King’s Hall, Belfast


The King’s Hall, Balmoral, Befast.
Ireland’s greatest exhibition hall, biult by the Royal Ulster Agicultural Society.
And opened on 29th May, 1934, by H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester K.G.
Postmarked 1939
Publisher: Hurst & Co

The King’s Hall was a multi-purpose venue located in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The King’s Hall consisted of 6 event venues. The King’s Hall is owned by the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) (previously the North East Agricultural Association of Ireland), who moved to the venue in 1896 from their previous showgrounds in Belfast Corporation Markets area.
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The King’s Hall was designed by Leitch and Partners, Glasgow, built in 1933 by J & R Thompson, Belfast and opened by the Duke of Gloucester on 29 May 1934. The King’s Hall was the largest exhibition venue in Northern Ireland and prior to the completion of the Odyssey and the Waterfront Hall, was the only large concert venue in Northern Ireland. It hosted the Balmoral Show, an annual agricultural show with regular attendees in excess of 75,000. The stepped facade of the hall features substantial windows and Art Deco motifs on doors and buttresses. Inside, the functional space is spanned by reinforced concrete arches.
Wikipedia.

The Kings Hall at the Balmoral Showgrounds was constructed in 1933-34 as a permanent exhibition hall for the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society and was officially opened on 29th May 1934 by H.R.H. the Duke of Gloucester, being renamed the ‘King’s Hall’ by the permission of King George V. The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society immediately put the Kings Hall to use for a variety of purposes. In 1936 alone the hall was utilised for a number of exhibitions, evangelical meetings, boxing and wrestling contests and a circus that was held at Christmas. Staples of the annual schedule at the Kings Hall included the Ideal Home Show, motor shows and wedding exhibitions. In later decades the hall would also be used for music concerts; the Beatles famously performed at the Kings Hall on 2nd November 1964. The Kings Hall was put to a very different use during the Second World War when the exhibition hall was requisitioned for the duration of the conflict. The premises at Balmoral were occupied until a few months after the end of hostilities in 1945. The Air Ministry (Ministry of Supply) acquired the site in 1940 and converted the Kings Hall into an aircraft factory for Short Bros. & Harland in order to construct fuselages for Stirling Bombers.
King’s Hall Health and Wellbeing Park

Ladies Bathing Place, Portrush, Co. Antrim


Ladies Bathing Place, Portrush
1930s, postmarked 1943
Publisher: Valentine

Google Street View.

The Victorians discovered and extolled the health advantages of sea air and sea-water bathing during the later years of the 19thCentury. Even much later, in 1929, the Portrush Urban District Council was extolling the virtues of the summer Atlantic breezes – “provide a pure and bracing atmosphere which is wonderfully invigorating and far-famed as the best of tonics”. A small sheltered beach on the East side of the Portrush Peninsula became popular with ladies and children and in time became known as “The Ladies Bathing Place”. Victorian sensibilities precluded mixed bathing so gentlemen had to find other locations such as the Blue Pool for their own bathing.
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By the turn of the century the popularity of the Ladies Bathing Place necessitated the provision of better facilities which were provided in due course by Messrs Robert Chalmers, a local businessman, Town Councillor and Mr Campbell joint proprietors of “Campbell & Chalmers, The Corner Shop” Grocers and Provision Merchants on Main Street, Portrush. Their new shop replaced the early wooden kiosks and provided confectionery, refreshments, souvenirs and other beach side requisites. The sign on the shop invited us to purchase genuine Cailler’s Swiss Chocolate which, they claimed, was the best-selling chocolate in the world.

By 1912 the upsurge in business required larger premises and again Messrs Chalmers & Campbell were there to provide for the needs of holidaymakers. A new two storey shop with single storey side extension was provided in which there was a fine café. In good weather customers could partake of their repast on the roof balcony. This was also used for evening tea dances which might feature entertainment such as Madame Levantes’ Ladies Orchestra. A concrete breakwater and sun-deck were also constructed at this time. By 1926 the name “Arcadia” had appeared on the café and shop and the café had acquired a roofed upper storey with the lower storey being remodelled to match. This upper storey contained a small ballroom with a stage at the seaward end and was used for tea dances and other functions for many years. Several kiosks were still provided beside the Arcadia probably providing deckchairs and other beach goods and bathing boxes were still available to the rear with direct access to the beach and the sea.
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