Thursday, 8 January 2015

Stormont Visit

I paid a visit to that noble and august edifice, viz. the Parliament Buildings, at Stormont, Belfast, yesterday.

I had an appointment with a member of staff, who very kindly took the time to show me many of the principal state reception rooms, including the Senate Chamber, Assembly Chamber, Members' Dining-Room, etc.

Major construction works are presently being undertaken in the building. I gather it needs a new roof.

The main restaurant or dining-room is in the basement, where we had tea and scones.

I was sorely tempted by the splendid Ulster Fry, though desisted lest I metamorphose into Billy Bunter.

There is a grander dining-room upstairs, near the centre of the building.

My favourite room is the former Senate Chamber, which is largely intact from any major alterations.

Its plush red leather upholstery and ambiance is, I gather, quite reminiscent of the House of Lords at Westminster.

It was indeed poignant to see a large picture of Sir Norman Stronge, Speaker of the NI House of Commons from 1945-69 (I had the honour of meeting Sir Norman once or twice in the early 1970s).

I spent about two hours in the building before driving out the side entrance, along Massey Avenue.

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