August 15th, 1945, saw the end of the second World War in the Pacific theatre, effectively ending the war as a whole. The 75th anniversary of the event was celebrated on the Shankill by and Up! Culture + Arts. Belfast Councillor (and 2020 High Sheriff) Nicola Verner has video (tw) of the tarp on the float that paraded along the Shankill on the day itself. With sponsorship from the Executive and the Greater Shankill Partnership (tw).
“I am not an Ulsterman but yesterday, the First of July, as I followed their amazing attack, I felt that I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything else in the world. – Wilfred [Wilfrid] Spender – The Somme 1916”. Spender was born in England but served as quartermaster of the Ulster Volunteers and general staff officer of the 36th (Ulster) Division. He won the Military Cross for actions at Thiepval, and became Cabinet Secretary of the new “Northern Ireland” in 1921 (WP). His words are on one of three new murals in Belvoir Park, alongside two large flags – the Union Flag and Ulster Banner. Above the WWI mural old RHC lettering is causing the paint to fall away.
“This plaque is dedicated to those men and women of the Orange Institution who volunteered to fight in the Great War for king and empire and who made the ultimate sacrifice on foreign fields.” A WWI commemorative plaque has been added to the Orange hall in Carrickfergus (seen previously in M05249).
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.
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.
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.
“Happy Christmas, Belfast.” A time of mythical creatures and twelve days of gifts. On the seventh anniversary of the flag protests (in response to a vote by the Council to fly the Union Flag from city hall only 18 days a year as in the rest of the UK) my true love gave to me a dozen or so Union Flags (and a few Ulster Banners) attached to the railings. Santa was nowhere to be seen but, as is fitting for a zombie, Eddie The Trooper continued to stalk the land. For Eddie’s previous appearances, see his Visual History page.
RHC volunteer Stevie McCrea (born 31.5.52, killed 18.2.89) was imprisoned for his role in the killing of 17 year-old Catholic James Kerr in a Lisburn Road garage, on the same day as the RHC bombed Benny’s Bar in Sailortown. He was killed in an IPLO attack on the Orange Cross (the Shankill Social Club). This Village mural is the second tribute to McCrea this year – see also A True Soldier Of Ulster in the lower Shankill, near the former location of the Orange Cross in Craven Street.
“Stevie was raised in The Village Area of South Belfast. He was just a young man when The Troubles started but without hesitation answered the call by joi[ni]ng the Village RHC. He soon started making a name for himself by putting himself on the front line with his brothers in arms in the RHC. These men where [sic] one of the most active units in Ulster by taking the fight the republicans. In 1972 at the height of The Troubles Stevie was sentenced to life for his part in a retaliation shooting and was imprisoned in Long Kesh. After serving 15 years with dignity and courage he was released. On the 16th February 1989 just after receiving his last pay cheque [from a transitional work scheme] he decided to join a few friends in The Orange Cross Club in the Shankill area. This would be his last drink as republican scum decided to target the Loyalist club. Stevie sacrificed himself to protect his friend by throwing himself in front of a hail of bullets. Stevie died 2 days later from his injuries in the Royal Victoria Hospital.”
“Public meeting. Concerned unionists of south Belfast. Wednesday 6th November 7.15 pm Sandy Row Orange Hall. Stop the #BetrayalAct”. Tonight will see a meeting in south Belfast (and another at the same time in Antrim) discussing the current Conservative Brexit plan that would allow some cross-border economic activity to continue – see The Betrayal Act. “VTOT” is “Village Team On Tour“.
This UVF LPOW mural in Inverary Drive, east Belfast, probably dates back to the years after the Agreement, when the release of prisoners from both sides was being implemented between 1998 and 2000. That would make the mural about 20 years old.