Development of the Area

1920 - 1960

By 1920, the entirety of the Market area as it was then, had been developed. At the time, it extended from Alfred Street in the north to the River Lagan in the South and from Chichester Street in the east to Ormeau Avenue on the West. Residential, industrial and commercial life not only co-existed, but thrived.

The various Markets remained the focal point of the community. During this era, the Fish Market, May’s Market, Allams and Colgan’s cattle markets were on Oxford Street; St George’s market was on the other side of Oxford Street, with one part designated for selling butter and eggs and the other fruit and veg; the Variety Market was by the Royal Courts on May Street; the Hay Market was on Stewart Street and Robson’s cattle market was on Eliza Street. The various markets also gave rise to dealers/carters, who bought and sold produce from the markets around the city on handcarts. Livestock continued to play large part in the industry of the area. By 1960, there were stabling yards in East Street, Gloucester Street, Murdock’s on Lagan Lane and Market Street, Barney Ross’ on Lagan Street and Ross’ & Sons on Oxford Street. The abattoir and hide and skins remained a significant source of employment for the community. Inglis & Co Bakery on Eliza Street remained a major source of employment in the area, which continued to expand and buy up failing industries. Other large industries in this period included Hendron Bros, machinery and electrical outlet, on Eliza Street.

Cromac Street was also thriving in that era. In 1960, there were: 8 pubs including McEntee’s, Gillespie’s, Devine’s and Mooney’s; 7 butchers including McCaffrey’s, Shannon’s and McShane’s; 8 drapers, 5 fruiterers, 4 grocers, 4 confectionaries, 3 newsagents among many other commercial businesses. Small businesses thrived within the residential parts of the community also, including but McGlade’s shop on Eliza Street, Connolly’s shop on Joy Street, Arnott’s on Hamilton Street and many more pubs, including Donnelly’s on Verner Street, Lavery’s on May Street, Dan Magennis’ on May Street and Kerr’s on Welsh Street and many more. Generally, this era was a prosperous one for the community.