Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Belfast City Hall, Ireland

It’s a must see in the guide books.  Smack dab in the centre of the city. A beautiful building. We wandered in and followed the signs to the exhibits.  This was in the cafe where we learned the Belfast had been a centre of industry for a very long time. It had produced planes since the War and was a great ship building centre that had built Ocean liners including the Titannic.  As well it was a place where linen was made en mass.  I loved that the first chocolate as we consider it in modern times was developed here. Milk of Magnesia comes from here. Portable defibrillators. Quantum Theorem Physics.  James Bond’s Autogyro!!! Lord Kelvin of temperature fame was from here. The first air craft ejection seat was developed here.  Aerated water for drinking came from here. The list goes on and on.
We lucked out as a tour was beginning and welcomed.  The building is a working place with security concerns so you can only go through it as part of a tour. Our tour guide was incredible.  Thanks to him we learned that Van Morrison been honoured with the rarely bestowed freedom of the city.  The murals were explained. There was even a picture of the man who had argued for more lifeboats on the Titanic and been over ridden by others opinions.  There was a copy of the Ulster Covenant. A half million people had signed a document asking that Ireland remain part of the British Empire.  The Original Charter have been given by King James I in 1613.  Some million or more loyal protestants live in Northern Ireland now.
We noticed that Northern Ireland was distinct from the south when we found that Euro wasn’t the exchange but rather Stirling Pounds. Thank God for ATM machines.
I thought of my grandfather from here as I was sitting in the Lord Mayor of Belfast’s chair.  I don’t he’d have thought a grandson of his would one day be doing this when he was emigrating to Canada with my grandmother.

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