10 Questions About…

Ulster Folk Museum by Ann Treacy
January 11, 2008, 10:59 am
Filed under: Belfast

Saturday afternoon we headed about 10 miles out of Belfast to Cultra and the Ulster Folk Museum. It was cold. There was still a good amount of snow on the ground outside of the city center. We went through some nice parts of Belfast (Holywood) to get to the Folk Museum.

The Museum is like Fort Snelling back home in that it’s a reenactment of a town from 1900. You walk around the village and can walk through the various homes, businesses, churches, and public buildings. Apparently this place is packed in the summer. I can tell you it’s not packed on a cold, snowy Saturday in January – but we still enjoyed it.

While Patrick’s mom was clearly not a young girl in 1900, the girls were thrilled to hear that she had used many of the things that we saw in the cottages. She had made tea in a fireplace and she had used the lantern-type lamps.

There were chamber pots in the rooms of the poorer cottages and the girls though this was the funniest thing ever. (They took several pictures, which I will add below, for their cousins in Chicago.) The girls were sorely disappointed to hear that their Irish Grandma did not have a chamber pot as a kid.I nearly forgot about our fun conversation with the woman who worked at the shop in the Museum. She thought Dublin was the best place to visit. (Of course we thought Belfast was much more fun – proving that the grass is always greener.)

She grew up in Belfast and it was interesting to hear her talk about growing up in such a turbulent time. She said she was about 15 when the troubles really started (again) and so she had missed doing the stuff that most teenagers do – like going to the mall or dances or just hanging out. It kind of makes you think about the kids all over the world who have stilted childhoods because of turbulent times.

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