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, Monday 21st September 1936

A Goorwitch fashion parade is always an outstanding event in the fashion world. The forthcoming winter display at the Plaza on Wednesday afternoon will be more spectacular than anything of its kind hitherto seen.

Mr. Goorwitch, at enormous expense, has procured the model collections of some of the most famous London and Paris houses. He is also bringing across several well-known London mannequins specially for the occasion. Members of the local staff and other young ladies will also take part in the parade.

Patrons on Wednesday afternoon will see everything that is dear to the feminine heart – coats and suits for all occasions, sports outfits, afternoon, dinner, and evening gowns.

There are still a few seats available, and the smartest woman who wishes to keep up to date with fashion would be well advised to book her place immediately at Castle Junction. Only ticket holders will be admitted to the Plaza.

Read about Maurice Neill, who worked in Goorwitch's hairdressing department prior to serving in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during World War II on WartimeNI's website.

View a beautiful design for a new window display and entrance for Goorwitch's on National Museums NI's website.

To find out more about the Plaza click here.

Northern Whig, Thursday 16th October 1924

The Belfast dog show, which was held yesterday the Balmoral showgrounds, made a completely new record not only for Ulster but for the entire country.

The entries reached 1,400, which was 200 in excess of the previous year, and the show is now the biggest thing of its kind in Ireland. The arrangements were carried out under the auspices of the Belfast Dog Show Society, of which the principal officials are – President, Mr. T. E. McConnell, C.B.E.; chairman, Mr. A. P. Dalzell, J.P.; deputy chairman, Mr. S. R. Wilson; hon. treasurer, Mr. T. Monahan; hon. secretary, Mr. James W. McIlhagga; hon. assistant secretary, Mr. Nat McIlhagga, who with the Committee had a tremendous amount of organisation to get through in order to bring the show up to its high level of excellence. Judging in the various classes began at 10 a.m., and was continued right up to 6 p.m.


The entries were not only the largest ever received for a similar show in Ireland, but in every department the quality of the animals on exhibition was estimated as equal to the best shows on the other side of the Channel.

Large classes ruled in every variety, testifying to the increased interest in canine affairs in the country.

The Alsatians headed the list of entries, followed by Irish terriers – rough and smooth – and there was also a fine lot of fox terrier, while quite a feature of the exhibition was the number of new breeds exhibited for the first time.

The judging was carried out with great success. The Balmoral showgrounds lent themselves admirably to the occasion, and with the weather holding fine practically all the classes were judged in the open, which was an improvement on previous shows, which were held under cover as in the local markets.

The judges, who everywhere expressed themselves as delighted with the quality of the exhibits, were as follows: –

Mr. J. W. Heslip, Irish wolfhounds, deerhounds, pointers, Irish water spaniels, retrievers, grant challenge, and variety classes; Mr. George Day, cocker spaniels, springer spaniels, and all toy varieties; Major R. O’Kelly, Irish red setters; Mr. L. Lewis, bulldogs; Mr. W. S. Wade, Airedale terriers; Mr. H. B. Fottrell, Kerry blue terriers; Mr. J. Brabazon, Irish terriers; Mr. A. Mackennon, fox, Scottish, West Highland, and Cairn terriers; Mr. J. Powers, collies; Lieut.-Col Crawshay, Sealyham terriers; Major Forsythe-Major, Alsatian wolfdogs.


In the class for Irish wolfhounds Dr. Robin Hall, Belfast, carried off the principal honours. Mrs. McAllister, Ballymena, scored well in the Alsatian wolf dogs, as also did Mr. A. C. Nugent, of Killowen, County Down, and Miss Fair, of Berwick-on-Tweed, who had close on a dozen firsts.

Mr. Thomas A. Michaels, Belfast, was awarded five firsts in the pointers class, and Mr. S. G. Taylor, Belfast, was a successful exhibitor in Irish red setters. He had half a dozen firsts. Mr. Nichols also scored freely with retrievers.

Mr. J. A. Carberry, Drogheda, showed most successfully with cocker spaniels, in which variety, however, the highest honours went to Mr. Alfred McBride, Belfast, with his champion The Knut.


The collies class was remarkable for the success of a nine months old puppy, Knight Errant of Knock, owned by Mr. A. P. Dalzell, J.P., Belfast, which was awarded six first prizes and four of the seven cups awarded as specials. The successful puppy is a beautiful type with a lovely expression and fine coat. The next most successful competitor in this class was Mr. J. L. Robertson, of Boyle.

Mr. J. L. Salter, of Leix; Dr. L. Widoger, of Dublin; and Lieutenant-Colonel Goodwin, Cregagh, Belfast, were the outstanding competitors with bulldogs.

Miss O’Shaughnessy, Dublin, gained five firsts for Airedale terriers.

There was much class and keen competition in the Irish terriers variety, Mr. John Crawford, Belfast, showing first prize-winners in the puppy, and maiden dog, Mr. P. Hynes, Belfast, winning the open class, and Mr. William Orr, Ballymena, winning three firsts with a bitch puppy.

Mr. H. W. Robson, of Laurence Kirk, Scotland, had on view smooth fox terriers, which scored well, while for wire-haired Mrs. Willis Stirling, and Mr. D. Stevenson, Londonderry, exhibited with much success.

Mr. T. J. Donaghy, Ballymena, had the best Kerry blue terrier, and Mr. S. G. Fenton, Banbridge, had a splendid bitch, which had six firsts in the Sealyham terriers class.

The various other classes had also excellent quality, but in some of them the results did not reach the secretary’s room from the judging ring. They were late in being dealt with.

The specials and cups did not come to hand either. They will be awarded in due course by the various dog clubs.


The Grand Challenge (open) for the best dog in show was won by Mr. Alfred McBride’s (champion) The Knut, a Belfast cocker spaniel which has already cleared the boards on the other side of the Channel. Second prize was awarded to Mr. M. Sammon, Dublin, for his Kerry blue terrier Blue Sensation, and third place to Mr. John Gilzean, Edinburgh, for Brochter, a Cairn terrier.

Find out more about the Belfast Dog Show Society here.

You can view images relating to Balmoral on National Museums NI's website.

  • Belfast Between The Wars

Belfast News-Letter, Tuesday 16th December 1924

In the Belfast Police Court yesterday Fredd Crossey, Ardilea Steet, was charged with having been drunk and disorderly and with maliciously breaking two panes of glass, the property of Arthur McKeown, Oldpark Road.

Defendant was fined 40s for being drunk, and a similar amount for being disorderly, and was ordered to pay 18s compensation to McKeown.

A constable said he saw the defendant coming round the corner with a long-handled mop in his hand. He deliberately broke the two panes of glass.

The defendant, in the box, said there was some trouble between himself and his wife. The latter left him, and went to reside with her parents. On the advice of the parents she got her hair bobbed. “Imagine a married woman having her hair bobbed,” added defendant, amidst laughter.

For more about the history of the bob see:

The History of the Flapper, Part 4: Emboldened by the Bob

An Exploration of the Bob Hairstyle