AROUND 7000 people marched through the streets of Oban and rallied at Mossfield Stadium after Argyll and Bute Council was persuaded at the 11th hour to lift “unreasonable” conditions.

The weather stayed dry for Saturday’s All Under One Banner march then turned damp at the stadium, but Neil Mackay, one of the AUOB march organisers, said it hadn’t spoiled the day.

“Hundreds turned out to see the march and were smiling and waving at us,” he said. “There were the usual half dozen protesters but they were drowned out by the roaring of the motorbike engines when the Yes Bikers passed by.”

He said the Yes Bikers had made it to the march without incident following the alleged sabotage at the Galashiels march, where nails were scattered over the route before their arrival, causing punctures in seven bikes. “Altogether it was a really successful day on Saturday,” said Mackay.

AUOB organiser Manny Singh added: “The AUOB march brought the hopes and aspirations of the independence movement to the Gateway to the Isles and it was lovely seeing all the people in such a joyous mood – apart from the small group of Union supporters who can see their desire to keep the Union alive is just a dream.”

A weekend of events is now planned for the next independence march in Ayr, following the successful the rally in Oban on Saturday.

Buoyed up by the recent AUOB marches, local Yes groups in Ayrshire are planning talks and other events to mark the rally in Ayr on July 6.

The marches are taking place at three weekly intervals. The Ayr march will be followed by a march in Campbeltown, then Aberdeen, Perth and Edinburgh.

See today's print edition of The National for eight pages of great pictures from Oban