Saturday, 13 March 2021

Mayoral Lamps

Bedford Street, February, 2019

Until quite recently a pair of singularly ornate, decorative lamps adorned the entrance to Lord Mayors' homes, whether they resided on the Shankill Road, Mersey Street, or Malone Park.

The features of these elaborate lampposts may have been gilded originally.

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


One putto peruses 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.

Mayoral Lamps, Antrim Road, Belfast (Image: Belfast Live)

Which Lord Mayor lived on the Antrim Road in the 1960s? Kinahan?

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

It was suggested to me that Dr Ian Adamson OBE, Lord Mayor, 1996-7, was the last city councillor to enjoy that distinction.

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

First published in February, 2019.

1 comment :

Andrew Kennedy said...

The Lord Mayor who lived on the Antrim Road was Joseph Cairns.