, paedophilia, sexism, oh and the drunks in all three, but choose not to as it’s a waste of life.

  • With all due respect I cant help but wonder what is gained from this? Does it purge the political soul? Why should Nationalists embrace the total fictitious lie that is “Orange Fest”? Whats the point

    Up to to you find the point, if you really to want to Keano10. If you base it on what happens from the Short Strand’s pov
    every year, then yep, it’ll be exactly as you paint it.

    Although both my dad and mum were brought up in Templemore Avenue, I grew up in one of the east’s overspill estates and my memories are reasonably positive of the 11th night and the 12th itself. But it’s also we didn’t have many of themmuns around to tell us what was and what wasn’t “appropriate”

    Today, in Belfast at least, an element of what the Orange represents isn’t “appropriate”… we can hardly give off about the GAA honouring “your” terrorists when the OO does exactly the same in N Belfast. My mother, an OAP, now seriously dreads the 11th night in her part of Bangor, largely because of the fear about what item of her garden furniture will be utilised on top of the local bonfire this year as a replacement for the posters of the non-existant Shinners in the town.

    Move a bit further down the peninsula and it’s a wholesome family day out, where the local band will play a few tunes, patriotic and otherwise; the banners will display the history and local culture of the area with zero offense whatsoever. A few beers will be drunk, burgers eaten.
    And your problem with that?

    Look at the 12th solely from the perspective of what happens along the various faultlines in Belfast, then you are displaying exactly the same bigotry as those giving “your side” the “v sign”.

    Widen your vision.

  • But it’s also true we didn’t have many of themmuns around to tell us what was and what wasn’t “appropriate”

  • Don’t like the little jibe about “civilisation” directed against those of us who are attending the majority of parades on the 12th (i.e. the rural parades).

    Anyhow I don’t see how Clogher can be considered as representative of the rural parades, certainly here in Londonderry I would see a large difference in the musical styles displayed and even in the make up and size of lodges between Clogher and us.

    Surely with the Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, County Grand Master and one of the Grand Chaplains all speaking in Limavady on the banks of the Roe (with 15000 expected to be in attendance) there would have been a great place to attend? Or with the Past Grand Master, Past County Grand Master, Deputy County Grand Master and one of the Grand Chaplains speaking in Ballyronan on the banks of Lough Neagh down in the South of the county would have been a good place too? Heck you could even have went to one and then on to the other.

    Or Rossnowlagh this Saturday would have been good too as you could have seen how the Brethren in the Republic celebrate the 12th on the Donegal coast. Scarva as has been mentioned is an excellent day and I’m looking forward to going, will probably be on parade too! Or the Fermanagh Black Saturday on Saturday 6th August is also one to put one your diaries.

  • galloglaigh

    Having read all these comments, I hope you all have a good day on ‘La Twelf’. A wee bit of me hopes it rains, but that’s ingrained in me. I also hope the interfaces stay safe and trouble free, and that no home, no chapel, no bands man, no protester and no police officer is attacked.

    If Carlsberg did ‘La Twelf’… eah people!

  • What time are the brethren marching in Rossnowlagh?
    What time is the mock battle at Scarva?

  • Drumlins Rock

    Guys, I’m impressed by all the invites coming in, maybe next year, because it has taken a couple of years of lobbying to get a trip out west organised, and I appreciate the effort Mark and Mooch etc. are making. So lets see how things go this year, if any others wish to do the report on Scarva and their local 12th we would definately like to hear them on here, or on twitter.

    Is Clogher Valley the best 12th? well it is one of the smallest, rarely attracts big names and when younger I used to yearn for the bigger events, but I believe now it has something special, which maybe has as much to do with the community and sense of belonging, I look forwards to hearing an outsiders viewpoint, although am also nervous putting it under the spotlight.

    Mooch, the “Sham Fight” is usually around 3 I think, but you just go with the flow usually, as the crowds are that big going against it is not easy! the Rossnowlagh parade starts between 12 and 1 I think, but it is Donegal so time is relative as they say. Maybe see you there hope to go down tomorrow.

  • If you are going to Rossnowlagh i’d love to hitch a ride i can get myself from Belfast to you
    email is moochinphotoman@gmail.com

  • between the bridges

    MP the rossnowlagh parade is 12.30.

