Recording Change

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Page updated 11/7/2022


The Floral Hall, Hazlewood, Cave Hill, Belfast


Above: Before and after views. The first is by an unknown publisher and the second, happy card, is a Valentine’s.

Floral Hall August 2015

Above: A sad view as I found the Floral Hall on my visit in August 2015.

Built in the mid-1930s, in the Art Deco style, the Floral Hall is fondly remembered by generations of Belfast folk as the place where they met the love of their lives. These days the building is a sorry sight, boarded up and now within the Belfast Zoo grounds. There’s a strong campaign to save the building and more details can be found here. Perchance it is not dead, but sleepeth?

The Laharna Hotel, Larne, Co.Antrim

Postcards can be a great way of discovering changes that have taken place to landscapes, buildings etc. and these first two of the Midland Railway Company’s “Laharna Hotel” at Larne illustrate the point well.


Above left: a Valentine’s card of the Laharna Hotel in the very early 20th century and right: a Lawrence card from about 1910 showing the massive expansion that has taken place. Further enlargement took place in the 1930s with yet another storey being added – see the rather unattractive coloured Valentines card below. The hotel passed out of railway ownership in the 1950’s and went into a spiral of decline, closure, arson attacks and ultimately demolition. Today the footprint is occupied by an apartment/retail complex bearing the name ‘Laharna Buildings‘.


St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh, Co.Cork


Cobh Catherdal before spireSt.Colman's Cathedral VALENTINES

The construction of the cathedral was begun in 1868 but was not completed until 1915! The landmark spire took almost five years to build and was completed in March 1915. The two colour cards by Valentines are before and after the spire was added and date from 1905 and 1930 respectively.

More here: St.Colman’s Cathedral


Some Dublin Bridges

Just west of the Custom House the River Liffey is crossed by two bridges – the Loop Line railway bridge dating from 1891 and adjacent to it the road is carried over the river on Butt bridge. The first photograph shows the view downstream with the original Butt bridge (1879) which incorporated an opening swing span to facilitate shipping. Note the pleasing downstream view.

More about Butt bridge here:

However, in 1891 the Loop Line railway bridge was added and was very controversial at the time as it spoilt the downstream view of the Custom House. As recently as the late 1960’s there was a concerted campaign to have it removed. While the swing span on the road bridge was replaced in 1932 there’s little chance that railway bridge will be going any time soon as it now carries the cross-city DART line.

Grafton Street – with traffic

Grafton Street with traffic

Who remembers this free for all? Despite being a poor model of pedestrianisation Grafton Street is so much more pleasant today without the traffic.

John Hinde card – stated on the back and I’m not sure what the Dollard reference is about?

The Pavilion, Kingstown/Dun Laoghaire

Pavilion FRONT

Emerald Series card posted 1910.

Pavilion Cinema Dun Laoghaire VALENTINES

Above – The Pavilion Cinema is how most people will remember the site. I was in it back in the 1960s but it can’t have impressed as I can’t recall anything about it. Card by Valentines.

Meadows & Byrne

Today Meadows & Byrne occupies the footprint of the Pavilion and while inoffensive – by modern standards – it offers little of architectural merit.


Newgrange, Co.Meath

Newgrange Tumulus Entrance old - Copy

Newgrange Tumulus Entrance post modernisation - Copy

Two views of the entrance to the megalithic burial site at Newgrange which illustrate just how much the site has been butchered to satisfy the demands of the tourism industry.


Stewart Castle, Newtownstewart

Stewart Castle was built in 1619 by Sir Robert Newcomen in an English manor house style. It was damaged during the Irish Rebellion of 1641 by Sir Phelim O’ Neill. In 1689 on King James’ return from the Siege of Derry he ordered Stewart Castle, and the town, to be burnt down.

Stewart Castle, Newtownstewart

An early 20th century postcard view of the remains of the castle.


A more recent view shows little has changed and surprisingly the remaining wall has survived the ravages of time. Ref:


Ferns, Co.Wexford

A Lawrence postcard view looking northwards from Ferns circa 1907 and a contemporary Google Street View from roughly the same spot. Road widening has despoiled much of the charm of the area but St.Mogue’s Well still remains and the adjacent Church of Ireland Cathedral of St.Edan’s is well worth a visit.

The Rosslare Hotel, Co.Wexford



Things have changed a bit at the Rosslare Hotel since “Jotter’s” early 20th century view published by Arthur Burkart & Co., London, and today the massively expanded premises is something of an institution in the South East. In the Kelly family since its construction in 1905 and now trading as Kelly’s Hotel the original building still exists at the core of the more recent extensions.


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