Author Topic: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.  (Read 2186586 times)

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13260 on: July 18, 2020, 10:51:56 PM »
To all the people of Ringan Point of centuries past when common sense prevailed and the landscape was the only reality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCR4_985wq4
And so it goes: "yours sincerely, Holden McGroyne."

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13261 on: July 20, 2020, 02:07:12 PM »
Hi John (Commonpeople). The guy who gave me that report on the souterrain was on the thread and went under the handle of "Seaview" as I stated on that post you brought forward from the past. Try messaging him in the background. His name is David and he was very keen on the history of the area. I will pm you with some other names later today when I get my infamous box of notes out and look into things. I suspect most of the people I knew were from the North Belfast Historical Society, but possibly there are others. The society mostly deals in the Antrim Road, so as Somerton's contiguous you may be cooking with gas with them. I used to be in touch with Margaret Cartwright when she and Peggy Weir were doing the North Belfast in images book. Do you have a copy of it as all the names of persons to contact (who could potentially help) are at the back, plus "friends" of the society? I can't scan it and send you the back page as I have no photobucket any more (another bummer of a thing in life to get on the goat).

Sadly a few of my contacts have gone beyond this life. However, another idea is to visit the Whitehouse at Whitehouse Park which is a local heritage centre (if Covid hasn't decimated it too). They'll have names for you to contact I shouldn't wonder. There was also a guy called Robert Frame somewhere about the Antrim Road and I think he was well into it all. I mention the names I do because they are prominent members of the historical society and never courted annonymity (one of the rules of this forum is no names, please, on the threads).

I'll get back via pm later today to see what else I can think of. The last place I'd go near, if I were you, is acadaemia. Besides, they'll know "the usual" all squared and only be able to quote out of books and mouldering microfilm for inspiration. They're a dry, pretentious lot who would prefer to believe that the Shore Road and environs are a cultural waste-land in spite of the fact their fundamnetal orifices are likely hanging out of the back of their trousers. I honestly don't know if the Somerton area would fall under the dictates of their prejudices. Likely it would as the "taint" (Shore Road) is nearby.

Sincere good luck. Anything you can find out above and beyond would be very welcome here as far as I'm concerned. I'm hoping your interest has been piqued because you've found an artefact from antiquity. If you'd ever care to come on here and explain your interest I'd like to hear about it.

Speak to you later.
And so it goes: "yours sincerely, Holden McGroyne."

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13262 on: July 20, 2020, 08:27:59 PM »
Hallo Commonpeople, I have in front of me the booklet entitled, simply, "Fortwilliam" created by Dominican College and Little Flower schools. I'm sure these schools are still going, but just whether there'd be any merit in getting in touch is an unknown as this booklet was given to me 30 years ago, or thereabouts, by the history teacher who was behind its creation. Because you said you were Somerton area, I am concluding that the soutterain you are interested in is the one at the back of Castle High School which I believe was previously Dunlambert. It's a long time since I've mentioned all this on the thread, so forgive me if this info. has been put on before. I'm quoting relevant sections for you as I've no other way now of getting it on here.
"The Fort is not the oldest place.""The cave is situated on the allotments behind Castle High school. Mr. Eddie McAtamney describes how this cave was found by a man working on his allotment."Eddie says, "He was building a sod hut, to keep his tools in, when his spade dislodged some earth and disclosed the entrance to an underground cavern or souterrain."
The booklet describes souterrains thus:
" .an artificially built cave. The function of souterrains is not well-known, but the presence of traps or obstructions in some of them makes it clear that they must have been used as places of refuge. In other examples, the presence of chimneys and hearths point to habitation, if only temporary. Some souterrains, often simple construction, can hardly have served any other purpose than storage."

JOHN, I AM UNABLE TO GET THIS THING TO BREAK UP INTO PROPER PARAGRAPHS.

II'd just like to throw in that I fundamentally disagree with this summary about souterrains which may originally have been "power points" on the landscape and contained certain natural items, altered to be fit for purpose (E.g, possibly cup and ring marked stones) for contacting the other realms of existence, or nature spirits. And I'll be bold and say that my own leg-work on the landscape has certainly gone some way to suggest this may well be the case. Ignore the bias of anyone from the acadaemic realms as they only want to see things from the prism of their own self-interest. They'll fall short of the true picture if its suits them.

