Pinkie March: Free Colliers will be back parading through streets of the Braes villages

The annual Free Colliers ‘Pinkie March’ will take place next weekend through the former Braes colliery villages.

Thursday, 28th July 2022, 1:01 pm

Many of those taking part will be following in the footsteps of their forefathers, all marching to maintain their support for workers’ rights.

The event has been on a much smaller scale due to the pandemic with only a short march with limited numbers and a wreath laying ceremony at the Redding Colliery Disaster Memorial.

But it will be back on Saturday, August 6 when hundreds are expected to take to the streets as part of the parade or standing on the pavements cheering as they march past.

The Free Colliers 'Pinkie March' through the Braes streets once again takes place next month

This year’s guest speaker will be historian and TV presenter Dr Fiona Watson.

Accompanying the Pinkie Marchers will be Linlithgow Reed Band and Bo’ness and Carriden Band.

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The parade will leave the Reddingmuirhead lodge rooms in the community centre in Shieldhill Road at noon, making its way to the memorial at Redding Cross to the 40 miners who perished in the 1923 disaster.

Crowds turn out for the popular event in the Braes villages

From there it will head to The Quoit in Main Street, Redding, then the Tam Bain in Mary Street, Laurieston, before heading up through Westquarter with a stop at the Unity club.

Next marchers will head to Brightons Masonic Hall and then to Wallacestone where the traditional speeches will take place.

Then it will be back down Wallacestone Brae finishing back at the lodge rooms in the community centre.

A spokesperson for the Free Colliers said: “It will be great to be back out on the road again for a full walk and we hope to see you all there on the day.”

An impressive display of flag waving will once again take place as the marchers make their way through the streets

Set up in 1863, the Sir William Wallace Grand Lodge of Scotland Free Colliers inspired 65 other lodges of colliers across the Scottish coalfields to be formed, all united in promoting the rights of the working man.

However, in 2022 only the Redding colliers remain in existence.

Every year on the first Saturday in August they march through the villages of Reddingmuirhead, Redding, Laurieston, Westquarter, Brightons and Wallacestone.

Those taking part wore tail coats and top hats and link pinkies to symbolise their unity in a defiant gesture of free will for workers – hence the name ‘Pinkie March’.