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The Shankill: the People, the History, the Culture.
Those of us who live there are still finding it hard to come to terms with the Shankill Road as a tourist destination. In recent years, however, the Greater Shan kill area has become just that. We’ve always had Twelfth and weekend visitors from Scotland, but these are a new type of visitor, usually young backpackers. Tour buses and specially adapted black taxis ply the road in summer. I often see them parked at the end of my street as visitors from around the world listen to their guide’s description of the loyalist paramilitary murals on the gable end wall.
Now such visitors can peruse their own free guide to the Greater Shankill district. This guide is a large folding map on which are marked significant features. Of course, as a resident myself, I know about most of these but there were a few surprises for me too. I never knew that the big semi-derelict house opposite Woodvale Park was once the home of the notorious D I Nixon, nor did I realise that the oldest pub in the area - the Rex Bar - is supposed to be haunted. The only spirits I’ve seen around there come in bottles!
On the other side is a potted history of the Shankill district, a piece on the local importance of Orangeism and a timetable of festivals and parades. There are also adverts for the Fernhill House Museum and some local businesses. Free copies are available from Ulster Souvenirs, the Greater Shankill Partnership offices and the Belfast Welcome Centre and we've a few copies here too. Send us 50p in postage stamps (or a well-concealed $2.00 bill for North America) and we will send you a copy. Ulster Nation, First Floor, 316 Shankill Road, Belfast, BT13 3AB.
David KerrHome Page
A THIRD WAY FOR ULSTER
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