Letters from America

Download your very own Ticket (pdf, 4.38MB).

Please contact nimobilelearning@bbc.co.uk to play.


Tickets please, Tickets please...

Captain John Griffith is waiting for you at Custom house Square to take you on an atmospheric journey through Belfast's old quays and tell you the tale of emigration.

Spanning the late 18th century to the late 19th century, the Letters from America mediascape forms a physical timeline of emigration from Belfast. Using personal experience to recount the history, the emigrants and their families tell their story. Eighty years of emigration is revealed through a narration of primary sources such as letters, newspaper articles, parliamentary debates and adverts.

This activity provides an engaging way for small groups to explore 19th Century emigration in Belfast. Devices are available to hire, for free, from the BBC, please contact nimobilelearning@bbc.co.uk.


The tour begins at the at the back of the Albert Clock in Queen's Square. Follow the red route marked on the map on your mobile device. The route of the tour runs along Queen's Square, across the road to Donegall Quay, along Donegall Quay over the Queen's Bridge, along Queen's Quay and back over the Lagan Weir to the Queen's Square where your journey ends at the Albert Clock.

To experience the Letters from America mediascape:

1. Collect the mobile devices from BBC NI.

2. Make you way to Queen's Square.

3. As you near the square (within 100 yds), start the mscape player and load the Letters from America mediascape.

4. Listen to the introduction as you make your way to the Albert Clock.

5. Tap the screen when you are ready to begin

6. Listen to Captain Griffiths, then begin walking at your own pace following the route on the map.

7. Listen to the story as you walk (there is no need to stop)

8. Follow the red route marked on the map walking towards the next pin. Each pin represents a new piece of audio.

9. At three points along the route you will be given the option to sit down and listen to an extra set of letters. Each set lasts about 10 minutes.

10. You can choose to listen to each set or carry on with your journey. If you do choose to listen to the extra letters you can stop at any time by using the exit button.

11. Your journey ends at the Albert Clock, Queen's Square.

Troubleshooting your mediascape [PDF download]

Disclaimer: The route of this mediascape runs through Belfast city centre and crosses main roads. It is therefore advised that it is only suitable for adults and supervised groups of children, 16 years or older. Users are advised to wear appropriate clothing and footwear for location and weather. The BBC can not be held responsible for any accidental injury/damage that may occur in your choice to experience this Mediascape.