So you’ve maybe noticed there’s a wee thing or two going on at TQ these days. (You might’ve even heard last night’s – Tiesto at Belsonic on the slipways – we could hear the beats at home in Greenisland!)
Dock Market is back on Sat 11th & 25th June from 11 – 5 with all sorts of brilliant ideas for Father’s Day, or a shopping spree day, or just a treat-yourself-to-a-waffle-and-a-wee-pressie day! And just in case you’ve forgotten where it is, the market team have thoughtfully provided this helpful picture (especially useful if you are planning to parachute, skydive or arrive by helicopter – all of which I would love to see):
This was what Dock Market looked like during the Maritime Festival a few weeks ago:
And the cakes were going like hot cakes at Dock Cafe as well:
And the Wee Tram was bunged to the boards every journey!
Speaking of the tram – it now has a brand-new hop-on-hop-off stop at HMS Caroline, which finally opened to the public last week – the very day after it hosted the commemoration of the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, the WW1 naval battle of which she is now the only survivor.
You might remember that just a few short months ago, I blagged myself on a tour of the ship right in the middle of her huge restoration project – when there was still a mammoth amount of work to be done.
So on the very day she opened to the public, I felt it only right and proper to blag myself on again – y’know, in the interests of keeping you all well-informed and up to date. (Such is my spirit of self-sacrifice on behalf of you people.)
I’m not actually sure how it was physically possible – the transformation is just unbelievable. The ship looks as good as new – huge chunks of the interior are set out just as they would have been during the Battle of Jutland, fabulously evocative spaces – whether the crew hammocks squeezed in like sardines, or the grand dining table in the officers’ quarters:
Lots of the space on board the ship (it just seems vast when you’re making your way around) has been used to re-interpret, to tell her story and bring history to life:
But that still leaves lots of space for authentic grimy bits! The engines especially are a sight to behold – and to behear (is that a word?) – when you’re down in the depths of the engine room, they suddenly spring noisily to life, deck shaking, heart quaking!
And then of course you finish the tour by emerging on the deck, enjoying amazing views of the TQ and admiring the carefully-replicated guns and wooden decks:
So – boppin’ at Belsonic or shoppin’ at Dock Market – or hoppin’ on board trams or battleships – and then calling into the world’s best and most beloved Honesty Box Coffee Shop to chill and chat – what could be a better way to spend a summer’s day!