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‘We don’t want the hassle’: Stonehaven businesses could close on day of Orange Walk

A bar and a cafe in the town have said they will shut if the procession goes ahead.

The Market Bar will close on the day of the march if it goes ahead.
The Market Bar will close on the day of the march if it goes ahead.

Businesses in Stonehaven have revealed they could close on March 16 while an Orange Walk takes place in the town.

The reaction comes on the back of news that around 200 members of the Orange Order are expected to march from the Town Hall to Dunnottar Church with a flute band.

The Market Bar and the Waterfront Cafe are two venues who have said they will close if the march takes place.

A source at another bar in Stonehaven also revealed that a group of the town’s licensees are in talks over a plan to shut their venues.

The parade is said to be taking place to mark the opening of a new Orange Lodge, called the Dunnottar Martyrs Memorial.

More than 7,500 people have signed a petition to stop the procession that will be put to councillors before a committee meeting next Tuesday.

Laminated leaflets are circulating in the town saying ‘No to an Orange Walk welcome all in Peaceful Stonehaven’

Businesses worried about parade

The Market Bar, in Stonehaven’s Market Square has already taken the decision to shut for the day.

A spokesperson for the pub said: “I don’t want to take any risks of trouble starting in here.

“We don’t want any hassle. We might open in the evening depending on what happens but the doors for the Market Bar will be shut during the day.”

The Waterfront Cafe on Allardice Street would also be closing for fear of trouble.

We’ve heard football hooligans could be coming to Stonehaven

Owner Susan Knowles said: “I would close if the march goes ahead.”

“I heard there are coachloads coming from Glasgow. I find the idea of it all scary.

“There could be trouble. We’ve also heard football hooligans could be coming to Stonehaven.”

The Waterfront Cafe in Allardice Street.

Susan also said it is a shame to have to close at the weekend: “Saturday is one of our busiest days.

“It would be such a shame to close.”

Number 44, a bar just two doors along from where the parade starts at the Town Hall said they are also in talks over whether to close.

A source at another pub, who did not wish to be named, said that a group of licensees in Stonehaven are putting a case against the Orange Walk to Aberdeenshire Council.

They said: “We would have serious safety concerns for our staff and regular customers if we were to open on the day of the parade.”

Police polling businesses over intention to close

Adem Celik, manager of Pinky Promise in Allardice Street, said police have been doing the rounds asking businesses whether they intend to be open on March 16.

He said an officer advised him he can stay open for the day despite the parade passing his cafe.

He said: “The police officer said it was ok for us to stay open but advised us not to wear Celtic shirts while we are working.”

Sofasoy Candles in Market Square.

A spokesperson for Sofasoy Candles in Market Square also said the police paid them a visit about the parade.

They said: “We’ll be opening as usual.

“But we are not in support of this march.

“I said to police I am really worried about how it will affect trade. It’s annoying it’s on a Saturday.”

Charles McHardy Butcher stressed that they would be ‘open as normal on the day’.

A police spokesperson said: “We are aware of the planned Orange Lodge march in Stonehaven on Saturday, 16 March, 2024.

“Our policing operation will be proportionate and focused on public safety, as well as working closely with partners to reduce disruption to the wider community.”

Orange Order ‘demand’ in Stonehaven

Earlier in the week the chief executive of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland David Walters claimed the lodge is opening due to ‘significant interest’ from residents.

He said: “Residents in Stonehaven and surrounding areas applied to open a new lodge last year to which The Grand Lodge of Scotland in session approved.”

‘It could set a precedent we will regret’: MSP in plea to keep Orange marches out of the north-east