We May Encounter Many Defeats

“… but we must not be defeated.” Racists graffiti was added to the Maya Angelou mural in Dundela Avenue shortly after it was painted last July (Belfast Live). The repairs got rid of the graffiti and restored the lettering but the face was not restored to its original condition. The mural has remained intact since then and the yellow background provides an ideal surface for the Ukrainian flag and words of support: “We stand with you, Ukraine!” and “Slava Ukraini – heroyam slava! [Glory to Ukraine – to the heroes, glory!]”

The quote is attributed solely to Angelou and appears to come from her person writings (Order Out Of Chaos); she died in 2014 (Independent).

Commissioned by David Holmes, designed by Jody Hackett and painted by Glenn Molloy in 2021.

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Gertrude Star

Gertrude Star flute band (Fb) celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021 and to mark the occasion this (2022) May, the two side-walls were painted with the emblems above and immediately below. For the mural, which was painted for the 50th anniversary in 2011, M08166.

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Force

Masked UVF gunman in Inverary Drive, east Belfast, in a style similar to UVF gunmen in Carrickfergus, Larne, and Millbrook.

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Bizarre Bazaar

The Vault Artists’ car boot sale is this Sunday, from noon until five, in the car-park of their premises on Tower Street. The old Met building has served as a home for about 120 artists of all kinds since 2018 but they are now looking for new digs (Belfast Live) as early as March, 2023 – the site will be razed and turned into social and affordable housing. Here’s a 14-tweet thread on the impending move. Suggestions for new places are welcome, to future at vaultartiststudios.com.

The sale this weekend serves as a fund-raiser. The car-park is ringed by murals, including those included today, from FGB (ig) (the welder, mushroom, Oui Poutine, and Joy – with Rob Hilken), unknown (Show Some Love lettering, with “Love” having been painted over), NEUF and KVLR (ig) who painted the Lucha Libre wrestlers), and Leo Boyd (web) (L’Absurde and Belfast Kitty Hall).

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? , ? , Ruth Cruthers, Kerrie Hanna, Hannah Smith, ?Ruth Cruthers?, Leo Boyd, Leo Boyd, Jonathan Brennan

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(r) FGB, Rob Hilken, Sally O’Dowd

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FGB, Dragoș Mușat, Conor McClure, ?Margaret Woods Moore? replacing an earlier Leo Boyd piece, FGB, Sally O’Dowd, Kerrie Hannah

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Legends Last Forever

“Trophies come and go but legends last forever.” Scott Harvey and Lee Findlay have taken over as the management team of Northern Amateur Football League premier division team East Belfast FC (Fb) (Belfast Live) due to sequestration in connection with the UVF show of strength in Pitt Park in February, 2021 (Belfast Live). The club’s home field is East Park where the mural above stands to former greats (from left to right) Billy Caskey, Billy Humphries, Sammy McCrory, Ian Lawther, Walter Bruce, Roy Coyle, Tom Casey, and Warren Feeney.

Previously at EB FC: The Back Of The Net | Give Sectarianism The Boot

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Nothing about us without us is for us est. 1929

From The Shipyard To The Somme

The 36th (Ulster) Division Memorial Association (Fb) put on a play called From The Shipyard To The Somme (Fb | watch on youtube) in Connswater Community Centre in 2013. It follows a group of men from east Belfast who joined the Ulster Volunteers in Belfast but are now training at Abercorn barracks in Ballykinlar (later an internment camp) as members of the 36th Division, before going to the Battle Of The Somme in France.

Belfast – with one tenth of the population – provided about a third of the Irish soldier to participate in WWI. In the shipyards, Harland & Wolff responded to the slow-down in production not by putting everyone on short time but by letting go of employees, particularly unskilled employees, for whom the wages of soldiering were competitive (particularly if married), while skilled men were reclassified as “munitions workers” needed to fulfill war contracts (History Ireland | Long Kesh Inside Out).

The Somme board, which dates to about 2015, is above Connswater Commemorates and The Glorious Dead.

The plaques are to John Cochrane of the Mersey Street Area Residents Association and Margaret Proctor ?of the Connswater Community Centre?

The industrial mural on the side perhaps features the Ballymacarrett rail crash of 1945, described previously in Step Back In Time.

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X10347 X10346 X10344 X10345 Oh, Belfast may boast and justly to the progress it has made and point with pride and pleasure to its vast and varied trade Your king needs you country 36th division ulster

The Six Counties

Of some interest in this Mersey Street NI Centenary board is the use of St Patrick’s saltire (in the background). The saltire is an anglo symbol of Ireland and was included in the Union Flag when the union was between Britain and Ireland and thus – like the word “Ulster” – has been reduced to meaning Northern Ireland after partition.

There is also an anti-Irish Sea border board on the next house along – see An Act Of Betrayal. This features the Union Flag together with flags representing the “home countries”: the Welsh dragon, the English St George’s Cross, the Scots St Andrew’s Saltire, and the Northern Irish Ulster Banner.

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Children In Crossfire

Michael Blakstad’s Children In Crossfire is a justly famous documentary portraying the lives of children in Creggan (Derry) and various areas of Belfast, such as Ballymurphy & Springmartin, Divis, and the area around Gawn St in east Belfast. The documentary is on youtube and an image from it (c. 28m 13s) is depicted in this mural (Connswater Chronicle) at the foot of the Dee Street overpass into what is now the “Titanic Quarter”.

The panel to the right shows the original Armitage Street; the area has been redeveloped and the street was built over with a cluster of houses named Armitage Close.

By Dee Craig with support from the Housing Executive, City Council, and Connswater Homes.

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Multicultural East Belfast

Topical commentary from East Belfast graffitist Hallion: Above, “к черту Путина”, in the blue-and-yellow of Ukraine, is Russian for “To hell with Putin” (or something a bit stronger); below, “Thran rights nai” – “thran” is an Ulster-Scots word meaning “stubborn” or “contrary” (entry for thra – the related verb – at Hamely Tongue) but perhaps here standing for Ulster-Scots in general and commenting on the tortured history of what is now (as of May 2022) the ‘Identity & Language’ bill (BBC) covering Irish/Gaeilge and Ulster-Scots/Ulstèr-Scotch in Northern Ireland. “Hallion” is itself is a Scots/north England word, meaning a scoundrel or rapscallion (MW | etymonline).

Previous Covid pandemic commentary from Hallion:
2020: Wash Your Hawnds | It Hasn’t Gone Away
2021: Wear A Mask Or The Easter Bunny Gets It

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Eat To The Beat

This signal box on the Holywood Road, Belfast, has been repainted by FGB (ig) to look like a Drumstick – not the musician’s tool or the chicken leg but the chewy lolly. The Drumstick dates back to 1957 (swizzels.com). Swizzels makes not just Drumsticks but also Refreshers, Double Lollies, Love Hearts, Double Dips, Lipsticks, and Whistles.

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