A student charity parade that has been running in Aberdeen for more than a century will not go ahead this year.
The Torcher Parade has been organised by Aberdeen University Students’ Association (AUSA) for 126 years. The organiser behind this year’s event said the decision to cancel was made with a “heavy heart”.
AUSA has been organising the parade since October and in November were told there could be a potential issue with traffic management due to council staff being unavailable as they would still be engaged with their winter maintenance programme. AUSA said “various attempts” were made to communicate with other organisations involved , with parade organiser Holly Bruce eventually putting forward a change of date to March 26, from this Saturday.
But this was not deemed suitable for the majority of students due to changes in academic timetabling.
The event has struggled to stay afloat in recent years, faced with a lack of interest, dwindling attendance and fewer donations.
Holly, who is president of charities and communities at the university, said: “We are really disappointed with the lack of support from some of the major stakeholders in continuing the success of this parade.
“We have slowly but surely, managed to get both the community and the students back on side. It is devastating but we have no choice.”
In January AUSA sought clarification on whether or not the licence for the event had been granted, but stated that the situation remained “at a standstill” on whether the event could go ahead.
Licensing committee convener Councillor Scott Carle said the council was “saddened” by the event being cancelled.
He said AUSA was told in November the council could not guarantee staff to support the event.
He added: “All our attempts to support and facilitate the event were rebuffed by the student body.
“There are no winners here.
“The only losers are the people of Aberdeen who turn out year after year to enjoy this historic event.”
AUSA is working to create a “Farewell for now” to the parade.
The event is planned for Saturday on the Elphinstone Lawn at the University of Aberdeen.