Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) was founded in 1845. It is renowned for its academic excellence and rich history and attracts students from all over the world. An iconic landmark is the Lanyon Building, a striking Victorian masterpiece named after its architect, Sir Charles Lanyon.
Walking around Belfast on a sunny Saturday (yesterday) produced these images. I had walked up towards Queens University and Botanic Gardens and found a free Fun Day in progress at the Gardens. There was Bollywood dancing, arts and crafts and a guy with a bubble machine
Botanic Gardens, colourful as always.
I posted a photograph a short time ago of The Grand Central Hotel in Bedford Street taken with my iPhone. This is another one taken just a bit further up the street.
This image of Writers’ Square, again taken with the wide angle lens on my phone.
I’ve found my phone is fine for grabbing quick images and they look good, very good even, on the small screen. When moved onto the computer with a large screen however they don’t look quite so good. Having said that, I’m fairly sure these images would meet the quality standard required for many uses.
I recently published an image of Ewart’s Mill that included a small section of the Grand Central Hotel. I would’ve liked at the time to have shown more of the hotel but lack of a wide angle lens and traffic on the busy street prevented this. My new phone has however, I think, a lens equivalent to 13mm and this photograph of the hotel was taken a few days ago.
St. Anne’s Cathedral viewed from Writers’ Square
Later I came across this young couple standing in Writers’ Square where the darker flags intersect.
The widest ‘proper’ lens I own is a Canon 17-40 zoom. The Canon produces images vastly better than a mobile phone, but then there’s that saying about the best camera being the one you have with you.
Walking on Botanic Avenue on Saturday past I found I had joined a crowd of people outside the No Alibis Bookstore. I’d been looking at a sports car on the other side of the street and hadn’t been aware of the crowd until I was surrounded by people. Thinking it must be a book signing I asked some girls what was happening, then I noticed the Secret Service guys standing around trying to look comfortable in casual clothes. “Bill Clinton is in the bookshop” the girls said – and he was.
When President Clinton (do we still call him President?) emerged from the shop he effortlessly engaged with people in the crowd, striking up conversations and exchanging pleasantries. Strolling along the street, he continued to interact with people, even pausing to take selfies when asked and giving time to anyone who approached him. It was evident that he was well-liked by the local people, and he appeared at ease, relishing the laid-back atmosphere and warm reception. He continued in this way talking happily to people, until the crowd thinned and he was able to move on.
When I drove into town that morning I didn’t expect to see a former President walking casually about on Botanic Avenue. I told my wife and she asked me if I’d spoken to him. I hadn’t – I’d been too busy taking photographs!
This photograph is of scooter riders gathering in Custom House Square for the 25th Anniversary of The Belfast Easter Egg Scooter Run in aid of The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. Organised by the Mods and Sods Scooter Club, this is a yearly event with each participant bringing at least one Easter Egg which they deliver to the hospital.
This year the riders couldn’t deliver the eggs because of visitor restrictions at the hospital so staff organised collection ( You can just see the van in the background).
The scooter run consisted of a ten mile spin around Greater Belfast, returning to Custom House Square.
There is a collection and an evening function with proceeds going to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
Charity scooter runs don’t organise themselves and scooters don’t ride ten miles around Belfast on a busy Saturday afternoon by themselves. These events always take a lot more organising and effort than most people realise and let’s be honest, you could just spend the afternoon in the pub watching football.
The effort to aid ill children is an exceptionally noble endeavour and the Mods and Sods Scooter Club deserve a sincere and heartfelt expression of gratitude from all of us.
Ewart’s Mill or the Ewart Building, once a Victorian linen warehouse in Bedford Street, has been redeveloped at a cost of £85m. Now a modern office building it is connected, at the first and second floors, to a new 17-story office complex. I take it this is the modern looking building behind.
The building to the right is the luxury Grand Central Hotel, formerly Windsor House. It was originally an office block and at one time the tallest building in the city.
The Europa Hotel can just be seen in the gap between the buildings. It opened in 1971.