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16 October 2014
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A Belfast Sketchbook

When I worked in Belfast during the 60's and 70's I used to wander the City with a sketchbook during my lunch breaks.

Sketch by Brian Willis

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YOUR RESPONSES

Margaret Hewitt - July '08

Just read letter from Maureen Quigg who lived in Turin St. I lived in Malt St and knew Lizzie Stranies little sweet shop she had a son francy stranie. We used to go to the Arcadian and the Colloseum in the fifty's. Left for South Africa in early sixties. I worked in Clarence clothing sompany on the Grosvenor Rd. looking for any lost friends. I went to school on the Falls St Catherines.please email at irish at 3i dot co dot za very enjoyable article makes one a bit homesick

Paul Valliday - June '08
I had the pleasure of working with Mickey Marley when I was a kid. That wee man taught me everything I wish to know. He was a hard working decent man, his mother Maggie Marley was a grafter too. Mickey is sadly missed by me - may his song and name live on. Rest in peace Mickey, your wee helper Paul Valliday - now living in Manchester.
Belfast has lost one of its greats!

Megan - May '08
Anyone have any old pictures of Turin Street off the Grosvenor Road, my dad and his family lived there for many years and they would love some pictures. Can anyone help?

Stephen O' Kane - Mar '08
My father drew the drawings of the Market. His first name is Joseph (Josie) O' Kane. He worked as a baker in Inglis's Bakery. We lived in the Old Eliza Street the moved to Bond Street into my grandads house in Bond St. Then New Bond St. Now we live in Eliza St Close. So if you want to get in contact, I will try my best to get you old photos & a possible few drawings that my father has drawn. I also have seen a lot of photos of the old Market including Cromac Square - were Stones old bike shop was.

Mary Neaves nee Lowe - Jan '08
My name is Mary Neaves nee Lowe, I was born in 16 Servia Street. I am looking for any old photos of my street or any old photos of any of my family or neighbours.

Tony McEwan - Dec '07
Try belfastforums.co.uk

Brian Mallaghan
Does anyone know whar year the terraced houses on clifton crescent were built? i would really appriciate it someone would tell me....or post some pictures. ta

David Smylie- Apr '07
I lived in Norton street and went to St Colemans. I met Dickie Barrows brother Jim a few years back in a shopping center . Raphael street ran from Cromac Sreet to norton street. Norton Street ran into McAuley Street . One side of the street had what could loosely be termed a green field behind a wall . This was our playground. It was called the bog ore and was some sort of sand that the gas works used in some sort of filtration process. I doubt if the health a safety exc would allow it to be dumped there today Here is a poem that I penned a few years back. I hope you enjoy it.
PS any comments or images of the markets would be great. especially of the places mentioned in my poem The Markets

Eliza Street stank on a Tuesday
of fresh cow dung.
We watched it on our way to school
mixing with other liquids.
A steady trickle down the sides of steaming lorries that lined the sides of the road.
Khaki streams formed, joined and became a torrent, pausing only momentarily at ill-prepared drains.
The smell though all pervasive was accepted.
Harmless, like the acrid smoke that rose from the hooves of patient steeds, held steady by the black hands of leather aproned farriers, as they toiled in Johnny McKeown’s.
No need to hold one’s breath and run, as we did, to avoid the putrid perfume of the hide and skin store, that replaced the hunger evoking smell from Inglis bakery, where men in off- white uniforms made ready the staff of life.
All around us the pitiful lowing of beasts, who, tired and confused, waited to be admitted to the stock pens of Alams, Robin son’s, or the abattoir.
Today is cattle day.

Tony - Apr '07
Hi, Has anyone got any photos of Springhill Avenue or Springhill Crescent Belfast. I would love to hear from you.

Carol Williams - Apr '07
I lived in Kathleen Street East Belfast

Maureen ferguson nee quigg - Apr '07
Hello maureen quigg again. i have just returned from belfast last night it was great to be back home again.the belfast i knew when i was young is gone but i still remembered some of the streets. some of down the town is still there . the cityhall has a titanic exhibition on that was very intersting.down at the docks we went on a boat done tour of where the titanic was built, they were selling titanic tee shirts with she was alright when she left here.

