BELFAST CITY 25 MARCH 2019
Belfast is famous for its murals but in general I do not photograph them as every visitor to the city photographs them and they usually ignore other forms of urban expression around the city.
PHOTOGRAPHED IN MARCH 2019
I use this service every time I visit Belfast and I really like it.
Glider is a bus rapid transit system in Belfast, Northern Ireland, designed to improve the efficiency of mass transit in the city by connecting East and West Belfast and the Titanic Quarter via the city centre.The service is operated by Translink.
There are two routes, G1 (West to East Belfast) and G2 (city centre to Titanic Quarter). The busways total 15.2 miles (24.5 km) in length using both dedicated bus lanes and mixed traffic lanes. Costing approximately £100m of public funds, construction started in 2014, and opened in late 2018. It uses a fleet of 18m-long Van Hool ExquiCity articulated buses. Weekday services run from soon after 5 a.m. to soon after 11 p.m. (other times at weekends and public holidays), operating on a 7-9 minute interval, reducing to 4-6 minutes at peak times.
The vehicles are Van Hool ExquiCity 18 articulated buses of a so-called Light tram design with three doors and approximately 18 metres in length. The interior is a mixture of seating and standing, plus free WiFi, USB sockets, real-time visual and audible information and CCTV. The diesel hybrid electrical engines emit a low level of pollution and noise complying with environmental concerns. In October 2017 the Glider vehicle was unveiled at the Busworld Europe exhibition in Belgium.
PHOTOGRAPHED IN MARCH 2019
St. Matthew’s is the oldest standing church in the community and it is now a Grade A listed building.
The local folk-lore about the Ballaun stone, which was recovered from the neighbouring Shankill Graveyard, is that it is of Druid Origins ad the old church used it for Christian baptisms. Whether true of not, who can tell? But, generations have known it as ‘the wart stone’ because of its alleged mystical powers to cure warts.
It is thought that not only is St Matthew’s the oldest church on the Shankill, but also the oldest Christian site in all of Belfast dating back to the first settlement in the area somewhere around 455AD
The Short Strand is a working class, inner city area of Belfast, Northern Ireland. It is a majority Catholic and Irish nationalist enclave surrounded by the mainly Protestant and unionist East Belfast. It is on the east bank of the River Lagan in the townland of Ballymacarret, which is part of County Down. The borders of the Short Strand are Albertbridge Road (to the south), Short Strand Road (to the west), Newtownards Road (to the north) and Bryson Street/Clandeboye Gardens (to the east). At the Short Strand’s northeast corner is St Matthew’s Catholic church.
For decades, Protestants and Catholics have regularly clashed at the edges of the Short Strand. This has led to fierce rioting and, occasionally, gun battles. Much of the Short Strand is surrounded by peace lines.
The Battle of St Matthew’s or Battle of Short Strand was a gun battle that took place on the night of 27–28 June 1970. It was fought between the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA), and Ulster loyalists in the area around St Matthew’s Roman Catholic church. This lies at the edge of the Short Strand, a Catholic enclave in a mainly-Protestant part of the city. Violence had erupted there, and in other parts of Belfast, following marches by the Orange Order. The battle lasted about five hours and ended at dawn when loyalists withdrew. The British Army and police were deployed nearby but did not intervene. Three people were killed and at least 26 wounded in the fighting, while another three were killed in north Belfast.
The battle was the Provisional IRA’s first major action during the Troubles, and a propaganda victory for the Irish nationalist organisation. It presented itself as having successfully defended a vulnerable Catholic enclave from armed loyalist mobs. Loyalists, however, argue that the IRA lured them into a carefully prepared trap.