Category Archives: History

Traffic Jams and Nikon Lenses!

Using a 35 year old Nikon Lens on a 1 year old Fujifilm Mirrorless Camera!

It’s rare to have open roads in Belfast on a Saturday, but today the roads were reasonably free of traffic – with people ‘self-isolating’ and ‘social distancing.’  But there was one traffic jam, and that was caused by the closure of an important route into and out of the city, the Sydenham By-Pass.  This closure caused a stand-still traffic jam on the lower section of the Newtownards Road (Ballymacarret) – Just one single snarl up in the whole city and I was stuck in it.

As it happened I had a camera right beside me on the passenger seat of the car, so while the car was stationery, with the handbrake on and the engine stopped, I made a small number of exposures.  Random images, of no relevance or importance.

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Busy Belfast?  Because of the Coronavirus scare, the pubs, restaurants etc are closed, and the usually busy streets mostly deserted. This image processed to a sketch.

Continue reading Traffic Jams and Nikon Lenses!

Glasker Mill

Glasker Old Mill is on the road between Loughbrickland and Rathfriland in Co. Down.  The likelihood is that the mill was once part of the extensive Irish Linen industry which thrived in that area in the 19th and early 20th Century.

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I photographed it with my ‘baby’ – the Fujifilm X-T30 camera, fitted with the 18-55mm kit lens.

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Just a little further down the road is a beautiful old phone box, set against an unattractive brick wall.

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Thankfully, this is not a problem…

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Kilwarlin and the Battle of Thermopylae

Kilwarlin Moravian Church and Thermopylae in Co. Down!

Kilwarlin Moravian Church was founded by John Cennick (He of Gracehill, Ballymena fame) in 1755. 

Click to see post about Gracehill

Kilwarlin is described on some internet sites as a ‘small village near Hillsborough, Co.Down’. The truth is that it is scarcely that, rather a ribbon development of homes along a very narrow country road, not wide enough for two vehicles to pass, and accessible only with great care.

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Continue reading Kilwarlin and the Battle of Thermopylae

Gilford, Tullylish and Moyallen.

With a couple of hours to kill in Craigavon, I decided to make a photograph of each of the Craigavon Roundabouts – but then I’d second thoughts.  After all, I’d only a couple of hours, not all day!  So instead, I took a drive out to Gilford and Tullylish, and on the way back to Portadown, went to look at the Moyallen Quaker Meeting House.  Here’s a few images…

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Gilford Mill

Continue reading Gilford, Tullylish and Moyallen.

Dr Adam Clarke

On a recent visit to the North Coast (of Ireland) I visited the town of Portrush, and made some images of the local Methodist Church there.  Why so?  Because of its name!  This church is named for the learned Bible commentator Dr Adam Clarke.

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Adam Clarke was born in 1760 near Tobermore, and died of Cholera in Westminster, London in 1832. Clarke’s greatest work was his Bible Commentary, which was to be a standard theological text among Methodists for around 200 years.  Continue reading Dr Adam Clarke

The Frocess

The Frocess Trees

The famous ‘Frosses Trees’ (original spelling ‘Frocess’) on the road between Ballymena and Ballymoney. The road runs through boggy ground,

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Bogland near Glarryford, Co.Antrim

and the Pine trees were planted in 1840 on the instructions of Sir Charles Lanyon (architect and civil engineer) so that their roots would join under the road to provide support… Continue reading The Frocess

The Bunch of Grapes

The Bunch of Grapes

So, I’ve visited a derelict pub in inner east Belfast, and made some photographs. Why? Well, because the site has been sold for redevelopment, it’s going to be demolished and a block of apartments built in its place. But more importantly, because this building has an ugly and gruesome history.

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The Bunch of Grapes is situated on the Beersbridge Road / Castlereagh Road junction, formerly known as ‘John Long’s Corner.’ (In the 1950’s my Great Grandfather (Mr Robb) owned and ran a cobbler’s shop (a shoe repairer) at the corner, so I’ve been familiar with the area for all my life.) Continue reading The Bunch of Grapes