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Fascinating Vintage Photos of Life in 1950s Belfast

These fascinating vintage photos will take you back to the old Belfast in the 1950s. It was the time when trams still ran on the streets and roads, and steam trains thundered to Derry, Enniskillen, and Newcastle while the Fintona horse tram was still in operation. Communication has relied on telegrams, letters, and postcards, only a few people had telephones. There were 50,000 horses Ulster farms, and they stayed a substantial part in urban transportation and outnumbered the 54,000 automobiles. Only a few households had televisions and refrigerators.

In the early 20th century, Belfast was known as ‘the greatest shipbuilding center of the world’ and before World War I, more than 25,000 workers worked in the Belfast Shipyards. After World War II, old linen industries, engineering, and shipbuilding declined, and many workers were laid off.

#1 The Albert Memorial Clock tower in Queen’s Square, Belfast, 1950.

The Albert Memorial Clock tower in Queen's Square, Belfast, 1950.

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#2 Belfast City Hall, 1953

Belfast City Hall, 1953

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#3 Kids running through the streets of Belfast, 1954.

Kids running through the streets of Belfast, 1954.

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#4 People in Belfast on a rainy day, 1954.

People in Belfast on a rainy day, 1954.

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#5 A poster advertising lessons in the Irish language on a wall in Belfast, 1954.

A poster advertising lessons in the Irish language on a wall in Belfast, 1954.

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#6 The customs stop (between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland) on the road from Belfast to Dublin.

The customs stop (between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland) on the road from Belfast to Dublin.

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#7 A statue of Queen Victoria outside Belfast City Hall, 1950.

A statue of Queen Victoria outside Belfast City Hall, 1950.

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#8 Tazio Nuvolari also know as Il Campionissimo (The Great Little Man) being congratulated by his wife on his win in an Ulster TT car race held in Belfast, 1950.

Tazio Nuvolari also know as Il Campionissimo (The Great Little Man) being congratulated by his wife on his win in an Ulster TT car race held in Belfast, 1950.

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#9 Belfast Express at Londonderry Station, 1950.

Belfast Express at Londonderry Station, 1950.

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#10 Man riding in a train at the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad, 1950.

Man riding in a train at the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad, 1950.

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#11 Banners hung across the streets of Belfast during Orange Day celebrations, 1951.

Banners hung across the streets of Belfast during Orange Day celebrations, 1951.

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#12 The Royal Navy Audacious-class fleet aircraft carrier HMS Eagle in Belfast, 1951.

The Royal Navy Audacious-class fleet aircraft carrier HMS Eagle in Belfast, 1951.

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#13 Lady Mitchell, wife of the Major General Sir Philip Mitchell, launching the Union Castle liner ‘Kenya Castle’ at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, 1951.

Lady Mitchell, wife of the Major General Sir Philip Mitchell, launching the Union Castle liner 'Kenya Castle' at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, 1951.

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#14 The liner ‘The Kenya Castle’ being launched at Harland and Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast, 1951.

The liner 'The Kenya Castle' being launched at Harland and Wolff's shipyard in Belfast, 1951.

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#15 Lord Wakehurst, new Governor of Northern Ireland, inspecting the Guard of Honor of the Northern Irish Brigade on his arrival in Belfast, 1952.

Lord Wakehurst, new Governor of Northern Ireland, inspecting the Guard of Honor of the Northern Irish Brigade on his arrival in Belfast, 1952.

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#16 Queen Elizabeth II passes through the thousands of Ulster Youth Organisations at Balmoral, Belfast, 1953.

Queen Elizabeth II passes through the thousands of Ulster Youth Organisations at Balmoral, Belfast, 1953.

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#17 Queen Elizabeth II reviewing ex-servicemen at Balmoral, Belfast, 1953.

Queen Elizabeth II reviewing ex-servicemen at Balmoral, Belfast, 1953.

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#18 Preparation of the Jackson/Lane Lester T51 MG in a Belfast garage for the Dundrod TT, 1953.

Preparation of the Jackson/Lane Lester T51 MG in a Belfast garage for the Dundrod TT, 1953.

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#19 Contestants playing their bagpipes at the European Pipe Bands Championship in Belfast, 1953.

Contestants playing their bagpipes at the European Pipe Bands Championship in Belfast, 1953.

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#20 A group of cheeky children playing in the streets of Belfast, 1954.

A group of cheeky children playing in the streets of Belfast, 1954.

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#21 Workers at the Harland and Wolff ship yard in Belfast where a liner is being built, 1954.

Workers at the Harland and Wolff ship yard in Belfast where a liner is being built, 1954.

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#22 A De Havilland Comet turbo-jet aeroplane under construction at the Short Brothers Factory in Belfast, 1954.

A De Havilland Comet turbo-jet aeroplane under construction at the Short Brothers Factory in Belfast, 1954.

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#23 A group of young Belfast boys playing in the street, 1954.

A group of young Belfast boys playing in the street, 1954.

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#24 A crowd of working men listen to Sunday afternoon speakers on religion at the Customs House, Belfast, 1954.

A crowd of working men listen to Sunday afternoon speakers on religion at the Customs House, Belfast, 1954.

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#25 A female textile worker operating machinery at the Blackstaff Flax Spinning and Weaving Company in Belfast, 1954.

A female textile worker operating machinery at the Blackstaff Flax Spinning and Weaving Company in Belfast, 1954.

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#26 A man lighting up a cigarette in a Belfast street, 1954.

A man lighting up a cigarette in a Belfast street, 1954.

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#27 Students at Queen’s University in Belfast, 1954.

Students at Queen's University in Belfast, 1954.

