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The Aberdeen Torcher - or should that be torture?

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

So along I went to see the Aberdeen Torcher parade on Sat 23rd March 2019. I took up my position on Union Street and with fond memories of being a student in the Torcher myself a long time ago, as well as fond memories of putting coins in rattling tins when I was a kid, I waited with anticipation, albeit now looking at the event through the eyes of a more senior adult.

This was the first run of the Torcher since 2016 so I was expecting a good show.

I could not have been more wrong. There are not enough negative adjectives in the dictionary to describe how bad this event was. Pathetic, abysmal, piss-poor, lazy, fraudulent, impoverished, I could go on.

If students really imagine that crowds are going to turn up to watch lorries decorated with half a dozen balloons, a sheet of cardboard stolen off a homeless person most likely, with some words scrawled on it in monocolour paint, and half a dozen students dancing on the back of the lorry in an old pair of jeans and a t-shirt, then they shouldn't be at University.

The most interesting part of the parade was the lorries themselves and their blasting horns. If these lorries were supplied by Colin Lawson, then I take my hat off to him. But I'm sure even he didn't provide his lorries free of charge for such a pathetic attempt to be made for charity.

And what about the coin collectors and their plastic buckets? Every one wearing a fluorescent jacket, moaning about the weight of coins, and an awful lot walking straight past me not even wanting my money! They looked as if they wanted home as quickly as possible. When I was a kid the fun was in picking out the student with the fancy dress outfit you liked the most then giving them some of your pennies.

It was awful. Modern-day students gave me the impression they simply couldn't be bothered. Perhaps the half-hour parade down Union Street was keeping them away from their mobiles for too long. Whatever it was, I don't know why anyone bothered to reinstate the Torcher Parade.

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