“oh oh fat boy”
“oh oh slap head”
“oh oh four eyes”
He made me do it, really. With actions. Luckily, the singing and actions were not recorded (although some dancing was…). The non walking walking tour Experience Belfast involves a singalong to highlight the local, um, sense of humour.
I’ll always be from the west, but I’ve lived in Belfast most of my life. It was interesting to see one of the ways in which it gets presented to tourists. There are any amount of tours these days; buses, black taxis, walks. Like sensible folk, we did the tour which required sitting down in a pub for a few hours. Comfy seat, wine, good company; no fools us.
Tour guide Arthur is keen to present his talking tour as an antidote to ‘troubles tours’ or NI as a ‘great wee place’. He promotes the radical, the liberal and the Undertones.
We learned about Thomas McCabe, who was instrumental in ensuring that Belfast played no part of the slave trade. Commenting on plans to set up a slave company, McCabe displayed a way with words “May God eternally damn the soul of the man who subscribes the first guinea”.
We were reminded of the importance of Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church– beautiful, historically significant, and soon to be the destination of an actual walk. Blackwatertown has details of another event there, related to slavery of the 21st century. Unfortunately, Belfast has not escaped that.
Living here, we are likely to not notice signs of recent history all around us. When the security barriers were removed, I hadn’t noted the holes in the walls they left behind. We now have fantastic open space down by the river in the city centre; it hadn’t dawned on me how poorly used that is. We’re still set in our ways, it seems.
Good to get a fresh perspective every now and then.