  • Drumlins Rock

    anyone else heading up to Rossnowlagh?

  • I was thinking of going down to Rossnowlagh… went last year, great day and even got my photo taken by the Bel Tel 🙂

    It’s a long drive down even for me in their neighbouring county but cheap petrol is a benefit and the scenery is wonderful.

    Ballybriest Flower of the Heather Flute Band and Ballybriest Purple Marksmen LOL 356 (near Lough Fea, Cookstown) are going. I’m told some seats are still available at the cost of £25. This includes coach and evening meal at Drumrush Lodge. Contact Andy on 07882159447

    Kingshill Temperance LOL 319 are also running a bus from Waringstown to the County Donegal demonstration. The bus is open to all brethern and members of the public and will be stopping at the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen fro breakfast. The bus will cost £10 (price excluding breakfast.) For further enquires contact Stephen on 07526250506

    Just in case any of you want to go down 🙂

  • between the bridges

    YP..just a thought but it is perhaps wise to think before posting other peoples numbers…not everyone is as christian as your good self…

  • The numbers were publicly posted in the Mid Ulster Mail newspaper and on the Orange Order’s public Facebook page already… otherwise I wouldn’t have posted them

  • wee buns

    Got an invite to Rossnowlagh to take pictures so I’m gonna try to make it.

  • carl marks

    i will be on the bluestacks on the 12th but might try to get down to Rossnowlagh and see what the crack is. but a very important thing i must ask is it one of those temperance thingys or can a man with a thirst get a good pint of black around there.
    if i don make it you all have a good day out an get home safe

  • wee buns

    carl marks
    the Rossnowlagh parade is on the 9th (tomorrow) at 12.30.

    Sorry I can’t help people with lifts but no problem with other hospitalities- black stuff inc – and for anyone who needs to stop over, please feel welcome to bring a tent.

  • lamhdearg

    i think i saw the ballybriest boys up in garvagh last year?, it if where the same they would be worth the trip just to see them.
    side note, anyone having their computer freeze up and having to shut it down (at power source) when on slugger and only slugger.

  • Drumlins Rock

    slugger’s out to get you lamh!

    Politico, if you see me there say hi, I will be behind a Band called Curlough, with a chaplain collerate on for another lodge.

  • carl marks

    wee buns
    pity the 9th out for me, im working,
    and when I go to donegall i always bring a tent .
    have fun

  • Drumlins Rock

    Just back from Rossnowlagh, had a brilliant day, stayed dry and as usual prob got a wee bit sunburnt, crowds prob getting bigger every year, lodges from as far away as Crawfordsburn and Dublin. Off out for another parade now, then a Bonfire, then two church parades tomorrow!

  • lamhdearg

    Moygashel for the bonfire?. whats that all about, 9th and all.

  • vanhelsing

    I’ll be going to scarva MP so I might see you there. Watching not parading. DR will you be at Scarva, are you a member of the black?

  • Drumlins Rock

    lol, just going over now

    im a last saturday black man but usually watch Scarva

  • lamhdearg

    Any tips on going to scarva, not getting there but parking, getting away after, toilets ect, i would be with my 3 year old and my 7 month pregnant wife, its a small place for such a thong of people.

  • lamhdearg

    missed an r. throng

  • wee buns

    Really enjoyed Rossnowlagh. Very mellow, very colourful and very friendly 🙂

  • vanhelsing


    It is a nightmare. Leave early is my first piece of advice. Parking is provided [they will charge] but you have about a 5/10 minute walk. The sham fight [not wanting to provide a spoiler but James is unlikely to win this year] is at the top field and you just follow the crowds after the parade.

    If I were you I’d get there fairly early, and locate the toilets, watch the black men from near there. Leave before the end of the walk back. The website is hopeless – the parade is lovely especially the banners. I hope you have a ball. Perhaps we should all have a slugger rv at scarva:)

  • lamhdearg

    Thanks vanhelsing, but on second (or tenth thoughts) i will give it a miss, all that walking may set my wife off, and i dont want a daisy hill baby. Maybe next year.

  • If anyone is offering a lift to Scarva from belfast i’m game…….