Early days at the Shankill YMCA The Shankill YMCA was a place where both young and old could go to relax and meet freinds after work or school, it was the hub of the Shankill Road with all sorts of events, ie Sports, Dances, Outings, Cross Community work, and many more activities. Sorry to see it gone.
Post War Years in the Shankill
The post war years seen a massive building program in the areas now known as the Greater Shankill. This was due not only to the damage caused by the war but more importantly to address the need for better quality housing.
The Shankill Road itself during the 50´s and early 60´s was one Belfast´s best shopping regions. Before redevelopment the Shankill had within its boundaries 600 small businesses. The Shankill itself was more like a town with a population between 50,000 and 70,000.
It had positioned within easy walking distance of the main road 9 Presbyterian Churches 6 Church Of Ireland, 5 Methodist, 3 Baptist and a variety of 23 Mission Halls. Added to the 4 Banks 6 Cinemas, 2 Snooker Halls, 1 Y.M.C.A., 3 Major Bakeries, 11 Pawns, 1 Hospital, 1 Court, 1 Jail, 1 Graveyard, 87 Licensed (33 on the road) Premises, 34 Grocers, 63 Clothes, 22 Home Bakeries, 28 Butchers, 34 Newsagents, 18 Shoe, 20 Greengrocers, 17 Furniture, 26 Hardware, 17 Chemists, 14 Doctors, 5 Dentists, 10 Hairdressers, 8 Cleaners, 12 Electrical Goods, 8 Jewelers, 5 Fishmongers, 6 Post Offices, 5 Undertakers, 10 Cafes, 6 Wallpaper, 6 Car Dealers, 3 Opticians, 3 Photographers and 2 Pet Shops.
The redevelopment of the Shankill reduced the population to around 14,000 this was due to the movement of people to the new houses. Later in the 60´s the onset of the troubles seen a further drop in the population due to the interface areas.