ROYAL British Legion Scotland officials were forced to re-route this year’s Remembrance Parade after a last-minute road closure threw a spanner in the works.
For years the parade has left from outside the Legion’s Wellington Street clubrooms and processed along the Mid Links and Union Road to pass the cenotaph, where traditionally an “eyes right” is given as a mark of respect to the town’s war dead, before continuing along John Street to the High Street.
But just before this year’s event it was discovered that work on a gas supply in John Street had completely blocked the road and an alternative route had to be found.
British Legion secretary David Kennedy said that branch members were less than pleased to find that the parade could not follow its usual route, despite the fact that permission for the event had been requested from and granted by Angus Council “in good time”.
The road closure did not, however, cause disruption to the wreath-laying ceremony after the service of remembrance at the Old and St Andrew’s Church which went ahead as usual.
He said: “When we march up to the church everyone gives and eyes right at the memorial as a mark of respect but we couldn’t do that this year. We had to go one street along and up New Wynd.
“I contacted the council in good time, enclosing the route and a plan of the town and we had permission to hold the parade, but two days before it the council gave permission for a gas company to close and dig up John Street.
“I’ve written to Angus Council to express our displeasure about it and I believe the local police inspector is doing the same.”
An Angus Council spokeswoman apologised for the disruption but said the situation had been unavoidable.
She said: “Planned gas works being carried out in John Street overran and the road closure had to be retained to complete the work.
“We apologise for any inconvenience to the British Legion and for the short notice given, but it was necessary to continue to keep the road closed.”