A BRIEF GUIDE
Big E Taxi Tours offers a unique service to all our customers. Our Tours are an amalgamation of years of experience, growing up in the Troubles and living and working in Belfast. An unrivalled extent of local knowledge and perspective discovered, something that can never be completely provided by history books, virtual tours, or inadequate tour guides!
AN EMPOWERING EXPERIENCE
Firstly, let me tell you that the main benefit you will take away from my tour is the extent of local knowledge and perspective discovered, something that can never be completely provided by history books, virtual tours, or inadequate tour guides! While others may take you for a ride, I will take you on a journey through history and time, linking local troubles - as seen through the eyes of both communities, with national and international upheavals.
The tour route encompasses the very fabric of what divides this troubled land, and your fresh perspective will begin in the British (protestant/unionist/loyalist) lower Shankill area, and finish in the Irish (catholic/nationalist/republican) lower Springfield/Falls area, between which you will visit a large section of the last remaining segregating wall in eastern or western Europe - locally known as "The Berlin Wall of West Belfast", before passing through the wall's steel security gates, which are constantly monitored and opened/closed by the security forces as necessary.
As you gain an understanding of local history while visiting important locations and wall murals, the connection between the Troubles and the broader political and military events of the time will be made clear.
In the lower Shankill area, you will get an indepth explanation of British (protestant/unionist/loyalist) history going back to 1600, with detailed local connections explained for the likes of Oliver Cromwell, the 1690 Battle of the Boyne, King William of Orange and the defeated catholic King, James II. We will discuss the upheavals since those times, leading through into the present phase of the Troubles, and the British community's perspective towards this and the current Peace Process. I will elaborate on the formation and restructuring of loyalist paramilitary groups, and detail many tragic events within the British community since 1969.
On our way out of the Shankill area, we will travel to the Berlin Wall of West Belfast, and you will discover - once the history of how this wall came into being is explained - why many believe locally that this ugliest of monuments to the Troubles was entirely unavoidable.
After passing through the wall's steel security gates, we will find ourselves in the Irish (catholic/nationalist/republican) lower Springfield/Falls area, where you will visit many wall murals and historical locations associated with the Irish perspective. Ancient history will be a prelude to explanations of the 1916 Easter Rising and subsequent negotiations between the British and Irish that led to the establishment of the border between a 26 county Irish Free State and the six counties of Ulster, which became known as Northern Ireland and remains under British rule to this day. The tensions and turmoils since the establishment of the border are connected with the lead up to the present Troubles, and further local upheavals since 1969 are explained, including the formation and restructuring of republican paramilitary groups. The tragic conflict between the local Irish community and the British is detailed, followed by an explanation of how they became involved in the Peace Process.
You must remember that this is just a brief outline of the tour, and the real benefit is in the detail of local history and events that will be discussed during the trip, so come along and I assure you that you will not be disappointed! Just go to the contacts page and easily book online using the form provided. I look forward to spending time with all my customers, as our history is a passion with me, and our local knowledge is something that must be passed on and not forgotten or left to be misunderstood.