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 Telegraph, Wednesday 8th December 1937


An uncommon summons was heard at the Belfast Summons Court, before Mr. W. F. McCoy, R.M. It concerned the obliteration of a number painted by the Corporation on premises formerly known as 11a Knockburn Park. The new number was 13 and the occupier of the house, Constance Jackson Munn, said she was superstitious and objected to the number.


Mr. G. Magee appeared for Mrs. Munn, and Mr. A. S. Merrick, junior, represented the Corporation.


Mr. Thomas B. Johnston, for the City Surveyor's Department, said on September 25, in consequence of complaints regarding the premises being known as 11a he visited the place, and subsequently defendant was informed that the City Surveyor had re-numbered the premises, and that she was required to indicate the new number (13) within one week.


On October 4 witness interviewed the defendant, who said she was the owner of the property and objected to the number being put up. Later, a Corporation painter put the number on both gateposts and on October 27 witness again paid a visit and found the numbers had been obliterated. On that occasion Mrs. Munn refused to say anything when witness attempted to interview her.


In evidence, Mrs. Munn said she was superstitious and objected to No.13. The other number had been there for the past five years and the other day the coalman went to the wrong house because of the change. She thought she could put any number on the house so long as it did not cause confusion.


On defendant giving an undertaking to allow the number to be repainted, Mr. McCoy imposed a fine of 20s with 20s costs.



Belfast News-Letter, Tuesday 24th June 1924


The annual meeting of the members of the Belfast Library and Society for Promoting Knowledge was held yesterday in the Linen Hall Library, Rev. Canon Murphy, D.D., presiding in the absence of Professor J. A. Lindsay, M.D., president.


The report of the governors stated that it had been decided to allocated part of the space in the premises in Fountain Street for library purposes, as the need for extension had been long felt.


The Librarian’s report showed that the number of books issued in the lending library was 313,069, an increase of 479 the previous year.


The Chairman, moving the adoption of the annual report and statement of accounts, said he could congratulate them on continued prosperity not only in membership but in finance as well. One encouraging feature of the annual report was that there were two lines in which there had been an addition in the number of books issued – theology and classics – those were in addition to fiction. He knew there were a great number of people who despised fiction, but fiction, like everything else, in its own way had its uses. They could not keep the human mind at rest, and the only way they could procure any rest for it was to switch it on to different lines. Some people found that different line in poetry, but the great majority found it in fiction. He did not despise it, because some of the greatest thinkers had been voracious readers of fiction. He was sure that the prosperity of the library owed very much to the kindness and ability of Mr. Burgoyne and his willing staff. (Applause.)


Mr. A. H. Muir seconded.


Mr. A. E. Brett thought that while the society were receiving rents for the downstairs portion of the premises, there were a large number of members who would like that part of the library opened if it were possible. It was also felt by some that a smoke-room might be provided, and in regard to the issues of books the governors might consider some other scheme. The loss of books must be very great and while they had excellent staff, he felt that they were over-taxed, and some scheme should be adopted whereby there would not be so much put on the ladies in the office.


Miss Hamilton said she had been asked to mention at that meeting that a great many books were taken out by people who did not subscribe, and it was evident that the library was being used by non-subscribers. She had been told that when fifty copies of a novel were bought, in three months only twenty were left.


The Chairman said that matter would have to be dealt with, and the suggestion put forward would be considered by the governors. He would suggest that a small committee of ladies and gentlemen should be associated with the governors to devise a means to prevent those depredations.


Mr. Wm. Mayes said it was an objectionable practice for people to lend books to others who were not subscribers.


The reports were adopted.


On the motion of Miss Hamilton, seconded by Mr. T. Edens Osborne, the following retiring directors were re-elected – Mr. F. A. Heron, Mr. H. H. Jones, Rev. H. J. Rossington, Major Robt Workman, and Mr. R. M. Young.


Mr. Joseph McBride proposed, and Mr. J. O. Campbell seconded, the election of the office bearers as follows – President, Professor J. A. Lindsay, M.A., M.D.; vice-president, Mr. William Swanston, F.G.S.; hon. secretary, Rev. H. J. Rossington, M.A., B.D.; hon. treasurer, Mr. William Mayes, F.C.A.


The resolution was passed, and the meeting concluded.


To read more about the Linen Hall Library click here.


Belfast News-Letter , Thursday 9th September 1937


Whether the day be the most sultry sample of summer or the most bitingly cold of winter, it will be grateful and comforting indeed to the body and mind of any woman to repair for a little to the new Beauty Salon which has just been established in that well-known store, the Bank Buildings, Belfast. This firm realises that no modern store is complete without a Beauty Salon. It is a necessity which the age demands. So in their ladies’ hairdressing department a new salon, on the very latest lines, has been fitted up. To celebrate the occasion, it will be presided over for the coming fortnight by Miss Olive Gowans, who has come straight from Bond Street for this purpose. What beauty secret Miss Gowans does not know is not worth knowing. She is quite willing to divulge any specially suited to any individual consulting her.


Yardley’s preparations, which Miss Gowans uses, are becoming more and more popular. Moderately priced for the quality of the ingredients, there are preparations to suit every type. They include a skin food which has an utmost miraculous effect upon the most difficult skin. Powder blended to suit the individual will be appreciated by the fastidious woman. This powder is made to a formula which is kept so that the exact shade can be repeated any time.


A new powder has also just been put on the market which is moderately priced, and which will appeal to large numbers of women.


Miss Gowans is a firm believer in making a special study of the type of which client and giving skin food and make-up particularly suited to it. Her experience in Bond Street has made her an expert in these points. Yesterday afternoon she gave a number of treatments, and each client was delighted with the result. Those wishing to consult her would be well advised to make an appointment at once for her services promise much to be in demand.


Yardley’s perfumes are famous and a new one – Bond Street – has just been added to the number. Its fragrance is delightfully subtle, yet it is moderately priced. It is sure to be popular.


The Salon, which is in white and green, is spacious and charming, and a woman emerges from a treatment feeling rested and refreshed.


To read more about the Bank Buildings click here.


To view a talk about the Bank Buildings click here.


To view photographs of the Bank Buildings on National Museums NI's website click here.