shine

The sun was out, the sky was nearly blue, the scenery was beautiful. There were over a thousand people holding hands. It was freezing, but there was a band, so all was well. The band led the walk and I liked to think that I was in Treme (without the post Katrina problems, of course).

.

Also, a bear and a mayor.

My friends in the charity Shine had organised the event: across the bridge, to raise awareness of, and to fundraise for, people living with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.

The Peace Bridge is recently opened, having been funded by the European Unions’s Shared Space programme, with the aim of bringing together communities which had previously been divided.

Apparently, “the Peace Bridge is one of the largest and most iconic projects to be supported under the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund’s Peace III Programme. Its inspiration was Derry’s iconic hands across the divide sculpture; conceived as two distinct structural systems that work in harmony. At the middle of the river both systems overlap, boldly interacting to create a single unified crossing – a structural handshake across the Foyle and an embrace in the centre of the river. The 235m long, four meter wide bridge connects the predominately nationalist west bank to the largely unionist east bank. It’s aim is to tackle problems of the separated communities by creating genuine new shared space or  by transforming contested space. It is illuminated at night, allows leisure craft to pass safely at high tide and provides pedestrian and cycle access from the Cityside to the regenerated Ebrington site and St Columb’s Park.”

Photo from Cain

The Ebrington site is a former army barracks, which is in the process of redevelopment from a secure fortress to a cultural and community based resource. It’s the newest ‘shared space’ and is to be a significant venue during the City of Culture 2013.

Fun, friends, music, history and architecture- not bad for a day out!

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13 thoughts on “shine”

  1. Fiona thank you for this – great blog about the event and I think the Tourist Board will be after you not least to promote the maiden city and all it has to offer. So glad you came to be with us and as always giving your support and talents. Glad you enjoyed it all too. Still in recovery here !x

  2. Looks like an awesome day, Fiona. You hoofed it through and brought us all these wonderful photos, too. I love the ones of the bridge especially. The modern bridge against the backdrop of the older architecture almost always pleases my eye.

    1. The bridge is fascinating, and there are loads of proper pics online. There was a jazz festival on, as well as the charity fun day and I could have been tempted just to sit about all afternoon!

  3. Gracious, loads to take in, Fiona, how fascinating – my head would have been doing that cartoon thing where it turns about six ways at once. The Peace bridge is fabulous. Bridges are so crucial: we always miss one when it closes and I’ll never forget the effect the Millennium Bridge had when it opened – being able to trip blithely from St Paul’s to Bankside. And your new bridge has such a significant mission.

  4. Fiona trhank you for doing this wonderful blog about our day. It was so kind of you to come along and take all the fabulous photos

    1. Cathy & Sandra- congratulations on a great event that I was proud to be part of! I’m putting a post up on the nirdp site that has photos of the Shine folk 🙂

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