Reported in the News Letter on July 11, 1958: Lights, camera, action! Twelfth goes live on BBC TV for the first time


The 268th anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne will be celebrated tomorrow in traditional fashion, when Orangemen will take part in 19 demonstrations throughout the Province.

The Ulster Transport Authority will convey 94,000 Orangemen in more than 500 buses to demonstrations, while 14 special trains will also convey 8,000 Orangemen to meetings in Londonderry and Holywood.

As usual, the largest demonstration will be held at Finaghy where about 25,000 Orangemen will take part. There will be at least 2,000 more than last year.

Mainly as a direct result of a series of incidents in the border districts, more young men joined the Orange Order during the past year than in any year since the immediate post-war boom. In Belfast alone there were more than 1,500 new recruits, and in the Province as a whole the figure was about 8,000.

The Belfast demonstration is being televised “live” for the first time. The television broadcast will begin about 11am and will probably last about half-an-hour.

A BBC official said that the transmission to a large extent would be experimental as they had not got the proper equipment in Northern Ireland for televising outside events.

The BBC are taking advantage of the fact that the procession passes Broadcasting House on its way to Finaghy. The cameras will be mounted in windows overlooking the route and will be linked by hundreds of feet of cable to the news studio where they normally operate. Special camera lenses – flown from London yesterday – will enable close-ups to be taken of the Orangemen, their regalia, flags and banners.

For the second year in succession Canadian Orangemen will take part in the Belfast procession. The Aughrim Rose of Derry Lodge and the Tobermore Flute band, both from Toronto, will be in the procession.