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#28 A delivery of supplies to the Harland and Wolff ship yard in Belfast where a liner is being built, 1954.

A delivery of supplies to the Harland and Wolff ship yard in Belfast where a liner is being built, 1954.

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#29 Boys playing on a street in Belfast underneath a spray painted message supporting O’Sullivan in a local election, 1954.

Boys playing on a street in Belfast underneath a spray painted message supporting O'Sullivan in a local election, 1954.

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#30 A little girl looking after her younger sister on a street in Belfast, 1954.

A little girl looking after her younger sister on a street in Belfast, 1954.

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#31 Students wearing gowns at Queen’s College in Belfast, 1954.

Students wearing gowns at Queen's College in Belfast, 1954.

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#32 Students walking around Queen’s College in Belfast, 1954.

Students walking around Queen's College in Belfast, 1954.

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#33 Students walking around Queen’s College in Belfast, 1954.

Students walking around Queen's College in Belfast, 1954.

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#34 A crowded classroom where 248 children are taught at once in a Belfast school, 1954.

A crowded classroom where 248 children are taught at once in a Belfast school, 1954.

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#35 A painted sign on a wall in Belfast reading ‘Joy, Love, Peace’ in the shape of a shamrock, 1954.

A painted sign on a wall in Belfast reading 'Joy, Love, Peace' in the shape of a shamrock, 1954.

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#36 Cranes in Belfast shipbuilding yard surrounding a nearly finished ship, 1954.

Cranes in Belfast shipbuilding yard surrounding a nearly finished ship, 1954.

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#37 A man in Belfast which has the UK’s highest unemployment figures, 1954.

A man in Belfast which has the UK's highest unemployment figures, 1954.

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#38 Men employed as shipyard or factory workers playing in a flute band in Belfast, 1954.

Men employed as shipyard or factory workers playing in a flute band in Belfast, 1954.

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#39 A Republican spray painted message on a wall in Belfast, 1954.

A Republican spray painted message on a wall in Belfast, 1954.

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#40 A shop in Belfast which sells religious artefacts, 1954.

A shop in Belfast which sells religious artefacts, 1954.

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#41 A spray painted message on a wall in Belfast reading ‘Join The IRA’, 1954.

A spray painted message on a wall in Belfast reading 'Join The IRA', 1954.

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#42 A bottle of Empire champagne shatters against the new Shaw Savill liner Southern Cross at the launch by Queen Elizabeth II, 1954.

A bottle of Empire champagne shatters against the new Shaw Savill liner Southern Cross at the launch by Queen Elizabeth II, 1954.

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#43 Two men are leaning against the low guardrail in Belfast, 1954.

Two men are leaning against the low guardrail in Belfast, 1954.

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#44 The exterior of a typical Irish cottage near Belfast, 1955.

The exterior of a typical Irish cottage near Belfast, 1955.

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#45 Princess Margaret Rose walks through a guard of honour at Belfast, 1955.

Princess Margaret Rose walks through a guard of honour at Belfast, 1955.

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#46 A young boy stands by a mural of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in Belfast, 1955.

A young boy stands by a mural of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in Belfast, 1955.

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#47 Retired lion-tamer Alec Robinson walks past a Belfast wall scrawled with the slogan ‘Love – Joy – Peace’, 1955.

Retired lion-tamer Alec Robinson walks past a Belfast wall scrawled with the slogan 'Love - Joy - Peace', 1955.

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#48 Poor Area of Belfast, 1955.

Poor Area of Belfast, 1955.

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#49 An unemployed Belfast man carrying a sack, 1955.

An unemployed Belfast man carrying a sack, 1955.

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#50 An interior view of the new 350 ft long aircraft hanger in Belfast, 1950.

An interior view of the new 350 ft long aircraft hanger in Belfast, 1950.

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#51 A flautist and lambeg drummer marching with their Orange Lodge in Belfast, 1951.

A flautist and lambeg drummer marching with their Orange Lodge in Belfast, 1951.

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#52 Street scene in the city center, 1953.

Street scene in the city center, 1953.

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#53 Contestants playing their bagpipes at the European Pipe Bands Championship in Belfast, 1953.

Contestants playing their bagpipes at the European Pipe Bands Championship in Belfast, 1953.

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#54 A Unionist poster on a wall in Belfast urging people to voate for candidate Harcourt, 1954.

A Unionist poster on a wall in Belfast urging people to voate for candidate Harcourt, 1954.

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#55 A unionist slogan spray painted on a wall in Belfast reading ‘No Pope Here’, 1954.

A unionist slogan spray painted on a wall in Belfast reading 'No Pope Here', 1954.

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#56 A spray painted election message on a wall in Belfast referring to Falls Road, 1954.

A spray painted election message on a wall in Belfast referring to Falls Road, 1954.

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#57 An election poster on a wall in Belfast, 1954.

An election poster on a wall in Belfast, 1954.

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#58 A residential street in Belfast, 1955.

A residential street in Belfast, 1955.

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#59 A deserted shipyard in Belfast during a national shipbuilder’s strike, 1957.

A deserted shipyard in Belfast during a national shipbuilder's strike, 1957.

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#60 A 200-ton cantilever crane at a Belfast wharf, 1958.

A 200-ton cantilever crane at a Belfast wharf, 1958.

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#61 A Unionist sign reading ‘Ulster Is British’ on a building in Belfast, 1954.

A Unionist sign reading 'Ulster Is British' on a building in Belfast, 1954.

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#62 A shop in Belfast which sells religious artefacts, 1954.

A shop in Belfast which sells religious artefacts, 1954.

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#63 Students in study in an overcrowded classroom in Belfast, 1954.

Students in study in an overcrowded classroom in Belfast, 1954.

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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