Shine Bright Diamond Alley

Diamond Alley is a formally disused alleyway off Lord Street in east Belfast, that has been rejuvenated with paint and plants, many in objects such as a wine rack, a chest of drawers, and a pair of jeans. The alley was funded by the Urban Villages Initiative (tw)and implemented by CharterNI/Diamond Project and East Belfast Mission/Hosford House, and launched on November 1st, last year (2017). The project was profiled on NVTv. (See also Always Keep A Diamond In Your Mind.)
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David & Goliath

The Harland & Wolff cranes are called Samson and Goliath after two biblical giants. This miniature was spotted in a window in Castlereagh Place.
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Big Henry

Gareth “Big Henry” Morrison was a drummer in the Ulster First Flute band in Sandy Row and a Rangers supporter. He died at age 26 on June 23rd, 2013 from a dose of PMA (BelTel), one of eight such deaths in Northern Ireland and seven in western Scotland. (1997 image of a UFFB mural in Linfield Road.)
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The Somme 1st July 1916

The Young Citizen Volunteers began as a civic organisation and domestic reserve force in 1912 but by the time of the first World War had become a battalion of the Ulster Volunteers and went to the Western Front as the fourteenth battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles, part of the 36th (Ulster) Division, landing at Boulogne in October, 1915. The force was mainly Protestant but History Hub Ulster has a page on the 42 Ulster Catholics who served in the 14th (YCV) RIR.
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Anti-Aircraft Guns

In 1940, Belfast was protected by thirty-eight anti-aircraft guns. The German Luftwaffe flew a reconnaissance flight over Belfast on November 30th, 1940 and a test mission of eight planes on April 7th, 1941 concluded that Belfast’s defences were, “inferior in quality, scanty and insufficient” (Elaine Hogg/Glenravel History). 150 bombers would blitz Belfast the following week, on Easter Tuesday, April 15th, and the seven guns that had been in operation ceased firing, believing, falsely, that RAF planes were also in the sky (WP). This is the second image from a mural in St Aubyn Street; the first was on the Civil Defence Hall there.
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A Little Part Of Belfast

Sandy Row is “steeped in 400 years of tradition”, according to Historic Sandy Row (and sister site Sandy Row Community Forum which has developed a “growth strategy” for the area). Some of that history is presented at the junction with Hope Street, one each for Buildings & Housing, People, Industry, Culture, and History.
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Faded Glory

These five images show the remains of an Ulster Special Service Force (USSF) mural in Drumahoe Gardens, Millbrook. In addition to the union flag and emblem of the unit, the mural showed the Covenant and Carson, the gunrunning ship Clyde Valley which landed at Larne (not shown here), the garlanded red hand shown above, a memorial lamp post(?) not shown, soldiers from the 36th Division going over the top (fourth), the Ulster Tower and a helmet on a cross (not shown).
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Belfast Rangers Friends Of The Somme

British Army soldiers from four streets are commemorated in a plaque in Barrington Gardens. All four streets – Abingdon, Barrington, Colchester, and Dorchester – have changed their names or disappeared entirely (Dorchester) since 1914. “Erected by 1st Belfast Rangers Friends Of The Somme Society” – the supporters club is right next door.
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Que Sera Sera

Ross Wilson’s statue ‘Mother – Daughter – Sister’ was launched in 2015 (Art Council NI), two years after his King William mural which towers over it (see final image). “This sculpture celebrates the female cultural identity of Sandy Row and the generational contribution women have made to this community both in the family and workplace.” With a verse from the Doris Day song ‘Que Sera Sera’ from Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much.
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Kingdom Of Dalaradia

The HUBB community centre is host to a number of social groups, including those represented in the mosaic above: the Old Comrades group, the Seaview chapter of the Royal British Legion, North Shore and Ladies Somme memorial groups, a spotlight (perhaps in connection with the Civil Defence bowling club? – the HUBB is in what used to be a civil defence building), and the Kingdom of Dalaradia society. According to the eponymous web site, Dalaradia was “was a kingdom of the Cruthin in the north-east of Ireland and parts of Scotland in the first millennium.” Hence, perhaps, the red hand of Ulster and the Scottish thistle.
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