Moochin with the Photoman

7 views


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.

  • slug

    Miss Fitz

    “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.”

    I very much agree. Sadly, however, we seem to be in a minority. I hope that the appreciation of our industrial heritage grows before it is all demolished.

    :(

  • Miss Fitz

    Slug
    I meant to mention as well, that there are wild blackberries growing on the site, and Mooch and I are going to go back and pick them to make some H&W jam! So, the preserving goes on……

  • Rory

    I’m not absolutely sure what’s going on here, Miss Fitz. Are you suggesting that in order to live with any measure of peace and in order to enjoy the delights of Belfast that Suzanne Breen should move from the Holylands and pitch a tent for herself and family in the old shipyard?

    A better solution might be to move badly behaved yobs out to a tent city in the shipyards. No booze, no drugs and no need for ‘lights out!’ – sundown would take care of that.

  • dave wood

    Hey Ms F

    Can i have a pot? i’ll write you a poem for it…Sounded like you had a great time – wish I was there!

    Interesting comments about Belfast. My last visit two years ago was my first since 1998; so it had been a long time coming. I was shocked. In the early years, you were forced to go wandering out of city for things the centre couldn’t supply. As a visitor, this could have been a risky step and/or a tad scary.

    Now everything is provided within the centre. Except, it was incredibly difficult to get a ‘fry.

    Had some real disagreements of opinion from people about how Belfast has developed. One of the strongest telling points was sitting on a bus and getting a waft of real coffee coming in from the streets.

    Talking of heritage, have just been sent this (thanks CS) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/5265090.stm

  • Moochin photoman

    Worked up a bit of a thirst 2day too!
    It was a good mooch around and as always there were new photographs to be taken.
    The decay and desolation of the shipyard contrasted with the back of the Odyssey and the Clarendon Dock opposite does indeed make me wonder how the area will be developed.
    The thing that strikes me is that another way of accessing the area will have to be found and i suspect that a bridge will be built from the now disused Seacat terminal, past the site of the Liverpool Bar which was demolished to make a car park for the Seacat! We can only hope that this has not set a standard of ineptness in planning to be followed.
    http://www.laganlegacy.com have been at the forefront of preserving artefacts and ephemera from the shipyard and their work should not be underestimated in terms of salvaging parts of our industrial heritage from skips.
    I think we might be lucky to get a jar a piece from the blackberries but sure it’ll be a geg!

  • moochin photoman

    Oh yeah, having lived in Cronwell St i have to say it was a feckin nightmare, pretty much as Breen describes it.
    Why havent more students been expelled.
    Just high jinx eh.
    What about ASBO’s?

  • dave wood

    btw – (kind of conected) just ran a really successful series of youth writing sessions based on canal heritage. Surely some possibilities of trying it around H and W. and no – I’m not touting for work ; )

  • Miss Fitz

    Rory
    Now we know why you have been so quiet recently, herself (my heroine) found you mooching with Isabella……..

    As to Suzanne,,,,,, well, what about we send her over to keep you comepany? She sure as hell dont like it here

    And a pot of (low fat) blackeberry jam will wing its way to you too

  • mckeown

    As this is my first time writing on this I would first like to take a second to thank everyone for today, showing me around the dock area was an experiance that I had ignored despite living in Belfast. Also the small matter of obtaining access to the area will make for a good story!
    However on reading further comments on the original story I became confused as to why the subject matter suddenly became focused around the student population of belfast when the original blog was focused on the hidden delights of Belfast and was focusing on a positive view of a great and sometimes misunderstood city.

  • Ross

    It’s too late for an ASBO, Moochin-you left the Holy Land before they could serve it on you

  • Miss Fitz

    McKeown
    (would this be my daughter?)

    The reason I linked the post to the student population is that it was a way of linking a ‘bad’ story about Belfast with a positive one.

    We know that there are some very good, hard working and sober students in Belfast, and the post wasnt meant to dis students, but to posit all those magnificent aspects of Belfast with this post

    Mom
    xx

  • Miss Fitz

    PS
    I’m the good looking one

  • phillip

    Having been down recently, I got a real sense that this was the ‘old’ Belfast that I had long since forgotten about. I grew up in an area under the shadows of Samson and Delilah and my dad worked in the Shipyard but was intimidated out in fear of his life because of his religon .

