As I drove to Belfast today, I listened to Talkback and caught the Suzanne Breen piece about Belfast. I know she doesnt get much sleep, living in the Holylands, but her bitter and acrid view on Belfast made me catch my breath. Listening to her, it’s a filthy dirty city, devoid of character, culture or interest.
It made me all the more apprehensive about meeting a group of people through a Flickr invitation, to explore the Shipyard. I’d joined the Harland and Wolff group on the site a short time ago and this was our first ‘meet’. I’d brought my daughter along for company, and it felt a little strange introducing her to Chowder, Kerzo, Mooch and Crow, and Jonathon. Not really the kind of thing you expect yer ma to be at, so to speak.Anyway, we ‘accidentally’ found ourselves in the Shipyard and spent hours mooching about, taking photos, chatting and generally enjoying Belfast. The views to Cave Hill are spectacular from down there, and it was great to sit about and just watch the city. We have some gorgeous buidlings, from the old to the new. My hope that although the Titanic quarter is being developed, that a sensitive and appropriate approach will be taken to preserving some of the magnificent buildings and artefacts on the site, like the drawing houses, the hotel and the pump house.
The Flickr H&W group are organising an exhibition of photographs, and news will be brought to you as it develops.
So, to anyone who thinks Belfast is a dive, make some great new friends, do a little exploring and keep your mind wide open. It could make you all warm and fuzzy, and bring you a whole new appreciation of this fine city.