YES2, organisers of the Freedom Convoy Rally in the historic Aberdeenshire village of Ellon on Sunday, hailed it a huge success and an indication of the growing strength of support for an independent Scotland.

More than 400 Yes supporters turned up to hear speeches from former First Minister Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East SNP MSP Gillian Martin, Chris Graham of Yes Bikers, Alex Bell of Labour for Independence, and Yes2 co-founders Tony McCandless and John McHarg.

Also at the convoy was Jim Lyon and daughter Anna, seven, who had driven up from Dunkeld in a car proudly bearing a licence plate reading C45 YES. Lyon had bought the personalised registration after reading about it in The National last June.

McHarg said: “We were absolutely delighted with the turnout. We had double the number of supporters we expected to come all the way to Ellon. That just shows you the support there is out there for an independent Scotland. There were groups from as far down as Dumfries and it gave us a great boost.

“We busted a gut organising the event but it was worth every minute. The best part of the day was when every speaker spoke, the children of those attending were playing on the chute close by. It was symbolic of ‘here we are standing here doing these rallies for these guys – the children’. It is all for the future of our kids and that is why I’m doing all this – for my three-year-old son Joel’s future.

“We were delighted to have Alex Salmond – such a well-respected statesman – doing a speech on behalf of these kids who don’t know who he is and will find out in the future when they are learning Scottish history in school. I was very poignant.”

McHarg thanked everyone for attending and made special mention of the hard work carried out by Yes2 Shotts and Airdrie founder Maz Hastings and fellow Yes2 co-founder Iain Aitken. He said: “I couldn’t have done it without them. What an amazing day.”