William King Memorial Flute Band

On the left is the story of William King,and on the right, the story of the William King Memorial Flute band (Fb), including the death of Bobby Stott on, forty-seven years ago yesterday. These images were taken during the summer; the board was vandalised two weeks ago (BelTel).

William King “was born in Co Donegal in 1920. He was one of a family of 14 … He served in the army during the Second World War and at the time of his death on 24th September 1969, he worked as a security guard at Du Pont in Maydown. A widower, he was a father of four … and lived in the Fountain area of Londonderry … In the hostile atmosphere of Londonderry in the weeks following the ‘Battle of the Bogside’ in August 1969, William was badly beaten by a group of nationalist rioters in London Street, close to the Fountain … and later died from a heart attack precipitated by these injuries. … unlike the victims of Bloddy Sunday, William King and the other approx. 250 people who died as a result of the terrorist campaign throughout the “Troubles” would not receive any enquiries or attention as time passed.”

“On 6th April 1974 having mastered 8 tunes, the band is dedicated on the “Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall” by Dean George Good … On the 25th November 1975, band member Bobby Stott, a part-time member of the Ulster Defence regiment, was murdered by the IRA in The Fountain … [in 1982] they competed at the “Band Championships of Ireland” and were placed 2nd but after this setback the Wm King would go on to dominate the melody band contest scene for the next 30 years.

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X11077 X11078 X11079 X11076 hawkin st

Christmas Meat

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in the United States, also commonly known as “turkey day”, and the orgy of eating is today followed by the orgy of spending – Black Friday. The terms are gradually creeping into local parlance, to mark an artificial beginning to the Christmas shopping season. One local petrol chain made headlines yesterday with its “Thanksgiving Thursday” promotion (BelTel | Belfast Live gallery), while one Woodvale butcher is encouraging people to “order your Christmas meat now”, using a saving club if necessary.

The mural underneath is Dan Kitchener’s Night Taxi.

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Supporting Republican Political Prisoners

This is the wall at the south end of the Creggan shops that was first muraled in response to the ceasefire (see Time For Peace). This IRPWA (web) board “supporting republican political prisoners” is now in disrepair but it is unclear whether or not it will be replaced, as new construction on Central Drive has greatly reduced its visibility while the new sports centre across the street provides a much more prominent notice-board (see Central Drive).

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The Longest Reign

“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.” said Princess Elizabeth on her 21st birthday on April 21st, 1947, five years before she became queen. As the info board to the right describes, “In 2015, she became the longest reigning monarch in British history, surpassing her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria. In 2016, she became the oldest reigning monarch in the world! … In 2017 Her Majesty and her loyal consort Prince Philip marked their 70th wedding anniversary – the longest royal marriage in British history.”

“This artwork was commissioned by Queens Park Women’s Group to celebrate the platinum anniversary of the reign of our beloved monarch Queen Elizabeth II and was officially opened by Mr David McCorkell KStJ, Her Majesty’s lord-lieutenant for County Antrim on 25th August 2022.”

The wide shots show two other murals above and below this one; above is How Nobly They Fight And Die, below is South East Antrim Remembers.

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Bap McGreevy

IRA volunteer Frank “Bap” McGreevy spent 15 (Irish Times) or 17 (An Phoblacht) years in Long Kesh (for a crime of which he was innocent, says Anthony McIntyre; possibly the car bombing of the Klondyke Bar in Sandy Row). He was attacked by two assailants at his home in (the old) Ross Street, near this memorial board, in March 2008 and died of his wounds after three days in hospital.

As the wide shots below show, there are now a dozen pieces along this stretch of the Falls Road. The other pieces have all been seen in previous posts. For close-ups, see
Kieran Abram with Charlie Hughes
plaque and map of The Falls Road Massacre
Unrepentant Republicans Billy McKee, Alec Murphy, and Brendan Hughes; the Falls Curfew
Web Of Corruption: Drop The Rents; PSNI Not Supported; Divis 81 in Defund The Police
For A Socialist Republic

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105 Years Of Balfour

“Britain in Palestine & Ireland” The Balfour Declaration of November 1917 is seen as a pivotal moment in the history leading to the what is formally known as the State Of Israel, as it made the UK the first major government to endorse the idea of a homeland for Jews (WP).

The poster (for a talk in Cultúrlann) is in Allworthy Avenue; the board is on Northumberland Street. The latter draws parallels between Ireland and Palestine: homelands partitioned for British imperialist interests, struggles for freedom met with British barbarism … forbidden from speaking their native tongue, faiths outlawed … . About 650 former RIC members were recruited to the “British Gendarmarie” that would police what was called “Mandatory Palestine” (Palestine Studies | Irish History) after WWI.

The League Of Nations mandate putting the UK in change of the Palestinian territory was replaced (in 1947) by a UN plan for partition, which triggered an internal war between Jews and Arabs, and when the UK ended the mandate and evacuated from Palestine in May 1948, Israel declared independence and neighbouring Arab states entered the conflict. About 700,000 Arabs were displaced during the fighting. Key48 (tw) advocates for the right of return and uses as a symbol the keys that householders took with them when they fled.

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X11793 X11794 X11838 X11839 X11840 X11841 His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

West Belfast UFF

Here is some vintage graffiti and a small UDA mural from behind the Tennent Street police station in the upper Shankill (Mill Street West). Above: “Ulster says No”. Bottom: “S/Hill West Belfast UFF 2nd Batt C Coy”.

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Remembrance Day

For November 11th – Armistice Day/Veterans Day/Remembrance Day – this giant tarp showing light pouring through the Thiepval Memorial was placed on the Shore Road, surrounded by 12 white crosses.

For the memorial to the right, which includes the 10th and 16th Divisions along with the 36th (Ulster) Division, see In Defence Of The Citizens Of Belfast.

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Nelson Drive Tartan Rules

Even though Nelson Drive is one its smaller streets, the estate is perhaps called “Nelson Drive” because the estate developed from the Nelson Drive end out towards the east. It is also called the Caw, which is the name of the town-land, from the Irish “caoth” meaning bog-hole. There are almost zero sources making reference to a tartan gang in Nelson Drive – please get in touch or comment if you can shed any light.

Replaces the Nelson Drive Wombles mural.

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Your Local Supplier

The North Down and East Belfast branches of the UVF come within a stone’s throw at the top end of the Bowtown (Newtownards) estate. Above and immediately below, North Down signage; below that, three of the East Belfast installation on the fence across the Movilla Road.

Both portraits on the fence are of Dennis Hutchings, the former British Army soldier who died this year while on trial for the killing of John Pat Cunningham in 1974 (BBC).

The tarp is against the ‘Irish Sea border’, in the style seen in the image at the top of this Irish Times article about checks at ports.

The “erosion of our identity” board on the right can also be seen in east Belfast.

For another pair inside the estate, see previously: Bowtown UVF, and on either side of Abbot Drive, compare Our Cause Will Always Remain The Same with North Down UVF.

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X11291 X11292 X11293 X11295 X11294 the battles we refuse to fight today become the hardships our children must endure tomorrow The prevention of the erosion of our identity is now our priority