Monday, 12 September 2011

Euro-Heritage Day

At the weekend I visited a number of places as part of the Euro-heritage days.

Netherleigh House, now the headquarters of a government department, was once the residence of the Robertsons; then the Hall-Thompsons; then a military hospital; and latterly part of Campbell College.

I was at Netherleigh myself, as a schoolboy, about 1973-74 and there used to be a path from the main school buildings to Netherleigh.

I also visited Knock burial ground.

On Sunday I visited the Belfast Harbour Commissioners head office, a fine Victorian building with many grand reception rooms, ceilings and plasterwork.

The Titanic Room contains a dining-table intended for the Captain's quarters on RMS Titanic.

On the hall landing there is a large portrait of Anna, 2nd Marchioness of Donegall, who died in 1849 (top).

Also on display is a commissioner's uniform, as worn during the Victorian era, consisting of navy tailcoat, cream waistcoat and gilt-brass buttons.

Later I called in to St Malachy's RC Church, Alfred Street, which has had a marvellous restoration.

In May Street, I visited May Street Presbyterian Church, a large Georgian building. I chatted to several members of the congregation and concern was expressed as to its future.

The congregation numbers about thirty, of which six belong to the choir; it was designed to accommodate 1,700.

The church is an important part of Belfast's Georgian heritage.

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