Clifton Street Orange Hall in Belfast has an arch for first time

Belfast’s main Orange hall has an arch for the first time.

The arch at Clifton Street in the north of the city was put in place on Wednesday, with a service of dedication led by Rev Mervyn Gibson on Thursday.

The Clifton Street hall is the main departure point for the Belfast Twelfth parade.

Trevor McIntyre, chairperson of Clifton Street Orange Arch committee, said: “At the beginning of June last year, a small group of brethren got together in Clifton Street Orange Hall to discuss the possibility of erecting an Orange arch.

The arch erected close to Clifton Street Orange Hall in north Belfast

“It was an ambitious plan but we were always confident that it could be done. And now, a year later and after an awful lot of hard work, the arch is finally in place.”

Mr McIntyre said the process from design to getting the arch in place had not been without its difficulties.

He added: “There was a lot of work involved in this project and thanks are due to many people who played important roles, especially those who made financial donations and bought merchandise to assist with the necessary funding.

“The committee members are most grateful to Worshipful Brother Raymond Spiers (No 6 District) and our own Worshipful Brother Billy Parkinson for the expertise they brought to the project.

“Also, the great assistance afforded to the committee by Bro Jonathan Mattison, curator of the Museum of Orange Heritage at Schomberg House, in assisting us with the graphics. Many thanks also go to William Watson and his brother, Robin, for their immense help and support in constructing the arch.”

He also thanked local residents for their support.