First Newtownards Somme & Historical Society

This is new, more extensive display from The First Newtownards Somme & Historical Society (Fb)(replacing The Pride Of Ulster). There are seven panels about the Ulster Volunteers and the 36th Division, plus an eighth panel on the Ulster Special Constabulary. The formation of the Ulster Volunteers (anti-Home Rule poster | anti-Home Rule postcard), formation of the 36th (Ulster) Division, the 13 battalions of the division, the Battle Of The Somme, JP Beadle’s Attack Of The Ulster Division (Royal Irish), the Ulster Tower, the USC (B Specials), the Victoria Cross.

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Armed And Ready

This is an example of a paramilitary mural replacing a cultural one – for eight years there was a giant Union Flag on this Westwinds gable, but it has been turned into a giant hooded UVF gunman instead.

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IRA Army Council Demands

“The Parachute Regiment betrayed by the government to satisfy IRA Army Council demands.” The charges of murder and attempted murder against Soldier F were originally lodged (CNN) and pursued in 2019 (Guardian) but in 2021 the PPS decided to drop the charges . Five months ago that decision was quashed (BelTel | Guardian). The charges against Soldier F concerned two specific victims, William McKinney and James Wray, though witness testimony involves F in at least four of the deaths (Irish Central | Village). In response to the original charges, the Movilla UDA added the framed tarp shown here to their ‘hooded gunmen’ board in Georges Street, Newtownards.

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Meetinghouse Of Styles

Here is a complete set, from bottom to top, of the street art produced during last (2021) October’s jam in Meetinghouse Lane, Newtownards (though the Glen Molloy pre-dates the jam. Work by Annatomix (ig) (the squirrel’s name is Derek), Friz (ig), NRMN (Gerry Norman ig), RAZER (Fb) & NOYS (ig), Rob Hilken (ig), FGB (ig), KVLR (ig), Irony (ig), ?kairos?, Carla Hodgson (ig), Danni Simpson (ig), Matthew Knight (ig), Zippy (ig), Mr Fenz (ig), Kerri Hanna (ig), Emic (ig), Laura Nelson/Szu Szu (ig), Alana McDowell (ig), Glen Molloy (ig).

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North Down First Flute

“Those we love don’t go away/They walk beside us every day”. The images in this post show Upper Greenwell Street in the Movilla of Newtownards, in the summer of 2022. The small boards are not new (see North Down West Belfast and North Down Ulster Young Militants) but the NHS/keyworkers and the North Down First Flute (Fb) murals have not been seen before.

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The Scales Of Justice

The giant mural around the offices of Russell & Co solicitors in Newtownards combines legal imagery with famous north Down sites and people.

There are two main parts, in High Street and in Lower Mary Street. In High Street, we see Blair “Paddy” Mayne; the Jordan ‘Hissing Sid’ Formula 1 race-car (Eddie Irvine, who is from Newtownards, drove for Jordan until 1996); a weaver working a loom (the image is from Waringstown, but is perhaps meant to represent local mills such as Walker’s or Ards & Webb); an image of the Ards TT.

In Lower Mary Street, from behind Scrabo Hill, Lady Justice weighs scales each containing Rodin’s statue The Thinker. We also see a modern agricultural tractor, as designed by Harry Ferguson; a portrait of James Russell who founded the solicitors’ firm in 1948; a Cessna light aircraft, presumably at Newtownarrds airport, the first purpose-built airport on the island (Ulster Flying Club); the former Ards Maltings; a sack of Comber Earlies.

Acting as a joining motif on both sides of the building are roses from Dickson Nurseries.

The mural was painted by Mark Ervine and Paul Doran. The partially-completed mural was featured in the Financial Times all the way back in November 2018; it was eventually finished in 2021 and given an anti-graffiti coating this (2022) summer.

With thanks to Colin Haddick of Russell & Co.

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For The Fallen

“They fought together as brothers in arms, they died together and now sleep side by side. To them we owe a solemn obligation. They died that we might live. The Great Wars 1914-1918, 1939-1945 – Admiral Chester W Nimitz”. The central image of this Newtownards homage to the men of the 36th (Ulster) Division and the Australian ‘Rats Of Tobruk’ who held that city against Rommel’s forces in north Africa during WWII is the Tyne-Cot cemetery near Passchendaele, Belgium, the biggest Commonwealth cemetery in the world but named ofter the “Tynside cottages” that the German pill-boxes in the area resembled (WP).

New for the NI centenary are three emblems on the side wall, with (on the left) the Red Hand Comrades Association and (on the right) the Strain-Lightbody Memorial flute band (Fb).

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Jonathan Rea

Jonathan Rea, riding for Kawasaki, became Superbike World Champion for a fifth consecutive time with wins in the final three stops of the year, in France, Argentina, and Qatar (WP). He grew up in Ballynure, near Ballyclare. (Belfast Live has a profile.) This mural, by Noel Morrison (Fb), is in Blenheim Drive in the Westwinds estate, Newtownards. (BelTel has a write-up. BBC Bikes has video showing Morrison adding “2019” to the mural after Rea’s recent win.)

The mural replaces The Union Jack. There is a small piece to rider Joey Dunlop at the shops – see The Pride Of Ulster.

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North Down Ulster Young Militants

2nd battalion, D company, North Down UDA/UYM board in Inisharoan Court, Newtownards. For other North Down UDA boards, see North Down West Belfast.
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North Down West Belfast

Here are two UDA/UFF “North Down – West Belfast” boards, one in Clandeboye Road, Bangor (above) and the other in Lenamore Park, Newtownards (below). The UDA in North Down is split into two factions, one associated with the Shankill (west Belfast) UDA and the other with the East Belfast UDA. The former is based primarily in Newtownards, but not exclusively, as the board above shows. It is also remarkable for its use of hooded gunmen in “active” poses.
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