At two-thirty on Friday afternoon, I was taken to the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Belfast's suite of rooms on the first floor of City Hall, Donegall Square. The rooms look on to Donegall Square West.
I entered the Lord Mayor's Parlour, a splendid room with a long, large dining or display table, which dominates the room.
It has various silver items displayed, including a regimental cigarette box, engraved and lined with a fine veneered wood.
One wall has photographic signed portraits of The Queen and Prince Philip. The side-table is groaning with more antique silverware.
This suite of rooms has fine plasterwork.
In a few minutes the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor, Alderman Gavin Robinson, entered.
The Lord Mayor showed me various items of interest, and his suite of rooms, including a dressing-room (with shower, wardrobe and wash-basin).
The wardrobe contains vintage mayoral attire, including tricorne hat and ceremonial robe. I wonder who else has worn this very attire, other than the Earl of Belmont (!).
The mayoral badge and chain of office weigh about a stone.
The Lord Mayor placed it on my shoulders and, I assure you, it is unforgettable.
Beyond the mayoral boudoir is the Lord Mayor's study; and the Lady Mayoress's parlour.
These rooms have fire-places.
I spent an hour with the Lord Mayor, discussing private and civic matters, including HMS Caroline and mayoral transport. He was particularly interested to hear about my interest in the heritage of Belfast and Northern Ireland.
I took my leave at about three-thirty on Friday afternoon, when the Lord Mayor presented me with several official gifts ~ tokens of this most memorable visit.