Author Topic: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.  (Read 2146001 times)


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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13185 on: March 21, 2020, 08:40:44 AM »
Re. the post yesterday. To anyone still researching, the cottages (or "farms" as my mother called them) of Lewis and Creighton are in the 1944 directory when all three Mount Vernon Cotttages were still on the landscape. Precisely when the two larger ones disappeared I have been unable to fathom. It occurs to me that it might be some time after WW2 and the building of Mount Vernon Estate. Late 40s/early fifties.

The landscape then, had the following buildings in 1944. Bear in mind that 276 Shore Road was definitely the third of the Mount Vernon Cottages and not Belleview Cottage as persons on this thread and connected to it have confirmed that:

276, Johnston, Walter, Tram Conductor lived in the third cottage. I think it was Agnes who visited it and Walter's sister or cousin knew the people. I was so keen on descriptions I even took note of the fact that one of Walter's relatives remembered the gate of entrance on the Shore Road in the 1950s/60s (gone by may day going along there late 60s/early 70s). But the contradiction was that "Belleview Cottage" was supposed to obscure the view! I was at all times prepapred to believe the eye-witnesses over the pictures.

I also have a photo of the children and friends in the garden of 276 which was sent to me twenty years ago and came via North Belfast Historical Society. Sadly that photo didn't show the cottage itself. It is on the thread but as I don't and can't look back due to vertigo, I don't know if it's gone.

So, to continue: in 1944, along with the third, small cottage of my memory, the directories mention the other two in this way:

Mount Vernon Cottages

Lewis, Thomas, Carter.
Creighton, George, Bundler.

It is the "gingerbread" cottage (Belleview Cottage) which is the anomoly! I have never been able to fully figure it out and people on this thread who were around when it was supposedly on the landscape had no memory of it! This is why I had to conclude at the time that some of the pictures had been "doctored." I could get no word-of-mouth confirmation by anyone at all for the gingerbread cottage shown on the tram pictures.  Also, my 90 year-old ma didn't remember it either. Without eye-witness accounts things were becoming even more blurred. The picture of the gingerbread cottage (Belleview) appeared on the thread, but people contemporary with it HAD NO MEMORY OF IT. 

NONE OF THIS IS entirely surprising as that spot on the Shore Road is legendary and full of unknown quantity.

These are some of the issues which have never been satisfactorily cleared up. It's nobody's fault and everyone who have given their accounts over the years have done it with the utmost sincerity, and I'm minded to take it for granted that they all told the complete truth. So what do we have? Pictures versus eye-witness testimony. When a window is in a chimney and we are in the day and age of easy image manipulation, I'll plump for the eye-witnesses' descriptions any day.

I should also say that the first mention of a cottage there, a single one, was in the 1895 directories when it was referred to as:

Fortwilliam Park Cottage.

I had to assume over the years it became "Belleview Cottage" later on. It's all so confusing, and as the ranks are thinning it looks to me that there is little chance of ever finding out for sure what was what. (N.B. the spelling "Bellevue" also enters the equation now and again too).

As for the name "Ringan Point," what a delectable can of worms that one is. ...?

Regards.  :hi:
There's a new toothpaste out which takes 15 years off your teeth.
Happy Birthday Doctor.


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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13186 on: March 21, 2020, 12:14:16 PM »
Hi Helen, you're welcome and more than welcome!

As you know, someone else kindly sent me the pic and a few more of the area; my contribution is to keep gently pestering and asking all and sundry for any photos or memories  of that corner of the Shore Road, while yours is to piece all the scattered parts of the memory-and-evidence puzzle together, and yes, to keep this thread fresh and moving forwards.

I've asked the lady who owns the picture if she would allow us to share it on here; I'll keep you posted.

Thanks very much for the song, I'm really glad it made you smile! PS I'm totally stealing your line about the salt winds!


Posted by: Dargan link=topic=39272.msg2197933#msg2197933 date=1584713082]