Back to the booklet:

"On the basis of the evidence available at present, we may state that the building of souterrains in this country begins in the late Bronze Age." (I'd say that's out by 30 - 50 thousand years). "They continued to be constructed during the early Christian period." (I wonder why that might be? To hide bottles of communion wine and smokable incense until Saturday night?).
Next post in about half an hour describes the said souterrain's shape and depth.   :hi:
No harm to the booklet writers, they were only following the protocol of repeating everything from books.
And so it goes: "yours sincerely, Holden McGroyne."

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13263 on: July 20, 2020, 09:14:18 PM »
If I'm making an eejit of myself because I've put all this on before, so be it. I'm glad to be reminded of it anyway as it takes my mind off crap.

So the booklet has a page dedicated to a diagram of the souterrain. It shows a drawn mound, long, flattish and semi-circular (like a convex shape), and the suggestion is that at its highest point it is about 20ft. Now, the diagram's not that clear to me, but it seems as if the sod hut was at ground level in the centre of this semi-circular mound - with the mound behind it. It gives no indication of how long the mound is, nor how deep it is. What it does seem to suggest is that floor of the cave, or souterrain, is about 12 feet from the roof of the sod hut, meaning that it's NOT as much as 12 ft. underground. Looking at it, it seems to me the hut was 4 ft. high and under the floor of it, 8 feet down, is the floor of the souterrain.

The souterrain itself has been drawn in shape, as if looking down from above. What there appears to be is a rectangular chamber about 8 feet down (where the spade opened it) and a narrow passageway into a larger rectangular chamber. It looks like a small rectangular leading to another, larger rectangle, connected by a thin tunnel. There is no indication of what either of these rectangular chambers measure, nor the thin passage from one to the other.

However, curiously, the way it is drawn it is as if the thin passage actually goes nowhere but strikes a dead end! It is as if they appear to be interconnecting, but don't actually connect --as if the thin passageway is nothing but a red herring and strikes the wall of the second rectangle which doesn't have an opening! (That's a funny "store"). I can't make it out. Maybe the person who drew it didn't mean to suggest that the thin passage didn't actually convey from the small rectangle to the larger one.

If you had 2 dominoes, one bigger then the other, and you set them down long-wise so as the smaller one is directly below the bigger one, and you cut  a section of lollipop stick and placed it as per the roughly central connecting passage, assume that the passage certainly does lead away from the smaller one, but strikes the wall of the bigger domino, rather than going into it. That's the best way I can describe what I'm looking at.  It's a bit odd. :hi:
And so it goes: "yours sincerely, Holden McGroyne."

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13264 on: July 21, 2020, 08:44:28 PM »
A most unusual thing has happened today. It's worth the reporting of it - if only because it's so odd.

In my world I've to dot around here and there in the areas of the South and West Pennines. I found I'd some time to go out today, and always head for the more country places. Today I was walking along in a suburban area on my way to the hills when I decided to make a phone call. Being just a bit deaf nowadays I'm unable to do this whilst walking along a main road as the buzz of the traffic would make it a pointless endeavour.

To make the call I went down a side street which was long and winding. As there were about 10 minutes before I was due to make it, I carried on the length of it. I'd a rough idea of how to negotiate it and come back out on the main road. In due course I came to a school and a few children were in the playground. I ignored that for I'd rather not be reminded of school, but, just as I was about to pass on and away I noticed 2 young boys within the grounds in another area, playing near something a bit uncommon. I could hardly believe what I was seeing.
I approached the fence which was at a lower level to where they were. I saw them standing with fake swords having a fight at what looked like. .a souterrain! It was a mound of earth very similar to the one I described last night except that this one had a bit of a door on it and a passage going inwards. I called over to them.
"Excuse me, is that some kind of a hut there?" I had to repeat my query for they had to tune into the accent. One of them then took the initiative to answer me. "Yea, it's a sort of hut," he said, and then proceeded with a very clear account of it.

