Scrabo Tower is one of the most photographed landmarks in Northern Ireland – pictured here from the Holywood Hills, Scrabo towers over the town of Newtownards, Co. Down.
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Photography captures a moment in time – a moment that sometimes can never be recreated, and in that sense is an important tool in recording our local history (and our national and international history too).
These images are of the old Ballystockart Mission Hall, between Comber and Dundonald, where I preached one of my very first sermons, back in the 1970s. It held great memories for me, for I had shared with the people my call to be the pastor at Annaghanoon, Co. Down. As I left the building one lady asked, “Whereabouts in Africa are you going?”
The building has now been renovated and made into a lovely home, and these images were made after services in the hall had ceased, while it was still derelict, and awaiting renovation. They were part of an exhibition in Newtownards Town Hall, (Conway Square) a few years back, and evoked some memories for many of the visitors, who left some very appreciative comments. I included the monochrome image – just because it was shot on Black and White film, and I like the way it shows off the grain on the pole.
Around 4 years ago, I loaded new batteries into my Nikon F100 film camera. We were moving house at the time, and I had moved the cameras to our business unit at Dundonald. When I went to collect them, two months later (we were two months in temporary accommodation) the F100 wasn’t working.
I set it down on a shelf and left it there. From time to time I tried to switch it on, but with no success. I thought about taking it to get repaired, – but then, what is a film camera worth these days? the cost of repair might be more than the cost of a second hand camera. A few times I considered just putting it in the recycling bin.
Browlow House in Lurgan, CoArmagh is the headquarters of the Royal Black Institution. Also known as Lurgan Castle, it was built as the home of the Brownlow family – once owners of the celebrated greyhound Master McGrath.
Today it is a popular venue for weddings and it was in that context I visited it today. Rain prevented a photograph of the building itself, but here’s a few other images from the visit.
On Friday 17th July I visited Belfast City Cemetery on the Falls Road to conduct a funeral service. Waiting for the hearse to arrive I noticed an imposing Celtic Cross in the old section of the cemetery. A photo-opportunity! I had left the camera equipment in the house the night before, so once again I resorted to the use of the mobile phone! Never underestimate what you can do with an iPhone camera! Here’s the result…