Retro: Pinkie March 2013

Members of the Sir William Wallace Grand Lodge of Scotland Free Colliers took to the streets around their Braes homes to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers. It was the 150th anniversary of the Free Colliers.

Dressed in their tail coats, top hats and white gloves, they linked pinkies with their neighbours, in what has become known as the Pinkie March.

Founded in 1863 in Redding by trade union activist James Simpson, the Free Colliers was established as a fraternity of mineworkers to take up their struggle for freedom. By the end of the following year, there was a network of 65 Free Colliers across Scotland.

But now only one group remains, and on the first Saturday in August, they put on their finery and walk behind marching bands and flags for over ten miles through the villages of Redding, Westquarter, Brightons, Wallacestone and Laurieston.

They also stop at the memorial to the 40 miners who lost their lives in the Redding Pit disaster in 1923. This year will mark the 160th anniversary of the Free Colliers and the 100th anniversary of the Redding Pit disaster.

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