Christmas nostalgia from the Belfast Telegraph archives – in pictures

Christmas lights twinkling. The arrival of Santa with a sack load of wrapped presents for excited children. The festive feeling all around. The last few years have meant celebrating the special season is quite different to anything that preceded 2020, but fortunately, Christmas 2022 is shaping up to be a good one.

eekend magazine delved into the Belfast Telegraph archives to see how people of Northern Ireland, and Belfast in particular, celebrated the holidays.

Taking a walk down a festive Memory Lane, it’s difficult not to feel a seasonal sense of nostalgia at images of Belfast City Hall festooned with lanterns. Even during our most difficult of times, people in Northern Ireland came together to celebrate the holidays.

In recent years, attendees to the Continental Market ensured the city centre was awash with hungry and thirsty visitors and, as our delve in to the archives demonstrates, the importance of Santa cannot be overplayed!

We even found a photograph of hardy swimmers who participated in the Santa splash in Portrush, in order to raise funds for a charity.

It’s not just in Belfast where lights literally lit up public spaces – there’s a selection of images from around Northern Ireland that really prepared locals for the holiday season.

We hope looking at Northern Ireland of yesteryear gets you in the festive spirit.

1964

Close

A buzz of traffic and people on Donegall Place, Belfast, in 1964 with the City Hall and Christmas lights creating a festive mood. A buzz of traffic and people on Donegall Place, Belfast, in 1964 with the City Hall and Christmas lights creating a festive mood.

A buzz of traffic and people on Donegall Place, Belfast, in 1964 with the City Hall and Christmas lights creating a festive mood.

A buzz of traffic and people on Donegall Place, Belfast, in 1964 with the City Hall and Christmas lights creating a festive mood.

1969

Close

As dusk falls the giant Christmas Tree at City Hall adds a seasonal touch of colour to the Donegall Place scene after the switching on ceremony in 1969 As dusk falls the giant Christmas Tree at City Hall adds a seasonal touch of colour to the Donegall Place scene after the switching on ceremony in 1969

As dusk falls the giant Christmas Tree at City Hall adds a seasonal touch of colour to the Donegall Place scene after the switching on ceremony in 1969

As dusk falls the giant Christmas Tree at City Hall adds a seasonal touch of colour to the Donegall Place scene after the switching on ceremony in 1969

Close

Santa Claus hands out free baloons to children who braved the cold to see his arrival at the Belfast Co-op store in York Street, Belfast in 1969 (Charles Cockcroft) Santa Claus hands out free baloons to children who braved the cold to see his arrival at the Belfast Co-op store in York Street, Belfast in 1969 (Charles Cockcroft)

Santa Claus hands out free baloons to children who braved the cold to see his arrival at the Belfast Co-op store in York Street, Belfast in 1969 (Charles Cockcroft)

Santa Claus hands out free baloons to children who braved the cold to see his arrival at the Belfast Co-op store in York Street, Belfast in 1969 (Charles Cockcroft)

The Troubles

Close

Santa on his sleigh, the tree outside City Hall, a children's choir are punctuated by reminders that not all is as it should be. British Army jeeps prowl the streets and shoppers make small talk as they have their bags searched at security checkpoints. Santa on his sleigh, the tree outside City Hall, a children's choir are punctuated by reminders that not all is as it should be. British Army jeeps prowl the streets and shoppers make small talk as they have their bags searched at security checkpoints.

Santa on his sleigh, the tree outside City Hall, a children’s choir are punctuated by reminders that not all is as it should be. British Army jeeps prowl the streets and shoppers make small talk as they have their bags searched at security checkpoints.

Santa on his sleigh, the tree outside City Hall, a children’s choir are punctuated by reminders that not all is as it should be. British Army jeeps prowl the streets and shoppers make small talk as they have their bags searched at security checkpoints.

Close

Traditional holiday activities and images - Santa on his sleigh, the tree outside City Hall, a children's choir - are punctuated by reminders that not all is as it should be. British Army jeeps prowl the streets and shoppers make small talk as they have their bags searched at security checkpoints. Traditional holiday activities and images - Santa on his sleigh, the tree outside City Hall, a children's choir - are punctuated by reminders that not all is as it should be. British Army jeeps prowl the streets and shoppers make small talk as they have their bags searched at security checkpoints.

Traditional holiday activities and images – Santa on his sleigh, the tree outside City Hall, a children’s choir – are punctuated by reminders that not all is as it should be. British Army jeeps prowl the streets and shoppers make small talk as they have their bags searched at security checkpoints.

Traditional holiday activities and images – Santa on his sleigh, the tree outside City Hall, a children’s choir – are punctuated by reminders that not all is as it should be. British Army jeeps prowl the streets and shoppers make small talk as they have their bags searched at security checkpoints.

