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. 

Northern Whig, Thursday 22nd July 1926

A most attractive programme has been drawn up for the garden fete arranged by the Lady Mayoress (Lady Turner) in aid of the Queen Alexandra Memorial Fund, to be held at Belfast Castle on Saturday.

Lady Turner is being assisted by a large band of helpers, the Lord Mayor (Sir William Turner) acting as treasurer for the effort, with Sir Frederick Moneypenny as his deputy, and Mrs. Dawson is secretary.

The following ladies will be in charge of stalls: Lady Dixon, Lady Clark, and Mrs. Torrens (fruit and flowers); Mrs. Hume (cakes and sweets), Miss Turner (ice-cream), Lady Campbell (variety), Mrs. Swiney and Mrs. Walter Richardson (baskets), and Mrs. Montague Douglas Scott (fortune telling).

Captain D. Crichton has arranged a splendid series of outdoor sports, including football, bowling at wicket, darts, coconut shy, golf approaching, and a treasure hunt.

Dances will be contributed by Mr. Brown’s clever pupils.

To view a selection of images of Belfast Castle from National Museums NI's website click here.

To read more about the history of Belfast Castle click here.

Northern Whig, Thursday 30th July 1931

The open access system for the lending of books at the Municipal Library, Royal Avenue, Belfast, was inaugurated yesterday. The new development has occupied over twelve months intensive work, and the results are satisfactory in every respect. The old Grainger Room has undergone a transformation, and whilst the most has been made of the space for the accommodation of the books the ground area is so skilfully utilised that the public can move about with perfect freedom and without the inconvenience of congestion.

A library ticket is the only passport to the new department. The visitor enters by a door automatically controlled by the official in charge, and his exit is by another door automatically controlled in the same way.

It is anticipated that the innovation will prove a popular one, as ticket-holders have now the opportunity of walking round the department and seeing for themselves the books available. These, to the number of 33,000, are classified in different sections, and are indicated by appropriate descriptive cards. It is not anticipated that the visitor will experience any difficulty in securing the particular book he is in quest of, but, should he not be able to find what he wants he has only to consult one of the assistants on duty who will help him out of his difficulty.

To read more about the history of Belfast Central Library click here.

To view photographs of Belfast Central Library click here.

Northern Whig, Friday 28th March 1924

Jim Hanna, the Irish bantam-weight champion, met Johnny Jones, of Treorchy, in a 15- round contest at the Stadium, Liverpool, last night.

Hanna’s opponent of last night has a fine record, having reached the semi-final stage of the championship for the Lonsdale belt, in which Elkie Clark beat him on points, but many of the spectators were of opinion that Jones was unlucky not to get the decision.

The fight proved a thrilling struggle between the two dour, determined fighters, with the Belfast lad always the stronger. The boys were evenly matched in height and reach.

Hanna, as usual, forced the fight in the first session, scoring heavily with rights to the body and swings to the head. An uppercut made Jones wince in the second round.

Hanna never allowed his opponent a moment’s ease, but Jones countered with a good uppercut to Jim’s chin, which sent his head back, the crowd cheering for Jones.

In the third round the referee cautioned Hanna for an alleged offence, but Jones also transgressed by using the elbow. In round four Hanna was superior all over, dealing out heavy punishment, which Jones took stoically.

It was evident at this state that Hanna was superior, and that it was only a matter of time for him to win.

Jones perceptibly weakened, and his blows lacked sting, Hanna taking everything coming his way in order to get in close.

Jones was clinching to save himself in the ninth round, and though game to the end the referee humanely stopped the fight in the tenth round, as Jones was bleeding profusely, the verdict going to Hanna.

To discover more about Jim Hanna's boxing career click here.