STROKE CITY STREET ART – JUNE 2019

With my football season over, I decided to make the most of my free Saturdays by heading Foyleside.

It wasn’t primarily a Street Art trip, but it would be rude not to take my camera with me and see what I can snap,

I hadn’t properly visited the city since 2007 though I have made working visits since.

Those visits were usually getting off the bus and heading to the office not seeing much. Apart from one, where I managed to cram a whole day into a lunch hour, and managed to get some photos.

For this visit, I decided I would be heading by train. For the sake of twenty minutes extra, I preferred the comfort and having a table seat to myself, setting off at 8.10am armed with my Bradshaw’s Guide*

*Not strictly true, just a couple of freesheets and the new copy of Q, because when they put a Gallagher on the cover, I give them my money and don’t ask any questions.

As I walked onto the platform at Great Victoria Street, you’ll never guess who I saw.

If you can’t work it out, you can phone a friend to see if they know.

Under any other circumstances, walking past Chris Tarrant would be quite cool, but it felt disappointing that it wasn’t Michael Portillo.

In case you are wondering what he was doing, he was filming for Extreme Railway Journeys on Channel Five.

I know Translink have a bit of a reputation, but describing them as “Extreme railway journeys” seems a bit much.

And there was me thinking I was making a scenic railway journey.

Whenever I make the journey by bus, one of the things that is hard to miss when you approach the City Centre is a giant mural on Glendermott Street. Being close to the Train Station, this was my first place to visit, getting some photos of that mural.

As well as I could try, as it was hard to get decent backlift for photos as you would be standing in the middle of the road, which is generally frowned upon.

From there, I walked along the Peace Bridge into the City Centre, having a nosey in the Guidhall.

As with any city I visit, I like to wander about and stumble into things. One piece of Street Art I stumbled upon was a mural of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights.

From there, I stumbled upon some absolute hidden gems such as Smart Swag, which has a Derry Girls painting done in the style of a comic book, amongst the art and random stuff they supply.

I’ve got a house move coming up soon, so if you’re stuck for an idea for a gift, nudge nudge.

I also stumbled upon a fantastic vintage shop called Bedlam. The highlight was following the signage advertising a shop called The Yellow Yard which captured my curiosity. It was worth it.

Second hand football shirts, CDs, records, posters, pillows with artwork on them. You have to see for yourself how wonderful a shop it is.

Other highlights included a trip to the Craft Village just off Shipquay Street and a browse through a shop called The Warehouse.

But back to the Street Art. As I said earlier, I wasn’t going specifically for Street Art, but it would have been remiss of me not to get a photo of the Derry Girls mural.

Painted to promote the second series of the show, i’m not usually a fan of advertising mural, but it’s done in a way, like the John Lydon mural in Bangor, that it doesn’t say it’s an advert, and therefore won’t date.

Located in Orchard Street, it is very easy to find. It’s on a hill, so you can get to experiment with angles when taking photos of it.

Be warned though, there may be queues of people wanting to photograph it. As well as that, it is at the side of a pub, so you may have people sitting at a table featuring in your shot.

That mural was organised by UV Arts, an arts organisation based in the city.

I wondered why Gerry Quinn from Derry Girls didn’t have a mural, but I think it might be because he’s a useless shite.

Because I only had a day there, I would be confined to the City Centre, so I wouldn’t get to travel too far.

That meant I didn’t get to see a new piece called Stag With A Bag in the Rosemount area of the city.

That was done by Irony, who is a regular visitor to Belfast and has featured on this blog. He also did another piece in Derry with his leftover paint where Praxis is based, but I didn’t get a chance to see that either. Maybe next time.

If I did have more time on my hands, I might have also taken a trip to see Drumahoe, the abandoned football stadium which has become a morbid tourist attraction, albeit not quite on Chernobyl type levels due to it being abandoned since a flood in August 2017.

I didn’t get a chance when I waited at the Park and Ride beside the ground last November due to time constraints, so I plan to have a look around there when Linfield are away to Institute next season.

Abandonment was a theme of the weekend, with a talk by Abandoned NI (you should check out their rather excellent Facebook page) at Vault Studios as part of Belfast Photo Festival.

Unfortunately, I faffed about and it sold out before I could get a ticket. My bad.

Talking of Vault Studios, i’m planning to get some photos of the Street Art outside it, so watch this space.

Back to my visit Foyleside, it was an enjoyable day out, saw some Street Art, visited some decent independent shops and got sore feet from lots of walking about.

And I got a celeb spot.

It’s such an easy city to navigate around, you can pick up where is where very quickly. I’ll definitely plan on making a return visit. I might even make it a June thing with there being no football one.

There’s also a lot of spare wallspace. Hopefully, if I do come back, it will be filled up with more Street Art.

Photo Album

Stroke City Street Art October 2015

2015 IN PICTURES – OCTOBER

October began for me with a trip to Solitude, to see Linfield and Cliftonville play out an entertaining 3-3 draw, as uncertainty reigned about the future of Linfield manager Warren Feeney.

The following week was very busy, beginning with Weird Al Yankovic at The Limelight.

The next night, it was Windsor Park to see Northern Ireland take on Greece knowing that a win would take them to Euro 2016. They got that win, and a party soon followed.

Back to The Limelight 24 hours later, for Cast.

And from music, back to football, to see Linfield take on Glentoran, with Warren Feeney gone and Andy Todd in temporary charge.

Later in the month, work took me to Stroke City. On my lunch, I spotted some Street Art, so I naturally headed out to get some snaps.

Back to football, it it was to Warrenpoint, as Linfield had their 3rd manager of the month, with David Healy now in permanent charge having his first game in charge.

I went back on the trail of Street Art, this time in Belfast. mopping up some pieces I missed on Culture Night the previous night.

The month ended with two football matches, to see Linfield taking on Carrick and Dungannon.

Cliftonville v Linfield

Weird Al Yankovic Live At The Limelight

Weird Al Yankovic Live At The Limelight Photo Album

Northern Ireland v Greece

Northern Ireland v Greece Photo Album

Cast Live At The Limelight

Cast Live At The Limelight Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

Stroke City Street Art

Stroke City Street Art Photo Album

Warrenpoint Town v Linfield

North Street Art October 2015

Linfield v Carrick Rangers

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

STROKE CITY STREET ART

Was up in Stroke City recently for work, but it wasn’t all work. Mind you, there wasn’t much play.

Was out on my lunch on one of those days, and spotted some Street Art, so investigated further, and saw some more.

I don’t know exactly where it was, but the one of the bird was at the entrance to Victoria Market. If you’re more familiar with the city than me, you’ll know what i’m talking about. I also spotted a colourful piece at the opposite end of the Peace Bridge from Foyle Street.

Going into the city, I saw a great peace on Glendermott Street. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a photo due to it being too far away to walk to on my lunch.

If you are up there and have some spare time on your hands, it is well worth checking out.

I didn’t go out on my lunch in search of Street Art, but I stumbled upon it, and it would have been rude not to get some photos.

Maybe some day i’ll take the plunge and head up for a day on my own time to go in search for Street Art/Londonstreet Art in Stroke City.

Photo Album