Thursday, 16 October 2014

The West Strand

Took the Dog-Hound-Thing to Portrush the other morning to take the sea air.  Ended up under the railway arch in the West Strand, home to one of the many Blue Flag beaches around this area (and no, I didn't take the DHT onto the Blue Flag beach, before you ask).  The light was good, but the wind coming off the Atlantic was serious - had to be batten down the hat otherwise it would've ended up somewhere up in the Antrim Hills.

So, Portrush, or Port Ruis, if you prefer, meaning 'the landing place of the promontory', which is quite a mouthful.  Pieces of flint found along the coast from Portrush to Ballycastle point to human inhabitants in this area as far back as 4000 BC, which represents a fair few generations.  It started life as a small fishing village but in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries it was a popular destination for holidaymakers, largely due to the train line from Belfast, which opened in 1855.   Portrush will always have a place in history, thanks to the industry of a certain Mr W. A. Traill, a local gentleman responsible for the first hydro-electric system of public transport in the world, no less, which started in 1883 and ran from Portrush along the coast to the Giant's Causeway.  Sadly neither Mr Traill nor the tramline are with us any more.

These days Portrush still buzzes with holidaymakers in the summer which is great for the local traders and not so great for everyone else.  Best visited in winter if you ask me, when you've only got the biting wind and sleet for company.  Famous for Barry's amusements, The White House and the links golf course, which will host The Open in 2019.  More on The White House later, by the way - a department store with an interesting history.  Over 100 years old and going strong - how many business can say that?

So here is the West Strand in print.  Well, scanned that is - you know what I mean.  Now Mrs North East Liberties herself told me these photographs were boring.  I kind of know what she means, but there's an honesty about them which I like, so here they are - you can decide for yourself.

Portrush West Strand, looking West.  Donegal just visible in the distance
Portrush West Strand, looking East towards the town

Both snaps taken with a 35mm lens on 35mm FP4+ film, printed on MG IV pearl, just for the record.

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