1974

Close

Santa gets a special check-up for Christmas Eve from nine-year old Lorraine Blackwell, of Palace Barracks, Holywood, when he called with presents for child patients at Ards Hospital in 1974 Santa gets a special check-up for Christmas Eve from nine-year old Lorraine Blackwell, of Palace Barracks, Holywood, when he called with presents for child patients at Ards Hospital in 1974

Santa gets a special check-up for Christmas Eve from nine-year old Lorraine Blackwell, of Palace Barracks, Holywood, when he called with presents for child patients at Ards Hospital in 1974

Santa gets a special check-up for Christmas Eve from nine-year old Lorraine Blackwell, of Palace Barracks, Holywood, when he called with presents for child patients at Ards Hospital in 1974

1985

Close

Young Robert Christie (aged 2 1/2), from Ballyclare gives his Christmas stocking list to Santa on visiting the grotto at the Belfast Co-op store in 1985 Young Robert Christie (aged 2 1/2), from Ballyclare gives his Christmas stocking list to Santa on visiting the grotto at the Belfast Co-op store in 1985

Young Robert Christie (aged 2 1/2), from Ballyclare gives his Christmas stocking list to Santa on visiting the grotto at the Belfast Co-op store in 1985

Young Robert Christie (aged 2 1/2), from Ballyclare gives his Christmas stocking list to Santa on visiting the grotto at the Belfast Co-op store in 1985

2003

Close

BELFAST CITY HALL - christmas 2003 BELFAST CITY HALL - christmas 2003

BELFAST CITY HALL – christmas 2003

BELFAST CITY HALL – christmas 2003

2009

Close

The Continental Market in Belfast in 2009 The Continental Market in Belfast in 2009

The Continental Market in Belfast in 2009

The Continental Market in Belfast in 2009

2013

Close

Hardy swimmers taking part in the Santa splash at Portrush in Co-Antrim in 2013. Picture Margaret McLaughlin Hardy swimmers taking part in the Santa splash at Portrush in Co-Antrim in 2013. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

Hardy swimmers taking part in the Santa splash at Portrush in Co-Antrim in 2013. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

Hardy swimmers taking part in the Santa splash at Portrush in Co-Antrim in 2013. Picture Margaret McLaughlin

Close

Hundreds of parents and children lined Royal Avenue to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus as he made his way to the grotto at Castle Court in 2013. Picture Mark McCormick Hundreds of parents and children lined Royal Avenue to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus as he made his way to the grotto at Castle Court in 2013. Picture Mark McCormick

Hundreds of parents and children lined Royal Avenue to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus as he made his way to the grotto at Castle Court in 2013. Picture Mark McCormick

Hundreds of parents and children lined Royal Avenue to catch a glimpse of Santa Claus as he made his way to the grotto at Castle Court in 2013. Picture Mark McCormick

Close

Christy Elmore from Warrenpoint pictured with Irish Wolf hound "Blue" in 2013 Christy Elmore from Warrenpoint pictured with Irish Wolf hound "Blue" in 2013

Christy Elmore from Warrenpoint pictured with Irish Wolf hound “Blue” in 2013

Christy Elmore from Warrenpoint pictured with Irish Wolf hound “Blue” in 2013

Close

Santa is welcomed to Ards in 2013 Santa is welcomed to Ards in 2013

Santa is welcomed to Ards in 2013

Santa is welcomed to Ards in 2013

2015

Close

Hundreds of Santa's ran in Belfast City Centre for the local charity Cash For Kids in 2015. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye Hundreds of Santa's ran in Belfast City Centre for the local charity Cash For Kids in 2015. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Hundreds of Santa’s ran in Belfast City Centre for the local charity Cash For Kids in 2015. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Hundreds of Santa’s ran in Belfast City Centre for the local charity Cash For Kids in 2015. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

2018

Close

Santa passes out some sweets to the thousands of people in Derry's Guildhall Square after he arrived to switch on the Christmas lights in 2018. Picture Martin McKeown. Santa passes out some sweets to the thousands of people in Derry's Guildhall Square after he arrived to switch on the Christmas lights in 2018. Picture Martin McKeown.

Santa passes out some sweets to the thousands of people in Derry’s Guildhall Square after he arrived to switch on the Christmas lights in 2018. Picture Martin McKeown.

Santa passes out some sweets to the thousands of people in Derry’s Guildhall Square after he arrived to switch on the Christmas lights in 2018. Picture Martin McKeown.

Name the year?

Close

Evening Christmas lights at Belfast City Hall but do you know when it was? Evening Christmas lights at Belfast City Hall but do you know when it was?

Evening Christmas lights at Belfast City Hall but do you know when it was?

Evening Christmas lights at Belfast City Hall but do you know when it was?

Belfast Telegraph

Be the first to comment on "Christmas nostalgia from the Belfast Telegraph archives – in pictures"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*