During the Second World War, residents of Clifton House- then known as the Belfast Charitable Institution- were evacuated from Belfast to Garron Tower on the North Coast due to the threat of air raids on the city.  It was during the stay there that the Belfast Charitable Society had the first recorded marriage between two residents in its long history.

A bachelor called John Bloomer, aged 83, married Frances Ash, aged 65, at Largy Road Parish Church, a short distance from Garron Tower. The ceremony was attended by residents and staff. The couple were granted permission by the Board to honeymoon for a week in Larne before coming back to Garron Tower- on their return the newly weds were given a room in the married couples’ quarters. It wasn’t until 1946 that the residents and staff returned to Clifton House.

Want to learn more about the history of Belfast Charitable Society and the Poor House? Why not join us every weekend for our In Life & Death Tour of the old Poor House and Clifton Street Cemetery? More information, including how to book can be found by clicking here.