Lock Keepers Inn

On a beautiful afternoon in September last year, my Beloved and I, together with her six year old daughter, strolled along a canalised section of the River Lagan in South Belfast to where one of the locks is being restored. This is part of an ambitious long term scheme to restore the Lagan Navigation up to Lough Neagh, and subsequently the Ulster Canal onwards from Lough Neagh to join the Shannon/Erne Navigation. If and when this restoration is completed, it will be possible to go from Belfast to Dublin by inland waterway, albeit by a somewhat roundabout route.

To my suprise,  my Beloved doesn’t like canals as much as I do, (but then, very few people like canals quite as much as I do) but she does like a stroll, so she was prepared to put up with my burbling enthusiasm about the lock restoration project. Right by the lock itself is the newly restored Lock Keepers cottage, which was featured in the BBC show ‘Restoration’, and it looks like a great job had been done.

And to complete my ideal afternoon out, next to the lock and its attendant cottage was an excellent cafe, The Lock Keepers Inn, where I had a delicious scone and a latte served just how I like it, i.e. not in one of those stupid tall glasses, that cafes seem to reserve for those of its customers who are already feeling a bit effete after ordering a latte anyway. My Beloved knew one of the young staff, and chatted to him about his A Level results. A place I’d be happy to recommend to any visitors to Belfast, especially those who are canally inclined.

How extra-ordinary, then, that this attractive, well-run cafe has brought about the downfall of the repulsive Iris Robinson, and, I would be willing to bet, her husband Peter too. And who has enough support to replace him? My Beloved feels that there’s no one credible. And, although it might be hard to stomach for people in the rest of Britain, the DUP currently represent mainstream Unionist opinion. Thanks to the venal, hypocritical behaviour of one disgusting woman, the peace process has taken a knock, just as it needs support. This morning dissident republicans have exploded a car bomb in Randalstown. A PSNI officer is seriously injured in hospital. Iris is sulking in bed, unable to talk due to her sudden mental incapacity, and hope seems further away than it did even a few days ago. I do hope, however, that the excellent Lock Keepers Inn can survive the gathering storm.

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~ by Ian Marchant on January 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “Lock Keepers Inn”

  1. Very few people love canals as much as you do Ian? Define your terms? And at the risk of being tricksy, when did YOU last take a narrowboat holiday? I, of course, last puttered along the Shropshire cuts, ooh, about 20 years ago, my affectations for these marvels of aqueous engineering stemming from hot summer in 1950s Manchester when we were encouraged as wee tots to cool ourself off in the fetid green waters of the local canals. ‘Tis a wonder really that I’m still alive.

    And as for replacing the appropriately moniker’s Mrs Robinson (you couldn’t make it up, could you?), I would think that the frequently referred to Ms. Beloved might be an eminently suitable candidate?

  2. Sadly, my Beloved couldn’t pursue a career in NI politics, as Stormont is the preserve of card carrying power-crazed nutjobs.
    If you follow the link re. canals, I think my canal enthusiasm will take some beating, involving as it does ejaculating into the Grand Union Canal. But I stand to be corrected.

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