Maureen Quigg - Apr '07
Does anyone remember me from st louises school or from the clarence clothing company my name is maureen quigg i remember paul ine mcdade rosaleen campbell cassie scullion

Maureen Quigg - Mar '07
My name is maureen ferguson nee quigg i was born in sultan street i remember the darling's from servia street my mother's aunt lizzie straney had a little sweet shop in her house in servia street i know briege darling i went to school with her at balkan street we moved to turin street on the grosvenor road i also know the mcaleese family from grosvenor place mick marley's sister maggie jane marley lived a few doors away from us in sultan street with mick marley's rag store across the street.

Laurence Robertson - Feb '07
Hi to Jim Walsh. I dont know you personally but I lived in 17 Bond ST from 1958 to 1970. I went to school in St Colmans about 1961 to 1968 some lads in my class where Jim Dornan, Thomas Rainey, Gerard Stilges, Jim Boyle, Michael Turner, Pat Mc Laughlin. My name is Laurence Robertson I lived next door to a pub on the corner of Mcauley St, Bond St, the Black Bull I THINK THE BARMAN called JIM Kennedy Father of Brian Kennedy singer do you have any pics of bond street?

Gerry May - Feb '07
Great site! I was born in Moffatt Street 1955 - its near the docks. I have not been in that area for 40 years and 1 remember it.

Kay Cush - Feb '07
I love your drawings. I come from East Belfast myself and I am currently doing an Art Project on Belfast. I want to do it in the style of Marc Chagall with lots of images of old Belfast and my family where I grew up in the 1950/60, but am having difficulty in finding old photos of East Belfast as it was then. Your drawings have helped. I not lived in Belfast since 1977.

Dorrian - Jan '07
Hello to every one. I'm glad I found this site again. Did any one know a Gerard Mc Cabe? I went to school with him. This site brings some good memories- hide n skin- what a smell thanks for the repl. Happy reading! Hope to read some more soon bye.

Alice [Kelly] Morris - Nov '06
Harry McGrath
You must be the Harry McGrath who lived two doors from me, I lived at 11 Eliza Street. I remember your Aunt Maggie and your mum Leah. Ialso remember your cousin joan Campbell, I think she went to London...is she still there? I used to bring the dinner around to your Uncle Hugh..your aunt Maggie sent me every day with it. She always gave me some home baked buns, she was a wonderful cook. My brother was Tom Kelly. I met a girl the other day and she told me that her grandmother was robinson from Stanfield Street, it turned out she was related to that great wee boxer Sugar Ray.

Alyson Fairweather - Nov '06
Thank you so much Mary Gorman for posting your brother's memory of Master Kelly. It was good to know he is remembered.

Jim Walsh - Sep '06
I have pictures looking at New Bond Street from Eliza Street. Bond Street is at the other end of New Bond Street and is included in the pictures. Bond Street ended at the old Gas Works. Contact me: jandbwalsh @ comcast .net.

Becky Harvey (nee blake) - Sep '06
Has anyone got any photographs of bond street? I would love to see them.

Mary Gorman - Aug '06
Hello Gerard Morris (Ballymurphy)!
Little cousin Mary here dropping by to say hello! How are you? How have you been .....I haven't been to this site in ages.....but the humour was on me and I decided to look up the site tonight. Anyway good to see your name in print email me at mero gorman@ yahoo.ie
Anyway I hope to see you all soon. Love Mary

Adele Robinson - July '06
Hi Folks...just come across this site and its very interesting to hear all your memories and stories of the Markets. Unfortunatly i'm not from Belfast and i'm too young to remember any of this but at the minute i'm doing a masters in Environmental planning and i'm doing some research on the Markets area and what it was like in the past and how residents of the markets are still keeping the memories of the old Markets alive dispite all the redevelopment. I would be delighted if you could send me any old photos of the area or tell me more about the old markets. I am also looking for current residents of the Markets to fill in questionnaires so if you could help me out please send me an email. my address is r1387602 @ qub.ac.uk Thanks Adele

Gerard Morris (Ballymurphy) - July '06
In regards to the "City Hide and Skin Company?" posted by Brain Willis I am a former worker of the company since I left school and have been to them all. They where located in Anette Street/Turnley Street.