  I want to thank Margaret for providing me with an image of the cottage to the side of Belleview Terrace (Lowwood side) bottom of Fortwilliam Park which I have been searching for, for more than 30 years. The directories, and only limited knowledge of that corner of the road (due to my age) led me wrong. For many years I believed it to be "Belleview Cottage" which photographs submitted to this thread by diligent researchers proved to be more of a "gingerbread" cottage in style. Meanwhile, the plain little homestead with the windowless gable still haunted me. I could see that it once had been behind Belleview Cottage as the latter sat flush with the road. Research with Jim a few years back led to the conclusion that the one I, and others such as Tommy, Walter, Agnes and Hughie, Roy (Seaviewite) and last but not least Margaret herself remembered, was the remaining one of the three "Mount Vernon" cottages. "Lewis' and "Creighton's" being the other two which had gone by the early 70s. They were never visible from the road according to my 90 year-old Mother who remembered Billy Creighton gathering vegetable peelings from people round the road for his pigs. These two houses were high on Ringan Point and obviously concealed by a shelter belt of trees or the coverage given by the trees of Lower Fortwilliam. What a pity no-one seems around from those times who could describe those cottages and life in and around them.
Images without people can't authenticate as well as those with people, and so I struggled with the images submitted kindly and generously to the thread, of trams going by, aerial reconnaissance and even newspaper clippings. But I will say this: some of the images which showed the frontages of Belleview Terrace didn't seem to me to look right, and I know Tommy agreed at the time. One even presented with a window in the gable where the chimney tracked its way up (at the Fortwilliam end of Belleview Terrace). I don't know how that can be unless it was a smoke room, and it doesn't seem likely to me that such a thing would have been present in a large but basically run-of-the-mill terraced house. So it seems to me that we have to conclude that some of these images were doctored, unless someone can come up with why/how an external chimney can have a window in it. I'd be all ears, for knowledge is always welcome.
As to the rest of the inconsistencies I, and others, noticed: maybe by the time we were around the row had become soot-tarnished and somehow robbed of the architectural features which had become concealed by dirt, for look at what happened at Fortwilliam Arches themselves? The salt winds eroded the faces of the sentinels and smoothed the angles of the stone. Doesn't it give you a shiver of strange delight as you think of that? What a place!
Belleview Terrace itself was quite a forlorn row by the early 70s and it didn't last too long after that. I seem to remember too that it was as if the Shore Road itself entered their halls, such was the very close proximity to the pavement (that was no bad things as far as I'm concerned   truly "sacred" ground).
However, Margaret provided me lately with an image I could gaze at forevermore as it shows a girl standing at a higher level on Fortwilliam Park somewhere. The view is down onto the back of Bellevue Terrace, and there, nestling on the landscape is the third of the Mount Vernon Cottages! It looks every bit as mysterious as I remember.  Everything about the image is right, and the reasons became available as to why, from the perspective of the Shore Road, only the gable wall of the cottage could be seen on the Lowwood side of Belleview Terrace. I walked by nearly every Saturday and always as a kid wanted to see more, but it was hard to fathom why the view was limited. It seemed to me at the time that the short lane took an odd twist, and the spread of vegetation loaned it more privacy.
Zooming in on things to take a closer look I saw again the high hedge of my memory which ran parallel with the road, plus a tree to one side of Belleview Terrace, and curiously a sight on the other side of the road which really blew me away as it was something I had not thought of since childhood:
There was a house on Fortwilliam Place on the opposite side of the road with slightly "dowdy" curtains and it emanated an earlier feel. There were no jazzy, 70s floral curtains like a drug-infested dream there, but that heavier, slightly "bedspread" material showing a pattern that revealed the hope of the 1950s post WW2. The colours were faded by the countless sunsets at Ringan Point's extremity at this lower level by our day, the hope of the 1950s obsolete. Well there it was in the picture. The house with the curtains I had entirely forgotten about! When I saw this it all came flooding back like a hammer blow. Photo's like this which restore the mind to an earlier time by small details long since lodged in its recesses are truly amazing. I expect now to have other memories return in small detail which are meaningless in one regard but strangely uplifting and encouraging on the flip side of that coin.
If all of this we are going through now in the world is the end of life as we know it, then I'll be heading off to hell with a pleasant feeling inside: that finally I got to see that old place again which captured my imagination way back when life was new to me, yet simultaneously older times and ways of life seemed to matter. Maybe they now have to return.
A big thank-you to Margaret M. whose own researches have been thorough, diligent and full of genuine sentiment. She's a stalwart. Here's one I know you'll like, Margaret (don't like the one you're getting, lol).

Good luck to all. Long live the Shore Road.
Looking for info re the Jamisons @ garage 265-269 Shore Rd 1950s-70s
Fred & Eliza, Ian, Clifford (Caesar) Stanley, Ken, Harold, Winnie, Phyllis, Hilda


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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13187 on: March 21, 2020, 12:40:49 PM »
Yes, let's keep it running Margaret. There's a ton of material about Ringan Point. Its everlasting queries press the minds of the mindful. I hope that your corresondent allows you to post that image. (Her surname threw up a HUGE coincidence for me). A lot of people on here would love to see that picture. 

As for me piecing things together, I've failed, but it doesn't stop me from having another go. "Keep up the good work" sounds trite but it's appropriate. Please do it. Steve Harley was the best chiselled profile in pop, and to think that when this was out that corner of the road was still intact and in motion in the way it moved for many years - with the feel of an active hamlet. I can almost smell McCloy's shop as the heavy wooden door was pushed open. The darkness in there was never that dark. Take the "salt wind"phrase indeed for your own writing. It might be a weird world out there now, but today I'm back at Ringan Point on a breezy Saturday afternoon wondering why that cottage's lifespan means too much to me.  Regards.  :hi:
There's a new toothpaste out which takes 15 years off your teeth.
Happy Birthday Doctor.


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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13188 on: March 22, 2020, 10:08:22 PM »
I was living in 4 Glenbrook Terrace in 1951 until 1962. I don't recognise the names. My memory is the Finlays, Quins, Withers, O'kanes, Cleery, and the Mullans. There was a small petrol station opposite to our house nbr 4. Behind the petrol station run by Billy Kerr was the Catholic  Primary school. Michael