Friday, 9 March 2012

Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the Belfast Telegraph


"Carrying only the best in daily journalism, the Belfast Telegraph has a unique role in the digital age, delivering through its newspaper and website a news and comment daily that reflects the modern Northern Ireland. Its readers are confident, knowledgeable and tolerant. Its writers are authoritative, focused and informed." ..  Belfast Telegraph the greatest media force in Northern Ireland

Most impressive. Sadly, the reality fails to live up to the hype. Here's an item of news from the Belfast Telegraph that reads more like a piece of hype for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board:

"The financial aid has been channelled into improving the sense of welcome and visual attractiveness of tourism areas and into driving up the standard and quality of a raft of visitor attractions, important cultural buildings, tourist information centres, public spaces and activity tourism products across Northern Ireland. ..

As part of the investment towards the Causeway Coastal Route, £379,000 of NITB funding went towards a public realm project at Ballycastle to regenerate visitor sites and neighbouring villages in the Moyle area including Rathlin Island." .. Northern Ireland’s tourism vision is coming to life

Do NITB and its public sector associates have sufficient expertise to be let loose with a public cheque book? Would they have the collective wit to call on the assistance of a stone mason to advise them on a design in stone and any subsequent design alterations? For example, how did a single piece of basalt for a circular stone table become four quadrants in Chinese limestone? It was hardly surprising that one of the quadrants took a tumble as their centres of gravity lie outside the supporting metal substructure! An engineer would also have known that you don't combine a marine quality steel bracket and other types of metal fixings! The circular stone tables are not just of mediocre construction, they're also potentially lethal.

I'm told that the bases for the display panels** were specified as stone yet the display panel support at Coolranny (and all the others) appears to be made of wood. In the example above, rain has produced expansion and the backing has broken away from the metal. The adhesive on a display panel at Granny's Rock beside Ballycastle harbour has also failed and the panel is now attached to less than half its metal support.

What bound the new to the old?

Collapse on a larger scale has taken place at another of NITB's signature projects at the East Strand, Portrush; the second image was taken as reconstruction was in progress.

I wonder if these are the 'vandals' who pushed it over :L 

Added 13 April 2014

** Those who gave freely of their expertise in the design of the information panels aren't, apparently, worthy of mention. To make matters worse, the panel designers chose to ignore hand written corrections to the proofs, in one case omitting the words 'Groups of' which preceded  'Cottages known as clachans formed the farming settlements in the glens' on the Coolranny panel thus exposing the designer's lack of familiarity with her/his subject; clachan was the name given to the settlement of cottages built in stone.