Belfast Telegraph

Signs pointing way to bygone Belfast to get historic listing

By Rebecca Black

Fourteen old street signs in Belfast are set to receive historic listing.

It comes as the latest stage in a move to ensure some of the less obvious remnants of Victorian Belfast, including some of the old parliamentary boundary posts, post boxes and telephone kiosks, are preserved.

The street signs have been described by experts from the historic environment division of the Department for Communities as tiled, supported by a flute cast iron post and dating back to the start of the 20th century.

"This is a fine example of a tiled sign, many of which were erected on or close to major thoroughfares in the early 20th century by Belfast Corporation, probably to help passengers locate their stops on the city's tram system," minutes of the next meeting of Belfast City Council's planning committee record.

"Whilst the tram system ceased to operate many years ago, these prominently positioned signs still serve as a useful function for today's public transport passengers."

The 14 signs mentioned in the listing include Strangford Avenue, Harberton Park, Donegal Park Avenue, Parkmount Road, two on Glastonbury Avenue, Fortwilliam Park, 354 Ormeau Road, Rosetta Avenue, Belmont Church Road, Massey Avenue, Earlswood Road, Broomhill Park and Broomhill Park Central.

The note from the department to the council's planning committee also explain why they are proposing a B2 listing for these street signs.

"They are of historic interest to the citizens of Belfast and are part of the city's rich legacy of cast iron street furniture, which includes parliamentary boundary posts, post boxes and telephone kiosks," it said.

The notice of intention to list will come before Belfast City Council's planning committee at its meeting next Tuesday (May 15). The committee has no power to refuse the notice; the Planning Committee is merely being asked for its opinion on whether or not they should be listed.

The final decision over listing lies with the Department for Communities.

Although Belfast has been a settlement since the early 1800s, it was during the Victoria era that it established itself.

It was granted city status in 1880, and went on to become a major manufacturing centre in Ireland producing Irish linen, as well as processing tobacco, rope-making and shipbuilding.

Belfast's status was cemented following the partition of Ireland in 1922 when it was named capital of the then new Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph

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