Huxley & Postle Waite - Welsh Street/Lagan Street North Of Ireland - Lagan Street/East Street Queens - Eliza Street/ Murphy Street Magennis (Hide & Skin) - Welsh Street

Regarding Photos of Stanfield Street, Mc Kennas Bar, Bond Street/New Bond Street & Rileys Court. Theses photos will be found in "A Century Of Belfast" book by Trevor Parkhill & Vivienne Pollock. ( Bargain Books/ WHS)

Hello Mary & Derek Gorman/ Johnston.

I would like to congratulate you on having such a wonderful site. I found the stories very interesting and useful.

Thomas (Myles) Mc Kenna - June '06
Here I go one more trip down memory lane. Does anyone out there ever hear of Alex the Duck? My mother used to regale me with wondrous stories about this duck. It would walk the children from a Convent school in Hamilton St or Joy St across Cromac Square. Even as a child I found it hard to believe. My Aunts & Uncles said it was true, and they or my Mother would never tell a lie. Also I think I am related to the Lagan's of Eliza St, they are first cousins to Davy O'Grady and he is my second cousin I think the whole markets were related one way or another. One thing I will never forget about the place is the smell of the hide stores on a summers day. All my Uncles were Dockers, and my mother used to say they earned their money like horses and spent it like asses. And they called it the good old days, but it still has fond memories for me.

Thomas (Myles) Mc Kenna - June '06
I came accross your place and mine, while surfing. All my mothers family came from the markets, my first school was St Coleman's and first teacher Miss Lyons. My Mother's maiden name was Catherine Smith from Stanfield St. Uncles Paddy & Alex Smith, Aunt Maggie Hastings or Hasty my mother's cousin was wee Maggie Mc Kay. I had cousins coming out of the wood work. The last time I met my cousin Phyllis Smith was at the Europa she was singing there that night. That was the year 2000, she is living in Donaghadee now. As for me I have been living in canada since 1974. I married a girl from Clonard - Irene, P Madden, best thing I ever done. I remember the Blacksmiths Shop in Eliza St, also the bakery. I did not stay long in the Markets. From the age of 7 years we lived in the lower Antrim Rd. Just the other night my wife and I were talking about the Plaza I had lots of cousins in the Whiterock Mathews & Smiths all my mothers brothers and sisters just like the Smiths and Hastings in the Markets also my mother's sisters and brothers. God it's a small world.

Mary Gorman - June '06
Attention Jim Walsh, I think you might be talking about Norton Street, (as far as I can remember intersected with Raphael Street)?
Can anyone else help here?
I'm going to make some enquires, see does anyone know the whereabouts of Dickey Barrow.

Mary Gorman- June '06
Hi Jim Walsh, The Lagan family that I knew lived at 80 Eliza St, The Mother's name was Maggie and she was a really lovely kind woman.
I think after she lived there she moved to Catherine street, just off Cromac Street.
As for Minnie Dougan, she lived on the same block as Malachy Kerr's bar in Eliza Street. I don't remember her having a phone, but I surely remember that she had a house full of lodgers.
One of the lodgers wrote a 3 or 4 page article a few years ago about his stay at her house and he posted it on the internet.
Now I can't remember which site I saw it on , but if I ever come across it. I will post you a message on this board and you can look it up.
Where you live now are you able to get copies of the Belfast Magazine?
It's a small magazine which publishes a lot of photo's, facts and other interesting articles....let me know? cos I can post you some of the ones that I have and no longer need.

Mary Gorman- June '06
Hello Alsyon Fairweather. Yes, my brother was taught by Master Kelly, and he has a great story to tell about the time Master Kelly gave him two mice to look after for a few weeks. I don't know why? It was obviously holiday time or something?
I must check with my brother, the complete story, but Master Kelly was well liked and respected by all of the boys. He obviously was one of the best teachers indeed, because only a few weeks ago Mr.Kelly's name came up in a conversation we were having about our schooldays, and we were laughing at the memories.
The school was indeed St.Colman's in Eliza Street.
As soon as I get more information from my brother I will let you know. My e-mail address is merogorman at yahoo.ie if you wish to contact me.
Best regards to you ...and a fond farewell to Master Kelly.

