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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

True North returns telling the story of ‘Summer In The Fountain’

The Fountain estate in Londonderry

The Fountain area of Londonderry was once home to more than 1,000 people with a thriving community. Today the population is around 250.

It is the only working class Protestant/unionist estate on the mainly Catholic/nationalist ‘Cityside’.

During the Troubles, scores of people left to live elsewhere and there are now only seven of the original streets left in The Fountain. Even though many have moved away, The Fountain is still a place that unionists in the city return to and the area is experiencing a time of change with residents proud of their place, their culture and identity.

A new BBC Northern Ireland film, True North: Summer In The Fountain, charts life in the area during the period between July and August, seen through the eyes of some of the people who call The Fountain home.

Viewers are given an insight into people’s lives in the area - a place surrounded by a peace wall and, on three sides, by mainly nationalist populated areas.

The programme hears from community leaders and people who grew up in The Fountain about what they consider to be their place in the city and how they feel their story is often forgotten in the telling of Derry’s past and present.

The programme follows some of the residents as they prepare to celebrate two of the most important occasions in their year – the Twelfth of July and the Apprentice Boys Parade in August.

And after the ‘exodus’ of previous years, some of the locals are keen to bring a change to The Fountain and to welcome people into the area from different backgrounds and places. And while areas of dereliction and poor housing still exist, a new arts centre opens becoming a focal point and adding to the regeneration of The Fountain.

True North: Summer In The Fountain is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.


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