"The school was built on this land fifty years ago. It was already here - a passage into the hill. They lined it with wood back then and it's always been used."
I was astonished, and not just because of what my eyes were seeing after discussing the souterrain on here last night, but because the boy was very well-informed and spoke like an adult. There couldn't have been a better kid around to answer my questions.
"Are you allowed to play in it?" I asked."Usually," he answered, "but not right now because of coronavirus."
How about that for a coincidence! The planets must be in line for Commonpeople and his pursuit of the souterrain, I hope.  :hi:
And so it goes: "yours sincerely, Holden McGroyne."

tommytwotoes

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13265 on: July 28, 2020, 11:31:12 PM »
Hallo Commonpeople, I have in front of me the booklet entitled, simply, "Fortwilliam" created by Dominican College and Little Flower schools. I'm sure these schools are still going, but just whether there'd be any merit in getting in touch is an unknown as this booklet was given to me 30 years ago, or thereabouts, by the history teacher who was behind its creation. Because you said you were Somerton area, I am concluding that the soutterain you are interested in is the one at the back of Castle High School which I believe was previously Dunlambert. It's a long time since I've mentioned all this on the thread, so forgive me if this info. has been put on before. I'm quoting relevant sections for you as I've no other way now of getting it on here.
"The Fort is not the oldest place.""The cave is situated on the allotments behind Castle High school. Mr. Eddie McAtamney describes how this cave was found by a man working on his allotment."Eddie says, "He was building a sod hut, to keep his tools in, when his spade dislodged some earth and disclosed the entrance to an underground cavern or souterrain."
The booklet describes souterrains thus:
" .an artificially built cave. The function of souterrains is not well-known, but the presence of traps or obstructions in some of them makes it clear that they must have been used as places of refuge. In other examples, the presence of chimneys and hearths point to habitation, if only temporary. Some souterrains, often simple construction, can hardly have served any other purpose than storage."

JOHN, I AM UNABLE TO GET THIS THING TO BREAK UP INTO PROPER PARAGRAPHS.

II'd just like to throw in that I fundamentally disagree with this summary about souterrains which may originally have been "power points" on the landscape and contained certain natural items, altered to be fit for purpose (E.g, possibly cup and ring marked stones) for contacting the other realms of existence, or nature spirits. And I'll be bold and say that my own leg-work on the landscape has certainly gone some way to suggest this may well be the case. Ignore the bias of anyone from the acadaemic realms as they only want to see things from the prism of their own self-interest. They'll fall short of the true picture if its suits them.

Back to the booklet:

"On the basis of the evidence available at present, we may state that the building of souterrains in this country begins in the late Bronze Age." (I'd say that's out by 30 - 50 thousand years). "They continued to be constructed during the early Christian period." (I wonder why that might be? To hide bottles of communion wine and smokable incense until Saturday night?).
Next post in about half an hour describes the said souterrain's shape and depth.   :hi:
No harm to the booklet writers, they were only following the protocol of repeating everything from books.
Helen your right no chance of getting any info from these places about anything  i went to Dominican collage when on holiday few years back i asked them about the washed up suicide and un Baptised bodies in mass graves at ringan point and got told in no uncertain terms we dont know what your tailking about sir there is no such graves , i then paid a visit to the holy family Chapel on the limestone rd and got the same response there is no such thing there are no bodies or graves at the bottom of Fortwilliam , now what i did find out as i was in nottingham this weekend seeing an old friend who i told you about , he told me that when he found the bones on his way home he saw i bloke who he knew quite well no names but he was a bloke who worked for the council M told him about the bones and he was told do not speak or tell anyone what and where you found them several days later there was HOARDINGS all round the area and a week or two later they were removed , several months later heavy Machinery started digging the place up and concrete over sights were put every where and building began the rest as we know is a HISTORY COVER UP   , REGARDS TOMMY ,,,, PS i also visited the little chapel on the somerton rd same response nothing
i never drop players ,i only make changes (shanks) justice for the 96

LookingForMartins

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13266 on: July 29, 2020, 11:46:45 AM »
My husband recently found out who his father was and I was wondering if anyone knew him or his family? We've been in contact with some of his surviving family but due to the large age gap of them all and how young Martie was when he moved away from Belfast (16) they didn't really know lots about him.He died very young in Colchester, England in 1978 but his family were from Belfast and mostly still living there. Martie was born in 1953, his mother was called Margaret Smyth (maiden name Martin) and his father was Hugh Smyth. It was a big family 6 or 7 children I think.  Fairhill Park is listed as the address on his birth certificate but I'm not sure if he grew up there too. I just thought it would be lovely if any of his old friends happened to recognize him from my post and could get in touch with any memories or even a class photo (this would be amazing). No story too small. Thanks in advance