    Nonetheless, there’s no doubt that there’s great potential to develop the area as a tourist attraction which I fully support

  • mckeown

    well you would be correct in your assumption, was it the name that gave it away or my die hard defence of students?
    I wasn’t objecting to your blog I was simply questioning some of the comments made about it.
    I just love the way that some people have a nack of forgetting about their own more rebellious years when judging the actions of others when they are experiencing their own. Dont get me wrong I object to the harassment of the local people by particular yobs but to call all yobs students tars us all with the same brush.

  • moochin photoman

    Ross…
    Hardehar…
    What ever you say say nothing!( Theres a pot of pot of Jam in it for you).
    You’re right Philip, the sense of place and history is all around you down there,it is to be hoped that with the right sort of development this could be evoked sympathetically.
    mckeown, ditto the above comment to Ross re the access story!!

  • Penelope

    oh i would have loved to go out and about moochin with y’all *sigh*

  • moochin photoman

    2pm 2moro at the front of Odyssey as posted in the flickr link

  • Miss Fitz

    Penelope….. we will mooch again next year…. cant promise it’ll look the same, but we’ll try

    McKeown…. Whose rebellious years are you referring to? It might interest your age cohort to know that many of us went through student years without terrorising our neighbours??

  • smirkyspice

    look at this shady bunch of characters haha… ach i was busy today and cant make it tomorrow either as man utd are playing, so, coach of the belfast peaceniks will be otherwise occupied ;) missfitz is indeed the good looking one standing beside – is that the mooch in his everyday orange? looking forward to seeing more of everyone’s photos on flickr!

  • Miss Fitz

    Next thing will have to be a Slugger Day Out…..

    Goodness where would we go?

    Somewhere where no one can agree and we can all fight?

  • moochin photoman

    I’m not going there!

  • smirkyspice

    Stormont.. in November???

  • Crataegus

    Rory

    Are you suggesting that in order to live with any measure of peace and in order to enjoy the delights of Belfast that Suzanne Breen should move from the Holylands and pitch a tent for herself and family in the old shipyard?

    There are a few empty houses in Westland if she wants a lively time.

  • moochin photoman

    Theres some non low fat preserved politicians up there (sometimes…. when they’re filling in the time sheets!)

  • Penelope

    Moochin and Miss Fitz… once I come over to Belfast early next year I’ll be glad to join ya on future photo jaunts… one more reason to look forward to making the move!!!

  • aquifer

    Belfast really is remarkable. Handed a world class tourist franchise it prefers a wasteland inhabited by wastrels. The titanic maritime museum would fill a thousand Easyjets. The drinking and mayhem making talents of rural blow-ins could provide a wonderful backdrop for an entire quartier of aye tiddly aye bars. Students would have strong enough maths and english to serve a pint or sing a song, and working would soften the academic financial and medical hangovers they are currently headed for.

  • The World’s Gone Mad

    Aah – the Holylands! Reading this piece took me back over a decade to when I was student living on Fitzroy Avenue and University Avenue. Residing in a flat without heating that smelled funny – those were the days, and she’s right – great parties.

    Another of the memorable Holylands experiences is being beaten up by one of the groups of Spides that would roam the streets looking for feckin’ students. Oddly, they would always pick a fight with the lone student, never when there was a group of educated people to bash up.

  • Hidden Gem

    Slug,

    …I hope that the appreciation of our industrial heritage grows before it is all demolished…

    I agree wholeheartedly! Is there anyone here who is willing and able to carry on where Fred Dibnah left off?

    FRED DIBNAH info’ here…

  • Kerzo

    After “accidentally” finding ourselves on the site I felt you were totally within your rights to “liberate” the number 23 spanner and I congratulate you on this feat!

    Oh, and all us students are yobs……just most of us!

  • Miss Fitz

    Kerzo
    I am very proud of my spanner. Think about it, in normal circumstances what would have been my chances of handling of owning a spanner in H&W? Not very likely I think.

    Like I said earlier, I fully appreciate that most students are sober, hard working, diligent and focused on nothing but their studies.

    One or two bad apples and all that stuff….. ;)

  • TC

    “I grew up in an area under the shadows of Samson and Delilah”

    Sorry to bring this thread back up, but are the cranes really called Samson and Delilah? I always thought they were Samson and Goliath. Have I been wrong all these years (it wouldn’t be the first time)?