Raking up “London”again is dead against modern Derry’s practical interests

Sinn Fein recently produced a round- up of Uncomfortable Conversations intended by promote reconciliation. With that in mind, is dropping the “London” prefix from the official name of the traditional city within the boundaries of the newly expanded local government district, really one we need to have again? Particularly as it’s doomed to failure. In a local government sense Londonderry may be said not exist any more , just as the old six counties don’t either. And just as “Belfast Co … Read more

It’s Derry again – with London and Liverpool, commemorating the Battle of the Atlantic

From the Dalai Lama to a “ VVIP”  at the weekend, Londonderry is proving quite  a venue, one of three for  commemorating the Battle of the Atlantic this weekend. Good to see the UK City of Culture grafting this  on to the programme  and the recognition given to its role as a major port for the destroyer escorts of the convoys in and  out of Liverpool and the Clyde. I recommend the absorbing selection of memoir writing on Derry in … Read more

“Win a weekend break for two in Londonderry”

  Hi yous’uns,  just marvel at this  Daily Telegraph headline as it echoes round your brain Brian WalkerFormer BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

Londonderry passes muster with Hitchens shock!

Just as the final programme for UK City of Culture is announced, I can’t resist posting a piece by the polemicist Peter Hitchens on my native city – and  Cof I cathedral.  I was ready to wince and play the pedantic fact checker throughout. But Peter interrogated himself as unsparingly as he did the history and captured the essence of the old city at least, well enough. Unusually for Peter, he even ended on a note of reconciliation.   Brian WalkerFormer … Read more

Londonderry born imperial policeman remembered

Many thanks to my old colleague Kevin Connolly, BBC Middle East correspondent  and a former Ireland correspondent for keeping his old antennae in good working order to discover the remarkable character of Londonderry born Sir Charles Tegart, commissioner of police in colonial India and Palestine. As Kevin says, they don’t make them like  that any more. I don’t know the name – I wonder if anyone out there does? Brian WalkerFormer BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor … Read more

RAAD interview on Newsnight prompts more questions

Newsnight’s featured report last night by the excellent Liz MacKean on RAADS in Derry (extract) was a welcome if depressing reminder to the wider audience that is hasn’t all gone away you know.  RAAD boasted that they have all the “resources” of the IRA. This is what you’d expect them to say, in the interview which was restaged with the use of actors. Just as graphic in the report was the sight of rubble and graffiti, the debris of a disturbed community, among so much … Read more

‘Derry is a better place’

  This little quote may not be the answer to everything but is part of a quite uplifting overview in the Guardian from a Derry women of the younger generation, Jeananne Craig, “a Derry journalist now living and working in London.” Bloody Sunday was not a talking point when I, a Catholic, moved on to my predominantly Protestant grammar school. My schoolfriends growing up in the city’s largely unionist Waterside area no doubt had a different viewpoint to the one … Read more

The Amelia Earhart mystery may soon be solved

Ever eager to take a share of wider fame, the Derry heritage industry will be as keen as anyone to learn the verdict of the tests on a sliver of bone found off Kiribati. Her story shows that Derry did not quite enjoy a monopoly of the famous American aviator but if the riddle of her disappearance is finally solved, it should give a boost to the little local museum, currently closed. Brian WalkerFormer BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester … Read more

Derry Essay: The Protestants of Londonderry

First there is a generational difference. Older people who came through the 1969 – 72 experience, many of whom moved across the river from the Cityside to the Waterside and further afield have vivid memories of that time and perceptions have been formed as a result of it. Then there is the younger generation who not only did not come through that personally but now live in a different environment and accordingly have a different perspective. There have been a … Read more

“The Bloody Sunday city set to be UK capital of culture”

  Can the Daily Mail story be true? The announcement will be made on the One Show – without Christine, on Thursday. Brian WalkerFormer BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London