Welcome to Belfast Between The Wars, a blog showcasing a range of interesting stories written in and about Belfast between the end of the First World War in 1918 and the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. 

  • Belfast Between The Wars

Belfast Telegraph, Thursday 21st July 1927


At Belfast City Commission to-day, before Lord Justice Best, Michael John Quinn pleaded not guilty to stealing a silver watch and gold chain, value for £12, the property of William Kennedy, grain merchant, 117 Great Victoria Street. Accused was not professionally represented.


The case for the Crown was that Quinn went to William Kennedy's establishment to cash a cheque for his employer. Mrs. Kennedy went out to get the money to change it, leaving prisoner alone in the place. She returned with the change, and when prisoner had left the watch and chain belonging to her husband was missing.


A pawnbroker's assistant spoke to taking Kennedy's watch and chain from Quinn and advancing him money upon them.


Accused entered the witness box and swore that he was never in a pawn office in his life, and, therefore, could not have pawned the articles in question.


Prisoner was found guilty and put back.


Northern Whig, Tuesday 7th June 1938


Disorderly scenes outside the Ivy Dance Hall, Ravenhill Road, led to the appearance in Belfast Custody Court yesterday of William Jones, Clermont Lane; John Johnson, Dufferin Street; and William Johnston, Dufferin Street, who were charged with disorderly behaviour on Saturday night. Albert Close, of Westbourne Street, who was charged along with the others, did not appear. His mother said he had got to work after being off for some time, and that he would lose his job.


Mr. J. H. Campbell, R.M., imposed a fine on 20s for failure to appear on his mother, the bailee.


Constable Fleming said on Friday and Saturday there had been trouble outside the hall, caused by groups of young men partly under the influence of drink shouting and cursing the police and acting in a disorderly manner. There had been several very serious assaults with knives in this dance hall. On Saturday the four boys came out of the Ivy, three of them under the influence of drink. They were arm-in-arm. There was a crowd of over 100 gathered outside. This was a usual occurrence. The night before there had been a bad row, bottles through windows on the road. The accused used filthy language towards the police, and he had to call reinforcements to have them arrested.


The Johnstons and Jones denied the offences.


Mr. Campbell said it was quite apparent for some time that this Ivy Dance Hall was a plague spot in the city. It was attended by various crowds of well-dressed black-guards, who were a nuisance and an annoyance to people in the vicinity. “I have determined,” he continued, “for some time past that I would not deal as leniently as I have done in previous cases from this dance hall.”


John Johnston, who had a record, was sentenced to 14 days’ imprisonment with hard labour, and ordered to enter into bail at the termination to be of good behaviour for twelve months. The other three were fined 40s and ordered to enter into similar bail.


  • Belfast Between The Wars

Belfast Telegraph, Friday 7th September 1934


WATER RUSHES INTO HOUSES


SHOWERS FOR PASSERS-BY


Heavy rain falling close to the time of high tide led to flooding in several areas in Belfast this morning, but happily the rain eased off before the floods assumed really serious proportions.


Damage of an extensive character occurred to the wood block roadway between the markets and the Royal Ulster Courts of Justice. Here the rain soaked below the block and caused them to bulge in the centre to the height of about a foot, and for a period it seemed that the rising waters were going to re-claim the fish exposed for sale in the fish market.


The cessation of the rain, however, relieved the possibility and soon business was proceeding with all the briskness characterising a Friday morning at this important market.


The bulged roadway was the centre of attraction for large crowds during the day. That portion of Laganbank Road which extends for about a hundred yards from the railway bridge towards the Albertbridge Road was, as usual, another nasty spot for motorists. The water here had gathered to the depth of about two feet at its deepest part and those motorists who approached it slowly negotiated it without difficulty.

While a “Telegraph” representative was at the scene, however, the driver of a private car apparently misjudged its depth.


He hit the flood at a smart pace and immediately a huge spray of water shot over the bonnet and hood of the car, the engine gave a sputter and stopped dead with the water right up to the running board. In a few minutes the driver was able to re-start his engine and, proceeding slowly, cleared the “water jump.”


Four or five houses on the left side of Connswater Street, off Newtownards Road, suffered rather badly when the street was flooded for a length of between fifty and one hundred yards.


The water rushed into the kitchens to the depth of about six inches, and with the houses sloping towards the back, also flooded the sculleries.


Corporation employees were quickly on the spot, as at the other flooded centres, and the removal of the cover of a manhole in the centre of the street hastened the subsistence of the flood.


The inmates of the houses took their trouble in good part and brushes and buckets were briskly engaged in bailing and sweeping the water back to the street when a “Telegraph” reporter visited the scene.


The footpath was, of course, negotiable at this period and some pedestrians passing the doors of the flooded houses either had to jump quickly or receive what was coming from brush or bucket.


Several were not quick enough and their involuntary soaking provided humour, which relieved an annoying situation for the householders.


One resident of the street said these particular houses had been subject to flooding for the last twenty years, but with the laying of larger sewer pipes and other improvements it was hoped that the trouble had been remedied.


The rain of this morning, however was abnormal and upset the best calculations.