Shsshh! Dock Cafe is going to feature in a glossy new book called ‘Secret Belfast’ – and just in case you’re thinking that Dock Cafe isn’t exactly secret any more, the article is actually about a little buried treasure tucked away at the back of the cafe: Thomas Andrews’ door.
Back in the early days of the cafe, we were contacted by a lovely chap called Brian who had been responsible for converting Ardara House (the family home of Thomas Andrews, principal designer of Titanic) into apartments back in the 1980s. During the conversion he rescued a beautiful old wooden door from the skip, believing it to be the door to Thomas Andrews’ bedroom. Ever since, the door had been lying at the back of his shed – but when he heard about Dock Cafe, he knew that the door had finally found a perfect home! It’s now proudly displayed on our ‘shipyard wall’ at the back of the cafe:
Seeing the article about the door popping up in the Secret Belfast book inspired me to have a quick hunt around the cafe for other secret messages hidden around the cafe.
Have you spotted, for example, the message that you can borrow any of the books on the Dock Cafe bookshelves? There’s a selection of everything from good page-turners, Titanic books, childrens’ stories and even the odd Bible or two! We trust you either to return them, swap them or give them a good home!
And have you noticed the secret messages at the high stools overlooking SS Nomadic? Just as you’re soaking up the view, the sunshine and the tranquility, you might get a little bit of inspiration as well!
There are countless secret messages in the Prayer Garden – prayers on post-its, names, hopes, burdens, dreams – thousands of personal, unique messages from persons unknown reaching out for God’s strength and solace. I’m especially fond of the daisy-chain of thanksgiving prayers that snakes and streams its way around the garden – it started a few years ago on Thanksgiving Day, but new additions keep appearing all the time!
We’ve just launched an appeal at our Sunday Night services (first Sunday of the month, 6pm, seeya there!) to raise money to insulate the pipes – so no more expressions of sudden terror on Dock Cafe newbies sitting underneath who think that they are about to re-live the sinking of Titanic… If you’d like to help out, just drop something in the Honesty Box at the Sunday Night service!