Northern Ireland news

Former fishing tackle shop Braddell's becomes art studio

J Braddell & Sons in North Street, Belfast, is closed for good following a fire in 2014. Picture by Mal McCann

A BELFAST institution is being transformed into an artists' studio.

Joseph Braddell & Sons, a gunmakers' and fishing rod and tackle supplier, had been in business for more than 200 years.

But their premises on North Street, where they had traded since 1975, was badly damaged in a fire in December 2014.

Now the shop has closed for good and the distinctive building has been temporarily taken over by a group of artists - the PS² collective.

Signs have been placed in the window of the former shop, asking customers 'Do you want to fish for art?' - a nod to the building's former use.

The artists' collective will use the premises for studios and a project space on the ground floor, including a public gallery for modern art.

Artist Peter Mutschler said Braddell's was a well-known company with strong community links.

"The contents of the building are extremely famous," he said. "People have come in with old fishing rods and we get to hear so many stories."

He said the collective hopes to run an oral history project about the history of the shop and its customers.

To contact the collective with your stories, email

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