Three images from the 1930s have been merged with modern photographs of an Ulster Rugby match day to show the dramatic changes that have occurred at Kingspan Stadium and the surrounding area over the past 80 years,

The series of photographs from the Public Records Office (PRONI), featuring baseball, American football and rugby have been merged with pictures of the same locations in the present day.

Garreth Montgomery from PRONI explained: “These images caught my attention as I thought it was very unusual to see sports such as American football and baseball being played here.

“The images show how much Kingspan Stadium has changed and how the ground was used during the war years by GIs.

“I am always on the lookout for interesting old photographs in our collections that could be merged with contemporary digital shots taken in the same location today. These merges have proved hugely popular on our Flickr stream and as a means to highlight the various collections we hold in PRONI.

“In doing so, I came across these rare shots of GIs playing baseball and American football at the ground in the early 1940s.  Being a regular at Kingspan Stadium and following Ulster Rugby, I thought it would be interesting to try and merge these old shots with ones taken in the same location 70 years later during PRO12 league matches.”


IRFU (Ulster Branch) President Bobby Stewart added: “These images are remarkable as they really emphasise how much Kingspan Stadium has evolved over the years, particularly since the redevelopment work was completed in 2014. The stadium has hosted many high profile sporting events, not only in rugby but in other sports such as football and Gaelic football, as well as the American sports which are highlighted in these images.”

The original images and the merged images are available to view in PRONI.  These photographs are the latest addition to the growing online archive of images, which includes thousands of photos from several collections.

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