IN a venue where there had never been an organised march or rally for independence, the pipes and drums of Saor Alba, the Yes movement’s pipe band, made a stunning debut as they led hundreds of pro-indy supporters through Stornoway on Saturday.

Superbly organised by Outer Hebrides for Independence, the march proved that locally-organised events can make an impact, not least in the local media.

The Stornoway Gazette reported from the scene: “As the Brexit debate continues to trundle on, with the possibility of another referendum on that subject being aired once more, it has sparked the independence question for Scotland into life, with calls for the country to be given another referendum on separation from the UK.

“This popular march today underlined the strength of feeling on this subject, with plenty waving their flags and banners in support of the prospect.”

Outer Hebrides for Independence had organised the march and rally to give local people the chance to take part in such an event without having to travel to the mainland.

Alison Mackay, a member of the organising committee, told the Hebrides News: “We are losing a day on each side of a mainland event so we thought of having our own march here for people who do not have the time or the ability to go away.

“People who have never been to the island before have come today. They are loving it. They are enjoying the scenery and also promoting the Yes movement.

“Hopefully every year the event will get bigger and bigger.”

The organisers raised more than £4000 through a crowdfunding exercise that saw many people across the Yes movement make a donation.

The organisers said on Facebook: “Thank you to one and all that joined us yesterday. We are absolutely blown away by the support we had.

“Huge thanks to the stewards, you all did a fantastic job we couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks also to the speakers and musicians, Soar Alba pipe band, Freereelin band, The Golf Club, The Chief Cook, Gordy Mopp, Woody’s and all the Yes/local bikers for their thunder.”