Lynne to win!

10334311_989130897825188_2461172117754783580_nWell done to the amazing Lynne from Dock Market, who has been nominated as (and will WIN, if there is any justice at all in this cold cruel world) Young Business Person at the 2016 Belfast Business Awards for her incredible work behind the scenes at Dock Market.

13221468_1042760542462223_2142214884801871159_nLet me tell you about the kind of quality people we have here at The Dock.  We first met Lynne as a market trader two years ago, running her ‘Dolly Dolally’ stall of handmade crafts at some of the very first Dock Markets around the 2014 Giro Big Start.

12804645_989161447822133_469687315683313857_nAs the market grew and flourished and expanded, Lynne became one of the leading lights; she talked her dad into building our market carts; she co-ordinated the different market traders and squeezed as many of them as possible into the market space each Saturday; she inspired and assisted and encouraged those who were selling their wares for the first time.  More often than not, Dolly Dolally didn’t trade so she could concentrate time and energy on supporting the other stallholders!

12809591_997071867031091_6356381179037105196_nShe was a big part of creating the Dock Market ethos: “If you make it, you can sell it”.  At the same time she set a clear line of quality and professionalism and inspired all the other traders to match up to it: I’ll quote one of the congratulations messages on Facebook as a perfect example of the way she insists on bringing the very best out of each market trader who applies for a stall at Dock Market:

For myself I’ll always be eternally grateful that you insisted on an internet presence before I could trade at The DOCK Market, you forced me into the 21st Century and I’ve never looked back. Thank you.

10371454_997131213691823_882969566317639780_nIt was her brainwave to make Dock Market a dog-friendly market and to be part of the utterly brilliant social media campaign to start spreading awareness of the market through online groups (like those who are looking for somewhere that will welcome their four-legged friends when they’re out on a shopping spree!)

12742644_979757795429165_1769452757877880520_nShe’s now part of a market that counts 80+ traders on its books from 14 different countries, that has inspired countless start-up businesses and has provided a springboard for those who have graduated to trade at bigger and grander (but NEVER nicer) markets, that attracts a loyal core of traders who wouldn’t miss the craic, and has a clear and distinctive and captivating ethos where community is more important than competition and every trader feels like they’ve been adopted into the nicest family ever.

We’re so proud of Dock Market and the people who make it happen.  Lynne to win!  Lynne to win!

(PS – the next Market Days are 28th-30th May from11-6pm – the Market is trading every day during the Titanic Maritime Festival – here are just a few samples of the treats on offer!)

Jaaaaaames!!!

It’s the end of an era – this week was James’s last week pouring your cuppa in Dock Cafe.

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He’s not exactly taking it easy in retirement – he’s heading off to start a brand new tea room and also will be becoming a father in a few weeks’ time – so all of a sudden a hectic day in Dock Cafe might look like a haven of tranquility by comparison!

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Hard to believe it’s over 2 years since James took up the reins in the cafe. We’ve got so much to thank him for during his time with us – among many many other things, James can be credited with Dock Cafe’s 5-star hygiene rating, #1 position on Trip Advisor’s listings of coffee shops in Belfast, the introduction of our famous carrot cake and ginormous cookies, and  bringing an almost obsessive love to the cleaning of the glass tray bake cabinet!

BkP5sMXIIAAyBsb.jpg-largeI would also like to thank him for looking almost exactly like me – at least according to the many customers who called me James, or called James Chris!  James tells the story of one busy Saturday afternoon in the cafe when I had been a guest speaker in front of thousands of Mothers Union members in the Waterfront Hall that morning.  Inspired by the story of the Dock, the MU all hot-footed it straight over the footbridge to Dock Cafe when their conference was over – and, as James says, so many of them thanked him for his inspiring talk in the Waterfront Hall that he gave up trying to correct them and just enjoyed all the love!

photo-2As with all things Dock, we’ll never know just how much impact James’s time with us has made during his two-and-a-bit years.  We’ll never know how many cups of coffee he served, how many lonely travellers he welcomed, how many stressed students he chilled, how many stretched volunteers he inspired, how many lives he changed and how much difference he made.

We just know that we’ll miss him!

Nights to remember

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Been there, got the T-shirt… As you can see in the pic, a team of Dock volunteers (and a strange man in a dog collar) were recently involved in A Night To Remember at Titanic Belfast – so I thought it was a perfect excuse to tell you about a few other memorable nights in Dock World.

Night To Remember no.1 – It’s Sunday Night! SUNDAY!
Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 11.36.15Yes, after a few months of experimenting with holding our monthly Dock services on a Saturday night, we are returning to Sunday Nights at The Dock as of May – first Sunday of every month at 6pm.  So the next service, rather neatly, is on Sunday 1st May at 6pm at Dock Cafe – so we’ll start the new arrangement right at the beginning of a new month with a brand new series looking at how we make choices and decisions, based on an utterly fabulous book called ‘All The Places To Go’ by John Ortberg.

As always there will be plenty of coffee, chat, comfy chairs and space to be thankful, be still and be inspired – as well as a chance to sing a brand-new (and utterly gorgeous) worship song written by some of our Dock team.  See you there!
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Night To Remember no.2 – Pop Quiz, Hotshot
2016-02-21 19.23.30What are you doing on Thursday night? What’s the best way to give your brain cells a good workout? How can you support the Dock and raise some funds for Life in the Titanic Quarter?  The answer to ALL these questions is the Dock Cafe Quiz Night on Thursday 28th April at 7pm in Dock Cafe.

It’s being organised by some of our wonderful student regulars as a thank-you for all their time spent chilling out in Dock Cafe between classes – which is pretty much a perfect example of the Dock in action!  Find out more here – or just turn up either individually (£5) or as a team (£7).  Don’t forget your thinking cap!

Night To Remember no.3 – Ollie’s big night
2016-04-17 20.12.09Last weekend was a memorable night for the Titanic Quarter community as we celebrated our second-ever TQ baptism (and the first one to take place in the Dock Prayer Garden)

The baptisee (is that a word?) in question was Ollie Davis – little brother of Lily Davis, who we baptised on board SS Nomadic two years ago.  (So come on, rest of the world – we can’t expect the Davis family to keep 2016-04-16 19.03.33building the Titanic Quarter family single-handedly!)  In keeping with our core values in The Dock, Ollie’s night was shared between all our different Christian traditions, as the wonderful Karen joined me in baptising Ollie, praying for his family and giving thanks for a new life.

And then there was MUCH food (the Davises run the amazing Green Deli next door, after all).

Night To Remember no.4 – the actual Night To Remember
Hard to believe it’s now the fourth year that we’ve been holding our annual remembrance at Titanic Belfast for those lost in history’s most boundlessly fascinating shipwreck.
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2016-04-15 00.34.18As always a team of Dock volunteers did a fantastic job guiding groups through the story as a series of characters dotted throughout Titanic Belfast told the ship’s story in their own words.  At 11:40pm (the time the ship struck the iceberg), on a beautiful still night, we proceeded onto the slipways and illuminated the names of the lost by candlelight.

2016-04-14 22.48.38You might see some of us wearing our ‘Night To Remember’ T-shirts the next time you’re in the Dock (we got to keep them!) but whether they’re wearing a T-shirt or an apron, be sure to tell the Dock team that they are Volunteers To Remember, running a Cafe To Remember and a Market To Remember, and that these are Days To Remember in our amazing Titanic Quarter life!