Jim Walsh - June '06
It's amazing how things will suddenly come back to you. I've looked at this sketch of Raphael St many times and it just came to me that one of my mates from school lived in the house on the right hand side near the end of the street. His name was Dickey Barrow. We went to school together at St. Coleman's on Eliza Street. Another friend and school mate was Jim McMullen who lived in one of the houses that intersected with Raphael Street (Possibly the house in the sketch). Does anyone remember the name of that street?

Gerard Mulhern - May '06
To Dominic Darling - I Know the name, I can't picture you.

Chris Holmes - May '06
I was in the markets circa 2003 after the serious troubles; wonderful people there (although the sectarian gangs were around Sandy Row and Friendly Street, etc). Belfast is changing, but hopefully it will not become yuppified and sell its soul.

Jim Walsh - May '06
Dorrian: You say your Uncle Jim lived in Riley's Place. Are you talking about Jim Fitzgerald? We were best friends before I left for America in 1959. We went to school together at St. Coleman's.

Mary Gorman: The lady on Eliza Street who had the telephone was Minnie Dougan. I used to go to her house with my parents who would talk to my brothers and sisters in America on her phone.

Mary Gorman: You asked about the Lagan family. Are you talking about the Lagan's who lived at 26 Eliza Street? If so, that's my Aunt Bridie's house. They had daughters Nancy, Janet, Noreen and son Jim. Aunt Bridie was my dad's (Davy Walsh) sister.

Karen: I lived next door to your grandmother Annie Martin. We lived at number 34 Eliza Street. I went to school with John and Robbie Martin and I thought their sister's name was Alice. That must by your mum Eilish. Annie & Joe McGlade did have a shop directly across from St. Colemans school. I have pictures taken there in 1976 when I visited. I also have a picture of your grandmother taken outside my Aunt Bridie Lagan's house at number 26 Eliza Street. Your granny came down the street and we recognized each other immediately even though I had been done for some 20 odd years. Contact me by email and I'll gladly share the photos.

Dorrian - May '06
Great site, I lived on Howard St South and went to St Colemans School then Sacred Heart they were the good days. My uncle Jim lived in Rileys Place and McKennys Fawl Shop do you remember penny drinks and candy from Maggy Ealders. I think that was her name all the family lived round the Markets.

Mary Gorman - May '06
Hi all, would Sean Mc Grady, and Liam Weir send me a contact address where I can send them some sketches....my e-mail address is merogorman@yahoo.ie. Tony McEwan are you related to the Lagan family? Was your mum Margaret (maggie)? If so, Maggie was was one of my late mother's best friends. I would love to hear from you.
Karen... I knew your grandmother - Annie Martin. If my memory serves me correctly, Mrs Martin as we kids knew her, had the only telephone in Eliza Street, and she was an obliging soul who let us use it, when we had too.
Ok , I've rabbitted on enough. Nostalgia, has definitely crept in tonight. Hope to hear from any of you.

Alyson Fairweather - May '06
I used to live in Belfast for a while, and my partner used to teach in the markets. I think it was St Coleman's school in Eliza Street. That would be around 1968-1971.

His name was Frank Kelly (or Francis John Kelly), but was known as "Master Kelly" by the boys.

Frank has since died (in Omagh, with his Mum who was still alive at the time) and it would be fantastic to hear if anyone remembers him.

I also seem to remember a cafe called "The Gaslight", and think that was near where the picture was taken. Not sure though.

Desomonc McDonnell - May '06
Dominic, are you related to Peggy Darling? I must say though, there is no place as the lower falls. the road started at albert street and ended just above Milltown Cemetery.

Gillian Notaro - March '06
does anyone have any old photographs of stanfield street? i cannot seem to find any anywhere, thanks, gillian.

