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Visitors enticed to explore the Cathedral Quarter this weekend

03 September 2021

Several streets within Derry’s city walls will close to traffic this weekend to allow for the city’s first ever Cathedral Quarter Weekend. As part of Derry City and Strabane District Council's campaign to support local businesses in the wake of COVID-19, visitors will be allowed to wander the streets free from road traffic to explore a historic area of the city centre.

Many businesses in the Cathedral Quarter are taking part and offering visitors something unique as part of the celebrations. The streets of Upper Magazine Street, Society Street, Place Street, Pump Street and Artillery Street will offer outdoor space for a programme of fun animation, street performance, music, and outdoor trading.

Due to the restrictions on road traffic, these historic streets will also provide open customer-friendly spaces that will feature new street furniture and covered areas.

Nestled in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter, two local businesses are preparing to take part in the weekend celebrations.

Thomas the Goldsmiths is a jewellery store located on Pump Street. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the business is offering something unique during the celebrations and is keen to invite visitors to come and see what it has in store.

Ríonach Wright, Administrator for Thomas the Goldsmiths said that the store’s Master Goldsmith Lynn Harris will be giving a live demonstration of jewellery making at the store’s Jewellery School, situated in the Garden of Reflection in Pump Street.

Ríonach continued:

"We are celebrating our 25th year in business nestled in the heart of the cathedral quarter, we at Thomas Goldsmiths are delighted to showcase what we do best. On 4th of September Master Goldsmith Lynn will give a live demonstration of the historic skill that has deep roots in the city. She will be creating a silver pendant, and proceeds from the sale will be donated to Foyle Hospice!”

 

A coffee & gift shop is also keen to join in the fun. Opened in December 2020, ‘Walled City Gifts & Coffee’ is a relatively recent addition to the Cathedral Quarter. Over the weekend, the shop is planning to set up outside on the street, taking advantage of the traffic-free streets. Karen Clifford, the shop owner, said she was excited to move the shop outdoors.

 

“Our business will be in one of the ‘Walled City Market’ tents during Cathedral Quarter Weekend and we are putting an extended seating area outside to serve our cakes, coffees and various other products. There will also be music to help create a great atmosphere at the event,’’ she said.

Karen added:

“The Cathedral Quarter Weekend is an amazing way for businesses to work together and with the Council to show what we all have to offer and it collectively brings a lovely vibe to the city and makes people want to go into the town to enjoy with their families.’’

Walled City Gifts & Coffee sells arts and crafts that have been created in the city. The shop also sells teas, coffees, cakes and treats to enjoy right alongside the City Walls.

Sharon Meenan, spokesperson for Derry & Strabane District Council, said that having businesses such as these in the Cathedral Quarter, adds to the unique appeal of the city.

She commented:

 “Thomas the Goldsmiths and Walled City Gifts & Coffee are just some of the many hidden gems located in the Cathedral Quarter. By restricting the flow of road traffic for the event, visitors and walkers will have greater freedom to discover some of the wonderful local businesses that keep the heart of our city centre very much beating. I would encourage visitors to take advantage of the extra space provided as a result of the Cathedral Quarter Weekend, and really explore what the city has to offer.” 

In the run up to the Cathedral Quarter Weekend, you can get a sneak peek behind the scenes at Thomas the Goldsmiths on Instagram, Facebook & TikTok, and online at www.thomasgoldsmiths.com. Walled City Gifts & Coffee is located on Artillery Street, just beside the Playhouse Theatre. They can be found on Facebook @walledcitygiftsandcoffee.