On Monday 18th June 2018, the cruise ship ‘Oriana’ – a P&O Cruises ship, visited Belfast as part of a ‘British Isles’ cruise. Janette and I have a particular fondness for this ship, we’ve been on holiday aboard Oriana, – we’d first encountered the Oriana when we were on a cruise on the MV Canberra in 1994, and the then brand new Oriana, on her second voyage passed us at sea. There was much enthusiasm on board both ships as they passed within a few hundred yards of each other, blowing their horns; Canberra releasing hundreds of red white and blue balloons, and loud strains of ‘Rule Britannia’ wafting across the sea. P&O turned it into a patriotic occasion that no doubt also did the company’s image much good. Continue reading MV Oriana
Hillsborough is one of the trendy, affluent areas of Northern Ireland. Situated on the A1 between Dromore and Lisburn, Hillsborough boasts a fine park with a lake, historic buildings, a fort, and even a Royal Residence (Hillsborough Castle).
I visited the town for a ‘walk with a camera’ one morning recently, when the sun was shining and it was around 24 degress celsius. Here’s a few of the images…
Hillsborough Main Street.
This old meeting hall has been abandoned for quite a few years now, and has been on the market for sale. Driving past it I noticed that it has begun to deteriorate in condition. I stopped to make some photographs. The old sign board is still standing…
On the way to Banbridge, Janette and I stopped in Dromore, primarily for an ice-cream in Graham’s, but who coud resist making a few images of the historic town while we’re in the area. Dromore’s history as a town goes back at least to the times of John deCourcy in the early 13th century, when a Motte and Bailey was built. The town was captured by Robert the Bruce (he of spider fame) in 1315, and sacked. Before this there was an abbey of monks (Canons Regular) dating back to the sixth century. Continue reading Dromore, Co.Down
Killynether Country Park is situated outside Newtownards, on the slopes of Scrabo. We walked through the wood on a sunny evening in May, just around an hour before sunset, looking for the strong low sunlight making paths through the leaves.
The Irish poet and songwriter, Percy French immortalised Newcastle, Co.Down in his famous song…
Oh, Mary, this London’s a wonderful sight
With people here working by day and by night
They don’t sow potatoes, nor barley nor wheat
But there’ gangs of them digging for gold in the streets
At least when I asked them that’s what I was told
So I just took a hand at this diggin’ for gold
But for all that I found there I might as well be
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.
Tonight, on the hottest day of the year in Northern Ireland, I visited Newcastle, and made some images around the town… Continue reading Percy French Country
Moira, historically in the County of Down, is served by NIR (Northern Ireland Railways), via a station around 1 mile outside the town, and actually situated in Co Antrim. The line is the Belfast to Portadown line, and Moira lies between Lisburn and Lurgan.
The station boasts a rather fine (although now disused) signal box and is the oldest station still in use on the NIR network, opened on 18 November 1841. Its hard to believer now that just as recently as 1945 the station was manned by a staff of 15 men, including the stationmaster, porters, signalmen etc. Now no-one works here at all.
A wee day off on Easter Tuesday and Janette and I took a wee trip down to Banbridge and a walk along the ‘Boulevard’ – the new name for the outlet centre. After all it was a wet day, with thunder storms and hailstones, and the Boulevard is covered, at least in part, and that meant there were quite a few people about to add human interest. Needless to say I brought the Fujifil X-T2 camera, and made a couple of exposures as we walked around.
Killinchy, Co. Down.
On a recent visit to Killinchy I travelled on down to the shores of Strangford Lough at Whiterock Bay. The Lough is splattered with islands at this point, and closest to the shore, joined by a causeway, is Sketrick Island, with its distictive castle.
The castle is a 16th Century Tower House, a defensive position which saw battle in the 17th Century. Originally four storeys high, part of the castle collapsed in 1896, and what remains is now curated by the NI Communities Historic Environment Dept.
Completed in 2009, the ‘Abandoned Agriculture Project’ was part of an exhibition of photographic work by local photographers in the ‘Curve Gallery’ at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
Photographs made using a NIKON D700 with 24-55mm f2.8 lens.