Loyal Servants

All the emblems of an eventful summer for loyalism: the centenary of Norther Ireland was celebrated on May 3rd, Queen Elizabeths platinum jubilee was celebrated in the first week of June, and then she died on September 8th, at the age of 96. “ERII 1926-2022. Always remembered by her loyal servants in east Belfast.”

For a clear shot of the Union Flag and St Andrew’s Saltire behind the vans, see UK – Scotland.

At the blind end of Montrose Street.

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Warning – Déjà Vu Zone

One row of street art around a construction site might look much like another, but do not be alarmed – this is your first time in Kent Street, Belfast.

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Always Remembered By The People Of The Shankill

A fourth memorial was added to the side of the Shankill Leisure Centre for the 50th anniversary of the bombing of the Balmoral Furniture Showrooms on the Shankill Road, with two photographs from the aftermath. The one on the left, of a fireman carrying the body of Colin Nichol/Nicholl, was reproduced in the old mural in Bellevue Street and in Dundee Street in successive printed murals (one | two) of the four “Shankill atrocities”.

“In eternal memory of those who lost their lives in the indiscriminate bombing of the Balmoral Showrooms by the IRA on the 11th December 1971. Colin Nicholl 17 months (Protestant), Tracey Jane Munn 2 years old (Protestant), Harold King 29 years old (Catholic), Hugh Bruce 70 years old (Protestant). Also all 19 injured in the no warning bomb including Tracey’s mother as she pushed the two children by in their pram. They will always be remembered by the people of the Shankill area and further afield. Close to our hearts they will always stay/Loved and remembered everyday. Sponsored by Greater Shankill ACT Initiative. Donated by T. Hamilton Memorials.”

“Balmoral Furniture Showooms bombed 12.15 pm Saturday 11th December 1971. 2 adults & 2 babies killed.”

“Balmoral Furniture Showrooms massacre, 50th anniversary. In memory of those who were killed at this spot, and in tribute to those who were injured, on 11th December 1971, by a sectarian, IRA murder gang. Donated by Stephen McCosh, on behalf of the Nicholl family.”

“This poppy cross is in memory of the two men and two babies murdered at this spot by a no warning IRA bomb attack on the Balmoral Furniture shop on 11th December 1971.”

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Every Child Has The Right To Play

The mural by Ed Reynolds (Fb) is on aluminum sheets on the side of the community centre in Denmark Street, Belfast, where he also did a WWI board – see Dead Man’s Penny. It is similar to the mural by Reynolds that used to be on a nearby gable (PLAY) in the lower Shankill estate.

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Wind-Up Merchant

Work by Leo Boyd (web | ig) – and five other artists – is currently showing in The National in High Street. Today’s post shows 2019’s ‘Belfast Romances’ – still rolling in Victoria Street – featuring many familiar Boydisms: When Urban Love Goes Wrong, Delorean cars, Belfast Kitty Hall, Godzilla – “The monster created by atoms gone wild! Escaped from Belfast zoo”, and the wind-up police land-rover.

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Death’s Parade Ground

The bugler in period uniform and the language of the poem are reminiscent of WWI but all of the UVF mural, roll of honour, and reproduction of an old YCV mural refer to the modern UVF and in particular to William Millar [sometimes given as “Miller”], Bobby Morton, and Tommy McAllister. Millar and Morton were ambushed by the RUC on the 16th of March 1983 – Millar died and Morton was injured (Long Kesh Inside Out). Millar was included in an old Cregagh mural – see C00956). Morton died in 2016 (Young Conquerors), hence is portrait shows him as an older man. The same is true of McAllister’s portrait, though no information about him is readily available.

“As the bugler blows/O’er the graves in rows/As reveille sounds/Over death[‘]s parade ground/Where our fallen comrades lie/With our standards proud/Once their deathbeads shroud/We will come from far and near/To salute our dead/And the roles they played/With the Ulster Volunteers.”

The mural was launched on March 19th (ACT). Below the new mural are a roll of honour and a board reproducing a former mural by Gareth Keys one street over, in Walnut Street – see The Young, The Brave, The Fearless.

The vintage graffiti (second image) is across the street.

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Fallen Not Forgotten

What’s most unusual here is the tree cross-section (or “tree disk”) (on the left) that has been decorated with a hooded gunman and the insignia of the (east Belfast) UVF and YCV – the final image shows a close-up.

“The uniform may have changed but the cause remains the same. Ulster Volunteer Force. Fallen, not forgotten.” There is a very close variant of this wording on a mural in Bowtown (Newtownards).

For the Tom Moore mural to the side, see You’ll Never Walk Alone.

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Belfast Blues

The career of Belfast blues/rock guitarist Rab McCullough spanned more than five decades, beginning with the formation of Baraka back in the 1970s, and included opening for Jimi Hendrix and a 20-year residency in the Empire. McCullough died in May (of 2021) after suffering a heart attack while swimming in Andersonstown leisure centre (BBC | BelTel | Belfast Media | Love Belfast). McCullough’s family is maintaining his Facebook page.

The mural was painted in Owenvarragh Park/Páirc Abhainn Bhearach near his former home by Glen Molloy (ig). (Belfast Media)

Also painted with blue eyes: Samuel Beckett (No Matter, Try Again)

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Splendid Isolation

“Splendid isolation” was the name given to the overarching foreign policy doctrine of the British Empire by which the UK professed no permanent allies, particularly among the great powers of Europe. The doctrine was aimed at keeping the UK from becoming entangled in disputes so that the economic activity of the empire could continue smoothly. (Global Security | WP) Hong Kong island became a UK colony after a dispute with the Chinese over UK’s use of Indian-grown opium as a substitute for silver in trading for Chinese tea and other goods. It was turned over to the Chinese in 1997. The Wai Kee “traditional Hong Kong-style cafe” in Donegall Pass has been closed for years but you can still get Hong Kong-style barbecue at Same Happy, four doors down from the mural celebrating the reign of Queen Elizabeth (prior to her death) over the 50+ commonwealth nations.

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Creggan 75

Construction of Creggan estate was begun in 1947, to house a burgeoning Bogside population while keeping them all in the South ward. At its height, there were 15,000 residents in the area. (McGuinness & Downey | An Phoblacht)

It celebrated its 75th anniversary this year (2022) with a parade, a stage play called A Green Hill Far Away, and a new mural by Peaball (ig) and Vents (ig) along with children from local schools (Derry Journal).

For the graffiti, see End Internment Of Jason Ceulemans

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