It was all go in Derry’s historic Cathedral Quarter this weekend. Traders launched a new booklet highlighting the many businesses in the area, while Bedlam Vintage Market launched their ‘Face of Bedlam’ competition for the City of Culture year.
Right in the heart of the walled city lies a superb selection of shops and businesses often overlooked by the casual shopper or visitors to the city. While the recession hit some businesses in the area badly, others continue to thrive and it is these very businesses who have come together to launch a new booklet highlighting their wares especially for the Culture year.
The most notable visitor attraction in the Cathedral Quarter is undoubtedly St Columb’s Cathedral itself, the city’s oldest - and most majestic - building having been completed in 1633. Both the Cathedral and the Chapter House Museum are open to visitors from Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm. St Columba’s Church, Long Tower, also opened an Adoration Chapel at the Parochial House in Pump Street, attracting many visitors.
Among the businesses are The Whatnot, the last remaining dedicated antiques shop within the walls offering a dazzling array of antiques, collectibles, jewellery, lighting and oddities; Hansel and Gretel’s unmistakable handmade clothes for colourful children; Kular Fashion on Ferryquay Street, and Master Gold and Silversmith’s Thomas Goldsmiths on Pump Street, where David Thomas M.A designs the very best contemporary and classically themed jewellery to suit all tastes and styles. Indeed, some of his finest work is now on permanent display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London!
In terms of health and beauty, the Cathedral Quarter has it all too, with Natural Touch Treatment Spa, Solace Nail Bar and Solarium, John O’Mahoney’s Acupuncture, Syenna Hair and Beauty Salon, Melt Skin Spa, and Healing Arts centre for alternative health too.
Art features heavily in the Cathedral Quarter too. Gordon Gallery on Pump Street is well regarded thanks to frequent exhibitions and displays from some of Ireland’s most promising artists, while Derry’s new Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) is now located in grand surroundings in Artillery Street and has already garnered praise from far and wide.
And then there’s Bedlam, which is a unique shopping experience in itself! Within its winding selection of shops, you’ll find books, art, antiques, retro and vintage clothing and furniture, collectibles and all sorts of things you’d never expect to find anywhere else.
So next time you’re in Derry city centre, venture towards the Cathedral Quarter. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the delights you’ll find.
The Face of Bedlam
With Derry’s very own Vintage Ball just months away, the search is now on for a male and female who represent the ethos of vintage in the city!
Launched by Bedlam, based in the Old Convent on Pump Street, this is not your typical beauty competition. It’s open to everyone over the age of 18 who have their own unique vintage style and so Bedlam are now calling for willing (and groovy!) participants to nominate themselves and become Vintage Ambassadors for the Culture Company’s Vintage Ball and associated events.
The amazing prize package for the winning couple will include making a special appearance at the many vintage-inspired events which will roll out in May to mark the City of Culture celebrations.
The jewel in the Vintage Crown will bo doubt be the weekend of May 4-5, when the winning couple will appear as special guests during the family-inspired Vintage Day lined up for Ebrington Square on Saturday, May 4, and also of course at the glittering Vintage Ball that evening.
On Sunday, May 5, the pair voted the Face of Bedlam will also be invited to attend the amazing Vintage and Antiques fair lining the length of Derry’s picturesque Cathedral Quarter with traders from Derry and all over Ireland bringing to the city an eclectic mix of vintage, antiques and retro goods, as well as food and live music.
So if YOU think you could be the Face of Bedlam and are ready to lend your vintage style to the city’s Culture events, pick up your application form from Bedlam, 10-16 Pump Street, this Friday. All forms must be returned by February 28 and there’s a £20 admission charge for each person. The couple will be selected by public vote through the Bedlam Facebook or voting in store in the Bedlam Ballot Box. An amazing prize package awaits the winners...