LookingForMartins

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13267 on: July 29, 2020, 03:47:15 PM »
To the nice poster who responded by private message, thank you! I can't respond to you for some reason. I guess I haven't posted enough. hope you happen to see this  :)

barry.lewis

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13268 on: July 29, 2020, 08:10:30 PM »
I want to come home , I live in Essex , I have my children here , my Grand children , but i am now terminal , I want to come home
It's all gone very quick

allymac

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13269 on: July 29, 2020, 08:57:26 PM »
Go for it Barry.
Support all our servicemen and women either at home or abroad.

James James

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13270 on: July 29, 2020, 09:37:12 PM »
I want to come home , I live in Essex , I have my children here , my Grand children , but i am now terminal , I want to come home
Ohhhh Barry,  :( ... so many many would be so very happy to make you welcome and well cared for if you could return.
Everyone who leaves Belfast always seem to always continue to call it home.  O0

THE GIANT'S RING by David H.Harkness

Outside Belfast gaunt and gray
A Giant's Ring not far away
Resides amongst the trees.
Do great Chieftains lay beneath
The dolman stones upon the heath
Where calves and heifers play?

Surely this a noble place
Is where Cuchulainn is encased
Beneath the standing stones.
The grass grows high around the stones
It's nourished by the warriors bones
That lie beneath the sod.

What other mysteries do they hold
Or truths that long have gone untold
Perhaps we'll never know.
It's here amongst the weathered stones
Surrounded by the warriors' bones
I dream of Ulster's past.



James James

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13271 on: July 29, 2020, 10:59:28 PM »
My husband recently found out who his father was and I was wondering if anyone knew him or his family? We've been in contact with some of his surviving family but due to the large age gap of them all and how young Martie was when he moved away from Belfast (16) they didn't really know lots about him.He died very young in Colchester, England in 1978 but his family were from Belfast and mostly still living there. Martie was born in 1953, his mother was called Margaret Smyth (maiden name Martin) and his father was Hugh Smyth. It was a big family 6 or 7 children I think.

Fairhill Park is listed as the address on his birth certificate but I'm not sure if he grew up there too. I just thought it would be lovely if any of his old friends happened to recognize him from my post and could get in touch with any memories or even a class photo (this would be amazing). No story too small. Thanks in advance

Probably quite a new premises in 1953.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Fairhill+Park,+Belfast,+UK/@54.6416182,-5.9309385,12z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x4861082b32301b85:0x269e3fe872d59e74!8m2!3d54.6366075!4d-5.9283368


Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13272 on: Yesterday at 09:04:52 AM »
Helen your right no chance of getting any info from these places about anything  i went to Dominican collage when on holiday few years back i asked them about the washed up suicide and un Baptised bodies in mass graves at ringan point and got told in no uncertain terms we dont know what your tailking about sir there is no such graves , i then paid a visit to the holy family Chapel on the limestone rd and got the same response there is no such thing there are no bodies or graves at the bottom of Fortwilliam , now what i did find out as i was in nottingham this weekend seeing an old friend who i told you about , he told me that when he found the bones on his way home he saw i bloke who he knew quite well no names but he was a bloke who worked for the council M told him about the bones and he was told do not speak or tell anyone what and where you found them several days later there was HOARDINGS all round the area and a week or two later they were removed , several months later heavy Machinery started digging the place up and concrete over sights were put every where and building began the rest as we know is a HISTORY COVER UP   , REGARDS TOMMY ,,,, PS i also visited the little chapel on the somerton rd same response nothing

Hi Tommy,

Nice to get a chance for a yarn on the thread again and hear the extended part of your story, i.e. that the hoardings were quickly erected on that spot and "irreversible" activity re. building.

