Sunday, 24 February 2019

Mayoral Lampposts

Bedford Street, February, 2019

Until relatively recently, a pair of singularly ornate, decorative lampposts adorned the entrance to the Lord Mayor of Belfast's home, whether they resided on the Shankill Road or Malone Park.

The features of these lampposts may have been gilded originally.

Sir Charles Brett remarked that "four cretinous putti, coy and obscene" surrounded the columns.


One putto is reading a book; another wears a masonic apron with a trowel; yet another grasps a boat.

The fourth, which faces the Ulster Hall, has unhappily lost his implement.

Seahorses surround the columns below the putti feet.


It is thought that Belfast city Council, in its infinite wisdom, felt that the erection of these civic lampposts was impractical, given the the office of Lord Mayor is usually rotated annually by several parties.

Sir Reg Empey (now the Lord Empey), Lord Mayor, 1989-90, and 1993-4, had the lampposts outside his home.

Who was the last Lord Mayor to enjoy this civic mark of distinction?

At any rate, many citizens shall be disappointed that this unique tradition has ceased.

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