This film is part of Free

The Apprentice Boys in Derry

A silent display of two northern traditions to tempt holiday makers to our shores

Travelogue 1957 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


The Apprentice Boys annual march in the walled city contrasts the cliff top gathering of Irish dancers. Both summer displays of pageantry are captured on film by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to promote the region as a holiday destination. These rushes would later be set to music and woven into short films used to encourage Americans and people from British industrial towns to holiday across the water.

On December 18th the Apprentice Boys hold a smaller annual demonstration to mark the shutting of the gates by thirteen of their namesakes beginning the siege. On this day an effigy of Colonel Lundy who sought to negotiate an end to the siege is traditionally burnt or hanged. ‘Lundies’ is still a term used to describe people considered traitors to the unionist cause. The main parade is held on 12th August to commemorate the end of the 1689 siege of Derry, in which almost half of the population died from injury and starvation. This film opens with Walker’s Pillar which after 145 years dominating the skyline was blown up by an IRA bomb in 1973. This film comes from the collection of National Museums Northern Ireland.