Monthly Archives: February 2012

Jaffe Fountain

Belfast’s Jaffe Fountain

There is a round plaque at the front of the fountain canopy in remembrance of Daniel Joseph Jaffe.

It was first sited in Victoria Square before being moved to the Botanic Gardens, south Belfast in 1933 and lay there for almost 70 years in poor condition. The fountain had to be painstakingly restored due to its condition and to study its original colours underneath the years of neglect.

It has been returned to the original location outside the new Victoria Square Mall.

It is a great link to Belfast’s history and the role of the Jaffe family. Daniel Joseph Jaffe was born in Mecklenburg, Schwerin, northern Germany on August 19, 1809. He laid the foundation stone of the synagogue in Great Victoria Street. He died in Nice on January 21, 1874, and was buried in the Jewish plot at Belfast Cemetery.

Daniel Joseph Jaffe and his older sons formed Jaffe Brothers, linen manufacturers, bleachers and merchants, at Bedford Street, Belfast. Otto a younger son, took over from his older brothers when they retired in 1877 and managed the business they had started with their father.  In 1880 the business had moved to 9 Donegall Square East and 10 Donegall Square South.

Otto Jaffe, was elected as a city councillor in 1894, and was elected as Belfast’s first Lord Mayor in 1899 (the first incumbent of the title ‘Lord’). He was knighted after his first term and re-elected as Lord Mayor in 1904. Sir Otto died in 1929, and was cremated in London.

The narrow triangular building is Bittles Bar. If you need a winter warmer you could try:-

Openings ~ 26

Today I finish this mini series of The Belfast Entries.

Sugar House Entry

Black George McCartney ran  a sugar refining business in the second half of the 1600s, on the corner of Waring Street and Sugar House Entry which runs parallel to Bridge Street from north side of High Street.

Sugar House Entry

He ran the Waring Street sugarhouse up to his death in 1683. In 1678 he had leased adjacent land called Wilkins tenement in order to extend the sugarhouse. His sons Arthur & Chichester McCartney inherited the premises.

Sugar House Entry

The entry later became better known for the “Dr Benjamin Franklin Tavern”, owned by the Barclay family. The tavern was used as a meeting place for the United Irishmen, who met there under the name of The Muddlers’ Club”.

Next to Sugarhouse Entry is the Commercial Building, nowadays known as The Northern Whig. It was opened in 1820 and replaced four thatched cottages, one of which was a woollen drapers shop owned by the famous United Irishman Samuel Neilson.

The entry was closed (using emergency legislation) as a precaution against bombs and is now nothing more than a service access and is no longer a public thoroughfare. Best view is from Waring Street to High Street.

The Northern Whig

Nearby at the junction of Waring Street, Donegall Street, North Street and Bridge Street, is the oldest part of the city. Dubbed the Four Corners, it was from here that all milestones from Belfast were measured.

Photo: clara.net

On the junction of the four streets stands the old exchange and assembly rooms. Now a two-storey 18th Century edifice. The building began life in 1769 as a single storey marketplace, with the second level added five years later. In 1792, ten Irish harpists congregated for the historic Belfast Harp Festival. Their music was notated by Edward Bunting and a revival of traditional Irish music began. The building is more familiar to today’s locals as the former Northern Bank. Occasional art exhibitions and plays are held within its somewhat faded grandeur.

Northern Bank

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Wilson’s Court is just off Ann Street. One of earliest surviving buildings is The Mermaid Inn, which used to be The Rainbow Hotel in the 1860s. It’s family run and like The Lifeboat Bar and The Capstan, took its name from the city’s seafaring history. When I walked past the black roller shutter was down, so not worth a photograph.

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Castle Arcade, although an historic route and site of the original Belfast castle, it now lacks character due to the modern buildings on either side. It cuts diagonally from Cornmarket/High Street to Castle Lane. Several large historical photographs of the Entry are permanently displayed on the walls.

Simply Fun

Sitting on the grass with a three year old, watching their eyes filled with the wonder of the world about them.

Picking daisies and buttercups, blowing bubbles and watching them drift skyward.
Attention suddenly taken by a butterfly, wings full stretch in the sunshine
Returning to explore my face with gentle touch before rolling in the grass with tickles and giggles.

Walking on a beach with an eight year old, listening to their constant chatter as we…..

Paddle, squealing & jumping up and down in the cold lazy lapping waves.
Gathering shells, running from one cluster to another to find new treasure
Flying a kite, mastering the take off and feeling the tug as it soars to float on the current of air way above us.

Skipping through rustling leaves of an autumn dressed wood with a teenager, suddenly free to drop the weight and angst of their age to become a child again for the duration

Exploring an untrodden path,
Scrambling over tree roots and listening to the un-silent silence of nature
Watching a squirrel disappear up a tree
Swinging from a branch
Sitting on a log solving the problems of age, parents and the world
Heading home hungry with the glow of fresh air on their faces

Giggling with the girls over a bottle of wine and nibbles as they tell me about

The day just gone, the promotion that will be announced the next day
The new dress or shoes in mind to buy tomorrow
The new beau in their lives and what makes him special
Ask my advice on this that or the other
Before testing the latest make up on my poor old face

Chatting in a one to one with a stranger who has the years of experience etched on their face, a twinkle in their eye and the interest to peel back the pages of their life and share the stories with me.

