The Ulster Festival of Steam and Transport at Ballymena. We go most years and it always seems to rain.
There weren’t as many steam engines as in previous years, probably down to Covid. I expect it will take a bit longer for events such as this to get back to normal and it can’t be easy to transport these huge engines around the country.
This year it rained as usual but not until we were leaving.
A celebration of street entertainment over the Mayday holiday weekend. The festival is the largest comedy and street theatre festival in the country, taking place mostly in Cathedral Quarter but also throughout the city.
It was a dull wet day and I have desaturated some of the colours to add atmosphere.
The Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival was held over Saturday and Sunday, 19th and 20th May. I went on the Saturday. It was a great day, warm and sunny and busy enough, but the North West 200 motorcycle races and the FA Cup Final were on the same day and kept numbers down.
I think there were fewer ships than in earlier years but there were at least four tall ships and they’re always impressive. Ever popular, queues formed at their gangplanks quickly and remained fairly constant.
I’ve add a few photographs below and I’ll be posting more over the next few days.
Strictly speaking I don’t think HMS Caroline was part of the Maritime Festival but she sits in Titanic Quarter adjacent to the Thompson Dock and certainly deserves a mention. I hadn’t seen her for a few years and to be honest she was becoming a sorry sight. On seeing her I was delighted at the transformation.
Caroline is a light cruiser and was launched in 1914. She was active in the First World War and saw action in the Battle of Jutland. In 1924 she was moved to Belfast and became headquarters for the Ulster Division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
In 1939, during the second World War, she became a depot ship to an anti-submarine striking force of patrol vessels and remained active throughout the conflict.
At the end of the war Caroline returned to Belfast and at her decommissioning in 2011 she was the second oldest ship in Royal Navy Service. Unfortunately she sat neglected for years until, aided by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, she was restored to pristine condition and opened to the public in 2016.