Tommy, how much of an "afterthought" was Mount Vernon Green? I wonder if it was pushed through quickly to prevent any knowledge of the graveyard coming to the fore, but previoulsy had never been much of a go-er? Wouldn't you, too, have thought that the people living on that spot would have had a chance to object to the appearance of those very prominent horadings which even curved round the corner and onto the road if I remember correctly? Here's another thing: if that last house on Bellevue Terrace at the bottom of Fortwilliam had wanted the revenue from hoardings on its gable, that was made impossible by those hoardings curling round as this part of their house was entirely covered! Am I right? This is what I can see in my mind's eye. It might even have been difficult to re-point the gable of that house because of the hoardings. It just goes to show that when the powers that be decide you're "having it" there's no way to fight the baxters. It's all sewn up from Church and Chapel to wee men sitting behind council desks scratching themselves and calling that an honest day's work. And let's face it: few ladies had that ease of employment back then.

Well, as we know there's no doubt there's something in that ground, and maybe it shows the limit of Christianity's charity and goodwill towards all men. But factoring in some of these other things, there's no doubt too that a lack of interest in the Shore Road is part and parcel to blame. You know, it would be very interesting if someone in another part of Belfast suspected one of these graveyards. Then we could see what types of brick wall they would hit in pursuing it.

This guy or gal "Commonpeople" who drifted on here and gave some up-to-date exposure to the Somerton souterrain: I wonder if he or she will have any luck getting it looked into? The report I have on the "dig" (which was given to me by David, formerly of the thread) more or less said "uninspiring underground cave." Yet if it was elsewhere it would have probably been deemed a glory and a revelation. If only what you told me could be revealed, people would then see it's worth taking the matter into their own hands and poking around there at the dead of night with a high viz jacket on pretending to be from some branch of the council. The type of branch that goes around investigating sites for hoardings when all the residents are asleep and none the wiser.

Best regards,

Helen
And so it goes: "yours sincerely, Holden McGroyne."

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13273 on: Yesterday at 10:03:48 AM »
Tommy, here's another item I meant to mention to you:

In the booklet Dominican College gave to me written by that school some 30 years ago, there's a wee hand-drawn map/plan of the bottom of Fortwilliam and it comprises part of Mount Vernon Road. It's not in front of me right now and I'm not sure they gave the date, but it was some time prior to the Green being built. On it, it shows allotments on Mount Vernon Road on the left-hand side looking up into the area (as opposed to down towards the Shore Road). These allotments ran in towards where the Green is/was (now Fortwilliam Grange). Have you any memory of the fag-ends of these allotments? I believe they were relied on for food during WW2.

Also, can you remember that growing crysanthamums was big in the area in the 70s? I remember the mystique of that, in the days when we moved with the seasons and bought in Egyptian spuds ("blues") in the Winter and people discussed the quality and price of spuds and which imports they found good. My, but they were "realistic" days. Not like now when there's so much of little value, and necessities are made out of frippery and downright rubbish. What was chucked on the Head in the 70s is better and more utilitarian than the crap considered worth having these parlous times.

However, bunches of crysanths arrived at the house from outlying allotments in the Seaview area. The variety of colours from burnt orange to lemon-yellows and dusky pinks and white. They were quite something. The smell left a bit to be desired but there's a pay-off for everything in this life. xx
And so it goes: "yours sincerely, Holden McGroyne."

Dargan

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Re: Anyone from the shore road area of Belfast?.
« Reply #13274 on: Yesterday at 11:03:43 PM »
It's great to get back into thinking about the area, Tommy. On a night like this in August, after sunset I remember how dark blue and foreboding the Cavehill was, and the strange, rising wind cued by something in nature that used to level out our camp fire to a vertical sheet of orange which followed us four points of the compass and made it roar like a furnace. Uncanny. All the snowberries were out in the Sandies and glowed in the light of the fire; also swaying on the wind, Angelica and Hedge Mustards, Shepherd's Purse and the "weeds of cultivation" such as Heartsease which lived under the Rhubarb, these companion plants encouraged by all the vegetable gardens and fruit borders. Jim Beattie's black dog would come out for a display of barking then skulk off again and really it was all leading up to - and setting the scene well- to going in to watch Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing fight it out in Transylvania, or Vincent Price with his masque of the Red Death in the murky gloom of the Middle Ages (what a voice that man had). Atmopsheric times. And tonight, apart from my memories, little remains except if I go outside and look up and see the Plough and the odd shooting star. What a privilege to have grown up on the Shore Road. Regards, H.
And so it goes: "yours sincerely, Holden McGroyne."