Sir Van Morrison to receive street sign to mark 70th birthday
Belfast City Council is to present Sir Van Morrison with the sign of a street which inspired one of his most famous songs to mark his 70th birthday.
Sir Van grew up in a terraced house at Hyndford Street in the east of the city, close to the Harland and Wolff Shipyard. He later wrote about the silence of the long summer nights On Hyndford Street.
The sign - which is one of the more rare, old-style Belfast versions - will form part of a special art piece by local artist Ross Wilson and is to be presented to the singer and songwriter who will turn 70 on August 31.
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Arder Carson, said: "It's our pleasure to make this donation in honour of one the city's most famous and successful sons. Van is a household name, not just here in Belfast, but across the world.
"It is a special year for Van and I know his fans will be looking forward to joining in the birthday celebrations."
Last month Sir Van received a knighthood in the Queen's birthday honours list. He is also a Freeman of the City of Belfast.
The performer is due to celebrate his 70th birthday with a concert at another east Belfast street acclaimed in his lyrics, Cyprus Avenue.
Sir Van has notched up numerous awards during his career as a singer/songwriter including six Grammys and a Brit Award. He has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
His poetic lyrics have enshrined the streets of his childhood in popular imagination and former bandmates, fellow musicians and critics have lauded his "unique" contribution.
He has said Belfast was the source of the "river" of his lyrics. Songs like Cyprus Avenue and Madame George are set there.