Thursday, 7 May 2009

At Balmoral Avenue & Road

I did a spot of research at the Public Record Office in Belfast this morning. They have a notice on the wall with an illustration of their impressive new GHQ at Titanic Quarter, which will open in late 2010.

Being an infrequent visitor to the place, I brought one of those pencils which has a rubber at its end: "Sorry, sir, no erasers allowed on pencils...sorry, sir, no jackets permitted on the furniture!" pronounced the attendant jovially, from behind my shoulder. The place must be Bureaucracy Headquarters as well!

I was researching Killynether House. There were a few interesting drawings and documents of 1864, from a firm of Belfast architects called Boyd & Batt, of 6, Donegall Square West, or something like that.

Seemingly, Killynether House suffered a serious fire some years prior to 1864 which "consumed the dining-room floor, a bedroom floor above, the roof and woodwork of the doors and windows"... The beautifully hand-written report continued: ..."The house has been by want of proper attention and has been allowed to fall into rather a dilapidated state... is very irregular in plan, throws a roof with a good many gullies and gutters - a style of roof difficult to keep in order".

The cost of carrying out all improvements would be £450. That's £20,000 in today's money.

I became impatient and bored; and it was lunchtime anyway, so I motored on to Fulton's and lunched in their Hawthorne self-service Restaurant, an old favourite of mine. I indulged in Savoury Mince Tart with dressed salad and coleslaw. Utterly divine! I cannot wait till my next visit, perhaps when the new car is ready.

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