Gillian Notaro - Mar 06
What a gem, to find a sketch of raphael street has made my day! i have been researching this area of my family tree, and i did not dream i would ever find out how this street looked in my great grandparents day! thank you sooo much, gillian.

Karen - Mar 06
hi all
my grandmother lived at 32 eliza street, annie martin. was wondering if anyone from that area had any pics or stories to tell. uncles are john, robert, jimmy and liam. anut olive and mum eilish. the boys went to st colmans. marie mc glades shop was just across the road. inglis bakery at top of the street. i remember staying with granny and watching my dad going to work.

any info would be great many thanks karen

Noel Hamilton - Feb '06
I lived on My Lady's Road in East Belfast and I remember well swinging on lamposts in the 1950's. I also remember playing cowboys and trying to hang one of my young brothers with a lasso made from string or bits or old rope. Thank god I didn't succeed. I also have fond memories of being on Mickey Marley's Roundabout. Two twin aunts I had used to take me to the Plaza Ballroom on a Wednesday afternoon. (I was about 5 or 6 at the time ) . There was a white cockatoo sat in the coffee bar which I tried to stroke once and the brute nearly took the finger of me. Anyone got any photos of the plaza? Contact me if you have please.


Tony McEwan
- Jan '06
I lived in keegan street in the 1950s and went to school in st colmans in eliza street i remember jim walsh going off to america i have some photos of my class and my older brothers making first communion and confirmation in the 1950s in what years i dont know.

Liam Weir - Jan '06
Hi Mary Gorman (nee Johnston)
I would like a copy of your photos/sketches, the artist was probably Joe O Kane.
I lived in stanfield St, and Joy St, my Grandparents lived in Crawford St. If you have any pics of these they would be greatly appreciated.
contact me by email liam@weir3352.freeserve.co.uk. Hope to hear from you or others. Liam.

Sean McGrady - Oct 05
Re: Mary Gorman Nee Johnston [below]. If you have those sketches I would be very grateful. I am writing a book that involved the markets - I worked in Inglis Bakery in Eliza Street in the late 1960s - and it would probably be helpful to my waning memory of the place.

Many thanks - Sean McGrady

Dominic Darling - July/October '05
I lived at beechmount pass just off the falls and i went to st finnians school mickys roundabout was cool, does anyone remember the tune: micky marly had a wee horse?

Kennedys bakery was in beechmount ave. Inglis bakery was at the back of the market area. As for Grovenor Place, hugh murtagh off licence at the top, and garveys paint yard at the bottom. I was born and reared in Servia street, in the lower falls.

Maureen MacFarlane nee O'Hara - July '05
Hello
Have you every heard of Clonard Confections on Falls road around the 1930's as my grandparents owned it - Andrew and Ellen O'Hara looking for information on them thank you.

Harry McGrath - June '05
i remember jim welsh he went to St. Colmans school with my brother jimmy mc grath we lived at 7eliza street. larry ford had a cattle yard and the murdocks kept horses in their stables. we called the area the "market" only outsiders used "markets" i loved the market when i was a kid. Still DO.the old market that is.My best friend hugh clarke lived in eliza street the houses they were georgian and were some of the oldest houses in belfast . Their counterparts in Joy st have been preserved because of their historic significance. The local church ST Malachys was built in the 1840's and will be found in all the tourist tracts regarding Belfast. The church was originally designed to be a cathedral but that proved to be politically incorrect surprise surprise..........Cromac street was actually the main street jimmy lundy had a hardware store ''EVERY THING FROM A DONKEY TO A FOUR ENGINED BOMBER '' was his slogan. Mick Mooney, Jimmy Devine, MaCentees, Jubilee arms, Mc coys bakery, the arms pub.........

lorraine McAleese - June 05
do you have any pictures of Grosvener Place? I was born there in 1962 My grandparents lived there till they knocked it down I spent many summer evenings swinging from the lamp posts

Mary Gorman Nee Johnston - June '05
I have some sketches of drawings taken from a calender of 1982 . These were drawn by joe? ?????. Anyway if anyone would like a photo copy give me your e-mail or address and i will pass them on. Mooneys bar, Eliza st, maggie elders half door shop on verner/murphy st, old cromac square, raphael street, norton st? Have a few more but can't remember off the top of my head, forgive me it's been a long day, and i just hit on this site by accident when I was feeling nostalgic.

