Problems in Portadown

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Late 2005

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Problem Page

Photos taken in January 2004
Portadown is no different to other similar sized towns in Northern Ireland, in that it has it's share of social problems. Many of the following problems have now been fixed, thanks to the council, NIHE and various other agencies and individuals. All of the pictures on this page link to a bigger picture. Just click to see the larger image (640 x 480), and hit back on your browser to return to this page. Most of the following areas are within a half mile of each other.

Photo One
Queen Street
Many parts of old central Portadown have become rundown. In many cases landlords have neglected their property over a long period and as you can see this has had a dramatic detrimental effect on the appearance of some areas. While most home owners have strived to keep their properties clean, and of a high standard, unfortunately many have simply moved on or are unable or uncaring
Photo One
Litter problem in the Fair Green car park. In some l;ocalities there is a dire problem with litter. I have lost count of the number of times I have noticed people just dropping their waste, without any consideration for their neighbours, the community or the environment. Our local workers from Craigavon Borough Council do an outstanding job in cleaning our streets, but it is a thankless task. Today, a week after taking this picture, workmen were working hard cleaning up this area near the old Pork Market in the centre of town.
Photo One
Tattered flags, many years old, blight some streets. This is a disease, peculiar to Northern Ireland. In early summer flags are displayed in many working class areas of towns throughout the country. Unfortunately, due to the wet and windy climate, these tend to become tattered within a few weeks. The colours become faded and bland, and they get badly torn in the wind. Few authorities take responsiblity for their removal, citing insurance problems, lack of resources, or fear of threats.


Many thanks to the hard work carried out by the local umbrella community group - The PLACE Initiative and the other groups and individuals who have worked very hard in a recent effort to alleviate the flag problem in town. The result is that the vast majority of unsightly flags have been removed throughout the town.

Photo One
The Peaceline
Designed to keep two communities apart, this peaceline is an eyesore. There are many similar peacelines, but mostly in Belfast. This monstrosity replaced an earlier but equally unaesthetic barrier. Its purpose is presumably a means of safety for each community from the other. The disgusing obstacle attracted graffiti writers and petrol bombers, when it was raised about 6 years ago during a period of turmoil. Now it stands to welcome visitors on a main artery into Portadown. Once again, shamefully, no-one seems to want the responsibility of its maintenance. It was erected at the behest of the Northern Ireland Office. It is sited opposite Epworth Church.
Photo One
Thomas Street
In need of a tenant or a bulldozer. Another derelict building blights Thomas Street, a street which features an array of unusual and fascinating architecture. Bleak and unsightly, the once proud building is attacked by the elements. Many similar, once-delapidated, buildings have been rejuvenated by workers from overseas, who have arrived to staff the many food processing operations, which were previously unable to find their quota of competent local staff.
Photo One
Graffiti in the Fair Green. A predominance of political slogans blight these exterior walls of a shop. In the modern era, some graffiti has a pleasing quality, if it is well-designed and well articulated. Unfortunately this blight does not fit in that category. Note the necessary barbed wire coils on top of the wall, to deter burglars.

***UPDATE*** This graffiti has now been removed

Photo One
More Litter
More illegal dumping, just around the corner, but inside the grounds of an abandoned building. It is a sad fact that people sometimes arrive in cars, and dump binliners full of household waste into the nearest hedge. Taxpayers pay an absolute fortune in this area to have the garbage removed by the council. Although laws are in place to prosecute litterbugs, unfortunately action is very rare. It is long overdue that these people are actively pursued and prosecuted. No other country I have ever visited is as polluted with litter and waste as Northern Ireland
Photo One
West Street
Delapidated railway bridge, culturally vandalised. Several years ago this railway bridge was alot prettier than this. In a strange phenomenum, unique to this country, Protestants and Catholics (in limited numbers with limited IQs) in low income areas, often mirror each others stupidity, by painting little coloured patterns everywhere. One side paint lamp standards, and kerbstones, red, white and blue. The other side of feckless individuals paint similar things green, white and orange. Unfortunately, the rain and dirty atmosphere take away the brightness within a short time, and we are left with the visual eyesore that appears in the picture.
Photo One
On the approach to the site of the Victorian railway station, Watson Street is partially in need of a revamp. Edenderry's side streets have mostly been razed over the years, with a few notable exceptions. These former homes look like they are fighting a losing battle with the elements
Photo One
Flyposting goes on at all times in Portadown - unfortunately. Many times thoughtless people send out the gullible to advertise their product for short term gain, leaving the streets of Portadown hosting an unsightly mess of dated posters. Discos, clubs and political messages seem to be the premier culprits
Photo One
Graffiti Again
Yet more graffiti, in the Fair Green. This building is private property and therefore cannot be painted by any statutory authority, presumably. Maybe the owners have decided that their is absolutely no point in cleaning their premesis. An understandable attitude, I guess, but one which is a little fatalistic. Nothing in this graffiti could possibly be viewed as artistic. Some graffiti has positive merits, but not this urban scrawl.

***UPDATE*** This vandalism has now been removed

Photo One
A distinct lack of talent is displayed here. Under cover of darkness, a talentless urchin decided to impose his opinions on the wall of someone else's home. Many thousands of pounds of our money are spent each year by the local council and the Housing Executive removing slogans such as this. It is a reasonably safe bet that the painter is not a taxpayer. Irrespective of the message, this type of community destruction should be confined to the 1980s. Most of us have moved on a little, and want to build our communities, instead of destroying them. Why not try to create something or help your local area?

***UPDATE*** This vandalism has now been removed, and not been replaced. Most people now see how this detracts from their areas, but unfortunately a few people still persist.