Larne band named after murdered policeman holds first annual parade in two years

A host of bands from across Co Antrim and further afield will be taking part in a parade in Larne this evening (Saturday, April 2), hosted by the locally-based Constable Anderson Memorial Flute Band.

A spokesperson for Anderson’s Band said “a selection of great bands” had confirmed their attendance for the parade and thanked them for their support.

This is the first time in two years that the band has been able to hold its annual parade due to the Covid pandemic, including its 60th anniversary parade which was due to take place last year.

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What is the origin of Constable Anderson Memorial Band?

An acrobatic display from the young leader of the Constable Anderson Memorial Band during the Twelfth demonstration in Larne in 2021. Picture: Stephen Davison.

The band has kept alive the memory of Constable Norman Anderson, a young policeman who was murdered by the IRA on January 27, 1961.

He was stationed at Rosslea when he was killed on the Fermanagh-Monaghan border.

At the time of his murder, the 26-year-old’s widowed mother lived at Kintyre Road in Larne. Norman was off duty and had been returning to the station after visiting his girlfriend across the border in Co Monaghan. He was on his way back to his van when he was overpowered by his assailants, dragged up a laneway and shot repeatedly.

Constable Anderson’s funeral was described in the Larne Times as ‘the biggest seen in East Antrim in living memory’. Thousands from all over Northern Ireland and Co Monaghan attended including the then Minister of Home Affairs, Brian Faulkner and the inspector general of the RUC, Albert Kennedy.

These three eye-catching dogs led the Constable Anderson Memorial Band during the Twelfth demonstration in Larne in 2021. Picture: Stephen Davison / Pacemaker

A few months later a group of four friends decided to form a band. When the word got around, applications to join the band started to flow in. Permission was sought from the young policeman’s family and with their agreement the band was named The Constable Norman Anderson Memorial Flute Band.

Members of the band still remember him with pride and show their respects at his grave in Ballyclare each year.

Which bands are taking part in tonight’s parade?

Expected to take part are:

North Down Defenders Flute Band

Carrickfergus Defenders Flute Band

Rathcoole Protestant Boys Flute Band

Steeple Veterans Flute Band

Braniel Loyal Flute Band

Cairnalbana Flute Band

Ballykeel Loyal Sons Of Ulster Flute Band

Ulster Grenadiers Flute Band

Goldspings True Defenders Flute Band

Ballyclare Protestant Boys Flute Band

South Belfast Young Conquerors Flute Band

Crimson Star Flute Band

East Belfast Protestant Boys Flute Band

Pride of The Maine Flute Band

Giants Causeway Protestant Boys Flute Band

Constable Anderson Auld Boys Flute Band

Clyde Valley Flute Band

Crown Defenders Cloughmills Flute Band

What time does the parade start and which route will it follow?

Constable Anderson Memorial will be parading the estate around 6pm ahead of the main parade which will start at 7.30pm from Larne Rangers Supporters Club at Boyne Square.

The parade will take the following route:

Greenland Drive

Herbert Avenue

Old Glenarm Road

Victoria Road

Glenarm Road

Newington Avenue

Upper Waterloo Road

Recreation Road

Slemish Drive

Moyle Parade

Ferris Avenue

Greenland Drive

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