Balmoral Showrooms

The fact that there are three memorials to the Balmoral Furniture bombing speaks to the shock felt at devastating bomb on a busy Shankill Road. The oldest is the small circular plaque: “Balmoral Furniture Showrooms bombed 12.25pm Saturday 11th December 1971. 2 adults & 2 babies killed”; then the Poppy Cross “in memory of the two men and two babies murdered at this spot by a no warning sectarian IRA bomb attack on the Balmoral Furniture shop on 11th December 1971.” and finally the traditional plaque, which names the victims: Colin Nicholl, Tracey Jane Munn, Harold King, Hugh Bruce.

On the side of the Shankill Leisure Centre.

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Something Old, Something New, Something Red, White And Blue

Above is one of the few remaining houses in the old style in Tiger’s Bay. This is one of three on Mervue Street; there is a row of six on Halliday’s Road which survived the rebuilding there – for images of loyal drawings in the boarded up houses that were replaced, see The Queen In Tiger’s Bay. Below, however, is an image of the freshly-repainted kerbstones just above the house, at the junction of Mervue and Edlingham streets.
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Brexit Loyalists

“Loyal” and “Brexit” boards on lamp-poles and walls in Tiger’s Bay. If you know when they were put up (or any other information), please comment or get in touch. The final “Brexit” is on the same pole as was Hand-Crafted.
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A Matter Of Life And Death

Eddie The Trooper is a British red-coat version of Iron Maiden’s Eddie The Head. And “These Colours Don’t Run” is a song from the band’s 2006 album A Matter Of Life And Death. The phrase is a pun equating the colours of the flag with the army beneath it – neither the colours nor the army “runs”. This lower Shankill sticker, from Rangers FC “ultra” supporters the ‘Union Bears’ (Fb | web) is on the side of a butt bucket – another reason for not running.

The specific design seems to be the most recent version from Londonderry – see Eddie The Trooper’s own Visual History page.

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There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

Glentoran FC. Pride of Ulster.” Two examples from the Glentoran sticker campaign in the early months of the year, before coronavirus put and end to the season and the players on furlough. See previously Le Coq Sportif.

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Reading Between The Lines

Dominic Cummings, advisor to the ruling Conservative party in the UK government, was a source of controversy and widespread derision in May when he claimed that he had driven (during the coronavirus lockdown) from London to Durham in order to deliver his son to his grandparents and then to Barnard Castle to test his eyesight (WP). Protestations of disbelief and calls for his resignation were widespread, including the amendment to the east Belfast graffiti shown above: “We’re in this together – except for Cummings”. For the original, see Inspiring Belfast.

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Loyalist In Lockdown

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, people celebrating the Twelfth yesterday were encouraged to maintain physical distance from others by staying in their gardens as the bands marched by. Homeowners decorated their properties (perhaps using these Twelfth At Home packs in Lurgan). Here is video from the Belfast Telegraph of yesterday’s marches.

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Tour Of Clough

The Red Hand Defenders flute band will commence its march from the Clough (Co. Down) Orange hall at 12:30 and its route will take it under the Orange arch in Main Street, shown here, with King Billy flanked by portraits of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip (on the left) and soldiers from the 36th (Ulster) Division (on the right). It will visit the houses in Jordanstown, Church Grove, Church Court, and Claragh Court (PC).

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Stay Apart

Here is the bonfire in Pitt Park (east Belfast) that was set alight yesterday evening for “Eleventh Night” (for some images see this Kevin Scott gallery). This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is a banner advising people to “Stay 1m apart! Thank you”, in addition to nationalist symbols such as the Irish Tricolour.

For the mural in the background, see Culture Threatens No One.

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Battle Of The Bug

Flags are flying in east Belfast in preparation for this year’s marching season (and the 75th anniversary of VE Day. All seems normal but the coronavirus epidemic has meant the cancellation of many parades for this year’s Twelfth (which will be celebrated on Monday, the 13th) and a social media campaign to get people to stay at their homes and “let the band come to you” (Newsletter | Irish Times | BBC).

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