THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Municipal ‘relics’ linking Belfast to it’s past on show in City Hall

From the News Letter, April 5, 1951

Monday, 5th April 2021, 6:00 am
Belfast City Hall pictured in June 2010. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Belfast City Hall pictured in June 2010. Picture: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

In the Around and About column in the News Letter published on this day in April 1951, the Roamer reported that a number of historical artefacts which connected the city of Belfast to it’s fascinating history were going on show at the City Hall.

The Roamer wrote: “The collection relics and manuscripts linking modern Belfast with the past, which is on show in the reception room of the City Hall, should be of interest to visitors. Though small, the display is varied, and might well provide the nucleus of a much more extensive one, which could be permanently housed in the municipal headquarters, as distinct from the more elaborate exhibits to be found In the Museum and Art Gallery.”

The Roamer added: “Among the chief features are the two chairs in gold and brocade which were used by King George V and Queen Mary on the occasion of the opening of the Northern Ireland Parliament in 1921.”

They continued: “The main part of the display is accommodated in a showcase which runs along one of the walls. It includes the caskets which were presented to Lord and Lady Pirrie when they received the freedom the city. Lady Pirrie was the first woman to be so honoured, and her portrait also hangs in the room.”

The Roamer concluded: “Other items of interest are baton which was carried by the Constable or Town Sergeant as his badge of office; a mace with the Royal Arms; the original painting of the Arms of the City, and the town seal used prior to 1842. “More recent additions to the municipal collection is a pair of silver candlesticks which were given to the city in 1949 by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham.

“The colourful certificates of admission to the roll of honorary burgesses, which are also on view, make an effective background to the layout.”