“Belfast thanks our NHS”. Northern Ireland entered a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown at midnight last night in response to recent increases in coronavirus hospitalisations that have taxed the health system (see previously Mother Of The Sick). These marionettes in NHS uniforms are on their bike heading for home, or for work, via the Duke Of York. “Come in soberly, drink moderately, depart quietly, and call again.”
The Portrush Flyer is a steam-engine train service operating (since 1973) between Belfast and Portrush on Sundays during the summer months. The mural, in Ards Park, Monkstown, replaces a UFF mural dating back to 2001. Shown is engine ‘No. 85’ (which is just one of the engines that have been used; for images of ‘No. 171’, ‘No. 4’, ‘No. 85’, and ‘No. 131’ dating back to the 1970s, see SteamTrainsIreland) passing under one of the “new” viaducts (for more info, see Geograph). For an image of the mural’s 2019 launch, see Newtownabbey Times.
Glasgow Celtic stickers on Divis Street, Glasgow Rangers sticker on the Shankill. We can’t really improve upon the WP entry‘s introduction: “the rivalry between [the two teams] has become deeply embedded in Scottish culture. It has reflected, and contributed to, political, social, and religious division and sectarianism in Scotland. As a result, the fixture has had an enduring appeal around the world.” – including Northern Ireland.
People are turning to Christmas earlier than ever this year as an escape from the ongoing coronavirus restrictions. Work by local artists is being sold at Vault Artists (tw | web) ‘Vault Pop‘ (in the Portview Centre on the Newtownards Road) with work by many artists whose street-art is featured in these pages, including Leo Boyd, FGB, and Esther O’Kelly, and at Born & Bred (web) on Ann Street, including ‘Ulster Says Noel’ cards by James Ashe (tw | web) – who did the ‘Ulster Says Yeoo’ tarp shown above, next to the Ulster Social Club (now just a regular bar) – and mini H&W cranes as a tree ornament (see David & Goliath).
(Extramural Activity is not associated with either shop or any of the artists named.)
This is a “People Before Profit” (web) poster (at the Waterworks) in support of a ‘Northern Ireland Trade Union Freedom’ bill being brought forward by MLA Gerry Carrol (Irish Legal). The bill has its own Facebook page.
The “Ulster’s Finest” mural in Monkstown was remarkable for its depiction of two female volunteers, carrying Uzis, the only depiction of female loyalist volunteers (see Rolston ‘Women on the walls’ in Crime Media Culture 14.3, 2018, p. 373). It was plastered over in 1996 because the gable is next to Hollybank primary. Some of the pebbledash wore away in January/February to reveal the mural – still in good condition – beneath (Vintage_UVF).
Confusion over what to do with vacant lots along the south side of Carrick Hill continues. The corner site at the junction with Donegall Street was part of the ‘Northside’ plans back in 2008 and both it and the Library Street site were earmarked for high-rise student accommodations in 2015. None of those plans came to fruition and social housing was approved in 2018 (SF). But now the dispute is over whether to build two-storey family homes or high-rise apartments (which is apparently the preference of the current minister for Infrastructure, the SDLP’s Nichola Mallon (Irish News)). The board was erected by the Carrick Hill Residents Association at the Library Street site.
A budding artist in Exchange Place, inspired by Banksy and all of the street art in Belfast city centre, but disappointed with their efforts so far: “Aww, I wish I was Banksy”. (Or perhaps a sarcastic comment on most street art.)