Grosvenor road - May '05
To all the old friends of micky marley, micky passed away on the 28th April 2005 at his own home........ R.I.P micky marley never to be forgotten, from friends in the Grosvenor road.

Mary Downey - April '05
I am looking for pictures of Belfast from the 1950's to 1970's. I grew up in the Dunstan Street area of Belfast. Please let me know if you have any idea where I might find these?

Roisin Nelson - March '05
Does anyone have any photos of the Bridge End area, my father was born in 1914 in Graham's Place and grew up just around the corner on Middlepath Street. These streets were demolished in the sixties to make way for the Sydenham Bypass. Thanks, Roisin.

Also : this is to Stevie who said his grandfather was Mickey Marley. I'm working on a project for St. Patrick's Day, including childhood memories and am wondering if you would have a photo of Mickey, one with the roundabout would be great. thanks.

Mr C Larkin - February '05
Can anyone tell me when Hughes Bakery on the Springfield, Belfast closed down?

Kevin Wilson - February '05
I'm looking for anyone who lived in Riley's Place between 1930 to 1960 who may know information about the O'Neil family who lived in number 6 or 10.

Tom O'Neill, Dumbarton - January '05
Could anyone advise me if at anytime Riley's Place would ever have had households of the kind that would have employed domestic servants?

Stevie - January '05
(In response to Karen Jones' message below ) Mickey Marley is actually my grandfather ! He doesn't take the roundabout out anymore, its in the ulster folk and transport museum as far as i know, but I do remember going out on his roundabout with him as a child, my most vivid memory being the St Patrick's day parades when I got to ride along as part of the parade on my granda's roundabout. lol.

Jim Walsh - December '04
I grew up at 34 Eliza Street, next door to Johnny McKeown's Blacksmith shop which was next door to St. Coleman's school. The hide and skin store was on the corner of Eliza Street and Murphy Street. I spent many hours with my pop-gun shooting corks at the blue bottles on the doors of that stinking place. I left Belfast in 1959. I understand that Johnny McKeown's shop was turned into a storage area for cow hides as well. Thank God I was out of there by then.
Anyone who has ever swung on a rope from a lamp post knows what it is like when you get turned backwards and crack your head on that post as the rope wraps around it. Probably explains why so many of us walk a little funny. I enjoyed your sketches. I have a set of sketches of Belfast locations drawn by someone named O'Kane who I believe lived on New Bond Street.

Liam Weir - June 2004
The street at the bottom of Raphael St was Norton Street ( as in the motorcycle name). The Hide and Skin place was at the corner of Lagan Street and Welsh Street. The only bakeries I remember were in Eliza St (Inglis) and Cromac St ( McWaters).

I and my friends used to swing from the gas lampost outside Tommy Callans pub at the corner of Welsh St and Stanfield St. Most Fridays and Saturdays we narrowly missed the "happy" clients who exited the premises swaying past us kids in full flight.

 

Brian Willis - June 2004
Swinging on lampposts, that takes me back. It was 1963 and I had only recently arrived from BBC London the year before to work for them here in Belfast. In my lunch breaks I used to wander the local streets with my sketchbook and some of those sketches appear on this site. It was during these strolls that I became fascinated (and envious) of the youngsters swinging on lampposts. I often tried to sketch them, but was always unsuccessful.

I was a recording engineer at the time and one day edited tapes for the announcer Duncan Hearle (remember him?) who was producing a radio programme for the Home Service about the lack of play areas for children in Belfast. In those days Radio Times was renowned and revered for its pen and ink artwork. So I thought I would 'chance my arm' and submit a sketch to illustrate this programme. To epitomise a Belfast street scene, I tried yet again to draw children swinging on lampposts but it didn't work- couldn't get the sense of fun and movement into the illustration. So I compromised and drew a young girl 'birling' around the post instead. However in the small scale allowed (the published image was only one inch square) I did manage to include the terraced houses with doors opening onto the pavements, a factory chimney and power cables strung from a pole. With baited breath I sent off my "effort" and a couple of weeks later back came the reply. Yes they wanted to publish the drawing. I was so excited. My first ever sketch published - and in the prestigious Radio Times too no less. Somewhere here I still have the original but unfortunately can't find it so you will have to make do with a copy of the published article.

