Belfast, Corporation Square 1897

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Caption for Belfast, Corporation Square 1897: The broad straight streets tell of land recovered from river and docks. The church tells of the human needs that followed. It was as early as 1832 that the Seamen's Friendly Society was set up; by 1836 it had a small building of its own in Pilot Street. In 1848 it became part of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and a few years later it was decided that there should be a new congregation. At the same time a wealthy shipper died, and his widow asked for a church to be built in his memory. The Sinclair Seamen's Presbyterian Church we see is the work of the leading Belfast architect John Lanyon. The minister was always to devote part of his time to seamen, and 50 seats were reserved for sailors. The Seamen's Friendly Society was to have a voice in church affairs. A few years after this photograph was taken, the church came under the care of a man who began to furnish the interior with nautical emblems. The bowsprit pulpit is still there, complete with bow and starboard lights. He persuaded the congregation that it would not be sinful to sing hymns at public service.

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, Corporation Square 1897: The broad straight streets tell of land recovered from river and docks. The church tells of the human needs that followed. It was as early as 1832 that the Seamen's Friendly Society was set up; by 1836 it had a small building of its own in Pilot Street. In 1848 it became part of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and a few years later it was decided that there should be a new congregation. At the same time a wealthy shipper died, and his widow asked for a church to be built in his memory. The Sinclair Seamen's Presbyterian Church we see is the work of the leading Belfast architect John Lanyon. The minister was always to devote part of his time to seamen, and 50 seats were reserved for sailors. The Seamen's Friendly Society was to have a voice in church affairs. A few years after this photograph was taken, the church came under the care of a man who began to furnish the interior with nautical emblems. The bowsprit pulpit is still there, complete with bow and starboard lights. He persuaded the congregation that it would not be sinful to sing hymns at public service.

An extract from Belfast Photographic Memories.

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