An Belfast local history project has published an exceptional collection of historic photos of the city from before and after The Troubles.
Dating as far back as 1906 and from as recent as the early 1990s the images from the Glenravel Local History Project and published on the Facebook page 'Old Belfast Photos' give a glimpse into the social history, and the everyday life in the County Antrim city. Some of the most interesting images in the collection include the most iconic neighborhoods of West Belfast – the Shankill and Falls Roads areas.
The Shankill Road and the Falls Road are probably the most famous roads in Belfast, due, mostly, to the political unrest and violence that made them newsworthy and the communities' strong backgrounds and close proximity to one another.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom in these photos. There are shots of everyday life dating back to 1906, snapshots of elegant ladies going about their business and ones, like the photos above, taken off the Falls Road in 1912 of smartly dressed young women and children.
The archives contain amazing images from the 1950s such as this wide angle of the Falls Road (below) and the two local cinemas – the Clontard and the Diamond.
The photo below shows the Falls Road taxi stand at King Street, and the former Club Orchid Building in the background.
Later images from the collection depict unrest on the Falls Road c. 1969 and destruction due to The Troubles from the late 1960s on.
Again the photo collection shows that, despite the violence and devastation wrought by the bombings and violent attacks, everyday life continued in Belfast throughout. Below is a shot of a police checkpoint in Donegal Place, in front of Belfast’s City Hall. This police “stop and frisk” style search was standard for those in the city. Note the man on the left is still smiling!
The photos also reveal the resilience of Belfast's people. One image from the collection taken at the Grand Opera House on Great Victoria Street’s “Gold Mile” in the 1980s shows, as the Old Belfast Photograph page describes it, the “re-emergence of nightlife” in Belfast.
Do you remember this Belfast from bygone days? Have you visited recently?
Let us know below.
If you have any old photos of Belfast City get in touch with the Glenravel Local History Project. For more information on the Glenravel Local History Project and their contact details visit www.glenravel.com and check out the Old Belfast Photographs Facebook here.H/T: www.belfastlive.co.uk.