Torcher Parade cancelled after 126 years

An alternative event is planned for this Saturday

Aberdeen’s historic Torcher Parade has not been granted a licence to run this year, AUSA has revealed.

The Torcher Parade is a charity parade featuring a multitude of acts that runs through the heart of the city.

It was initially scheduled for Saturday 19 March, and was then postponed to the 26th at very short notice.

The event was then cancelled entirely as the new date was deemed unsuitable for most of its participants.

AUSA shared a press release on Monday, which claimed: “This year, the Torcher Parade has seen more hurdles, obstacles and barriers than any previous year and with a heavy heart Holly Bruce, the parade organiser, has decided the parade that has been running for 126 consecutive years will not see its 127th year.”

The annual Aberdeen Student's Torcher Parade makes it's way down Union Street. Picture by KEVIN EMSLIE .

AUSA had been organising the event since October but by January still had no clear answer on whether or not a license had been granted.

Within a month of the event, despite being mostly organised, AUSA still were still unsure if the event was going ahead.

The parade was due to have participants from RGU, Aberdeen University and North East Scotland college, and had over 37 local charities in the North East benefiting from its donations.


AUSA cites the reasons for the cancellation as a multitude of issues including lack of communication, lack of staff, dwindling interest from both the public and performers and traffic issues.

Holly Bruce, AUSA’s president of charities and communities, said: “We are really disappointed with the lack of support from some of the major stakeholders in continuing the success of this parade.

“Coming from Fraserburgh, I’ve attended Torcher at all stages of my life, from toddler, to school child, student on the float and now finally as event organiser so it is with a heavy heart that the parade cannot continue as planned.”

EE 26.3.2015. the aberdonian. Aberdeen University Charities. Torcher Parade. LET'S GO: Students start the mad dash for charity cash after gathering at Marischal College. ABERDEEN JOURNALS Ltd. 30.4.1978. Used P&J 1.5.1978.

AUSA have planned a ‘Farewell for now’ event for the Torcher Parade. This event is being planned for Saturday 19 March on Elphinstone Lawn at Aberdeen University.

The future of the parade, however, is dubious.

An anonymous source from within AUSA claims: “It’s not particularly surprising – everyone involved with it knows it had been struggling to keep itself afloat recently, so we’re not particularly shocked. It had been heading this way for a long time.”