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Our topic this week My idea of fun was tossed into the ring by the playful Padmini.
Now skip on over to see what the available active members have to tell us about their idea of fun: Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox Magpie 11, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit, The Old Fossil, Will Knott.

Thursday Special ~ Cheap at 10 pence

Four old retired guys are walking down a street in London . They turn a corner and see a sign that says,

“Old Timers Bar – ALL drinks 10p.”

They look at each other and then go in, thinking, this is too good to be  true. The old bartender says in a voice that carries across the room,

“Come on in and let me pour one for you! What’ll it be, gentlemen?”

There’s a  fully stocked bar, so each of the men orders a martini. In no time the bartender serves up four iced martinis—shaken, not stirred—and says,

“That’ll be 10p each, please.”

The four guys stare at the bartender for a moment, then at each other. They can’t believe their good luck. They pay the 40p, finish their  martinis, and order another round. Again, four excellent martinis are produced, with the bartender again saying,

“That’s 40p, please.”

They pay  the 40p, but their curiosity gets the better of them. They’ve each had two  martinis and haven’t even spent a £1 yet.

Finally one of them says,

“How can you afford to serve martinis as good as these for a 10p a piece?”

“I’m a retired tailor,” the bartender says, “and I always wanted to own a bar. Last year I hit the Lottery Jackpot for £25 million and decided to open this place. Every drink costs 10p. wine, liquor, beer—it’s all the same.”

“Wow! That’s some story!” one of the men says.

As the four of them sip at their martinis, they can’t help noticing seven other people at the end of the bar who don’t have any drinks in front of them and haven’t ordered anything the whole time they’ve been  there. Nodding at the seven at the end of the bar, one of the men asks the bartender,

“What’s with them?”

The bartender says,

“They’re retired people from Yorkshire . They’re waiting for Happy Hour when drinks are half-price”.

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Thanks to Ramana for the story this week

I now have the words!

At 4am this morning I wrote the previous little ditty then sleep finally came.

I woke to wonderful news.

I said  I woke to WONDERFUL NEWS!

Ashok, all the way over in Bangalore and one of the four original members of the LBC, is about to hit be Called to the Bar. In my mind he is another Brian in the making. The results of his Bar Exams are through…. and well worth shouting about:-

94 out of a possible 100

I never in all my life managed to achieve marks like that.

I am so delighted that I will dance about today as if the ground was a trampoline.

Congratulations young man!

A New Blank Document

Where to begin.
To make it special
Share what’s in your head
Your heart

Words once on paper
Can never be undone
Words you think need sharing
The feelings strong

You don’t want to spoil it
By getting it wrong
So eat another biscuit
While composing that song

For all Valentine’s

For the day that is in it..

Bette Midler – The Rose

Some say love it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed

Some say love it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love it is a flower
And you it’s only seed

It’s the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed
That with the sun’s love
In the spring
Becomes the rose

Food Monday ~ Potato, Celeriac and Apple Rosti

Potato, Celeriac and Apple Rosti

110g  Maris piper potatoes
110g  celeriac
55g  cooking apple
55g  butter
2 tablespoons oil
salt and pepper

Grate the potato and place in a cloth. Squeeze out the juices. Peel the celeriac and grate. Peel the apple and grate. Mix the grated apple, potato and celeriac together.
Heat 30g butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick frying pan. When the oil and butter mixture is sizzling put in the potato, apple and celeriac and press down firmly. Season well and keep pressing down so that the strands form a pancake or rosti. Cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes.
Melt the remaining 25g butter on top of the rosti. Turn over with a spatula or by inverting on a plate in the pan and cook the other side until well browned. The rosti will keep when cooked through on a low heat for 20 minutes. Cut into portions and serve.

Openings ~ 25

The Entries we have visited over the past few weeks were once part of the town’s waterfront streets. They ran between warehouses and on down to the quayside, an area that was destroyed by an intense German aerial assault in the Second World War. In 2006 and 2007, along with a number of the other Entries environmental refurbishment was carried out to improve their condition.


Pottinger’s Entry connects Ann Street with High Street in an almost straight line.  Today the Entry provides good acoustics for guitar-wielding buskers. The small alleyway is also home to some independent shops but the principal attraction is a refurbished Victorian pub called The Morning Star.

View from Ann Street – I know, you have seen this view before

The arched entrance from Ann Street is Victorian and was retained when the original building was demolished in the 1990s.

View from High Street

The Pottinger Entry is named after the first governor of Belfast. He had five sons. When the family were hit by financial difficulties, the five brothers were sent out to the East to seek their fortune.

One of the sons, Sir Henry Pottinger joined the British East India Company in 1806.  He was just a lad, and in 1809 fought in the Mahratta war, as a lieutenant. He later explored much of the land between India and Persia and became Resident Administrator of Sind in 1820; later he held the same post in Hyderabad.

Created a baronet in 1841, he negotiated the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842 successfully negotiating a treaty to end the Anglo-Chinese Opium War.  He went beyond Whitehall’s instructions to claim Hong Kong as a crown colony, but was rewarded for his initiative by being named as its first governor. The governorship of Madras followed in 1847, and in 1851 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general.

He died in retirement on the island of Malta, in 1856.