Thursday, 23 January 2014

Doddery's Brig

The BBC has revealed that a new footbridge is being mooted to link the gasworks business park and Ormeau Embankment in Belfast, with nine different designs currently being assessed.

Some time ago the Blether Region read an article about the Ulster-Scots poet and songwriter Robert Huddleston (1814-1887), the Bard of Moneyreagh, whose longest — and arguably best — work, "Doddery Willowaim", an Ulster take on Burns's "Tam o' Shanter", includes a memorable Lagan-bridging leap on the part of the title character:

When at the brink ae spring an' tantrum,
Clean out o' Down launched him in Antrim:

("Doddery Willowaim", Poems and Songs on Rural Subjects, 1844, p. 50)

Huddleston, a non-subscribing Nationalist radical who later expressed sympathies with Unionism, is surely a figure capable, like his poetic creation, of bringing together the Catholic Lower Ormeau with the more mixed areas on the other side of the river.

As such, the Blether Region respectfully suggests that the new creation be named "Doddery's Brig".

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