Belfast’s ‘Back to the Future Day’

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By Una Murphy

Belfast city centre’s oldest area is slowly being transformed by linking the heritage of its past while looking to the future on ‘Back to the Future Day’

Pupils from St Mary’s Primary School have been playing street games enjoyed by generations of children before them at the unveiling of new art work called ‘A River Runs Through It’ by Annemarie Mullan at the Bank Square/Berry Street home of the new Folktown market.

Children from the school on the lower Falls featured in the iconic ‘Dusty Bluebells’ documentary film made by the late film-maker and musician David Hammond in the early 1970s.

The theme of the new art work is the now hidden Farset River which gave Belfast its name, Béal feirste (the mouth of the Farset).  It also features trades people who worked in the area in the 19th century including the ‘Fadgies’ – Irish speaking people from the Omeath area who came to Belfast to sell fish and fruit.  The artist used information from the 1898 census.

The Heritage Lottery Fund is supporting demonstrations teaching older skills displayed by the artisans and trades people during  Thursday’s  Folktown market.

Nineteenth century recipes for baking and making butter will be shared during workshops on Thursday October 29.

Folktown Market Blacksmith

Blacksmith Patrick Strahan, left, from Co Mayo recently gave a craft workshop. He calls himself ‘the nomadic blacksmith’ because he travels throughout the island of Ireland giving demonstrations to keep the smithy skills alive.

 

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