A social history of the people who lived and worked in the Belfast Hills has been established in a unique oral collection of voices recorded on our website.

 

The contributors recall the ‘jawbox’ known as the kitchen sink, posteriors sticking to icy outside toilets, the arrival of electric cookers, and gas street lighting.

 

Workmen donning clean collars washed with Sunlight soap, quarry blasting that shook houses and the terror of explosions from German bombs that fell during the Belfast Blitz, are also told of.

 

The spoken word history project, spearheaded by Belfast Hills Partnership, has collected over 20 accounts of experiences that have given expression to the social heritage of the upland area.

 

The group made up mostly of pensioners from across the hills, recalls a bygone era of poverty, hardship, poor wages and cramped, cold living conditions in the hills above the areas of Belfast, Lisburn and Newtownabbey.

 

However the warmth of games, courting and family bonds have also come to life in the accounts that are now online for the listening public to enjoy.

 

The project is part of a landscape partnership scheme funded by a number of organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Northern Ireland

Environment Agency.

 

The Heritage Lottery Fund Landscape Partnerships programme awards funds for schemes led by partnerships of local, regional and national interests which aim to conserve areas of distinctive landscape character throughout Northern Ireland and Britain.

 

listen