Friday, 16 April 2010

Friends & family discuss Belfast

To coincide with the series of photographs I am going to introduce a flow of text. The content and dialogue will be direct quotes from friends and family discussing Belfast and their personal experiences of the city.

These are some short extracts:

Nicky Thompson What does Belfast mean to you?

Andrew Todd It's when you ring someone's doorbell and peg it.

Amy Cooper driving to work...and stupid drivers and traffic.....but also gigs and local music xx

Myles Thompson home - but a confused place

Stephanie Robinson my two beautiful friends live there

Lucy Rebecca People in belfast moan about being people in belfast- but as soon as people from belfast leave, all they wanna talk about belfast.

Natasha Mladek It thinks it's bigger than it really is. The people are home birds.

Peter Todd

Age 20

Edinburgh University

Relation - Cousin

Belfast is catching up a bit. I think it’s starting to look well. Although people always say to me ‘aw I hear Belfast is an amazing night out!’ It’s not really, there isn’t that many places to go, and they’re all spread out.

I find when I go to uni everyone seems to be from here. I have never met someone from Belfast who we both don’t someone in common. You ask ‘what school did you go to?’ and then you figure it out. “oh do you know…?”

Do you have any stories that would only happen in Belfast?

Yeah my dad was helping your dad once to knock down walls of his old house. Apparently they were up quite late trying to get it all done. Anyway, the next day in the surgery this woman came in complaining about not being able to sleep very well. So my dad had a look at her, then she said “you won’t believe the noise next door were making late into the night, banging away!” My dad had a wee look at her address and it was the house next door! It was my dad keeping her awake! Brilliant! I mean what are the odds, now that is typical of Belfast.

Debbie Thompson

Age 50ish


Relation – Mother

Tell me about Belfast.

Well it used to be known for it’s linen industry and many of the old homes were to do with the linen industry and ship building.

It’s home, I’m quite content. If I had to move I’d move to Scotland.


It’s more like home.

What was it like growing up during the Troubles?

Well because of the Troubles we wouldn’t go out into town. We would stay outside of town and go to pubs like Baloo and the Crawfordsburn Inn, then we would all go back to someone’s house for coffee.

We would never venture up West Belfast – No Way. I think we could do with a few more pubs. Those days you would have driven home with a few pints inside you. You wouldn’t drive if you were totally sloshed.

Do you have any stories that would only happen in Belfast?

Well I don’t know if this is type thing you’re looking for but it’s a good story. Hilary Warnock and I got married one week apart and we had the same going away outfit. And that was April. Then Captains Day, I got a new dress and we were all meeting at Hilary’s first. Now I wouldn’t normally wear red, but when Hilary opened the door she had the same dress! She went upstairs and changed. Jonny was born a week before Myles and Michael was born a month after you.

Laura Thompson

Age 22

University of Ulster

Relation – Friend

Caroline Webb

Age 22

University of Ulster

Relation – Friend

Laura: I think Belfast is made up of circles. Like we all come from the same circle and you don’t really care about anyone outside of the circle.

Caroline: Yeah I think the circles are formed from the schools, there are like 5 or 6 main schools that we would all know, and we would all no people who go to those schools. We wouldn’t really know about any of the Catholic schools.

Laura: Sure our parents were all in the same wee circles.

Webb: wee, people from Belfast always say wee

Laura: Yeah wee is a really big word.

Becky Poots

Age 12

Relation – Cousin

What does Belfast mean to you?

Nothing much. I love the sun but we don’t get any, the sky is white.

What are people from Belfast like?

They are ginger. Five of my six cousins have red hair. I don’t.

Barbara McCaughey

John McCaughey

Relation – Grandparents

Barbara: I remember when the first modern shop arrived in Belfast, it was a hairdressers. My mummy took me in and it was quite expensive, quite upmarket. I had long long plats in my hair with bows, the bows just kept falling out. Now girls use elastic. Elastic was used first to stop the bows from slipping off.

John do you remember where the hairdressers was?

John: Yes. There was a wall built around the city.

Around the whole city?

John: Yes well Belfast was a lot smaller then, and Belfast castle was in the middle, the wall surrounded the castle for defence. That’s what a city is.

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