A Place to Play - sketch by Brian Willis

But my excitement was short lived for, in spite of sending in several more drawings during the following few weeks, I only once had another one accepted and that was an illustration for a radio story written and read by Larry McCoubrey. However I still have those other sketches that were not used, and one day will offer them to Your Place and Mine for you to see. They are mainly of Ulster churches which were broadcasting "Morning Service".
Thanks for the memories. Brian


Margaret McKinney (March 2004)
Hi - I think you've got the wrong address.
I lived in Riley's place and the street above is actually called Raphael Street, which was the next street down Cromac Street going towards the Square. Rileys place ended in the Gasworks Gate - a huge set of black plate iron gates .
All the best.


Kathy Jones(Feb 2004):
Have you any pictures of Keegan Street or Bond Street? I would be very grateful.

Brian Willis (March 2004)
Hello Kathy,
No I am sorry to say I never drew Keegan Street or Bond Street. In hindsight I should have done many more drawings of, not just the Markets area, but other community enclaves of Belfast. At the time you looked at these streets of terraced houses with their neighbourliness and crack and children swinging on ropes from lampposts and Mickey Marley's roundabout doing a roaring trade and horse and carts with steaming coal dust briquettes, and it never crossed your mind that - 'all this could change'. Thank heavens a good many farsighted photographers and filmmakers did chronicle these areas though. But for the artist there's a great difference between sketching and photography. With drawing you are 'cemented' to a fixed spot, inevitably leaning against a wall, looking at the subject, perhaps for an hour or more. As you work so you have time to absorb what you are sketching and often locals would come over to ask what you are doing and you strike up a conversation. Yes I should have sketched more. And now it's too late. Regards.


Anne Adams - 11 October 2004
Kennedys bakery was at Beechmount Avenue, closed down several years ago. Maybe Brian you are thinking of Ormeau or Hughes Bakery. Yes Ed. I remember Mickey Marley's roundabout, what a treat to be able to have a go! Swinging on the lampost was great, you got the tallest adult you knew to put your longest rope up as high as he could on the lampost. If you were lucky your mother or someone elses, would give you and old cushion to save your bum when you sat on the rope to have a good birly round.God knows how we didn't kill ourselves!!

Ric O'Shea - 25 June 2004
Kennedy's bakery was in Beechmount Avenue - off the Falls Road.

Cookeman
This is not Rileys Place but Raphael St. Rileys Place was the next small street up Cromac St heading towards the Ormeau Rd. It was a cobbled Streeet with the last gas lamp in Belfast. I know this because I went to school in St Colemans in Eliza St and Raphael St was on my route home. The area beyond the wall on the right was used as a playground for a few years in the early 70s.

Brian Willis
Hi "Cookeman",
Thanks for keeping me right over Raphael Street not Riley's Place. Must have got myself in a muddle when drawing it. I was only a few yards out. So what's that at the bottom of my sketch? Was it called Horton Street?

OK then - where was Kennedy's Bakery? That was in the back of the Markets area I think. And in what street was there the City Hide Fat and Skin Company? Or have I got that name wrong too? Regards Brian


hilldill
I went to school with a girl who lived in the street at the top of Riley's Place. I can't remember her name now but we both went to Sacred Heart of Mary Grammar School in Holywood. Seeing this drawing brought back a lot of memories - I walked down that street many times on my way home up the Ormeau Road. If I only could remember her name...Edna something

Editor:
If anyone does have drawings or photographs of Belfast at this time we'd love to hear from you. Also your childhood memories of 'swinging on ropes from lamp posts' or Mickey Marley's roundabout. Share them by filling in the form at the bottom of the page.

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