Behind the Name
Wilhelmina Geddes was a Belfast artist who created some of the city’s most beautiful stained glass windows. Widely regarded as one of the greatest stained glass artists of her time, her work is in churches and buildings all around the world. Her work can be seen locally at Assembly Buildings and St John’s Malone.
One of the city’s most prominent citizens at the turn of the last century, Sir Otto Jaffe became Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1899 and again in 1904. As well as having a successful linen export business, Jaffe was known for his philanthropy, donating significant sums of money to the city’s public services.
Cambrai Street is home to Vintage Satchel Company. The street was named Cambrai in the 19th century after the French town of Cambrai which supplied flax to the linen mills that dominated this part of the city. The linen trade played a pivotal role in the social and economic development of Belfast.
Sir Charles Lanyon was a renowned and gifted architect who designed and built many of Belfast’s finest 19th-century buildings. His work includes Belfast Castle, Linen Hall Library and Crumlin Road Gaol and Courthouse. In 1845 he built a special–purpose building for people living with blindness, deafness and other disabilities; work which resonates with us at Vintage Satchel Company.
Sailortown was a working-class dockland community located in the Docks area of Belfast. Established in the mid-nineteenth century, it was a thriving district of local dockworkers and transient seamen from around the world. Sailortown residents were instrumental in the development of Belfast as a world maritime and industrial capital.
Born in Belfast in 1907, John Hewitt was one of Belfast’s most significant poets. He was educated at a school just a few streets away from Vintage Satchel Company, where his father was the principal. One of his enduring styles was to rise above the prevailing political and social constructs and view his world and the landscape around him for what it was. He saw the beauty in the land that others had forgotten. During his lifetime penned more than 4000 poems.
The Farset is well–known as the river that gave Belfast its name, with its origin from the Irish Béal Feirste which means the Mouth of the Farset. The city was founded at a settlement centred on a muddy ford over the River Farset. The river helped power Belfast as it became an industrial city, supporting the mills and factories that lined its route.
Professor Frank Pantridge, a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and cardiologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, revolutionised emergency medicine and paramedic services when he invented the portable defibrillator in 1965. Descendants of this invention are used daily throughout the world saving countless lives.
THE SAMSON & GOLIATH
Wherever you go in the city, there’s no escaping the twin shipbuilding gantry cranes that loom over what was once the world’s biggest shipyard. Buttercup yellow and the height of 10 houses, these majestic structures dominate the Belfast skyline. The cranes were named after the Biblical figures Samson and Goliath.
Thomas Andrews was the principal architect of Titanic. He was travelling on board during her maiden voyage when the ship hit an iceberg. After examining the damage, Andrews determined that the ship would sink and immediately set about evacuating the passengers. His actions were said by many survivors to be nothing short of heroic. Andrews died in the sinking.
Gulliver’s Travels, written by Irish author Jonathan Swift, is a classic of English literature. Published in 1726, the book became popular as soon as it was published and has never been out of print. Legend has it that Belfast’s Cave Hill, which resembles the shape of a sleeping giant, was the inspiration for his famous adventure tales
The Dixon Collection is named after the beautiful Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park, which is one of Belfast’s most popular parks. The park is a real inspiration for this Spring Summer Collection with its rolling meadows, woodland, riverside fields and gardens. The park is world famous as the home of The City of Belfast International Rose Garden, which contains over 20,000 blooms in the summer.
Divis Mountain rests in the heart of the Belfast Hills. It takes its name from the Irish A Dubhais, meaning ‘the black ridge’, which refers to its basalt bedrock. At 478m, it is the highest of the Belfast Hills and one of the most prominent features of the city.
Lilian Bland was the first women in the world to design, build, and fly her own aircraft. Due to some doubt about its flying capability, Bland, with deliberate irony, named her plane the Mayfly as in ‘may fly, may not fly’. She successfully took to the skies above County Antrim on 31st August 1910, earning a place in aviation history.
Rosamund Praeger was a local artist, sculptor and writer. Praeger achieved international acclaim for her sculpture, examples of which can be seen on buildings and landmarks across the city including St Anne’s Cathedral and Queen’s University. Her work is included in the permanent collection of the Ulster Museum.