Disappointment as parade misses shops

AN ARBROATH businessman has expressed his hope that future town events could include more local businesses.

Chic Grant, proprietor of Outdoor Action (Scotland), made the suggestion following the approval of the route for the Armed Forces Parade to be held on Saturday, June 8.

He said: “I’ve been speaking to a member of the Arbroath Armed Forces Parade committee and it was confirmed that the parade will not be coming down the High Street but instead will come down Abbey Path.

“I wanted to express my disappointment that once again the top end of the High Street has been missed out.

“There’s a lot of businesses up here and we miss out on a lot of things like these parades.

“Is there any reason why they can’t close the road for the five minutes it would take for the parade to come down this way?”

He added: “Another thing from the perspective of the Arbroath Retailer’s Association, it would be nice to see a few of the shops decorate their windows with some sort of Forces theme for the parade.”

A former Royal Marine Commando with 27 years service, Chic is very much for the parade. He said: “We are not against the parade, not by any stretch. We fully support it, all we are doing is expressing our disappointment that it’s not coming past our businesses.”

The Arbroath Armed Forces Parade will begin at 1.30 p.m. and parade through the Abbey Arch, down Abbey Path and along the precinct to Kirk Square.

After crossing the Hill Street and Commerce Street junction the parade will then take a left onto John Street and continue on to Union Street to Victoria Park for a short drumhead service.

Parade organiser Harry Simpson responded: “We’ve had meetings with the council, the safety group, Police Scotland, the fire brigade and the roads department and the reason it’s not being done is the cost. We are getting a rolling road block, it’s all been passed by Police Scotland, the traffic department and Angus Council’s safety people and we’ve had umpteen meetings about it.”

This year’s parade is on a much larger scale than last year and the organisers hope to continue to expand it in future years if possible. Harry said: “Last year the parade only came up round the back of Kirk Square and round back down again. It was a short one, but this year we have extended it quite a lot.

“We are building up things for next year and to get road closures it costs a lot of money. That’s the reason why it’s not passing those shops.

He continued: “There may be the possibility next year that we can extend that even further, but it’s a parade which includes elderly people as much as youngsters and we’ve got watch how far we make them march.”