An opinion piece by veteran Cliff Purvis who joined the Army in 1978 – originally from Thurso he now lives near Edinburgh.
Travel they say broadens the mind so it was with a light heart that I embarked on the trip to Inverness. As always with our mass transport system there were not enough seats and apparently my reservation of a seat was not valid due to an IT problem in Edinburgh. So that was my first gripe of the day. Why oh why the further from Westminsters door that we go does the quality of travel on public transport deteriorate?
As the train snaked it’s way up the spine of our nation tourists started to disembark and Yes supporters embarked. You are never alone in a carriage that has a group of the most friendly, accommodating and polite revolutionaries ever to have walked the land.
On to mirroring the route of the A9 and just to the north of Blair Atholl and the Yes bikers started to be seen making their way to their RV before doing their now famous thunder drive pass in support of those on the rally.
Arriving in the Highland Capital I quickly met up with former Queens Own Highlanders then, after a brief refreshment break onto the start point.
I have no idea as to what was expected at the show ground but walking up through the entrance then onto the ground is a memory I shall cherish for the rest of my life.
There were flags, banners, pendants, stickers and placards from right across the independence movement. There were people from a generation that has known and seen hardship that we could never imagine all the way down to babes in arms with many a dog as company.
Getting underway it was very obvious that the expected turn out of 2000 was far exceeded. To be honest I think we where going along about the mid point of the march. The call made by AUOB to “bring your flags” was most definitely answered. Crowds lined the streets and present was a very small group of pro union supporters, I counted 9 butchers aprons other reports are of 12. The thunder of the yes bikers easily drowned out the high pitch warbles emanating from that groups high head yin.
Up we snaked through the streets of Inverness traffic brought to a standstill by the 14000 strong groundswell of public opinion towards independence. Many, many of the cars flying saltires and a good few people in their gardens wishing us well.
Finally after what seemed an age we where into the park for the music and speakers. Nerves getting to me I found out when I was on and within no time it was my turn.
Good afternoon Inverness……….
Afterwards it was great to relax and listen to the other acts and speakers all from a different part of the independence spectrum but all, all with a positive message, a message of hope and more importantly a message that will not be suppressed.
Next stop Dundee then onto Edinburgh.
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Join Yes West Lothian and you will always have access to a coach going to the march of the moment.
My first march was in Dumfries, (sadly I missed Glasgow this year as I was abroad). It seems to me that each march has made the supporters more bonded and in tune. The atmosphere in Inverness was comradely and joyous. Dundee and Edinburgh to go, Edinburgh being home and I will be so proud to march through my home town!