Belfast, Castle Place 1897

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Caption for Belfast, Castle Place 1897: The horse-drawn trams were a long-established feature of the city, and the system was still being extended up the Cregagh and Anderstown Roads. All parts could be reached from this corner, and its popular name of Castle Junction had become fixed. The 114 cars and 1,000 horses were the property of the Belfast Street Tramway Company. The company was now ready to bring in electric trams, and had an act of parliament approving the work. However, this was subject to having the agreement of the Corporation, which was not forthcoming. As things stood, the company operated under a lease from the Corporation under which it paid rent for the use of the streets. The Corporation had just gained some experience in supplying electricity for light in the city centre from a station in Chapel Lane. The demand of the trams would make it all the more worth-while to carry on with plans to build a more substantial power station on East Bridge Street by the river, using imported coal. Without doubt, the councillors' thinking was influenced by their experience of running a gas works at a very good profit. Even then, it was producing the money to build a splendid new City Hall, which was to become the perfect memorial for those years. The company made three offers to the Corporation, including one with profit sharing, but to no avail. With another seven years for the lease to run, the city had to wait until 1905 for the new trams.

An extract from Belfast Photographic Memories.

Memories of Belfast


I was lucky in that I lived in an area that was not often touched by the violence that was going on in Northern Ireland at the time, but a telephone conversation with my mum in recent days brought back memories of life in Belfast when 'the troubles' were in full swing. She had just heard the news of the recent (...Read full memory)

My cousin and I lived at the top of the Oldpark Road, near Ballysillan, in the mid-1950's and every Saturday morning during our tenth and eleventh years, we would catch the bus into town, walk around the City Hall and down to swim at the Ormeau Baths. After we had our permitted 30 minutes, we would walk back to a cafe (...Read full memory)

back in the years 1947 /1950 ,my grand mother and I would spend a day at Hazelwood ,if I recall correctly by the steps they had a little carnival ,then we would make our way to the Floral hall ,which in those days had a silver tea room ,whiter than white table cloths ,the waitress,s dressed in black with white (...Read full memory)

After school - Belfast Royal Academy - a liitle gang of us would take the bus down to Royal Avenue and head for the Lombard restaurant in Lombard Street. It was a very comfortable, spacious place, founded by the Ulster Temperance Society and open evenings too, where you could sit as long as you liked, with waitress (...Read full memory)

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More about this scene


Caption for Belfast, Castle Place 1897: The horse-drawn trams were a long-established feature of the city, and the system was still being extended up the Cregagh and Anderstown Roads. All parts could be reached from this corner, and its popular name of Castle Junction had become fixed. The 114 cars and 1,000 horses were the property of the Belfast Street Tramway Company. The company was now ready to bring in electric trams, and had an act of parliament approving the work. However, this was subject to having the agreement of the Corporation, which was not forthcoming. As things stood, the company operated under a lease from the Corporation under which it paid rent for the use of the streets. The Corporation had just gained some experience in supplying electricity for light in the city centre from a station in Chapel Lane. The demand of the trams would make it all the more worth-while to carry on with plans to build a more substantial power station on East Bridge Street by the river, using imported coal. Without doubt, the councillors' thinking was influenced by their experience of running a gas works at a very good profit. Even then, it was producing the money to build a splendid new City Hall, which was to become the perfect memorial for those years. The company made three offers to the Corporation, including one with profit sharing, but to no avail. With another seven years for the lease to run, the city had to wait until 1905 for the new trams.

An extract from Belfast Photographic Memories.

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